The Nine Clues…


This is the place to discuss the nine clues…For instance:
What are the nine clues…
Is the first clue “Begin it where warm waters halt” ?

178 thoughts on “The Nine Clues…

  1. There are fellows on the last 9 clues page that needs to play a new version of the show Name That Tune…
    I can find the chest in 21 clues (mrgreen)

  2. As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold

    These are the first 2 clues and a confirmation when you solve the poems riddle.

    • or the last 2 clues…. Looks like just one place in there. Aren’t the first two clues separate, specific places?


      • passenger, as you probably know, FF said; the people that (either) came within 200 feet of or walked right past the chest (going from memory here, forgive me if I’m wrong), must not have got the first 2 clues. That seems like a clue of its own.
        So if “in there” is a place, it could even be one of those perchable, canopy-covered look-outs that “look like” the entrance to a cave but are only a few feet deep, but not a cave or mine, tunnel, etc… or.. it could be yellowstone.. FF keeps talking about the west yellowstone area… my $0.22 cents (inflation)

  3. So in scrapbook #180, did anyone notice that in the sketch of hiccup-man, did anyone notice that there are 9 circles in the drawing? Overlay them on a map and the treasure you shall find!

    • Blex. Interesting perspective on the picture you have. For me ,I always have just read the poem like walking my solve in an area. I don’t initially identify the clues as a counting of 9. I just walk with the poem within an area and see after if I can identify 9 clues within the area afterwords. I look at said picture and see my process in a still form.

      • Yeah, I hear you, Alsetenash. I’m just playing around with ideas in my head to pass the time. I think I fall into the camp that there may be more than nine clues, but then again I don’t think it really matters to identify the specific clues and count them off 1 through 9 in order to solve the poem.

    • Blex,

      I just happen to take another look at that drawing and thought what you said. Well I don’t know about the nine circles, but the six gas circles do lay out WWWH, canyon down, hoB, no paddle up your creek, heavy loads, and water high on my map. Just a coincidence, maybe. This is why I like your blog Dal, the different perspectives each searcher has. Thanks Blex for the thought, good luck. Bur

    • I’m glad that something is making sense for you from trying this exercise, Bur. The overlay of sketch on map doesn’t really do anything with my solve, but maybe that just means I’m wrong. The little sketch did seem to me to be the thing that stood out most in the scrapbook #180 post. Why did Forrest add that in? Did he just feel like doodling a little abstract picture to go along with his story? Maybe, or maybe not.

      Maybe the blaze is a similar stick figure carving like the one of the running man that used to be on aspen tree in Forrest’s backyard. But maybe not. I have a mental list of at least a dozen possibilities of what the blaze looks like based on Forrest’s past posts. Maybe it’s one of those or none of those. Ah well, until the snow melts we can continue to wonder about all the possible maybes!

  4. I believe. that the poem is Finns way of expressing and reflecting his life’s experiences through a medium (poetry) that conveys a melancholic tone. Yes it may contain a map but it takes you to a place both literally and figuratively where beautiful landscapes allow one’s soul to be soothed. There is a painting by Remington called “Taking Down the nigh leader” so I believe nigh to be in front not night fits better in the context of the poem. Further heavy loads I think is used both to signify boulders and the lodes of silver and gold taken out of the Rockies both new and old. I think many of the words have double meanings and are chosen to romanticize the poem.

    Today was a tough day for the blog. I don’t know why…
    If you experienced trouble or received peculiar feedback when you posted a comment …you were not alone….

    I had a heck of a time getting everything posted. I’ll bet I had 4 failures for every successful attempt at posting or updating pages today…very frustrating..
    At any rate, things seem to have calmed down at this hour..

    Sorry for the inconvenience…


    • Thanks Dal I was wondering…. I posted something around 3:30 your time but it did not seem to post until 6:30… I am on the East coast right now so I thought maybe it got lost in the circuitry across the grid or I was in a time warp 🙂

    • It looks like the slowdown and hiccups on the blog today may have been caused by an attack. We had a large number of attempts to break into the blog today. This happens every once in awhile. I don’t know what intruders expect to find hidden away in the blog vault but I am certain their expectations exceed reality. There is nothing there of value. We don’t have any credit card numbers or personal information. About the worst thing anyone could walk away with is several tens of thousands of email addresses…
      Anyway…no one got in. The door is still secure and has never been breached…
      But a prolonged attack takes it’s toll on the efficiency of the blog until finally it slows down and chokes up…

      • Well as always we you and Goofy big thank you for your dedication and hard work on our behalf.

        If you read the previous page I wonder if you are now considering changing the name to

        The Nine, Eleven, Seventeen or Who Knows How Many Clues.

      • Forrest,

        I think you should send The Warrior Kachina doll to Dal to help defend the sanctity of HOD and as a reward in Fennding () off the hack attack.


      • Would there be an archive of search terms? I doubt that would be of enough interest to hack as you’d still have to identify/interpret them, but just thinking out loud.

        On a related note, I sometimes wonder if you (Dal) can access what people search for on the site. It’d be a pretty ingenious way to benefit from the site, IMO so I personally wouldn’t be mad, though I suspect others might. I guess it’s irrelevant if you’ve given up searching yourself, now that I think about it. Now I’m curious how much someone would be willing to pay for a search term report (not that I personally think it would be a lot of help)…

        • Fmc-
          I don’t know if I can access the search terms folks use on the site. I also don’t see why knowing that would benefit anyone in any way. There are close to a thousand views an hour on this site right now. Why would it be valuable to know if folks were searching for the term “Forrest Fenn” or “Brown’s Canyon” or “Minerva”?
          I know that I can access the search terms folks use to get to the site and what sites led people to this site and I can also say that generally those search terms are the same today as they were six years ago.
          Finally…who the heck said I gave up searching?
          I have not!
          I’ve been searching for 6.5 years and I think I almost have the first clue figured out…why on earth would I stop now???

          • I think it would be more if anything was unusual that you could then explore on your own – probably a needle in a haystack thing in any case…

            I must have misread something from awhile back about you stopping searching (or maybe it changed back at some point). I’m vaguely remembering something about the appearance of inside information or something, but I don’t remember all the details.

          • I used to think that input from searchers would be a major advantage for Dal, but I’ll bet all that ‘static’ he receives is much more of a hindrance than help.


            (Note: An automotive site that I visit listed their top searches and they were ‘naked girls’ and ‘boobs’.) 🙂

          • randa-
            lol…well I don’t think those are our top search words…I looked around a little bit but I didn’t see where internal search phrases are listed…maybe that info is there…but I don’t know about it…

            in all honesty..about the only time I look at the stats is for our “annual report” in January…and that is just to satisfy my curiosity about where folks on this site come from and how many of us there are on a daily basis..
            I don’t read everything that is posted on this site every day..I just can’t keep up.

            Fmc…you’re right…I did threaten to quit at one time when the trolls got me down…and you are correct that I was accused of having too much inside information and therefore it was unfair to everyone else if I continued searching…

            All I can say is..
            Look where it’s all gotten me…
            So I think it’s YOU’RE fault…apparently the information you leave here isn’t very good…so how about leaving better information!!!!

      • Hi Dal.

        When trouble occurs….we send in “Dal – Cyber Terrorism Extraordinaire!”

        Nicely done!

        I come her to be under the safety net of the HoD and knowing Dal is always there to protect me.


      • I hate the guys in black hats – grrr. They make life tough for the law-abiding citizens here on the inter-webs.

