About dal

dal is an occasional filmmaker, writer and photographer who lives on an island in Washington State's Salish Sea.

Two Boys Find Hidden Gold…

by dal-

I knew this would get your attention. It’s true…but it’s not Forrest’s treasure they found.

Two fatherless kids living on the edge of poverty with their mothers in Baltimore found a hidden pot full of gold coins quite by accident when they were digging a hole to hide some small items of their own back in 1934.

The face value of the gold is nearly $28K but all the gold coins are from the 19th century so the value as collectible gold is much, much higher. In 1934 a three bedroom, brand new home cost about $6K.

A decent wage is $20/week.  This is big money…In today’s money that collectible gold could be worth $10million.

The question of course is who gets to keep it. It was found by the boys but it’s in the basement of their tenement building…which they don’t own. They can’t take the coins to the bank and quietly exchange them for cash because in 1933 President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 6102 made it illegal for private citizens to own gold bullion or coin. The boys are told that If they take the coins to the bank they will be arrested. If they try to spend it they will be arrested and the gold will be confiscated by the government. What would you do?

I bumped into this fascinating book about this riveting event the other day. I finished reading it today. A real attention grabber. The book is titled Knight’s Gold and is written by Jack Myers. You can find it on Amazon as a paperback or as a Kindle read.

Jack does one heck of an investigator’s job in unraveling the mystery of who put the pot of gold in that basement and why. He is also a fine storyteller taking readers vividly through America’s relevant confederate history and the lives of a few ethically challenged dreamers.

It reads like a fine historical fiction novel…and that would be good enough…but it’s all true and that is stunning!!

Jack deftly draws us into the story with connections that go back to the assassination of Lincoln, the Alamo and even the slave trade. It’s one good bouncy ride through history and the human condition.

What’s more..gold caches of the same parentage are still presumably hidden today in places all over the country. No nine clues. Just a big fat pot full of collectible gold hidden for secret purposes that never saw the light of day.

I was captivated throughout the story not only by the thorough investigation and gripping historical tale but also by the nagging question…are the boys going to get to keep the money or will the government, lawyers or the bad guys get it instead…a question certainly relevant to our own search…

Looking for a good read til the snow melts? Try Knight’s Gold by Jack Myers. It’s available on Amazon.

BTW: Jack mentioned that searchers should be aware that some KGC treasure was reportedly moved to Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and perhaps Utah during the 1870s and 1880s.  Knights’ Gold will give some clues as to what to keep an eye out for when looking for these transplanted KGC treasures.

The Case of the Mirrored Image…

March 2017

by Jeremy P

 

“In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backward… Now, this was a case in which you were given a result, and you had to find everything else for yourself.” – Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet

The archaeologist resurrects the past from available evidence found in the present. It’s not an easy job. Often the story is told only through small details, and the archaeologist has to piece together the small bits they find into a larger narrative. For a great example of this, be sure to check out some of the video interviews with Forrest, l ike this one in which tiny marks on a bone suggests that ancient peoples may have had to eat horses when times were tough. It’s pretty cool what all you can figure out from a few small marks.
http://dalneitzel.com/video/fishing/sl03.html

Dr. Jones said, “Seventy percent of all archaeology is done in the library. Research. Reading.”, and it’s the same in the Chase, but you all know that already.
It’s winter. If you’re out in the woods, you shouldn’t be. So while it’s no grand adventure, let’s have some fun.

We’re going to try and resurrect the past, in some small way. We’re going to turn back time and try to figure out what an original artwork looked like, from what we find in the present, using one of the well-known illustrations in T he Thrill of the Chase. We’re going to take this image and rebuild it as the artist originally intended.

First, some context. Mirrors, reflections, reversing, these topics are so on the minds of searchers these days, based on comments from Forrest in the past year. Most searchers are watching videos on Youtube about the “backwards bike”. They’re digging up scrapbooks in which Forrest shared pictures of his bathroom mirror. They’re wondering about mirrors in the chest. They’re pondering quotes from the book like, “…if any readers over the age of twelve don’t see a little of themselves in this mirror…”

Mirrors are hot right now, but did you know… there is actually a mirrored image in the book? There’s just the one, it’s on page 146, and if you don’t look twice you may miss it.

This is the image as published in The Thrill of the Chase, on page 146. At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be anything curious about it. Those who have read the book have considered whether it holds clues, but on its own it simply seems to be an illustration about the environment, similar in theme to the Joni Mitchell song about paving paradise and putting up parking lots.

Look closer, however, and you may begin to notice some oddities. Most of the people I’ve talked to, when asked, eventually notice that some of the tree stumps have been duplicated. Fewer, still, notice that this image is a mirrored one.

The left edge of the sky in the image is exactly the same as the edge of the right side.
So, let’s keep things straight. I don’t want to start any clue-mongering. I think we can reasonably say that the mirroring in this image is the work of the graphic artist who placed the image on the page, and not the original illustrator (presumably, Allen Polt, as listed in the credits), and it’s probably not a clue from Forrest in a conspiracy with the artist himself.

How do we know this?

We know it was the graphic artist who mirrored the edges, because a space for a tree stump is copied on the left side, where there is no tree stump, with exactly the same edges as the space on the right, where there is a tree stump. The illustrator didn’t do that. It’s clearly a Photoshop job, post-illustration, pre-press.

What I’m interested in — what we’re endeavoring to do, in fact — is to determine whether or not we can figure out exactly what the original image was, before it was doctored. We want to see if we can reconstruct the original image and bring it back from the past.
Got it? Great! Let’s get to work!

What we don’t know, yet, is which edge of this mirrored image is the original edge. We’ll need to know that in order to reconstruct the original image.

For now, let’s skip over the question of edges, just for a moment, and look at the tree stumps in the foreground.

As we can see, several of the tree stumps are duplicates. The copies are color coded here. Which ones are copies, and which are the original, is a little difficult to determine, but not so much if you think it through.

There are two types of images that graphic artists work with, vector and raster images. Vector images are scalable because they are just paths, so like between “x” and “y” fill the path with black. These are great for logos where you don’t know if it’ll be a small image on a phone or a big image on a billboard. Line drawings, solid shapes, those are all good for vector images. Photos, not so much.

Raster images are made up of individual pixels. They don’t scale well, especially when trying to make them larger. We’ve all seen pixelated images of small graphics blown up big, and those are raster graphics. These are raster graphics, the illustrations in the book.
But here, in this image, we have clean lines. This suggests they haven’t been scaled up. In fact, they have probably been scaled down, as we have another clue in the line thickness, or weight. Notice that most have similar line thickness, but some are lighter than others. The line weight suggests that the copies are the smaller ones, because the lines are thinner.

Great! We’ve made progress. Let’s remove the ones we can determine are copies, based on line weight. These are the smaller red and blue ones. Here’s the result:

Notice that the ones that were marked green and orange haven’t been removed. That’s because we don’t have any basis for determining which of those are the original, and which have been duplicated… at least not yet.

Now, let’s turn our attention back to those edges of the sky. Can you figure out which one is the original edge?

They are nearly identical, so don’t feel bad if you can’t figure it out right away. OK, I’m not really being fair. It’s a trick question.

Truth is, neither the left side, nor the right side, is the original edge. It’s this green dotted line shown here. Wait, what? You’re wondering, “Where did that come from?” Bear with me. It is the original edge. Here’s how we know…

The six stars highlighted by the green circles are all the same set of two stars. If you have the book, check it out. It’s obvious once you know what you’re looking at.

