Theory for When Forrest Hid Indulgence…

November 2017

by Rob


Forrest has been understandably secretive about when he hid the treasure chest. Scrapbook 163 discusses the fact-checking questions that were asked of Forrest prior to publication of Taylor Clark’s story “The Everlasting Forrest Fenn” in the California Sunday Magazine (which appears inside the L.A. Times and the San Francisco Examiner). That story, by the way, was my first exposure to Forrest Fenn and his treasure. A few of those questions dealt with when Forrest hid the treasure:

Fact-checker: “Even your wife didn’t know when you buried the treasure, correct?”

Forrest Fenn:I have never said I buried the treasure so please don’t say that. I hid the treasure, but that does not mean it is not buried. I just didn’t want to give that as a clue. My wife’s name is Peggy.”

F-C: “You hid it in 2010?”

FF: “I have never pinned it down that close. I just say I was 79 or 80 when I hid it.”

F-C: “So you were 80 then?

FF: “I was 79 or 80. I have a reason for not wanting to give an exact date.”

A year-and-a-half earlier during the Moby Dickens Bookshop Q&A in Taos, an anonymous fan posted a question to Forrest’s online fan base: “Was the car, you walked back to after hiding the treasure, rented?” Forrest replied, “You know, that’s the first time I’ve been asked that question. But, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about that. That’s why I’ve told people that I buried the treasure … that I hid the treasure chest when I was either 79 or 80 years old because I don’t want the exact date to be known because I’m afraid someone will go check the rental car records and how many miles did Mr. Fenn put on the truck or car, and so I don’t answer those kind of questions. But shoot that person that sent that email.”

So if that had been as precise as Forrest was willing to be, then it would mean he hid the chest some day between August 22, 2009 (when he turned 79) and August 21, 2011 (the last day he was 80) – a 730-day span. However, The Thrill of the Chase was released in the fall of 2010, so it is reasonable to assume the chest was already hidden by then. Any lingering doubts about that were removed by Douglas Preston’s forward to Forrest’s soon-to-be-released third memoir, Once Upon A While. If Doug’s account below is accurate, then we now know that Forrest was 79 when he hid Indulgence:

“And then finally, one lovely summer day in August 2010, I visited him and he brought me into the vault. The chest was gone! “I finally hid it,” he said. He was about to turn eighty years old and still in excellent health with no sign of cancer, and he decided to stop waiting and hide the chest now.”

So that cuts the window by more than half. Doug doesn’t give the exact day he visited Forrest in August, but it was no later than August 21st, which means the absolute latest Forrest could have hidden the chest was August 20th. But thanks to some middle school kids’ questions that Forrest responded to in February this year, we can say more than that:

Q: “Could you also tell was (sic) time of year you hid the treasure?”

A: “Yes, it was summer.

And later:

Q: “What time of year did you hid (sic) the treasure?

A: “Summer

There is some ambiguity as to what dates Forrest considers to fall under “summer,” but I doubt it’s a strict astronomical definition based on the summer solstice and autumnal equinox. Most likely, it’s just the three months that most school kids would consider summer in the U.S.: June, July and August. But to be safe, I retained September since technically fall doesn’t start until late September. So we’re left with two Indulgence-hiding windows: August 22, 2009 – September 30, 2009, and June 1, 2010 – August 20, 2010. So 40 days in 2009 and 81 days in 2010.

So why does any of this matter to anyone other than unscrupulous rental car agency employees? Because I wanted to show just how limited the possibilities are. I’ve winnowed down 730 possible days to just 121. And I’m about to knock that down to a single day because I think Forrest actually hid the date in the poem itself!

There are no years or months mentioned in the poem, and few words that could be construed as numbers to be used for dates, so how could he hide a date in the poem? One way would be to use letters to stand in for numbers, e.g. A=1, B=2, … Z=26. So today’s date (October 25, 2017) could be encoded as 10-25-2017 or J (10) – Y (25) – T (20) – Q (17), or alternatively as JBETQ if the 25 was split into individual digits.

Now, not all dates can be encoded this way. For instance, October 30, 2017 won’t work because we don’t have a letter to correspond to either 30 or 0. The year 2009 presents problems, too, because of the consecutive zeroes. The best one can do is encode that year as “TI” and assume the decoder will figure out that 20-9 means 2009 and not 209.

With the exception of the four days in our window that fall on the 30th of a month, every date can be expressed as either a 4-letter code or a 5-letter code, sometimes both. There are 456,976 possible 4-letter combinations, only 103 of which encode a date in our window, so the odds of a random 4-letter combination producing one of our dates is about one in 4437. The odds are even longer on a matching 5-letter combination: 1 in 162759. But there are a lot of ways to pull letters out of the poem: consecutive letters in a word, initial letters of consecutive words, final letters in consecutive words, first letters of poem lines, and so on. But if Forrest was really going to do this and expect it to be found, why bury it somewhere obscure? Why not stick it in plain sight by using only the capitalized letters that begin each poem line?

There are 24 lines in the poem, and therefore 21 different 4-letter codes that can be generated using consecutive lines (without wraparound from the bottom back to the top). The first is AAIA from the words As, And, I & And. That would work okay if Forrest had hidden the chest on January 1, 1991 (1-1-9-1) with the 1900 implied. But let’s cut to the chase. Despite the long odds, there is exactly one date in our 121-day chest-hiding window that can be found using this system:

From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

FTTJ = 6-20-20-10 = June 20, 2010. Not only does it encode the last two digits of the year, it encodes the full year. And the code is completely contained within one stanza. It also immediately follows the word Brown: the only capitalized noun in the poem. Arguably it is the second most prominent location to hide a four-letter code, exceeded only by using the first four lines. If Forrest really did secret the hiding date within his poem, that might explain one of his enigmatic puzzlers from Mysterious Writings Weekly Words a little over a year ago:

“I could have written the poem before I hid the treasure chest, but I didn’t.”

On a final note, Forrest wrote in TTOTC that two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead, so there has been speculation that perhaps one other person, now deceased, might have known where Forrest would hide the treasure. I think this date tells us that person’s identity. June 20th in 2010 fell on a Sunday. Father’s Day.


472 thoughts on “Theory for When Forrest Hid Indulgence…

  1. yeah,, I’m sure Tex with pickup and kids
    has tought exactly the same on all this

  2. Rental car agencies at that time would of had a fleetmatics software in all there vehicles that are equivalent to a black box of an airplane. It holds GPS data of everywhere the chip has ever been.

  3. Does this then narrow the search area to some place that he had gone with his father?
    On the topic of which date he hid the treasure: I had assumed that he had hid it sometime on the cusp of his 80th birthday, or just before. At that time he would have considered himself to be either 79 or 80.

    Dwelling on the number 79 has also seemed to be a hint to me. For example, not far but too far to walk from FF’s home is the upper canyon road. Also known as road 79. It goes past the Santa Fe city reservoirs along the Santa Fe river. I tried to go their two weeks ago but the road was closed….
    As for me I put the date in early August, and no car was rented.

  4. Batty, you’re funny! Rob, thanks for the info, it’s interesting. My dad’s birthday is June 20th.

  5. Of course you have a 50 – 50 chance – You are correct, or you are not.

    For me, what difference does it make? I am betting on his Birthday. What a present to give himself. He had worked on the poem off-and-on for 20+ years, now “The deed was done” – no more contemplation. HAPPY B-Day Forrest!

    But as I said, who cares? What difference what day? JDA

    • Hi JDA: I agree that knowing what day Forrest hid the treasure is of little use in determining *where* he hid it. (Though if it ~was~ on Father’s Day in 2010, that might give an advantage to family members or close friends who might recall where he was, or at least rule out places he couldn’t have been.) June is also a bit early in the search season for a lot of geographic locations in the Rockies (it certainly was THIS year), so if one knew that was the day, then he probably wasn’t tromping through 4-foot snow drifts at 10,000 feet — it would place new restrictions on the spot. But this is mostly an academic exercise because we’re not going to get confirmation on the date Forrest hid the chest.

      • I’m not sure if the treasure chest would have been hidden on a special occasion, such as Father’s Day or his birthday. The reasoning behind my thought would be that family members would want to stop by and see him.

        This is an opinion, offered as a thought.

      • I agree that June is too early – different reason though. I also would think it would be on a day where no one would have noticed that he was somewhere else- it is hard to disappear on holidays – fathers day, birthday – so I would remove those as possibilities. I also would think if he said summer it was really summer and not a day earlier or later. There was also a scrapbook somewhere either 2014 or 2015 where he said something in early october that it is time to sit and be quiet or that the time to search is over for the year. All in all, I think reading and planning are good but BOG is best only in the summer when the kiddies are out of school. It is a reason why Fennboree should be aimed very close to the beginning of summer according to the equinox. IMO It is a hunt for the family and not for individuals to roam alone in dangerous places or during dangerous weather conditions. IMO

        • Hi Crow (and others who favor Forrest’s “summer” beginning on the summer solstice and not at the beginning of June): I think we get some pretty clear insight into Forrest’s thinking on this subject from the Flywater chapter of TTOTC, page 121, start of second paragraph: “June, July and August in Yellowstone seemed to pass so fast when I was a kid that I often wondered if maybe summer somehow missed the turn there.” Notice no mention of September.

          • Hi Kira — yes, that was the point of my providing some evidence that Forrest considers “summer” to be June, July and August, and not just the strict astronomical definition from the summer solstice to the autumnal equinox. 6-20-2010 was technically the last day of spring, but I think Forrest considers anything in June to be summertime.

          • I didnt think it needed spelling out. I was just pointing out how the dates coincided but if you don’t think the coincidence is anything, then it doesnt seems you’re not fully embracing your date from above.
            Forrest did say it was time to act. Perhaps he had it planned for so long for those dates to coincide. To get to a perfect 1-1 may never have been realistic.

          • Kira: I guess I don’t follow you. I don’t think Forrest chose the hiding date because of any association with the solstice. He might not have “chosen” the hiding date at all. But either way, I don’t think Forrest gives a hoot about the date of the solstice; but Father’s Day might be important to him.

          • Zap,
            Fathers day is a good thought… but the solstice might explain 100 or 1000 years down the road and why in 3009 [because of land movement] it will “surely” have an impact on the clues.
            We are; looking for a precise spot, with a direct path… with a certainty beforehand, right?
            Could< "two can keep a secret if one is dead," refer to the father and fathers day and the solstice all hinting a date? or time of year…

            Could "your effort be worth the cold" to mean, the morning of that date .. Night to Day, or even the need to camp out for that first summer morning sunrise? Cold of the night.. spring to summer…
            "Planning" and "Observing" ?
            And obviously don't forget the father's day card. Maybe the item "saved" specially for the finder is that of the fathers and "she" the mother will be happy to see it… metaphorically.

            I surely wouldn't want to say anything about that item, if it might have a date attach to a thought.

          • there is a simple explaination SCHOOL. his dad had to back in texas in time to start school

  6. Rob you are a very astute analyzer of this poem from it’s possible mathematical co-ordinates, I applaud your insight and know that your keen insight has helped me, an old school analog tracker to see things from the language of math.

    I was at the book signing and review and asked ff On the November 2, book signing and the following Q and A,
    I was the first one to ask a question and it was this “Forrest, you said in your poem that you must be WISE to find the Blaze, and what I would like to know is, is the Blaze created by or is it a living thing?

    Well Forrest was not allowed to answer by several in his inner circle including Doug Preston, and Shilo Old, so I would like to know if I am onto something or not. Lets have one of ff’s secret admirers ask that on Jen blog or in an email since he was about to answer me but didn’t or couldn’t.

    It is no secret that I believe the TC is on the Border of NM and Colorado, because the significance of the Big Picture and truly getting WWWH and Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls, WWI as a deeper meaning to 32 degrees in another layer of the poem. Structures and designed by Architects have 3 dimensions, latitude, longitude and altitude.

    I am still waiting for his answer…


    • TT… Why would you ask a question that you know wouldn’t be answered? Do you think he wants to help you find the TC? I don’t get it.

      • OS2… There’s nothing wrong with that question. It’s a good question.

        Tom Terrrific… In my opinion your question is accurate then here is my answer. “WISE” is a living thing… The “blaze” can be because all matter is made up of “Atoms”

    • Apparently we should read the blogs for entertainment.

      Maybe I can provide some entertainment, particularly during the time of year that is not as conducive to BOTG searching, compared to summer.

      It’s been said that the blaze is not something that could
      not feasibly be moved/destroyed. This suggests that it’s not a “living” thing such as a tree, marshal, or piper with
      a pie.

      If a living thing (and I don’t mean to ignore the other
      members of the fentastic fore) created the blaze, then it likely could feasibly be destroyed by someone who isn’t going enola in there.

      In solving the poem, I don’t believe it’s important to know when Forrest hid the TC in the Rocky mountains north of Santa Fe, even if time/timing could play an important role in the finding of the TC.

      I would like to know a few things not related to when the
      TC was most recently hidden . . . such as what “marvel gaze” is all about.


      • Tighterfocus, when you say a tree, I would with you, even a good sized forest could be destroyed, but not this type of wood, Aspen Groves are a single living organism, all on one root system, some scientist believe there are groves of Aspen WOOD perhaps 100 thousand years old, and have you ever seen them in full color? I shot this video after the blaze had almost finished…

        You can see Winter Thoughts for background photos of this place.


