The Prospect of Leadville…




The following sets forth part of the story of my family’s searches for Forrest Fenn’s hidden treasure and our opinions or beliefs, so if I forget to mention something as my or our opinion or belief, read that into what is said.

We’ll just start with a simple thank you to Mr. Forrest Fenn for getting family members out in the wood.  We have been interested in the Thrill of the Chase since about the first of April 2013 when my wife, who probably now regrets ever mentioning it to me, told me of Mr. Fenn’s first appearance on the Today show where he gave out the first additional clue, “The treasure is hidden higher than 5,000 feet above sea level.”

The story is not necessarily reported in the chronological order that clues were interpreted or searches made, but more or less as constructed in the poem.

Mr. Fenn recently said in answer to a question on Ms. Jenny Kile’s site “I doubt that anyone will find the blaze before they have figured out the first clue.”  This confirmed my belief from about the second day of our chase that we had found a key to the poem and the hidden location of “Indulgence”.  To find the blaze you have to have been “wise”, a widely neglected clue, and I believe that Mr. Fenn, in fennspeak, was telling us where you need to begin, in the middle of the poem where the past tense is used.  I had been looking at some blogs online the weekend after my wife told me of the Chase and came across a brief mention of Molly Brown and houses in Leadville and Denver.  Looking at a satellite image of the Leadville area, my wife could hear me yelling “Holy sh**, there’s an f**king owl there!” To paraphrase Paul Simon, it’s all happening on the owl, we do believe it, we do believe it’s true.  Have you ever looked at a topographic map or satellite image of the Mosquito range?  Looks like the Wise potato chip owl.


But, why Molly Brown?  Knowing that the chest was loaded mostly with gold, it was likely that the poem had to do with gold as the “riches new and old”, where it was found, when (in the past and when it is found there again), and by whom, not uranium (as some people have asserted (e.g. Germanguy, Ritt)).  (How can it be, that uranium you see, when gold is the relevant, sought after element?  Marbles, really?)  After a very little bit of research it became clear that the relevant Brown was not Molly, but her husband James Joseph Brown, who’s engineering prowess was directly responsible for the gold strike in Leadville around 1893 (smudged postmarks over the treasure chest pictures in The Thrill of the Chase anyone?) at the Little Jonny Mine (old outhouse?).  It was obvious, at least to us, we had the intended home of Brown and we began to focus on the area as our one and only search area.

Having the home of Brown, we did not really need to know “where warm waters halt” (what we believe to be the 2nd clue, as the first stanza appears to be an introduction and other hints).  Again, with only a little research, the Continental Divide (CD; where cold waters begin) in the region around Fremont Pass is unique because a single mountain range, the Tenmile (too far to walk?)-Mosquito Range, is divided in name because it is split onto opposite sides of the CD, the only such mountain range in the USA (thus, the use of the plural “waters” in the poem, the Blue River, a tributary of the Colorado River, west from the Tenmile portion, the Arkansas River east from the Mosquito portion).  Take it (your quest, your car, your pickup, whatever) “in the canyon down” then means take CO state highway 91 from Fremont Pass (near one eye of the owl, Mt. Arkansas; elevation 11,318 feet), along the head of the owl, down to Leadville (famously at 10,200 feet above sea level).


As an aside, we would mention if you head north on CO 91, rather than south to Leadville, you get to Copper Mountain.  Interesting that copper can develop a green patina or form red or black oxides (tea with Olga?).  Or, in the greater Leadville area, one can find Carbonate Hill (black?) and Iron Hill (red? rust).

The Brown family had a number of homes in the Leadville area, in Stumptown in the mining district east of town (also northeast of Toledo Street), on Breece Hill near the Little Jonny Mine, on the north side of east 7th Street near the current Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad station, and on west 9th Street.  So, keeping with the thought that the owl was key, we believed that the mining district, which is on the face of the owl, was the site to look and that put in below the home of Brown, in many of our interpretations, meant take a left onto 7th or 5th Street, both south of the north side of 7th street out to the mining district (“no place for the meek”—mining, high altitude, snow, cold).  Both these streets were probably the old routes for the steam engine trains into and out of the mining district (no paddle up your creek (rails); heavy loads (ore) and water high (for steam engines)) that hauled the ore (heavy loads), an interpretation in line with at least one reported origin for “up the creek without a paddle” being the transport of wounded British soldiers up Haslar creek from Portsmouth harbour by tramline in the creek to the Royal Naval Hospital.  We also thought that the old railroad grade should be near, or follow, a creek so that there was a juxtaposition of the two to form the basis of the clue.  More recently we thought “deeply” and have used the route of the Yak tunnel as the “creek” as it was used both to haul ore underground on rails and for drainage (no paddle up your creek, heavy loads and water high); the “creek” runs under Leadville (below the home of Brown) and at least two homes of Brown (Breece Hill and Stumptown), runs directly beneath the search area, and ends east and to the left of the search area.

However, the elevation of the mining district ranges from about 10,900 to 12,400 feet above sea level, so at this point we need to address the 10,200, 10,000, 12,200 feet owl in the Rockies and the self-appointed fact checkers out there.  They would say that Forrest Fenn has said, and that we are taking as fact, the treasure is “Located above 5,000 ft and below 10,200 ft.”  However, Mr. Fenn never said this (if you do not count the mistake of parroting back 5,000 to 10,000 feet during the Ohio radio station interview in May 2015) because two statements made in two entirely different situations have been combined in a single “fact.”  As I mentioned earlier, the 5000 feet statement was intended as an extra non-clue clue and appears factual.  The statement reported as made to a reporter over lunch by Mr. Fenn around December 2013 that “The Treasure is hidden below 10,200 feet” was, I believe, an off-the-cuff inside joke with himself that Mr. Fenn regretted ever saying when it was put out there to the public.  Convinced in our belief that Leadville was the home of Brown, the below 10,200 feet “fact” only bothered me for a few minutes until I found the context and manner in which it was stated.  This was clearly confirming that Leadville was the home of Brown in view of the “below” portion of the statement (he did not say lower, for example) and how below appears in the poem (“below the home of Brown” = below 10,200 feet = below Leadville (the Yak tunnel or at least south of a house of Brown in Leadville); a simple logical substitution), but the statement has also been the biggest misdirection in the search for most people.  The Chase is all about one man’s legacy so, after seeing how it had been accepted as a fact in an incorrect sense, we believe that Mr. Fenn spent a year and a half trying to rectify the misdirection in order to not appear a liar when the chest was later, in our belief, to be found above 10,200 feet above sea level.  He started posting an onslaught of scrapbook, speedbump, etc. entries, in some of them literally screaming LOOK UP HERE (more on this later).  Then came the Ohio interview and then came the other “mistake” on Forrest Fenn day in Santa Fe (29 May 2015) that the treasure was hidden below 12,200 feet.  We believe that Mr. Fenn was trying, with great finesse in playing the old age card, to finally get a factual “fact” out there with the 12,200 feet upper limit.  From the above discussion, both below 10,200 feet and below 12,200 feet above sea level fit our solution well and are not contradictory when taken in proper context.  If you cannot accept this as a possibility, read no further.

