Forrest Gets Mail…


Forrest gets dozens of emails each day from folks looking for his fabled bronze chest. Every once in a while he shares some of his email with us. Below is some of Forrest’s personal brand of wit and wisdom.

Names have been deleted and/or changed and there is the occasional edit to keep us from identifying the senders.

We’ll start out with a simple note sent to Forrest from a searcher who is headed home empty-handed. I think we can all empathize.


Hi Forrest,

I fear I may share the fate of Tantalus, I thought I had solved all the clues but I think I’m going to fall at the final hurdle. I thought the treasure was buried roughly six feet from the 8pm position on the crescent, in line with the submerged tree stump but alas I was wrong!  It’s been a joy to learn of your life, I’ve been a treasure hunter since the age of ten but have never risen above the rank of amateur. But as you say, it’s the thrill of the chase that gets us every time even if it does get us in trouble with our wives! Many thanks Forrest and good luck to whoever solves the final piece of the puzzle.



I have a couple of suggestions for your final hour:

1)      I would make you a similar offer like Olga requested of you – I would drive you in my vehicle – wait for a specified period of time (as determined by you) – and then drive back home.  Or

2)      You can put the title of your vehicle in my name, make sure you don’t leave anything personal in it at your final resting place, wipe down any fingerprints, then, when it is found it will be in my name, have my address etc. (be sure to send me photos of it)—people would swear that it was your vehicle because they had seen you driving it,  but, with it being in my name I don’t think they would think twice about it.  And, NO I don’t need another vehicle I have six (6) already in the family.  I would sell the vehicle for you and make an anonymous donation to a Non-Profit organization of your choice.

3)      Also, I could suggest Parachuting—that would take you back in time, however, I feel you would be too old (sorry) to make it safe to your final resting spot after that endeavor.

I wouldn’t want you to commit suicide like your father but, I understand.  You could draw-up a contract for us to sign stating that I couldn’t claim the Treasure.  Doing it yourself would ensure that no one other than you and I would know the plan.   Just a thought, I know you don’t know me or I you, I just feel a connection with you somehow.  Maybe it’s just the long forgotten memories of my youth.  Then again, you may want to choose a closer friend or not.  Just think about it.  No rush!  I’ll go on with the remainder of my day either way.

Forrest responds-

I am a very simple person and you want me to have copious meetings with lawyers, preachers, undertakers and your family. What is wrong with me just riding my bike out there and throwing it in the “water high” when I am through with it? You don’t know how many man hours I have spent on that subject. Thanks for the input but I think you should mobilize your club and hit the trail searching for the wondrous treasure. Besides, I’ll probably get hit by a train. When you find the treasure please come sell me the great turquoise and silver bracelet that is in the chest. I wish now that I had kept it. f



Dear Mr. Fenn,

I am planning on leaving this Friday and spending the weekend looking for your treasure. I believe I know exactly where it is, like you said everything you need is in the poem, and if I find it I would like to thank you in person. I also would like to give you the chance to see the treasure again. I know I sound very sure of myself but once you figure it out everything makes perfect sense. Thank you again.

Forrest responds-

Confidence will take you a long way and I wish you luck. Please come see me with the treasure. I may make you an offer for the row bracelet. Wish I had kept it now. f




Heading out on another search to a spot I think has a lot of merit.  I was hoping to get your take on a couple of questions before I head out.

1)  Can you give me the context in which you said the treasure was “in the mountains North of Santa Fe”?  It seems a lot of people have taken that phrase and ran with it.  My question is whether or not this was intended to be a clue.

2)  Was there significance, beyond an anecdote for the book, of the Horseshoe in “Thrill of the Chase”?

 Forrest responds-

The treasure chest certainly is in the mountains somewhere north of Santa Fe, and that is a clue. That is not to say it is exactly 360 degrees from Santa Fe, but generally. If you start chasing horseshoes you may go crazy, but it’s the thrill of the chase, remember? Other clues I have given but are not commonly known are: It’s not in Nevada and it is more than 300 miles west of Toledo, but those won’t help you much. Good luck. f


Hi Forrest,

Last month, i read about the treasure hunt you started – and I have been thinking about it ever since! I just wanted to send you a note to tell how much i appreciate the adventure that you started. I’m having so much fun!

After reading about the hunt, i ordered the book and started thinking about where the treasure could be. Since i live in Colorado, i feel like i am in the perfect place to look in the mountains “somewhere north of Sante Fe.”

Have you provided any guidance about how we should be reading the poem and approaching the hunt? Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you again for initiating this adventure! I’ll let you know when we find it.