There’s other “registration points” in the ink strokes and minor white space, as well, but these six are the most noticeable.

These stars give away that what we have is the exact same pattern on the left, twice, and once on the right. This leaves us three potential original edges, and we have to decide which is the correct one.

Well, obviously, we know that one of the two on the left isn’t the original, and we know that it can’t be the outer one on the left, because that leaves the inner left duplicate pattern unaccounted for. There’d be, like, a gaping hole there. It’s not rocket science.

But now that we know that we are justified in doing so, let’s remove the outer edge duplicate, the two stars on the farthest left and the matching pattern that surrounds it.

What we’re left with is what we know to be the original face of the left side, and what the graphic artist gave us as the edge of the right side.

The second set of stars on the left were kept as is, and the reconstructed edge was found in the ink marks. Again, if you have the book you can follow along. These small scans don’t show the marks in great detail.

However, If you look very close at the illustration on page 146, you can see a little indentation here, a duplicated ink stroke there. Hidden in all of this is everything we need to find the original line marked above in green.

OK, still with me? So, now that we have this somewhat awkward looking image, we also have a very new question. When trying to deconstruct what the graphic artist made, and reconstruct what the original illustrator made, we’re forced to ask…

Did the graphic artist flip the right side to the left side at some point? It’s a fair question. Although we’ve found that the left side had at least one copied pattern, maybe both patterned areas were copies, originally from the right side. So, the question, was our reconstructed left side copied from the right side of the original?

The answer is, No. How do we know?

This little line here tells us. It’s not a natural line. Drawn from left to right, it stops abruptly at the arrow, then starts again and ends at the stump that we can clearly see is the same stump from the left side of the image.

The two stumps, the one on the left, and the one on the right, are the same, so which is the original?

If you trace this little line on the left side of the image, it flows naturally. If you trace the line on the right side, it doesn’t. The one on the left, of course, is the correct original line, and the stump on the left is the correct original tree stump.

Further, if you look at the image on page 146, this non-natural line’s “bump” coincides with a darker ink stroke extending upward. Everything to the right of the darker stroke is a duplicated pattern from the left image, everything to the left of the stroke is not that pattern, it’s “new” image.

Now we’re really making progress!

We can follow this line and reconstruct the original right edge of the illustration and remove the copied edge.

It’s not an exact science, but this is more or less the original, non-mirrored, right edge of the illustration.

And now we can clearly see which of the remaining duplicate stumps are original stumps, and which are copies that should be removed.

We remove the final stumps, leaving only the original stumps, the original left edge of the illustration, and the original right edge of the illustration.

Finally, like a ghost from circa-2010, we have a glimpse of the original illustration. Let’s recap…

This is the illustration that was constructed by the graphic artist, from the original illustration provided by (presumably) Allen Polt, published on page 146 in The Thrill of the Chase.

As we’ve seen, when looked at closely, it’s been changed in several ways from the original artwork. Through analysis, we’ve determined exactly what steps the graphic artist took in constructing this image, and working backwards from the published image we were able to reconstruct the original work.

We found evidence that both sides were actually extended, using the left edge of the original work. The right side was augmented. The left side was the augmented. But even as the left side of the original work was used, it was copied and pasted to both sides, and the original left became left, right, and also left-left.

It was challenging, but we did it. Like archaeologists, we’ve built a time machine and peeked into the past.

You’ve been patient long enough, so let’s have a look at the original work by the original artist! Here it is, The Original Illustration…

It’s possible that the original work has some minor differences from what we were able to reconstruct, but we should be fairly certain that if said artwork ever surfaces we’d be pretty close, if not spot on, in our reconstruction.

To me, this version looks more like the style of other images in the book. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to draw similarities between it and, say, the image on page 41 of the book. There’s a similar rounded side on the right, and a straighter edge on the left.
Now all we need is Allen Polt’s autograph to make it complete.

OK, you’ve all been really great on this adventure. As a reward, you can now let your imaginations wander!

Why was the image expanded from the original work???
Was the illustrator OK with the changes???
Did Forrest even know the graphic artist made the changes??? Is the mirroring a clue???

Unfortunately we can’t answer these questions with just the physical evidence we find in the final published image. But, hey, that’s what imagination is for, and maybe that’s why it’s so much more important. Imagination fills these gaps between knowledge, which are like enormous canyons waiting to be filled.

Go fill them up! Jeremy P.

Scrapbook One Hundred Sixty Eight…

scrapbook

MARCH 2017

GENERAL SPICER

I thought I was the world’s greatest fighter pilot just like all twenty-four-year-old recent graduates of pilot training who were long on ego, and short on everything else.

When I walked in General Russell Spicer’s outer office and asked his secretary if I could please see the general, she asked if I had an appointment. When I said no, she asked me what I wanted. I told her I would like to have permission to fly the general’s F-86F. He was Chief of Flying Safety for the entire Air Training Command at Scott Air Force Base, and had no business letting a lowly 2nd Lt. fly his airplane, especially since I had never flown that model before. That’s what I had going against me.

Colonel Russ Spicer in WWII

I had not met the general but knew him by reputation. Everyone did. He shot down three German airplanes in WW-2 and when his P-51 took battle damage, he was forced to bail out over the English Channel. He floated around in a one-man dinghy for two days, finally washing ashore in France. His hands and feet were frozen when the Germans took him prisoner. As the senior officer in Stalag Luft 1, he gave a speech that the German commander said was “riotous,” and Spicer was sentenced to six months in solitary confinement and then execution by firing squad. The day before he was to be executed, his POW camp was overrun by Russian soldiers and the Germans fled. Spicer was liberated.

Major General Russ Spicer in the 1950s

When the general’s secretary picked up the phone and said, “General, I think you should come out here,” most of my cockiness went south, and I suddenly felt like a crippled ant in an elephant parade.

The general’s huge, black mustache startled me because it separated his nose from his mouth in such a commanding way. I wondered if he could intake air. When he grinned at me, and after we saluted, he invited me into his office. “What can I do for you, Sir?” the general asked as he lit his pipe and offered me a seat. I told him my name, and that I was a pilot in the 85th Fighter Interceptor Squadron flying the F-86D, and that one of our hangars was next to where he kept his plane. We talked for a while. I had seen him many times approach the field at 1,500’, 250 knots, make a tight pitchout, drop the gear and flaps, and land. To me it was like poetry. His F-86F was the same model that had shot down most of the Migs during the Korean War, and I really wanted to fly it

He looked at me for a few seconds, then picked up the phone. “Get my crew chief for me please.” The general said, “Pull my airplane out because Lt. Forrest Fenn is coming down to fly it.” I was really grinning. I thanked him, saluted, and turned to leave when he said, “Don’t you dare break my airplane.”

An F-86F passing the tower at Nellis AFB

The crew chief stood on the ladder and talked me through the engine start. That must have been 1954, and I flew for about an hour. It was the thrill of my life to fly that airplane. I went back to my squadron thinking I was the world’s leading ace. When my boss learned what I had done, he came over and congratulated me, not because I had flown the general’s airplane, but because I had guts enough to ask him if I could.
But that’s not all of the story.

Five years later I saw the general again. He was commander of the 17th Air Force at Wheelus Air Base, Libya, where we had a gunnery school. He remembered some brash Lt. asking to fly his plane, but he didn’t remember my name.