        Thanx to you and Goofy for your diligence – it is appreciated.

      • randa,
        I’m a bit of a motor-head myself…enjoy tinkering with the classic muscle cars. What was the name of your automotive site? Just out of curiosity… for the article… in-case I need to get my motor up and running.

          • LOL I was just having some fun with your post. But thanks for the site. I went to have a look see… hoping to find a nice set of headlights… and notice the scrolling pics of the VW’s.

            I had a 1970 Bug with an autotstick.. no clutch. The first time I got in it, I thought someone broke the clutch pedal off. The little beep beep got 42 mpg, and originally cost new about 3,000 $
            LOL Prius starts at 24,000 $ and 53 – 58 mpg with all those batteries… Only, try driving a Prius in a foot and half of snow, lol… the little Bug never slowed down.

            Thanks again.

      • Dal, I want to thank you for your incredible due diligence, and your blogs!
        I completely understand your frustrations! I know personally I’ve been hacked “WHY”, I have no idea! I have nothing anyone would want!
        It’s just a pain and it really makes me crazy, so hang in there!
        Best regards, Martha

    • Hi Dal: had a bunch of inability-to-connect messages today, but they always resolved within 30 seconds or so. You and Goofy run a tight ship and I applaud your collective skills at keeping everything running so smoothly. Denial of service attacks have become so commonplace that it was only a matter of time before a popular site like yours would get hit. My kudos for your (you and Goofy’s) preemptive measures that clearly allow you to weather these infrequent storms.

  6. Lugnutz, you said

    “Pinotubacharlie –
    You didn’t ask but I will tell you what I think.
    No structures, nothing made by man at all. Just clues to places in nature. Mountains streams woods. You know. Fenn stuff.”

    I am always open to other ideas, but have to respectfully disagree. Forrest said the chest, underscore chest, is not associated with a structure, but to my knowledge, he has never said the clues in the poem leading to the chest are not associated with a structure(s).

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but I would also ask that you support your argument with a quote.

    Good luck out there and watch out for them critters.


    • If F said the treasure could be found 100 or 1,000 yrs from now…the poem would be needed! Would man-made structures used as clues, still be standing?
      IMO, I don’t think so. F said the mountains are always moving…this tells me the clues are a natural creation and may be destroyed by Mother Nature’s wrath at some point. I believe most of the clues, if not all, are natural.
      Again, IMO.

      • While that’s an OK premise, something that doesn’t exist anymore physically can still be “found”. For example, I could say- go find the Madison River Lookout tower (It wont be on any current maps)… But if you found the right USGS topo map you would see that it was on a small rise south of the west entrance road a couple of miles from West Yellowstone, overlooking the west entrance and the Madison River valley. Some pieces of it still remain.

        Cool view btw… IMO of course

        • Jim,
          While the concept of research would provide that information… how much research outside the poem {and the book as helpful} do we really need to do?

          One solve recently used a faded sign as part of an answer to what a clue refers to… how do we research a sign 100-500 years from now?

          I’ll add the same about names… a single location, a river, mountain etc. in just the past 500 years could have had a Cherokee name, a French name, a Spanish name, an English name… not to mentions all the alternative names given to places. Example; Horsetail Falls, Yosemite – Called Lava Falls or Gold falls. Which I’ll add, never became a National Park until Oct. 1890. How many names were give to the falls prior?

          And private land? Holy crap, can you imagine researching hundreds, if not thousands of names? or if it became commercial land, or taken by eminent domain… rinse and repeat over a few hundred years.

          I would like to think fenn is a bit smarter to apply the physical surroundings of the land itself as viable clue reference..imo. Sure there will be changes, the RM’s are still moving, however, those changes are normally slower and can be understood with some knowledge of geography { the Subject hopefully taught in schools}… such as how Earth Quake lake became. No real research needed, and more observation of what the land looks like… how one can see the area with it’s 20′ faults movements of the land, a side of a mountain that slid down blocking a river etc. etc.

          Do we not commonly know that a valley could have been formed by a the movement of an accident glacier, or how the great lake got their waters or because of the water flow of Niagara falls and erosion of the water… the falls were farther south then present day?

          I have pondered the thought that those who indicated, deciphered, located the first two clues didn’t understand they did…even though the may have mentioned what fenn refers to as the clue… but they didn’t understand why it was a clue.

          Hence my though… maybe “begin it where…” is both present day for a searcher, but in the past for the clues. Begin it where in time.

          Thinking down the road {centuries}?
          Knowledge of geography?
          Could have written poem before he hid the chest?
          fenn’s passion for archeology { the past }?
          fenn thinking he was born 100 years to late?

          Is “thinking” meant to spend thousands of hours doing research, or “observing” on maps and/or GE, or “analyzing” those whatIf, by tossing darts… Where does “imagination” come into play with all this research, or codes, or metal detectors or converting to another language, studying the bible…etc. ?

          “I’m not flippant about this. It’s not something somebody is going to be able to do on spring break or a Sunday afternoon picnic. I’m looking a hundred years down the road, maybe a thousand years down the road. People don’t understand that.”

          Just more of Seeker’s ramblings and rumblings

        • Seeker;

          I think that knowledge of geography (and even geology) will be a key to understanding why Forrest picked his “Special Spot”. If only we could slip into Forrest’s mind for a few moments. JDA

          • I also subscribe to a naturalistic solve. Place names are man-made and change over time. “Soft” biology (trees, plants, animals, etc.) changes through the course of time and climate too, but if a clue needed to last 1,000 years, it would need to be geographical IMO.

            “Q: Did the same 9 clues exist when you were a kid and to your estimation will they still exist in 100 years and 1000 years? “The clues did not exist when I was a kid but most of the places the clues refer to did. I think they might still exist in 100 years but the geography probably will change before we reach the next millennia.”

      • That’s a great question Donna and the answer is very simple.

        It’s something an archeologist like f runs into everyday. You have you conduct research, locate good maps, go to the library. It’s hard and tedious work. That is all I have been doing since I joined the search. For instance, I have found maps of Yellowstone from the late 1800s, maybe earlier, showing where many structures that no longer exist were built. Are they of the Google quality? Certainly not. Think a napkin map, though a little better than that. Much interpretation required. And IMO some of the structures identified on those maps directly correlate to clues in the poem.

        I have since moved on to a different location, but it remains a backup plan.

        Bottom line. In a 1,000 years, research will be key and the level of difficulty for the correct solve will likely be an order of magnitude greater. But I’m betting on the opposite.

        Hopes that answers your question.


        • Pinatubocharlie,
          LOL, your post to Donna and My post to Jim were 1/2 hour apart. {that might be for the fact I’m a slow typist}

          I’m not laughing at your comment… I’m laughing how two people can look at the same information provided { the after the fact comments } and come up with completely opposite thoughts.

          I guess my question to you would be this… why would fenn want us to do all that research if needed to solve the poem. { it doesn’t matter who or when [present or future searcher] researching is being done, just why would he want that? }

          • Seeker,

            I honestly don’t recall if you are in the poem only camp or not, but as soon as a searcher looks up a word you don’t recognize, looks at a map, reads some history about whatever, put BOTG, whether you like it or not, you are conducting research…….IMO.

            I know Forrest has said you only need the poem. I cannot argue that. However, and as I said to Donna, this is very similiar to archeology and if one so chooses to focus ONLY on the poem, then I believe that puts you at a disadvantage. I can’t prove it, but I do not f has ever ruled out conducting any form of research, but I would like to remind you that he did mention Google Earth as a good resource………..research.

