“Many have given serious thought to the clues in the poem but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.”
The above is a quote from Forrest. This page is where we can discuss what that key word might be.
DECEMBER 20, 2016
I am toasting myself with hot chocolate because 48 years ago today I was shot down in Laos and enjoyed all of the fruits such a jungle paradise could provide. It would be my hopeful lot to retrace my steps and retrieve my pistol and Minox camera, both of which were unceremonially extracted from my person as I egressed that location, up through breaking limbs and leafs galore, via a life-saving hoist. But alas, perhaps I shall fail that rendezvous in lieu of, and deference to, demands made by my 86 year-old carcass. I guess my parachute is still hanging in that tree where I left it. I will wish it a Merry Christmas and thank it for doing a great job. Ain’t life grand? f
If you’d like to hear Forrest tell the story of being shot down and then rescued the next day follow the link below to go to a video interview of Forrest filmed by the Air Force Association a couple years ago.
The interview is in two parts. The link to the second part is on the bottom of the video page.
Save The Date
June 9th thru 11th are the dates for the 2017 Fennboree. Cynthia and Desertphile are cohosts this year and they tell me that the location in 2017 will be at Hyde State Park again. I think all who attended in 2016 will agree that the location was great and the park staff were very welcoming and accomodating.
The 2016 Fennboree team worked very hard to create a family friendly event that felt a lot like a picnic. It was a lot of fun getting to put faces with blog and forum names…
For the latest information about Fennboree 2017 go here:
There is a short highlight video from the 2016 Fennboree here:
This page is now closed to new comments. To continue the discussion please go to the latest Odds n Ends page.
Please click on the comment balloon below to contribute to the discussion of Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Hunt. Please note that many topics have their own pages. Please scroll through the blog to see all the discussion pages. There are also stories, scrapbooks, searcher’s reports general information, tips from Forrest, a rumors blog and even email responses from Forrest. So please look around and if you want to make a comment please use the most appropriate page.
Sandy B and the Golden Retrievers had an Enchanted trip while hunting for Indulgence. We have written this article for your entertainment. Mr. Fenn says: read the blogs for entertainment. We aren’t sharing our solves. Sorry. We are just sharing our fun trip with you. We hope you find our story entertaining. And we hope it encourages you to get out, hike, and search (in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado) next spring.
We rendezvoused at a trailhead at the Embudo Canyon. We hiked down into the canyon and crossed the Treacherous River to Treasure Island (it’s not an island at all, it’s just the other side of the river – but Golden R likes to call it Treasure Island). We traveled thru the Magical Forest, moved a few rocks, reorganized some more rocks, and repositioned a few more rocks.
One rock, standing up like a gravestone, caught our eye.
Sandy B and Golden R couldn’t lift the rock out of the stone crevasse which held it. Sandy B, who has an attention span of a fruit fly, left to explore around the ridge. Since Golden R couldn’t lift the stone; Golden R tried to crank the stone sideways, like a lever. Golden R was shocked to feel the rock move easily like a lever . . . and four more rocks, which were holding the lever-rock in place, all moved with a crunching noise. It was a very “Indiana Jones moment”. Golden R expected a stone entrance to a secret tunnel to appear. But there was no secret tunnel and no treasure chest.
We walked in and out of the river . . . up and down the river. When we felt we had disturbed enough rocks, we went looking for the “Heartbeat of Mother Earth”. With our ears pressed to approximately thirty or forty different rocks, we listened good, for the heartbeat. Golden R’s ear was turning numb from holding the ear against the cold, wet rocks (did we tell you it was cold and it was raining?); we never heard the Heartbeat (Sancho, we needed you.) Sandy B heard a unique hum in that area, so we know we were in the correct spot.
Another “Indiana Jones moment” came, as we arrived at our car to find a note, enclosed in a plastic bag, on our windshield, from a treasure hunter. The note suggested we meet for Happy Hour – Oh Yes!