        • TT
          I was reading your ideas and you got my attention. LOL!
          You have helped us in verifying our solve with one more piece of info. every piece one can find to add to ones solve is so helpful. I agree the TC is in NM. I found this “Aspen trees range from the Rocky Mountains south to New Mexico, elevations from 6,700 to 10,000 feet and from plant zones 3 through 7”
          Notice the elevations are close to Mr. Fenn’s rule that TC is between 5,000 to 10,000
          We think you are onto something and for us there is a date involved. We don’t like not sharing our info with others, but we fear giving out a piece that would give our solve away. Everyone has info they can’t share for the same reasons.
          As you solve the clues if you are lucky or blessed you find pieces in your research that back up your ideas. Last count we had over 70 pieces of info that back up our ideas. It takes a long time to gather all the little pieces of info you need to verify each of the clues. All of this is OMHO and we could be SOOOO WRONG & will not know until we get to search again next yr. Since I am a birder I don’t think we will be eating crow but hats could be on the menus.

          • There are at least 2 Quakers on this blog, myself being one.

            What did you men about these being Quakers Aspens as apposed to Quaking Aspens? IS there a Quaker connection.

            I love Quaker history,.

          • hi lugnutz BTW love the name. please know no offence was meant and was caused by me being a TERRIBLE speller. It took me an hour and several rereads to post the long post above there to TT. I again meant no disrespect and I confused the term quaking with quaker. I cross words a lot because of mild learning disorder. some think i play dumb lol

      • tighterfocus…. first you must find, understand and analyze MARVEL and then the word GAZE. Two separate items that work together “on site” or BOTG as people here want to say.

      • I believe more and more strongly that ‘but tarry scant with marvel gaze’ has to do with:
        1) Being transfixed by the discover of the Blaze, it must be so incredibly wonderful that someone cannot help but stare transfixed.
        2) That the sun is somehow involved in the Blaze and will soon pass. Whether the sun’s rays are shining at a certain angle or something else. The idea is to think quick, take the chest and go in peace wtihout idling too long.
        These are my current thoughts. It does seem like the exact location of the sun’s path will move between June-August but this may or may not be a concern. It is the reason why the final clue requires BOTG.

        • Michael;

          Since the earth is always rotating, making it appear that the sun is rising and setting, how can you know what time is the correct time to be at the blaze? Ten minutes too soon, or ten minutes too late, and you may have missed it. Will the earth be in the same relation to the sun 1,000 years from now? How can this celestial “clock” work 1,000 years from now., and not be off a few minutes or seconds? Won’t that make it ever so much harder to solve 1000 years from now?

          Sorry, I just can not see Forrest banking on something like that.

          The sun MAY help in locating the exact location of Indulgence, but I do not see it as a prerequisite. I think that there are enough clues and hints and ATF info out there for an observant searcher to find Indulgence – being at the hidey spot at a particular day and time might reveal something interesting, but by then, Indulgence will be safely tucked away in a bank vault somewhere – JMO – JDA

  7. Ironically, during the Moby Dickens event, FF ‘unprovoked’ stated that he hid the chest 15 years after he was diagnosed with cancer, which would put it around 2003ish.

  8. Bob—-

    Thanks—very astute. June 20, 2010 was a Sunday. Rental car companies normally don’t rent cars on Sundays do they? Do one’s at airports rent on Sunday’s? Most likely the car was rented on 6-18-10, a Friday then, but who knows? It does narrow it down a bit though. Good article.

    • Major rental car company’s are open all year,except for franchises. Rental company’s clear their data base everytime a credit card has expired or a certain number of days has reached its maximum period or if the customers account is idle for too long.
      I believe it’s not about the rental car but more about what took place between Aug 2009 and Aug 21 2010.

  9. As Forrest would say, “What difference does it make when I hid it, you still must find it.” Okay, so let’s say 6-20-2010 is the exact date he hid it. So what? So what now? How does that help you? Forget when he hid it, it’s where he hit it that counts.

    • What, where, when, how and why? Knowing when could be important. We are only left with why, how, and the main question where then. When may help lead you to where.

      • Sparrow;

        Since Forrest has already stated that it was secreted in the “Summer” – how would knowing what day in “summer” help you? I just don’t get it. JDA

        • JDA,
          Ask yourself, how many years have gone by from the release of the book until the kids recently got fenn to answer ‘summer’ when he was asked many time prior the same question.

          This might be the same as ‘the mountains north of SF’ [ the original information ] and the RM’s stated later.

          The reasons a day and /or summer could help is two folds… no reason to search in winter month [ not just for safety ] but possible that the clues only work in the summer [ date ] and why fenn stated he followed the clues, and there are no short cuts or any other way to his knowledge.
          As well as, no one will stumble upon it… apparently for 100 or even 1000 years down the road, and the need to “plan and observe”…

          I’m really surprised [ well, maybe not surprised ] that so many jump at this thread without really any thought to the possibilities [ not the exact method or math ] but simply to think about it.
          Especially when each year, fenn basically tells us to pack it in and enjoy the warmth of the fire place and wait till the mud drys.

        • JDA—

          Well, if one had an idea how the chest was hidden, and might be able to obtain proof based on that “how” (meaning mode of transportation used), narrowing the date down might help a lot. Not as much document searching would be needed— you could zero in on a particular year, then a particular month, and a particular day. One could find out quite a bit with that information. I am speaking as a detective would at the moment.

        • I agree JDA, it just means the summer and no particular day – at least I don’t see a particular day mentioned by him. IMO

      • Sparrow,
        Not that it will answer “where”… but… it might help understand fenn’s thoughts of “down the road,” and why in 3009 it will be harder to located the chest because of movement of the RM’s will surely have an effect.
        As well as, why we might not be able to find it;
        “I’m not flippant about this. It’s not something somebody is going to be able to do on spring break or a Sunday afternoon picnic. I’m looking a hundred years down the road, maybe a thousand years down the road. People don’t understand that.”

        • Seeker, How does one explain his statement (paraphrased) on MW, six questions, I think on 2-4-2014. ‘The treasure may be found sooner than I expected.’
          Perhaps at that time a searcher had sent him a picture that surprised him, it was probably very close to the spot. Maybe that searcher has gone back to the drawing board and I think that searcher knows how close he was now, and is soon to go back to retrieve it. The chase seems to be winding down to an end.

          • considering the date it was reported. It might be safe to say that from summer 2013 to winter 2014 more than one searcher has been close to the chest. If that is true, wouldnt it be plausible to track early searches and narrow down. or is it good to say there is no need to blaze a new trail or go where no man has gone before. >200′

        • No, Manowar. We know he hid it before he turned 80, which means it could not have been later than August 21, 2010.

          • Manowar: Doug Preston’s account specifically eliminates the possibility that Forrest was 80 when he hid the chest. He was 79.

          • Zap….Doug Preston has said a lot of things that are just conjecture and propaganda to help F sell his stories. Believe him if you wish.

          • ManOwar: I guess I could likewise say if you want to believe that Forrest hid the treasure chest in 2011 (months *after* the release of TTOTC), then that’s fine with me. But are you okay with Forrest allowing Doug to write an outright falsehood in the Foreword of his third memoir?

          • Zap….Just for the record I think Forrest hid the TC sometime between 7-15-2010 and 8-15-2010 and leaning to the first week in August.

          • ManOwar — that’s certainly possible, and I think many searchers here would agree with your 1-month time window. I’m agnostic about the theory since true or false it would have no impact on where I think the chest is located (i.e. my focus area isn’t near the high end of Forrest’s 5,000′-10,200′ range).

        • I have no idea when he hid the chest. So many calories put into this topic…

          It’s going to be a long winter…

    • Hi ManOwar: as I posted up-thread, a June 20th hide date would preclude some fraction of the shaded map, particularly at high latitudes and/or high altitudes. But I agree that overall it’s not helpful in pinpointing where Forrest hid the chest. It’s like eliminating Utah: helpful at killing solutions, not creating them.

      • And how does it precludes some of the shaded map? Surely not just because it’s Father’s Day.

      • Because on June 20th, much of the Rockies are still under three or more feet of snow. And if someone has a solution that requires a river crossing, a June 20th hide date could kill it on safety grounds, because river flow rates in the Rockies are highest in late spring and early summer.

        • Forrest has stated he could go get it in any weather. That also means he could have hid it in any weather. So no it doesn’t preclude any of the map. IMO

          • Manowar dude

            I have been telling Zap this for a year. I’m guessing that’s Zaps target is high and under snow much of the year.

            He can’t hear what Fenn is saying. He’s not listening good.


          • Lugnutz: I don’t think you’re being very logical. Why would I propose a theory that actually precludes the general area where I think the chest is hidden? Mind you, I would never alter my search location based on an unverifiable theory, but I think if that actually *was* the date Forrest hid the chest, it would work hand-in-hand with his statement that he could retrieve the chest in any weather. If the chest is in a spot that you can only get to in July or August (say, at 10000 feet in northern Montana), that wouldn’t exactly be an “any weather” spot, would it?

          • Zap, ManOwar, Lugnutz,
            You guys talk about the comment “probably in an weather” as the entire trip/path to get to the chest. The comment seems very specific to.. if you “know” where it is is…

            If you think about it, that might suggest the exact location of the chest is relatively protected and “retrievable” from that spot.

            Now, if you think the chest is under a bush, or on an open knoll, or just laying in the woods etc., then the idea of the hide being relatively protecting doesn’t work. Ya know… a place he and the chest could fit in there.

          • Lug: Yes. I didn’t stipulate to Dal to use my moniker, and was fine with whatever he chose.

        • Zap would that involve the Planning part of the “thinking, analyzing, planning, observing and using logic and imagination we have been told?

          ManOwar, I think you have two or more comments mixed up together.
          Fenn said “IF you ‘know’ where the ‘chest’ is you can ‘probably’ retrieve it on any weather.. [ there is no absolute to that comment, nothing about the severity of the “path”, but the “retrieval at the hide.” ]
          He also stated [ I think at age 84 and a later age – stating his “age” each time ] he could go right to the chest… [again, that is not absolute to a time of season, or whether, but an age ].

          I don’t believe fenn said those words “he could get go get it in any weather” However, if you have that quote worded like that.. I’d be very interested.

          • Seeker, You are probably right, my mix up. But, let’s take his statement, “IF you ‘know’ where the ‘chest’ is you can ‘probably’ retrieve it on any weather.” Well, by using logic you can deduce that Forrest could also probably get it (or hide it) in any weather. So I’m still sticking with a date of 6-20-10 not precluding any part of the map.

          • Sure, I wasn’t talking about a map… or location for any kinda of elimination of an area.
            To be honest, I’m talking more about how fenn can make a statement, be true and truthful, and gives pause to really think about what might be actually stated and not so much what it seems to say.

            Kinda like;
            It’s not what I say, it’s what they think I said.
            [it’s not who you are, it’s who they think you are]

  10. This is a great thread. Now, where do I start? I can say the answer was hidden in two different years on the same afternoon.

    An Indian Scout and A Saint

    • Would you be so kind to explain the ‘two different years on the same afternoon’, please?

      • Sorry, Pdenver, I forgot to put IMO. My statement is invalid and wrong, sorry. I am waiting to hear from someone about the exact year.

  11. Rob, Nice deduction work.
    But lets start with what we know from the book itself…
    “at age almost 80, I figured it was time to act.”
    Simple logic would tells us, prior to later August of 79. With the idea, that almost 80 would need to be more than 6 month into that year 2009, because the book release of Jan 2010. Simple math give a window of approx 182 day for a 6 month period, right? But fenn stated at almost 80… which might imply a closer prox. to 4 months of the year [ April May, June July and possibly part of August ] four month is now approx. 120 days give or take August.
    As of late, we have fenn stating summer, as you noted. The first day of “summer’ is in June. leaving part of June, July and part of August or approx. 61 days.

    But even though that figuring could be done with just the book and the kids wiggling out summer from fenn… I too think the poem give a date and a month. The date has a short time window, so it’s more like days than an actual single date… but that is an interpretation, as well as the month.
    My only problem.. well not a problem, but more a observation… you had to get into a lot of math difficulty and twisting to squeeze a possible date. Which personally I think was not needed, and almost forcing by looking for words that could work… And all of my calculating done with easy deductions, and not four letter combinations or tweaking letters or looking for a word that works in the poem to do it.
    Honestly any redneck with a pickup or Walmart Welcomer with Dodge neon or an account on wall street with a Benz could have done it.

    Do you know what happens during these closely related date?
    June, fathers day, summer …

      • LOL, man I got screwed up with age and years.

        Please note oct 2010 for book release, and 6 month into the year 2010, not 09.
        Sorry folks i had 79 -80 [age] in my head… everything in the post is meant for the year “2010.” lol I have too many ATF floating in my head.

    • Hi Seeker,

      I didn’t want to read too much into the “at age almost 80, I figured it was time to act” quote. After all, Forrest has been consistent in his unwillingness to say whether he was 79 or 80 (at least up until Doug conclusively ruled out the latter). 80 being a decade year, I think it’s fair for anyone who has reached 79 years of age (even if they just turned 79) to say they are almost 80.

      “The first day of “summer’ is in June. leaving part of June, July and part of August or approx. 61 days.”

      I wouldn’t rule out early June as possibly being fair game for colloquial summer.

      “… you had to get into a lot of math difficulty and twisting to squeeze a possible date.”

      Hardly. What could be simpler than A=1, B=2? I think even Forrest’s “rednecks in TX” can handle that. The only math analysis that was marginally difficult was estimating the probability of a false positive — something that’s important to do in order to gauge how much weight (if any) to attach to a hypothesis. It is rare to have a random string of four or five letters that can be interpreted as a full date — more so, one that happens to coincide with the known window that Forrest says he hid Indulgence. It’s certainly not a slam dunk. It’s more like an interesting possibility.