            That’s how I see it, but as you point out, 2 people can see the same thing so differently. That’s why we debate.

            Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify what I was trying to say to Donna.


          • IMO every single searcher is doing research. As I see it, research is just finding stuff out. Careful though and remember to re-search. After reading Mr. Fenn’s account of the findings he made that were contrary to what had been taken as valid. He now has caused the historians/archeologists to revise the time line. I think that’s an example of re-search.

          • Pinatubocharlie,
            I’m not in any camp really… I camp solo.
            I can argue the grass is green on both sides of the fence as well,
            As to research…

            I don’t think looking up word[s] or any information one is not familiar or needs to simply review, is research… just common sense… the same as using tools to help, Maps, GE etc. I don’t think fenn took into any consideration our [a searchers’] ignorance. But we all have the same information he gave out and we all have the same opportunity, and told us, all the information to find the chest is in the poem…That’s about as fair as anyone can be.

            The question is not about what each searcher looks at for help… it more about… Did fenn “plan” on us to have to do all kinds of research to solve the clues? I don’t believe it is a necessity, or fenn’s “planning” of the challenge, to make us do tens of thousands of hours in research to solve the poem. The only thing fenn repeats about solving the clue is “go back to the poem”

            Kinda takes away the thought to get away from the game room and electronic idiot machines.

          • Seeker,

            I really do understand where you are coming from and wholeheartedly agree about video games and everything else associated with that aspect of what they call “life”.

            Maybe I’m the joker, the outcast if you will, because I attacked this quest from a different angle. I conducted a huge amount of research at the front end to include catching up on all the SB and other posts from f in order to get up to speed if you will. I was literally drinking from the fire hose. I began to notice things, sometimes a pattern, sometimes a word or phrase, or a name that meant something to me.

            I am now convinced many were hints I had discovered. Leads, much like those a detective uses to solve a crime. Those leads took me to places I did not know existed, places in history and in geology. And some of those took me back to the poem. That’s when the light went bright and I started seeing things in the poem that seemed to make sense because I thought I was beginning to understand fans what’s important to him as a person and human being.

            Finally one day, while researching a hunch on the internet something caught my eye and it didn’t take long for me to jump into that rabbit hole. SBs were finally making sense, TTOTC too, from a searching perspective.

            So I don’t discount the potential importance of anything, but research is a very integral part of my strategy.


    • PTC –

      So as not to misspell your name I am using the PTC abbreviation.

      I am expressing an opinion. AN opinion that Forrest reveres nature and cares not for trappings of modern society. It’s my opinion that he would not use buildings and manmade junk in his poem or his search.


      • Lugnutz,

        Arriving at that conclusion is to ignore due diligence, though I completely agree he “reveres nature”, as do I. So much so that I live in the mountains where the nearest town with more than one grocery store is 25 minutes away. Sorry for the tangent.

        But f did say he hid the treasure, so again, it could be under, inside, behind something……if it is not buried I should add. So why would I not lift up an old door or piece of metal laying on the ground if I run across it? And if it’s metal, it will last a very long time before being reclaimed by nature, but it most likely also be covered with dirt, forest duff, who knows what in the future if not found in the not to distant future.

        So going full-circle I find myself back to the subject of my first post. A door is related to a structure, so by association, if the chest was hidden under that door, would it not also be associated with a structure? Just saying. Think about it.

        Take care………Pinatubocharlie

      • Lug, Forrest has amassed an unbelivable collection of almost all “MAN MADE STUFF” and it cost him a fortune, so I would say he truly revers stuff..just sayin!


        • TG

          Sure things made by hand of natural materials.
          There just ain’t gonna be no doors or tires or pieces of junk to look under in my opinion.

          Be sure to let me know if I wrong and the tc is under a piece of trash in the mountains he finds his religion in.


      • Forrest cares intensely for the trappings “things” tools, jewelry, BOOKS, art, anything old and good…of by gone civilizations.

      • Lugnutz,

        Before totally writing off the possibility of the chest being hidden under what I will term a “man-made” object, please consider the following.

        TTOTC – Important Literature – “Just as I was about to ask the little girl at the computer about those authors, she raised her coffee cup to take a sip. And I swear that cup all but covered her whole face. I thought maybe she was trying to hide.”

        TTOTC – Jump Starting the Learning Curve – the story about the school fire escape. “So on occasion, when Miss Ford was was writing Spanish words on the blackboard, I’d quickly slip through the window and down and away. I was proud to have thought of that idea all by myself………….Fortunately, I was the only one in the class who knew that trick, the sliding I mean, and even though that rusty old iron thing marked the tail of my britches pretty good with a heavy brown color, it was worth it.”


        Then just today, SB 182, Rusted Remnants of History, was posted. Two wonderful old log cabins destroyed by fire and only rusty nails left behind. But more than nails could remain in someone’s search area depending on the “thing’s” purpose and nature.

        Again, I am NOT saying the TC is under rusty “junk” as you say. I’m just saying that a reasonable interpretation of these quotes and now SB 182 could lead one to believe it MIGHT be. After all, if you were to run across something like that in your target zone, are you saying you’re really going to ignore it without seeing if anything is underneath?

        What does it cost to keep an open mind?

        Have a good safe search next week….Pinatubocharlie

        • It seems like everyone is convinced that FF is dropping hints in these blog post. Is that just an assumption or is there reason to believe that he actually is? I sort of wonder if FF is just messing with us with some of these.


          • Don’t get me wrong though, I do enjoy reading them. Just wondering if I should be studying them too.

          • No one can say for sure at this point, Aaron. I used to think that none of his posts contained hints, but now I think some of them do. But I could be wrong.

            Some people seem to think that Forrest is having a coded dialogue with one or more of the searchers through his posts. I don’t agree with this idea, but again I could be wrong.

            Hopefully we’ll all eventually find out the truth.

          • I think it’s like ttotc in that you can mold stuff to your solve if you’re so inclined. Whether they are intentional clues is another matter. I see some stuff with my solve and reconciling some thoughts I’ve had but nothing earth-shattering.

          • I MO

            He does not give hints in scrapbooks. Doing so would provide unfair advantage to readers of this blog. In particular if he knows I’m searching Ponce DeLeon Springs and then he gives a hint he is strongly supporting me over Jake.

            He has said he would not do so and I take Fenn at his word.


          • Look at it this way Lugnutz.

            Say a developer wants to build a new mall. One requirement in the permitting process is to conduct a public hearing, so he publishes a notice in the local newspaper announcing the date and time of the hearing. Maybe a few other places too.

            Say I’m out of town when the notice is published and miss it, or say I don’t read the local newspaper. Even though I was completely unaware of the hearing the developer has met the requirement to notify the public.

            I am sure f has said things on Jenny’s blog that have not been said here and vice versa. IMO it’s now in the public domain. If I miss something important because I’m not paying attention then I have myself to blame, and I have for sure missed a few.

            Like I mentioned or at least inferred in my earlier post this morning, I don’t think anyone can afford to ignore anything f says or publishes. That’s my opinion for what it’s worth.


          • Hi Aaron and welcome to the Chase.

            When I first began the Chase last August I didn’t have an opinion one way or the other. After a huge amount of research over the next few months, I discovered what I believe to be the word that is key. Following that lead and older SB posts took me to the search area I am focused on.