Thirty years later, the lady who purchased my gallery hired one of General Spicer’s sons to be her driver. Is this a small world, or what? f

 

The Moby Dickens Book Signing…

Moby Dickens Bookstore in Taos, NM

SUBMITTED March, 2017
by dal

 

Moby Dicken’s Bookstore was a 30 year fixture on the Taos scene. It closed it’s doors in 2015 but not before Forrest held a book signing there in November of 2013. After the book signing event Forrest took the stage and talked about his book and answered questions from the crowd. Many searchers feel it is one of the most revealing interviews Forrest has given. Toby Youris shot a video of that event and posted it on YouTube. Unfortunately he removed it from public view recently. Word is that Toby intends to monetize that video, so perhaps it will return. At any rate it has been unavailable for some time. I had an audio recording from that event transcribed. Below is the result. It certainly is not as good as watching Forrest on the video but it is better than staring at a blank spot on YouTube.

Toby’s monetized video is now available HERE.
There are some other bonus materials available when you rent or purchase the video..

Forrest Fenn at Moby Dickens Bookstore in November of 2013.

Forrest: Well, I always thought I deserved a throne. I’m very glad to be here. I want to thank Jay and Carolyn and Dorothy for bringing me up here. Jay asked me to say a few things about my treasure’s story. Is there anyone here that knows about the story? Who in this room has not heard about my treasure story? That’s pretty good. 1n 1988, I had cancer and they told me I was going to die. That’s a good way to start off a talk. They gave me a one in five chance of living three years. A lot of things were happening about that time. I was selling my gallery in Santa Fe and I had a lot of clients that were coming to see me to do different things.

It just so happened that Ralph Lauren came to my house. He collects antique Indian things like I did. He didn’t know that I had cancer. We were standing in my library and I had something that he wanted. It was a beautiful Sioux Indian bonnet with white ermine skins hanging on it and split antelope horns. It was a wonderful thing. He wanted to buy it. I said, “Well I don’t want to sell it.” He said, “Well you have so many of those things. He said you can’t take it with you.” I said, “Then I’m not going.” We laughed and changed the subject.

That night I started thinking about that. Who says can’t take it with me? Why do I have to live by everybody else’s rules? If I’m going to die of cancer, I’m going to take some stuff with me and I made up my mind. I bought this beautiful little treasure chest 10 inches by 10 inches and 6 inches high. Wonderful Romanesque thing, an antique scholar told me that it was probably Romanesque 11th or 12th century. Maybe it held a Bible or a Book of Days, but it was wonderful, had a great patina on it. I started filling it up with things I thought would be attractive. There are 265 American gold coins, mostly eagles and double eagles. There are some middle eastern gold coins that date to the 13th century. There’s a little bottle of gold dust in there. There are hundreds and hundreds of gold nuggets, mostly from Alaska, Placer nuggets. Two of them are so large that they’re the same size as a hen’s egg. They weight more than a pound a piece.

In this chest I put hundreds of rubies. There are two beautiful Ceylon sapphires. There are eight emeralds, lots of little diamonds, Pre Colombian wakas, 2,000-year-old bracelets and a tirana and sinew necklace that dates probably 2,500 years old. The finishes on the necklace are made out of quartz crystal and carnelian and semi-precious stones.  I told myself I wanted it to be visual enough so that when a person found the treasure chest and opened it for the first time, they would just lean back and start laughing. I showed the chest to a number of people in Santa Fe and that’s what they all did. I invite you to go look for the treasure chest.

My plan was … If I was going to die of cancer … They said I had a one in five chance of living three years. They told me I had a year probably anyway. I decided I knew where I was going to hide the treasure chest. I told myself with my last gasping breath I was going to go out there and fling myself on that treasure chest and let my bones go back to the dirt. It was a great plan. The trouble with it was that I got well and ruined the story.

I told myself just because I got well didn’t mean that I could not hide the treasure chest anyway and I did that. In my book, The Thrill of the Chase, there’s a poem in there that has nine clues in it. If you can follow the clues to the treasure chest, you can have the treasure chest. I thought about that a lot and when hid the treasure chest I had to make two trips because the thing weighs 42 pounds. It’s small but gold is heavy. When I hid and was walking back to my car, I started laughing out loud and said, “Forrest Fenn, did you really do that?”  I had a hole card. I told myself if I decided later if I didn’t want to do it, I could go back and get it. The more I thought about it, the more I said, “Yeah this is perfect.” Why can’t I influence somebody a thousand years from now, a hundred years from now? Okay, next weekend. If you can find it I think it will be worth your while.

A lady reporter from Texas, called me on the phone and said, “Mr. Fenn who is your audience for this strange book?” I said, “My audience is every redneck in Texas with a pickup truck, a wife with 12 kids, who lost his job. I said, “Throw a bedroll in the back of your truck and go look for the treasure and take the kids. Get the kids out of the game room away from their little playing machines and let them breathe the sunshine and the things that the forest has to offer, a wonderful opportunity.” I just this last week passed 25,000 emails from people and probably 15,000 of them have told me, “Mr. Fenn we’re not going to find the chest, we know that, but I want to thank you for getting me and my kids off the couch and out in into the world.”

I could go on and on, but I don’t want to talk too much, I would entertain some questions if anybody has one. Yes sir.

Male: Did I understand that the proceeds from you book are going to cancer?

Forrest: I’m having trouble hearing him. Can somebody help?

Male: Did I understand that the proceeds of your book are going to a cancer foundation?

Forrest: Let me explain that to you. Dorothy Massey at Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe owns these books. Jay bought them from Dorothy. The deal I made with Dorothy was that she can have the books but she has to leave 10% of the gross sales aside for a cancer fund. I think we have about 50,000 bucks or something in that fund now. We’re looking for somebody that we can feel proud about helping. If I had my way, we’d find some little minority kid that can’t afford what it takes to get well and spend our money that way. I don’t know whether that will happen or not, but that’s the plan anyway. Is there another question?

Female: I have one about the poem. If you follow the poem precisely will you find yourself switching back?

Forrest: If you follow the clues in the poem precisely would I what?

Female: Will you find yourself switching back, making a loop?

Forrest: This gal’s dangerous. Would I find myself switching back? I think I can say no to that without giving away too much of a clue.

Female: Okay.

Forrest: Nobody is going to happen on that treasure chest. You’re going to have to figure out the clues in the poem and go to it. There are several people that have deciphered the first two clues. I don’t think they knew it because they walked right on past the treasure chest. I’m not going to tell those people who they are because one of them particularly would faint I know and tear the countryside up trying to figure out where they’d been. It’s an opportunity to … Doesn’t have any downsides I think. Everybody wins if you go out looking for it. Another question?

Female: Given that your simply gave it away. You gave this treasure away to the cosmos and to whomever. Did you have any heart wish of how the treasure might be used for good?

Forrest: No. I don’t feel like I’ve given it away. Whoever finds it is going to earn it. Once they find it and have it in their possession, I’m out of the picture. They can do whatever they want to with it. You can’t … I don’t want to make rules for people after the fact. Yes, sir.

Male: How would you know it hasn’t already been found?

Forrest: I’ve been asked that question. I really don’t want to answer the question because that would be an answer that I don’t want to reveal, but I can tell you that no one has found the treasure. Yes, sir.

Male: When do you think the treasure would be found? Do you think it’s a 10 year, 100 year? When do you think it will actually be discovered?

Forrest: Why don’t you ask me how deep is a hole?

Female: Okay, how deep is a hole?

Forrest: It’s not predictable, but I think this last summer … I’m guessing, but I think there were 35,000 people out looking for the treasure chest.

Male: Are you concerned that once it is discovered that your private spot will be exposed to so many people that it will no longer become special?

