The Case for Yellowstone…


by E.C. Waters

Please keep in mind I have made a living in the IT space of text mining.  Each of my search areas have started this way, using logic and probabilities to get me excited about a search area.  Probabilities are now significant enough to me that Mammoth Hot Springs is my targeted search area.  The following are my proposed word correlations.

In the preface, F includes an Ernest Tubb lyric as a poem comparing life to a game of poker… potentially alluding to the Little Joker spring.

Little Joker spring was named by Albert C. Peale.  There is a Peale Island in Yellowstone Lake named after Albert Peale.  F suggests we read the poem over and over and read the book looking for nuances.  One such nuance has hit me.  The word “peel” is another word for “paddle”.  The word “peal” is a term used in bell-ringing.  F has a whole chapter on bronze bells he created, “Dancing With The Millennium”.  The word “peal” is also used to describe laughter.  F has said (paraphrasing) he envisions the finder of the chest to laugh out loud when they see the contents.  F uses the word “appeal” at least 3 times throughout his book, including “the history appealed to me” after describing the bracelet he wants back… he describes the twenty-two turquoise disc beads set side-by-side in a row… in a row, like rowing?… A Peale?

When describing the bracelet he wants returned, he refers to winning it in 1965 from Byron Harvey, the son of Fred Harvey, the hotel magnate.  Fred Harvey’s business has evolved into (was acquired by) Xanterra, the company that manages various concessions and hotels in various locations, including inside Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs.  Byron’s brother’s name was Ford, potentially an allusion from F’s Spanish teacher, Miss Ford.  Scrapbook One Hundred Forty Two has both the words “Byron” and “Ford” in the same post.

F has said (seemingly in third person) an architect wrote the poem.  In “A Ride Through Wonderland” by Georgina M. Synge, printed in 1892, she describes the terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs as “No human architect ever designed such intricate fountains as these. The water trickles over the edges from one to another, blending them together with the effect of a frozen waterfall.”  Could this be where warm waters halt?

In “Dancing With The Millennium”, F suggests “I could have just as easily been watching a smithy in the 7th Cavalry shoe a horse. Those things are important and I’m richer for it.” … potentially alluding to the first military residents of Mammoth Hot Springs at Fort Yellowstone.  “Halt” is a word associated with marching.

In “Surviving Myself”, F suggests listening to “Your Hit Parade”… potentially alluding to the nearby Parade Ground.

Liberty Cap is a nearby attraction as a now extinct hot spring cone.  Could the term “cap” also imply “stop” or “halt”?  Liberty Caps were the hats worn by French Revolutionaries, and F alludes to French military soldiers in “My War For Me” when coming across a grave marker with the epitaph including the words “wink at a homely girl”.  This epitaph, specifically, would also seem to have a couple of word correlations to Mammoth Hot Springs.  The words “homely girl” may allude to nearby Rustic Falls, where rustic is a synonym for homely… “please my ghost” may allude to nearby Phantom Lake.

In “Bessie and Me”, F talks about his pet cow, named Bessie… potentially alluding to nearby Mt. Everts.  The mountain was named after the famous Truman Everts who became lost in the wilderness for 37 days and miraculously survived.  Truman Everts’ had a daughter who answered to the name “Bessie”.

In “Gypsy Magic”, F suggests he could hear the steam engines… potentially alluding to Narrow Gauge Terrace/Spring.  In the same chapter, a photo of the Main Street Cowboys may allude to Main Springs/Terrace.

In “Looking For Lewis and Clark”, F describes his food rations, referencing “Babe Ruth candy bars”.  The actual candy bar brand name is “Baby Ruth”… this possible hint potentially alludes to nearby Baby Terrace.

In “My War For Me”, F includes a poem which describes gray-gowned patience weaving some cloth… potentially alluding to Minerva, the goddess of weaving.  Minerva is also the goddess of wisdom, and her symbol is the owl.  F posted a pic of a blaze in a tree, the letter “F”.  Upon zooming in further, it is possible to make out the shape of an owl inside the F.  F also posted a Vignette about a bird figurine he named Minerva.

In “My War For Me”, F suggests putting his thumb over Philadelphia… potentially alluding to nearby Devil’s Thumb.

In “Ode to Peggy Jean”, F refers to his wife, saying “No saint could match her faith.”… with the word saint potentially alluding to nearby Angel Terrace.

In “Ode to Peggy Jean”, F includes a poem regarding a sparrow with an ancient secret.  The sparrow is also the symbol of the goddess Aphrodite… potentially alluding to the nearby Aphrodite Terrace.

In “Tea With Olga”, F describes Olga’s bathtub… potentially alluding to nearby Bath Lake.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze… the blaze potentially alludes to Hymen Terrace, where Hymen is the god of marriage and his symbol is the torch.

F speaks about Skippy’s washing machine fan blades, and the car engine fan after Cody ripped it apart… potentially alluding to Fan Spring.