As one example of the scrapbook hints we would mention the shower tile images and contrast the dog with our owl.







This brings us back to the face of the owl.  However, when I first tried to zoom in on the owl in Google or Google Earth, a fluffy white cloud was planted right over the area.  I recall, could be wrong, that, before saying Google Earth and/or a good map might be useful, Mr. Fenn originally said something to the effect that Google Earth would not be helpful in the search because it doesn’t have the resolution to go down far enough for one to see the chest.  He couldn’t say that in the image on Google maps at that time a cloud was centered over the search area, could he?


I went looking for an alternative view and the best image I could find, and still can find even after recent Google map updates in which the cloud is gone, was the aerial view on Bing maps.  This only convinced me more that we had a, if not the main, key to the solution and the architectural context of the poem.  The poem, in our opinion, is drafted from the perspective of a former pilot and art dealer trying to describe a scene, frozen in time, constructed both by nature and inadvertently, or possibly with intent, by man and viewed from a high altitude.  No hidden codes or ciphers or anagrams or coordinates or uranium or brown trout to be found.  Included in the “picture” are, for example, multiple omegas (colophon) (and actually at least double double omegas bracketing the search area), a woodsman inside old railroad grades, now roads (no paddle up the creek?), in a “V” shape (going in peace?) on the lower portion of a hill lined with tree stumps (“environmental” illustration on page 146 of The Thrill of the Chase), a large bird in a crescent shaped nest (“environmental” illustration on page 146 of The Thrill of the Chase), all on the face of our owl (wise) and below a notch (blaze?; also somewhat omega-shaped and containing the Omega Mine group) in the second eye, Prospect Mountain, of the owl.










The “look quickly down” is, in our opinion, a multilevel clue referring to both the eye of the owl that possesses either a notched or a white-streaked blaze and the focus of the woodsman, one incarnation of “you” in the poem.  Since the woodsman, “you”, is and always will be already at the blaze, this, in our opinion, also explains the use of the past tense, “if you’ve been wise and found the blaze”.  This interpretation also fits well with Mr. Fenn’s quotation of T.S. Eliot:

“We shall not cease from our exploration
And at the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time”

However, since the woodsman appears also to already be going “in peace”, and what could be the blaze is large (long-lasting and not feasible to remove) and does not precisely point to the treasure chest as many have assumed, our various solutions have focused on where (along which “creek”), in what direction (still gazing or not (“tarry scant”)), and how far “down” (south or downhill?) you as the woodsman should “look quickly down your quest to cease”.

Our first searches focused on the omegas that the woodsman may be looking at to the south (down), since if the chest were inside the omegas, the “end” (omega) would be “ever drawing nigh”.  At least the one southern omega was also formed by the old railroad grade at the end of 5th Street, has a creek cutting through it, and thus was consistent with our interpretation of no paddle up your creek, heavy loads, etc.  Nothing was inside the omegas that we could find.  Another possibility involved the large discarded tire along the old railroad grade extending west from the one southern omega that can be seen in the satellite images (“I’ve done it tired”).  My wife suggested that the woodsman was still gazing with “marvel” at the chest, so this led to several exhaustive searches inside the V-shaped departure zone and uphill therefrom.  The woodsman could have been standing in place, looking in the general direction of the nesting bird, or not, and looking downhill.  Large area there, and no luck.  For example, downhill from the nesting bird is a pit, surrounded by trees on the periphery, having a mine entrance, tires, and an alcove on the pit wall that could have fit the chest, looked like it once had rocks positioned in the front of it, but held no treasure.  Other possibilities took into account the position of the woodsman relative to the bird in the “environmental” illustration, being further up Little Ellen Hill where the tree stumps can be found above the Fortune (riches new and old?) Mine, facing in the direction of the bird, or not, looking down (south or downhill?), then taking the chest and moving before being frozen as going in peace.

There are many old railroad grades (creeks?), many places within the blaze that the woodsman could have been, and many directions that the woodsman could have looked.

Our last two trips focused on the Yak tunnel as the “creek”, last August checking along the route of the tunnel above the Fortune mine, and the last week of this June looking on the head of the bird formed by the mine deads, in what looked like the region of the ear of the bird, and then below the tower (diving tower?) still at the mine.  To make a long story short, below the tower, above the Yak tunnel route, in line with the edge of the notch in Mount Prospect, the owl’s eye, in view of the “woodsman” if he raised his head at his current position, on a tree stump lined knoll, and in earshot of the “nesting bird”, there were two curious 4 foot stakes in the ground.  How do I know they were about 4 feet long?  Because, hoping that the chest had not been wired to the stakes at ground level and that I was first to the spot, that the stakes might be a combined marker and lifting mechanism for some sort of slip case that the chest was buried in, I bought a post hole digger, came back the next day, and I dug around them.  I dug and dug, even past the point of knowing that they were not attached to anything, just to make sure there was nothing buried beneath them.  Obsessive, huh?  There was nothing, other than rocks and foliage, above ground and nothing, other than rocks, dirt, and sand, below ground in the region of the stakes.  These were very special stakes because of the length and the fact that there was very little evidence of decay such as rust.  We believe that this may have been where the chest had been located.  No reply has been received to an e-mail sent to Mr. Fenn about these special stakes at this precise location that fits the poem.



