Sandy B and Golden R had a wonderful evening with a very handsome treasure hunter. We probably shouldn’t disclose our guest’s real name, but we like to call him “Snakecharmer”. We tried to get information out of our guest . . . we tried to buy drinks for Snakecharmer, hoping to learn valuable information . . . but he was a rock. We obtained no information about his solve. We had a very fun evening talking treasure.
The next day, we took a drive thru a very muddy canyon; and we had to scrape the mud off our tires twice, because we were sliding on the mud. Sandy B is an amazing driver; she drove us thru mud that had tire ruts or grooves in the road twelve inches deep. Sandy drove us out of there in 4WD LOW. Golden R was a good luck charm for Sandy B. Sandy B has had eight flat tires this year – on this trip Sandy B didn’t get a flat tire!
We hiked a trail which promised warm waters halting, canyon down, and an X.
We found eyes, a drawing nigh, and a listen good. We stood in one spot which has a pi to the West,
Not pineapple pi
And a finger to our east.
and a pure white blaze to our North. But no treasure chest.
The rocks along the trail were so fun to climb over and climb through – it was like a playground. But Golden R couldn’t stay and play on those rocks, because Sandy B has the attention span of a mosquito.
We then entered the strange part of our journey. This was a time where Sandy B found a broken hiking pole which displayed the word: stop (obviously “halt”).
At this point, we were E.C. Watersing it. (Before we sent this article to Dal, we received permission from E. C. Waters to turn his name into a verb meaning: ‘find a clue in everything you see’).
We found a concrete trough.
As we looked behind us, we saw a big water tower up high. Why didn’t we see that as we hiked by it?
That was a beautiful, fun trail. We found hot springs and saw foot prints from elk, badger and coyote (or fox). But no treasure chest.
The next day we weren’t allowed to drive into the Vallas Caldera National Preserve, because it was hunting season; and WE WERE hunting! So we pulled out our maps, and Sandy B discovered the BEST solve yet. We packed part of our sandwich . . .
“Did we have a flashlight?”, you might ask. Sandy B carried two or three flashlights at all times; and a rock hammer/pick axe/lever for moving rocks and scraping tires. Golden R carried two flashlights, two different packs of matches, and two different packs of waterproof matches, and everything we needed to build a shelter if we got lost. If we got lost, and had to spend the night in the mountains, our shelter would have been seen from the space shuttle.
On this hike we found a tiny, tiny water fall (it’s so tiny you can’t even see it in this picture below).
Something tells me we should go this way.
We saw recent bear scratches on a tree.
We found treasures old and new; and we did it tired.
If Sandy B had been driving that truck, it never would have gotten stuck. Sandy B can drive anywhere.
On this hike we had home of Brown; canyon down; WWWH; listen good; and X marks the spot. So we moved some rocks, reorganized some more rocks, and repositioned a few more rocks.
No treasure chest.
We had a very fun trip; and we saw some amazing sites. And we are getting closer and closer to the treasure chest.
Golden Retrievers and Sandy B-
“What If” the poem is not about finding a chest full of gold, but rather a poem about crossing over to the other side?
In 1988, Forrest was diagnosed with cancer. We know very little about his battle with cancer, other than the fact that he is a survivor. “What If” he died, but was one of the fortunate few who came back, before fully crossing over to the other side? “What If” Forrest wrote the poem to tell us how to prepare for that journey that we will all take at one point or another?
I firmly believe that there is a hidden bronze chest of gold out there, and that the poem holds the secret to finding that chest, but I also believe that the poem could be about that “crossing over”.
“As I have gone alone in there…”
As I went into that very special place that we must each go into alone, for no one can accompany us on this journey. Others may be at our side, and even hold our hand, but this is one journey that we each must take ALONE.
“And with my treasures bold,…”
As I go into this very special place, I take with me all of the memories of my time spent here on earth. My life flashes before me in an instant. Time seems to stand still as I remember every moment of my life – The good, the bad, and the ugly.
“I can keep my secret where,…”
Having crossed over that threshold, but was able to return, I know where this special portal lies, but I can keep it a secret, until I once again must use that portal.