Fenn states in a New Mexico Department of Tourism video that if he were standing near the treasure, he’d “smell wonderful smells, of pine needles or piñon nuts or sagebrush.”  There has been a lot of debate related to pinyon nuts because of where edible pinyon nuts grow in the Rockies.  Perhaps pinyon nuts could have been an allusion to the nearby Pinyon Terrace.

F suggests in his preface that his church is in the mountains and along the river bottoms… potentially alluding to Cathedral Rock, or perhaps Pulpit Terrace.

F suggests he traded for a painting of fairies dancing around a rock… potentially alluding to Rath Terrace/Spring.

F shows a photo of a bell with a mermaid… potentially alluding to nearby Naid (Naiad) Spring.  Dragonflies are also naiads, of which F seems compelled to form onto his bells and into his blog pics.  The word on the bell with the mermaid is “knowlege”, a slight misspelling of “knowledge”, similar to how “naiad” is sometimes misspelled as “naid”.

In “Important Literature”, F suggests reading Catcher in the Rye… potentially alluding to nearby Rye Pond.

In “No Place For Biddies”, F suggests overhearing two ladies talking… potentially alluding to nearby Ladies’ Lake.

In “My Spanish Toy Factory”, F suggests being the Grand Marble Champion of the seventh grade… potentially alluding to nearby Marble Terrace.  He also talks about “flutterbys” later in the book on things that are important.  Yellowstone butterflies contain several species with the name “Marble”.

F suggests delivering papers as a job… potentially alluding to nearby Paperpicker Spring.

F suggests he always remembered the saying about stepping on a sidewalk crack… potentially alluding to nearby Sidewalk Spring.

In July 2014, F sent a blog post to Dal titled The Dragon Bracelet. In this post he also describes a canary diamond… potentially alluding to nearby Canary Spring.

F suggests the loudmouth young man from the bookstore was on something and it probably wasn’t Ovaltine… potentially alluding to travertine, the substance making Mammoth Hot Springs terraces.

F names Orange Crush in his list of fizzy soda drinks… potentially alluding to Orange Spring Mound or Tangerine Spring.

F names Julep Lime in his list of fizzy soda drinks… potentially alluding to the limestone of Mammoth Hot Springs.

The use of the words “fizz” and “fizzy” may allude to nearby Fissure Terrace.

Golden Gate Canyon seems an easy one.

Sepulcher Loop Trail… well… yeah.  The obvious notwithstanding, it may also be interesting with Loop Trails that F quoted a TS Eliot poem, Little Gidding, the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

Loosely speaking, TS Eliot wrote the first draft or his Fourth Quartet, Little Gidding, while ill and recuperating in Shamley Green, Surrey.  Claygate, Surrey is about a half-hour drive to the NE.  Claygate may also be the origin of the name Clagett, potentially relating to a nearby feature name of Clagett Butte.
Just about each (and possibly all) of F’s section on “Vignettes” ( ) potentially relate to feature names found at Mammoth Hot Springs.  My interpretation:
– “Palettes …” = Palette Terrace
– “Well, Here’s Moses…” = Cheops Mound (I’m not a scholar, so please don’t ask me to prove the argument)
– “Osiris…King of Gods…” = Jupiter Terrace (Jupiter is the King of Gods in Roman mythology)
– “John Bullis…” = Bullis is a butterfly.  “Marble” butterflies are in Yellowstone, and hence the Marble Terrace.
– “Green Grass…” = may be Glen Springs or Highland Terrace, again, just my interpretation… but here he references another location called Marble Canyon in AZ.
– “The Knife That Growls…” = this one eludes me, unless he’s referring to approaching Poison Cave
– “Reliquary…” = the words he’s using would imply a stronger correlation to Angel Spring 1, 2, and 3, but my money is on Pulpit Terrace.
– “Ivory is the Flesh of Minerva…” = Minerva Terrace
– “Faience Protector of the Dead…” = Cleopatra Terrace

So, what do you think?  Time to go annoy the Yellowstone HQ?  They do hate us, don’t they?  Won’t they be surprised if it’s truly 200 feet from their front door?

E.C. Waters

114 thoughts on “The Case for Yellowstone…

    • Yes,he did say most of them were north of Santa Fe. I was looking at a map of Wyoming and while it’s not a map of the RM’s like that of TLGFI may have had, yet the insert of YsNP does show Old Faithful and…..Mammoth Hot Springs. So she could have picked the ‘hotter’ of the two.

          • @LitterateOne – not in my current proposed solution… In my opinion, Yellowstone and all of Wyoming is completely off the table now (great news for @YellowstoneNPS).

    • E.C. Waters,
      Are you The Maverick Forrest Fenn? Inquiring minds want to know, please.
      Thank You!