            I now see hints, some very subtle, some not so much, everywhere in SBs and TTOTC (I don’t have TFTW) that support my search area. Frankly though, some, but not many SB posts have me stumped if indeed there’s a hint included. Sometimes a rose is just a rose.

            Are there thousands of hints like some claim? IMO, no. But hints are surely out there.

            Many will say I’ve got a severe case of confirmation bias, a fair point of debate. Examples would make a very compelling circumstantial case, but that’s all I have now, a good circumstantial case. Time will tell.

            Enjoy your Chase and please take care,


          • No worries Aaron. I racked my very old brain trying to come up with something I could share as an example, but even something seemingly innocent could easily compromise my search area, though I’d be very naive to think I don’t have competition.

            If I think of an example I’ll be sure to share. If you don’t have TTOTC I suggest you get a copy. Very worthwhile IMO.

            And despite what some may say, research, research, research. Even if I never set my eyes on the chest, I will never regret for a moment the time I’ve spent chasing the chest. What I’ve learned through this process cannot be measured and I have Forrest to thank. Thank you Forrest.

            And thank you Dal and Mr. Goofy too as always.


          • I think I would keep my examples to myself too. I do have TTOTC and have read it twice, as FF suggested. I found a lot that could be hints but still working on how they would help with a clue. I have TFTW as well and have about half of it read. I do not think I have seen any mention of hints in it so I have been taking my time with that book.

            One thing I will say though is that if you think hard enough you can turn almost anything into a hint. I feel like there is a fine line between that and determining if it actually makes sense enough to help with a clue. If I am not the one that finds the TC I hope to hear how any hints helped the person.

          • Aaron,

            This may come as a surprize, but I didn’t get TTOTC until after I decided on my search area. Not intentional, just the way it worked out.

            Now, the more times I read it, the more I find. Just yesterday I found a rock-solid confirmation that not only validates I’m in the right area, but also validates something f posted in a SB some time ago. You could say they are opposed to one another, but at the same time equal in 2 totally distinct ways. Think apples=oranges, something like that. And it’s easy to prove too, just not now. But hurry….now is the time to act….but wait…..if you buy now we’ll send …………

            I know you understand why I can’t share and I hope everyone else does too. Sure hope I can get there to search before ………..


          • Lugnutz, I do not remember reading a statement from Forrest anywhere saying that he would not give hints in his posts. Do you remember where he said this? I do not think so many people would be sniffing around for possible hints in his posts if he came out and said something like that. But if you can point out where he said that, I’ll definitely change my tune.

            He has confirmed that there are subtle hints in his book. This would give a possible advantage to those who read his book. IMO, I do not think that Forrest would have any qualms about throwing out similar subtle hints in his posts; especially if those hints are not worth much of anything on their own and only make sense when held up to a possible solve that was arrived at using the poem alone.

          • I’ll give an easy example based off of the most recent scrapbook #182 from yesterday. Forrest writes: “Nature frequently takes away, and in doing so she always looks at the big picture.”

            In a Q&A on the Mysterious Writings site from 8/12/14, Forrest writes: “Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts.”

            Now we have two references to a possible hint of “looking at the big picture”. Is that a hint? Maybe, maybe not. If it is, it gives an advantage to those who have read scrapbook #182 and the MW Q&A, but I believe that the advantage is negligible. I also can’t see one instance being a hint without the other also being a hint. I therefore come to the personal conclusion that some posts contain hints.

            Forrest has already added a ton of qualifying statements outside of the poem over the years, that also give advantage to those who know them (see the Cheat Sheet on this site for a good summary). I consider these statements to be more than subtle hints and think of them as supplementary clues, as they are clear, hard facts and not “little winks” by Forrest. If anyone does not agree with this, then by all means go searching all of the Utah outhouses below 5,000 feet in elevation to your heart’s desire.

          • Personally, I think even your example above overcomplicates it, but I’m going to hold off on my takeaway and save it for my reveal/failed solve explanation.

          • Aaron-
            I think folks here have addressed your first question pretty well. I want to address your last pondering:

            “I sort of wonder if FF is just messing with us with some of these.”

            I certainly don’t think Forrest is “messing” with anyone by posting these scrapbooks. I think he is “sharing” with us the small, sometimes hidden parts of his life that make up the whole.

            In my opinion we need to understand Forrest in order to understand his poem and to understand the kind of place he might have selected to end his life in 1988 and hide his chest when he was 79 or 80.

            I believe this strongly and that’s why I interviewed Forrest on video and posted those interviews on this blog.

            Each one of these short capsulated stories allows Forrest to share with everyone, who cares enough to read them, some small part of his nearly 87 years of experiences that add up to his life story. I think of them as a serialized biography…or as a “not so daily” diary of events that have made him who he is.

            Because they are important to him, they are important to me as I try to understand precisely how to interpret the poem that he has challenged me to solve. So, in that way, I do believe they contain hints…but not hints to the secret of the location of the chest…rather, to understanding Forrest himself and therefore understanding his poem.

            As six years have clearly demonstrated..the poem is not easy to understand. No one has yet cracked the poem. The poem is key to finding the chest and I believe that understanding Forrest better will better help us understand his poem.

            He is not “messing” with us. He is providing insight…He is sharing…

          • *applauds*

            I’ve been saying the same thing for years.

            Understanding Forrest is the key to solving this mystery. Understanding his motive is a given, but to understand him esoterically – the “Whys” – can be quite beneficial.

            Keep at it Dal….I personally think you have the right path.

            BTW – have you ever went “looking for Forrest Fenn” in any of the manners he speaks about in his adventures?

            I would think you have with the many outings you have done to look for the chest…..but did you really “look for Forrest” or just for his treasure chest?


            Thanks again for the HoD and good luck!

          • Thanks for all of the replies. I totally get what you are saying Dal. FF has a lot of great stories and collected items to share. It is nice that he has a forum here to share it with and that we can all enjoy the posts. I love unique collectibles that he talks about so I enjoy reading them.

            I try to put myself in his shoes though. Personally I think it might be fun to add something in that includes the number 9 or something to that effect just to see how people react to it. Not in a way that misleads people at all but just to keep people in the game maybe. Not saying he would but I just like to think about all possibilities.

            I don’t know how much I should study them for hints. Maybe we will know more when the chest is found.

          • It’s a fact Aaron. He has dropped extra hints in his posts either here or Mysterious Writings…or both. It just falls to the searcher to find them, and that’s where the debates arise.
            And just in case you were wondering how I can say it is indeed a fact, and not my opinion… I’ll offer you words from the proverbial horse’s mouth:
            Jenny: You have said you hadn’t deliberately placed these subtle hints in your book; but have you done so in any of your other writings mentioned in Question two (scrapbooks, vignettes, etc)?
            Forrest: I don’t want to broaden the clues and hints I’ve written about by pointing them out.

            If he had put no hints in the SBs, Vignettes, etc… then there would be nothing to decline pointing out.
            Hope that helps answer your question with clarity 😉

          • WIll –

            He is in my opinion referring to hints and clues he cops to. The ones in the book and on TV etc. He doesn’t want to expound on those.

            I don’t have JCMs book but someone who does can pull the relevant quotes. The relevant quotes are the ones referring to reading blogs for entertainment because they are not necessary. The quotes about not giving an unfair advantage to readers of a specific blog. My recollection is that he was referring to Jenny’s blog when he said it. There is also the quote after the Today interviews when he said he will not give more clues.