PS: I recently found a solution to the poem that would be brilliant, if it was correct. I am tempted to share it with you… do you give feedback on hunters’ ideas? But perhaps it is better to just wait until i can go to the spot myself and see if the solution actually leads to the chest.

Forrest responds-

I agree that you are in an ideal location from which to search for the treasure. I have received 4,526 emails, many of them similar to yours. It is not feasible for me to give feedback and be fair to everyone. There is lots of feedback on my web site if you want to follow what other people are doing. I am glad you are in the chase with your friends. I will give you an important clue, no need to look for the treasure in a place where a 79 or 80 year old man couldn’t go with a 44 pound treasure chest full of gold and precious gems. Good luck. f




My wife told me to write to you to clear my head or get kicked out, because she thinks  I’m obsessing way more than I should. Not like this is gonna help but I said fine.

Forrest responds-

Sorry, maybe your wife will let you sleep in the barn. f




I know we don’t need the book to find it but I can’t help to think that you put a road map of sorts in it, as nothing in the book is just there for the hell of it. Like the colophon you used.

Then there’s them little stamps you made with days that don’t match the years. I have put a lot of time into trying to understand them.

Question for yea, what did you do first? Hide the trove or write the book and how long did it take to do the book? And why in the hell did you make all them little stamps? Lastly, this Obsession is not good for a relationship, I hope I’m on to somethen , cause if not I’m gonna need a room.


 Forrest responds-

You are not the first to figure the postmarks into some kind of equation. What difference does it make which one came first, the book or the hiding? You are an individual thinker and the kind who might find the treasure. But remember, if you follow yourself around a circle sooner or later you’ll be behind yourself. Happy hunting. f




I came across your name through a Google search of “Metal Detecting in New Mexico”.  My intent was to find historical maps of New Mexico to help guide me to a good spot to hunt for treasure.  I just purchased a metal detector and I plan on taking my kids on an adventure.  It’s my heavy-hearted belief that kids lack any sense of adventure anymore and camping to kids these days means camping in line for the next iPhone.  I read more about you and I thought it was pretty neat that you were in the Air Force.

At 21, going to war seemed noble and adventurous, but after seeing war and not understanding why we are at war, it’s anything but an adventure.  These deployments are getting longer, less organized and we are doing it with less people due to budget cuts.  More with less is something that should be reserved for the woods, not the Air Force.

The purpose of this email is to say thank you.  I’m not on my hunt for your treasure, yet, but the thought of an adventure of this magnitude really picked me up.  I’ll be deploying again at the end of the year and the taste of adventure will pass the time as I count the days down.  I think I’m going to start in Wyoming and end the trip in the mountains of Montana.  Even if I come home without any bounty, the adventure will be unforgettable.  Thank you for your service to the country and thank you again for this brilliant and exciting mission!

Forrest responds-

I joined the AF as a private and made buck Sgt. before going to pilot training. I stayed 20 years and 24 days. The military was good for me and to me. Thank you for your service also. f






Forrest responds-

Why would you fly from all of the way from Red Wing to Santa Fe just to have red tea with a flaps-down fighter pilot, and not care about the treasure because you have plenty? You sound like my kinda guy.




I haven’t seen where anyone has asked you if you mean Santa Fe, New Mexico or another Santa Fe. I think we all assume Santa Fe, NM but there is a Santa Fe, TX as well as in other states. Have you specifically said New Mexico? Maybe we should expand our search area to in the mountains somewhere north of Santa Fe, Argentina. Once again, if I ask too much please forgive me and disregard this e-mail. I have really enjoyed this puzzle, thank you.

Forrest responds-

I didn’t think of that Franklin. But yes, it’s Santa Fe, New Mexico. f




We looked around the area of “Forest Creek” near a blaze there on Cabin Creek but found nothing. We also looked in a small cave further downstream where the pinnacles of the cliff look like a blaze of fire and up the side of the opposite wall about 40 feet. We took bear spray as well as our 9mm’s(some elk hunters laughed at us and said it would only make the bears madder!) Nonetheless, we had a great time as brothers on an adventure and probably will not make it back up there anytime soon. Maybe we can visit again if we get back to Santa Fe.

Forrest responds-

Glad you got in the chase but bummer about not finding the treasure. Don’t give up, maybe next summer. Did you see any other caves near where you were looking? f


Recently, I purchased one of Eric Sloane’s books from the Collected Works Bookstore, “A Reverence for Wood”. I didn’t know if I would like it or not,maybe it would have a lot of technical terms in it and not being that knowledgeable about wood, maybe it would be boring to read.  The title of the book was so interesting to me, however, that it was important to me that I read it.