“And hint of riches new and old.”
Having crossed over, I was able to look back upon my life and all of its riches – My friends and my family. Ones that were closest to me, and meant the most to me. But, I can also see the wonders that exist “On the other side.”
“Begin it where warm waters halt…”
Where must this journey begin? It is said that the body is composed of 99% water. The blood that courses through our bodies is truly our “Life’s blood.” We are warm blooded animals. Once our heart stops beating, our “Life’s blood” ceases to flow through our body, and we soon begin to cool.
So, our journey begins at that place where the heart ceases to beat, where our “warm water” ceases to flow through our body. It may be in a hospital, it may be in a wrecked automobile, or it may be in a Grove of Pines somewhere within the Rocky Mountains somewhere 8.5 miles north of Santa Fe. The spot may be of our choosing, or “Fate” may select the spot for us.
“And take it in the canyon down…”
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” Psalms 23:4 describes the trip down the canyon.
“Not far, but too far to walk.”
The journey from this side, to the next, will happen in the blink of an eye, and yet will encompass possibly millions of miles.
“Put in below the home of Brown.”
In order to take this journey, unafraid, one must have faith that there is another reality after death. Monks, whether Buddhist or Christian frequently wore Brown cassocks in days of yore. This Brown cassock, is a symbol of religious faith – regardless the denomination or sect. So, on your journey to the other side, put your faith in whatever religion or belief that you have relied on during your journey on this earth.
“From there it’s no place for the meek…”
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” On your journey, you can see the earth quickly fading from view. This will no longer be your home. Other, even grander places await you.
“The end is ever drawing nigh;…”
The end of your final journey is fast approaching.
“There’ll be no paddle up your creek…”
On this journey, there will be no need for paddles, nor any other means of conveyance or locomotion. Just think it, and you will be there.
“Just heavy loads and water high.”
You are the product of every moment that you have lived. Some religious beliefs call it Karma. By whatever name, we each are responsible for every act and thought that we have had while living on this earth. We do not shed these acts when we cross over to the next realm. For some, this will be a heavy load.
In the Christian bible there is the following: The Second Day: Firmament Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.… Truly, Water High.
“If you’ve been wise and found the blaze…”
If you’ve been wise… If you have gained wisdom about living in this life, you have also gained wisdom about facing death… For those who have had “Near death experiences”, many describe it as walking into a brilliant light. This must have been what Forrest experienced – the celestial blaze.
“Look quickly down, your quest to cease…”
As you enter the brilliant white light that is the blaze, look quickly down, back at the life that you are now leaving…Your quest to know what is on “The other side” is about to be fulfilled.
“But tarry scant with marvel gaze…”
Don’t stare in wonder at the world you are leaving, nor at the new world you are about to enter.
“Just take the chest and go in peace…”
Don’t question what is about to happen, just take the gift that you are being offered, and move peacefully into your new realm.
“So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?”
Why must I die, and leave my loved ones behind, wondering where I have gone and what awaits me on the other side?
“The answers I already know,…”
Since I have crossed over once before, I already know what to expect, and I am not afraid.
“I’ve done it tired, and now I am weak.”
Having lived a full and wonderful life after having once crossed over, I am now tired and weak, and look forward to my second crossing.
“So hear me all and listen good…”
Please pay attention. What I have had to say is important to you, and your upcoming journey.
“Your effort will be worth the cold…”
Crossing over is not easy. Letting go of this life is not easy, but it is something that we each must do, and it is not to be feared. Soon your body will be cold, but that is OK. It was only a vessel to carry your life’s vital energy, that is now entering a new realm.
“If you are brave and in the wood…”
If you have faced the crossing over bravely, just as you have faced so many other challenges in this life, the outcome is not to be feared. As you now lie in your “Pine Box” – you will have already crossed over.
“I give you title to the gold.”