For those of you that think there have been no hints in The Thrill of The Chase or scrapbooks, we would, respectfully, disagree in view of some of the examples already set forth above.  Further, we have pasted some of the scrapbook images paired with our, or should I say Mr. Fenn’s, “picture”.  A picture can be worth a thousand words.












At the time most of the above story was being written, in mid June 2015, we had made four trips from the east coast to Leadville with no luck and we did not plan to add to the story, whatever the result of our final trip at the end of June.  However, the presence of the stakes at a precise solution point of the poem prompted us to add these findings to our story and to e-mail Mr. Fenn.  There is still no response.

Our goal in posting our findings is to help someone with a new, or alternative, perspective on the Chase and the poem, perhaps aiding in finding the chest, so that we can all end the obsession, the extra vacation spending, and go back to our lives.  I also made a promise to my wife, and to myself, that the trip this summer would be the last.  I keep promises and putting our interpretations out there to the world is a form of closure.

If this helps in the successful end of the quest, please keep in mind where the information came from (the poem, book, scrapbooks, and us).  The family wouldn’t mind at least a few double eagles.

Go in peace.


92 thoughts on “The Prospect of Leadville…

  1. I had a solve in that area which I have since abandoned. Did two trips searching four days, but no treasure. But someone may be interested in it. Here are the highlights:

    X , the 24th letter, is missing from the poem. The poem has 24 lines and there are 9 clues. We are looking for X.

    WWWH is Ice Mountain. Using Google Earth, if you draw a line from the peak of Ice Mountain 24 dgrees from north, 24 miles long (not far but too far to walk), it stops at Leadville, the home of Molly Brown and there are 9 letters in Leadville. That 24 mile, 24 degree line crosses route 24 and forms a perfect X exactly 9 miles south of Leadville, below the home of Brown. The X is exactly at the entrance of a public fishing area called Kobe. It is in the middle of Hayden Meadows which has “me in the middle” of its name. The X formed by the “lines of 24” sits on the same latitude as French Mountain which is 9 miles west of the X. Kobe is on the Arkansas River. There is a railroad running along the river, a bridge, and high tension electrical lines, all heavy loads and water high.

    I have a GE photo with the labels that I could share, but don’t see how to do it here.

    • Dropbox allows the sharing of photos. Open a free account then put your picture in the folder titled public. Right click on the file you want to share and click share link.

  2. Gotta love Leadville. A word of caution though, mining claims everywhere. I went on a side trip near there and got a little too close to somebody’s claim. I did not see any claim posts or signs of mining but when the first warning shot flew over I knew enough to owl it on out of there. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Blazing…thanks for sharing your story. I, too, love omegas when I search and when “looking at the big picture” (ff has stated you have to look at the big picture, which you did). I also have a few perfect omegas in my search area, although I only search in NM. It’s a shame this was your last boots-on-the-ground search…you now will have to live vicariously through me and others.

  4. We need to remember some of the pics in the scrapbooks were altered by dal. The one with the hat was . I think Forrest only wanted the hat above his head if I am correct the rest dal added . Like the stone and bear . Dal can correct me if I’m wrong .

  5. I would think that if Dal altered any of the pictures, it was because Forrest asked him to do it. right Dal? 🙂

    It’s always interesting to read different solves. Some interpretations of the clues resonate with me. Enjoyed the pictures too Blazin!

    • I asked dal about the hat pic he said he added the stone marker and bear he asked Forrest if he should add the bear and Forrest said yea good idea. Something like that 🙂 cause I was trying to fit them things in my solve but had to know if it was Forrest idea or dals

      • That kind of info is important to many searchers and their solves, like me for instance, 🙂 so I’m very interested in knowing whose idea it was too.

        • WTH??? Thanks for sharing, Diggin.

          CJ is quite correct. I am sure many searchers would be interested if dal would address his involvement in that ScrapBook….and possibly other SB’s as well??

        • Dal, I’m also onboard with this interest as well. I’m still waiting for that bone of information to be thrown out to us as a reward for the part we played in being a good circus act for you good humans. 🙂

          What do ya say? PLeeaassse….

          • While that is really all I used for my solve initially seabee, I find hints in many things Forrest has said and/or had posted on this web site and on Jenny’s site. I know there are many who don’t think there are any hints in the things Forrest posts, but I sure do! 🙂

    • That photo is completely photoshopped by me. There are no hints or clues in it. I will try to recover from some nearly dead brain cells how it all came about but accuracy is a moving target and truth is just a rumor…
      So there may be errors in my recounting…but they are not on purpose…they are because I can’t recall the exact sequence.

      I had this photo of Forrest..
      I don’t remember what it originally looked like..
      He asked me to float the hat above his head a few inches..
      I thought that was a weird request…but who am I to question Forrest.

      I cut him out of the background and found that landscape shot on the web. I believe I flipped it left to right so it would be harder to identify. I floated his hat above his head and in the original photo there was something odd in the shot…I don’t remember what…so I decided to cover it up with that strange looking pillar-stone. I sent the photo to Forrest and he was okay with it so we posted it. A day or two later he asked me to put the bear in there somewhere. I think that had something to do with a comment someone made about bears…being afraid of them…I’m sorry..I can’t remember why . So I found the bear on the web and placed him in the shot a couple of days later.

      I think if you look at the dates on the comments you can tell when the bear showed up…

      So..other than requesting the floating hat and requesting a bear in the shot somewhere…Forrest had no input on the layout or the specific elements..

      That’s all I can squeeze out of my brain …

      • Thanks a bunch Dal! Now all those people who thought the pillar was of special importance, like me for instance, 🙂 we can now focus on just the hat as the primary item Forrest wanted to show in the picture.

