20 Seconds of Holy Cow…


by dal…


The last time I walked this stretch of the Madison I got caught out in the open in a fast moving thunderstorm where I was the tallest object around and perfectly grounded while I was knee-deep in river water. The surprise storm brought a moody darkness and a chilling wind that did nothing to make me feel comfortable. Lightning has always scared the daylights out of me and I couldn’t decide whether I was safer staying in the river or hugging the flat grassy shoreline in soaking wet clothes. Another conundrum!

Just as I was moving out of the river a powerful bolt of searing white light exploded into the ground a mere football field away from me and up on the bank. The attack was so loud that I couldn’t hear it. My brain only registered it as a very strong pressure wave that pushed against my skeleton and then set my whole body tingling from the electrically charged air. I couldn’t imagine a worse place to be stranded. I was trying to remember the facts about lightening that I learned at the science museum in Boston many years ago. Nothing surfaced in my clogged brain except the point that a lightning bolt could discharge about a BILLION volts in less than a second.

The back part of my brain where hundreds of generations of prehistoric learning resides, took over. I decided to head for the spot where the lightning hit the ground. It would certainly be the odds-on safest little plot in the valley since everyone knows that lightening never strikes twice in the same spot. It must be true! Please let it be true!

The only flaw in that plan was the 100 yards of open space I had to cover to get to the safe spot. The back part of my brain was screaming at me to move quickly…but not to run…”and why not run”, I asked the rear of my brain which was now in charge? “Because”, it answered, “running will attract the attention of the storm.” At the time it made perfect sense and I walked quickly but did not run.

The storm passed as suddenly as it had appeared. Before I even got to the safe spot the lightening was a mile away and the rain and wind had both quit to an eerie and uncomfortable stillness.

Then, in a flash, sunshine and warmth descended from heaven and the place looked like a rocky mountain dreamland again. My fears were washed away and forgotten.

That was a couple years ago..

Today I was revisiting that spot because I had the sense that I was not completely together when I was here last and I probably missed searching in areas about the size of Rhode Island. I wanted to come back and look again..with all my wits…

So here I was walking the river..back and forth in areas where my sight overlapped. Every inch in every 100ft column would be looked at twice from different directions. I knew how to search..what I wasn’t sure about was what in the heck I was searching for..a blaze of some kind..a mark or geological remnant or device that would be around for a hundred or more years…semi to fully permanent. As I approached the bank of the river on pass number 117 I saw something odd in a foot of clear water about three feet out…


Click to open larger, uncropped image

Just sitting there. It was about ten inches on each side and about five inches high. Is that a latch? Is that thing made of bronze? It’s not supposed to be in water!!!!

I grabbed my camera and took a set of pictures.

I put the camera down and leaped into the water straddling the object. I bent down and touched it gently…rough, not smooth…I dug at the gravel around it with my fingers…deeper than five inches…much deeper…

Not the chest…

A concrete pier.

But it gave me an exciting moment..twenty seconds of HOLY COW!!!


112 thoughts on “20 Seconds of Holy Cow…

      • No that I see what you was talking about when we met. I can see the excitement this could entice ones heart into a sense of urgency. I felt it when you told the story to me in person. Wow is right on target. Holy cow well for that guy I saw him fly by last night. Now I know where he came from. I just have to figure out where he is headed. Great pic to bring your story to life for me. Thanks for the uplift it Dal it put a smile on my face. J B

  1. 🙂 best title ever! Thanks for reminding us what anticipation feels like at elite levels of intensity. Dang. I haven’t felt this one myself since the only time I ever really saw santa and I was only 5 or 6 then needless to say he too disappeared before I could touch him…but my heart races just thinking about it! If there’s any way you happen to have any video of your initial/actual “pounce” for the chest- I would pay really good money to watch it 🙂 congrats on the rush!

  2. HA!!! You were almost the blaze….That’s a great picture.

    WAIT!! This is a clue. So the blaze is a real lightening bolt. Nah, that’s not logical. I got it……Send me the original photograph I need to burn it. Wait, how’s that going to work if the original is on flash card. Forget about that.

    Time to get out the Lewis and Clark decoder ring…….

    • Goof!! Don’t do it!! The original
      IS on flash card!! NITRATE flash paper….and it’s the OASIS decoder set on B-4! Lime in the coconut! LIME IN THE COCONUT!!! Remain in sandwich formation and favor flashing lights over paddles.

      See you on the other side of time!! Hasta Banana!!

      P.s. Really though….did you notice that dal was near water? That made me think of “Brown” like Brown trout! Has anyone ever mentioned that??

      ^^100% FACT^^

      • Jamie, “has anyone ever mentioned that?”…
        Only about 1000X!
        Brown trout, bear, buffalo, cabin, caddis, grass, Joe Brown, Ranger Brown, heck I even think someone said Buster Brown. Maybe it was Goofy. They had them back in his days. (Just kidding, Goofy!)
        Great story, Dal! Loved it! I was caught up in a storm last month, prob same one. Sat in my jeep for an hour.
        Glad you had a good “Holy Cow” moment. If it were me, it would be more than a “cow”, but this IS a family friendly site.
        I’m up early, excited to roam south from Gardiner to Old Faithful area on my search. Re-checking old search spots, like you did. I keep thinking, “WAS I one of those who got within 200ft?”.
        Then, poss headed to CO, yes Colokid, I have a spot there, after searching a few SE WY areas.
        Everyone have a safe day, and remember…ALWAYS LOOK DOWN!
        ¥Peace ¥

        • Good luck donna! Btw, the statement about needing only the last clue, I believe you were searching for is not in a video. I believe it was a question to forrest on jenny MW site from a searcher named serge. I remember the answer…
          Just one serge, the last one. f
          But don’t quote me! 🙂

          • Here IT is… 7/04/14…Mysterious Writings:
            Forrest, What’s the minimum number of clues that we need to solve to find the treasure, assuming that we follow the clues in order? `Serge Teteblanche

            Just one Serge, the last one.f

          • Thx wiseone.
            Now, is that last clue indulgence?
            Ending clue? And why? Why IS Indulgence the last clue? Hypothetically…
            It’s name? Age? Design, material, contents, color, etc…

            And why, at one time was it Tarzan prior to indulgence? Why was it changed? I cannot recall this discussion unless it’s on CC which I lose after 3 seconds…


            Forrest, why did you change the name of indulgence from its previous tarzan?

          • Hey JDiggons… (Typo but it stays…:) You can also get “End Clue Gin”. Hmmm Gin taste like pine needles?

          • Geez spallies, I drank enough last weekend! Lol!
            Gin, I used to play gin with my grandfather…hmmm..
            Veddy, Veddy innnturresting! 🙂

          • Made with juniper berries.
            Juniper is such a beautiful and varied species. I love the outside…but the inside is mean. 🙂

  3. Dal, fun story – glad to hear you lived through it – otherwise, how would we know it happened? Hmmmmm.

    Our local rocket club was launching one summer afternoon a few years back and a squall blew in, so we packed up our gear and were standing under a pavilion waiting out the rain and just chewing the fat when we witnessed a lightening strike about 120 yards out in the middle of our recoevery field (otherwise known as some soccer fields). Were we ever glad we excerised caution as the weather turned, as we had only been standing there maybe 10 minutes or so enjoying some cold drinks. Some may have been spilled when the report registered in our brains. 🙂

    Like you, we were curious and after the rain had dissipated we walked out to the strike area and found little glass balls from the sand melting and the air had distinct aroma about it. Close enough for me – as they say.

  4. Dal, where is the rest of the cement pier and why was there a cement pier there in the first place?

    • Carolyn..
      Just a guess but it might have been used as either a pier for a wooden dock…or…maybe it was used as an anchor to hold something in place…like an intake pipe or ????
      There are some old buildings near by…

  5. Great story Dal thanks for the memory- picture reminds me of a friend mining in a river and coming across a small 1 foot square section of virgin gravel that had not been mined by the pioneers. Before lunch he had 4 pounds of gold to show for it. Goes to show the old timers didn’t get it all. This comment has nothing to do with this chase so really isn’t an opinion.

    • Ghost-
      I left it there..maybe you can go find that one..
      I didn’t look underneath it…maybe it’s Forrest’s blaze… 🙂

  6. Wow – What a picture! I probably would have had a heart attack if I had seen that pier – it sure looks like the chest. Your lightning story is scary. People do die every year from lightning strikes so there’s good reason to be terrified when a storm like that blows in. Stay safe out there peeps!

    • Almost better than coffee. I almost fell off my stool. Made my heart skip a beat before it started double pumping.