At 8 years of age, my reading skills were not good so my mother thought she would foster in me a love of reading by buying me the books she loved to read when she was little.  They were books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  The first two given me were, “Little House in the Big Woods” and “Little House on the Prairie”. I was supposed to read 10 pages every night.  Pretty soon, nobody was forcing me to read anything. My mother aways bought me two books at a time and in about two years or so I owned them all.  I loved those books and read them over and over until the pages started looking ragged and the backs fell off of them.  I kept reading them even when I was older and my reading skills had outgrown these children’s books.

What was so interesting to me was what life was like for a little pioneer girl in the 1800s.  The stories had so much detail on how they cooked their food, made their clothes, built their homes and lived their lives with almost complete independence.  It was easy to see how much pride someone could have in growing and raising most everything they ate or making everything they used.  When a family traveled  to a new place in a covered wagon, they couldn’t take much with them.  Maybe some pretty dishes to display in their new home, a few books, the family bible, their clothes and bedding. Laura’s pa built their homes himself, made a table for dining, frames for their beds, rocking chair for Ma,a barn, etc and he made it all out of wood.  I could see how wood was so essential to their lives. I also loved the illustrations in the books.  They were all drawings and over time, they were as familiar and precious to me as the stories themselves.

As I read Mr Sloane’s book, I was struck by how it made me feel about times long gone, just like my beloved books of my youth.  I could understand how he felt about wood and what it meant to people one hundred or two hundred years ago. Through trying to figure out where your treasure is hidden, I have gone off on numerous tangents, researching even the people you mention in your book.   I might never have heard of Eric Sloane if I hadn’t read your book and so I thank you.

 Forrest responds-

It is nice to be able to touch someone once in a while. f



I had a chance to scoot down the Madison this evening. Its a beautiful river. I’ve never seen it before. Next I’ll have to be concerned about a blaze but first things first. The “home of Brown” is first. I walked some nice river tonight and saw some beautiful flywater. Will check out more tomorrow.

Forrest responds-

I am afraid you will figure the clues and find the chest. That’s why I am trying to guide you to where the grizzlies hide near Brown’s house and wait for treasure hunters. It was a hard winter for them and they are really hungry.


Thanks for sharing Forrest.





55 thoughts on “Forrest Gets Mail…

  1. With e-mails like the ones quoted, it’s easy to see that Forrest is getting a million laughs for his hidden millions. Thanks for sharing, Dal.

    • Some of these ppl

      He’s mostly laughing and smiling at himself though. I bet everytime he walks back to a automobile he laugh.

  2. So it’s somewhere he might have rode a bike where there’s water he could throw it in and a train station he mentions in his memoir might be nearby? Or not…..

    • Stephanie, I don’t think he used a bicycle to transport the treasure to the hidey place. I think he drove a 4×4 of some kind (that could also qualify as being a sedan) to a spot that is not more than a few hundred feet from the hidey place.

      The above is just my opinion. Yours may differ.

      Good luck in your search. Please be safe.

  3. Train station? Like the one in West Yellowstone?
    Really…that’s no help..every bobob city in the west has a railway station…
    You are supposed to give us a hint Stephanie..

    • I visited that station in west yellow stone and almost walked in the water near it the birds love bathing in that water but then i woke up to the fact that Fenn said its not under a man made object the wood was cut by man that lay in the center it was fun to visit just the same the there was also the fact that heavy loads and water high was not just above me have fun and be safe this year JB Titan and Ranee

  4. That was a great hint. He rode his bike all over Yellowstone and there’s water and he mentions the train station there(it’s not there anymore. Something else is in it’s place). So he would have had to maybe pass the train to get to his special spot.. That could narrow it down pretty good. It’s probably not likely that he rode his bike as an adult. His blog just talked about riding it back to a lake there. It’s a bit too cold for me to go there now though…I’ll get it next spring…oh and the grizzlies…not a big fan of being a bears dinner. Breakfast or lunch either. But this could be totally wrong lol. I did always like the idea the brave could be the danger of it being on a caldera.

    • There is a train station there. Same one that was there when Forrest was a kid. But its a museum now. There never was a train station inside the park…never were train tracks in the park…The train stopped in West Yellowstone and folks got off there and walked or bicycled or took a yellow bus into the park.
      The train station is a cool building right across the street from where you turn onto the entry to the park. The train ran from 1907 til the 80’s when they stopped the service and yanked up the tracks. You can’t get to Yellowstone by train anymore…pity!!

      The old and beautiful train station is across from the visitor center. Don’t miss Old Snagglepuss when you go there.

      You can read all about trains to Yellowstone here:

      The historic yellow busses are also cool…

      and here’s a link to the train station…How could you miss this???

      • I didn’t miss it. We stayed right by near there. I tried to stay at the Dude, but it was booked. Probably with lots of treasure hunters.

  5. Maybe Forrest thinks he might get hit by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train? This could tie back to the Fred Harvey passage in his memoir. On the other hand, maybe Forrest is just Joking with the guy.

      • Possible…he almost always tells folks to wait til spring or summer. But maybe it’s just a safety issue. I am sure he doesn’t want anyone to get trapped or lost or hurt up there. He deals with folks from all over the world and some are not prepared for winter at 7,000 feet.

  6. Like under ice? I would guess that could be likely. In a cave hugged by a bear all winter…probably not, but you never know till it’s found.

  7. Heres a tip form your Uncle Bob…….. Fact, 7 of the 9 clues ARE confirmed in the book, once you know the start. If you havent found the start i give you this; A blind man see’s everything and a sighted man see’s only what he want’s.Its there, you just wont see it.

    • I just have to ask and i mean no disrespect at all…. how can you be so sure you have the start figured out? Until you actually find the treasure how can you assume you have ANYthing figured out? Until you reach the end (where the treasure sits) the beginning is still a mystery is it not? Forgive me if I am ignorant… or perhaps enlighten me! 🙂

  8. I have an Uncle Bob…that’s kind of freaky. Maybe everyone does though.

    So like where he says if he was younger he’d go back and get it…your first reaction is to think he has to be young to go back. We’ve all seen where he’s said that a 79 year old guy can get there. So what else could he mean by if he were younger….where in the book does he mention he went then? Texas which isn’t north…and Yellowstone…and the school house that’s 50 miles away(Cody is 50 miles from Yellowstone). Maybe he doesn’t mean as a kid…he went to Sheridan, Wyoming every year when he was younger (maybe still does…I don’t know). Did he go to Idaho when he was younger? Possibilities.

    • I always thought what he meant by that line about “if I were younger…” is that he no longer needs the money or the adventure…But as a younger man he would have had a lot of fun chasing it down…

      • Your getting funnier and funnier Dal LOL. I do at least admit it these days…isn’t that part of the recovery process? I’ve given up my weekly glass of wine…so I should be able to concentrate better and find it…although what will I do then? Will you hide the next one Dal?

        • Where do you and dal get the money to go on all those trips.they sound so fun.but like alot of us .we can’t get out and go looking . wouldn’t do me any good anyway if i can’t figure out the poem.there are so many words that can mean the same thing,you don’t know which one to use.its like I’m playing a monopoly game with mr.forrest.hes hidden boardwalk and all i get is baltic ave.I know that chest is out there.but you guys get to see such beautiful places.keep showing us pictures.

      • I already hid one…and you found it right off the bat…
        Maybe it’s time YOU hid a treasure…

        That reminds me I am headed out again next weekend and unless my plans change I should be in Montana so I can check to see if anyone other than you located my cache…

  9. Ok, how’s this for a 15 minute poem to where my hiding spot would be? I can’t hide one there…but would if I could..maybe I’d put an IOU. You’d have to know something about me to know one of the clues.

    As I have gone with many out there
    And with my tokens bold,
    I can keep my secrets where,
    And hint of riches new and old.

    Begin it where the squatters halt
    And take it on the rail down,
    Not far, but too far to walk.
    Put in below the home of Crown.

    From there it’s a great place for the chic,
    The end is ever drawing nigh;
    There’ll be no rattle that will squeak,
    Just heavy roads and planes that fly.

    If you’ve been wise and found the haze,
    Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
    But pretty fireworks 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 answer I already know,
    Dal made me do it, and now I’m weak.

    So hear me all and listen good,
    Your effort will be worth the wind.
    If your a bum and in the vine
    I give you title to the goat……errr and the chest

    • It’s the Firehole river in Yellowstone…
      No wait…the Cimarron river in New Mexico…
      No wait…Lincoln Park in Chicago…

  10. Your getting warmer…but no cigar….Lincoln Park is where I go to the zoo. I could have had it go to the bear exhibit now that I’m so fond of bears.

  11. Thanks Lindsay. My poem leads to Wrigley Field in the bleachers and you get there by taking the train and the different stops are what most of that is about. The rattle one is the town I was born in for example. The Crown is a porta potty company called Crown that’s in a town off that line. The fly is Ohare. The vines are special to Wrigley and the goat is a curse thing, because the Cubs are cursed….suppose that’s obvious even if you don’t know anything else about Chicago lol.

    • Nice! I could win this, I’m a 5 min walk from Wrigley. The ivy and goat were a nice touch.

    • Oh man I was sure Crown was a liqueur store where you were picking up your wine. Just goes to show I am not as smart… Now I have to rethink my whole way of thinking on Forrest’s poem.

  12. Some people are searching areas that doesn’t include the Rocky Mountain region. I have made a list of the areas that make up this region:

    Northern New Mexico
    N.E. Utah
    Northern Idaho
    Western Montana
    British Columbia
    Northwest Territories
    Northern Alaska

    • You got the northern rockies,middle rockies,and southern rockies . different regions,where different changes takes place constantly you don’t even can you tell one from another . wasn’t ms.peggys mother a twin.they looked like identical from one mountain to another mountain in a large region.its like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

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  16. forrest, thanks for the adventure! its been wonderful being involved with the search, I like underwater projects, been involved with wreck hunting on the greatlakes for years. but got a little lost in your story so i spent 6 weeks last fall out west and had the time of my life. will be coming out next summer again and spending time in the west. being a northern michigan man I had never understood the pull of the west until now, I have had a metal detector in my hand for years and found my first copper spearhead three years ago along with two other copper artifacts.I.sent pictures to the smithonian and got a reply back, 4000 to 7000 years old,so my greatest find is an arrowhead too. this is such a fulfilling hobby that I plan to do it full time starting in may. would like to meet you some day and hope that comes true. thanks for dream , tracker

    • I’d like to know where to go here in colorado to find arrowheads.i find that so turned me on to interesting stuff.if i could go back and do it all over again . I’d like to be an archeologist.and hold things from people of long ago.i see pictures of mr.forrest office with all his treasures.and i feel like i could cry.that must sound so stupid.but to touch those things would be like stepping back in time.but yet it breaks my heart that these people are gone,just like we will be one day.would be neat to talk to these people.such wisdom people of a 100 years old or older have.i just saw a guy on tv who was 112 years old.can you imagine what he has saw in his lifetime and full of history.

  17. Hi Forrest;
    First of all I would like to thank you for the opportunity for my brother and I to become closer as time had worn on our relationship and made us feel like kids again. For a couple of years we spoke everyday mostly about the poem. He even took several trips to locations where we believed the treasure could be found. Sadly he died over a year ago from a traffic accident and I have not been able to continue although the work we did together still is on my mind. He had purchased a 3 x 4 framed poster of the poem which now is on a wall next to my desk at home. I had a dream the other night of him telling me to send in our thoughts of the location to you so that is what I am doing. He believed that it was not an item that can be picked up and given to you. With the research, we believed that the end of the trail is dedicated to the earthquake victims of August 17, 1959. It is our belief that it is the “Earthquake Lake Visitors Center” off the Madison River.
    Even if our belief is not correct I would like to once again thank you for the great memories I will forever have of my brother because of this venture.
    Your Friend
    Tony Torrez

    • Tony,so sad to hear about your brother. It is so hard.but i am so glad you both had time together in the end. Those memories will bless you time and again. We all have our seasons.a time to die,a time to cry,a time to laugh and a time to heal.may god give you and your family peace that passes all understanding. The past is gone . tomorrow may never come,so all we have is live just one day at a time and let god heal your pain . your not alone on this blog.we are one.

      • I appreciate your thoughts as I am very grateful for the time together that this venture gave us. Take care and good luck.

    • Hi Tony, I am not Forrest but I just wanted to say sorry for the loss of your brother. It sounds like you had some close times. Forrest has done a lot to bring families and friends together with The Thrill of The Chase. Take care.

      • We spent the last couple of years as if we were teenagers again. The search made life even better. Thank you and take care.

  18. Thoughts and prayers, Tony. Forrest knows a lot about loss.
    Your brother is another shiny star that you see in the majestic sky.

    Be good to yourself.

    • A shiny star? He had his moments and was more of a comet but that made him who he was and I miss him. Thank you

  19. My wife and I are in Santa Fe now looking without any luck, we thought we could start our life again with the money, thats not the point, we have never spent time here and without your ploy would never come. Thank You Santa Fe is gorgeous, the time spent walking, looking, eating, galleries all are amazing.
    Thanks again Brad and Patti

  20. I sometimes enjoy going back to early words from Forrest and try to see if anything stands out. This post was years before I even knew about TTOTC. Clearly he was having fun back then. I’m just thrilled to have stumbled upon TTOTC when I did and thankful I’ve had a chance to play. My memories will last a lifetime.

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