Scrapbook One Hundred Forty Nine…



A Memory Runs Through My Family

Lightning struck me today in the form of an email from someone I never met and do not know. But the history of our respective families is so entwined as to be almost umbilical.

Here is her email to me. My response to her is at the bottom.


Mr. Fenn
Can’t tell you how much your treasure hunt has rekindled memories of my best childhood vacation!

When I was 10, back in 1958, my family went on a fishing pack trip out of Jackson Hole, over the divide, and into the Lamar River Basin. These were the most special 10 days I can recall in all my youth. Though my mom, dad, brother and sister were there for the fishing, I have to admit I was there for the horses. I can still remember all 14 of them with names and color (how is that even possible). Our guide, Bob Adams (how do I remember that???), would get up before everyone else and catch trout for breakfast. There is nothing better to wake up to than trout for breakfast over the campfire! It was 10 glorious day in the wilderness with lots of fishing and wildlife watching!

Looking for treasure clues online brought up all kinds of Yellowstone photos and reminded how I always said I would return. Somehow I never did. Don’t know why. But now I am determined to take my trip down memory lane next summer before it is too far for me to walk! Thank you SO much for that extra push in the right direction!

In doing my research, I was looking for connections that might tell me why you used the phrase “if you’ve been wise” and found this lovely story about the Eagle family and their “right of passage” introducing the next generation to fishing the Firehole River. Subsequently I decided that there was no connection between “wise” and “Hoot Owl Hole” where the Eagle family started the younger kids fishing but it was a great story anyway. It led me to wonder if you were friends with the family as they did have an outfitting store in West Yellowstone and were themselves fishing guides in Yellowstone. Just curious. A River Runs Through My Family.

My real question is: if I were to happen to find the treasure and if it happened to be in Yellowstone Park, would you consider claiming it yourself and offering a finders fee? The last thing I would want would be to find it and hand it over to the government! Just askin’……

Again, thanks SO much for setting in motion an amazing adventure for thousands of individuals and families who will now have all their own stories to tell about their great treasure hunt!

Lou Ellen Williams


Dear Lou Ellen,

I knew all of that old bunch in West Yellowstone, starting in about 1938, from old Sam, the patriarch to Wally, Joe, Bette, Rose, and the rest. Wally and I fished together many times on the Firehole, Gibbon, and Madison Rivers. I knew your grandmother Frankie when she was barely old enough to wear a top and even today she remains a cherished friend. I love the link you included in your email, and think I need another hankie.

If you find the treasure in YNP, tell me where it is and I’ll go get it for you so you won’t be thrown down the hole at Old Faithful.

Forrest Fenn

112 thoughts on “Scrapbook One Hundred Forty Nine…

  1. The last sentence says to me that it is not in YNP. He is no longer prepared to go get it there, IMHO

    • pirate-
      What leads you to that conclusion? I see something quite different. But then..I have been known to twist things out of shape…

      • One aspect of my reasoning is a simple “if…..then…” proposition. If the “if” is iffy, then the “then” doesn’t need to follow. The “thrown down the hole” comment is just good ‘ol FF humor….!!!

        • pirate-
          Okay…but my mind reads that the hole she would have to go down as the hole where the chest is hidden..(no place for the meek)
          He knows she won’t want to go down that hole…so if she can tell him where the chest is located he will go down that hole and get the chest for her…
          I am busy trying to remember where there are “holes” not too far from Old Faithful…and marked by a “blaze”…

          • FF didn’t say it was in a hole, so don’t take the bait. There are no new clues given. But you don’t need a speculum to speculate!

          • But pirate…I want to take the bait..
            It looks so tasty and it’s so pretty…
            Well see…but if I were you I wouldn’t be so hasty to throw away any new ideas..
            and that’s no clue from Forrest. He told us what a clue looks like and that doesn’t seem to match his description..
            But it does tell me something I think I needed to know..
            or not…but it’s easy and fun to check out this winter as I wait for summer to take over the home of Brown..

          • Hello, Piratejim and Dal. Forrest didn’t say it’s in a hole…but it never said the treasure is not in a hole, either. I’ve heard Forrest …speculate …which makes me wonder what he means when he asks, “How deep is a hole?”

