The Dragon Bracelet…


by forrest fenn



Treasure-Chest-Forrest-FennWhen Don Johnson asked a question on this blog about a coat bracelet that adorns the treasure chest, I decided to write something here that might help quench his curiosity. It also gives me an opportunity to revisit my memory of Eric Sloane.
I first met Eric in 1975 at the Dutch Treat Club in New York as the guest of Armand Hammer and his brother Victor. I told that story with some relish in my book Seventeen Dollars a Square Inch, which is full of tales about the storied Eric Sloane.
Until he died in 1985, Eric and I enjoyed a relationship that surely is held in reserve for a special few. We lunched most days when he was in town, and I was in awe of him. He was twenty-five years my senior and just two years younger than my father.
Eric and I enjoyed an unprecedented custom of wanting to please each other. When I was in his home or studio and saw something I liked – he gave it to me. And when he was in my gallery our staff was instructed to gift him anything that tweaked his interest as he strolled our space. That’s how I got my cigar store Indian. Fortunately, our taste in each other’s personal possessions normally didn’t exceed about $20,000.
Eric consigned his work to us and our storage rooms were filled with his paintings, although during the last year of his life we sold one every other working day, on average.
But he was a dichotomy. Occasionally he’d walk into my office carrying a painting wet off of his easel. He’d say, “Forrest, I don’t much like this painting, it’s not very good, I’m thinking of throwing it out in the alley. What do you think?” That meant he wanted some walking-around money. So I’d say, “Oh no Eric, that’s the greatest painting I ever saw, let me buy it from you,” As he was busy acquiescing I’d pull a roll of bills from my drawer and start stacking them up. Eric would yell, “Forrest stop, that’s enough, please stop.” So of course I didn’t stop until the pile reached about 65% of what the painting was worth retail. With that deal done we’d go to the Pink and Eric would treat me to lunch with my money. We purchased sixty-eight painting from him in that manner over a nine year period, and in 1984 we gave Eric $346,980.
After a few months Eric’s pockets were full of $100 bills. He heard that because drug dealers had large hoards of American dollars our treasury was planning to recall all of its cash extant, and replace it with a different currency. That worried Eric and he decided to spend his cash money.
Coincidentally, we had a very nice canary diamond in our jewelry display. It was 43 carets. I remember the size because it was two carets smaller than the Hope Diamond that’s on display in the Smithsonian. Eric acquired our lovely canary for a Campbell Soup box full of money, and his wife’s very handsome gold dragon coat bracelet that was littered with rubies, diamonds, sapphires and emeralds. That was her addition to the trade and I was pleased with our mutual agreement. And that, Don Johnson, is how I acquired the famous bracelet.
And I might add that Eric’s wife also was pleased with the transaction because her husband was a very generous man.


added by dal-
Forrest did not send along a photo of the dragon bracelet. If you want to see it I guess you will have to find the chest because it is in a zip lock inside. He told me he put it in there “because the bracelet has a stainless steel hinge that might be effected by moisture if it is not found for a few centuries”.

73 thoughts on “The Dragon Bracelet…

  1. I treasure all your stories so much and I’m delighted to peek inside your world. What a special bond you both had with them…pretty neat.
    Thank you for continuing to share with us.

  2. Well now Forrest, that story was not for naught… it ought to bring ladies out of the woods on a trajectory straight down the canyon yelling, “Geronimo!” without a care for how far is too far to run.

    Every lady out searching thanks you Peggy for allowing Forrest to place the bracelet in the TC. 🙂

    • That’s funny Nor and rather creative humor too ; ) I’m rather visual and it’s stuck in my head now. Kinda reminds me of the Blonde and the alligator joke; I think Dal might like this one…

      A young blonde was on vacation in the depths of Louisiana. She wanted a pair of real alligator shoes in the worst way, but she didn’t want to pay the high prices the local vendors were asking. After becoming very frustrated with the “no haggle” attitude of one of the shopkeepers, the blonde shouted, “Maybe I’ll just go out and catch my own alligator so I can get a pair of shoes at a reasonable price!” The shopkeeper said, “By all means, be my guest. Maybe you’ll luck out and catch yourself a big one!” Determined, the blonde turned and headed for the swamps, set on catching herself an alligator. Later in the day, the shopkeeper is driving home, when he spots the young woman standing waist deep in the water, shotgun in hand. Just then, he sees a huge 9-foot alligator swimming quickly toward her. She takes aim, kills the creature and with a great deal of effort hauls it on to the swamp bank. Lying nearby were several more of the dead creatures. The shopkeeper watches in amazement. Just then the blonde flips the alligator on its back, and frustrated, shouts out, “Darn, this one isn’t wearing any shoes either!”