        • CJ & Dal, imo photo says the solve is mind blowing! And there’s a bear behind you. Lol
          I’ll take the grizz over snakes all day long DG. You are braver than me when slinging rattlers.

          Be careful out there everyone!

        • Are you suggesting we should ignore that great looking picture of him as a hint. 🙂

          • That is a very nice picture of Forrest isn’t it? The hat without him doesn’t make much sense, but then again, even with him it doesn’t make much sense! 🙂

          • Ken,

            Can’t see it through my tears…haha.
            Thanks for the info….I remember this post but not the specifics.
            Good luck and be safe.
            Thanks again.

      • Hi Dal, thanks for the information! Just to make sure I understand, the pillar/stone in that picture was created by you and placed there. Was that altered by Forrest at all? I always thought that might be a hint in my solve, not sure anymore with this new information.

      • Absolutely outrageous!

        Why are we only now discovering this pretty significant detail?

        What other important details about the scrapbook posts (assumed to be from Fenn) should we know?

          • This is so stupid dal has never lied in fact when I asked about the pic he was straight up honest every time I asked anything who ever posted this crap just don’t do there research in fact maybe that’s what the whole scapbook was about to see who would solve it first ohhhhh hahaha it was me the one Forrest bet on research is the key Be wise and research dal misleads no one .

          • Hmm CB thanx for sharing. I thin forthrightness is imparitive people are spending thousands on trips. So we are sheep to be laughed at REALLY I’M ANNOYED.

            He has blatantly mislead every searcher that spent time studying the images on the site, and has apparently done so with Fenn’s permission! How many hours have been wasted by how many thousands of people, for something Dal thinks is a fun joke?

          • Forrest has never said there was hints in the scrapbooks. The one with the hat and stone marker was really just telling everyone hey here’s my hat let me see yours The hints are in the book 🙂 scrapbooks just for fun .

          • Personally, I find it hilarious. I don’t know how people have failed to realize by now that not everything Mr. Fenn says or writes or the pictures posted on here contain any useful information in locating the treasure. No one has figured out the poem past the first two clues. Why does everyone insist on muddying the already murky waters even more by analyzing every word Forrest says and spending hours studying every nuance of every picture on this blog? If you wanted to know if Dal “tampered” with the photo, all you had to do was ask.

          • I mean really……..That post was about Mildew (his hat) and having a hat contest. It is quite obvious what he is doing which is just having fun. What about the cute dog scrapbook, or the Brad Pitt scrapbook where it is also obvious they are only for fun.

            Can I say all of the scrapbooks contain no helpful information about finding the treasure, no I can’t, but that is my opinion. But for someone to read anything into any of the scrapbooks I mentioned above, and I could list several more, is unbelievable.

        • That’s the only one Milan and you have to ask questions when there posted research everything’ Forrest May of just put that hat on there to just really to have a hat contest and no other reason and he depends on dal to make the pic look good dal does a lot for us on here anything that looks photoshopped just ask questions 🙂 I do . I think Forrest has backed off with the scrapbooks anyway so we should all pretty much stick with the book poem and google earth and a good map dont rely on these scrapbook s I’m thinking there merely for entertainment 🙂

          • Yes, I agree. Question everything, and dig deep into everything Fenn says. Start by knowing what Fenn is actually posting and what others are modifying, innocently or not.

            Searchers like me have way too much time invested in deep research to be blindsided with posts that are not actually Fenn-Genuine.

            I have actually questioned Dal in the past when he posted something that wasn’t clear if it was from Dal or Fenn, and he clarified for me.

            In all fairness, I concede that sometimes mistakes happen, and no harm was intended. I’m actually appreciative of this and the other forums because it lets us share our adventure. I just hope more caution is used in future scrapbook posts (if there are any) so that we can tell Fenn-Genuine vs. Dal-embellishment.

          • It is obvious that Fenn chose the hat, not Dal. Fenn most certainly created the “floating hat” picture for a reason.
            Hat pictures:
            all 3 pics cover of ttotc
            front & back of tftw
            the halo pic of Fenn
            many other pics of ff
            His dad’s fishing hat
            other hats in the books
            the stick men
            yes, I know what they mean…

          • Goofy, People want to believe the SB’s are helpful. Some people want to believe just as strongly they are not helpful. If you notice, I just said that every person on the cover of both books has a hat on. PERHAPS giving some credibility to the floating hat. IMO hat(s) is/are essential to the correct solve.

          • Decall if folks want to “believe” the SB’s or hats, or weenie dogs, or Brad Pitt, or worn out slippers or whatever has something to do with the solution that’s fine. But to accuse Dal or Fenn of deceit about any of the Scrapbooks is something else. Fenn approved the picture manipulation so is Milan accusing Fenn also?

            You are correct Decall, Fenn does talk a lot about hats. What about the one he wears; is that the key to the poem and been right in front of us all along?

            What if after the treasure is found and the solution has absolutely nothing to do with hats……..Is Milan going to accuse Fenn of being misleading? These accusations toward Dal and Fenn are absolutely ridiculous.

          • I always thought the photo with the floating hat was his way of saying “Congrats” to someone. Kind of like “my hat’s off to ya” or tipping his hat, in a congratulatory way.

            The real question is… whom is it meant for. Who knows Decall… it could be you.


        • What is “outrageous” IMO are searchers seeing “clues” in everything. Or is it your so lost and consumed that you can’t get a grip…?

          You stated Milan, “Searchers like me have way too much time invested in deep research to be blindsided with posts that are not actually Fenn-Genuine.”

          The only blindsiding I see … IMO… is searchers Hoping, wishing, grabbing at anything and everything.

          Just like Becky spouting off about other searchers Books… That maybe you forgot this is a “personal blog”, Just like every other blog about the chase. isn’t it your responsibility to decipher what is factual, helpful, fun, entertaining, hint, clue etc.

          Is SB 140 and the “white” bunny outfit a clue as well? Follow the white rabbit Neo.

          Well it must be true I saw it on the internet!


          I mean, What would Santa Claus say about all this whining and pouting?