Forrest: There’s all kinds of case scenarios. If a person finds it and he doesn’t want the IRS to know it, then maybe the spot will never be revealed. In my opinion, the type of person that’s going to find the treasure chest is the type of person that can’t keep it quiet. I’m not worried about that really. Yes, ma’am.

Female: You said that it took you two trips to hide the treasure. Did you hide it two times or did you carry it the second time?

Forrest: I hid the whole thing in one spot, but it took me two trips to get to that spot with the weight of the treasure chest.

Male: From the car to the spot.

Forrest: Very special spot.

Female: Could you tell us more about what’s in your book like it’s not just the poem but it’s a memoir right?

Forrest: It’s a memoir. I never did go to college. I prayed for D’s in high school and nobody ever listened. I graduated because my father was the principal. I never did read the great books. I talk in my book about Hemingway and other writers that are very internationally celebrated and so I went down to the book store and I got a couple of those books and I started to read them.  I told myself, “These things are no good.” For Whom the Bell Tolls, I read about a third of that thing and threw it in the trash. I started to wonder, “Why does everybody?” … You may think those are wonderful books. I’m little bit weird. I’ll have to admit that.

JD Salinger died. Diane Sawyer’s talking about how wonderful he was that he wrote books and put them in a vault so nobody could see them. I told myself, “This is my kind of guy.” I went down and I bought Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. I thought I was going to like that book because I’d never heard of the guy. I said “Everybody thinks the book’s pretty good. He’s nobody so it must be a pretty good book.” I started reading it and I read a little bit. I put it down and started thinking about it. I read some more. It took me about a day and a half to finish that book, and I wasn’t ready for it to end when it was over. I started telling myself, “You know if this is a good book … If Catcher in the Rye is a good book, I can do that.” It’s nothing but a guy talking to himself really is what it is.

I said, “I can do that.” I started writing my memoir. I started remembering … I would encourage all of you to write your memoir. You don’t have to edit it. Send it to the Library of Congress. They love those things. Start with your earliest recollections like I did. I remember when my grandmother told me about when she was a kid in Fort Worth watching the Comanche and Kiowa Indians run through their barnyard trying to catch chickens. I have two daughters that are in their 50’s who don’t know who Clark Gable was. I wanted my kids, my family, my grandkids to know something about my family. Something about me and my wife and what we’ve done and where we’ve been, kind of a peek back into our lives. At the same time, I was thinking about my treasure chest. How do I bring all of these things together?

It was 15 years from the time that I got cancer until the time that I hid the treasure chest, 15 years. The poem in my book is something that I changed over and over again. When you read the poem, it looks like just simple words there, but I guarantee you I worked on that thing. I felt like an architect drawing that poem. The original version of the poem said, “Take the treasure chest, but leave my bones and go in peace,” or something like that. Then I got well and I ruined that story.

I believe very strongly in that. I started making bells out of bronze and little jars. The jars I put my autobiography in the jars and seal them up tight. I’ve buried eight of those things way out in the desert and in the mountains. Nobody knows where. I couldn’t even go back to them because I’ve hidden them so well. Who says I can’t influence the future? Who says can’t take it with me? I don’t believe in those things.

Which is best? Laying on the ground on a treasure chest, your bones rotting in the sun or laying in a hospital room with tubes down your throat and your nose and machines everywhere? People running out watching you all the time. Which would you rather have?

Female: The desert.

Forrest: That’s my philosophy. Anyway I’ll admit I’m a maverick in that area. My father had pancreas cancer. They gave him six months to live. 18 months later, he was still fishing up in Yellowstone in those lakes and fast streams. One night about 10:00 at night he called me on the phone. I was in Santa Fe and he was in Temple Texas. He said, “Forrest I just want you to know that I’m getting ready to take 50 sleeping pills.” I said, “Dad I’ll be there first thing in the morning.” I had an airplane. He said, “That’s too late.” It was too late.

I respected him because he wanted to do things on his own terms. What’s wrong with making your own rules about things? He could have gone in the hospital and withered away for another three weeks or a month. That’s no way to live. All of these thoughts manifest themselves in my treasure chest. The thrill of the chase, I keep going back to the thrill of the chase. You can think I’m crazy if you want to. A lot of people have said that. It’s something that I believe in. That treasure chest I’ve said is in a very special place to me. If I get another disease, on my last dying gasp, I’m going to throw myself on top of that treasure chest. Then I’m going to dare you to come find me. Bella, do you have a question?

Male: Mr. Fenn, we actually have one that sent to us. Since you were speaking about the poem, Dal Neitzel has asked if you would kindly read the poem of which I happen to have a copy of said poem.

Forrest: That damn Dal Neitzel’s always getting me in trouble.

Male: I’m just the messenger.

Forrest: He think he’s safe because he lives on a little island, Lummi island out of Seattle. I’ve got his number though.

“As I have gone alone in there, and with my Treasures bold. I can keep my secret where and hint of riches new and old. Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk. Put in below the home of Brown. From there it’s no place for the meek. The end is ever drawing nigh. There’ll be no paddle up your creek, just heavy loads and water high. If you’ve been wise and found a blaze, look quickly own your quest to cease. But tarry scant with marvel gaze just take the chest and go in peace. So why is it I must go and leave my trove for all to seek? The answers I already know. I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak. So hear me all and listen good” … I may have to read this thing. “So hear me all and listen good, your effort will be worth the cold. If you are brave and in the wood. I give you title to the gold.”

I view that as a challenge. There are so many things in life that are wonderful. There are so many things that are not wonderful. I think this world’s in trouble. I don’t need to tell you that. I think we need to … My father used to tell me, “Grab every banana.” He told me that a 100 times. He and I collected arrowheads together. We were thinking about going out to a friend’s farm with newly plowed to look for arrowheads, but it was drizzling rain. I didn’t much want to go, but my father did. We were discussing, he said, “Grab every banana.” I said, “Father, you’ve been telling me that for years.” I said, “I don’t know what you mean.” You know what he said to me? He said, “Now that you asked the question, maybe you’re old enough to know.” Pretty profound huh? He said, “The train doesn’t go by that banana tree but one time.” He said, “You should reach out and grab every banana on the way back.” I thought that was pretty good. Let me tell you, I’ve grabbed a few bananas in my time. Grabbed a few lemons too. Yes, sir.

Male: Are you familiar with the poet Robert Service?

Forrest: The what?

Male: Poet, Robert Service.

Forrest: No.

Male: You’d give him a run for his money.

Forrest: Thank you, thank you. I like poetry. I can walk down the street and see something and I quote poetry to myself. I did that coming up here today in the car with Dorothy Massey. It’s a little … I’ll read you a poem from Alice in Wonderland. “How doth the little crocodile improve his shiny tail and pour the waters of the Nile on every shiny scale? How cheerfully he seems to grin. How neatly spread his claws and welcome little fishies in with gentle smiling jaws.” I like that.

You may not know who Senator Al Simpson is, Senator from Wyoming, retired. He can quote the entire book from Alice in Wonderland. Yes, sir.

Male: Do you want to say anything about the accumulation of that treasure and why [those specific things were [inaudible] must have been a big piece of the pie.[inaudible] Or is that too personal a question.

Male: He’s wanting to know, on the accumulation of what you put in the chest, were they personal type items? How hard was it for you to put some of those items in there? How did you determine what you placed in there?