      • Zap working backward from your comment… the math started to get screwy when the talk of 4 letters and words etc. were now be used as calculating … my post came up with the same date[s] [ the S is add for a reason, which I’m sure you can understand ] by only simple reasoning and not so much math.
        very subtle hints if you like… those same kinda hints that make you go hmmm, when a thought kicks in.
        “at age’… almost 80”
        As far as ruling out early June.. in the beginning, I ddin’t.. it was still in the process of narrowing it down. Almost 80 would almost eliminate 3/4 of the year. although i start at the 6 month part. We also have additional information in that almost 80, which fenn repeats, don’t go where an 80 yr old can’t carrying a heavy backpack twice in one afternoon… kinda puts a damper on prior to summer and now know to be summer.
        I’m pretty sure fenn knows hen “summer” starts
        Ok the point is easy math deduction and not letter or words need for calculation.

        But if you think 80 might refer to a decade, then 79 must as well, right? I hardly think it would mean age 79 and the 80’s decade… he didn’t know of his illness until 88. I’m not following the logic.

        Ok so you said ~’I wouldn’t rule out early June as possibly being fair game for colloquial summer.’
        I showed how it might not be the early part of June. and hinted why.

        How do you think the early part is still in play?

        {note; I also think, as stated in the post by Rob, there is something in the poem that point to a time/date/month/summer} I’m just not going to say it.

          • Why or how would ‘no place for the meek’ relate to spring… The stanza talks/starts with that right? Is the “end” not related to meek, somehow??
            Or is the end related to hoB and hoB is a large area… leading to [ “from there” ] to meek?

            I have a hard to reading; From there it’s no place for the meek, The end ‘of spring’ [ as a season ] is ever drawing nigh [ near?]

            You also talk about the four letters as numbers… have you ever looked up, what the letters might suggest? Example; AAIA.. Association on American Indian Affairs. Or maybe the Auto club origination, for those searchers driving their solves.

            We can look at the capital letters many ways [ trust me, I have ] But you are only using four out of 24…LOL what about the rest? Is the entire poem designed the same as your posted theory of when fenn hid the chest?

            However, I’m not saying the capital letters are not important, imo.
            fenn told us each word was deliberate, not to discount words etc.

            I personally don’t think the poem was adding them [ capital letter ] for a ‘poetic’ design. Not when the author felt like an architect crafting the poem.

            But here’s my question… you and I came up with the same date [ mine just has a narrow window of opportunity for finding the chest ]…
            Why is your math method better than my deduction method [ and a couple of interpretations of lines in the poem – and help form the book ] any better or the right path/method?

            Just curious.

          • Seeker: I included the wink on that spring drawing nigh remark because I was joking. Now, had the date been in late March, I might have tried tying it to the saying “In like a lion, out like a lamb” (lambs being docile or meek).

            You’ve (finally) brought up the other capital letters in the poem (amazed no one else had yet!) I will not comment on that except to say yes of course I investigated them, and in fact they are the reason that I latched onto FTTJ because I have long had a use for the preceding letters.

            As for your last question, I’m not saying my “math method” (I would never call it that, btw) is superior to your approach. But it does have one advantage: it is based solely on the poem and a little imagination. No after-the-fact data required.

          • Keep in mind.. ATF for me are a check and balance. If they seem to dictate to me an answer, or must know, leading to an answer… I toss the answer.

            I hear ya on the capital letters. It was brought up by some knowitall guy so many moons ago I can’t even remember what he looked like then. LOL and not many would entertain the possibility [possibilities?]

            Ok .. Now a nagging question I ask myself… why use or need numbers placed in other areas of the poem?
            Doesn’t that sorta say “all the information” is not in order… regardless IF WE THINK it’s a clue or a hint -?- or what exactly a clue to a hint is within the poem.

            I know what my answer is… curious to what yours is.

      • Hi Seeker — I still think Forrest is more likely to use the meteorological definition of summer in everyday speech as opposed to astronomical. From Wikipedia:

        “Meteorological seasons are reckoned by temperature, with summer being the hottest quarter of the year and winter the coldest quarter of the year. In 1780 the Societas Meteorologica Palatina (which became defunct in 1795), an early international organization for meteorology, defined seasons as groupings of three whole months as identified by the Gregorian calendar. Ever since, professional meteorologists all over the world have used this definition. Therefore, for temperate areas in the northern hemisphere, spring begins on 1 March, summer on 1 June, autumn on 1 September, and winter on 1 December.”

        With ages, I think with both children and seniors there is an attraction to “rounding up.” If my grandmother was 99 and a few months, I wouldn’t begrudge her pride in claiming she was almost 100. I wouldn’t say the same tendency applies if someone is 76 and a few months — i.e., they wouldn’t say they were almost 77. It’s only approaching special “odometer rollover” ages that attract the rounding. (Amusing that quite the reverse happens at 29 and 39!)

      • Zap –

        If Forrest intentionally encoded that date in the poem I will buy you dinner.

        There is no math. Nothing is encoded. No ciphering.

        In my opinion that’s what Forrest said several ways.


        • Lugnutz,
          Is there really ‘no math’? Everything we do have math involved.
          fenn has told us summer, right? Can’t the word summer mean X amount of days of a years.
          We know his birthday [ not hard to find ] Can’t we, by simple deduction eliminate part of summer he didn’t hide the chest, making those summer amount of days less-than.
          And if the poem [ or part of ] could be interpret as a time of year… does that not mean we can’t narrow down to a very small window of a few days… not just for fenn [ possibly needing ] to hide the chest, but the same days we would need to locate/retrieve an exact spot of the chest?

          We have information in the book that can relate to this line of thinking, we have sections of the poem that [ I can read as ] clue[s] to such. And yes, we have ATF comments that seem to suggest [ think about ] the same.
          Would that be considered ‘encoded’? or simple problem solving and calculating? Analyzing and logic… with a dash of imagination.

          I agree we don’t need math equations and letter matching or specialize computer software… But I don’t see anything wrong with a simple calculator or pen to paper… Heck, to read a map properly we use time and math….

    • Hi Seeker….You wrote:

      “My only problem.. well not a problem, but more a observation… you had to get into a lot of math difficulty and twisting to squeeze a possible date. Which personally I think was not needed, and almost forcing by looking for words that could work.”

      One can actually write a simple Excel algorythm to do the calculations for all the variations that are possible. Then its just a simple “VLOOKUP” equation to find out if any possibilities match to your initial calculations..

      I think something like this is quite ingenuitive and digging deep into a solution.

      It seems plausible, logical straightforward. Although it requires a “cipher” of sorts….but technically, not really, because all one is actually doing – is only substituting letters for words, and not messing with the poem – this process is no different.

      I can compare this to each of us substituting words for other words, without messing with the poem.

      In essence Seeker…thinking that there is a date the TC was placed or even a date of significance related to the TC, I think they both play a role in the solution. Why discount something you have not found a way to discard it?

      Rob…. I gotta gives you props and high fives….you may have unlocked a key component to the final solve.

      Thanks again for posting.

      • Tim: thanks for the positive feedback. I agree with many posters here that knowing precisely when Forrest hid Indulgence is of little to no use in solving where he hid it (unless perhaps you work for Thrifty, National, Avis, Enterprise, etc.) But the implications of the theory — if it was actually true (which we are unlikely to ever know) — would go beyond just the restrictions due to snow cover or high river flow rates.

        • Rob aka Zap – While researching a Shakespearean reference to quibbling, I found an old comment and my reply on Jenny’s site, on a thread about Forrest using that word. Regarding June:

          Chris Q April 3, 2015 at 5:43 pm
          I have a thought on the No paddle up your creek line and would like to know thoughts on it.
          In the chapter Surviving Myself Forrest talks about Skippy getting in trouble and Forrest would just wait for his turn at the paddle but June never had a turn because she did everything right. I am wondering if it’s possible that no paddle is referring to June…

          April 3, 2015
          Chris Q – How about the “no paddle up your creek” being a right turn? And maybe Forrest ran away to his secret spot,…when he knew he was going to get a paddling??? That would be “heavy loads and waters high” also.

          • Hi Lisa — without the book(s), no one would know to decode “no paddle up your creek” as having something to do with his sister June, or turning right. So I don’t think these are workable if the poem is supposed to be solvable on its own.

          • Zap –

            I have not read your thoughts on PUYC previously.

            Do you see it as a clue?

            Could you list your 9?
            Or a portion thereof if you don’t feel you can list them all?


          • Zap,
            Fenn was asked if he knew the poem could be solved… he didn’t know… kinda a safe answer and true at the same time, right? But we all have the “same opportunity”…
            Think about that. What gave “us” the opportunity? The poem was placed in ‘the’ book, right?

            “Here is what I would do. Read my book in a normal manner. Then read the poem over and over and over, slowly – thinking.  Then read my book again, this time looking for subtle hints that will help solve the clues.”
            “All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search. f”

            Exactly what “information” is fenn talking about? The Clues is the most obvious answer, right?
            How do we find the “information” to decipher the clues in the first place?
            Well, fenn did tell us what he would do, right?

            **This has been the absolute biggest problem with the challenge… book vs. poem. So, the next obvious question! What is the box?**

            Oh! by the way… some have done exactly you and Lisa are talking. And the reason I could come up with the date you did, by simple deduction and not matching of numbers to letters. That said, can’t the to methods be of one?
            The poem can solve itself, line of thinking, And, the book can help do the same – help with the clues? A check and balance for that “certainty beforehand”… how we should be able to nail down the first clue or stay home, idea.
            I can argue points for both sides of the fence, and have. But you can’t really say that the poem is all… not really.
            Because absolutely no searcher who every participated about the challenge can honestly say; they never heard the poem contained 9 clues, or even that we need to “Follow” clues… But the book did just that, right -?- Information that is not in the poem [without guessing] 9 line vs. 9 sentences, even 9 words as a possibility for each clue that says; ‘The treasure chest can be found at this location.’ [ that’s 9 words right? yep 9 ]

            Nope, Nope?

          • Hi Seeker.

            I hear what you are saying…..

            “How do we know?”…or some variation of this phrase.

            We truly don’t know anything about anything, unless we have the chest, right?

            I’ve lived by this code for the duration of my attempts to solve this puzzle.

            BUT….I also am a man willing to take risks in,order to help prove my theories, and advance me further with a general solve.

            I know my solve may not be accurate, right from the beginning….it is a game of trial and error like all treasure hunts have been.

            The real question is, how much $$$ is a person willing to invest in those failures?

            I put a limit on my attempts – with three and a $3500.00 threshold to spend on the adventures.

            I find this hunt to be well worth a few more thousands above my budget allows, but that is just me.

            I guess I don’t mind spending money on a treasure hunt that is based upon some “guesswork”. IMO – that is part of the thrill and fun within the chase.

            Thank you Forrest!

          • Seeker: it is my understanding that Lisa doesn’t own Forrest’s books — perhaps because she wants to see if the poem can be solved without them? But she clearly isn’t operating in a complete vacuum since she brought up the paddling business and the fact that June never got paddled. In any case, I think there is a difference between being told (exterior to the poem) that there are 9 clues to be solved or that the chest is more than 66,000 links north of Santa Fe, and, say, learning that Skippy died in a scuba diving accident off Cozumel when he was 50.

          • To all hint seekers…
            Fenn’s ATF that Seeker just referenced,”…chapters in my book…subtle hints….*not deliberately placed to aid*…” This should be somewhat of a bang in the head…if nothing else.
            Zap…at this point in the Chase…a searcher can Google just about ANY point discussed, whether it be book related or ATF or whatever and catch up pretty quick. I do not think Lisa is just plucking all this stuff from nowhere. Not all…but a great majority of the hot topics have been discussed to death…at least enough to be archived forever on the www.

          • Ken,
            I put a lot of time into taking various pieces and putting it together, then googled the location, and some searchers story of the spot came up.
            It will seem soon that there will be more solves than locations of warm waters.

          • Ken – You are correct. I remember the topics that have been discussed, or bits of quotes, and then I do a quick Google search. I took a great class to learn how to do that well here at our local library recently.

          • Ken,
            I’m fertilizing both side of the fence…lol.
            On one hand, Not deliberately Placed to mean, so subtle as not intended at all, but could help if you know what to look for. fenn can recognize them, we might be able to as well, line of thinking.
            On the other hand, Not placed in any deliberate order that would aid a searcher. Which could mean deliberately placed in the book, but not in any recognizable order that would aid a searcher, line of thinking.

            With all that crap said;
            Let the cow patties fly…

            Psss, between you and me… the book confuses me more than the poem… shhh! I want all to think I know how this all pans out. Seems to be the hip trend to follow.

          • That statement is just like the one in moby Dickens. The hints in the book help with the clues, the clues in the poem will take you to the chest, the book by itself don’t. In this case he says the hints will not help the seeker but it will help the solver.

          • Hi Lug — my thinking on “There’ll be no paddle up your creek” is not so much a clue as an anti-clue: that if you have a decision to make, and one of the choices involves following a creek upstream, the correct choice is the other way. Notice that he says “your” creek as opposed to “the creek” or “a creek.” This suggests to me that some creek may have been a waypoint earlier in the clue-following process (thus it was “your” creek), but maybe it has served its purpose and you abandon it.

            Clue 1: WWWH
            Clue 2: Canyon down
            Clue 3: Not far, but too far to walk
            Clue 4: home of Brown
            Clue 5: no place for the meek, the end is ever drawing nigh

            That’s as far as I want to take it for now, mostly because I haven’t convinced myself which way Forrest parsed the remainder. I’ve got at least 4 months to consider the various permutations.

          • Zap –

            Alright now we are talking but.

            First clue WWH I have always thought that and I think you have always had the same beginning. So that’s cool.

            I have always had a problem with the way the Canyon Down line is phrased.

            Anyway I didn’t take you for such a straight reading of the clues.


          • Hi Lug — well, as far as having a somewhat boring parsing of the clues, the devil’s in the details. My WWWH, NF,BTFTW and home of Brown are not things that many are likely to dream up on a Sunday picnic.

          • Sure but if another searcher is in the same area doesnt that suggest that the creativity was not needed?

            Do you think the searchers they came within 200 feet used your NF BTFTW?