          I’m gonna go and watch the clock count down, only 30+ days to go. We All Know that’s a big clue. Don’t we?

          Reality is not a TV show.

          • Goofy,

            You wrote: But to accuse Dal or Fenn of deceit about any of the Scrapbooks is something else

            Seriously? Please show me where I accused Dal of deceit, or Fenn for that matter?

            Why is it so difficult for people to believe there are actually “hints sprinkled” throughout his stories – gee, I wonder where I got that inkling?

            Especially when many of the blog posts from Fenn end up in his books, and in one of those books he states there are hints sprinkled if you can recognize them.

            Or, is it your stance that Fenn spends tons of time writing these things that are often very abstract, yet you say they are just for entertainment? Good luck!

          • All of these posts questioning the content of SB’s are absolutely ridiculous…IMO. It is easy to see who thinks Forrest is secretly communicating w/them because they feel they have the whole thing figured out minus the actual hidey spot. Get a good grip folks and just have fun! Remember, the successful poker players rarely show their hands if they do not have to. Just sayin’…But hey, what do I know?

          • “Well it must be true I saw it on the internet!” A sad commentary on todays thinking.

            It’s amazing how gulible and naive people can be. Throw in a a heaping dose of ‘gold fever” and the common sense and critical thinking skills fly immediately out the door.

            Anyone who doesn’t know that Dal and Fenn routinely collaborate on photos presented here hasn’t been paying attention. A perfect example is the cover of the TFTW. Dal took the photo at F’s request and a shadow was added later. But just the other day someone was on here trying to attribute special meaning to “Fenn’s shadow” on the cover. Made me laugh.

            Get a grip people. It’s you choice if you decide to spend time and money looking for the chest. No one else but you is responsible for these decisions and their results.

            Use whatever you want to develop a solution but don’t blame others for the outcome or expended resources.

          • I take this chase serious. I also regard Dal and Goofy etc. as respected friends. My ideas about the poem are credible. Just using pure logic, one could conclude that ONLY A FEW people would understand the hat, the smile, and the wiener dog. The hat IS a common theme in the books. The smile IS a theme in the book. The gravestone is a theme in the book… So I would ask… Dal who’s IDEA was the stone? When it first came up, was it called a gravestone, a stela? What did you type in Google to come up with Stella Lake? (I realize you don’t owe us any explanation)

          • Milan, your argument is moot. How in the World can’t you see this SB was for entertainment… Seriously.

            If you spent countless hours on attempting to pull a clue out of a hat, you should ask yourself… Should I re-read the poem instead?

            JANUARY 2015

            Personality Galore

            You know, I really hate to brag about some of my stuff, especially since Tesuque just won the Blue Ribbon for being the best pet on the internet. But honesty compels me to admit that I possess the most interesting hat on this blog.

            Her name is Mildew. She was given to me by the son of a guy named Dither who hunted coyotes in the Bosque. He was lanky and spoke with a slow kind of drawl that made him look taller. He was wearing the hat when he died, and no one can explain why it exploded from the inside out. Maybe the bob wire hatband had something to do with it. In any case, I’m not going to ever wear the hat.

            I hereby make the assertion that Mildew has more personality than any other hat within word distance of Santa Fe, and I dare anyone to challenge that claim.

          • This is nuts.

            I’ve been attacked for simply pointing out that it bothers me that something published by Fenn may not in fact be from Fenn as represented.

            Apparently, my panties are in a bunch, I’m claiming Fenn and Dal are deceitful, what else can you muster from such a straightforward statement?

            My responses:

            1. I don’t wear panties.
            2. I didn’t imply deceit, at all. In fact, I have the utmost respect and admiration for Mr. Fenn.

            One question I’d like you unfair attackers to answer: does it bother you when someone posts something that Fenn said in the past, with quotes, and it is not what Fenn actually said? Same thing exactly.

          • I’ve been reading your comments from my naive days of being on ChaseChat. The vast majority of them, there, here, and on Miss Kiles site have rarely contributed to the discussion and most have been far too arrogant for my taste. To answer your question, absolutely not. I’ve watched the videos of Forrest, read the interviews he has done, and read his comments. I would never trust someone else quoting Forrest. Read for yourself. Then you’ll know what’s factual.

          • I was going to let this drop Milan but you apparently want to push the issue.

            Milan you wrote: “Seriously? Please show me where I accused Dal of deceit, or Fenn for that matter?”

            You wrote: “Absolutely outrageous! What other important details about the scrapbook posts (assumed to be from Fenn) should we know?

            You wrote on reddit; link furnished by Seabee88 above: He has blatantly mislead every searcher that spent time studying the images on the site, and has apparently done so with Fenn’s permission! How many hours have been wasted by how many thousands of people, for something Dal thinks is a fun joke?

            Absolutely all of the information that is available on the blog has been poisoned by Dal putting out bad information in an attempt to keep thousands and thousands of people from actually finding the treasure. At this point, we have to wonder if there even is a treasure! Or is Dal working only to keep book sales going, for more and more profit?

            I have several more statements by you on other sites people have sent me. You sir are a disgusting trouble maker and you are done here.

      • Noticed my family’s story is not posted under Other’s Adventures. Do you want to just bury it because of the controversy?

      • Dal,

        Why the addition of the strange looking pillar and not a Ford Pinto, door knob or other off the cuff, spur of the moment object.

        The pillar has no significance to the solve? Also, why the zoom feature on the hat?

        Just a few questions in my small brain of the big picture.

  6. It takes a lot of imagination to see the owls and other things. One thing that draws me to the area is Wheeler Mt. It is a mirror image of Wheeler Mt in New Mexico. Each with a Blue Lake. The picture of the hat was with Wheeler Mt Nevada in the background. This is the area of Colorado to search.

  7. We are headed to Leadville in a couple of weeks to do some family history research. My GG Grandfather mined there and was involved in the Great Homestake Mine disaster rescue in 1885. My family knew the Brown’s when they lived in Leadville. I will have to do a little side treasure hunting it sounds like!