  7. Reminds me of Forrest’s comment,
    “The treasure is not hidden in a dangerous place in the normal definition of the word, realizing that there probably is no place on this planet that is safe under all conditions.” It can get real scary in the Rockies in a heartbeat. I had to chuckle though at the thought of Dal running through the river and leaping onto the “chest” when he is always so quick to remind people that a stream or river is an unlikely place to find it. I am glad you still feel the thrill Dal! p.s. My great grandmother was struck by lightning on three different occasions and she lived to be over 100 years old, she was one tough lady.

    • I remember reading a story about a ranger in the Smokey Mountains who had been struck by lightening multiple times and lived to tell each story….maybe it won’t always kill you but if the bolt didn’t kill me I am certain the heart attack immediately after the experience would…

  8. Glad to hear you survived, what tales you have to tell. I know you thought that was the chest, it looked like it to all of us also. Stay away from all of that lightning and keep all of the searches coming. Be careful out there do not take any wooden nickels…… Ms Girl Still in the chase LOL

  9. Wow! That picture is crazy. And ha! Don’t run because it will attract the attention of the storm. That makes sense in a weird sort of way.

  10. My heart was pounding with you! Great story dal!
    Hey, btw, if it’s OK with you, shoot me an email with an address I can send kathy some pet wood? 🙂
    Thx! 🙂

  11. Great story and picture! (Holy Cow)

    In reference to Dal’s line “It’s not supposed to be in water!!!”

    Most of us heard Forrest’s words “I know the chest is still wet” and he later backtracked a bit when he said lots of places can be wet if you dig deep enough.

    Did I miss an update/refinement to the water and wet statements for Dal to say “It’s not supposed to be in water?”

  12. Dal, I wonder if you have given us the PG version–was “holy cow” REALLY what went through your mind? You are such a fine wordsmith that I bet what buzzed through your brain (prehistoric and all) was a lot more colorful, but then, you are a gentleman so I guess I should let it be. I laugh when I think of you deciding what to do and then swiftly walking (not running) to the “home free” zone. Very funny how we will do what ever we can in situations even though whatever happens is truly out of our control. One more question, did you stop and take a pic of the “chest” BEFORE diving in or afterward?

    • Heck Raven-
      I learned to speak in the Marine Corps. For years I never knew any words that had more than 4 letters. Kathy refined me. For the most part it works…but under stress I do resort to one syllable words in strings of phenomenal length that usually get the attention of everyone in the room.

      That pic was taken moments after I first saw it. That photo is from before I got in the river with it. But I will also say that other than to paw at the gravel along its sides, I did nothing to it. I left it there, unmolested, so DG and other YNP theorists could have their own Holy Cow moment…

  13. Awesome story Dal, to read of your adventures, written in your words, is truly Time well spent. Thank you ! 🙂

  14. hi Dal your Holy Cow story was great. we were at the Science Museum in Ft. Worth about 25 years ago heading for the car on a cloudy summer day but no rain in sight when a lightning bolt hit the parking lot.
    bright light, noise that can not be described, and pain all over from hitting the ground like we never knew we could that fast. we walked over to the strike area and were amazed to see a dinner plate size crater on the blacken pavement still smoking!
    my second close encounter with lightning was 1995 in The Colony TX. hubby had to go to work before we could finish removing a ramp to the patio area. the new owners were in the house watching my struggles as a storm rolled in. then a bolt of white light and noise hit a few backyards away. next thing i knew i was teleported through a glass door to be standing next to two startled ladies who were asking in a concerned voice what happen where did she go? i scared them half to death when i said i am right here. we still don’t know how i got there. i just appeared. LOL

  15. I’ve adopted the Indian name ‘Runs from Thunderclouds’ due to the number of times I’ve found myself doing my best OJ Simpson impression while on a high ridgeline during rapidly declining weather. Only once in the last three years have I seen a lightning bolt strike within 1000 ft – and it was truly awesome. The sight and sound happen at almost the same instant, and the sound is indeed deafening.

  16. Dal-

    Your stories are always top notch. I love the way you write, it creates great images in my mind. You should write a novel.

    Also, have you heard of the story about nazi gold found on a train in Poland? That seems like something you would be interested in.

  17. LOL Dal you had my heart beating fast ! I thought, well good for him! its finally over! Hahahaha. So funny!

  18. Dal, Great story…I don’t believe the chest is hidden in water either…however, seeing that perfect resemblance of the chest in the river still would have likely caused an adrenaline rush at least, if not a heart attack. Hell, I said way more than “holy cow’ when I first found Mildew-the-rusty-lid hidden in the tall grass in Taos Canyon, and that was only my blaze. Keep the stories coming…

  19. Possible BLAZES:

    Dal, truly an amazing photo and story! The lightening bolt ignited a funny way to think and listen good like a kid:

    If you’ve “BEEN WISE”
    and found the blaze, LOOk quickly down…

    If you have Ben W-eyes could refer to Benjamin Franklins spectacles OO
    or him harnessing a lightening bolt (!!)

    • “Look quickly down”

      1990 movie
      Quickly Down Under
      Starting Tom Seleck

      Forrest would have been working on the poem at this time and may have enjoyed this Western set in Australia.

      Here’s a possible connection to Forrests Interest in Sharps rifles and the numbers IMO are relevant to TTOTC:

      The legendary Sharps Rifle..
      Matthew Quigley: ‘You know your weapons. It’s a lever-action, breach-loader. Usual barrel length’s thirty inches. This one has an extra four (34) It’s converted to use a special (45) forty-five caliber, hundred-and-ten-grain metal cartridge, with a five-hundred-forty-grain paper patch bullet. It’s fitted with double-set triggers, and a Vernier sight, marked up to twelve-hundred yards. This one shoots a mite further.’

      Also of interest, his Sharps rifle was fitted with a Vernier gunsight. Model numbers for antique sights:


  20. Now that’s the way to tell a story. You had me at the first bolt of lightning.
    That’s the closest thing to a treasure chest that I have seen since I started searching. LOL

  21. Dal, I remember that museum in Boston. Some guy was inside a Faraday sphere and they lit it up. I share your terror/respect of high voltage. Find another blaze.

    • Waterhigh-
      That’s the place…I produced a story out of there once..They offered to let me ride in that cage…I declined..
      For 35 years I’ve been watching for a news story about some poor museum docent that was killed in that thing but so far that’s not happened. Maybe I shouldn’t have declined.

  22. If I would have seen that in the water, my first thought would have been:
    Wardrobe change Please……….

    Thanks for sharing.

  23. hello Dal, hunch. its good to know your chances of finding the chest are about as good as being struck by lightning. im gettin closer every day.

  24. WOW! Crazy lightening story…. Lightening is one of those things that’s raw nature in its scariest form! On top of Mt. Whitney here in California (highest mountain in the continental United States at about 14,500 feet, there is an old 1900’s built shelter at the summit. It’s about a 20 mile hike round trip into thin air from the parking area at the base of the mountain. Like Mt. Everest, I don’t stay at the Summit too long.. weather changes so fast and the air is so thin, gives you a pounding headache with less oxygen.

    Back in 1990, A group of 16 stranded hikers slept in the shed during a storm seeking refuge…. and one was KILLED and several injured when lightening hit the structure!!

    Here’s the link to the story..


    Be Safe out there!

  25. Hey Dal just curious in light of these two videos why I never see you with a metal detector? Is it possible there is a fundamental misunderstanding of F poem? Don’t you think it’s odd when asked if he buried it, his response is “I don’t want to give that as a clue” now let’s analyze that statement. By telling us he buried it, the meaning of the poem completely changes…so he can’t give that as a clue. I guess what I’m trying to say is following the surface text has gotten many ppl a nice vacation but not much more. Thoughts?


    • Cory-
      I don’t use a MD when searching for Indulgence because I don’t believe it’s buried, although I do believe it may be hidden from view. But that point aside, in my searches I don’t feel I have been close enough to be looking for the actual chest yet. I have instead been looking for the objects named in the poem that lead me to the chest and in my mind there is no need for a MD to find those objects.

      However, if you represent a MD manufacturer and want searchers to pose with your MD in return for one…please let us know..
      Hey Goof…would you like a free metal detector?

      • You bet……However they will also have to throw in a new Monster Truck for me to endorse it. Seems only fair since they would sell a million units after my endorsement. 🙂

      • I’m a believer that it isn’t buried either but I do use a MD in my searches cause it’s easier to rule out a small cave or pile of rocks without wasting time going through them.