        • E.C. Waters,
          My sincerest apology! You seem smart and witty and have good ideas. My chase friend pointed out some of your comments. My intention was only to ask if you are Forrest. And, your 1st answer seemed to avoid. I’m VERY sorry to have stressed you or caused any issue!

      • But now I’m curious. I assume you are saying there is a profile out there somewhere. Where can I learn more about the profile “The Maverick Forrest Fenn” to understand why I am being asked this question?

        • E.C. Waters,
          Just like a Maverick to let the barn door hang wide open on a simple yes-no question X. No need for you to do any more research. However if you care to revisit the yes-no, please feel free. Thanks

          • No again. But this time leave me alone now since I don’t want any part in whatever creepy hostility you seem to be wanting to unleash.

      • No, I am. Can’t you tell?
        I’m handsome, charming, smart, and I even have a ring with FF stamped on it.

    • Try it, starting at Mammoth Hot Springs as wwwh, and see. You’re a vet here, q1werty2… The answer you already know.

    • @larsonist, yup. Clues and hints. Wwwh is, imo, Mammoth Hot Springs. Pick a canyon. Home of Brown is maybe the year-round Brown family whom you can google. Meek might be Sheepeater Cliffs or it might be Poison Cave/Spring or Devil’s whatever. The end might be a cap, or it might be related to Styx or Stygian whatever, or Sepulcher… Paddle is probably a nod to Peale…

      You can do it, too.

      • Hey E.C. Waters – I can’t find info on the Brown family you spoke about in the post above. Would you mind posting a link?

  1. Hello E.C. Waters. Thank you for your post. I found it enjoyable. You put in a lot of thought in your research. I wish you the best of luck with the chase.

  2. “No saint could match her faith” leads to Angel Terrace. How? A saint is not an angel. Ok, so now connect all these vague associations to map and poem, Please.

    • @piratejim – online dictionary shows a synonym use of angel is “saint”…

      Get your own map and find it. All I’m doing is tying together potential allusions to a reasonable search area. I’ve just reasonably narrowed the field by a few hundred thousand square miles.

      • Question is, how do all these associations lead you directly to the treasure? How do you know what to eliminate? I can get similar word salad from my alphabet soup. I have my own map. Yellowstone isn’t on it.

  3. EC – You’ve been a solid digger all along. All good stuff. Maybe you should play your cards a little closer now.

    • @melanie – thanks for the confidence… Go get it so I can move on with my obsessions.


    • @MOI – opinions vary on spectrums of redneck and intelligence. F is sharing a fortune he made being underestimated by wealthy non-rednecks with a fraction of his intelligence. To the caliph, I am dirt. So I’d say “yah”.

  5. I think you’re one of the more likely-to-find-it searchers, up there with the Wolf….welcome to the challenge. Data scientists are hard to come by.

    Thanks for sharing the notes. Save the best stuff for yourself until ‘it’ is out of the woods and in your hands.

    There are a lot of places that correlate to things Fenn says; I think he intentionally made it that way. Choosing the wrong path at any of the junctures is all too easy in this game.

    • Thanks for the reminder… brave and in the wood may allude to nearby petrified trees, Fossil Forest. Antonym of brave is petrified.

    • Thank you for sharing you reasoning process. Not to many are williNg to share their thoughts. You are appreciated. I’m of the Yellowstone thoughts also. Keep up the search. Good luck.

  6. just a thought
    a high tech metal detector should find it

    being in the out back

    no false calls

    i go bush in australia find gold in creeks , nuggets in the desert

    i will come there soon

    my solve

    north west montana
    close to the canada border

    the shiney gold coin on the book cover is located at mount Brown

    its not there but close

  7. Yeah, you sure have mined a lot of words, but have you wrangled one clue from all that, something tangible, definitive, a place that isn’t over 75~ years old?

    Let’s take the second or third Canyon Hotel for instance, did you read where it burned up in the 50’s under mysterious circumstances? IMO, that was a one time deal, the entire building was slated for demolition. Forest fires come and go, they’re just too numerous. Did you even mention the Ranger’s house at all?

    • @theycallme9clues… Yeah, I think so. The place is over 75 years old. It’s over 1,000 years old. It will likely last another thousand years, assuming the whole place doesn’t explode in that time.

      IMO… wwwh = Mammoth Hot Springs, wise blaze = Minerva Terrace / Hymen Terrace, brave wood = Fossil Forest, probably near the tree clusters. Good enough?


      • What’s not to understand ?
        Fenn’s answer “The clues did not exist when I was a kid but most of the places the clues refer to did. I think they might still exist in 100 years but the geography probably will change before we reach the next millennia.”

        Maybe I’m being a little too fanatical about what constitutes a CLUE.

        ‘most of the places the clues REFER to did’…He says “most”

        What was it about that Silver Bracelet that meant the most to Fenn? Mr. Fenn didn’t learn about it from studying a map.