            If you choose to think he is giving hints you are welcome to. The old man is not gong to comment here and say “Yo! there are no clues in the scrapbooks or letters.” ‘Cause it wouldn’t be fun to do so.

            And just for fun I will remind the folks that have been around for 5 Letters to Forrest or longer. A bunch of us went nuts reading into Brett’s letter because it was thought Forrest wrote it. Then Brett showed up and told us there are no hints, just my letter as a I wrote it. THEN someone still said there were clues because even though Fenn didn’t compose the letter he CHOSE it for publication because it contained hints or clues or whatever you want to call them.

            So IMO these letters and srapbooks contain no hints or clues. They do inform us about the man.

            Also if anyone wants to take the time I suggest reading every quote by DAL in the following link:


            My two cents

          • Good point IW. Not sure if it is solid enough evidence to go on but there isn’t really any easy way of knowing. Thanks

          • I am surprised no one has made reference to this comment yet…

            Q. Do you intend to keep releasing occasional small hints for as long as you live? Have you made any plans for clues to continue surfacing after your death?
            A. No sir.
            (May 15)

            I have readily asked myself if f was answering both questions, or just the second one.

            Early 2015 was a bit rough for f with the whole bungled NM tourism ad. I suspect that he may have either excluded too many places and narrowed down the search area with his comment, or that he misspoke and unintentionally excluded the area where the chest was hidden by his comment, and then had to back-pedal to get it back into play — while also trying NOT to rule out the area related to his comment.

            While that dust was settling in early 2015, f then went mostly quite for many months through 2015. Maybe he changed his mind somewhere along the way about hints in his stories and other writings if his intention in May 2015 was to NOT release any more hints.

            This one has been one of the more difficult situations to read with f.

          • JCM –

            Thank you. That is just one of the quotes from 2013-2015 where Forrest mentions not giving hints and or clues or favoring readers of a particular blog..

            When we read a scrapbook it’s natural to see a connection when no connection exists. It’s fun to talk about and there is a lot of good old fashioned humor on this blog.

            I just don’t think the man gives out hints to help searchers. I would love to hear what anyone, like Zap, says is a hint. Something that actually refers to a place where they have a solve. If someone does so we can, at some point in the future, definitively know whether there was a hint or not.


          • Could just be lack of imagination on my part, but I think that time spent hunting for hints is time spent not getting closer to the chest.


          • J A Kraven – It might be your imagination, but it might also be not knowing all that f has said about the topic…

            When f says things like:

            – I’ll tell you how to do it…
            – If you are serious about looking for the treasure…
            – What I recommend…
            – What I tell people to do…
            – I have some advice. … That is the best advice I can give.

            and all the statements are about using the ‘hints’ to solve the clues, then I think that the ‘hints’ just might be worth looking into.

            But everyone is welcome to pursue their solve as they best see fit. And I am sure there will be a lot of great vacations taken. 🙂

          • J A Kraven: well said. If this dang snow would stop falling and get on with melting, I wouldn’t be hint-hunting to pass the time. It’s better than twiddling my thumbs at least.

  7. Bold…bowled
    My treasures bold…F put his chest into a bowl made by nature, a depression.
    He can keep his secret where, ( sounds like “ware”) since it was (sounds like) “bowled”, it made it “ware”, like glass ware, silverware, China ware, etc.
    So he bowled his treasure and it became secret ware.
    Just keeping the poem’s voice the same, putting a different imaginative spin on what a child would see in their mind if listening to it. I’ve found several other places in the poem that are like that!

    • But isn’t that ‘messing with his poem?’ Not criticizing, just asking. I think that may have been applicable if he only spoke it and didn’t have it in writing. But that is not the case here.
      Good luck all.

      • Ya ‘ta Hey-O, Kevin

        Here’s my take on your question –

        “So hear me all and listen good” could be one of the clues in the poem, and, “if followed precisely”, would lead you to read the poem out loud a time or three.

        Or better yet have it read to you.

        Have someone read it to you slurred, or with a drawl, or like they’re acting Shakespeare, or like Mick Jagger or Bob Dylan – think of Jimi Hendrix singing “scuse me, while I kiss this guy”.*.

        I ain’t sayin’ it’s The Way, but it does seem like a perfectly reasonable path to explore.

        And I’ll admit that we’ve taken turns reading the poem aloud more than a few times, so that we can listen to and hear it as well as read it.

        “Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
        Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
        All mimsy were the borogoves,
        And the mome raths outgrabe.”

        (hopefully spell-correcter won’t mess with Reverend Dodgson’s hymn too badly)

        *[every few years, I have to go look up again the actual lyrics to “Brown Sugar” and “Sympathy for the Devil”, no matter the number of times I’ve heard those songs over the last 45 years or so.]


        • But with that logic you can basically re-write the entire poem or book. And with that, it is now open to my interpretation or your interpretation of what Forrest wrote in the book or, more importantly, what he specifically wrote in the poem. It didn’t take him 15 years to write that poem for no reason. When he said not to mess with his poem, I believe he meant exactly that. Don’t change it to read or say something that now makes your solution ‘perfect.’. Don’t change anything to try to mold it or force it into your solve.
          “If you’ve been wise….” could now be read “If you’ve been y’s……”. Someone could say, “That’s it! I’m looking for a place whose name contains a couple letter y’s.”. That makes the poem way too subjective. What did Forrest say or mean? We can’t change it to what we KNOW he meant or what we hope he meant.
          Good luck all.

    • Donna…No Where But? No ware but… No where, but. No, but where? He is talking about wide parameters in the latest MW. You may be correct in your observation. But it is elsewhere in the poem? Not ware, but another word or phrase.

    • Hi Amanda – welcome to the chase.

      That date is unknown.

      Although some have speculated that he hid it in 2010….maybe 2009.


      Why do you think answering this question would matter?

    • Amanda, this date according to Forrest was the (summer) time of the year turned 80, IMO or you could just type in the search bar on any page “Winter Thoughts” and read what I factually (IMO) posted about it. Probably August 22, 2010. that was his 80th birthday.

      Tom Terrific

      • I know it was before Fall of 2011. I met my future 2nd husband in August 2011 and I mentioned my son had told me about a hidden treasure and I tried to tell him the gist of the poem. We divorced this past summer after five years of marriage, but are best friends divorced. We are planning a search this summer. He showed no interest until now. We traveled a lot but never for the Chase. Now I have had more time to look at it and talk about it a lot so we are BOTG this summer 🙂


    • Amanda;

      The Thrill of the Chase, that includes the poem has a publishing date of January 2010. If he hid it in the summer before the book was published, that makes it Summer 2009. All of this info is available on Google. Half of the fun is finding this “stuff” out on your own. Welcome to the search, and HAVE FUN and TRY to STAY SAFE. JDA

  8. Just a thought from my search on Mon 4/17

    WWWH is the Santa Fe ski area. Snow making machines 17 Mile Marker. Take it in the canyon down, Not far but TFTW, say to the 13 MM, where one is to put in below the hoB is located. Vault toilets for poop (Brown).
    This is where Tesuque creek crosses Hyde Park Road. FF’s dog. Next one must cross the road where visibility is limited from the left. Vehicles and bicycles are difficult to hear or see, No place for the Meek. The end is ever drawing nigh, one must hike down to the creek and walk up stream, No paddle up your creek. Just Heavy and Water High, one must walk through the culvert in which Hyde Park Rd crosses. Now you are in a small basin about 10 – 15 feet wide and 30 – 45 feet long. As I have gone in there alone. There is a small cascade 2 foot water fall going over a log. When the foliage is out it is very difficult to see in. I have seen Fire Weed along its banks (Blaze ???). I searched the area but could not find the Blaze, I even used a Metal Detector because of the area. The 2 foot water fall over the log may be the key. There is a felt mesh covered with moss with space behind it. The water was running a little to fast to get a closer look. My muck boots did well in the cool water.
    So in the upcoming Feenboree travel up a few miles. I did remove a 40 pound piece of quartz just below the fall. This is my second time searching this spot. One in Sept the other in April. When I get back home I will post some photos. The key maybe Brave and in the Wood.
    So go at it.

    • Like Your solve , Seems very logical to me sorry all you got was quartz, I,ll be going to my solve in late May, Was wanting to in April but just couldn’t make it happen, finances and family illness. Happy Seeking to all JR

    • Cowlazars or mdc77. I watched your linked video last week and thought it was a good presentation. Very thought provoking. The process you show seems to be contrary to what has been interpreted from what FF has said about such processes of deciphering. But anything is possible in all things being possible. IMO. Let’s say ,just for the sake of using imagination purposes, that what you show/discovered(Try The Wheel) here in the poem by your method was intended within the poem. IMO of just for imagination sake , I would only think at best it would be a coded message of what is in the chest that is saved for the finder of the chest. Perhaps it is a Wheel of some such in the chest, try it and she will be pleased. So, imo, if anything it is not a clue to solve the poem but a hint of what may be the special thing in the chest. Just a guess on my part. I really do think the video was interesting.

  9. Have any of you tried to create your own treasure clues? It’s a valuable experiment to try to get into the mind of FF. Pick a random spot in the wilderness, then try to think of several consecutive abstract clues that someone 100 or 1,000 years from now could solve. It’s not as simple as it seems… no winder it took Forrest many years to complete.

    • Yes Michael, I did for kids finding easter treasures. I used lines very similar to Fenn’s. It was a lot of fun. I thought the clues were pretty easy but when I watched others trying to follow them it they were hard to them. Based on that experience I think this poem is going to take a little more imagination and guess work than Fenn thinks.

  10. I suggest you try & find out which words or phrases in the poem are the 9 clues you need to figure before trying to marry them to a map.

  11. Greetings Searchers,

    It has been some time since I have frequented this site or even posted anything, but I was wondering if any of you all feel that the TC might in fact lie in the creek? I have gone in and out on this thought in various searches, but my latest tracks takes me to the water. Unfortunately, if it is in the water Springtime is not a great time to search as the waters begin to rise quickly and can be dangerous with flash floods now and then.

    For what it is worth, “I believe” the key word is “I” as in ” I am” that “I am”

    • Windsurfer;
      For close to six months, I diligently searched the “Waters” of my creek, to no avail. I was convinced that the first line of the poem, “As I have gone alone IN there” – indicated that the treasure was IN my creek. Logical, but wrong. I am now convinced that “IN there” now relates to somewhere else. True, Forrest has said, “It is wet”. But I now feel that the wetness is NOT the result of being in a creek, stream, or other fairly large water source. A small rivulet or little stream, perhaps, but NOT a big creek. Think of “Water high”, It may shed some new light on your quest. Just the mutterings of a dottering old fool. JDA

      • Thank you so much for your reply JDA. I am happy to join you in the “old fool” category. The creek may resolve potential legal issues, but other than that …. I have no clue.

        • Thank you JDA. I actually did some brief digging at a high water mark awhile back, but to no avail. It was more damp like a shaking dog than it was “wet”, but it had all the markings of scented in site. I suppose I could dig deeper, but that would require a shovel. I thought Mr. Fenn stated no special tools were necessary. Perhaps he meant spatial tools.

        • JDA, I just wanted you to know that I really appreciate your comments and shared thoughts on this site. I would be happy to join you in the “old fool” category. look forward to your further input.

          • Thank you for the kind words Longstep. We, Old Fools need to stick together. Have a GREAT day. JDA

      • I’ve been fishing for over 40 years and there’s no way it’s in a creek or river. Flash floods can move boulders, trees, cars, etc… a 10 inch box has zero chance and it doesn’t really matter where you put it. Nobody should be looking in a creek or river bed IMO. Even if a stream is not susceptible to flash flooding high channel gradients and gravity can move extremely large objects during high water periods.

    • pretty sure where i end up on my map based on the poems clues is the best possible place to end up.i need a team that actually capable of putting a team to search into motion

  12. Some places just stick in my mind.
    The problem is that they may be more derived from hints outside of the poem than from the nine clues. IMO these two are points of interest:

    45°01’19.68″ N / 110°44’26.63″ W
    Rainbow Lake

    Minerva Terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park

  13. I have a starting spot,I have middle spots related to poem,And I have and end spot,9 clues are places,using google maps and the poem i have made a map,u wont believe where i end up

  14. In ‘searching’ of areas within the particular States, it has truly presented such wonders! No surprise, however, if Indulgence is eventually ‘found’ in New Mexico or….within.



  15. All,
    IMO, my latest count of hints…
    Over 2 dozen hints in TTOTC, not counting the “Gold and More” chapter.
    About a dozen hints in the “Gold and More” chapter, not counting the poem.
    And about a dozen more hints in the poem, not counting the 9 clues.
    It definitely feels like a large jigsaw puzzle…
    “Have flashlight, will travel”

    • I see things that I think might be hints too yet at the same time I have a hard time being sure that they are. How do you guys go about pinpointing a hint without finding the treasure for confirmation that it was indeed a hint? Or do the hints make the clue so solid for you that you are sure the hint is valid?

      • Aaron – I think it is different for everyone. What I found for hints in the book lead me to what I believe is the first clue. With that, I was able to identify my second clue on a map. Once I had those, I discovered my ‘a word that is key — which was a year before f said anything about it. Between the hints and the ‘a word that is key’, my solution for the first clue was nailed down for me.

        The hints I have found in the book have continued to align with my ‘a word that is key’ as related to what the meaning of each successive clue is.

        I continue to try and figure out the last several clues, but I find that my best approach to doing so is being on site (which is tough when I can only get there once a year and the kids start complaining that they want to leave after being there for 45 minutes); I believe the last three clues are what pinpoints the exact spot where the treasure sits, and for my solution, you can’t find them on a map, nor does Google Earth show the area in enough detail to examine the area like I need to see it to figure out those clues.

        And those are my delusions… 🙂

        • Thanks for the replies JCM and Blex. Great points! I am bringing kids out there in July to give it a shot. I have a feeling mine are a little older so hopefully they can be of some help.

      • Hi Aaron! For me, it’s your latter statement that I lean towards most. My recommendation is to focus on figuring out the clues first, and to keep an eye out for hints at your leisure.

  16. After a lot of thinking and contemplation I have arrived at a conclusion I am very surprised that I have come to accept regarding the Chase. After reading many interesting and intriguing posts, a lot of deep meditation, and a lot of research I now think the treasure is in New Mexi…..OWWWWW! Geez!!! OWWW that hurt man!!!

    Billy Barty: “If you say that I’ll kick you even harder Sparrow. The darn thing is in Wyoming. Why do you keep doubting my word!!??”

    Man, you didn’t have to kick me in the shin Billy. OK, OK, I’ll stick with Wyoming.

    Billy Barty: “You’re a fine man Sparrow. Don’t get side-tracked. Is your shin OK? You need some Merthiolate?”