  26. I want a MD! I volunteer to pose! Lol
    Even though I feel it’s hidden from view, also.
    I think F doesn’t want to say buried or hidden because even getting out with an MD is a fun way to get outside, and a “hide n seek” chest is EVEN more fun, makes you use your head and not depend on a machine! Just like F to create the biggest “hide n seek” game in the world!!! YEAH!!!
    P.S. I see alot of people going thru old posts, blogs, SB’s…that’s a sign winter is here, time to study and refresh our memories!
    ¥Peace ¥

  27. I also feel that Indulgence is not “buried”. I have brought my detector on all searches and have actively used it. After my last search, I came to the conclusion that I will not need it to locate the chest and do not plan on bringing it again. I wonder what kind of MD Forrest has used at San Lazaro. Maybe he would share that info w/us sometime…Thanks for sharing Dal.

      • That was the find of a lifetime Goofy. I think those folks are having some legal issues due to their find, last I heard. I never found one valuable item while poking around for Indulgence… but so be it. I just need more room for other things.

        • Wowza Goofy! I can’t believe they found eight cans of gold! I had heard that they only found three! Lol as if that wouldn’t be enough… How much fun that must of been… Hope they get to keep it and not have to pay to much in taxes…

          • IMO – I’m pretty sure that the IRS can only tax income, not value. Until they make money off the trove by selling the story or disposing of the treasure, there is no income – therefore no tax. There will be tax, but it’s not all at once if you plan accordingly.

          • SWwot; that’s not true…..And they didn’t even mention how much The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia will steal.

            In its 2013 tax guide, the IRS states, “If you find and keep property that does not belong to you that has been lost or abandoned (treasure-trove), it is taxable to you at its fair market value in the first year it is your undisputed possession.”

            There is no question that the discovery of the coins is a taxable event. In a famous 1969 decision, a U.S. District Court in Ohio ruled that a “treasure trove” is taxable the year it is discovered. In that case, Cesarini vs. United States, a couple bought a used piano in 1957 for about $15. In 1964, they found $4,467 in old currency inside it.

            The court ruled that the money constituted ordinary income in 1964, the year in which they had “undisputed possession” of the funds. It did not qualify for the lower capital gains tax rate because neither the piano nor the currency were sold or exchanged.


          • Goofy,

            For those that might prefer to be unrecognized in the case of The Find and wish to donate it all to whatever 501C etc. If one is pretty certain where the chest is located, verrrry certain, they can camp out and call the representative of the agency to come take possession, 1st possession since f laid it there. May not work but it has possibilities of helping others without being reduced by taxes. SIMTLI (stated in my tax law ignorance)

          • Hi, Goofy. It’s interesting that the couple who found old money in the piano happened to find it seven years after they bought the piano. They might have found it earlier than that, but they waited for exactly 7 years to make it known thinking that the statute of limitations would run out for the original owner of the piano to make a claim on it. Just a guess.

      • Jim, my cuz, always takes his MD when we search. YS Ranger got his hackles up when he saw the Tosoro bag in pu bed! He said, “You better not have plans to use that in the park!” Jim bounced back with, “You can have the batteries if you want!” I guess that supplicated the Ranger and he waved us on. I did find a broken arrowhead near a stream.

  28. Hey goof- I understand your point and have barely researched much about it myself so definitely trying to learn as not challenge so stating my understanding is to ask where I’m confused…. It was my understanding that a “trove” is defined as being abandoned more than 2-3 (can’t remember) decades with no living\findable next of kin. This treasure seems to fit neither the time, lost kin, or abandoned as he didn’t lose it he intentionally left it somewhere.
    Then I think the “cash” would be taxable but it’s not a large enough amount we know of double eagles but less than 500.

    I guess I just can’t wrap my head around how this is any different that if I had a big fat crush on someone and filled a box with jewels and all their favorite things and a ton gold goins for the arcade and gave you a card with a scavenger hunt to find it….would you really have to pay taxes?

    Again NOT a challenge at all….but I don’t see how it’s different as he hid it, we still know the owner, and he lift a gift message and cryptic poem. See my problem with all the “law talk” period? How is this different from a charity event which isn’t taxable is it? Wasn’t the “prize” in effect “donated” to raise money for cancer and sell books of which he doesn’t keep the proceeds? If I win a expensive prize at a “night at the races I don’t pay taxes I don’t think (I have yet to win) haha. Really though- can you explain it to me like I’m a 2 year old?

    Also, knowing forrest….you ever wonder if maybe finding the chest might set off a decades old HUGE land dispute that has ever been settled or questioned but would force the US to take a position on the matter? Personally just given one area I look, I do but that’s just me.