        If you’re inclined toward YNP, spend a bit of time studying the place…you need to learn everything you can, f spent many a summer there

        scour thru all of the photos here/ Yellowstone Photo Collection, don’t be afraid to bookmark a few

        the above photo caption reads
        “Steel stairway on Uncle Tom’s Trail; Photographer unknown; 1974”

        Or this caption… “Listening chairs at the Grant Village Visitor Center; Photographer unknown; 1973”

        I think it was IronWill or a similar searcher who held such promise… he finally resorted to searching around picnic tables/ looking up in trees, out of desperation.

        • @theycallmetatersalad – thanks for the advice about visiting, but I’ve been to YNP several times the past few years having a look around, including walking out onto Moran Point, a ledge of Grand Canyon, checking out talus near Nine Mile Hole, balancing over a cliff’s edge at Midway above Grand Prismatic, and spending a full day hiking around Dot Island. I like YNP as a target because of its richness in feature names and how it bends my mind to see if the poem can work. I’m a logical thinker and this poem appears to me as a puzzle in linguistics, geography, and various aspects of history. So words are important.

          To your primary argument, I concede that not all of the places the poem refers to were there, and that geography may change again before the year 3000. That’s what travertine terraces are doing, changing the landscape and earning new names. Like New Blue Spring, where the word blue is also a synonym for down.

          The theory I’m settling into is that the nine clues could just as easily refer to the nine contiguous basins of YNP. But because the most important is wwwh, I wonder if this is why so many (assumed) hints point to Mammoth Hot Springs.

          P.S. If I’m misreading your tone as disparaging me and IronWill, specifically, I apologize. Otherwise…

          • E.C.
            Maybe they should hold Fennboree ’17 in YNP/ for an entire month. I’m not trying to put anyone down, honestly I’m trying to help.

            It’s been 6 years, but everybody keeps repeating the same stuff.

            Why is it we want to assume f said, “the clues are places”
            That is not what he said.

            Instead of his 2 sentence response, what if instead he made it 3 and prefaced it with ….

            1) The clues Refer to places.

            2) The clues did not exist when I was a kid but most of the places the clues refer to did.

            3) I think they might still exist in 100 years but the geography probably will change before we reach the next millennia.

            Doesn’t this say/ mean the same thing???

            This is huge, this guideline/ hint/ clue is just as important as say above 5000’…but f has brilliantly watered it down.

            So unless there is something relevant in whatever place [or physical location/ IronWill ] you’re standing, that place is meaningless

            Call it a scavenger hunt, geocaching, nerd search or whatever

            now check out these 3 photos, because there’s been plenty of discussion around the Blaze & it possibly being in the past tense.




            Feeling exasperated!

            Yes, the clues, nine tangible clues, must have a date of birth 1939-40 and an expiration date of 2010

  8. Ummmm loads 12 ga with double ot buck, time to try to shoot some holes in this.
    Alrighty. Without looking at a map myself, have you printed up a decent scale map and started putting push pins in it to see if there is a pattern? Which just might help with my next question.

    How does these observations correlate to the clues in the poem?
    I do not expect any answers here. Perhaps once you put these ideals to the test.
    And get BOTG. Now do not get me wrong I have been a fan of ynp for sometime. For other reasons I am not willing to post yet.

    Best of luck

  9. Thanks for the continued ‘thinking’ EC! At least one of your nuggets could be the why didn’t I think of that….! Hope you make it out again this season, best.

  10. Well covered EC. Put it on a topo 1st. Once u have BOTG it’s so easy to get off course.
    Best of luck.

  11. E.C. Waters,
    I sure see a lot of potential in some of the hints you found in the TTOTC. I too started my first search at Mammoth Hot Springs and actually took both roads down from it to two different solve areas. One near Undine Falls and the other at Roaring Mt. Grizzly Lake area and yes all the clues fit.
    In another of my searches I also found what I believe we’re quite a few hints in TTOTC book too to help guide with my clue solution. Of course I came back empty handed. So I decided to write Forrest with all I had found out, all the related hints in chapters, also findings in the illustrations in the book, even related facts to quotes he had made which I called the same-same. Forrest did take time to read my long email and his response was ” I have read your letter and found it interesting. It is easy to see that you have spent a lot of time trying to figure things out. Good luck to you in the future. f ”
    E.C. I have seen a lot of your earlier post and thought your thoughts were similar to mine and by looking at some of your found hints in the book some are. But IMO the hints need to follow after the clues have been solved, not used to guide you with the clues. IMO “Yes” the hints help confirm the area of the solve, but to me your not understanding what WWH true meaning is, and the rest of the poems clues can not take to the “chest” until you do. Good luck to you in the future. Bur

  12. I just wanted to say, E.C. that whenever we crossed paths in the threads I’ve enjoyed chatting with you. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders.