          • Hi Lug: creativity is certainly needed for WWWH, but in my opinion you also need the key word to be confident that you’re at the correct WWWH. I don’t think we know for sure if the searchers that Fenn knows were at WWWH were there by design, whim or accident, but I’m betting some were there because of figuring out what I think is Forrest’s word that is key.

            As for NF, BTFTW, if my interpretation is correct, it’s the hardest clue of the 9, and not solving it will cause people to skip right on by the last 7 clues. Somewhat paradoxically, I think it’s possible to get within 200 feet of the treasure chest and have incorrect answers to clues 3 through 9. But I think a searcher would be very unlikely to get closer than 200 feet without solving clues 3 and 4. But what do I know? I’m just as empty-handed in the gold nugget department as everyone else here.

          • Ok Zap –

            We disagree on the necessity of a keyword and that doesn’t matter much.

            I don’t think you can haphazardly end up at the spot of the TC and I think Fenn has made that clear. I think there is only one path to take, one way in or out and again I think Fenn is clear on that. I think searchers have intentionally been close tot he treasure but missed something, like an indicator to turn or descend.

            To me the are is pretty compact and straightforward and I just don’t see 2 people, or 4, arriving in the same are by different interpretations. To me it suggests they are both wrong.

            I am going to run one solve that I don’t want to discuss but that won’t be until July. I can talk about the ones in Montana. I will begin the trip in Bozeangeles


          • Tim ~”The real question is, how much $$$ is a person willing to invest in those failures?”

            That has always been a pet-peeve of mine when folks even think/complain about how much time and money they invest… willingly or obsessed. Only the individual can make that call… But like anything else, Food, Tires for the vehicle, Mortgage, etc. needs budgeting, so do vacations and this challenge.

            in my mind there is no question of how much, but more to; can it be done responsibly. Some have taken on loans, mortgage homes etc. [fools in my book], and some attempt to make extra money by writing books and selling car parts etc. [ I give credit to them for the extra effort ]

            But to be completely honest… I see no need to even talk about how much of anything [ time, money, or hours away from family ] someone invest… when it all falls down to choices, not a need or even a “want.”

          • Hi Seeker.

            I see your very astute point. I apologize to all of I had insinuated something.

            I realize the importance of family and life, and trust me…this hunt is just a hobby to me until I find the chest.

            I have no real clue on where I will stop in the hunt, and I can’t even say if it will because of finances, because I really don’t know the future, so I am along for the fun times, good communications, and just plain old following along with how others are working the clues.

            For me – this is wind game for the intellect in us all.

            Hey, it may avert dementia in me!!


            I can only dream of a future.

            Good point sir.


    • Although this is all interesting….none of the above mentioned seems very “straight forward”. Fenn has repeatedly said to not mess with his poem. Substituting anything for something else seems rather blatant in terms of “messing” with the poem. I guess it all boils down to what “messing” is…

      • And the Legend grows….

        Forrest Fenn the architect illusionist encoded deep in the bowels of his masterpiece a numeric sequence so as to fool all but the most intelligent searchers.

        You see it’s 4 letters at the beginning of the stanza. And you replace the letters with numbers by simple counting.


        • Lugnutz. I’m with you. I can’t imagine Forrest encoding numerical information in the poem. I think there is a lot of “reaching” going on because the chest hasn’t been found; the implication being that there’s got to be more to it than just the meaning of the words.

        • Lugnutz – Yeah, the whole Radar School Mechanic thing was probably wasted, when Forrest was creating the Poem. But then again, my Red Black Green Tea Trail 206, that leads to my spot, where Forrest and Donnie also took overlook pictures of it and my blaze, may just be an important color and number correlation:

          Architects have to know about electronics as well, right?

          • Lisa –

            Let’s asked couple of questions to find out.

            Did you already know the mnemonic device for remembering resistor color codes before you began chasing?

            Does using this technique point you to something you already suspected?

            If you answer yes to the first question I will remind you that no specialized knowledge is required.

            If you answered yes to the second question that’s called confirmation bias. You accept the result because it supports you predetermined outcome. yes?

            So I think you are reaching. But what do I know? Maybe Fenn will say after you retrieve the treasure: You see folks all you needed was the poem a good map and the mnemonic device for remembering transistor color codes!


          • Lugnutz –

            On my topo map, both my blaze and hidey spot are in Square One, corresponding to Brown = 1. Nothing like Forrest going back to square one to hide the bronze chest, right?

            And how about the end of Forrest’s rainbow and the treasure being the final destination?:

            Also, note that red through violet are the colors of the rainbow (in order). Although the ROY G. BIV mnemonic for rainbow colors includes indigo between blue and violet.

          • Lisa –

            We can agree on something I think. The phrase in the book just before the poem may be important. The line about the end of Fenn’s rainbow. I also think the line after the poem about Capt Kidd and Gardner’s Island may be important. I have been fascinated with Gardner’s Island since I saw a tv show about it, 60 minutes or CBS Sunday morning, I cannot recall which. I can imagine that Forrest saw that show and was fascinated. Fascinated to mention it in his book. Probably pops in to his head when he thinks about treasure.

            Anywho we agree that rainbow is a hint.

          • Lisa –

            Hey let me know how the Tea Trail works out. I suppose you are going to tell me you can’t get there till summer now, so I can wait.

            Didn’t I read on Mike’s blog that you are searching in the same place as Jake, Zaphod, HMA and that guy that got nuked here, I forget his name, before Jake.


          • Lugnutz – My final blaze I call Double Omega Island is in Square One is an island surrounded by a split in the creak, which looks like a 360 degree rainbow, which all rainbows really are. That island is where I see Forrest spending his final moments fly fishing. He can stand in the middle of the cast any direction he wants depending on the time of day and the shadows.

          • Lisa –

            Sounds idyllic. Is the treasure safe?
            How long has the island in the river been there? How long has the river been there?

            Now, this is my opinion. I don’t think rivers are in mountains. Therefore, not in the Rocky Mountains. Fenn once said something like the Rio Grande is not in the Rocky Mountains. People interpret that to mean it’/s not in a valley surrounded by mountains. I see it differently. I think he means that the treasure is physically in the mountains.


          • Lugnutz – Cabin Creek has been in my search area since at least the 1930s, when the CCC built a log cabin at the top of the drainage, which is still there.

            And right when I speak of my rainbow blaze in that creek, located right about where it meets Forest Creek, by the way, I am not just talking about a light rainbow. I am talking about the original Rainbow Trout that lived in Cabin Creek. Here is a post I did at Dell’s way back when about that:

            Donna M – Delighted to see you here on this blog! Here’s something related for all of us to consider here: Homophones!:


            A homophone is a word that has the same sound as another word but is spelled differently and has a different meaning:




            I have been citing examples in some of my posts since Saturday.
            How about this one?:


            “I can keep my secret where”

            Or is it?:

            I can keep my secret weir

            That is my solution for:

            “So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.”


            “Jim Slattery, the owner of Campfire Lodge and I hiked up Cabin Creek to see the fish barrier they were building to stop rainbows from going up Cabin Creek from the Madison River and spawning with the Westlope cuttthroat trout. They took out 250 cutts to check their DNA and we were told they were killing everything above the dam and then are going to put the cutts back. The fish barrier is above the Cabin Creek campground.”

          • Hi Lisa –

            I am familiar with the area and I understand what you are saying.

            By way of example I will atttempt to illustrate why the Rainbow trout reference doesn’t hold water.

            I have a solve in a beautiful place in the search area. My solve includes a business called Rainbow’s End (dual reference to rainbow trout fishing and something to treasure right?) and the guy who owns the business is named Brown. Brown also served as an airman in Viet Nam and is an avid fly fisher. I can take this location and architect the rest of the clues to fit. None of which has anything to do with the poem.

            What many of us, including Mr Faulkner, have done over time is over complicate this simple task. Read the poem. Marry the clues to a map. Follow to the treasure.

            This is all just an opinion

          • Lugnutz – Cabin Creek has been in my search area since at least the 1930s, when the CCC built a log cabin at the top of the drainage, which is still there.

            And right when I speak of my rainbow blaze in that creek, located right about where it meets Forest Creek, by the way, I am not just talking about a light rainbow. I am talking about the original Rainbow Trout that lived in Cabin Creek. Here is a post I did at Dal’s:

            “So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.”


            “Jim Slattery, the owner of Campfire Lodge and I hiked up Cabin Creek to see the fish barrier they were building to stop rainbows from going up Cabin Creek from the Madison River and spawning with the Westlope cuttthroat trout. They took out 250 cutts to check their DNA and we were told they were killing everything above the dam and then are going to put the cutts back. The fish barrier is above the Cabin Creek campground.”

      • Ken – Forrest didn’t want anyone messing with this poem, either, from one of his scrapbooks, which he wrote about a piece of driftwood…aka a rotted log?


          • Lisa;

            I think that this little poem holds many a secret, yet to be told. I especially like part of what you quoted: “A sentimental sort
            searching for his Candy Ann
            who, absent from her role…”

            The part I left in caps I think points to where Indulgence lies – Searching for his Candy Ann – Indulgence waiting to be “Rescued” etc.

            I also saw several other “hints” in other lines of this poem, and even a hint or two in the shape of the driftwood sculpture as well. – But then again, I see “hints” in a lot of things Forrest publishes – Thanks for posting the link – JDA

          • JDA – Bingo. My proposed final resting place for Forrest is a squarish clearing with a well-seasoned Lodgepole Pine log lying on a perfect diagonal across it on just such a sodden knoll. There is a Spring Creek running down that knoll next to the hidey spot. I envision that a helicopter could and probably has landed there. But then again, am reading Doug Preston’s book Lost City of the Monkey God, where a helicopter has just done that in Honduras next to his discovered Lost City…

          • Although one can (and should) go to SB 164, I think the lines of the poem, and comments ought to be posted again here.

            Imagination is more fun than knowledge
            A wanderer chanced upon this driftwood art, shipwrecked and lonely on a sandy shore. At least to me it plays that part; an olden sailing ship, and nothing more.
            Or maybe it’s a desperate soul, a sentimental sort, standing on a sodden knoll, searching for his Candy Ann, who, absent from her role, lately departed from a distant port.
            And no one was there to pay her toll.
            Or is it not his throbbing Ann, wrapped in shroud against the breezing cold, yelling with all she can, a screaming voice so loud, and nothing there is told.
            Is she below the saline door forever reaching back no more?
            But is it all for naught, wild upon my imaginations fraught; dreaming of wild journeys too late sought, or of cold battles where on some Flanders Field my favoured companions fought.
            Let it stop now, and be no more.
            This mysterious vestige of a sailing past, shappend by myriad winds and waves, occupies my hand at last, subject to whatever whim my mind, in its wanderings, craves.
            And that will henceforth, forever be her lore.
            A treasure searcher, a pleasant stranger, posted me this wonderful wooden hand-size object along with words that bare, wonderful enough to covet, yet too personal to share.
            This paragon of expression stands straight and bold. Its blackened keel, harden by fire, hints of battles fought and won. A single jib yet unfurled, still serves testament to this vessels willingness to bare its gun.
            Surprisingly the forces of oceanic turbulence combined to pare this ready boat. I’ve told you what I think, but what else does it know?
            Thank you for the favor, Mister Poe. f
            I see much “between the lines”. Even if there is nothing there, beautiful in and of itself – JDA

            P.S. go to the SB and see the driftwood piece – Beautiful

  12. Rob – If the hidey spot is a combination of Forrest’s favorite fishing hole, where he went with his Dad, and also commemorates key elements of the place and conditions where his plane went down on December 20th, 1968, then we have a winner. I am paying particular attention to the hollow log mentioned in this link, and the log Forrest said he was laying next to during the Q&A of the book signing when the B-52s were bombing him.

    That 20th of the month date seems to be important to Forrest for some reason. And if you read the stanza of the Poem you used to determine the Father’s Day date, it could easily apply to his experience of his plane going down. Because in the Airforce, the home of the brave is no place for the meek. And Hell or high water has to be crossed, even though B-52’s are dropping heavy loads,…to get the last man out.

    So, yes, to that Q&A question as to whether the Poem can be read from the perspective of a fly fisherman and a fighter pilot at the same time. I think it can, Candy Ann.

  13. He also said in the Moby Dickens video that, paraphrasing, it was 15 years from the time he got cancer to the time he hid the treasure. That doesn’t fit 79 or 80 but it might fit, ” And like Eric Sloane, at age almost-eighty.” As in, “Later, in Who’s Who he said his birth date was 1910 instead of 1905 and “hoped his friends would forgive him that foolish prank.”

    Read the blogs for entertainment indeed… 🙂

    • What if F was referring to Eric Sloane who was almost eighty rather than himself? I have always thought that the sentence was an intentionally vague statement. Then, when pressed, maybe F didn’t want to clarify the misunderstanding of that sentence, and that he considered himself almost eighty even if he was a few years younger than eighty.

  14. Rob…nice leg work, and great thinking. The basics of your idea has enough merit to look further…but the truth can sometimes be harsh.
    Thanks for putting this out there….I bet folks went to bed exhausted from trying your theory!

  15. Remember Remember the Fifth of November!
    The calendar in the graphic is 2016 IMVHFO.

  16. Not being funny guys, but your as well asking Forrest what his shoe size is?

    It doesn’t matter what time of the year it was or did he or didn’t he hire a car it isn’t going to take anyone to the T.C

    The only way that is going to happen is by correctly identifying the nine clues in consecutive order, unless I missing something?

    Ronnie the Scot

    • Ronnie the Scott – Are you missing Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull? And wearing your kilt in the Scottish Highlands?

      No, I do not think you are missing anything, Ronnie McClean. Except the correct spelling of your clan name.

      An insightful post.

    • Ronnie. the Scott – But seriously, what you may be missing is that the following morning after Father’s Day on June 20th, 2010 was the Summer Solstice:

      Summer solstice 2010 in Northern Hemisphere was at 5:28 AM on Monday, June 21
      All times are in Mountain Time.

      If Forrest was going to make two trips from his car to hide the chest in one afternoon, that was a pretty long Sunday afternoon.

      • Well he wasn’t going to .ake two trips. He was going to make one, but found himself unable once both.

        I can’t link it but you seem to know your way around Lisa.

        • LOL, One trip?
          If the chest was too heavy for him to ‘hide it’ in one trip and needed two trips… wouldn’t he just stay after the second trip… pop the cap… have a beer… and watch the animals among trees?
          Or maybe have it planned he would do the hide one day… while able to… and go to his final resting place when needed to.

          We [ the readers ] know the story… we don’t know the ‘full thoughts’ of the planning [going to his final resting place]. We also know that at age 84 and up fenn said he could go back to the chest… doesn’t the above thoughts [ hide prior, plan to return one last time ] seem more than reasonable. Even without the challenge involved.

          I think we tend to forget, fenn had some time to plan this for himself. [ a 1 in 5 change or a couple years ].

          • Seeker – I believe Forrest was planning to take sleeping pills, just like his Father did, to end his life at his final resting place. I can imagine Forrest making that one final trip with the bronze chest; allowing ample time to enjoy fishing at his favorite secret spot and the sights and sounds of animals in Nature as he drifts off tickets final oblivion. And I can imagine him thinking about his Father, Marvin, in the clouds, watching for his arrival in heaven. So again, Father’s Day 2010 would have been an appropriate commemoration of all this. Because, ” Imagination is more important than knowledge.” All IMO.

          • Seeker – Correction: …allowing ample time to enjoy fishing at his favorite secret spot and the sights and sounds of animals in Nature as he drifts off toward his final oblivion.

          • Lisa,
            The wording ‘pop the cap’ was the sleeping pill’s bottle… not the urban slang for umm, booom. The beer … to wash them down with, and a salute to his special place [ for whatever his reasons ].

            But yes, even if he was going to finalize ‘the plan’ on that day… it’s more than likely he would have needed two trips to do so… not unlike ‘hiding’ the chest and contents.

  17. I really liked your write-up, Rob and thank you for sharing. Normally, I have not paid much attention to those who try to pinpoint the date of Forrest hiding the chest, nor to those who search the poem for hidden ciphers, but your post perked my attention in both aspects.

    Regarding narrowing the date down, I think your use of logic was great in using Forrest’s quotes to narrow it down to the 121-day window.

    Regarding the determination of Father’s Day as a hiding date, I think that this is significant too. I have wondered much about whether Forrest’s hiding spot was significant to him alone, or significant to both him and his father; I still go back and forth on this idea. I did a BOTG trip on Father’s Day this past summer and thought that it would be a poetically significant day on which to find the chest. It makes perfect sense in my mind that if the hidey spot is in a place that was dear to both Forrest and his father, that Father’s Day would have been a symbolically appropriate date for Forrest to perform the hide.

    I will also add that on my Father’s Day BOTG search, the waters of the creeks in my area were much too rough and high to consider crossing. This may have been unique due to this year’s extremely late-season snowpack, though maybe not. Something to consider for those Chasers who believe crossing a creek to be a necessary part of finding the treasure. Father’s Day is still a bit too early in the season for safe creek crossings, IMO.

    • Blex – Here is a pano I made from pictures I took on Father’s Day on June 18th, 2017 at Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains, North of Sun Valley here. The elevation is 6,547 ft, which is virtually identical to the base elevation of my West Yellowstone search area.

      I called Peggy and spoke to her at length at the Hebgen District Ranger Station in West Yellowstone prior to my late September trip this year, and she said that she and her friend, Joanne, who runs the Earthquake Lake Visitor Center, had hiked almost all the way out to my spot in Spring around Father’s Day. It was raining hard, but they made all the creek crossings okay.

    • Thanks, Blex! I’m glad you enjoyed it. In the end, it’s still just a theory, and one that I can see no way to prove true or false w/o input from Forrest, or someone who was with him on that date that could provide an “alibi.”

      I still think it’s pretty remarkable that four capital letters in order within a stanza can be very simply converted into a full date, and that that date just happens to be within the narrow window of possible dates that Forrest could have hidden Indulgence.

  18. Reading through the posts here I noticed one particular element to the possible importance of the date/dates that was not mentioned. That would be Forrest’s whereabouts during the period of say Jun 18 – Jun 21, 2010.

    Maybe why he doesn’t wish the date to really be known. Personally, I had already determined this period to be a possibility and where Forrest was and why he was there. It provided a convenient alibi to be near his chosen hiding spot with time to visit it alone.

    Anyone have an idea or maybe question the photo of Forrest, Sen. Al Simpson, and Dr. Joe Medicine Crow together in his Doug Hyde story in the new book? Same photo in SB 181. When and where might this photo have been taken and these three distinguished gentlemen be in the same place at the same time? Notice their apparent ages. Some research may answer many questions.

    • I remember reading somewhere once that it was believed FF hid the treasure while he was in Cody, Wy at the Buffalo Bill Museum for a Anniversary or Event they had in August of 2010. If he flew there he would of needed a rental car to drive to Yellowstone. I now can’t seem to find a mention of it anywhere. Has anyone else heard this?

        • There was also an event in Cody, WY June 19-20, 2010 that Forrest may have attended. It’s an annual event. Would have provided the perfect opportunity for hiding the chest, especially if he drove there.

        • There was an event in Cody, WY June 19-20, 2010 which Forrest may have attended. Would have provided the perfect opportunity for the hiding of the chest, especially if he drove there at that time.

          • samsmith – Is this it?

            Wander west to the 29th annual Plains Indian Museum Powwow, June 19–20, hosted by the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, WY, with competition dancing, an arts and crafts fair, and Native foods. Grand entries are at noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. Admission: $7 per adult per day (18 and up), $3 for children (7–17). 307/578-4102 or

    • Thanks, Strawshadow. The whole theory could just be chalked up to coincidence (like so many things with the Chase), but at least the idea was original. 😉

  19. I realize that no one will pay attention to the following opinion on this subject but I’ll give it anyway:

    When Forrest talks about being “almost 80” when he hid the treasure he’s giving a big hint that refers to time lines that help form figure images on the ground. The poem describes 3 time lines and one line that connects these time lines to form two figure 4’s. Except one of these 4’s is not quite right. The second 4 is almost a mirror image of the first 4 but not an exact image. So, if you add the two 4’s together you get “almost 8,” because one figure is only almost 4.

    Now, the above 3 time lines are connected to another line that helps form a Y image when the 4’s are included. So, you have the “almost 8” plus the “Y” = almost eight + Y = almost eighty.

    I think that these lines, described by the poem, take you to the intersection of two of these lines where the chest is hidden. That location is at the “almost 80” location and “it” is along the Forrest (4 – east) line that must be “figured” out.

    I also think that his quotes concerning when he hid it are factually true. It was just before or “about” his 80th birthday. But that isn’t important. The real clue of “almost 80” is Forrest’s hidden meaning behind it.

    • John,
      I’m having trouble understand 4 in lines. I kinda get the thought of 4 + 4 for 8 as a design or pattern, but not sure why an almost 4 is needed? [ pattern? time line? a line? ]

      I understand that Y= 8 is removing the Y from eighty.
      But I’m also looking at the mirror effect, as the Coriolis effect to mirror image, line of thinking.

      It was interesting that fenn spelled ‘almost – eighty’ instead of ‘almost eighty’ … sorta says ” – ” to mean subtract or remove.
      Because earlier in the book fenn does writes;
      “Well, I’m almost eighty and I think that’s so funny. I don’t mean it’s funny that I’m almost eighty, but it’s funny because I said it that way.”
      Not to forget… “And like Eric Sloane, at age almost- eight, I figure it was time to act.”
      Well, Sloane was 80, right?…

      Hint? Deliberate? a suggested – subliminal message?
      Not unlike the ” ; ” in the poem as a possible clue or an understanding of 1/2. Maybe even to mean 1/2 a distance for the reference of NFBTFTW… a 1/2 way between point for a clue; no place for the meek, that is ‘after’ ~ wwwh and hoB ~ ‘in the order of the poem’ ~ but not in the field?

      LOL… Naaaa. C’mon Seeker there is ‘no math’ in the poem. Ha! Maybe not all these coded math or computer algorithm math, or maybe we had to wait 3 extra years for a distance, lol. NoPe… But I’d bet a bronze chest w/ gold there is math [calculating/deduction] in the poem.

      Oh! right… John, that was my way of saying, i’m paying attention.

      • Seeker – Jake helped me verify that my Double Omega Island blaze is exactly 3.7 miles from the Cabin Creek trailhead. And that my hidey spot is almost exactly 500 feet from that blaze, after two worth the cold Cabin Creek and island crossings. Just beyond that point, Trail 207 forms a Y; the base of which heads up Forest Creek. So round trip distance to the Y is almost Eight-Y. Ta Da!

      • Seeker-
        I don’t know how to explain it much better. Forrest has said several times that he was almost eighty when he hid the chest. The poem clues lead you to draw lines on GE ground that form two 4’s but one of those 4’s isn’t exactly right, thus it’s almost two 4’s. Two 4’s are 8, so almost two 4’s are almost 8. The two 4’s are part of a Y. Putting it together you get almost 8 plus Y. That is almost eighty. So the lines that the poem directs you to draw represent almost 80. These lines also describe Forrest’s name….four-east. The common base line of the 4’s leads to a swamp which is a fen. So Forrest Fenn’s full name is represented with the lines and the swamp. And I think the treasure is located in this area.

        Forrest’s comment about saying he was almost eighty was “funny” is also a hint. The lines you must draw not only look like a Y but also a fan. So funny is really fan-Y. In the quote he refers to the word “it” 3 times because there is a line inside the Y image that is the “it” of the 5th stanza of the poem.

        Also, the Y, when upside down and combined with other lines, form his stick figure drawings he often makes. His shadow over water on the cover of TFTW also represents the stick figure drawings and these lines of the final search area.

  20. Why mention his probable age if it was not important in finding the location of the starting point. I believe it hints to where he went alone,where his secret is and not about whether he rented a car or not.
    ” It’s not who you are but who they think you are that matters “.
    Just my two sense…or is it cents.
    Thanks, Rob for sharing you two sense.

  21. At first thought, i too was in the camp of what diffrence would the hiding date make. After looking at my own best solve, it makes a huge diffrence between June and August. The lower elevations can be accessed no sweat in late June or July but the higher ones would be a “not” in June. It’d be like going right now. So, yea, an August hiding date could be anywhere north of Sante Fe and below Canada, imo.

    Thanks fer the thought starter!

  22. in regards to posts about the date he may have rented a car? Does Forrest still fly and does he have a plane. Because I doubt that anyone in their right mind would fly on a commercial flight with 42 pounds of gold.

    • Hello 1Trailblazer. In one of the scrapbooks, it will show a check for the sale of his plane.

    • (Hope this response goes through for you.) There’s a scrapbook that shows the check for the sale of his plane.

  23. Rob – Thanks for sharing your insight into this puzzle within an enigma within a brainteaser within a riddle within a mystery within a perplexity within a poem with a whole lot of conundrum thrown in just because. You write concisely and put a lot of thought into the process and presentation of the information. I’m not ready to jump on the bandwagon with the numeric interpretation, but it certainly is fresh view interpreted from a differing “angle”. 🙂

    As to the comments on this thread about FF being able to go get the treasure at any time, that is kind of a given since he hid it and knows exactly where it is—perhaps he may have to dig out a little snow or wade across a creek with a bit higher water depending on the season in which he heads out to do so, but it is still right in the vicinity of where he hid it so that really is a moot point IMO. What we searchers need to a listen to is FF’s advice to not search between X & Y time of year.

    Thanks again for sharing Rob.

    • Hi Bowmarc — thanks very much for your comments. Regarding creek crossings, I would only add that there are times of the year that a given river, stream or creek cannot be safely crossed, and in winter and early spring there are some places (like Yellowstone) that you can’t even drive to. So when Forrest says, “If you know precisely where it is you can probably retrieve it in any weather,” this is a pretty strong statement against any solution that requires a river or stream crossing. A rainy summer day can make water crossings treacherous — even in a boat.

      I do note the distinction between retrieving in any weather and retrieving in any *season*.

      • Thanks for commenting and adding Zap.

        The intent of my second paragraph above was to say that if any of us hid something somewhere, we would be pretty confident that we would be able to go back and get it at any time because we would know the lay of the land and be prepared to overcome any obstacles the season or weather might present while accomplishing same. We, just like FF, would have that advantage of such preparation and it is a moot point for us as the hider to state such, much like perpetuating discussion on same. That same retrieval process becomes a (more) dangerous proposition for anyone who is not the hider to attempt outside the parameters of what is considered a safe(r) timeframe to do so, and FF, above all others, wants everyone to be safe in this quest and is kind enough to provide us with such parameters.

    • Bowmarc and zaphod – From the Forest Service folks I first spoke to, while doing reconnaissance on my spot in April of 2013, I ascertained that there were two ways Forrest could get in to my spot by a snowmobile in Winter, and that it was totally accessible when I spoke to them that April.

      Snowmobilers park vehicles at Refuge Point, then ride along the highway to Cabin Creek and follow it up the canyon. They also could take FS 986 along Tee Pee Creek, which is called Big Sky.Snowmobile Trail in Winter, and leads all the way up to Cabin Creek Cabin. DeCall did that with one of his sons in April of 2015, but it can be very dicey if you’re inexperienced. Here’s a picture with an example of that:

      I am pretty sure Forrest’s cousin, Chip, who lives in Grayling Creek, has a snowmobile. I know he has an ATV.

      • Nice photograph. Reminds me of days gone by when we rode snowmobiles all day long and all winter long—just not on such a nice snowmobile!

  24. Rob/ Zap, do you think the month name of June has anything to do with the clues? Wasn’t June the name of his sister?

    • Hi Oz10: June was indeed his sister’s name, and so I suppose a Father’s Day hiding date could “honor” both Father and sister. But what about Skippy and mom?

      • That is a good question about Skippy and Mom. I just thought it was a weird coincidence that last time I did a bit of word playing with one of ff riddles I came up with June. Also, someone else here said something about the month of June and the stamps on TTOTC, I just don’t remember now.

      • Hi Oz10: it might have been me (regarding the postmark stamps). June 5 (unreadable year) is the only repeated stamp in TTOTC, and the only one that appears on an odd page number (51). The one on page 51 is also the only stamp associated with a title that includes numbers (1413 NORTH MAIN — Forrest’s childhood address in Temple).

        • “Stop the madness our State Constable Cries!”

          The simple explanation for my originally stating that “Forrest father would know where he hid it” and at the time no one believed me, in fact I was almost booted off for sayin it, and Rob Johnson is a very insightful observer and interpreter of the many possible mathematical insights of the structure of the Poem right down to the compass heading of 348 degrees NNW course from Santa Fe and 328 degrees NNW his vision of numbers and reading TTOC is enlightening, however there is an element of archecture built into every poem that has something in common, Elements of Poetry Worksheet – Structure, Rhyme and Rhythm, to help students understand structure, rhyme and rhythm in poetry. Use this teaching resource when studying poetry in your classroom. Students read the poem, The Poet’s Lament, then investigate the structure, rhythm and rhyme of the poem.

          In scrapbook of driftwood Scrapbook One Hundred Sixty Four…where ff wrote a poem its structure intende may have been a big hint, a Rondeau poetic structure, now what is emphasized in a 24 line 6 stanza structure?

          In My Humble O, Borders is the answer. Now where is Mr Rob Johnson ##?


          • My copy or “Once Upon A While” arrived today. SB 164 is one of the chapters. The poem is presented in a much nicer and more pleasing manner in OUAW than in SB 164. Well worth looking at. JDA

        • Yeah that was it Zap. Not sure if the month has anything to do with it but maybe the word June does.

  25. 2010 was a milestone year for Mr Fenn. He turned 80 years old on August 22nd and bought himself a new vehicle to celebrate, Specifically a new 2011 “White Gold” Jeep Grand Cherokee (That he still drives today).
    My theory is that he used his new Jeep to transport and hide Indulgence.
    Now remember TTotC was scheduled for release on October 25, 2010 and Mr Fenn is a bit of a procrastinator so time was running out and he wanted to get the chest hidden ASAP.
    I believe he waited until the following weekend to “break in” his new SUV on a little excursion to the Rockies. So my guess on the hidey date would be August 28th or 29th 2010.
    The above comments are my opinion.


    • Randawg – I believe in the forward of Forrest’s new book, Doug Preston wrotenthat Forrest did not still have the bronze chest in his vault sometime in August, prior to his 80th birthday on August 22nd, 2010.

      • Do you also believe the chest is in Denver?
        He could have hidden it the weekend before his birthday which still fits my theory and timeline.

        • randawg – No. I believe the bronze chest is in the Gallatin National Forest in the vicinity of West Yellowstone. I have always believed that, since I joined The Chase in February of 2013.

      • Clarification on Lisa’s comment.
        Preston wrote: “ lovely summer day in August 2010, I visited him and he brought me into the vault. The chest was gone! “I finally hid it,” he said.”
        No mention of whether this was before or after Fenn’s birthday.

        • Randawg

          Sorry, but if you read the next 8 words doug says, “He was about to turn eighty years old”

          Doug verifies Forrest hid the treasure before his eightieth birthday, most likely in the summer of 2010 when he was 79 years old.

          Forrest has stated to middle school kids he hid treasure in summer and Forrest stated he was either 79 or 80 years old when he hid it, I think Doug’s witnessing of treasure being gone on a lovely summer day in August of 2010 right before Forrest turned eighty says it all.

          This is just my opinion from everything I have read of course.

          • Pauley T.

            Sure sounds logical to me – But as I have stated before – What difference does it make? So, we have narrowed it down to between August 1 and August 22. 2010.

            Does it make a difference? Not as far as I can see – but everything seems fuzzy to me without my glasses anyway – 🙂 JDA

          • JDA

            Hey buddy! Hope you are well!

            Ya, I agree, it’s just when I’m sweeping up all the things I read into my mental rolladex and try to organize them into something that makes sense I believe the order in which Forrest presents everything can lead a person to the treasure………… did any of that make sense? LOL.

          • JDA

            ….And it would only make a difference to someone who saw Forrest walking around the Rockies in that time frame.

            ………. oh how I wish I was sitting under a tree somewhere and saw Forrest walking by wearing a backpack, I probably woulda thought,”What In the world is this guy doing out here!”

          • Pauley;

            YUP – I am well – How about you? Good I hope.

            ” I believe the order in which Forrest presents everything can lead a person to the treasure………… did any of that make sense?”

            Yes, I think that you are on to something – Order is important. Often, what is on the bottom of the list is a summary of what came before.

            Didn’t Forrest say that Indulgence is not in very close proximaty (sic) to a human trail – so yes, if I were sitting under a tree that was not very near a human trail, and saw Forrest, I too would wonder,”What In the world is this guy doing out here!” – whether August 1, 2 , 3 or what-ever date. I too would have liked to have been sitting under a tree – like the one on page 49 of TTOTC – and seen Forrest stroll by – JDA

          • JDA

            I hope if I saw Forrest in the wilds it wouldn’t be anything like page 49, me sitting up against a tree and Him pointing his finger yellin at me! Lol

            I’m happy you mentioned page 201, cause that picture encapsulates the entire thing for me. I believe the hidden spot is a place where one can sit and sigh.

            Forrest said in a video interview, “When the person is SITTING there with the treasure chest on their lap.” , I just think of that picture on 201.

            With regards to the very close to human trail, I believe the nearest trail is about 500 feet from the treasure. I loved it when I read and heard Forrest said many were at 500 feet. It gave my theory some Flavor!

          • Pauley;

            I totally agree. I was thinking of the picture on page 201 of TFTW, but could not find it until after I found the one on page 49 of TTOTC.

            Speaking of sitting under a tree – I like this one: “Mr. Fenn,
            Yogi Berra was asked by his wife, “Yogi, if you die before me where do you want to be buried? Montclair, New York or St. Louis?” He is known to have answered, “surprise me”. So, if Peggy comes up to you and asks, “Forrest, if you die before me where do you want to be buried?” What would your answer be?” ~Joe
            Joe, thanks for the question. I have no desire to be buried in a box. It’s too dark and cold for me, and too lasting. I would rather go into the silent mountains on a warm sunny day, SIT UNDER A TREE where the air is fresh and the smell of nature is all around, and let my body slowly decay into the soil. What can be better than that? f

            I agree, ” What can be better than that? – JDA

          • JDA

            And that is one of the most poignantly remarkable things Forrest has ever said imo.
            To me, it’s in the top 5 most important quotes and is a significant clue.
            IMO, obviously that quote is related to the chase and the place he’d want his bones to rest forever.

            Now, here’s the fun part, what KIND of tree is it?
            I’m putting my money on a Pine tree.

          • Hi Pauley;

            I very much agree with you about the value of this quote. When you couple this quote with the following one: “”If I was standing where the treasure chest is, I’d see trees, I’d see mountains, I’d see animals. I’d smell wonderful smells of PINE NEEDLES, or pinyon nuts, sagebrush—and I know the treasure chest is wet. Well you’ve asked me a lot of questions and some of them—most of them I answered, a few I haven’t, but I’ve got to tell you—there’s one thing I told you I wish I had not.” f

            I agree with you that the tree is probably a pine tree.
            Just My Guess – JDA

          • P.S. I also believe that there is a much older, possibly fire damaged tree in very close proximaty (sic) to Forrest’s Pine tree – Just a guess – JDA

          • JDA

            Wow, a fire damaged tree, interesting.

            “I know the treasure chest is wet”,
            Along with
            “The treasure chest is probably wet by now”
            “Physics tells me the treasure is wet”
            Have my head spinning!
            I believe this has something to do with a wet weather stream, or possibly a small underground spring. There is one other thing that crossed my mind but don’t wanna say on national television!

            Another thing that gets my goat is the
            “I see animals” quote.
            Boy oh boy, how nice it would be if we knew what kinds of animals, that could narrow the area down significantly.
            For instance, grizzly bears, if Forrest said he saw grizzly bears we could eliminate New Mexico and Colorado completely.
            Or wolves for that matter.
            But, I think Forrest was talking about smaller animals like squirrels and chipmunks and birds and such. IMO

          • Hi Pauley;

            Psst – just between you and me, what do you think is the reason it is wet – Just between you and me 🙂

            Animals??? Hummm??? Deer, moose, elk, antelope?
            Lots of possibilities. Why do you think it is a smaller animal? Again – Hummm??? JDA

          • JDA

            Lol. I wish we coulda met up at the buckhorn, I think we woulda had a blast!

            In regards to the SMALLER animals, well, I’m thinking, ……………. oh boy, this is difficult to say……………. because I believe it to be a HUGE clue…………… oh well, guess I’ll just say it……………… Forrest would not hide the treasure in an area where families with small children were searching and a CARNIVOROUS CREATURE such as meowthful might attack and EAT them! Whew, I said it!,,,,,,! Don’t think that would look good in the morning papers.
            Just my opinion as usual.

          • Pauley;

            I quite agree. So a carnivorous SMALL animal like Meowthful that might eat a child. A Mountain Lion is not small, so all I can think of is a Bobcat or Lynx.

            It just happens that in my search area I came across a Bobcat den. Sadly, there were two cubs that had perished. I suspect that something happened to the mother, and then the poor cubs perished – How sad.

            Nature can be cruel at times. I wish that Momma had not died, and then her cubs. 🙁 JDA

          • When I say I quite agree – I am agreeing that Forrest would not hide it in a place where a carnovour – large enough to eat a child – That is why I thought of a Bobcat, which would NEVER attack a child – although carnivorous – JDA

          • JDA

            I’ve gotta get one more thing off my CHEST before I go to sleep, it’s about
            The people that were at 500 feet and 200 feet from the treasure and didn’t know it.

            How could this possibly be?

            Here’s what I think: say you wanna go to the store and there’s 2 different ways to get there, you could take John F Kennedy drive or Dr Martin Luther King boulevard.

            The poem, if followed, will take you down John F Kennedy drive right to the treasure.

            The people at 500 and 200 went down Dr Martin Luther King boulevard, even though they were right there they SIMPLY just didn’t know it cause they took the wrong road.

            Once again, just my wacky opinion.

          • JDA

            Wow, that’s awful about those bobcats, sorry you had to experience that. They truly are beautiful creatures.

          • JDA

            I was just basically talking about any animal with rather large teeth.

            I wonder if Forrest’s kitty contest had a clue behind it?

            That mountain lion that attacked a jogger in Colorado recently was a youngling, that makes me question everything I THINK I know.

            It doesn’t really matter where in the Rockies one may be, one never knows what’s lurking in the shadows!

          • Thanks Pauley – YES, it was sad.

            Could the “Kitty” naming contest held a hint? Not sure, but I think so. “Kitty” is from the distant past, and yet her remains (Possibly petrified – possibly not) were found. This MAY be a hint. Finding Indulgence MAY require looking (Geologically) into the distant past.

            We may have to look at the “land” as it appears today, but (at the same time) imagine this spot as it once was – eons and eons ago..

            One MAY have to “Look at the big picture” – The searcher MAY have to start WWWH – at a frozen glacier eons ago, and take a trip through time in order to arrive at “Today’s” location where we will find Indulgence.

            Seems far-fetched, but this MAY be the trip that the successful searcher has to make. JMO Pauley – JDA

          • “He was about to turn eighty years old..” is an observational statement by Preston and is open to interpretation. It was not a Fenn quote. Mr Fenn has said on many occasions that he was 79 or 80 when he hid the chest because he doesn’t want to give that info as a clue and Preston knows this.
            Like JDA said it’s just a curiosity and pinpointing the hiding date would probably not help anyone with their search.

          • Randawg

            When Forrest says, “ I finally hid it” on a warm summer day in August before his eightieth birthday while standing in his vault with Douglas Preston minus the treasure chest…………..

            To me, By Forrest saying this and allowing Douglas Preston’s foreword to be printed in the book OUAW and Douglas Preston saying, “There are vital clues in this book” and Forrest never once denouncing Preston’s words as expensive folly, is simply Forrest’s way of giving us all another clue by admitting, without ever saying, that he was 79 when he hid the treasure. Just my opinion as usual.

          • Ah, so maybe TFTW has hints.
            Picture on page 201 of TFTW as JDA mentioned.
            Resting on the trunk of a tree but where is the blaze?
            Surely the tree cannot sustain a recognizable stand out blaze for a few hundred years and it’s feasible to chop it down for some heat.

          • Jake

            Forrest has admitted to clues being in TFTW.
            He said, the book was published with a clue that he didn’t know was in there.
            Also, when asked if there were clues in TFTW, he said, yes cause the map was in the book.

            I agree with you on the trees not being part of blaze clue for that reason of hundreds of years later.
            I believe the blaze has something to do with the earth. Forrest said in audio interview, blaze is something you can see. So, to me, what can a person still see after hundreds of years or even thousands of years….?