  17. IMO it is definitely in one state, but you have to travel through another state to get there, no not one of our 4 States of Confusion, no like Zen and Karma, it’s the state of Consciousness of ff’s imagination, and spirit, we all tend to see this hunt from our own frame of reference (spiritually) the key may well be to see it from his point of view.

    Imagine growing up like he did and being a collector of things, wearing all the hats in life, Forrest has had so many experiences in life and what has he learned that he is not revealing to us? Perhaps he is more spiritual than he lets on? In the SB post for Graciella (Florencia) at Easter time may be a peep into his sacerdotal feelings about life, religion and his place in the universe.

    Can TT get an AMEN!

  18. It would be naive of me to assume that the Chase description clue/clues primarily exist within ‘4’ States.

    It’s a big world, (and sky) out there, and The Flyer has experienced a large portion of.

    A “good map” could include a celestial element.

    • The Flyer and…..circles. Might the end of his rainbow be the ‘full circle’ rainbow that you can see when flying; yet can not see if you’re on the ground?

  19. Separating the wheat from the chaff is what I find difficult. Only 6 weeks into the my Chase and haven’t quite jumped into the 9 sentences/9 clues camp…yet. So 9 clues in 24 lines means some is fluff or filler, right?

    • Welcome to the chase Miter.

      For me, deciding that the nine sentences = 9 clues was rather simple. I started out being ion the “other” camp, but soon decided that the “other” way left stanzas #1. 5 and 6 untouched, or unused, and this was not logical to me. There HAD to be more to these three (out of 6) stanzas than just “Fluff”. As it has turned out for me, there is more “meat” in stanza’s #5 and 5 than there is in the rest of the stanzas.

      For me, stanza #1 – “IN there” is critical when I get to the end of the solve. Stanza’s #5 and #6 tell me EXACTLY where the TC is hidden. Study these two stanza’s VERY carefully. Look up the meaning of every single word. You will be surprised at what these words hold. Just my humble opinion – If you go out – TRY to STAY SAFE – JDA

    • Miter, I suggest you don’t count clues. FF has indicated that
      the quantity of clues is not important, but that it is risky to
      discount any of the words in the poem. All my opinion.

      Good luck. I suggest you focus on the poem, rather than on
      any forums about this treasure hunt. Most postings are not
      at all helpful (also my opinion). It’s become a big social
      thing, rather than a serious treasure hunt — to many folks.
      Again, IMO.

    • Miter – it is your perspective as a new searcher that I find interesting. When just starting out, stanzas 2, 3, and 4 (and sometimes 6) seem to be what new searchers focus on as being the nine clues. Before long, some number of searchers start to drift and consider the other stanzas.

      And then f says:

      Q. Even today, after more than six years of people searching, and after all the news coverage, articles, and stories written about your secreted treasure, some people are just learning about your Thrill of the Chase treasure hunt and getting involved. It continues to inspire. Do you have any advice for these new people? How should they begin the search six years after so many others? Do you feel they are at any disadvantage?
      A. No, fresh eyes and new thinking might provoke a winning idea. I would advise new searchers to look for the clues in my poem and try to marry them to a place on a map. It seems like the longer one thinks about the search the more they complicate the problem.

      There must be some simple thing that people are not connecting which can be caught early when just starting the search – if youthink about the poem and the clues enough – but the more time a person spends working on this, the more they complicate it.

      What is most interesting is f’s stating that they complicate ‘the problem’. What is that problem that needs to be solved, but that people complicate the more they think about it?

      If I could give new searchers any advice, based upon what f has said about how to find the chest, don’t spend your time and thoughts trying to determine what the nine clues in the poem might be as you start into this challenge, just focus on identifying what the first clue is (most newbies pursue BIWWWH, so go with that to begin with). Once you have that, then start looking at the area around it on a map and see what is there and what could be considered as the solution to other clues.

      Good luck!!!

      • JCM,
        fenn~ “It seems like the longer one thinks about the search the more they complicate the problem.”

        As you asked~What is the problem? I think too many simply take a map as simple answers to the clues. Find point one and go to point two and so one. But we still have searcher indicating clues, being on site and still not knowing exactly what the clues are…
        Maybe “the problem” might be, solving how the clues work together and not so much being lead by a leash from point to point. “9 clues” are what we were told about… So do we marry the clues to become joined answering the problem of finding a 10″sq piece of land?

        • JCM, really excellent post and going back to the quote and the “problem”.

          Seeker…I’m thinking the ones who identified the first two clues didn’t solve the problem. The problem may come higher up in the poem before the first clue.

          • That could be very true… Even with the clue[s] deciphered, there might be something needed ~to understand? ~to work with? -both? Maybe that “important possibility” for winning the prize.

            imo, there is a lot in the first stanza that has been easily dismissed. Some of which are:
            Treasures vs. trove.
            Past tense.
            “I have” vs I’ve”
            Hint of riches…
            New and Old…
            Even, “keep secret”

            I hardly doubt this is an intro. That doesn’t make sense with the book doing just that. I doubt new and old has much to do with old things in the chest that are new to the finder. Could ‘riches’ refer to the trove? I guess it could, but that doesn’t seem likely as to hinting something… not in my mind anyways.

            Then again, ‘a hint’ of something can mean as small amount… scant come to mind again.
            lol, but that can’t be the reason, right? fenn never said we ‘have to use’ a dictionary, or familiarize ourselves with meanings of words; like others have stated… and were supposedly within 50′ of the chest.

            Another thought to solving “the problem”… might be calculating is some manner.
            Or maybe, just the opposite in your thought… the information toward the end of the poem is needed more than most think or describe as fillers and ending the poem.

            Something is definitely being overlooked or read wrong. imo of course.

            “…The treasure is there for the person who can find it and I think that person will be positive in their attitude and ***deliberate in their actions.*** No one has any secret information that will take them to the hiding place. It’s in the poem for all to see.f”
            Does “action” mean hiking out clues?

            We’re told to “Plan” to “Observe” to use “Imagination”… I think, I’m gonna add “Action” to my thoughts as well.

          • Seeker – I couldn’t agree more on the first stanza, especially “riches.” To me, the first stanza is to help identify the general location where to look for your WWWH

          • The ‘problem’ could be a recipe that one needs to find in the first stanza…and I’m not talking about food.

        • Hi Seeker – You were up early this morning. Did the dogs need to go out and toilet early? Or was the monster just hungry for an early morning snack of some non-food item? 🙂

          I don’t want to post 50 quotes, you know them all anyway, but I certainly think there is an element to the point-by-point identification that must take place, because the clues are in consecutive order and they are contiguous. That word ‘contiguous’ is where your idea of them working together is of interest, perhaps coming together to describe the area as a whole, and what is there, a total picture of a tract of land; not just isolated points along the way, but something that time and the workings of mother nature has shaped (or continues to shape), thus having a knowledge of geography can be useful.

          Yes, many people seem to just go looking for one point and another point on a map, often trying to fit the area to the poem by forming some literal meaning of the vague words in the poem to describe what they find at that place. When people say they have to get ‘creative’ and ‘speculate’ about what something might mean, I know they are off the wagon and they will be having a nice vacation. But it is the ‘problem’ that needs to be dealt with; f has said that we ‘need to learn’ where the first clue is, and that the clues will get ‘progressively easier’ from there. But learning and figuring out where the first clue is located is more than half the battle.