  8. Ive also been attracted to leadville the Arkansas river is the scenic route from sante fe to yellow stone so im sure Forrest has taken it many times. Ive been focusing on cache creek its a prospecting area there’s also a cemetery there i did some research on i forgot exactly what site it is but with a bit of digging you can find it i believe its a libraries site there’s not much information available but it says a hoodoo brown was shot and buried in a grave yard above a creek hoodoo brown was the leader of the dodge city gang based only 65 miles from sante fe so that seemed interesting but idk check it out i dont think ill be able to take a trip back out west for a bit but its really interesting. warm waters run into the head waters of the arkansas which if i remember correctly is just around leadville if u follow it down through browns canyon youll be able to find cache creek there isn’t much information about it on the internet but if you keep at it you can gather the information no matter what since ive found leadville everything makes sense to me that its somewhere in that area.

  9. Interesting solve. I lived in Leadville, and worked under ground at one of the mines. The mines east of Leadville ran out of ore and closed one by one. The area east of town was always fun to explore with the old mine ruins, then the EPA made its appearance in town and decided we needed to be saved from ourselves. The lead level in the soil was above any limit that could be tolerated, in spite of the fact that the blood levels of lead in children and adults was not elevated. I guess the EPA did not understand that lead naturally occurs in this area. Almost all of Leadville became a Superfund Site and the cleanup began. Slag piles (black glass like waste from the smelting of ore) were removed, relocated and covered with soil. The area east of town was treated with much less respect. Old cabins and mine head frames came down, and mine shafts and tunnels were sealed shut with concrete, and much of the area was graded to provide drainage. In my opinion Leadville lost much of its history due to the cleanup.
    From you photos, the stakes look like drill steel used in drilling holes in rock. It was not uncommon to use these to mark survey points like mining claim corners. I have always thought Leadville was a possible area because it was the home to Molly Brown.

    • Interesting posts about searching in mining areas. Old Miner, would there be a reason to put the drill steel used as markers in a tight square pattern? I wonder why they mark a spot like that if they are only boundary markers. Your knowledge of the area would be a valuable asset when searching here.

    • I mean that I have seen 4 of these drill steel markers in an area about the size of a log cabin. would that mark out a tiny claim? there was no digging evident within the are.

      • The drill steel in the photo are old. They do have the hole in the center like the bore in a rifle to carry water to the cutting bit to cool and lubricate it and force waste cuttings from the hole. Modern drill steel is usually hexagon in shape and the cutting bits and steels thread together. Now you have me wondering if a person could research the type of drill steel and cutting bits if it could be dated. This might provide additional information about a site.
        In mining areas spent drill steel was handy for a number of uses. The only thing I can think of with the 4 markers in a small area would mark for mining would be the possibility they locate the surface of a lode claim. This is where an ore body is exposed at the surface.

        • Most likely could be dated like many tools are. Research, research. Thanks for the useful info, old miner!

      • They also work great as a ground wire for a radio in very remote locations.

  10. Confession: I am an overthinker.

    “This is probably the advantage of being stupid. Stupid people just do. We tend to overthink. If we could eliminate the “over” and just think, then we could do, too. Only we’d be smarter doers because we’d be thinkers.”
    ― Sarah Strohmeyer

  11. To those that appreciate the time that went into our solve and putting boots on the ground, 5 times, thank you. The storm our solve seems to have created is a good thing for those that put too much emphasis on things not in the poem or TTOTC book, however, our solve had nothing to do with the scrapbook, we’ve had what we believe to be the key, the owl, for 2 years. I only noticed the similarity of the quarry near the omega in our search area to the post of “Mildew” a few weeks ago when putting our story together to make it more visually interesting. Guess I succeeded.

  12. Hello Treasure Hunters,
    I Have ventured here several times in the past for reasons that all do, to check and see where people are searching and their different thoughts and have found many very interesting solves and I too have promised my wife that my last trip to the area was my last.
    That being said, I have still kept the desire inside to research more and keep it somewhat churning in my brain as to why I should search another place or should have searched another place and continue to end up back in the same place I started. Maybe we should step away for some time and let things calm down in our mind, but we cant seem to let go long enough for that to happen, we keep telling ourselves that we are on the verge of the complete solve and keep digging.
    Thank You Dal, for a wonderful site and your passion in the chase. I can not say how much I love what Forrest has done for so many families and the passion we share with the Indian artifacts.
    My trips (3) have been not far from this area and have been through Leadville on one of the trips but only on my way back home. My trips, might I add That I am from 40 miles east of Cincinnati, Ohio, took me to the Aspen, Colorado area. You are wondering now why Aspen? Late one night while I was going over my starting points, I thought to myself, what would separate warm waters from all others and it came to me about 1:00am., Elevation. That’s it, that would separate all warm waters for a starting point, so I started my research as to, where is the highest elevation hot spring in the US and what did I find? Conundrum Hot springs Aspen, Colorado! It wasn’t an easy find from scratch but never the less it is in the Rocky Mountains and a place to start. So I continue on with my findings and the area was a very significant area for riches new and old, Not only that but the fact that the biggest silver nugget ever mined came from that area and it is one of the wealthiest areas today! the rich go there to play and own property. Now, with that I also found the area was heavily occupied by the Ute Indians in the day and a common chant for the people there was The Utes Must Go! Why is it that I must go. And the rest is history as to why they are no longer there. Mining and the riches of the time drove them off of the land for the silver there and pretty much ended with the conflict with Chief Ouray and the Meeker Massacre.
    Now Begin it Where warm waters halt, and take it in the canyon down, is in the direction of and passes by Aspen, Colorado, and from there to Glenwood canyon, and all within a 12 mile trek. Would you know that Aspen, Colorado is what it is today because of a few great people, One being D.R.C. Brown Sr. and D.R.C. Brown Jr. and his wife Ruthie. You see my find had my heart pounding as it is now just thinking about it, that I have found a significant brown no one has spoke of in any of the forums I have visited and I found it, (sound familiar) and without the Browns owning all the property for the ski resorts and snow being the next best thing since gold and silver for the area, Aspen would most likely not be on the map today. Would you know that Ruthie Brown was also very wealthy and was one of the first WASP pilots in WW11 and her husband an old cowboy and the president of Ski Co., Odd that Ruthie and Forrest share the same passion with flying not to mention Ruthie flew over their ranch in Carbondale and spread D.R.C. Browns ashes over it, I think I recall a story of that same thing happening with Olga, and who do millionares hang out with? Millionares. Now with finding the place to put in below the home of brown, digging deeper into this area found that There’ll be no paddle up your creek, just heavy loads and water high, The very first ski lift on Aspen Mountain was a (Boat Tow) they used a mule and a flat bottom boat to pull riders to the top of the mountain. Now on display at the historical society. Now my blood is really pumping! Many things were lining up with all of the history I have acquired in this journey. In reading I found many talk about the heavy loads the ski resort and lifts have and would you know that the heaviest silver nugget around 2000 pounds, and came from up the creek at Smuggler Mine. Water high has been brought up many times as to where they get their water from snow melt.
    Now like I said I made 3 trips up conundrum creek trail, first to find that I had chosen the wrong time, the higher we went the more snow to get to an area about 10000 ft. that I had found an area that was very interesting to me on google earth, the area had a blaze on the North side of a pine tree, on the East side of the creek is an area of about 20 to 30 acres that has been cleared, Why I asked has this Been Cleared and to top it off the current image is covered with snow but if one will go back to 2011 and view the area is cleared and looks like a peace pipe if turned one way, looks like and Indian face if turned another with a huge Y that the Indian is looking at !, my heart is racing to this day as to what I had found!
    If perhaps you have read this far, please go look at what I am referring to and convince me that I am not crazy please. The Indian face is in the creek line, you will see a huge Y, and it looks as if he is looking up with an open mouth Marvel gaze. The nose area is actually a snow bridge over the creek. But Tarry scant with marvel gaze, when I looked up tarry found that it means stay, stay shy of, or extend your stay and scant means shy of, stay shy of marvel gaze to me meant take the chest and go in peace and a y is a peace sign
    and the chest area of The Indian is the only real safe place to cross the Cold creek. Believe me, no one will stumble over there for no reason!
    First trip I took my sons with me, we took many pictures to analyze later and had to call of the trip, to much snow and too dangerous to go where we wanted to go. On the tip of the Indians nose, if you look at the image, is an X on the West bank of the creek, and is only real assessable from the chest area of the Indian face.
    My take on this was, this was the blaze, I could not figure why someone would clear this area to look like this? But I do believe his secret is a magnificent place, and on my last trip found that an Avalanche has cleared the area again and will continue to do it for years to come and would you know there is a small waterfall right there.
    I couldn’t figure how Forrest, at his age could do this trip 2 times in an afternoon from his car and only thought that he could have done it easier if on horseback? It tried to kill me at 50,Not to mention the only transport up that trail is Hiking and horseback and thousands of people a year, go up to the hot springs to bath nude and smoke pot? Long journey to take a bath naked ! and smoke Pot but who am I to judge? Its all I could do to hike it in a day one way and we pass older people jogging up this mountain like nothing!
    My second and the last trip was with a dear friend of mine that I can not thank enough for going on this crazy journey with me in the middle of nowhere and he has had the misfortune of being diagnosed with cancer in his bladder and soon facing a difficult surgery to remove it.
    I think we all want to keep it secret where we are going and what we have found in this Its a Mad Mad World treasure hunt, but I am blessed to have been able to do such a crazy thing, 3 times mind you, and can at least say I have been on a real treasure hunt and Wow what fun we have had together doing so.
    After all the trips to the area and finding out how far it is up that creek to the site, I didn’t find what I wanted but still have strong feelings as to the starting point and hope that if this helps someone along their way I may have saved someone some time and effort and maybe the starting point they were looking for! I would love to meet Forrest Fenn and hope that the treasure be found before his passing and someone ask me to be a part of his funeral to deliver him to his special place of resting. I bet it is a beautiful place.
    To top this all off this area is known for past treasure, yep, treasure mountain is named for just that, its close to Marble, Colorado and rumor has it, its still there for the taking, Old and New?
    This world needs more great men like Forrest !
    I would have never seen what I did, if it hadn’t been for this chase and that’s the real beauty in it !
    Thank You Forrest Fenn, and Dal Neitzel
    Happy Hunting All,

    • Wow Kelly just Wow!!! I hope if someone finds it there they give you some credit and maybe toss you a coin or two 🙂

    • Wow Too – Kelly !!

      I wish you would send that to Dal and include some of your photos – I would love to see them.

      Thank You for a great post.

    • Not a problem, We’ll just consider it an overthought rather than a forgot. 🙂

  13. Wow to the hole page of comments. what is the link to your book Wolf. I have been to treasure mountain and seen the marble mine. There is another treasure hidden there per myth or truth who knows. But I went there searching for the first hoard. I believe whether you believe in what ever it is that drives you. I love Colorado I was born here. So being native and spending 23 years in the NW I missed a lot of area in the state. Still It is so awesome to hear all your spec’s on places I have seen in my life. You have a way of getting to the core of your solves and sharing them here. Great entertainment and who knows aspen for warm waters leadville CO, for brown Mr brown was, If I remember right the master of silver not gold but one never knows history is so messed up. I know what really matters but I just cant figure it all out. and I love the big picture but I’m still lost on the beginning. I thought I was there for sure but that darn treasure wasn’t. Only because I’m not in Forrest Fenn’s mind. I think that might be a blessing. I may never sleep if I was. To busy for my mind. Anyway thanks for all the comments there was a spot in there I thought I would never get through. Good luck and good times to all just the same. Oh yea don’t sweat the small stuff well maybe that box full of gold beckoning us to recover its substance and beauty. Good days and nights to you all J B

  14. “For those of you that think there have been no hints in The Thrill of The Chase or scrapbooks, we would, respectfully, disagree in view of some of the examples already set forth above.”