    My very first armchair search, right after hearing about the Forrest Fenn treasure, was Yellowstone. I hadn’t even bought the book yet and the way I figured it is that if I start with the premises that he wants it found, that it’s in the Rockies, and we’re supposed to start where warm waters halt, then Yellowstone is a matter of course. He would want some device that takes all that mass of land and narrows it down to something people would all recognize as a starting point.

    I do have one, minor, critique though. In a post titled “The Case for Yellowstone”, where you list of a lot of research pointing to Yellowstone, you neglected to add to the list the most obvious one, that there’s a chapter titled “In Love With Yellowstone”. I think for Yellowstone searchers that’s probably a good case right there. 🙂

    • “In Love With Yellowstone”.
      Brief chapter many numbers. I have not been able to locate the ‘one room school house that was out of the way on the trip to Yellowstone. Out of the way by 50 miles or 25 miles in and 25 out, I just dunno.

      The Chevy I believe has been found,

      Something New something old might have something to do with “1847 Mexico ceded southern part of park to YS under treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo”

      A site that might be helpful to those looking into yep:

  13. EC,

    Great research! I myself find it easy to justify aberrations to fit my any theory on the poems clues and potential location of Forrest’s trove. Whenever this happens I try and sit back and poke holes in my own ideas. A lot of people try and dismiss YSNP because it is too obvious and Forrest said to look for subtle hints in TTOTC and YSNP is like a meteor hit, but i disagree because it would be impossible to not mention this place that IMO is so dear, fond and special to him. Great job there is some good research done in this post and i commend you on that.

  14. You seem well versed!! Put them all together and they spell ” Where Exactly is my Treasure Chest?” String them together and you will be quite close, Most of us have notebooks and notebooks of most of these clues and they just sort of stand alone we have to put them all together and find the correct path to the WWH, the Blaze, In the Canyon Down, Below the Home Of Brown and so on and so forth. I have found a new Map system myself and when I work on it a bit longer, use the poem clues and look over and over and over again, Maybe it might help us all or one of us Fenners get just a little closer to where our Lock Box is. Great clues, Keep them coming!!! We all need to work together to find it!!!! Thanks for your input and ideas!! Ms. Girl See you all in the funny papers!!

  15. E. C. Waters – I can relate to what your potentially alluding to in your post. As long as your still having your kind of fun it’s all good.

  16. Very Nice !!!
    Thank you for sharing.
    I look forward to hearing your solve…………after you find the treasure. 😉

  17. E.C.,
    Four years ago when I got in the Chase, Mammoth Hot Springs was my first choice for a solution to WWWH. I thought the reasons where fairly simple: a) it’s a well-known major water feature that’s dried up in recent history, b) it’s in one of Forrest’s most favorite places (Yellowstone), c) there are many surrounding named places that lend themselves to being other poem/clue solutions. I no long think of Mammoth as a likely candidate, but I would speculate that Mammoth Springs has been chosen as a WWWH by almost as many people as the Rio Grand gorge, Madison River, and Firehole river…’s got to be in the top ten at least for beginner searches.

    So my question is who are you trying to convince; us or yourself? I can’t see how this “tailings pile” from your data mine has added anything to the conversation except unnecessary complexity. If you like it go search there…I did.

    MW Question posted 7/6/2014:
    Forrest, you talk about the clues being difficult to solve (opposite being easy) yet that the solutions are simple (opposite being complex). Yet when I read the stories of other searchers, I often think that their solutions to the clues tend to be either easy solutions or made out to be very complex and over-thought. Are there any suggestions you would give in approaching the clues and solving them? ~Craig

    “Craig, there is no substitute for thinking and planning and observing and looking at maps, unless it’s the desire to keep it simple.f”

    • Colokid’

      Vail: 1) v. to let sink – wwwh
      Tailing ponds have residue thet “sink” down to bottom = from vail down to tailing Ponds.
      hlwh could also be tailing ponds, residue sink and the water is higher than the load

  18. E.C. Waters

    Mayby if you draw lines from farthest point to point North South East and West and all around the compass…. Where all the lines meet is where the chest is!!!!!!! or is that ????????

  19. “To each his own…” But tell me, when you find the chest, will everyone say “Why didn’t I think of that?” No, they won’t…but you’ll have a great time anyway in Yellowstone. Try the fishing below the Jackson Lake dam…it is awesome!

  20. Hey EC,

    I didn’t read through all the replies, so maybe some one brought this up already…

    While I like the words twisting and bending, this seems to revolve around a hunch that Mammoth springs is the location to be at. While you explained how you went from there to fill in the blanks, the question is, can’t you do that with almost any place? Sure, you went with Peal [ and other things ] to connect the dots… but if this the wrong location to start with, you have spent a lot of man hours researching a hunch.
    Right, wrong or indifferent… what is it about That hot spring that tells you it a must starting point and wwwh out all all the others possibilities? And yes, I do understand fenn said; one will not know they got the first clue correct until the chest is found, yet with all the hot spring just in Yellowstone there choices are many.
    So what was it that clicked, and gave you the impression… this is it.