            I also heard him say to a reporter …ON VIDEO… that if he was a young man …and there was a similar treasure hunt going on …that he’d be looking under every bush in North America.

            Maybe somebody has a link to that video interview with the time-stamp where he said that.

            Anyway, Forrest’s response tells me to keep my head out in front and my nose hot on the scent …which would have helped by now if the whole chase wasn’t like Pandora’s box.

          • Hey dal
            What did FF say a clue looks like? I have gone thru a lot of his emails and i can not find where he says what a clue looks like. Please let us (the ones who doesnt know what a clue looks like] know.
            Thanks in advance

      • I see something as well Dal. And after investigating what was said…I’m really starting to wonder about that possibility. Can’t say more now, except I believe there was something “said” there.

    • Hello,
      I am just curious if you were in Colorado July of this year around the 14th through 20th. I was there look with my husband and our son, and my husbands best friend who lives there. We were looking for the treasure and while were in the car we saw someone that looked just like you in a Cadillac SUV with another man on a dirt road. The license plate said something like Ace of hearts or something. It was just an odd experience that day because the lady we met that day let us explore her property no questions asked. Just curious.


      • Cam-
        I am not certain who you are referring too that might have been in CO last July but I can tell you it was not me. I have never been in a Cadillac SUV. I don’t know anyone who owns one and if I did they probably wouldn’t let me inside because I’d just leave footprints and get it all dirty.

  2. Great story, I really enjoyed it. Thank you Lou Ellen and Forrest too. I think I’ll read it again.

  3. And who said F wouldn’t answer a long email! This time, I bet he was glad he read it! Thank you, it was great!

  4. Wally Eagle was a rare man. When WW=2 started he tried to enlist in the Army by falsifying his age. They caught him and he sadly took the bus home. He always looked younger than he was. f

    • Mr. Fenn,

      Have you been divulging into my grandfather’s past? He did something similar in 1953 or 1954, and never got past the 10th grade, because he came from a poor family during “The Great Depression”. I believe he was able to get away with it, however. He was mistaken by other Army Enlisted at one point, and beaten up pretty badly after being in a bar one night and mistaken for whatever was considered a Reservist back then. Or maybe just another battalion, unsure which now. I enjoy your stories, Sir.

          • Insomnia from TTOTC I suspect! My mind is in the Chase in my sleep, like every night. I hope the newness wears off soon.

          • Sorry for that. I understand, lived it. But I wish I could have slept through it. I see cold and snow is coming to the US how is it there? We miss the snow allot was/is our favorite time of year.

          • Well it is getting colder and snowing almost everywhere it normally does in the winter. I am done for the season. The chest is Hidden, twice in some places ( once under snow). I don’t want to dig for it that way
            All IMO

          • I also found that that was when some of my best thoughts would hit me, or just after waking up after the brain defraged.

    • Why WW=2 and not WW2 or WWII? In my solve I have found 2 places wwwh that bracket the hidey put put and all the other clues!

  5. Nice story…thanks for sharing. What a small world it can be…wouldn’t it be funny if Lou Ellen Williams eventually finds the treasure chest, wherever it might be.

    • Corky
      Just starting out so i wish her the best but i would like to have some time to chase. I love the wwildrness F.F. wwildrnessFand ithank yo for bringing out the yung man in me again. Semper Fi F.F.

  6. I did not know that people eat fish for breakfast. I am enjoying the Chase a lot, but it would be better for me if I liked to catch fish or eat fish.

    And the last time I rode a horse I could barely walk the next day, so that’s another mountain event I won’t achieve on the Chase.

    I’ll stick to the hay rides and the ‘smores, I guess..

      • Ah yes.. we called them pickerel where I spent my summers in Quebec. As a kid I did go out in my 6-horse boat with my buddy to fish for the elusive Muskie. We never got one and I was secretly glad for that because I really didn’t want to clean one or eat one.

    • “I am enjoying the Chase a lot, but it would be better for me if I liked to catch fish or eat fish.”