    Oh right, so because you can use a schizophrenic reading of the books to make an argument a place contains the treasure, those clues must be valid and the books must contain hints? Where’s the treasure then if you’re so right?

    • ff has said the TTOTC book contains hints. If you do not like, or see, our interpretations of the clues in the poem and the images found in the book, or similar elements in the images that we believe are found at our search site and are described in the poem, then you never have to use them on one of your vacations. We never said we found the chest, only that if you are trapped trying to find unworkable mathematical or anagram solutions, maybe you should look at the pictures on the pages and in your mind. Go in peace.

      • Also, forgot to list, you should look at the pictures that can be found in nature. Go in peace.

  15. Hi again to all the hunters,
    I have been really busy with work a didn’t get a chance to add a few more, what I believe to be very important parts to my last comment, I would have to go back to my pages of notes about all that led me to the Aspen area but 1 why (Y) was( as)added to the poem, It was not needed? As (Aspen)? So why is it(Y) do we look for the Y instead of the X? Down where the trail head starts ( conundrum creek trail 1981) if I recap was the trail number, is a bodhi retreat center, that has been there for many years, and ran by a woman named Marta, if one looks up a double omega you will find that the bodhi also us a double omega but in a different form, it is a 3 with an s attached to the right of the upper omega, very interesting! We may be looking for the wrong double omega or perhaps Marta’s place could be it ? Forrest did say in an interview that he was not religious but one of the most spiritual people you will ever find! Does he study bodhi?
    Let’s take this in the big picture and just keep it simple and that is what I have tried to do and let the poem lead me to the place, so when I did do all of the research on the area and found out all that I did that lead to DRC Brown and the ski area at Ajax, I also found Ruthie’s run on the mountain, named for Ruthie Brown and that the original lift is still standing. Now where I am from a run is a small creek and a boat tow on the run took the place of no paddle up your creek? And if you stop and think for a second, a ski lift would make up the end is ever drawing nigh, it is always returning to where it started! And would you know that on that same mountain is a ski run named the blaze! Let me tell you that Aspen, Colorado to me was no place for the meek, and would it be a little crazy to hide a treasure right there somewhere? Let me explain crazy, me thinking this area and Forrest hiding several million dollars.
    OK now that a few more of the crazy ties have been let out let’s also look at the fact that Nathan Meeker was also appointed Indian agent of the area with somewhat hostile Indians wanting to keep their summer grazing area and Meeker trying to force them to farm, that would also be no place for the meek.
    Old maps of the area show water towers on the ski resort but if I recall were on topos.
    There is a mine on that ski resort and DRC Brown Sr. Built a dam and generator station and delivered electric to the mine.
    Weather you think I am crazy or not, I don’t think I will ever be able to go back again with all that is going on in my life right now and have given my location and thoughts freely to anyone out there looking for a good place to start. Forrest and Ruthie shared the same occupation, conundrum hot springs is the highest elevation hot springs in the US Rockies, conundrum, does mean an unsolved mystery! It does have a canyon down, Glenwood canyon, if you are brave and in the wood, all the rich people in Aspen and Aspen is a wood. And this place is cold and hail is likely every evening in the mountains.
    Chief Ourays wife’s name was Chipita, it means white singing bird.
    What does white bird in a nest mean?
    DRC Browns actual home was somewhere around Carbondale, couldn’t find actual site.
    Conundrum creek leads to Castle creek to Roaring fork to Colorado River and past Meeker, Colorado
    I’m not trying to convince anyone of this spot or area, but the poem took me there and left me broke and not able to continue.
    Happy hunting all.

    • kelly, I really believe you were on to something here. I have also been looking online at the Aspen Idea, and the Ruthie Brown connection. just wondering if you have been able to follow up on any of your leads?

      • Angie, I have so much research from that area that I feel we all make a place work for us! It isn’t just the research, but the poem that gave me the start. That being said, with the exact area I have searched, F. Could not do two trips to in a day. However he could do a portion up to an old cabin that is next to the trail two times in an afternoon. There was a metal marker, I believe to be survey marker on a pine tree off a distance from the cabin to the right side of the trail. I took pictures and can not read any of the numbers on the plate.
        Three trips to the area, and a slipped clue in an interview with Forrest back when Randy went missing, put an x in my continued search in the area. Forrest mentioned he could smell pinion and pine nut in the area!
        Pinion pine doesn’t grow in the area to the best of my knowledge.

  16. Just stumbled upon this site, looking for something else online. I am very fimiliar with Forrest Finn’s poem, I too obsessed over it for the first few years it was published. Anyone going to leadville, in search of the treasure feel free to contact me, I live in Denver metro, however I own property in Leadville that I use for camping, prospecting, and shooting, feel free to hit me up if your looking for a hunting partner and place to camp.

          • I’d love to take you up on that offer if it still stands? I’m in east Lakewood (Edgewater) and I was intrigued by the possibility of Leadville except my theory involves an area a little southeast of there. E-mail me at mara.grace at live dot com. I’m not in any rush to plan a trip, as I’d like to do some further research on good places to search and gather tools/supplies for the chase. It’s been a long time since I’ve been camping lol

  17. Here is the song “My Blue Heaven” which Fenn mentions that he hums in scrapbook 98 which seems to support your theory. It has a Molly in it, an indication of blaze and hints at a “nest” similar to dove in nest at end of Thrill of Chase book. Good luck. It also has a fireplace in it which some people have theorized is important to the chase.

    Whippoorwills call, evenin’ is nigh
    Hurry to my Blue Heaven
    Turn to the right, there’s a little white light
    Will lead you to my Blue Heaven

    You’ll see a smilin’ face, a fireplace, a cozy room
    Little nest that nestles where the roses bloom

    Molly and me, and the baby makes three
    We’re happy in my, in my Blue Heaven


    You’re gonna see a smilin’ face, fireplace, cozy room
    And a little nest nestled where the roses bloom

    Just Molly and me, and the baby is three
    We’re so happy in my Blue Heaven
    We’re happy in my Blue Heaven
    We’re happy in my Blue Heaven!

Comments are closed.