    • Actually Nor, I’m more interested in seeing the gold animals, frogs and dragonflies, etc.

      • You are so right Carolyn. I would also love to see and hear the story and symbolism as it relates to Forrest’s life -behind every unique piece in the chest. For a time in college many years ago I studied art and architectural history, and could kick myself for finishing with a different major. Would have enjoyed being a museum acquisitions curator.

  3. F, your stories of your collection pieces are remarkable. Some stories are simple while others contain a great deal of detail. I hope you have the story pieces written down so that the history behind them will follow them for centuries. Do you plan on writing a history of the collected works of Forrest Fenn by Forrest Fenn? I hope you do. You are worth it. If you do, I hope you fill it with lots of colorful photos.

  4. This should make an interesting conversation piece during those canasta parties.

  5. Its fun to see things like that diamond and to hear about things like the bracelet. But just try to put a value on your friendship with Eric Sloane. When I think about that I start to understand a little about what the chase is. I am sure that he and many more await a joyous reunion with you. As you say ‘at the great banquet table.’

  6. Thank you Forrest, I had never heard that story. I can only imagine what that must look like. Don’t think I would ever have occasion to wear something like that ! LOL
    Guess I could rent a granddaughter to wear it while we had tea at grannys . 🙂

  7. Forrest- I love this story and am thankful you continue to be so generous with your time. I’m finding myself at the beginning of one these kinds of friendships, and it’s nice to see where it might go. Though -Apparently I need to start to saving up for a roll of hundreds in my drawer. 🙂

      • Well wishes to you and your son. Hope you both enjoy yourselves and be safe out there ; )

        • Don’tKnow – I wish you and your son a safe journey and special time together while searching.

  8. A number of months ago, someone posted the observation that Eric Sloane’s actual last name, Hinrichs, was hidden in “hint of riches” in the first stanza. Deb recently noticed that his actual first name, Everard, was similarly hidden in “ever drawing” in the third stanza. The “rules” for teasing out these hidden names are not clear, but seem to include gathering letters from the beginnings and endings of nearby words and sometimes reordering them.

    In the first line of the poem, one can get Sloane by adding the s from “as” to the letters of “alone.” Finally, one can get the letters for Eric from the the first two and last two letters of line 3 in stanza 1.

    Even if this is some sort of hint as to how the nine clues are hidden, and it may very well not be, it is hard to see where to begin because there are so many possible combinations of letters. It’s analogous to the dilemma Astree recently pointed out about anagrams: if you have enough letters you can anagram anything. On the other hand, I don’t think Forrest ever specifically ruled out this kind of simple wordplay.

    • Eliza, so simple and logical for you and ff. Just not me. I was able to anagram larger geographical areas, but only because I had already landed there in my solution.

      Eric Sloane references and stories are wonderful and he was clearly a dear friend of Forrest but references to Eric don’t show up at all in TTOTC book.

      If all you need is the poem, a good map, with GE and TOTC book being helpful, how would an average searcher years from now know about Eric Sloane?

      • Forrest writes about Eric at some length in the preface to TTOTC on pages 6 and 7. To the extent that these hints exist at all (I’m still uncertain), they would only be hints about how we are to construct the clues, not clues themselves. It is interesting that the word “hint” shows up here in the poem, as if to suggest to us that there might be an important one nearby.

        • Eliza, thanks for clearing up my misinformation about Eric Sloane, especially since he was such an important person in Forrest’s life. Your anagrams sure line up nicely with his name(s). I had been waiting for a copy of TOTC in the mail and it arrived this afternoon.

    • Brilliant job teasing out Eric Sloane!! dang!

      It would take an entire novella to specifically rule out all the creative options searchers have come up with. 🙂 we’re a resourceful bunch!

      However , a FF scrapbook entry this year ruled out “ciphers, riddles, formulas, codes, etc” and I think (imo) anything that requires any wordplay formula at all is no longer in play. It killed my 2 darling solutions too, — one based on anagrams, and one based on an acrostic code.
      But what do I know?
      I still hang on to homonyms as fair play though. 😉
      Best luck!