Forrest: Thank you for asking that question, sir. I wanted that treasure chest to be part of me. I wanted … If I’m going to take it with me, I don’t want it to be a bunch of abstract items. I put things in that treasure chest that are very dear to me. One of them, probably the cheapest thing in that treasure chest is a wonderful little bracelet, has 22 prehistoric turquoise beads in it. The beads were found by Richard Wetherill. The first day that he discovered Mesa Verde and climbed down into the ruin from the canyon top. He picked up those 22 little turquoise beads. In 1901, when Richard Wetherill was excavating Mesa Verde, there was an Indian working for him that made a bracelet out of those 22 little turquoise beads, disk beads. They call it a row bracelet. It was made about 1902 or so. When Richard Wetherill sold it to Fred Harvey of the Harvey houses, and years later that whole Harvey collection was given to the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

I won that bracelet in a pool game with Byron Harvey who was the nephew of Fred Harvey. That’s how I got that bracelet. I have an association. It’s the only Indian bracelet I ever had that fit me. I used to walk down the street showing off that bracelet. It’s worth about $350. It was special to me.

Female: Have your grandkids ever tried looking for the treasure?

Forrest: What’d she say?

Male: Have your grandkids ever tried looking for the treasure?

Forrest: No, but I’ll tell you an interesting story. Some of the emails I get from people, I got one last week from a lady about your age. You must be 11?

Female: Nine.

Forrest: Nine? She said “Mr. Fenn if I find the treasure chest do I have to share it with my brother?” I get all kinds of emails. This one lady said my truck is not very reliable. She said, “If I go in the mountains on the way to your treasure chest and my truck breaks down, will you come and pick me up and take me the rest of the way?”

Female: Do you think kids will ever find your treasure? Do you think kids have a shot at trying to find your treasure?

Male: Do you think that kids will ever find the treasure?

Forrest: Do I think that kids …? You worry me a little. Yeah I think kids may have an advantage. Don’t expect me to explain that, but sure. Their eyes are better. They’re more agile. They have more energy. Why should a kid take backseat in the treasure hunt? Is that your daughter there?

Male: Sure is.

Forrest: She’s dangerous. Okay, more questions. Yes, sir.

Male: You put a lot of people, a very bold, exciting adventure. It seems you put yourself on an adventure watching all these people. Are you enjoying that?

Male: He said that he put a lot of people on a bold and exciting adventure and yourself. How are you enjoying watching all of this adventure around you?

Forrest: “Well tell me not in mournful numbers.  Laugh is but an empty dream. For the soul is dead that slumbers and things are never what they seem.” I’m enjoying it, yeah. I didn’t expect it … I always figured that the treasure chest was a bomb. I didn’t know that I had a fuse until Dorothy came along and a couple other people that started giving publicity to the book. Now it’s out. No matter what happens now, it belongs to the ages I think. Sure, there’s a … People talk about, “Mr. Fenn is that your legacy?” You know, I don’t like philosophy of that. I don’t like … Once a person dies, that should be the end of it. If you want to say something kind about me, say it me while I’m alive. Don’t wait until I die. Let’s not talk about legacies. Yes, sir.

Male: When you had cancer and you got well and you decided to hide the treasure, do you think maybe fate … Maybe you got well so you would hide the treasure?

Forrest: I believe that there’s a higher hand someplace. I don’t know what it is, but I think that I’ve lived a charmed life. Here’s a little kid from a small town in Texas, made D’s and F’s in high school. Joined the Air Force as a private, became a fighter pilot.  When I was 27 years old and a fighter pilot in Germany, I went down to supply and checked out an atomic bomb. I signed a form. I owned that atomic bomb, 61 kiloton bomb. The bomb at Hiroshima was 17,000 tons. This was 61,000. I thought that if I can do that from my background, then look at what other people can do from their background.

I had a hard tour in Vietnam. I flew 328 combat missions in about 348 days. I was shot down twice. I took battle damage a few times. I lost some roommates. I lost 22 pounds and didn’t even know it. When I came home, I was tired. I was tired mentally. I was tired physically. I wrote a story that’s in my memoirs that’s called My War for Me. If you don’t do anything else, read that story. I think it’s 7,500 words, but I’m very proud of that story. It tells … In my new book, ‘to far too walk’. Do we have a copy of that?

I tell another story that’s an aberration to My War for Me story. I’ll [00:30:00] tell you briefly about that. I was laying in the wet jungle in Laos. I just jumped out. My wife got a telegram saying that I had been shot down and no parachutes had been seen. I’m lying there trying to decide what to do. I had a radio. If I call the rescue people, they would probably come get me and I’d go home. It was Laos in those days, 1968 was pretty wild country. What if the helicopter comes in to get me and it’s shot down and two or three guys are killed? Now where am I? I haven’t been rescued and four guys have been killed. Those things were preying on my mind.

I was 38 years old. I was a perfect human physical specimen. I had graduated from the jungle survival school in the Philippines. The jungle was never hot. It was never cold. Fast running water, drinkable water was everywhere. I had two guns. I had a knife. Under every log in the jungle is nourishing food if you’re willing to eat it and I was. I figured that I could walk to the South China Sea in a month or six weeks. So the question is am I going to take the challenge that will never in a million years be offered to me? Or do I remember my wife and two kids at home? So what do you do? I decided it wasn’t fair to my family. So I used my radio the next morning. They came and got me and nobody was killed taking me out. One of the things in my life that I think I’ve been not gifted of course, but I hate to use the word luck, but I believe there’s a higher hand yet. Tomorrow I’ll get run over by a train, but I believe in karma and some of those things.

I’m not a religious person, but I’m probably the most spiritual person around. That’s the way I define it. I hate to get on my soapbox. Yes, sir.

Male: I’d like to know more about your new book.

Forrest: My new book, ‘too far to walk,’ in my preface I explain where I got the title to the book. Dal Neitzel who put me on the spot a while ago, three days before we went to press … I own my own little publishing company, it’s called a One Horse Land, a Cattle Company. Two days or three days before we went to the printer, I didn’t have a dust jacket. I sent Dal Neitzel an email. I said, “Go to the Madison River in Yellowstone Park. There’s a very special place I’m going to tell you about and take a photograph of the water.” Stand on the bank. Put the flowers in the photograph and send me the photograph. He did that and sent me the photograph. My designer here in Santa Fe put the shadow across it. Two days before we went to the printer, I was still writing this book.

When a writer sends a manuscript to a publisher, two years later they’re thinking about going to the printer. We did this in two days, a byproduct of having your own people working for you. People that designed this book and helped me are wonderful. Same people that did that book for me. Some people you can never thank enough.

Male: We’ve got a question from your online fan base that we got to address to.

Forrest: Who is it?

Male: This one’s anonymous.

Forrest: Okay. Boy I’m in trouble now.

Male: Was the car you walked back to after hiding the treasure rented?

Forrest: Was it rented?

Male: Was it rented?

Forrest: You know that’s the first time I’ve been asked that question. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about that. That’s why I told people that I hid the treasure chest when I was either 79 or 80 years old, because I don’t want the exact date to be known because I’m afraid somebody will go check the rental car records and how many miles did Mr. Fenn put on a truck or a car. I don’t answer those kind of questions, but shoot that person that sent that email.

Female: Back to The Thrill of the Chase, outside of the poem, approximately how many hints or clues are in the book? Would you say 10 to 20, 20 to 30?

Forrest: How may clues?

Female: How many hints?

Forrest: There are nine clues in the poem. If you read the book, there are a couple of good hints. Then there are a couple of aberrations that live out on the edge. Yes, ma’am.

Female: You say there’s nine clues in the poem. The poem has more than nine lines. Can you share with us which are exactly the lines are the clues?