    Now for some personal thoughts… I don’t see the ” why didn’t I think of that before” smack in the head response fenn seems we should have [ not important ] just an observation. Another is… if this is correct, it seems a lot of research behind the computer etc. is a must need and little in the field or at all is needed or must stomp out… do you feel there is no reason to travel anywhere other than the retrieval process?

    This does remind me of The Wolf’s line of thinking… the difference I see [ skip the results ] you brought it to a more single direction of thought, while Wolf used a lot more to cover more/all information… a leave nothing out for any doubt type thinking [ again those are personal observations ] is it possible because you used names of places, that it narrowed other possibilities, even directing you away from those?

    I can’t argue your outcome… I can only ask the obvious. Well the obvious for me, that is. I did enjoy the read…

    • @seeker – I go where the data tells me to go until I give up. I’m just starting out on this one, and it seems compelling enough to me to get excited about it… for the moment. I’ve had other false starts, maybe this is another. Let’s see.

  21. Could read TTOTC every day of the week and still learn something new, (even about myself.)

    The Flyer rarely seemed to smile in many childhood photos and also appeared to barely manage one in most of the others. As much he has revealed in words, there continues still…an untold mystery as to those things which connect the soul to the man. ( Understood.)

    IMO, a short list, lol… to some that have:

    Family, Mentors, Archaeology, Dear Friends, Pets, Comfortable Chair, Remembrance, Bells, Millay, Bronze, Leaving People Alone sometimes,, Courage, Compassion, the Old West, Collecting Old Things, History, Aviation, Astronomy, Far Away Places, Curiosity, Writing, Protect the Planets, Aid in the Preservation and Conservation of Nature, and Native American Artifacts, the Spiritual Essence of Window & Wonders of the Great Outdoors, Frogs, a Flutterby, Literature ‘Kids’ of all ages, Knowlege, Imagination, Romance, Science, Chemistry, Nuclear Energy, and last but not least: the Universal ‘IT’ that makes Life……..tick. ( Isn’t this the quest of a great…’Teacher?)

    Inasmuch as Yellowstone, and other life experience/places holding a distinct influence having played key roles during his journey through life;…… might the maverick within him possess a bit of a rebellious streak; a desire and Truth that has remained deep enough inside, yet important enough to share with the world? A final ‘statement’ being placed near the ‘threshold’ of a….. “Special Place?” (An action which would prompt Forrest Fenn to…….smile and laugh with a depth of delight and pleasure that only he could appreciate.)

    Ultimately, a welcome home banner made from stars, spending Infinity with those he loved the most; and perhaps,…even the answer to that age old question about the Universe, awaits a remarkable human being.

    In closing, hopefully on one fine day; yourself or someone with your DNA ,,,will read all about “IT” in Forrest Fenns’ own words.


    • Yowza SL. That’s poetic.
      After my first few searches, without being able to phrase it as eloquently as you have, I came to believe the poem/search will represent the circle of life (with some eternity thrown in for good measure). Still do.

    • I too noticed the lack of smiles in the photos. The middle child. Not the 1st and not the 1st girl. Just in the middle, perhaps feeling like he had to work much harder to be noticed?

      • jmbguidry,

        Not so much to be ‘noticed;” rather… a younger Forrest who somehow, and instinctively had the depth to understand the difference.

        When the student was ready, the teacher would appear?

      • Your welcome SL…

        Good work…

        Also, where did you find this paragraph, or is this your own?

        “The Flyer rarely seemed to smile in many childhood photos and also appeared to barely manage one in most of the others. As much he has revealed in words, there continues still…an untold mystery as to those things which connect the soul to the man. ( Understood.)”

  22. Through all of that, and it is some good thinking, there is no mention of the home of “Brown”. Left out on purpose, a clue he does not want to divulge? certainly this is the main clue, figure this out and you can walk to the treasure.

      • Fill me in on what you mean? He said on Jenny’s site….

        The clues did not exist when I was a kid but most of the places the clues refer to did. I think they might still exist in 100 years but the geography probably will change before we reach the next millennia.

        All he is saying with that is that the actual clues that he wrote, did not exist back then but the places were there. He just never looked at them as clues back then. So in that text, then the physical locations of the clues ARE 75+ yrs old….most of them are (from his words).

  23. E.C. – I’m glad to read that you’re still on the hunt. I think we jump to similar conclusions. I thought one of my early ideas was original until I saw one of your previous posts about the Moran painting “halting” the waters. Thanks for all you share on Mammoth… but why share so much? And why “begin” there?

    • @DWRock – I begin where the correlations take me… Until I give up and move on. At the moment, I’m seeing flags all over Mammoth Hot Springs. I post as much as I have patience to post because it’s fun to share and see others challenge my thinking. Maybe I’m missing some big stuff that others can help redirect.