  9. Maybe I missed if someone commented on this already, but, in usual Forrest form, carat was spelled incorrectly. But what seemed different this time is that the wrong spelling is an actual word. Any thoughts on this?

    • @rodan, intentional modification of caret could be a simple play on words since punctuation related carets modify the word or it could carry any number of ancient or modern symbolic meanings IMO. A diamond that large could modify a relationship (buying love) although I’m not implying that.
      Here are some posibilities:
      Military distinction
      Pointed downward, the chevron is associated with Venus and with Isis, Ishtar, and other female goddess figures, including the Virgin Mary. Pointed upward, the chevron is associated with Mars and all gods of war. When shown intersecting one another, the symbolic meaning is the joining of man and woman, the blending of female and male life energies (androgynously or heterosexually). The Masonic set-square and compass icon represents such intersection, said by some initiates to symbolize the combining of boundaries and morality—body and spirit, politics and religion—instruments of the Great Architect of the Universe.

    • Perhaps he is calling out carat to emphasize quilate, a word similarity with porcupine quills. And those round things he found and posted on that are at the end of spools. Another name for those is a bobbin. And a faucet, where warm waters tend to halt. And a cannon or a canyon (I had no idea quill meant canyon). And all those feather posts he’s posted for his woolly ties.

      That’s my guess.

  10. Thanks Forrest, for the story about your wonderful friendship with Eric and how you acquired the dragon bracelet. It makes me want to read your book about Eric, but I can’t afford it! 🙂

  11. When I first saw Dragon, I remembered Green. Funny how tea and new beginnings fits into it?

    Just something that came to mind today.

  12. A few posts north of here I suggested that pinching off the beginnings and ends of nearby words might be a way to generate clues. I think there were more hints in this direction in the “Six questions more with Forrest Fenn” piece on Jenny Kile’s blog from 2/4/14.

    Start with that puzzling phrase “only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.” It’s certainly not very helpful by itself, but the fact that the language is, well, odd, suggests that something other than a literal reading of the phrase might be at play here. Forrest’s subsequent answer(s) to 6Q may shed some light.

    Start with “Autobiographers always lean toward the subject.” Since “autobiographers” is plural, the subject is “us.” So they lean “to us.”
    Glue the two words together and you get “tous,” which isn’t a word itself, but if you say it out loud, assuming it rhymes with “house,” you get “Taos.”

    Now look at the third quote: at leAST Once a year…

    or the last quote. …SO busy TAlking…

    I’ll let you do the others.

    So this brings us back to the original phrase. I suspect that we are to pick out a few LETTERS in “tight focus” to find our hidden treasure. And lo and behold, there they are, and in the correct order: tighT fOcUS.

    Is this really a short tutorial from Forrest on how to create clues from the poem, or just my vivid imagination? You can decide for yourself. On the one hand, it is understandable to view this approach as opening up too many combinations of letters, but remember: the puzzle was designed to be extremely hard, but not impossible.

    One last thought. I still think that too much has been read into Forrest’s comments in Scrapbook 62, in which he ruled out, among other things, the use of codes, ciphers, and riddles. At the end of the day, we still have to extract nine specific clues from the poem. Any way you look at it, that makes solving the poem a word puzzle, so there will need to be some kind of decoding strategy to do this. I still thing it involves the kinds of tricks I described above: wordplay (similar to what you might use in British-style cryptic puzzles), and in particular, homonyms, anagrams, and of course, pinching letters off the ends of words.

    Down the road, I’ll give some examples of what I think are some of the nine clues. One interesting feature: each one seems to have a “twin” elsewhere in the poem that leads to the same phrase.

    • Eliza: your figurings here are ingenious and imaginative for sure.
      And I agree he might have left some words (like puzzle, acrostic, etc) out of thst list, and perhsps the omissions ate something some searchers would like to make a lot of.
      However, Imo , I don’t think there’s anything to read or not read into SB62 nor the one about the Code of the West or about the feeding of pond fish. They are as straightforward as his Today show clue/hints, or moreso. And to me they say ” no riddles, no ciphers, he’s a man of his word, and we’re by and large ignoring his advice being fed to us “.
      …. But for all we know, that’s his sneaky way of extending the game 🙂 right?

  13. Thanks Mapsmith. I wasn’t going to start posting about specific clues for a while, but I think I can give you one example. It can be derived from the poem alone, but also seems to have several “outside” hints, perhaps because of its importance. I’ll go through some of the non-poem hints first.