Forrest: Which of the 24 lines are clues?

Female: Yes.

Forrest: Little girl I already know you. You’ve been out looking for the treasure.

Female: I’m trying to help everybody else.

Forrest: She already knows what the clues are. No I don’t want to do that.

Female: Okay.

Forrest: She’s scary too. Have I talked enough?

Male: No.

Male: I don’t have a question, but I just want mention since you’re so interested in information that the gentleman that emailed you from Lummi Island.

Male: Dal. Dal Neitzel.

Male: Lummi Island is on the far side of a reservation that’s called Lummi Reservation. He has to go through the reservation every time he goes home to catch the ferry to go out to his island. Just an interesting fact I thought you might be interested in.

Forrest: I didn’t know Dal until after I’d written my book. He came to Santa Fe because he wanted to talk to me about the book and the poem. I didn’t know the guy so I didn’t want to meet him at my home. I met him at the Collected Works Book Store in Santa Fe. He introduced himself to me with a fictitious name. He had some ulterior motives related to that. After a few minutes of conversation, I learned that his name was Dal Neitzel and that he had worked with my nephew Crayton Fenn who’s a professional deep sea diver. He found the Agamemnon, Lord Nelson’s flagship, and brought a canon up off the {?} … He has a website that’s as wonderful pictures. I don’t know what the website is, but Dal Neitzel was working with my nephew when they found I think 79 17th century sunken Spanish galleons off of Uruguay.

Dal Neitzel, his water runs deep, and he’s a really neat guy too. He runs a blog. I think he controls that whole blog. It’s very interesting. I read his blog so I can learn a lot about myself. Your friend isn’t laughing.

Male: Coming from the online site again, I’ve been asked to ask you, how many people have told you they’ve discovered the unintended clue in ‘too far to walk’ and how many were right?

Forrest: I haven’t had anybody tell me the answer to that clue. If you read my preface it doesn’t take a genius to figure it out, I think what they’re talking about. There are clues in my new book that can help a person. Did I answer that question? Did it have two parts?

Male: Yes, no that was it. Now here’s a really obscure one. Is it possible to locate the treasure chest without ever leaving your computer and Google Earth?

Forrest: No, it isn’t. Did I really say that?

Male: I believe it got caught on tape.

Forrest: There’s not a picture of the treasure chest on Google Earth. Was that your question?

Male: Yes, I think that will suffice.

Forrest: Google Earth doesn’t go down far enough.

Male: Yes, sir.

Male: Tell us about the children’s little book that you have planned.

Forrest: The children’s book that I have planned?

Male: Yes, sir.

Forrest: There’s a lady that contacted me. She’s written several children’s book and she read both of my books and she said, “I want you to write a children’s book with me.” For some reason she thought I was a child, I guess, the way I write my books. I said, “Okay.” We’re thinking about that. I would like to do that. I’m not a natural writer. I struggle when I write. I think my prose looks easy, but sometimes … I said just today, “Sometimes when I get to the end of a sentence trying to write the end of the sentence, I forgot what the front part of the sentence was.” I may be running out of words.

I have three books in my computer that I’m really proud of. I would like to finish one. The main one is a book called Closet Stories of Taos. It’s about the artists and the characters, but it isn’t an art book. It’s a gossip book. It’s about Long John Dunn. That wasn’t his name at all. His name was Vigil [Vehill]. He killed two people in Texas, both of them justifiable, but the Court didn’t think so. They convicted him of first degree murder and gave him life in prison. The Sabine River down in south Texas overflowed and they let all the prisoners out to stack sandbags to protect the house and John Dunn jumped in the river and floated on a log “far from the reach of Texas Rangers”, he said. It’s a wonderful story about John Dunn.

It’s about Harsh [McHorris] who owned the first car dealership in Taos. Teracita Ferguson and there’s a great story … I don’t know whether I could tell this story in this mixed company, but I will. There were two guys down on the plaza walking around one Sunday afternoon. There were accosted by two women who wear hoods over their faces. They wanted these two men to go over to LaFonda Hotel with them because they had a room over there. These two guys didn’t want to do it. I’m not going to mention their names, but in my book I do. The two women turned to walk away and one of the men lifted the hoods of these two women. One of them was Teracita Ferguson and the other was Georgia O’Keeffe. My book is really a gossip book. It’s stories about Doc Martin and the artist. Great stories about Gas Borden, Fechen and Sharp and Couse, and Victor Higgins and some of the others.

Male: Questions? Okay then I will ask another from the online world.

Forrest: Will you quit going back to the computer?

Male: Okay, this will be the last one. Other than the one you’ve mentioned, are there any other hints in ‘too far to walk’ that would help solve the nine clues?

Forrest: There’s the major clue in the book, but I don’t think it will help you find the treasure chest. I’ll tell you what the clue is. In the back of my book, there’s a map. I’ve said that the treasure chest is hidden in the Rocky Mountains. Here’s a treasure chest of the Rocky Mountains. If you knew where the treasure chest is hidden, you could find it on this map. The map stops at Canada. The Rockies keep going up there, but I said that it’s in the Rocky Mountains which would include Canada. When this book was printed, I didn’t realize that Benchmark Maps that made this map stopped at the Canadian border. That’s a clue, but it’s not going to help you much.

Female: That’s not the clue.

Forrest: What did she say?

Male: She said that’s not the clue.

Forrest: There are no clues in this book, but there are some hints. What I tell people to do, if you’re really serious about looking for the treasure, get The Thrill of the Chase and read it. Then go back and read the poem over and over and over again. Then go back and read the book again, but slowly looking at every little abstract thing that might catch up in your brain that might be a hint to help you with the clues. Any part of some is better than no part of any. I don’t think that will help you much.

Male: If someone does find the treasure and they reveal themselves that they have found it.

Forrest: If somebody finds the treasure what?

Male: If somebody does find the treasure, and spoils your plans to cast your bones on the chest, will you find a new location and do it again?

Forrest: How do you answer a guy that asks a question like that? I don’t think so. I mean I’ve had my run.  A lot of things you can’t plan. Making plans is antagonistic to freedom. I used to tell a story in my ‘too far to walk’ book about in Santa Fe I had a Piper Malibu Mirage. It carried lots of fuel. It had 43 foot wingspan. I could go out there all by myself. Push the hanger doors open because I didn’t want anybody to help me. Crank that airplane up. Get permission from the tower to take off and head north and then turn my radios off. I had no idea where I was going to land, what I was going to see. I didn’t even care. I had six or seven hundred miles before I had to think about that. I had GPS and I had maps. I’d find a little town up in Wyoming or Idaho or someplace in Montana and look on my map and see if they had a rental car or an airport. If they did, I’d land and rent a car and go out and sit by the lake or the river. I did that.

I tell a story about that in, I think it’s Lander, Wyoming. The little Popo Agee River runs through lander. How can you not stop when little Pope Agie River runs through a town?

Female: My best friend who passed away a couple of months ago, she lived in Lander.

Forrest: She lived in Lander?

Female: Yeah.

Forrest: I’ve been to Lander a few times. It’s a typical little town. You have to love Lander. That’s grassroots America. As a matter of fact, I have a granddaughter that’s pre-med at Texas Tech University. I told her that I would pay for all of her college to get a medical degree if she would promise me that when she graduated and got her license that she would go to a little town like Lander. Set up a shingle and make house calls. She has to do that for two years. She promised me that she would to that. That’s where I am with this whole thing. Yes, sir.