      • But why would F throw up a bunch of subtle flags for the starting place? And what canyon do you take from Mammoth to where? I haven’t been, and I haven’t looked at your references, but my interest is piqued to investigate Mammoth as an end. Would be sweet if the box is at YNP headquarters!

        • @DWRock – Why? It might be his style. He’s said (paraphrasing) he lets people hear what they want to hear.

          What canyon? IMO, Golden Gate Canyon south to Fawn Pass Trail (home of Brown) – that is if one subscribes to this method of using synonyms and alleged hints from the book, e.g. Bessie the fawn colored calf.

        • Perhaps Fawn Trail Pass to Fan Creek Trail (no paddle, but maybe one of Skippy’s Fans?)

  24. Places [themselves] are not definitive.
    What is the point of looking at stuff older than 1939?

    “most of the places the clues refer to did”

    places the
    places the CLUES
    places the clues REFER
    places the clues refer to ——> DID

    …Most….come on!
    he didn’t even say all of em / just most of them.

    Your response…
    “So in that text, then the physical locations of the clues ARE 75+/- yrs old….most of them are (from his words)”

    See what I am getting at?
    Yes everything on the planet has been around a century or more.

    You need something else in addition to “physical location”, some little ditty that came along in the past 7 decades. Quake Lake qualifies as such.

    I think f was throwing us a bone when he proffered Quake Lake.

    The Moran painting wasn’t solid enough for you? Yeah, I’m guessing that came well before f. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t rule out paintings, artwork, monuments, news events, WWII remnants,

    If you’re headed out looking for a boulder, at least look for one with a BenchMark on it.

    863 structures
    There are 863 structures just in YNP on this listing

    the website is ‘List of Classified Structures’

    It seems that not every ISP will connect you w/ this site, but it is active.

    Most of the 863 things listed are Too old, Yellowstone predates f. Each thing has it’s own photo & description, meaning try opening 863 tabs/ windows on a PC.

  25. I think everyone is over thinking, he wants families to get off the couch and see what nature has left for us to look at and have a great time doing so. I don’t believe it is out of Santa Fe very far. He has spent most of his life in New Mexico. I have a good idea where to look but my obligations keep me tied home. Good luck to all.

    • art,
      Yeah, but Fenn didn’t say, “Okay, I just spent 15 mins scratching out this poem, there’s no clues or anything in it, but if you’re gullible-I mean persistent, you’ll find my treasure.

  26. Okay E.C.
    Yellowstone it is. Here’s 2 places that satisfy my ‘timeframe argument’.

    From Wiki…a possible WWWH
    The thermal features at West Thumb are not only found on the lake shore, but extend under the surface of the lake as well.
    Several underwater hydrothermal features were Discovered in the Early 1990s and can be seen as slick spots or slight bulges in the summer.
    During the winter, the underwater thermal features are visible as melt holes in the icy surface of the lake.
    The surrounding ice can reach three feet (one meter) in thickness.”
    This timely bit hit me because of the date & the name of the stream. You mentioned a geyser basin, well have at it.
    I was searching thru streamgauge records of our 4 states & this name jumped out at me. This streamgauge is a latecomer (2004) and Tantalus Creek isn’t more than 1.5 mi long. Maybe this could stand in for… No place for the Meek

    I’m not cultured enough, so I had to look up Tantalus on Wiki…
    “A king in classical mythology who, as punishment for having offended the gods, was tortured with everlasting thirst and hunger in Hades.
    He stood up to his chin in water, but each time he bent to quench his thirst, the water receded.
    There were boughs heavy with fruit over his head, but each time he tried to pluck them, the wind blew them out of reach”

    plenty of studies done along there, a link w/ some photos

  27. I hate to keep boring researchers with this same old word nonsense… but here’s my latest thinking for those still interested.

    I speculate Home of Brown = Tibur (home of Faunus / Pan / Fatuus)… Tibur seems to be the origin of the word travertine (Mammoth Hot Springs). In “Bessie and Me”, F refers to his fawn-colored calf.

    I’m seeing Greco-Roman mythology references in abundance.

    • EC
      you are no more boring searchers w/ old word nonsense, than I with Trivia. I just tend to lean toward the more practical.

      “Mary Babnik Brown
      (November 22, 1907 – April 14, 1991) was an American citizen who became known for having donated her hair to the United States military during World War II.
      Thirty-four inches long, her blonde hair had never been chemically treated or heated with curling irons, and therefore proved resilient enough to use as crosshairs in Norden bombsights for bomber aircraft, which have to withstand a wide range of temperatures and humidity”

      In the Wiki photo Mary looks more like Janis Joplin, than Susanne Sommers pictured beside ff at the front of TFTW

      • “Mary Babnick Brown’s contribution to the war effort was TOP SECRET, as closely guarded as were Norden bombsights.
        Not until 1987 did she learn that her hair had been used for virtually every Norden bombsight produced. ‘I couldn’t believe it when they told me,’ Mrs. Brown mused”
        “Used on the B-24 Liberator, the B-29 Super Fortress and the B-17 Flying Fortress, the Norden bombsight was so secret
        that it was equipped with explosives, Feder said, and crews were ordered to destroy it if their bomber ran the risk of falling into enemy hands.”

