Forrest Gets Mail – 8


In this email from Forrest to a fact-checker for a Outside Magazine, Forrest answers some questions you may have been wondering about yourself. The story is in the September 2015 issue and not all these “facts” made it into the final story. You can find the finished story by Peter Frick-Wright on the Media Coverage Page of this blog.


How old were you when you were a fly-fishing guide? Where was that?
I was about 13 and it was in and around Yellowstone Park.

How old will you be on August 15? What year were you born?
I will be 85 on August 22, 2015. I was born in 1930.

How old were you and what year did you join the Air Force?
I was 20 and I joined the AF on 6 Sept. 1950.

What happened the second time you were shot down in Vietnam? How were you rescued?
I ejected from my burning F-100 near the DMZ in Laos. I was rescued by a helicopter the next day, which was 21 Dec. 1968.

When were you discharged from the Air Force, and when did you move to Santa Fe?
I retired from the AF at the end of September 1970 and moved to Santa Fe in the summer of 1972.

When and how did your father pass away?
My father had terminal pancreas cancer and was given 6 months to live. He refused to take any pills for pain, and eighteen months later he took 50 sleeping pills. He died on 8 Feb, 1987.

Can you explain your first plan for the treasure, before your cancer went into remission? How did your disease impact the plan for the treasure? And why and when did you start it up again?
I don’t know what you mean by “first plan.” When I was told that I had a 20% chance of living 3 years I decided to take some of my things with me. My plan was to let my body go back to the earth at the place where I hid the treasure. When my cancer went into remission I decided to hide the treasure anyway.

How many people would you estimate have gone out looking for the treasure?
Based on the number of emails I have received I estimate that by the end of this summer (summer of 2015) 100,000 people will have been out searching.

Have you narrowed the search area for the treasure?
Yes, I said the treasure is hidden in the Rocky Mountains at least 8 miles north of Santa Fe, excluding Utah, Idaho, and Canada. I have said it is above 5000’ and below 10,200.

You told P* that, considering some of the lengths people have gone searching for the treasure, your story has turned into a monster.
I did not expect the story to get as big as it has, nor did I expect a few searchers to go to such great lengths in the hunt.

You’ve said repeatedly that the treasure isn’t in a dangerous place, and searchers shouldn’t look anywhere you couldn’t have gone.
That is true. There is no percentage in searching where a 79, or 80 year old man could not carry the treasure.

78 thoughts on “Forrest Gets Mail – 8

  1. Thanks Dal and Forrest! Hope you both have nice Sundays! I didn’t understand the last sentence though if anyone could explain it, that would be awesome. It seems like another word should have been used in place of “percentage”.

    “There is no percentage in searching where a 79, or 80 year old man could not carry the treasure.”

    • Carolyn-
      This from the Merriam Webster on-line dictionary:

      no percentage informal
      — used to say that something should not be done because there is no chance that it will produce a good result
      There’s no percentage in arguing with them. They’ll never change their minds.

      • I was just about to respond to Carolyn but you beat me to it Dal! Thanks to Forrest for sending this email It’s always good for us long time searchers to refresh ourselves with these bits of information and some searchers may never have heard/read all these facts previously which gives a good timeline to some of the events in Forrest’s life.

  2. I read on the internet that Douglas Prestons book Codex was based on your life. would you say this is accurate .

  3. Thanks, you guys. Starts off sounding like a deposition, but it’s good to get precise and accurate answers (for the newer searchers.) Fact checker sounds like an interesting position. Treasure finder would be more interesting, IMO.

    If you’re on a roll, Forrest, I look forward to your more humorous “Forrest Gets Mail.”

    All the best!

  4. Thank you,mr. forrest. my birthday was august 12th,so happy birthday to you on august 22nd. hope you have a wonderful day.much love to you and your family.

  5. Just an observation:

    Interesting how he changed formats when giving date of his birth then military related dates. This might show the influence his military career still holds over him.