Male: Forrest, did you have nine clues before you wrote the poem? Or did nine clues appear after you wrote it?

Forrest: They’re contiguous.  I knew where I wanted to hide the treasure chest, so it was easy for me to put one foot down and then step on it to get to the next foot. That’s what I did. I changed it over, I don’t know how many times. I looked up the meaning of words. You know, we really don’t know what some of our words mean. For instance what does the word several mean? S-E-V-E-R-A-L, what does that mean?

Male: Many.

Forrest: What?

Male: Many.

Forrest: No. It means more than two, but not many more than three. Isn’t that a way to define a word? More than two but not many. I doubt that anybody in this room knows that. I mean I wouldn’t know it except I’m a writer and sometimes I look things up. There are lots of words in the English language that we can’t define. Consequently we use them erroneously. How the hell did I get on that subject?

Female: Is there anything in the chest you would like back?

Forrest: Is there anything in the chest that I want back? Yeah, I want my little bracelet back. I’m glad you asked that question. Her name is M A C I. Anyway, I’ve had about 35 men or people send me an email that says I found your treasure. I’m looking at it. Of course, I don’t believe it, but I write them back and I say congratulations. I say, “Will you sell me my bracelet back?” They say, “What bracelet?” This one guy said that to me that he had my treasure chest and I said, “Well I’m interested sir, did the hot water affect the patina on the treasure chest any?” He said, “Thank you,” and hung up. He thought I had given him a clue and he’s going to go out and look in all the hot water up and down the Rocky Mountain. Everybody has their own gig. I keep saying that, but I believe it. Yes, ma’am.

Female: Have you left comparable treasure to you grandchildren sir?

Forrest: Do I have comparable treasures for my grandchildren?

Male: Yes.

Forrest: My family is taken care of. I’m another maverick in that area. The last thing I want to do is make my kids or grandkids wealthy. I was in the art business for so many years and I saw what inherited money can do. It’s the thrill of the chase. It’s the thrill in doing it yourself. I bought all my grandkids cars when they got their driver’s license. I’m paying for all their education. Then they’re on their own. First of all, I’m really not that wealthy. I mean I can live on the interest and that’s the definition of a wealthy person, I guess. Lots of things … I have everything I want, but I don’t want very much.

Female: How did you come out with the title ‘too far to walk’?

Forrest: You have to read my preface. I explain it in my preface. Let me read it to you. I’ll read the dedication.

“This book is dedicated to all who have pushed me against my will and made me a better person.”

Here’s my preface. “I put a small, rubber dingy in the Madison River a few miles from West Yellowstone Montana and fished downstream to Baker’s Hole. That part of the river was in the quietly forgotten western edge of Yellowstone Park. There were no roads, no trails, and no rangers to tell me that I wasn’t supposed to do that. The river distance was about ten miles, and the best fishing was in the bends where the water turned greenish deep and beautiful. The small boat containing my camping gear was tethered to my belt and as I leisurely walked in the quiet river, I spent three days there casually casting my fly and enjoying the solitude. The river experience, it cemented my connection to that special country and I promised myself that someday I would make that trip again. That day never came for me and my disappointment still casts a lonesome shadow across the Madison River. For me now, it’s just too far to walk.

That’s where I got the title. Yes, sir.

Male: Forrest, may I suggest that you tell the audience, those of who aren’t searchers.

Forrest: What?

Male: Tell those in the audience who are not searching why the phrase too far to walk is so important?

Forrest: I didn’t say it was important. That part of my preface I think is a metaphor for my entire life. Looking back, I’ve done some things that I’m not going to brag about, but I’m also not done some things that I wished I had. As a matter of fact in ‘The Thrill of the Chase’ I talk about writing my obituary. My, what do you call it?

Female: [inaudible]

Forrest: Yeah, I wish I could have lived to do the things I was attributed to. See there? She feels the same way about that. I had my gallery for 17 years in Santa Fe and I had no education. I’d been a fighter pilot all my life. When I opened my business I didn’t have a painting, knew nothing about business, knew nothing about art. I had to start from scratch. My first two shows I didn’t sell so much as a book. I finally told myself … I had a little bit of money left that I had saved 20 years in the Air Force. I said “I’m going to spend this money advertising and if that doesn’t work I’m going to slam the door and go do something else.” It started working for me.

I learned to play monopoly in my art gallery. Every time I sold a painting, I took the profit and bought two paintings. Then I took the profit and bought four paintings. Over a period of time, it took me two years before I could finance my gallery out of accounts receivable. I learned a lot along the way. There’s so much to learn. I learned that when I needed somebody to work in my accounts receivable and accounts payable office, that’s a very important job. In a business, everything depends on cash flow.

This lady came to see me. She wanted to work for me, and I needed somebody in accounts receivable and accounts payable. I said, “Let me think about it overnight.”  About 8:00 that night, I went to her house and knocked on her door. She let me in. I wanted to see what kind of housekeeper she was. If there’s stuff laying all over the floor, she’s not going to work in my accounts receivable. I want her working as a salesman out front. Different personalities have different … I’ve always said that salesmen like school teachers have shelf lives. It’s about six years. Dorothy will say that’s not true. If you own you’re own business it’s a little bit different.  I learned a lot in the art business. I learned a lot about people. I learned a lot about business and I learned a lot about life.

So many writers, I don’t want to be critical, but I know so many writers that are so much better than I am. Everything is researched perfectly. Everything is correct. The commas are in the right spot. You go right down the center line. I told this writer today, she should be writing Encyclopedia Britannica’s. It’s no fun to read. Everything’s there but it’s no fun. I said how are you going to know where the edge is if you don’t go out there and look? I never wanted to go down the center line. I want to bounce off the curbs. I think I’ve done that. I got caught a few times.

If I had my life to do over … I said in one of these books, if I had my life to do over, I’d change nearly everything. Why do the same thing over and over again? You read in these different magazines. They ask a question, “What would you change in your life?” “I wouldn’t change anything. Everything’s been perfect.” I think that’s such a thing to say. Why do the same thing over again? Nothing wrong with slamming a door and starting out new again.

“Out of the night that covers me, dark is the pit from pole to pole. I thank whatever God’s may be for my unconquerable soul.” I think that’s a good place to stop, don’t you?

Male: I agree.

Forrest: Thank you.

 

Poetry Page XI…

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This page is now closed to new comments and poems. Please go to the latest Poetry Page.

The chase certainly has inspired some great poetry…

Here is page ix for poetry about the chase, Forrest or any other Thrill of the Chase related topic. I am hoping poets will create new poetry and place it on this page.

If you would like to peruse the  verse on the first page of poetry click HERE.

Second page is HERE

Third page is HERE

Fourth page is HERE

Fifth Page is HERE

Sixth Page is HERE

Seventh Page is HERE

Eighth Page is HERE

Ninth Page is HERE

Tenth Page is HERE

Thanks

dal…

Scrapbook One Hundred Sixty Seven…

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FEBRUARY 2017

Jon Lackman conducted this email interview with Forrest for a publication that did not use it. Rather than let it die in his computer Jon has decided to share it with us. The interview was conducted in May of 2015.

Thanks Jon!!

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– My apologies for the morbid impolite question, but it seems quite possible that this treasure hunt will be the first line of your obituary. Are you comfortable with that? Is there something else you’ve done that you’d prefer to come first? 

