Fenn’s Searchers – A Film by Matt Maisano…

Matt’s documentary about those searching for Forrest’s hidden chest will premiere in Albuquerque at the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience, aka the Albuquerque Film Festival, aka ABQFILMX.

This is the day before Fennboree 2017 begins…so you can go see it before you head up to Hyde Park in Santa Fe.

 

To learn more and get a ticket to see Matt’s film see the contact information on the flyer below or just head to abqfilmx.com

 

Thank You Searchers……

Dear Forrest and Members of the Search Community,

What an honor it was to recently be surprised with a quirky raffle fueled by your generous donations and hosted by none other than Forrest Fenn!  Thank you simply doesn’t cut it, so before I explain the significance of that wonderful encounter, I’d like to share a little more with all of you about who I am, what the Santa Fe Children’s Museum is, and why generosity combined with a sense of hope and adventure is really the greatest gift we can bestow on each other.

I first heard about Forrest Fenn and his treasure about 2 years ago.  I was visiting my family up in Colorado (my home state) and was talking with my dad who was very sick with cancer at the time.  He asked me, “Have you heard about that treasure some guy from New Mexico hid out in the mountains?”  My father had a penchant for all things baffling, unexplained, and archaeological.  I inherited these same fascinations, and while we didn’t have the easiest relationship, we could always strike up a conversation about the mysteries of the universe.  “What treasure?”  I asked.  He proceeded to explain that a strange man had hidden a fortune somewhere in the Rockies and that the only known clues to its whereabouts were to be found in a poem published in some book he wrote.  True to my dad’s own sense of adventure and admiration of infinite possibilities, he encouraged me to go look for it when I returned home to Santa Fe.

Fast forward to New Mexico… my own busy life overshadowed all memories of that fanciful conversation and I became deeply entrenched in nonprofit work.  First at an animal sanctuary, then at the local animal shelter, and now at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum.  Probably not unlike many of you, I like indulging in big, seemingly unattainable ideas, that often seem ridiculous to others, and then pursue them like crazy with only my imagination, a compulsion for good deeds, and an unrelenting belief that anything is possible, to guide me.  Indeed, while maintaining this kind of drive is hard work, and ends in frustration and disappointment more often than not, every step is worth the journey and it ensures that we’re living our lives in accordance with what we find most meaningful.  While I can really only speak for myself, I suspect it’s this same kind of magic that inspired Forrest to hide his treasure, and the very same magic that inspires you to seek it.

So in honor of the cumulative force that brought us all together at this single point in time, I’d like to explain the actual impact the money from the raffle is having on some of the children here in Santa Fe.  As an institution, we aren’t a museum in the white-glove, hush-be-quiet sense of the word, but rather a place where kids can indulge their curiosities, engage in healthy social interactions, and learn by doing.  We have an incredible 1.5 acre interactive garden space, and over 35 play-based exhibits that help boost confidence, curiosity, and problem-solving skills.  We serve families from all economic backgrounds and on many levels… from educational programs, to special community events, to community access projects for those who need it most.

In collaboration with several organizations dealing in child welfare, we’ll be using the raffle money to hold monthly birthday parties for some of the most vulnerable children in the region.  Foster and homeless kids, families with adults in rehab programs, children who are grieving… you name it… we’re here to make sure these kids get their day in the sun.  Not only will they get a great big birthday celebration at the museum and the opportunity to share the experience together, but they’ll also be getting presents from us, fancy birthday cake, and the opportunity to bring friends and relatives along for their special day.  You made that possible for these kids!… A big resounding thank you is in order.

THANK YOU.

On behalf of the Santa Fe Children’s Museum and the children whose own journeys you’ve helped brighten, and on behalf of my father, who embarked on his own journey into the great unknown one year ago this month, may your own paths continue leading to new friends, grand adventures, and the kindest of intentions.

Yours in gratitude,
Jessica Jenkins
Santa Fe Children’s Museum

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.

What Happened to that Bag of Money?

Raffle ticket sales are completed. Our total raised is $7,673.30. A pretty distinguished sum that should put a smile on some kid’s faces. Thank you everyone..I know the museum will be very, very pleased. This is terrific!!!

The drawing took place Monday, February 27th at Noon at the Children’s Museum. Forrest brought his old brown hat and all 366 tickets were poured in and stirred up. The winning ticket was drawn by a child at the museum. The winning ticket number is #9173 sold to Jackson H.

Congratulations Jackson…

 

A New Contest…

Winter is still upon us…

Here is a contest to help us imagine greener pastures and softer breezes…

The MY FAVORITE STORY Contest

Pick out your favorite story, of the 49 stories (48 plus the preface) in “too far to walk” and then tell us, in 200 words or less why it is your favorite.

Winner gets a lovely, limited edition, 24×30, beautifully printed map of the treasure area. This is a large version of the map in the back of TFTW. It is suitable for framing, numbered (6 of 250), comes with a certificate and a story about Forrest’s compass and is signed by Forrest. These maps sold for $100 when first produced a couple of years ago.They are no longer for sale.

There are very few of these maps to give out. I only have three left and I plan to keep one for myself.

RULES:
One entry per person
Must be 200 words or less
Must be on the topic of “My Favorite Story From TFTW”
Must be emailed to:
dal@lummifilm.com
With the subject line “My favorite story”
Include your blog name (not counted as one of the 200 allowed words)
Entries must be received by dal before the contest closes
Contest closes 11pm (Santa Fe time), February 19th, 2017

JUDGING
Entries will be posted on a page linked at the bottom of this page.
Entries will be judged based on originality, imagination and story-telling
Judging will occur as soon as practical after the contest ends.

EXAMPLE
Below is an example of an entry in less than 200 words.

—-

Nowhere, in my mind, does Forrest appear more gracious, more memorable, than in his mindful preface.

He starts this book not by trumpeting the 48 great stories we are about to snuggle up with, but rather, by touting the book’s short-comings.

In the preface he hints of what’s sadly missing from his list of stories….what he wishes he could have told us, but had to leave out.

Forrest confesses that he has not included a story about his dear mother who shared food with the homeless, nor another about meeting the wife of a brilliant and stouthearted German officer who tried to stop Hitler, and finally, he hints of an exciting chase while searching for gangsters in Naples. But, Forrest admits, none of those stories are in the book.

Forrest clearly has more stories to share. Stories no one else but Forrest can ever tell because no one else alive was there.

They say that we do not die at death, instead we live as long as the last person to have known us is still alive to tell stories about us.

I hope that stories about the chase for Forrest’s gold can continue forever.

by dal

—-

 

Now it’s your turn…

ENTRIES CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING HERE

Lost in Translation…

January 2017
by JasonD

 

I have been playing with google translate and with various words used by Forrest in the poem and elsewhere and have found some entertaining fun related to the chase.

If you translate the poem in the entirety, from english to spanish then from spanish to french then back to english again, the poem has some interesting changes. I’m not saying that it would help people in their solves, but it could give them some new perspectives on interpretation if they are stuck.

example:
starting here,

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 the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why is it that 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,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.
—————————————
translates to spanish:
Como he ido solo en allí
Y con mis tesoros atrevidos,
Puedo guardar mi secreto donde,
Y un toque de riquezas nuevas y viejas.

Comienza donde las aguas cálidas paran
Y tómalo en el cañón,
No muy lejos, pero demasiado lejos para caminar.
Ponga debajo de la casa de Brown.

Desde allí no hay lugar para los mansos,
El fin se acerca siempre;
No habrá paleta en tu riachuelo,
Sólo cargas pesadas y agua alta.

Si has sido sabio y encontraste el resplandor,
Mire rápidamente hacia abajo, su búsqueda de cesar,
Pero quedarse escaso con mirada de maravilla,
Sólo toma el cofre y vete en paz.

Entonces, ¿por qué tengo que ir?
¿Y dejar mi tesoro para que todos lo busquen?
Las respuestas que ya conozco,
Lo he hecho cansado, y ahora estoy débil.

Así que escúchame bien y escucha bien,
Tu esfuerzo valdrá la pena el frío.
Si eres valiente y en la madera
Te doy el título del oro.
—————————————
translates to french:

Comme je l’ai laissé seul là-bas
Et avec mes trésors audacieux,
Je peux garder mon secret où,
Et une touche de nouvelles richesses et vieux.

Elle commence là où arrêter les eaux chaudes
Et le prendre sur le canon,
Non loin, mais trop loin pour marcher.
Mettre en résidence Brown.

Comme il n’y a pas de place pour les humbles,
La fin est toujours près;
Il n’y aura aucune palette dans votre flux,
Seules les charges lourdes et hautes eaux.

Si vous avez été sage et trouver la lueur,
Recherchez rapidement votre recherche de cesser,
Mais rester bas avec le regard d’émerveillement,
Il suffit de prendre la poitrine et allez en paix.

Alors, pourquoi dois-je aller?
Et laisser mon trésor pour tous à regarder?
Les réponses que je connais déjà,
Je l’ai fait fatigué, et maintenant je suis faible.

Alors écoutez-moi et écoutez bien,
Votre effort en vaut le froid.
Si vous êtes courageux et bois
Je vous donne le titre de l’or.
——————————————————
then translates back to english:

As I left alone there
And with my audacious treasures,
I can keep my secret where,
And a touch of new wealth and old.

It starts where to stop the warm waters
And take it on the cannon,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Residence Brown.

As there is no room for the humble,
The end is always near;
There will be no palette in your feed,
Only heavy and high water loads.

If you have been wise and find the glow,
Quickly find your search to stop,
But stay low with the look of wonder,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why do I have to go?
And leave my treasure for all to watch?
The answers I already know,
I made him tired, and now I’m weak.

So listen up and listen good,
Your effort is worth the cold.
If you are brave and woody
I give you the title of gold.

JasonD

Goodbye Hector…

Hector Bado was my Uruguayan friend, a treasure hunter and a man of the sea…

Hector Bado, diver and captain.

I was 48 when I first jumped into Uruguay’s silty Rio de la Plata a short distance off the warm, soft beaches of downtown Punta del Este. Hector Bado and Crayton Fenn (Crayton is  Forrest’s nephew, Skippy’s son and a premiere adventurer in his own right) were right there next to me as I made my first dive onto the wreck of the Salvador. A Spanish troopship that went to the bottom in August of 1812 carrying supplies and combat seasoned troops to put down a heated revolution led by colonials against the unpopular Spanish government.

Visibility was about five feet that day and as we dived over the timbers of the wreck the entire ship was splayed out below us like a foggy engineer’s drawing. The Salvador looked like someone had come along and yanked out all the bolts that had held her monstrous frame together. The heavy wooden keel and ribs were stretched out on the seafloor like a giant’s open ribcage. Laying between the ribs were crates and canons, plates and glassware, copper sheeting and piles of silver coins.

The Salvador’s crew had tried to outrun the ravages of a terrible storm, a pampero, and in the pitch black of night had roared up unto a sandy shoal. Stuck fast, the giant wooden ship was beaten apart by satan’s furious sea. Sailors and passengers alike were literally fighting for their lives, pleading with all manner of saints to remove them from the deadly shoal where their ship was being blown apart and smashed in two.

Hector holding two ebony and brass sextants in perfect working condition salvaged from a 200 year old wreck.

Under the splayed ribs and broken timbers below me were human remains, the skeletons of hundreds of poor souls who at the moment of their demise in 1812 had no knowledge that beyond the terrifying sea that was murdering them, a mere hundred or so meters from the Salvador, was land and safety. By daybreak, 400 would not be alive to see the lovely white sand beach and swaying palms of what would in subsequent years become one of South America’s premiere beach resorts.

Nearly two hundred years later some of the skeletons below me still had on their linen shirts and leather, knee length boots. Some had their belts, swords, knives, pistols, coins in their pockets, scapulars and rosaries around their necks.  It must have been a terrible night.

Over the next five years I would be working with Hector and Crayton to survey, salvage and catalog the wreck of the Salvador and to plumb the Uruguayan coast and discover hundreds more wrecks from the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th century, wrecks from England, Portugal, Spain and France. Many of these vessels thought to be carrying tons of gold, were pointed across the Atlantic to their motherlands before they vanished in a sailor’s graveyard that would become known as the “English Banks”.

Our American and Uruguayan crew. Hector Bado is on the far right. Crayton Fenn is next to him and I am next to Crayton. I believe that is the first bronze canon that we recovered from the wreck of the Salvador. The town of Punta del Este, Uruguay is behind us. The guy kneeling in front is Timboni. He couldn’t speak a lick of English but he could whistle the theme to any American TV show you could name.

Our small crew of divers, sailors, archeologists, navigators and salvors, Uruguayan, English and American at various times, lived together in Montevideo and Punta. We employed a million dollar research vessel built in Seattle and all the modern technology we could muster to sail the coast and chart its wrecks. We ate, drank and partied together. We shared in the wonder of our findings as stories of lost ships unwound beneath us.  We laughed, worried and sometimes fought. Through it all, Hector was our Uruguayan host, guide, traveler, fearless diver, interpreter and homeboy.

Hector visited my small island in the States a few times over the past ten years. We ate, crabbed, drank and laughed together. Crayton and I took Hector up to the mountains in summer where we played like children in the slippery, soft snow. Hector had never seen snow. He took to it immediately.

Now he is gone. Cancer. I miss him.
Here, is to Hector Bado, primo buzo, and treasure hunter, who died last Sunday
http://www.republica.com.uy/fallecio-el-buzo-hector-bado/593694/

dal-

————-

By the way, cancer has also struck the family of one of our own searchers. Mike, or MichaelD has set up a GoFundMe site to help pay for his daughter-in-law’s medical care as she continues her battle against cancer. If you have a spare buck to help his family out, I know he will appreciate it.You can find out more here:
https://www.gofundme.com/help-jannie-fight-cancer
 

Annual Report 2016…

As of January 3rd we had 10,895,386 total views on the blog. We have 185,652 total comments.

In 2016 we had 3,795,869 views…another land speed record!!!

So far, just on one day this year, January 3rd we had 7,257 views. For reference, our best day ever registered 63,932 views. That was Wednesday February 27, 2013. Goofy had the helm and alarms were screaming all around us on the bridge. I was certain we were headed into a black hole as vast as the Klingon Empire. I had seen Star Trek and I knew that you could not mix matter and antimatter and things looked grim. Somehow, Goofy got us through that nightmare.

Our largest number of views for a single month in 2016 was January last year…January and February are typically not high viewership months for the blog…most searcher interest is hibernating during the winter. It stubbornly awakens in March and generally peaks in July and August…as you might expect. So having 451,835 views in January of 2016 was quite the anomaly.

February, March and April of 2016 all saw a significantly higher number of views than those months in the preceding year. In May and June of 2016 our viewership went below those months in 2015. July, August and September were all higher than 2015. October, November and December were all lower again. At the end of 2016 we had about a quarter of a million more views in 2016 than we had in 2015. So, we grew again..YIPPEE!!!

Where do these people viewing the blog come from, you ask…
Today, 1500 came from search engines. NPR.org sent over 54. Another 54 came from an Android app. Twenty-one came from Forrest’s website. Others came from Jenny’s site and from Facebook.
The rest of you must have bookmarks in your browser or good old Aunt Mildred texted you a link.

The most popular day on the blog is Wednesday. The most popular hour is 7pm.

On January 2nd it had been 2 days since Chasing Words was posted and there were over a thousand views on it.

The most popular posts, other than the home page are about what you would expect…
The Cheat Sheet, Nine Clues, Tips From Forrest and the Poetry Page…

The videos on the blog are quite popular attractions. The Too Far To Walk video is the most popular with over 17,600 plays. The new videos from 2016 are doing well too. Forrest’s summer of logging video already has nearly 2,500 plays and his yellowstone video has been watched more than 2,200 times.

Who yapped the most in 2016?
Jake comes in number one and Zap is second.

What country do most of the viewers live in?
USA is number one, Canada is two, England is three and Germany is four…
Oh…and one character on the blog comes from New Zealand and apparently lives in a shire in some kind of small domicile with a thatched roof…seems curious…

Does the blog have future plans?
Someone once said something to the effect that planning is the antithesis of adventure…or something like that…JCM will find the right quote…
So…no plans…it’s all fun and that’s all that counts…

Thanks to all of you from the hundreds of minions who are gainfully employed with minion living wages keeping this blog well oiled and greased…and of course from Goofy and dal-