    First, go back to a couple of the early supplemental clues from Forrest:

    Old Outhouses
    in OhiO Or Utah

    Now look at the colophon at the end of the book. It might look to someone like two owls side by side.

    in the poem per se:

    First, we see the word “wise” in stanza 4.

    Second, we see two words with double Os in the last stanza.

    Now look at the last two lines of stanza 5 (this works best on this blog’s version of the poem.)

    The capital I’s look exactly like lower case Ls, so we see: know,I’ve …nowI’m …

    so, VISUALLY, we see the word “owl” twice. Just look at them sitting side by side!

    Now to the actual clue in the poem: Consider “Look … down.” Drop the d, rearrange just a bit, and you get OWL NOOK. Secondly, in the last stanza, using letters from “worth” and, just below, “listen (just drop the i),” you get OWL NEST.

    I have this clue at or near the end of my list, so perhaps the chest is hidden in an owl nook in a tree (in the wood!).

  14. Kat, all those OO’s and owl nooks are integral to the poem and in my opinion literal at the tc location, but darn hard to find in a wilderness. Are you also considering the sketch illustrating moonlight because of its double OO’s? Time for the snowy owls to return to many states. Would love to figure out where to see them.

  15. As I am perusing the hoD tonight, I came across this statement above that I thought was insightful:

    Forrest did not send along a photo of the dragon bracelet. If you want to see it I guess you will have to find the chest because it is in a zip lock inside. He told me he put it in there “because the bracelet has a stainless steel hinge that might be effected by moisture if it is not found for a few centuries”.

    For those of you who believe the chest might be submerged in water, perhaps you might also want to consider the stainless steel hinge on the dragon bracelet and whether you think that a zip lock bag would hold out for a “few centuries” in keeping “moisture” off the bracelet.

    As f says, “Any part of some is better than no part of any.”

    • I would add as another thought, f talked about openly carrying part of the treasure in his hands as he went to hide the treasure (or something like that, I am too lazy to look up his actual statement tonight). I suppose this might have been the item or one of the items he openly carried so as to ensure it didn’t get damaged. I can only imagine that it is slightly more fragile than those gold nuggets the size of hen eggs.

  16. Did you know zip lock bags are not air tight and over time collect moisture. Just sayin.

  17. The dragon bracelet does sound beautiful. The story seems to present topics that have been discussed…”relish” and “dichotomy”. There may be more that hasn’t sunk in yet. I did notice that caret should be spelled carat when indicating a unit of weight. Would this be one of those instances where we know what he meant no matter how it’s spelled? Certainly is possible.

  18. I believe the lesson has a hint, but trying to understand if we’re understanding what it may be is the fun part. Is it the rumor that should be addressed or something else in the story?

  19. That’s definitely possible, pdenver. Although a lot of Forrest’s stories have some pretty good life-lessons that are valuable to just take in at face value, whether they contain hints or not.

    Quick recap for everyone (since Goofy deleted the original silly post where we were commenting, and rightfully so): We were talking about the lesson of how Eric Sloane ended up trading in his large wad of cash for a diamond based out of fear created by a wild rumor that turned out to be false.

    Hints embedded or not, I think it’s cool that Forrest is providing some backstory to the dragon necklace, so that the finder has more of a connection to the necklace when they see it in person and touch it themselves. The story gives the necklace more identity than just an expensive bauble that can be sold for cash. Similar to Forrest’s description of letting schoolchildren touch the painting of George Washington in TTOTC, or Forrest’s description to Suzanne Somers of the worn stone threshold in that one video, there is some special connection gained by touching the very necklace that Eric Sloane’s wife donated to help trade for a giant diamond all those years ago. I’d still plan on trading the necklace for cash in the end, but it would make me smile knowing that I was in contact with such an artifact for a short while!

      • Whoops, my mistake!

        (Though a bracelet is a necklace to an ant that is in an ocean that’s really a mud puddle! 😉 )

        • This may be, but does the ant have the intelligence enough to know the difference?

  20. I’m not sure what your smoking but if your from Colorado I can guess. My BOTG statement was inadvertently placed in the wrong forum. I apologize to Dal for the error. I never said I found Indulgence but that the spot seemed to be a possible location. Looking back it would have been exciting to see the Dragon bracelet and other treasures within the case. I still am not sure the Dragon bracelet and gold would make my life better than it all ready is. An unscratched lottery ticket is always a winner until it has been scratched. All that being said, my wife would sure look good wearing the bracelet.