          I think the map comes into play once you have learned and identified the first clue… and once you have it, you can look at the map to marry the clues to places, but each clue will still need to be solved or figured out just like the first clue was. The advantage is that you will at least know the correct methodology, and/or maybe f will have built into the solution something additional (may ‘a word that is key’?) that will continue to assist in making it a little bit easier (but still difficult) to solve and figure out what each of the other clues mean, and what place they refer to on the map. And seeing the map of the correct area, maybe those places (or the geography of the area) might give you thoughts that help you to understand and unlock what the clues might mean.

          There is ‘the problem’, and the trick here is to understand what the process is to unlock and resolve that problem. Apparently it is simple and straightforward, but very easy to over-complicate and make difficult, especially the more time you spend working at it. Like you Seeker, I am not so interested in what the clues themselves are, what they mean, or where they are at – I am looking at the method and logic f has used to create this puzzle and lock it up. I have my ideas and am applying them to a search area, but the search is always hinging on what the unlocking process is and I am ready to change and adapt as things and understanding change.

          “Q. Are you happy with the way the search for your hidden treasure is going? Do you have any regrets; or more importantly, would you like to see anything different in the ways people are chasing the prize?
          A. I am more than pleased with the way it has been accepted. What I didn’t expect was the number of people who immediately started searching maps and using Google Earth to locate their special spots. Many have read my book multiple times looking for additional clues, or even hints that might assist them in the hunt.”

          … would you like to see anything different in the ways people are chasing the prize?
          What I didn’t expect was the number of people who immediately started searching maps and using Google Earth…

          Whatever the process is, ‘people who immediately started searching maps’ is probably not one of the things f intended to be a step in his process for finding the chest.

          • JCM,
            Monster to answer your

            I go along with many things you stated. But I’m gonna throw a curve -ball to a couple of thoughts. One being; word that is key. Is in only one word used once? Contiguous is not consecutive… As you know it means touching, neighboring etc. Which could be saying the clues separate will not solve the poem even if you know what the clues refer to. { not unlike Fun’s comment }

            Could that word be as simple as “and” or “I” { being the most used word in the poem. } or even a word such as “I’ve,” which is one word made from two words “I have”, also in the poem.
            Just thoughts…

            The other is the Q&A ~ ” What I didn’t expect was the number of people who immediately started searching maps and using Google Earth to locate their special spots.”

            Personally I would think looking at maps would be a common sense given thought { as you stated~ ‘one of the things f intended to be a step in his process for finding the chest }.. And it does seem that early on in the chase, many did just that..and.. it was relatively early on in the chase the first two clues were told of by searcher… But years later… searcher move away from the poem, gone into overload with book, throw darts, create tangent…and fenn {imo} comes back and tells us… go back to the poem, look a maps/GE, book as reference { all good tools}, marry clues to a map. etc. etc. those things we should have been doing from the get go, and it seems at that time many did.

            The funny thing about ‘marring’ It’s to join together… Maybe the X on the map is not so much about the “chest” { a 10″ sq piece of property } “AND” more about the clues.

            Stanza 2 – seems to have 3 or 4 clues, right?
            Well, I’ma gonna head back to one of my question from many moons ago… how many clues/hints/ pieces of information does it take to get an answer? If we attempt to break down the poem into 9 lines equate to 9 answers, is that “messing up” the poem?

            For me the most logical answer is the entire poem is a must to understand…{ my definition } ~ “9 sentences” has all the information to find the chest and that information contains 9 specific clues/answers that will “lead” to…
            lead is a fun word to look up as well. {no leash law required}

            *** people don’t understand the words they use everyday…

  20. I have been watching this game like forrest was watching golf in sb180 .
    The hiccups I have seen is the over and over again notion of WWWH .
    Here is a fresh view of Begin at where warm waters halt
    “Begin at where” is posing a question of where to begin.
    “Halt” means to pause , wait or stop.
    And “warm waters” is the subject.
    So in my opinion , “warm waters” is the first clue.

    The next line starting with “take it” is another way to say to start again.
    I have heard many people give driving directions in many ways and that is how I came to these conclusions.
    How it applies is anyone’s guess.

  21. “As I have gone alone in there” I believe means FF’s own memory.

    “Hint of riches” implies that the vignettes in TTOTC may help to unravel the poem’s clues.

    • That is line with one of my approaches to the poem Rick. I have several at this point and trying to decide which one makes the most sense.

  22. Fenn said he won the bracelet in a game of pool, billiards? Or a game of pool being water polo or a swimming race? Or a game of pull….sled dogs, tug of war, arm wrestling? Fenn won the bracelet……but what did he wager against the bracelet?

  23. For what its worth (zip probably) I often feel that “riches’ in some way refers to the name Richard or Ricardo or Heinrich.

  24. Dal –

    I am guessing that Zaphod is out looking at his NFBTFTW. We didn’t heare from him when HMA got zapped.

    If Zap informs you or FFenn that he has found the TC will you announce that? Is there anything in terms of protocol that would keep you from doing so?

    I’m thinking there is a decent chance that Zap is on the right trail.


      • Wasn’t Zaphod’s solve heavily dependent on some sort of hidden code embedded in the poem that involved numerical values? Or am I thinking of someone else?

        • Hi Blex –

          You are recalling the steganography technique in his solve. Like ken I am a skeptic of anything along those lines. What Zap says is that he sees something in plain sight that I am not seeing. I am allowing that that is possible. It’s not my thing but who knows.

          The part that do have an interest in is the idea that the first letters in the words of the poem refer to places. Zap thinks Fenn is hinting at the importance of BTFTW. So I have a solve in Montana that uses NFBTFTW. I could be looking in the same area of MT as Zap and HMA.

          My search partner Wingnutz lives in Sandpoint. We will begin our search along the Clark Fork and end up in Taos. As has been pointed out since the beginning of the chase the names of the towns and such descending with the CF seem to mirror the woods in the poem. CD NFBTFTW. We won’t be up there till next weekend and it’s possible Zap is there. I do not know of course.


          • Thanks for sharing, Lugnutz. I’m definitely interested in learning more details of your solve once you get to the point where you’re willing to share.

            Working your way from Clark Fork all the way down to Taos sounds like quite the epic journey. How long do you plan to be out on your trip with Wingnutz? Is this going to be an all-Spring & Summer adventure? If so, that sounds like a blast and I hope it’s a fun time!

            If I can make one suggestion to help you out: consider reversing your itinerary by starting in Taos next weekend and working your way up North. The Rockies are getting hit with a fresh batch of snow right now and it looks like they are going to get slammed with a much bigger system late next week. However, NM looks dry right now and should only get a bit of rain next week when you’re ready to get started. Like I said, just a suggestion, but no matter what stay safe and have fun!

          • Oh my it gave you the wrong impression Blex.

            I have many solves. We will explore solves in each of the 4 states.

            I haven’t decided which ones yet.

            Definitely hitting Clark Fork first.


          • Well if you do run into Zaphod up in the Clark Fork area, and you both happen to find the treasure chest at the exact same time, please do your best not to engage in a desperate fight to the death on a conveyor belt slowly moving towards a rock-crushing machine or giant circular saw blade or lava lake or the like. Be civil and courteous! 😉

  25. As to TTOTC I found it full of hints , The more I read it over and over , you can make hints out of anything. I got 10-20 hints out of one image alone. Just my Sunny Point of thought. Got to take my little dog for a walk . Enjoy the Day J

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