    Then telling of his retirement time very casually, might show him giving up this influence by not giving a specific date… perhaps showing his freedom in a way.

    Then he went back to his military training when giving date his fathered passed. Perhaps showing a disciplined influence his father still holds over him, perhaps out of respect for him.

    All done subconsciously I suppose. I just thought it all very interesting.


  6. Now that’s some old mail. I never thought that my 2 cents would take 4 stamps. Days gone bi. There’s always a happy ending when you use Fed Ex.

  7. I am just thankful he did not rest with his treasure and has been given the gift of time with hi wife and family. he has taught us so much about living our lives for some greater good.

  8. You told P* that, considering some of the lengths people have gone searching for the treasure, your story has turned into a monster.
    I did not expect the story to get as big as it has, nor did I expect a few searchers to go to such great lengths in the hunt. f

    I would love to have him elaborate on this? I wonder if the few searchers climbed cliffs or was their ideas that intrigued him?

  9. And some people get mail from Forrest (taken from TreasureNet) —


    Congratulations on your success!

    I want to thank you for returning both bracelets, I received them Saturday as you already know. I would have been happy to get the one back that many people have heard me mention but getting the other one back too, has me overjoyed. As you wished, I’m sending you signed copies of my books by Fed Ex Monday or Tuesday and a little something extra for your extra thoughtfulness.

    I am happy to hear you have chosen to keep the specific location of the chest a secret and have decided not to go to the media. You are probably correct, if the location was revealed, I would probably get a fine for littering/dumping the treasure in the woods with things being the way they are today. I agree, the treasure site would see so much foot traffic and media attention if revealed, it would destroy the beauty of the area in short order. I seriously doubt anybody will know the location based on the photo you posted online.

    If you do post this email reply on that forum, most wouldn’t believe you anyway like you said. As far as going to the media myself, I’m going to continue to go on that the treasure is still out there and hidden and as of today it is still out there ‘someplace.’ I will also consider your offer of buying the treasure back for a cash dollar amount as well. Thank you again for returning the bracelets and I wish you all the best.

    Keep in touch, your friend.

    Forrest Fenn

    (number omitted as for forum rules)

      • If the TC had been found Mr. Fenn would announce that. He knows that a lot of people are spending a lot of time and money looking for it.

        • Agree. I don’t think he would say all that gibberish . Whatever little I know of him, all I can hear him say is ” let,s meet.” f 🙂

    • And yet again…. absolutely no proof of retrieval… Not even close up a pic of the chest at the location or even sitting on a coffee table safe and sound in the home of the finder.

      Man, there are some bored crazies in this World !!

    • What a clown……I mean really.

      If someone found the chest and wanted to stay anonymous and keep the location a secret but wanted to let everyone know it had been found; it would be very easy to do. Simply send a picture of the chest and some of the items inside setting on a recent newspaper/magazine etc. to Dal or me. The picture will be posted and all the Photoshop experts here can have a look at it.

      Very simple to prove if someone really found it……But these hair ball drama queens show up every year with their battleship mouths and row boat butts claiming to have found it.

      • I believe Forrest will be the one to announce the find. He is the one all will believe and there would be no need for photoshop experts or anything else. I believe that he has things in place to somehow prove that the chest really was hidden and really is found when the time comes. Until then IMO we should ignore all other claims pictures or no pictures. Forrest is in control.

    • This is so phony that it is laughable. It fails on so many levels I hope that no one even thinks for a moment that it is genuine. It doesn’t have even one syntactic similarity to ANYTHING that FF has said or written that even an observant kid would doubt its authenticity. Is this the same “chad” that claimed he had the treasure two years ago?

      • This sort of thing makes me SICK. Hasn’t someone done this before (like X3 people) ? Lame.

    • Out of all that mail that Forrest gets and using my absolute best opinion that I have, I would imagine that Forrest would have used the United States Postal Service to ship his signed books.

  10. Hahaha. More nuts that an airforce mechanic’s workshop. I know a few more of ya are contemplating August 22nd as a potential new clue release lol. He made it to 85; it seems he makes sure it’s found before his passing so family wood restoration business continues to grow with publicity.