You have crossed over, your reward will be to forever walk in peace on “Streets paved in gold”. In reality, there are no streets here, for there is no need. All you have to do is think it, and it shall be a reality.
As I said at the beginning, I fully believe that there is a bronze box filled with gold and precious gems hidden out there somewhere, and that the poem has the secrets to finding it. I also believe that what I have just described above is also possible.
TRY to STAY SAFE all.
I first met Frank at Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe the middle of October, 2013. We were both there to meet Forrest and listen to him talk about his new book, Too Far to Walk. The store was milling with people… I knew no one, but took a seat in the first row below the stage where a chair and microphone had been placed for Forrest. Frank sat down beside me, and we began chatting. As I look back, I recall it was an instant friendship. You know, sometimes you meet someone and immediately like them…no particular reason that you can pinpoint. When Forrest finished speaking, we hung out together, met Forrest, had our pictures taken with him, and made plans to go on a treasure hunt together the following year. He was from the Phoenix area and made two trips a year to New Mexico to search.
Fast forward to July 2014. Frank had studied his maps throughout the winter and had some good ideas about where we should go. I was accompanying him; I was his partner but I had agreed to go with him whereever he chose. We headed to San Pedro Parks Wilderness where there were plenty of waterfalls (heavy loads, water high). We found a few but never did find Echo Falls and planned to meet again the following day and hike the fishing streams in the Valles Caldera.
The biddies behind the desk that morning were not friendly for two people carrying large cameras and asking for permits to go to the fishing streams. They said there were no vacancies…we tried to get a hiking permit. Nada, not that day. I knew the area well so drove to the Las Conchas Trailhead (outside the Valles Caldera boundary) where the plan was to walk back that canyon to Alamo Bog.
Frank and I didn’t find Fenn’s treasure trove that day, but I think those couple days together were the bonding moments for us. I realized that day what a real trooper he was…he was about to turn 72 years old the following month and had just had a second hip replacement a few months prior and still had the determination to get out into the wilderness and smell the sunshine.
Three years have passed since our first meeting at the bookstore. He and I searched at least half a dozen times, spent several days together making my movie in July 2015, attended two Fennborees, and chatted anxiously on the phone once a month or more, catching each other up on our daily activities but mostly discussing where we’d search next.
The last time I saw Frank was in Santa Fe in July where Sacha and I had met him and his wife at La Fonda for drinks and dinner. Over the course of the evening, Sacha and I made plans to attend the Santa Fe Opera and tried talking Frank into going with us. It was comical listening to Frank deliver all his excuses why he couldn’t go…mostly because he hated operas. None of us knew then the horrible news that would be delivered to Frank in late September…he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
I received this horrible, extremely disturbing news just last month…his wife left a message on my voice mail that Frank was not doing well, and we needed to talk, not voice-message, not email. We finally connected…it was not good.
Over the course of the next three weeks, I thought of Frank constantly. I wanted to call him but didn’t know if he wanted to talk. I wanted to email him but didn’t know what to write. Finally, Sunday night I decided I absolutely had to send him an email and reach out to him…to let him know I cared, thought of him constantly, and was here if he wanted to talk or write to vent to me…I mean, if I thought I was healthy only to hear I had pancreatic cancer, I would be MAD. I would need someone to vent to, to cuss to…
I received an immediate reply from his wife…Frank had passed away five days prior. I was devastated…
So, Frank, if you can “see” this… I am so sorry I never made more effort to call you… I didn’t think you’d be able to understand my words through my tears.
I am so sorry I never made myself email you… I didn’t think I could find the right words to console you.
But mostly, I am so sorry I never got to say good-bye. You were a true friend, a fellow Fenn-treasure hunter who believed in Forrest and the adventure he created for the Indiana Jones in all of us.
Frank was surrounded by family when he passed away. Hopefully, he is now hanging out with his younger daughter who died in a car crash a few days after her 16th birthday, many decades ago. Maybe he’s sharing his search stories with Randy, or Renelle…
All I know for sure is that he will be missed!
Here is a link to a brief tribute to Frank: