Tesoro in Versi…


Below is a newspaper article published today in the Corriere della sera newspaper in Milan, Italy and was written by Viviana Mazza.

You can click on it to make it larger. Below that is a somewhat inaccurate translation of the article. Hey…I never claimed to be any part Italian…a friend of mine with no mob connections that I am aware of has provided the translation.

Forrest said that there are “glaring mistakes” in the story…but he didn’t say what they are…so we are left on our own to glean the errors from the truth.

If you have a better translation…and who wouldn’t…send it to me…

Is anyone else excited about the Apostle Mountain theory?

By the way…you can see the web version of the story on the Corriere Della Sera news website which is here.



Vietnam and cancer survivor, Forrest Fenn, a rich gallery owner, has hidden a chest in the land of the Conquistadors: The clues are in a poem. So far, no one has found it.


by Viviana Mazza

North of the city of Santa Fe, somewhere in the forests of the the Rocky Mountains there is a hidden treasure of gold coins, nuggets from Alaska, rings and bracelets studded with emeralds and sapphires, Chinese jade masks, and many small diamonds, all waiting, enclosed in a bronze chest. Who will discover how to decipher the nine clues contained in the unusual map: a poem.

Thousands of adventurers have already tested the poem. Challenging the treacherous waters, sifting through muddy bottoms until they nearly drown, chasing their shadows on land ravaged by the summer heat under threat of death from risky exposure. Defeated, everyone has returned empty-handed.

Only one person knows where the loot is hidden: a cowboy hat wearing Texas collector named Forrest Fenn. He did it because finding treasure is his passion and has always been. As he wrote in his autobiography, The Thrill of the Chase, before he died the eccentric eighty year old wanted the rest of the world to share in his own passion, the “thrill of the hunt”.

The chapters in the life of Fenn read like a robust adventure. From 328 missions and being a highly decorated pilot in Vietnam he made the decision to create an art gallery in Santa Fe where four hundred years earlier the conquistadors had made their capital. In the gallery business he made his fortune. His gallery was frequented by illuminaries such as Robert Redford, Jackie Kennedy and former President Ford. It was guarded by alligators-Beowulf and Elvis. “Bad pets” he admits, “not very loving and somewhat unpredictable”.

The gallery was like a museum except that each of his treasures were labeled with the price. It was a mixture of the real and unreal: historical artifacts from Indians on his shelves alongside walls of fake Modiglianis and Monets from the great forger Elmyr de Hory. There were also many arrowheads from collecting when he was a child.

Several years ago, doctors announced that he was going to die from Cancer. He was given three years to live. This had also happened to his father, who determined not to be defeated by the disease. At 83 he swallowed a large number of pills and with that claimed his victory over cancer with suicide. Fenn, who admired the courage of that choice, was determined to follow the same course. After finding out about cancer he lay awake concerned about the short time remaining and what to do with it. Forrest Fenn decided that he would not die in a hospital bed. He envisioned dying in the desert with a chest full of treasures wrapped in his arms. In that sea of sand, rocks and bushes his body would wither and disappear and one day, an intrepid explorer would find his bones. Perfect plan, except for one thing: his cancer went away.

Since then many winters have passed, giving him 59 years of marriage to high school sweetheart Peggy and the joy of becoming, seven times, a grandpa. He sold the gallery and bought an old pueblo, along with permission to dig there in search of artifacts. But he continued to think of the idea of leaving a legacy to the world. A mystery that could perpetuate his name.

And so, two years ago, he really did it. He bought an ancient box decorated with bas-relief female figures and filled it with gold and gems. He showed it to a friend to have a witness, and he also photographed it. Then chose a hiding place, “difficult but not impossible” he says,  in the mountain range that runs through America for over four kilometers, from New Mexico to Canada. And finally, shrouded in 24 verses, he wrote clues leading to the end of the rainbow.