FF: I said in my book that my obituary should say, “I wish I could have lived to do the things I was attributed to.” During my art gallery years I advertised full page color in some of the most prominent magazines of that time, which made me an “expert” in the eyes of many. It was good for business, but it also made me a target. My treasure story lit a fuse that will burn until someone finds the chest full of gold, and perhaps beyond, My 20 years as a fighter pilot was a much larger part of my life. In Vietnam I flew 328 combat missions, and was shot down twice. The reality is that what my obituary says will be of little consequence.

– I’ve read that you wrote the book and set the treasure hunt to get kids off their little texting machines and outside to smell the sunshine.  Apart from this, are there any other important messages that you wanted to get across? 

FF: Yes, I have two daughters who are in their 50s and don’t know who Clark Gable was. I wanted them to know that their great great grandmother watched Comanche Indians run through her barnyard in Ft. Worth trying to catch chickens.

– You have said some things in scrapbook entries that seem too bizarre to be true, like the fact that you keep your jeans on when you shower.  Are you at times just pulling people’s legs?

FF: Yes, I didn’t think that comment would fool many people. I was trying to make a point.

– Last month, you indicated that still nobody has correctly solved beyond the first two clues.  Is this correct?  Still nobody has solved beyond the first two clues?

FF: Very few people tell me exactly where they are searching so there is no way for me to know. Some searchers have been within 200 feet.

– Without saying how you know, you have offered reassurance that you know the treasure is still in its hiding spot. Is there any method planned for hunters to obtain this reassurance after your death? 

FF: No sir.

– 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? 

FF: No sir.

– I’ve also read that you wrote the treasure hunt for an unemployed redneck with 12 kids.  Does this mean that all of those people who are delving into Native American history, Greek mythology etc are looking too deeply?  Can hunters really get to the treasure location with just a good map, the poem, and a decent knowledge of words? 

FF: I wrote the book for everyone who feels a sense of wanderlust. In your last question if you change the last word to geography, my answer would be yes.

– How much progress can be made by someone just thinking and searching the Internet from home? (Another way of saying this: How many clues can only be decoded in situ?) 

FF: All of them, in theory, but not likely in practice. A searcher must go to the site to find the treasure.

– People have become fixated on you telling them to bring a sandwich and a flashlight.  Are they just wasting their time focusing on these things as clues? 

FF: They certainly are not clues.

– How much more likely are hunters to work out where warm waters halt with the aid of TTOTC, compared to without it?

FF: You sure ask confounding, but insightful questions. The clues are in the poem, but there are hints in the book.

– Can you give me one quote that will inspire my readers that it is possible to find your treasure?  Something to motivate them?  Something to tease them.

FF: Those who solve the first clue are more than half way to the treasure, metaphorically speaking.

 

Forrest Gets Mail – 14

I love emails like this one from Diane. Makes me wish I could go back to the starting place and experience all of the things I might have done, but didn’t.


I have a technicolor picture of me running through the brambles with Diane.

It is comforting that the treasures chest thread has brought so many of us together in a kindred way. I feel like I know that girl who played with hobos. f

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Forrest-
My grandfather was a train engineer.  He used to do a big train whistle out of town so my grandmother could hear to let him know he was on the way, and she’d tell me to take off running. I would run like the dickens through the bramble, and meet his train on the edge of Lewistown, Mt., and he would stop it to a complete halt, then let me on, and I got to drive the train all the way through Lewistown, Mt., then I would hop off, with the train building steam and run back to grandma’s house.  Never fell once.  I remember the train would slow down slow, then come to a complete halt like how I think warm waters halt.

One of my favorite things to do is go in to town and have lunch with the “young hobos” who hop the trains out of Colorado Springs.  My Sunday hobo church.  They grab food from people coming out of the cafes and eat it up like morsels form heaven.  Took me only a day to adjust to their routine.  They are brilliant poets, just like Forrest.  A few are banjo players, and they are peaceful, but not for the meek.  They are totally free to ride the rails to the next adventure, and I live vicariously through them, as I also love the rails.
I’m new to the chase, and am having fun studying my stacks of maps, and the poem, and I giggle a lot when I wonder- “What would Bubba do?”
Diane

 

 

Passages One

Do you save things? I do. When I’m walking along a creek bed or a forest path I find things. Odd things. Pretty things. Curious things. Sometimes I put them in my pocket. Momentos…

When I return home I put these things on the window sill in my cabin, or my bookshelves, or anyplace I can find to tuck them in. They remind me, sometimes decades later, of trips I took, vacations Kathy and I shared, people I’ve met or moments I am glad I can still recall.

The items are certainly meaningless and practically valueless to anyone beyond me. My descendants will be left scratching their cumulative heads wondering why on earth I kept this stuff. If they only knew the sacred memories they served up.
dal-

Below are some of Forrest’s interesting saves…


In Jenny’s recent “6 questions” to me she mentioned a piece of chamisa root that she picked up and saved. She said it was special to her. It reminded me of a few things that are in my box of saves. They are part of my biography in a real sense because they indicate who I am and who I want to be. Of the hundreds of such objects that have punctuated my passage thus far, here are five.

In the 1940s I had a really great fishing hole on the Madison River. It was a long cast to reach the big fish and I had to place my fly precisely. A big ponderosa in my back cast was bent on seeing me fail. Over the years I had 20 flies or more snag in its limbs.
On my last visit to that spot I was saddened to see the tree had fallen. The pimento cheese sandwich I consumed while leaning against that tree didn’t seem as tasty as I remembered, and my can of Coke up righted and spilled on the ground.
A cursory search revealed one of my wooly worms still caught on a limb where it had found sanctuary for maybe sixty-five years. I snapped this twig as a tribute to that great tree and a remembrance of those special times. I don’t know why I keep these things. You tell me.

My hair, collected from a number of barber shop clippings. My plan is to make a cloth doll for my great granddaughter Arden, and stuff it with these trimmings. OK, bad idea.

Bomb shrapnel from the war in Vietnam. I wrote on the side. “Picked up in my right wing Jan 31, 1968.” Instant fuse bombs usually detonate few feet above the ground, and the blast sends fragments in all directions, including up. This piece of iron is from a bomb I dropped myself, although I was several miles from the blast when I felt it impact my wing. It’s as a souvenir to remind me of why I don’t want to do those things anymore, and why no one else should either.

This 3 ½“ seed pod belonged to a beautiful big tree that grew next to the First Baptist Church in Temple where my wife and I were married 63 years ago. The church burned to the ground due to a deed perpetrated by some deranged arsonist fiend. The pod is full of seeds and I don’t know what to do with them. They won’t grow in Santa Fe because it is 6281’ above where their mother died in the fire. I’d like to know the name of the tree, and what to do with these special seeds. Can anyone help me with these problems, please?

I made this guitar pick for Roger Miller (the King of the Road). He and Don Meredith were with me at San Lazaro Pueblo when I picked up the little obsidian knife from which it is fashioned. The two of them graced several hours singing country songs between beers, and laughing at each other. I was looking for arrowheads and picking cactus spines out of my guess what.
I reshaped and polished this graceful little thing. Roger said he used it on stage at the Grand Ole Opry, but returned it to me just before he died because, he said, it was “out of tune.” I don’t know why I keep these things. Maybe I should send it to the Guitar Pick Hall of Fame.

Where Warm Waters Halt…Part Five

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This page is now closed to new comments. To continue the discussion please go to the newest WWWH page.

This is for a discussion about Where Warm Waters Halt. We’ve all got ideas that didn’t work out or we are willing to share…I think we can give folks just starting out some ideas for the kinds of places that might just be the place Where Warm Waters Halt…or not!

Let the discussion begin…

dal…