    All of us would agree that where Forrest hid his chest is a secret but is that the secret the poem is referring to? It is no secret that Forrest hid a treasure chest we all know this…in my mind the word secret suggests there is a secret hidden within the poem.

    As I have gone alone in there
    And with (MI) treasures bold
    I can keep (MI) secret where?

    Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

    Indecision is the key to flexibility and that’s why I waited so long to secret my cache. George Burns was 100 years old when someone asked him how his health was. He replied, “(MI) health’s good, it’s (MI) age that’s killing me.” And like Eric (SLOANE), at age almost-eighty, I figured it was time to act.

  22. MIMI SLOANE Mimi Sloane, of Santa Fe, NM, passed away on October 22, 2009. In addition to being a loyal mother and grandmother, she was an animal lover, great hostess (loved to entertain), voracious reader, and lover of really crispy pommes frites and dark Belgian chocolate. Born in Brussels, Belgium in 1925, she traveled the world with her father, Belgian Ambassador, Maurice Heyne. She lived in Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Washington, D.C., California, New York, and Connecticut. She also enjoyed a long life of marvelous adventures.

  23. Whenever you hear Fenn talk about Yellowstone and staying safe…that’s code for “canary diamond” Yellowstone or “buttery scant” located safely in his vault “I CAN KEEP”

    I give you title to the gold.

    a deep lustrous yellow or (yellow-brown) color.

    a natural pigment resembling but darker than ocher, normally dark (yellowish-brown) in color

    Good Lord, you’d have thought I’d
    stolen the burnt umber right out of his paint box or maybe even
    something worse.

    I suggested that he might have misapprehended my intentions, and tried to explain that everything was sold by size: airplanes, houses, yachts, DIAMONDS, picture frames, even fish.

    Remember the fun you had playing monopoly when acquiring land titles for “St. James place” or “Marvin Gardens”? Or playing the monopoly scratch off from McDonald’s. Rebates were redeemable via mail…no strings attached.

    Sssh don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret!

    -Hentosh estates-

  24. Interesting that it only took him a day or so to respond!

    Dear Forrest, With my upcoming trek across Texas to Montana in 12 days,I have thought about you and your thinking process. I have always tried to think like a fish to catch a fish, so to speak. (Not implying that I am trying to catch you, but just to put myself in your shoes…)

    I have often wondered if you ever regret opening your life stories to the public as you have. I’m sure that you have been plagued by a fair share of crazies and malcontents that feel as if you owe them something. To make your life an open book is a very brave thing to do.

    Please excuse the ponderings, but my curiosity is one of my downfalls.
    Sincerely, Veronica S.

    I am not sorry I hid the treasure and wrote 3 books about my life.

    Although several searchers bla(ME ME) because they haven’t found the treasure, it has been a wonderful experience for a massive n(UMBER) of people.

    Thank you for the question. f

  25. He appears to be cross referencing this post.

    A deep thinker could mean that the treasure is buried 12ft deep. Think Oak island. I talked of private land titles and so does Veronica. Bearing in mind that when he references “treasure” and lure and 200ft this is not necessarily the TC. Treasures is plural. I would assume this is something he wills to whomever. Let’s not forget Mimi was an animal lover!

    Cowboy or Code of The West. Talk of promises kept?

    Veronica Shortt
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:49 pm said:
    I have never met Forrest, but I believe he is a deep thinker and an observer. He chooses his words very carefully and purposefully lets people draw their own conclusions. I think taking his words at face value would be a mistake because he is a master of the double entendre. Mr Fenn is an incredibly clever man and says words like “biddies ” and “britches ” because that’s how we talk in Texas. A lot of people mistake southern slang for ignorance, but that’s OK. I know better. I deal with old Cowboys every single day and some are the smartest fellas I know. Maybe not book smart, but definitely know their stuff. The hardest part of all of this is to know what is real and what has been embellished. I believe if he meant everything he said, where would be the fun in that? It’s what he doesn’t say that’s important. Who’s to say that he doesn’t have a vacation home somewhere in Colorado or Wyoming or Montana?
    I don’t know, it makes sense to me that if he loved this area so much he would definitely have a private getaway somewhere up there.

  26. Remember the cash/cache was taken out of the chest. There appears to be a cross reference here as well. See also Stump buried in the graveyard in Thermopolis Wy. Remember the cash was nailed to the stump. Mighty rocket was off a little! Sumone stumped?

    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.

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