    • Forrest said no more clues, right? There are people saying that he is going to take out another state. I don’t believe he would do that. Unless he is changing his mind? Possible I guess.
      A month ago, I brought up Wash. being on the Rocky Mountain Map. But than I said no, because its not in the search area on forrests map. Another reason I don’t think he would do this. His search area maps would that be all wrong and confuse people. Especially people who do not read the blogs. Like me, I don’t read much anymore. HE would have to reprint the book and
      state what state is out. So no…..I don’t think this will happen. IMO Anyone else want to weight in on this? Dal?

      Lou Lee, a treasure hunter from whoville.

      • Calibrations of consciousness reveal it’s in NM so one can verify through testing. The calibrations bypass the conceptual mind and arrives at revealing the truth of the essence of the field itself. It’s a great tool people can use to find anything. Missing car keys, passports, children, terrorist cells, spies, corporate crooks, you name it. I think he’ll hone in on an affirmation relative to the context of search locations that people within 500 feet would recognize.

  11. I like how he reiterated that the treasure is below 10,200 feet, unlike what I recently read somewhere on this site that he mentioned it’s below 10,000 feet in some interview. The link was no good, so I wasn’t able to listen to that interview.

    Anyway, maybe he just misspoke in that interview when he stated 10,000 feet.
    Or, people can read into that mistake even more, by thinking he realized the mistake, and needed to correct it because the chest is located above 10,000 feet. Which could possibly mean he narrowed down the location of the chest to between 10,000 and 10,200 feet.
    Makes me wonder. Of course, that all depends on if he actually stated in an interview that it’s below 10,000 feet. Either way, the most recent FF statement was in the above email, stating 10,200 feet.

    I always wondered why he picked 10,200, and not 10,000 feet, or 10,500 feet. Then I realized the elevation contour lines on a map go by 200’s. So, since he said 10,200 feet, instead of 10,000 feet, I always believed that there is a good chance that the chest is located between 10,000 and 10,200, in my opinion.

    Anyway, I haven’t been too up to date on reading this blog, so if I missed anything, I apologize.

    • 10,200 more than likely refers to the number of first edition copies sold of Ulysses during its first run.

      • Some clarity around this now that I’m back at a computer and not trying to type on a phone… 10,200 likely refers to the number of first print-run copies in America by Random House and Cerf.

    • Around my favorite adventure spot at 10,200 is a beautiful scenic view through aspens. I heard big cracking branches and knew a bear was walking through the bakery below. Cattle were ranging in the area below but they don’t sound like that in the wood I assure you. I confirmed my hearing with a rancher on the way out. He had a great story of a blackbear encounter. The ranchers name was Danny and his sidekick was a red heeler. He drove a four wheeler and at one point offered to trade it for my Brand new Toyota Tacoma.

  12. Mister Fenn

    Really hope your NOT going to release any clue or hints on your birthday.

    Taking the extraordinary and turning it into the ordinarily………

    Otherwise why would anyone want to do this? Generally people who want things to be easy are lazy people.

    There’s time for charity (Happy Birthday) then there work, start digging:)

    Working and playing is the best:)


      • The Today Show on 8/20 is airing out of New Mexico.

        You may just get your wish………….

        • Dal, is there a connection between what Rick purports and a pending announcement of some kind concerning the search?

          • Under the impression some people want things to be given…………..

            While others believe things need to be earned.

            That’s 2 different philosophies at work here.

            if after 5 years you don’t know this about Fenn……

            Stephanie on CC was asked to be on the Today Show on 8/20.

            The chest is still out there. Will there some of kind of clue announcement?

            Silence was the word………

  13. Just found Forest’s poem & story. I have many memories from growing up & up Texas & New Mexico. From fishing in the snow melt streams to finding arrowheads & more! I’ll have to read his books. I already have my treasures & memories. Thanks

  14. My 12yr old, daughter wants to say – “Happy Birthday Mr. Fenn! ” She really enjoyed speaking with you briefly on the phone for her school project in the Spring. You’ve made quite the impact – getting her away from the electronics for our trip to the Rockies.

    God Bless!

    Mike from Wisconsin

  15. Happy Birthday Forrest!!! Maybe someone will send you that turquoise bracelet for your birthday. Have a wonderful day!

  16. Some fun coincidences…

    This post from F follows a similar format from an “episode” in James Joyce’s Ulysses (Joyce switched between several formats making Ulysses difficult to read). Of interest is that this format, Q&A or catechism, is found in the “Ithaca” episode, Joyce’s favorite.

    There are of course multiple reasons this is of interest (to someone weird like me) including Ithaca Greece (where Ulysses/Odysseus was king and trying to return home), using a bit of imagination, looks like a notched pinetree corners arrowhead. “Pinetree Corners” was a sign hugged by Linus, was suggested by Shulz this is where Charlie Brown was rumored to live until Shulz clarified otherwise. Dot Island in Yellowstone Lake also looks like an arrowhead.

    Perhaps more interesting about Ulysses’ Ithaca is that it ends with Bloom laying down after his curious day. When F was talking about taking it with him, I imagine him working through this same detailed process on his final approach, between the 44th / 45th Parallel, angling just so. Ithaca ends with a question. “Where?” It is answered with a big dot, which lit analysts suggest could mean “QED” or “problem solved”. This same stylistic dot is, coincidentally, how F ends each of his chapters in TTOTC.

    Looking through a few of these answers, I’d like to point out a few more fun coincidences.


    Q: Have you narrowed the search area for the treasure?
    A: Yes, I said the treasure is hidden in the Rocky Mountains at least 8 miles north of Santa Fe, excluding Utah, Idaho, and Canada. I have said it is above 5000’ and below 10,200.

    My weird analysis:
    1) F said (paraphrasing) the treasure was more than 66,000 links north of Santa Fe. People have calculated this to be ~8.25 miles. Here’s a link to a fun coincidence about Ulysses and 66,000.

    2) F said (paraphrasing) the treasure is below 10,200 feet. In the US, the first-run printing of Ulysses after the ban was lifted was printed by Random House. Coincidentally, the first-run count reached 10,200.

    3) F said (paraphrasing) the treasure is above 5,000 feet. Coincidentally, the first-run printing count of F’s was 5,000.


    Q: What happened the second time you were shot down in Vietnam? How were you rescued?
    A: I ejected from my burning F-100 near the DMZ in Laos. I was rescued by a helicopter the next day, which was 21 Dec. 1968.

    My weird analysis:
    F states in TTOTC (paraphrasing) that on 22 Dec. 1968 he visits his waterfall where then he stumbled across a grave marking reflecting a very similar epitaph as H. L. Mencken’s suggested epitaph. While working on The Smart Set, Mencken published various writings of Joyce’s and several of the names F mentions in his book (Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edna St. Vincent Millay), as well as hung out in the same crowds. This crowd included an artist/poet/author known as “Blaise Cendrars” wrote of his own Trans-Siberian odyssey and was well associated with John Dos Passos (up sh** creek without any paddle). There is definitely a muse and a theme upon which F calls, pre-WWI, pre-WWII, pre-Vietnam… even now, including in his new book about Gaspard.

    Why does any of this matter and how does it relate to the poem? Once one begins linking the book, the scrapbooks, the contents of the chest, and his story to Ulysses, a sort of “aha” starts to occur with how all of this information relates to locations at Yellowstone Lake.

  17. Forrest you made the following comment:

    I ejected from my burning F-100 near the DMZ in Laos. I was rescued by a helicopter the next day, which was 21 Dec. 1968

    I was station at NKP Thailand and was just wondering if it was one of our

    “Jolly Greens” that picked you up?

  18. Here’s a good one:

    Dear Forrest;
    Would you like me to go get the treasure? I know exactly where it isnt?

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