          • Jake;

            I agree with Pauley – The tree doesn’t have to be the blaze, or even any one of the other clues, but if the tree somehow gets you to the correct area where the blaze or any of the other clues can be found. … or somehow provides conformation to the searcher that he/she is in the right area… It is important. Didn’t Forrest say that solving the poem would be more difficult a thousand years down the road (paraphrasing)? Trees die, topple and/or burn over time – making it more difficult to find Indulgence – If in-fact a tree helps get the searcher to the right area, or serves as a confirmation of some kind. – Just a thought – JDA

          • I’m a stoner in many ways.
            I do believe the blaze is made of stone by mother nature which would make it last.
            I do believe the hidey spot is in Yellowstone, NOT Yellowstone National Park.
            I do like to get stoned now and then but my imagination runs way too wild.

            A sun so bright it leaves no shadows only scars carved into stone on the face of earth.
            You run like a river runs to the sea.
            Where poets speak their heart and bleed for it.

            It runs like a river to the sea.

            Stone is a part of geography.

          • JDA

            Insightful about the kitty.
            I’ve wondered what the area looked like thousands of years ago where Forrest hid his treasure. I think his clues, if any have anything to do with geology, must have looked newer, fresher, better.

          • JDA

            I’m laughing to myself now, cause I just keep contradicting myself.
            We were talking about how the treasure could be under a pine tree, but that pine tree most certainly wouldn’t be around in hundreds or thousands of years.

            I feel like ROCKY chasing that chicken!

          • Jake

            Just make sure those Park rangers don’t catch you with the STONES on your person? I don’t know the laws there…..

          • I thought I made it clear with caps. NOT

            I have taken many stones from YNP I am sitting by 5′ away.

          • Pauley;

            All I can do is turn my imagination on and contemplate what might have been.

            Let’s suppose that the tree pictured on page 201 IS a favorite tree that Forrest liked to sit under and observe nature. Let’s now suppose that somewhere fairly near this tree Forrest could see several of the elements of the poem – wwwh, a canyon, ahoB, a NPFTM, a NPUYC spot and HL & maybe even WH.

            The Blaze may be near, but maybe one must look at it from a different spot. Near the blaze is the hidey hole – just down from the blaze.

            Is it a contradiction for forest to say “sit under a tree where the air is fresh and the smell of nature is all around, and let my body slowly decay into the soil. ” and then say that he would throw his body on the chest – even if the hidey spot was a few feet away from the tree? I think both could be true. He might WANT to sit under the tree, and let his body decay into the earth, but that might not be practical – maybe he needed a more “private” place to “go alone in there” where his body would be less likely found – a few feet away. I see no contradiction.

            Just my imagination at work – JDA

          • Nevermind Pauley, It doesn’t mean anything anyway.
            Besides, I can’t make it any clearer what I said.

          • JDA

            Yes, I agree. The trees would drop its seeds and new ones will continuously keep growing, even after forest fires, they will eventually keep sprouting.

            I thought of something pretty wild concerning the blaze.
            What if the clues before the blaze clue bring a person to a particular spot and while the person is standing there looking out they realize that everything they are seeing is the blaze.

            For example: Leave Walmart, take a right at Burger King, straight pass McDonald’s, left after Kmart, go down to acme auto, Found Blaze, follow road to Kentucky fried chicken, left at Dunkin’ Donuts, find treasure chest.

            What if the Blaze is a spot a person can stand and see Walmart, Burger King, McDonald’s, Kmart, acme auto, KFC, Dunkin’ Donuts, and then the person can see an area where they have to search among the trees, and ultimately go in to find the treasure.

            Clever huh? Lol

          • Pauley;

            I had not thought of it in just that way, but that is kinda what I was trying to describe. I had never thought of that viewing spot as the blaze. but it sure could work – good thinkin’ — as I scratch my head – JDA

          • JDA

            I’m scratching my head also! Lol

            Forrest said, the blaze is a physical thing and it’s something we can see.

            What if the BLAZE is the REALIZATION that a person has when they are standing in a spot that the UNIVERSE comes together and they SEE the CHASES COMPLETION.

            Just a thought.

          • Pauley;

            Like so many things in the chase – I think that there can be a double meaning. Yes, I think that there IS a physical blaze – Like a distinctive boulder or some such.

            I also agree that that blinding flash of light when the searcher says, “Now what took me so long?” or “Why didn’t I think of that (earlier)?”

            That magic AH – HA moment when it all comes together in one spot, and one can “See it all” – rightr before their eyes.

            Sure hope I get to experience that some time soon – JDA

          • JDA

            Very true words.

            And I hope your skillful thoughts take you all the way there! But better hurry I think, seems many are zeroing in on the prize. I believe with all the additional things Forrest put out there over the past years it may come to end soon.

            I’m looking forward to Forrest explaining all about the chase. I hope they write a good book about everything but would also love it if they make a really cool documentary too. I’d enjoy both.
            Time will tell I guess.

            Hey, I’ve gotta tell ya my theory about the X someday, it’s a doozy!

          • I spent a week in West last fall, hoping to hook into one of the large browns that swim up from Hebgen to spawn.

            You have to work really hard to fish water without seeing other people on the Madison, especially in the park. Some of us fly fisherman like to just sit and watch the water. It isn’t uncommon for a seasoned professional to spend 30-45 minutes watching and scouting. Some diehards won’t even cast a fly if they can’t see the fish they’re casting to. They’ll spend hours looking and watching and leave without getting their fly wet. They’ll also leave without any regrets and tell you that they had a great day.

            There’s been several times when I’ve been startled or I’ve startled others because I didn’t notice them until we were right up close. First of all, the water makes it difficult to hear and 2nd, you often spend more time scanning the water than looking around you.

            If there was some guy sitting still under a tree he could probably go unnoticed all day. If I was fishing and he made any movement in my peripheral, I’d notice.

            That reminds me of a time I was fishing an area of beaver ponds and this log on the other side of the river caught my attention. It was only about 8 ft away and something about it transfixed me in a way.

            I probably stared at it for 3 minutes trying to figure out what made it so special as to catch my eye like it had, and then it blinked! It was a large beaver and it shocked me pretty good. Then I laughed and started talking to him. He got annoyed with me and turned his back.

            I’m still staring at the poem waiting for it to blink. 🙂

          • Wildbirder,
            ‘I think’ the comment suggest he could’ve written the poem prior to the first thought of the challenge/creating the trove… Prior to 1988.
            fenn did say he knew where he wanted it to be… the real question is when he discovered the hidey spot, right? as a kid.. teenage years… on leave from the air-force… during his years as a art dealer…

            Other than the dedication for a complex / perplexing / get it “just right” poem… the 15 year time span doesn’t concern much.

      • Definition of sedan

        2 a :a 2- or 4-door automobile seating four or more persons and usually having a permanent top — compare coupe
        b :a motorboat having one passenger compartment

        Definition of automobile

        :a usually four-wheeled automotive vehicle designed for passenger transportation


    • IN Once Upon A While the line that says “IS SHE BELOW THE SALINE DOOR …” now reads “Saline Shore” – Interesting. JDA

      I like the presentation format in OUAW much better.

      Another difference. In SB 164 the following lines appeared below the poem:

      A treasure searcher, a pleasant stranger, posted me this wonderful wooden hand-size object along with words that bare, wonderful enough to covet, yet too personal to share.
      This paragon of expression stands straight and bold. Its blackened keel, harden by fire, hints of battles fought and won. A single jib yet unfurled, still serves testament to this vessels willingness to bare its gun.
      Surprisingly the forces of oceanic turbulence combined to pare this ready boat. I’ve told you what I think, but what else does it know?

      These lines do not appear in OUAW – also interesting. Makes one wonder why. JDA

      • JDA,

        I’ve been waiting quietly for everyone to receive the new book before making comments.

        My observations: There are many differences between the scrapbooks on Dal’s blog (here) and the book. Most of the changes are *very* subtle. I believe that many are simply editorial modifications for clarification. Some are clearly hints.
        The hard part, as always, is to figure out which are hints (if any), and which are just mere edits!

        Seeker beware!


      • Fennatical: I concur with your assessment. Once Upon a While is actually a rare opportunity to see the editing process in practice. For instance, in the first two memoirs Forrest has a lot of compound nouns that he separates into two words, like tooth brush and dish washer. These have been corrected in OUAW, but new ones have cropped up (meadow larks). We also have a second round of postmark stamps (minus the days of the week) to scrutinize or ignore.

        • He did tease the editor at tge book signing….maybe he just left whatever changes she suggested and said “okay, sounds good” with a squinty eyed smile and let it roll on down the line. Just a thought, but I can see him finding some good natured fun in both it and its aftermath.

      • JDA,

        Thanks for posting some tidbits on the new book. I was waiting for you and others to get into conversations about the scrapbooks #’s and any changes or even comments Forrest made at the end of the chapters. I think maybe Jonsey might be right about the editor making small changes as long as those changes did not change his meaning in the line or phrase. If something is totally different then that might be something to consider.

        I welcome any and all info about the book and it’s chapters. Wish Dal would create a page for comments pertaining to “Once upon a While” thanks Dal.
        Thank you JDA for starting this conversation.

        • You are welcome Bur.

          Sweet Fragrances – I am not sure, but on page 10, Forrest has circled CLOVES, and he also says that Peggy had three bottles – I can not help but think that there is a “Hint” here. I am just not sure what it is.

          Forrest writes, “Smells bizarre and strong….stay away from cloves – that’s my advice.” Forrest has said that the treasure is wet, and several other hints about Indulgence being in a low place. Could the place Indulgence is secreted be soggy and marshy, and have a “Bizarre odor” about it? MAYBE??? But why the “Stay away” comment? Just a thought – JDA

          • JDA,
            Perhaps there is a split in the road and a smelly marsh is down one road, and he is saying, don’t go in that direction, take the other road.

          • Forrest has said that Indulgence is “wet”.
            As I referred to above, maybe Indulgence is NEAR a boggy area, and Forrest is warning to stay clear of the “Bog”, and to look for “her” where it is less “boggy”. JDA

          • JDA,

            Well we have a plant in the U.S here that smells like cloves called the “clove currant” with yellow flowers ( didn’t Forrest say something about yellow and purple flowers?) and it grows in tree hardiness zones 4-8. Just maybe there is one of these growing by “indulgence”. Check out zone 4 on a us map. In my area.
            Guessing here.

          • Thanks Bur.

            Here is what I found: “4-6′ tall x 4-6′ wide. ‘Crandall’ currant is a fast-growing heirloom fruiting shrub with fragrant bright-yellow mid-spring flowers followed by large edible blue-black currants. Ribes odoratum Crandall has beautifully colored fall foliage too.”

            4-6′ tall x 4-6′ wide. ‘Crandall’ currant is a fast-growing heirloom fruiting shrub with fragrant bright-yellow mid-spring flowers followed by large edible blue-black currants. Ribes odoratum Crandall has beautifully colored fall foliage too. I like this “Fragrant bright-yellow…” better than my “Bizarre smelling” Much more pleasant – JDA

          • JD –

            The new guy Sherif Billy thinks that references to spices play a big role in providing hints to the clues.


          • Hi JDA.

            A couple of years ago, when I started writing down my thoughts on what seemed like brainstorming fits, here is something that is similar to your thinking….it is part of a first draft I’ve been writing.

            “…I also grew up around a creek, playing in it all the time with friends and family, as well as, swinging on the long weeping willow branches that draped over the creek and allowed us kids to swing from one side to the other side, in order to get across the creek.  So that gave me a very good visual…also remembering that Hines creek, as we all called it, knowing that the creek was always “mucky”….the creek we are to look for has got to be mucky as well….that would be the path to find. ”

            So I too thought of a muddy/mucky creek, but only during a certain time of year.

            I also envision that there may be a connection to frogs as well….because of the frog connection to FF life.

            What do you think? Interesting?

          • JDA I don’t have the book. Is the word circled or a picture and so which jar? There was a picture in the scrapbook which the middle jar was a different clover mgf

          • James (TZP)

            The one I am talking about is divided into 6 “boxes.”
            each box includes a picture of the spice.

            Box #1 – upper left is “bay leaves
            Box #2 – upper right – is rosemary
            Box #3 – center left – is oregano
            Box #4 – center right – is cloves (Cloves are circled – name “cloves” is not.
            Box #5 – bottom left – is poppy seeds
            Box #6 – bottom right – is thyme.

            Hope this helps – JDA

        • Back to the cloves again;

          On page 19, there is a picture of Forrest’s kitchen table. There are cloves in the picture, and also just outside of the picture. The “Mark” that Forrest put on the table is circled. Is this “Mark” a trail? does the one natural dark spot on the table mean anything? Could it be a “rock”, and the cloves the “Bizarre smelling “Bog” near where Indulgence lies? HUMMM

          (Yes, I DO have a vivid imagination) – JDA

      • **** “IN Once Upon A While the line that says “IS SHE BELOW THE SALINE DOOR …” now reads “Saline Shore” – Interesting. JDA” ****

        Since the theme is sailing, “salty shore” makes a lot more sense than “salty door”.

  27. Truly fascinating how peoples minds work. One can read the poem as the simplest meanimg while another can make it most complicated.

    • Hi Kira….

      …or both.

      IMO – the poem is written in such a way it’s complexity becomes simple once you figure out the key.


      Good luck to you.

    • I agree Kira. And, I think Forrest meant the poem to be simple; not easy to solve, but simple meanings to the words. Even more fascinating to me is all of the “hints” that searchers believe they see in the books. It’s almost as though the “hints” have become more important than the poem itself.

      • Tom B;

        As one of the posters who “See Hints” – Here is my perspective. The poem is #1 – and #2 and #3. Without the poem, there is nothing. The poem contains both Clues and “Hints.”