      You didn’t know that to participate in the chase, FF requires that participants demonstrate fish catching and cleaning skills? 🙂

      • ..not a requirement, but it would make my buddies who all do like fishing more likely to listen to my stories about wading around in the river… I could set the scene by talking about fishing and then WHAM!, hit them with some treasure hunting talk before they see it coming and change the subject..

    • Muset:

      When your camping on the banks of a river or lake, you usually eat fish Breakfast, lunch and dinner, cause it could be 20 or 30 miles into town. Growing up in North Dakota, we spent our weekends fishing for Pike and Walleye in the big lakes of Minnesota, and 10 days every year up in Manitoba or Saskatchewan, catching 25 or 30 pounders. Fresh caught, fileted, rolled in Corn Meal and cooked on an open fire – best tastin’ fish ever! As we always fished out of trolling boats, I never learned how to fly cast, I never caught anything but Pike, Walleye and sometimes Perch and I never threw anything back into the water unless it was below weight, which I usually set for myself at 1 pound above the government minimum. For those of you who don’t know this trick, it allows the younger fish to grow and spawn for a couple seasons and keeps the population from being over-fished. When we moved to Arizona, the only thing available was Trout. I fished Lake Mary and San Carlos and the lakes up by Mt. Baldy every day for three months, and shoved a filet down my gusset four times a day just to keep my ice chest empty enough for those days when I hiked and didn’t fish. Never got used to the taste of Trout and I quit fishing, except if I’m in Pike Country, when I was about 13 ..


    • I wondered that too–perhaps there was more info that went back and forth. Or maybe FF really does have super powers! That’s just a guess

      • I thought about more info too – but that wouldn’t make the timeline fit. Lou Ellen was born 1948, so her parents would have been born maybe – in the 20’s – grandparents born late in the 1800’s – Forrest was born 1930.

        So, perhaps the hint is – get your dates right or make a timeline.

    • Mistaking identity or maybe I’m mistaken. Barely old enough to wear a top is where the answer lies. IMO.

    • I think Forrest just slipped up when he said “your grandmother Frankie.” He was perhaps confusing Lou Ellen the author of the email with the author of the attachment who was Taylor Eagle. Taylor Eagle’s grandmother is Frankie Rowse of Ennis MT and was born in 1932 and married to Wally Eagle, Taylor Eagles grandfather. IMO

      Fred Y.

      • Fred Y –

        Sure he could have mixed the families up – but –

        If Frankie was born in 1932 and Forrest was born in 1930 – does the timeline fit…………

      • I think you’re right Fred. Forrest and Frankie were nearly the same age. Forrest hung out in west Yellowstone when he was a kid. In 1940 Forrest would have been ten and Frankie eight…young enough to be running around shirtless in the summer.

        • Hey Dal,
          Time line seems correct to me too, but I just reread it again and it was not a single slip of the tongue.

          His whole beginning statement is off as well “Lightning struck me today in the form of an email from someone I never met and do not know. But the history of our respective families is so entwined as to be almost umbilical.”

          Did you post this the same day Forrest sent it to you? As in did Forrest have time to think about what he wrote before it got posted?

          The only possible clue I see in it is the repetitive use of lightning and I have now seen the use of umbilical a few times now. Both have significants to my solve.

          Fred Y.

          • Fred-
            That was posted within a few minutes of when I got it from Forrest. I had some extra time when it arrived so I posted it immediately.

          • Thanks Dal,

            Strange… He read the email, the attachment, returned the email, and then sent it to you without catching his error? I could see myself making such a mistake, but not Forrest. He is always trying to be so careful with how he responds to emails to not give anything away.

            Fred Y.

      • Ya I saw tha too and believe that is the hint. Forrest doesn’t make______ fill in the blank and you’ll have the word. What does it mean though? Is he saying someone missed something? Ok guys which one of you walked a few feet from the chest and didn’t see it?

        • Lucky girl,

          Mistake…. ???
          So do you think it is a personal message maybe to someone that sent him a solve and may understand what he wrote a bit more than others? That they made a mistake in their solve?

          There is something that he said that makes me want to believe this to be true, but I don’t think that is it. IMO

          Fred Y.

          • Yea that is why he talks about fish. Something is fishy with this post. I do think it’s a private/public communication.