        • Holy cow. That is some really arcane stuff that is very interesting. Doesn’t apply to any of my solves, but thanks for that.

          I love the stuff all you people churn up. It’s pretty mind-bending.

  28. If not Peale, why bells? In “Epilogue”, F says “Embarrassing incidents educate the best and the fastest and can come with a lasting sting.” Does this correlate to the Greek myth of Bellerophon and Pegasus (his rented horse, Lightning)?

    I kinda wonder if the blaze might be the “Albright Visitor Center”. Am I grasping at straws?

  29. E. C., I agree with you. my WWH is Mammoth Hot Springs- Navigator, this post is for you, if you’re still here- Cause a long time ago, I told you why. mums the word. You were such a great, patient pen pal. And I’m a patient searcher. We were all over the place, but deep, far thinking. I never left the poem. If I’m right, (doubtful) I owe you a beer, and more. just for listening.

  30. Hi all. Just a quick update from my side. My interpretation has moved me out of Yellowstone, and in fact out of Wyoming completely. I apologize.

    Here’s a quick example of what I think are links without fully giving away my solution yet:
    – TTOTC, Important Literature, For Whom The Bell Tolls leads to John Donne…
    – TTOTC, Flywater, leads to John Donne’s friend, Izaak Walton, who wrote The Compleat Angler…
    – Both lead to Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, containing an important hint why the poem is “straight-forward”, and puts an X on a map.

    I’m heading to BOTG next weekend to become an April Fool. If nothing else, I am really looking forward to preparing this next blog post, and seriously hopeful Dal will post it. A lot of deep thinking has gone into this solution.

    • Well, this certainly is an interesting turn of events. I will wait with bated breath to hear about your quest. If, indeed, you do find Indulgence, you better dang well come to Fennboree and at least let us feast our eyes upon its glory.
      Good luck and safe travels, EC.

      (but I, for one, am not ready for this to be over just yet)

  31. EC…wow! A real pulpit pounding synopsis for such a long time, them…BAM! “My interpretation has moved me out of YS…” !
    That proves to myself, take what you read with a grain of salt and believe in your OWN imagination foremost. Sage advice isn’t always the wisest advice. Thanks for confirming that at the end of each end, is a beginning, it’s a continuous spiral, a journey through colors, smells and sights, with a question of “why” at the end of each.
    Never grow to old to ask “why”, if you do, you will stop living and become an asterisk. Ride the dragonfly!
    Now, play safe!

    • @Donna – I think the method of reading the clues is correct, but how I interpreted the matching of locations was incomplete. I have found something that was hiding in history which I knew nothing about, similar to the proverbial Rosetta Stone if you will, which has opened my eyes to a new interpretation. It’s like one day realizing Eric Sloane was supposed to be interpreted as Hans Sloane, and then having to go back and recalculate everything… Just as much passion and pulpit pounding, but an important new tweak.

  32. E.C. Waters – I am thankful that Dal directed us to your “The Case for Yellowstone” today,…because of a mention of Pinyon Terrace by Joseph on another thread. I had not read your solve,…because I have not been on The Chase since the end of last summer. I think it is stupendous!

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us here at Dal’s. 🙂

  33. @E* – I’ve disengaged almost completely after Fenn’s comments to a reader on MW regarding Backup Plans. He professes he takes no pleasure in doing what I suggest he is doing, so I must say I have been completely on the wrong path, and my skills here are aimless. My last most promising (to me) solution was posted real-time here on, called Seven Falls Theory. One can google those words and arrive relatively quickly. I still have straggler threads that send me updates, this is one. But I am otherwise unplugged. Will you kindly point me to the thread you mention where Dal is recommending this case?

  34. The park is full of exciting wonders. The wildest geysers in the world…hills of sparkling crystal, hills of glass, hills of cinders and ashes, mountains of every style of architecture, icy or forested…mountains boiled soft like potatoes and colored like a sunset sky. Therefore it is called Wonderland, and thousands of tourists and travelers stream into it every summer, and wander about in it enchanted.

    ~John Muir on Yellowstone, 1885.

  35. I read this for the first time today E.C. The argument for Mammoth and West Yellowstone is well established. Fenn’s stories and books seem to almost point to that area like a neon sign. Maybe that’s why I have avoided looking there(?) Your thoughts and depth of research intrigues me. Is this still your primary search area, and are you planning another trip? Thanks for the interesting post.


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