    • Well Jamie, I’m certainly not a tax attorney, but I do know one. I’ve never asked her about the chest because I think there are too many variables. The typical answer from a tax attorney is “that depends”. And there’s the small problem of I haven’t found it….yet.

      As far as your hypothetical question about the expensive prize you won at “night at the races”, from what I understand about it, yes that is taxable. You would probably get a 1099 from the organization you won the prize from. From what she tells me; if you have an “is that taxable question” the answer is yes. Of course for every law there are loop holes, and for every one of those loop holes there are more tax laws. Talk about cryptic, the poem looks like a piece of cake compared to the tax code.

  29. Dal, maybe this has been started but in regards to the “Blaze,” has Forrest mentioned that it will last as long as he suspects the treasure to be hidden? For centuries? Without the blaze, where do we know to look, right? Thanks, – Native Texan.

    • I suspect all the ideas and objects referred to in the poem will be there long into the future…the blaze is no exception. I think Forrest planned it so that if some 12 year old found the poem 200 years from now it would still lead to the chest. If she could figure out what the nine clues were and could follow them, the chest would be hers.

  30. Dal, great story thanks for sharing.. I had a similar experience with lightening striking near by..scared the..out of me.. back to the chase..maybe the lightening was a sign were the treasure is..lol..FF said after solving the 9 clues u can go right to the treasure..so It makes u think that maybe we dont need to see the blaze in person..maybe the blaze is a landmark remember he said use wisdom..I have not searched for the treasure but after reviewing the 9 clues I have a location..Based on pictures i’ve seen on the internet and your photos it is a beautiful place..A place a true outdoorsman would luv to RIP..I believe FF hid the treasure in a place that he has been many times and calls it his hm..A true outdoorsman and fly fisherman always has their favorite spot..In order to solve the 9 clues u have to think like FF as a Outdoorsman (flyfisherman)..Your location in your last quest is getting WARM…

  31. Jamie;

    I am NOT a lawyer, and anything I say can not be used in court.

    I researched finding a “Treasure Trove” on government land. This is what I found. You can use a metal detector to search for coins or other metal objects on ANY government land. If you are searching for a specific (or suspected) Treasure Trove, the rules are different. You must first get a “Special Use Permit” from the appropriate overseer of the government land (Forest Service or BLM) In order to get a permit, you have to describe EXACTLY where you want to search (Something you would NOT want to divulge to anyone.)

    Assuming you want to follow the rules, and you DO get a permit, you can search for a specified period of time in the exact area disclosed. IF you find the Treasure Trove, you are supposed to turn it over to the government. They will keep it in escrow and advertise for the true owner (Forrest Fenn) to come forward and claim it.

    IF Forrest comes forward, the chest and contents are his. Forrest can then “Gift” the chest and contents to you. Forrest would have to pay taxes on the appraised value BUT Forrest would have a 5.5 million dollar limit on ALL gifts given without paying taxes.

    If Forrest has “Gifted” it to you, you own taxes on its appraised value. YOU can gift the value to others in the amount of $14,000 to as many people as you choose…and neither you (nor the recipient) have to pay taxes. Question is, “Do you have to pay taxes on the appraised value BEFORE, or AFTER you give away as much as you want to give.” That is a question that I have not yet been able to get an exact answer to.

    Lawyers do not like giving out answers without being paid. Without finding the treasure, I am not prepared to dole out a bunch of bucks on a hypothetical.

    Hope this helps.

    Hope I HAVE to hire a lawyer to answer these questions.

    Good luck to you (and all) on your search (es).


    • Hi JD ………

      I’m not a lawyer either – but I don’t think the FF treasure is a “treasure trove”.

      Definition of a treasure trove

      “valuables of unknown ownership that are found hidden, in some cases declared the property of the finder.”

      In this hunt we know who owned the chest – and he gives you title to “it” in the poem. The rules of a treasure trove – could be out the window. What do you think?

    • JD,
      no lawyer or tax man am I. If I wanted to gift it all away there are limits as was suggested. And there are limits to how much you can deduct as your write offs increase and income.

      So if I wanted to gift the complete treasure, say the Smithsonian, And in theory only, I don’t think I am anywhere near solving the poem let alone finding the treasure. Say I find the chest. Notify Smithsonian to get there butts out there. Don’t touch the chest. Guard it if need be an point to the chest when they arrive.

  32. Even though we searchers are convinced that ff hid “our” treasure, the Forest Service will not be so sure that the treasure we find is the treasure that Forrest hid. To then, it will be “valuables of unknown ownership that are found hidden, in some cases declared the property of the finder.” That is why they will advertise, and await Forrest to claim it. If no one (Forrest) claims it, and can prove that it is theirs (his – Forrest Fenn’s treasure), it will be returned to the finder UNLESS the Forest Service deems that it is in the public interest to retain it and use the monies for the public good! That is why the disclaimer “In SOME CASES (But not all) declared the property of the finder.

    That is why Forrest has left a couple of warnings in the poem. HEED the warnings. JUST TAKE THE TREASURE AND GO IN PEACE> – Do NOT talk with ANYONE until you know you are on safe legal grounds!

    Just my opinion


    • Or think about this, say someone is caught while removing the treasure on private or federal land….caught using heavy earth moving equipment. Can you imagine the negative legacy that would leave behind? It would be a huge deal. Big risk for Fenn! Plus then he’d have to explain to the media why he hid his treasure there and expected families to go there. The howling outcry, I shutter to even think about.

  33. Hey dal.
    Ive been with you for 3 years now and im getting ready to put botg. But. Can you remember a comment ff said ? It goes something like this,
    ” Some people are still searching beyond The Land of Enchantment” its very important to me and my solve. Could you remind me where he said that? My email is tim.alkire82@GMAIL.COM. I REALLY NEED THISS ASAP (like you havent heard that before) i dont want to spend air fair until i hear from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Tim, I don’t recall Fenn saying that. That seems like something I would have put in the database but I can’t find it.

      Maybe Dal, Loco, Seeker, or someone else will be able to answer your question.

      • I got nothing, Goofy. Not even on my “possibly said” list.

        Musstag may be correct that newscaster said it, or something related, at the link Jeremy P. provided…..I didn’t go back and listen to it.

        Good Luck, Tim!

      • Knew I’d seen this line before some place: “lies an intricately carved wooden treasure chest”! So much miss information, what is it with these reporters….

      • AwHa! That second video at the above link…. I heard it from his own lips… the 200 footers “were searchers” in one video, the newsperson sez something about the LOE, she said ff said some look beyond the LOE into Wyoming and MT, but in video she is saying it

      • In one of the two videos, ff sez you must figure out the nine clues and let the clues take you to the spot. So yes, IMHO you need to be sure you are working with the right nine clues… location, location,location.

    • I dont remember that either Tim, but here is something to check out and DO check it out, That could be as good for NM.

      2011 Fenn, worried the cancer would recur, said to himself, “If it comes back, I’m going to grab a pocketful of sleeping pills,
      take a treasure chest filled with treasure and a copy of my bio; and I’m going to walk out into the desert.
      Sometime they’ll find my bones and the treasure, but my bio will be inside the box, so at least they’ll know who I was.”

    • Tim-
      I assume you have heard that in the KOAT video pointed out above by Jeremy.

      That phrase is at 2:53 in. But it’s the reporter saying that…not Forrest and I don’t believe she is quoting Fenn..She is saying that Forrest said that people are searching beyond the Land of Enchantment in…

      Additionally, she is using a “neighborly term” for New Mexico…when she says “Land of Enchantment”, I doubt that Forrest actually used LOE…I would guess that her question was “Where are people searching?” and Forrest’s answer was that People are searching in WY, MT, CO and NM, She paraphrased that as “He said that people are searching beyond the Land of Enchantment in MT…etc”. Local reporters try to use local terms in their stories because it makes them sound more local and makes the story more appealing to local viewers.

      For instance. I live near Bellingham. Folks who live in Bellingham refer to themselves as” Bellinghamsters”. If I was doing a couple of stories every day, five days a week, I’d try to mix things up a little..
      Rather than use the proper, “Bellingham Residents..” 10 times a week in my stories I might change it to the colloquial, “Bellinghamsters..” Just to give myself a local flavor and because I am tired of being “proper” all the time.
      I am guessing she is from New Mexico…For certain she is not from WY, MT or ID or she would not have made the mistake just a few seconds later in the story where she says “Yellowstone National Forest…” There is no such place…There is a Yellowstone National Park and I suppose that’s what she was talking about…
      She needs to get out more 🙂

  34. Thunderstorms in the mountains are much worse than in the lowlands. It feels like you could reach up and touch the storm clouds. I never read this before today although I do remember you mentioning the concrete pier post in “Book of Blazes”.

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