        • It could have been anyone. I suggest visiting your spots again next year, keeping in mind it is Hidden. Could be easily missed! All IMO

        • Lucky girl, this is where it gets murky for me…

          Simply Too many possibilities when interpreting:

          Did someone miss the stake?
          Is the take at M? “M is take”
          Oh, btw there is a well drawn stake or point in the poem. Forrest is beyond clever and overlaid drawings on his poem.

          Come to place and see?
          Use dictionary definition?
          Come to the C-plac EastNorth?

          Your quest to cease…
          Your quest will end at 2 C’s
          Your “Q” or line east 2 C’s=200 ft

          Heck, I even found land forms which matched 2 mirror image C’s or yellow bananas That fit the poem. Phooey on phen for saying anyone thinking this hard about his poem is complacent. C what I mean?

      • Exactly! Lou Ellen didn’t say it was her grandmother, just that she found a “lovely story” while go ogling “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze”.
        Why F assumed “Frankie” was Lou Ellen’s grandmother is unusual, unless he was rushing thru it or was just plain tired and misunderstood. OR…it could be a hint to something. It could be F’s “hint of riches new and old”,

    • Inthechase, good question. Ironic thing is I actually did have a gramma Frankie lol! But she was about 15 yrs older than f and doubtful they ever crossed certainly grabbed and held my attention.

  7. Touching story. The experience is reminiscent of my time pursuing FF’s hidden treasure. However, as an adult I have come to realize how brash, inarticulate words and misguided sarcasm can have lasting consequences on oneself and strangers who I have never met. I have also recognized the value of family and how I can sound like an off the rocker zealot when discussing mine. The truth is, I am not religious and only go to church when the in-laws are in town. I am still pondering what this all means to me, but know harmful actions are difficult to repair…if at all.

    Re govt. possession: Probably not, but it wouldn’t be my call. I’d defer to FF.

    Mr. Fenn – I’ve been at this treasure hunt for awhile now and have some good ideas on the chest’s whereabouts. If I were ever to return to my favorite spot, I would cross the street and head towards Peggy’s wine glass. I believe there is hidden treasure in that area, maybe under Father’s rock, but covered by winter’s blanket. That is where I would look.

  8. “Lightning struck me today”
    Scrapbook # 1″49”

    What do all of these Fenn statements have in common? I have commented before and written about the link to WWI and the Hemingway connection. The fun part of the chase is predicting what will happen next and wait. This SB is one of those examples.

    What does Lightning and WWII have in common? P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft. Of course Fenn want to be remembered for being shot down twice so what is it about the P-38 “The twin forked tailed Devil” that warrants our attention?

    What does this SB number have in common with Lightning? The 49th Fighter Group flew that aircraft. What else does 49 signify that could lead to the treasure?

    Then there is the equation “=” I gave my thoughts on the Fenn Wave theory but could the “= 2” replacing “II” mean something as well? Like Queen Elizabeth II – that photo of the gold coin on the centre of Fenn’s treasure has Queen Elizabeth’s head on it. What could be so important about that coin to place it on the top of the pile. I know many have speculated on the photoshopping of that photo before but here are my thoughts!Home-of-Brown-Canada/cam/55cbd5c70cf2c71b0c4cb78f

    • Hey Wolf hope all is well, my thoughts on WW=2 is what if you turn the letters 90 deg. to the left, 3311 2 , 4933112 lat that will start you off in Canada. 🙂

      • Hey 49! Long time no talk. I hope all is well. I am only visiting for a short time as exams are about to start. Interesting concept you propose and now that you mention it, when I look at the letters WW is looks like a sine wave now doesn’t it? Well you full about my “49” link so I am onside.

  9. Wow. It’s a small world after all. I love the way Lou Ellen thinks. I am so glad she connected the dots with Forrest. I am so grateful to be part of this. We are part of the Forrest basket with every strand woven in the frame as well as the Belle basket that has Forrest fiber in its weave. In my opinion, I have lots in common with Forrest, also.

  10. hello folks. hey I think ol FF might maybe know about a game we used to play at Old Faithful when I was a kid. but we called it blowout. a bunch of us would throw a basketball down the hole between eruptions. then wait for Old Faithful to blow it back up. whoever caught the ball was the winner. what fun that was.