But his life is not without controversy. The FBI investigated him for stealing priceless artifacts from the natives of New Mexico off federal lands (but he says that for four years the agents have not returned). And “Newsweek” wrote that he was a grave robber and was cursed for disturbing Indian burial sites. This makes him angry. “I am 82 years old. I had cancer, with a probability of survival of 20 per cent. That was 1988 and I’m still alive. I was shot down twice in Vietnam, but I came back without a scratch. For 17 years I managed an art gallery. I have a house, I have no mortgage, and paid for the education of my grandchildren. Tell me, do I look cursed? “.


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 answer 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.


Follow the tracks of the Gospel of Matthew

by Enrico Terrinoni

In this amateur poem, somewhere between the rhyme, the riddle and the ballad, the interweaving of intertextuality and geography of the landscape there is a nod to the long tradition of literary mysteries. This is a tradition that goes from the riddles of the Sphinx and riddle of Samson to the Philistines, those of Venice until Mercantedi  the enigmatic, esoteric Codiceda Vinci.

Clues to the treasure seekers are deliberately ambiguous and intend to create a bridge between the concept of “content” and that of “Geographical mapping” of the territory that hides the secret. As in any enigma worthy of respect, those clues are not obvious and are not easy to interpret.

See the case which is extremely revealing of what is perhaps the biggest clue, “the home of Brown,” in the second quatrain. The name in question, among the most common in the English-speaking world, can easily confuse the reader. Note the case.

So that the references seem viable, it is necessary that our interpretation be the most generic possible. One solution would be a reference to a specific historical character, Molly Brown, one of the survivors of the sinking of the Titanic, which later became known as a philanthropist and activist for women’s civil rights. This reference to a woman leads, in a roundabout way, to another intertextual thought in the poem. This time of evangelical and apostolic nature: that of “the meek” in the following verse (third stanza). Would this be an allusion, more or less directly to Matthew 5.5 (“Blessed are the meek …”). But if related to the history of the Brown lead.

Land topography, a revelation quite interesting, maybe useful to discover the mystery of the poem. In the center of Colorado there is, in fact, a group of mountains called Three Apostles Peaks.  There are valleys, which run among the various streams and are impossible to run with a canoe, just like the one in which mention is made in the poem. In between, two of these peaks is the famous Ice Mountain, which would, in a similar vein with echoes remote and oblique be a reference to another verse of the poem (“Your effort will be worth the cold”) of the last triplet . I wonder, therefore, if the treasure is hidden on the slopes of the Mountain of ice.


After a poor diagnosis Fenn decided to go into the desert with a treasure chest someone would find with his remains.


Forrest Fenn is a rich collector of 82 years in Santa Fe (NewMexico, USA).  He survived 328 air missions in Vietnam and a tumor. He is a happy grandfather, owns a gallery of Indian artifacts, has hidden a treasure and invited fans to find him as Indiana Jones. More than six thousand have taken up the challenge. Unsuccessfully.

If some skeptics suspect that this story of the treasure is a complete hoax, thousands of people – at least 6,416 counting only the emails received so far by Forrest Fenn – these people believed. And having read and reread the poem, they went on the road.

You have to start from the point where you stop the “hot waters” (refer to hot spring, hot springs and rich that the whole area?). Then, we proceed “Down river to the canyon,” to go “close, but not walk” (canoe?) Until a mysterious “Brown’s house.” At that point, there will be no “paddles against the currents, only serious loads and high water” (will touch perhaps continue on foot, placing everything on his shoulders?). You should look for a blaze, which in English can mean more things: an engraving on a wood or a rock? Or perhaps the remains of a fire? Or a white spot on the nose of a horse? Of course there will be a forest, and prepare for the cold. “And be careful – the author recommends – I never said I buried it, I hid it.”

Many write to tell their story. Someone, says the collector, arrived without knowing it, 15O meters from the booty. He imagines that the person who finds it will be a nature lover who lost his job and no longer has anything except his wife, five children and a pickup. But in reality the hunt has been joined by mothers with an unexpected spirit of Indiana Jones, and there is a pair from Chicago who have tried 14 times. When a woman complained because the clues were ambiguous, Forrest Fenn granted, in his way, a “help”: The treasure is more than 300 miles west of Toledo. “Whoever finds it, will have spent time thinking deeply, consulting some maps, and be brave enough to follow their dreams,” he says. But even if no one discovers it for a millennium, it would not be a problem.

And there is an autobiography in my chest, rolled up and stuffed into a jar of olives in order to protect it from moisture. I want whoever finds the chest to know who the fool is who has abandoned that property. ”

Many people, however, send two lines just to thank him: getting my family off the couch for a picnic outdoors, absent fathers who have rediscovered in nature, the relationship with their children. The blue-eyed Texan cited as the century favorite book “Diary of a Trapper” (Osborne Russell) and called the Rockies and also to get a beer.

“There is nothing like sitting under the pine-to simply look … contemplate. I spent hours and hours watching the staging of nature, squirrels scurrying, eagles and hawks in search of food, forms in the blowing leaves. As if to say that the real purpose is hunting and not the prey, “and mirror the immense and ever-changing sky of the West to discover within themselves a desire for adventure that had somehow vanished.”

But it’s hard not to read, every word, as a clue. Do not forget that the treasure is still out there.

Viviana Mazza


Ice Mountain on the Continental Divide in Colorado

Ice Mountain on the Continental Divide in Colorado


16 thoughts on “Tesoro in Versi…

  1. I’m crazy about the Italians’ interpretations of the clues. I hope lots of them come to Santa Fe this summer to start their quest for the treasure and come away understanding “The Thrill of the Chase.”

  2. “He imagines that the person who finds it will be a nature lover who lost his job and no longer has anything except his wife, five children and a pickup. “. “He” just imagined me down to a T. Heh. Seriously.

    I have a love/hate relationship with people posting their clues. On the one hand it’s nice to add a place to a list of possibilities. Onthe other, it has the potential to become a place riddled with folk running around bumping Into each other looking under bushes. And I’d rather be alone in a forest and not find anything than find it surrounded by some Italian guy cussing at me for getting mud on his shoes…. Does that make sense? Probably not. Anyway. Good article.

    • I hear ya about the love/hate relationship over added searcher clues, but after all….New Mexico is a pretty vast place and, if the Italians want to hit the Rockies in Colorado, they’ll be welcomed there.

      I imagine that after the last hint that “more than a few searchers have been within 500 feet” of the treasure, more than a few searchers will be retracing their steps in the very near future.

      Frankly, I admire the boldness of other searchers who openly share their clues, ideas and search history. But as Forrest says “life is a game of poker…” Me? I prefer to keep my cards close to my chest.

  3. I loved reading everything about this story and of Forrest Fenn. I want to get in the car, grab my Boxer, Jack Bauer and head 4 hours south, to Old Santa Fe! Definitely, the ‘search’ alone is the treasure! Rebecca

  4. I think I know what “if you’ve been wise, and found the blaze” is.. It is a VERY important clue. Wish Fenn would answer a “Yea” , “Nay”. Can’t look for the treasure but I think I know why it was put there.My clue is in my Name. Fenn will know this if I’m right.

    • If it is Angel Fire, that was my first thought. My second thought was the name of the place that, translated from spanish, means “fire rock”.

    • @HWL Craigie, I am interested in why you think My clue is in my Name? Can you expand more on this?

      • Since i put this post on, If a person knows what the blaze is.. that person can readily find that reference, in “my name”. So don’t worry about what I said. Fenn is definitely a genius, His clues are like the old looking glass device (1950’s) sold @ “five and dime”, that looks around the corner. You can’t see around the corner until you have that device. He gives you the device, now you need to see what you’re looking at around the corner. So his clues are a lot of time’s (most of the time) outside the puzzle. What he say’s and doesn’t say is the key. Got to put them together. When I started I didn’t think I could figure out very much.. but I’m really far down the road, wink..wink.Sure is cold here. It helps to be an old geezer like me with a computer background to cut out some of the tedious “πr◙” work.
        Glad I’m retired.

  5. I’m curious about this article and its correlation to Forrest gets mail 9, if there is a connection and I’m sure there is then when did someone get as close as 200ft (may have gotten 4 clues correct, according to Forrest) and why did it take so long for those questions posed in Forrest gets mail 9 to be released. More research is needed.

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