  11. It’s amazing how everything in this chase links together. I’m so proud to say I’m a part of it. Thank you forrest!

    • I agree, Jdiggins. Thank You, Forrest! And Happy Thanksgiving to All! I have many things to be thankful for…and I hope and pray that you all do, too. God Bless!

  12. If lou Ellen were 10 in 58, she was born in 48, when forrest was 18.
    Lou Ellen grandmother (whether Frankie or not, or related to the Eagles is never stated) would have to have been born at lest say, 15 years earlier, which would be 33. IF this were the math, and IF forrest remembers that, then ok. But hmmmmm…somethings amiss…

      • Jdiggins, I hope you and yours had a happy thanksgiving.

        I’m curious to hear your thoughts…
        Why is it significant that Forrest spelled out his name vs using only f as he more frequently uses on scrapbooks?

        (I no longer search or solve but this SB caught my attention because i know some of the eagle family.)

        • Anna,
          I hope your holiday was wonderful as well. Thank you.
          My thoughts are exactly that: why?

  13. Indeed, it is Belle. And I didn’t even take it back far enough using my timeline, I only timed back to her mother, not grandmother, so forrest could not have known lou Ellen grandmother….

  14. Just a bit strange to me . This post. I was at the Eagles Gas station on the corner , looking for smokes. I saw a wall of fishermen and their stories, and figured I would ask the Stores Owner who was there at the time . Who by the way told me I should quit smoking and their Store dose not sell Cigarettes . I was actually intrigued by this man . He was soft spoken , but his words Sharpe . So I managed the courage to ask him , thinking well F Fished here for years and years . Maybe he knew who Forrest was , or maybe he knew of his dad. I knew at this point that F and his dad were tour guides for fishing. And the wall seemed like a great Warm waters halt. But , I thought that’s not possible and Laughed. Well when he told me he had never herd of Mr. F I was not shocked at all and thought nothing of it. Not sure if I do now or not.
    But I wanted to say what I was told by that Christian Gentlemen.

    Don’t know if this helps or not. But thought I would put this out there. Maybe he forgot or just didn’t remember the Fenn Family name not sure. Maybe he was too young, but honestly he looked about 70. Probably slipped him . Thats my take

  15. I thought there would be more comments about the possible hint WW=2. Does anyone else think it confirms there are 2 WWs…2 “warm” waters, which might rule out a hot spring. My current search area has two separate rivers flowing west out of the Sangre de Cristo Mts where they each eventually flow through a valley (where the water warms from the abundant sunshine). Then they combine into one river and make an abrupt turn north as this now single stream flows through a very narrow canyon where the sun briefly shines (making the water colder…hence the warm waters halted at the confluence.) Or not…I’ve searched here a half dozen times over the past month…no Fenn treasure chest yet! Still looking, though.

    • Ww is also an abbreviation for whitewater. Funny, but they make classes for whitewater, and there is a Class 2.

      From Wikipedia site on whitewater:

      Class 2: Some rough water, maybe some rocks, small drops, might require maneuvering. (Skill Level: Basic Paddling Skill)

      So maybe it is near a class 2 stream or river…..

  16. Two “warm waters” maybe. But there are many more sources of confluences so I have less confidence in that as I once did – unless of course it is named “warm water confluence” and there are only two of them in the search area.

    • Don’t mean to belabor the two warm waters possibility but I’m trying to find a meaning for wwwh that could be lots of places, since Forest said awhile ago “There are a lot of places in the Rocky Mts where warm waters halt and most of them are north of Santa Fe.” IMO.

  17. No new comments since I subscribed. Have to ask whether the original post was updated? To correct whatever seemed incorrect to commenters. As was done with the incorrect date when f mentioned coming out of retirement in the art world.

  18. This is evidence that many of our lives are intertwined like grass and tree roots in a mountain and its such a Small World….

  19. Where did the word “confluence come in to play? And how or does F.F. know that the chest is even there anymore. Back in May Kevin told F.F. to check his email Weds. Morning for follow up video. Haven’t heard from Kevin since. How does anyone know including F.F. if the chest is even there anymore?

Comments are closed.