        The books and ATF materials have what I call “Nudges” or “Road signs” things that help support what one has already found in the poem. The “Nudges” are only there to confirm what one has already figured out from the poem. These “Nudges” (to me at least) are Forrest’s way of saying – “You are on the correct path – here is an additional “Road Sign” to make sure you stay on the correct path. Without the correct road map (the poem) you would be heading down the wrong highway, and would never have seen these additional “road signs” that remind you that it is 56 miles to place “X”. Without these additional reminders, we would be constantly askin’ “Dad, are you sure we’re still on the right road?” – “When will we be there Dad?” – Just how I see the world – JDA

        • If one is fortunate enough to divine the real hints from the books, then it could help to guide a solution. However, there is so much material in the books that one could see supporting “hints” to almost any potential poem solution.

        • Jda, to keep it in perspective imo lets not forget that ff said any hints in his books will help with the clues but will not take anyone to the location. The clues in the poem are not locations at face value but deciphering of those clues will point to locations. So, any hint will help us with the method to uncover/decipher the clues but will not point to locations/trails or any physical path.

          • I think the few hints in ttotc, or if there is a hint in the poem, can point to a location. It just can’t be a location after clue 1 through clue 9.

            I think this because of the definitions of hints and clues you provided from f. I don’t think any definition f have excludes a hint from describing a specific place further away from the tc than the starting point of clue one. Imo

          • FD, at the end of the day, who knows? But if you listen carefully to that interview (moby Dickens,I think) he tried to make a distinction between what a hint and a clue is on his books. Solving the clues will take you to the chest -location-, the hints will help you with the -solving- of the clues. In other words, the books will not take you anywhere without the poem but the poem will take you somewhere without the books.

          • OZ10…moby dickens yes. That is one key element that folks either do not know about…or just ignore because of bias in re their particular ideas/solve. The hints I think are more “method” oriented and less location pointers.

          • Yes, Oz10 I know what you mean.

            I am being careful of the distinction between the two definitions of clue versus a hint.

            I have it from memory that f has described a clue as something that gets one closer to the tc.

            That is key to my point. As you say there’s a distinction between a hint and a clue. If there’s a distinction, then a hint can’t be the same as a clue. Therefore like I said above, a hint can’t get one closer to the tc as compared to the first clue and so forth.

          • …continuing the thought…but that doesn’t mean to me that a hint can’t be something that points to a specific geographical area if it doesn’t break the definition rule that f put out there.

          • “So, any hint will help us with the method to uncover/decipher the clues but will not point to locations/trails or any physical path”.

            Oz10—- agree 100%–the important word being “method”.

          • FD, I see what you mean. We all struggle with the definitions.
            Can a hint point to a location without breaking the rule that is not getting us closer to the chest location but it is actually helping us solve/decipher the clues??? I don’t know, maybe we can work on some examples if you have any.
            Forrest worked on this for years, not just the poem but also the hints on the ttotc, tftw and the scrapbooks. Add to that the fact that he was thinking of a thousand years down the road, I believe it is safe to say that he wasn’t going to give it away nor mislead anyone. It is also safe to say that he will not tell us how to solve/decipher the clues but maybe it will be demonstrated in his writings, if we can pick it up. So, anything he has said or written that points to a location even if it is outside the search area, we should be skeptic to take it as a hint at first. Maybe the hint is in the context/presentation and not the location itself.

          • You bring up good points, Oz10.

            I can think of one way the few hints could help. Most know that f stresses that we must figure out the first clue/wwwh.

            One way I feel it’s possible that the hints help us is they help pinpoint which of the thousands of wwwh is the correct one. If the hints help point somehow to the area nearby the correct wwwh then that satisfies f’s definitions. That’s because the hints wouldn’t help us get closer to the tc as compared with the answer to the first clue in the poem.

            I struggle some to understand other ways that the hints could help.

            For example, I don’t see how hints could help with a clue in the middle of the poem. If one thinks a hint helps a searcher find hoB or your creek then that method or information from the hint would get one closer to the tc then the clue that’s before hoB or your creek.

            My guess would be that the hints don’t help reveal a method to solve the clues. But I could be wrong. I’m guessing it’s more about the hints pointing to a geographical area.

          • FD, you said:
            “One way I feel it’s possible that the hints help us is they help pinpoint which of the thousands of wwwh is the correct one. If the hints help point somehow to the area nearby the correct wwwh then that satisfies f’s definitions. That’s because the hints wouldn’t help us get closer to the tc as compared with the answer to the first clue in the poem.”

            I think that is exactly how the rule will be broken if he is pinpointing to other areas nearby WWH. It is taking us closer to the treasure chest.

            Lets put it this way, imagine that he writes a new book about his travels around Yellowstone, since he vacationed there every year for the first 18 years of his life (give or take) for 2-3 months at a time, and he writes a chapter on that book giving advice on which rivers to visit depending on how warm or cold they are. Then that’s it, contest over. I don’t see anybody searching anywhere else ever. Would you say then he broke his own rule? Yes, he hinted to specific areas that took the searchers closer to the treasure chest and eventually was found.

            But what if it was found in Colorado instead and wwh was not water related? Then we can say that he did not break the hint rule and that chapter about warm rivers at Yellowstone was not a hint at all. You can say maybe he was misleading with all the warm rivers talk. Well, maybe it is our fault for being stuck with warm rivers then. 🙂

          • FD, regarding the second part of your post, how does a hint help with a clue? Outside of the poem, like in the books and scrapbooks I think they are in ff’s writing style. What does he write/says repeatedly and what does he repeatedly avoids?

            Within the poem, imo, the hints are attached to the instructions. I don’t know how to explain it or give a good example, but he also said to keep an eye on the nouns or something like that.

          • Good discussion Oz10,

            You said…”I think that is exactly how the rule will be broken if he is pinpointing to other areas nearby WWH. It is taking us closer to the treasure chest.”

            What I think you are missing within your quote is the question of taking us closer to the treasure chest ‘from what starting point’?

            If one doesn’t include from what starting point or reference point that your thought pertains to then one isn’t providing enough information, IMO.

            That’s why I think I stated above a few times hints could lead one to a geographical area on the outskirts of the correct wwwh. That could be like a specific mountain a smile or two away. Then, the correct wwwh could be the only one around so a searcher that figured the hints would be confident in this wwwh. There could be no other significance to this wwwh, clue wise.

            The reason that hints in this fashion don’t break f’s definitions is because they don’t bring a searcher closer to the tc than the first clue. F says begin it wwwh and that’s where the definition of a clue starts…clue 1.

            A hint, IMO, can get one closer to the tc if it gets you closer to the tc than your house…it just can’t get you closer to the tc than clue 1-9.

          • FD,

            I will have to take a leap of faith there and say that no, he will not help us with the ‘right’ wwh by pointing to any place that can be located in a map within miles from the actual wwh. No matter where you starting point is. We know there is a chest at a physical location, and there are 9 clues that when solved will take us straight to that spot. Regardless if we end up with 9 locations or less, any hint that will take us close (physically) to any of those clue/places would effectively take us closer to the chest.

            If Madison Junction is the right wwh, what is the idea of hinting of places on the outskirts of that area if not to narrow the search area down? What does that do to searchers in NM, CO or MT? I could be more bold and say that this is his failsafe way to talk/write freely about any place he’s been without anybody labeling it a hint. Just because of that simple rule.

            Keep in mind, that I believe that the right solving of the wwh clue is unique, being one thing or one place. And not an elimination process. The clues themselves will translate to places, the hints are like the language needed to do the translation.

          • Oz,
            The definition of a hint is different than a clue. This means we have to always be cognizant of the difference.

            We also have to be cognizant of where clue 1 in the poem is. Clue 1 is where the line in the poem says to begin it where…
            That’s the defining line that f put in the poem to deleniate the start of the clues and what comes before. F even used the word hint in the first stanza. The first stanza could be a hint that once figured out does the same thing as hints in the book…spotlight a specific geographical area.

            There’s no rule that f has put out there that says a hint can’t get one to the correct general area before beginning your quest at the correct wwwh. We don’t have to worry about the hints getting us closer to the tc in my theory because we haven’t gotten to the first clue yet, so no way to break the definition rule.

          • FD, yes they are synonyms in the dictionary. There is a reason why ff made that statement making a subtle distinction between the 2 for his usage here. Like I said, I may be wrong but I will remain skeptical to use a hint as a location or a location as a hint that will take me closer to the chest.

            Since you brought up the subject: ‘and hint of riches new and old’ what do you think is the meaning of that? More specifically, does each of the clues must qualify as riches new and old? It seems to me the prelude to what to look for is there but most believe this is just poetry fluff.

      • Boy , don’t I agree with that statement, but I did translate the poem to Chinese and it said to follow the trail to the lily pad field, take one step foward and two steps back. Stand on your head, rotate 180 degrees and you should see the blaze 12 steps away.

      • Ha! I don’t know the color, but I swear I saw Hertz on the side door… or was it Avis? could have been National…or maybe Enterprise? That’s the one, Enterprise… Boldly ‘gone alone in there’ where no man has gone before.

  28. Dal;

    As Bur and other’s have suggested – Please make a new thread for comments on the new book. I have a lot of comments that I would like to share, but they do not belong on ANY of the existing threads. H E L P ! ! !

    Just a suggestion – JDA

    • Any?? not one? out of 184 places of existing threads?

      Maybe talk about individual parts /sections of the new book that matches the SB’s already posted.

      Dal might be thinking / doing this as we speak… but wouldn’t a good place for now be ‘Forrest’s New Book’ tftw…

      • Seeker – Instead of, ” but wouldn’t a good place for now be ‘Forrest’s New Book’ tftw… didn’t you mean “… Forrest’s new book OUAW? Just askin’ JDA

        • No… Right now all there is a topic thread “Forrest New Book” which was for ‘tftw’ If ya want to have a conversation about another “new” book, I would think it’s better served under that topic thread, right?
          Then again, the “new’ book is about stories from the SB collections… there’s 184 SB’s to choose a conversation about any one topic from the new book, right?
          You said~ ‘I have a lot of comments that I would like to share, but they do not belong on ANY of the existing threads. H E L P !!!’

          That’s all I’m doing… suggesting; if you don’t want these posting/conversation about the new book spread all over the WWW thread or HOB thread or page from Armchair adventures in “other searcher’s stories” etc. etc…
          it doesn’t seem hard to me to scan the rolodex [header pages] to find a good place, such as SB’s [ because that is what the new book is about] or new book from fenn topic [which is what this is all about… a another new book from fenn.]
          But, I’m sure Dal has his own thoughts… I’m only suggesting to utilize what we have now.

          • Thanks for the clarification. I was not aware of the thread – Forrest’s new book – tftw

            Since the new book chapters do not reference the old SB numbers, posting there seems like one of those rabbit holes – but a good suggestion I guess.


          • JDA.
            If you go to Forrests Scrapbooks..Blex has provided a list of what the scrapbooks are about. Just click on ” here” at the top.. I find it very helpful..Thankyou Blex.

  29. Does any one know if Forrest said he could retrieve the chest in any season, or what his exact words might have been pertaining to this? g

    • Check at tarry scant. I found a trick to use. If you search for any season it will not work. Only one word so i type either word say season in search box then on a computer type control f & a extra search box will appear type in in that one. Every word you chose will be highlighted. As u search through the word any watch for if ir appears next to highlighted word season. This works great if there a lot of of material to check like several pages. If only few no point.
      When using a phone tap menu & a box appears look for find on page. Each phone maybe different but should have feature.

  30. Hi everyone, I haven’t posted in awhile been busy outside the Chase.

    This is a very interesting read. Well done.

    For those looking for a hint as to where the chest was hidden to put with the proposed dates above. Look in the book TTOTC. Forrest says he threw the books in the trash on top of the Time Magazine the day JD Salinger died. Paraphrasing.

    JD Salinger died on January 27th 2010.
    Time magazine cover that week of January 25th 2010 is the Haiti tragedy. The Haiti Earthquake. I think he said that for a reason to hint at Earthquake such as Hebgen Lake area.

    Hope this helps searchers.

  31. DPT – Thank you for sharing that excellent research! You may enjoy this great book:

    I always think of the Poem line, “The end is ever drawing nigh”, when I stay at Campfire Lodge Resort below Hebgen Dam. I don’t think the sirens located all around there will do any good if the Dam breaks in the next big earthquake…

    • Thanks Lisa for the good read.

      I hope this helps you and other searchers in the chase.

      Don’t under estimate the number 9 . Forrest was 79 in August 2009.

      He wrote about the JD Salinger story in TTOTC in January 2010. He wrote the poem after he hid the chest. Look at the copyright and when the book TTOTC went to the publishers. The poem was written in the book before the summer of 2010.

      • DPT –

        I realize you are making a particular point here but Forrest did not write the poem after the chest was hidden.

        There is some confusion but please remember Forrest worked on that poem over a supposed 15 year period. During that 15 year period Doug Preston viewed and touched the contents of the TC on multiple occasions.

        He did not write the poem after he his the chest.


        • Lug…I agree. For those that question this…go back to all of the threads about poem vs. book and the timeline involved. It is said that the poem was available before the book. Early on I was oblivious to that.

      • So Lugnutz and Ken, what is your interpretation of this quote from Forrest: “I could have written the poem before I hid the treasure chest, but I didn’t.” ?

        • Hello Zaphod. It may suggest he knows of the place he wanted to hide the chest before he got cancer.

        • (Second try.) Perhaps it suggests the treasure chest is hidden in a place he knows/knew before he got cancer. Hence, he could have written the poem before he hid the treasure chest.

          • Hi pdenver: I think Forrest has known his spot for a very long time (more than 60 years). So yes, well before he got cancer. And therefore he could have constructed the poem long before he got cancer — that is, if it had ever occurred to him to hide a treasure chest of gold and jewels back then.

            We know Forrest worked on the poem for a long time, going through many intermediate versions. But that one short sentence from Forrest seems to say quite clearly that he didn’t write the poem *before* he hid the chest. I can only conclude that the poem wasn’t in its final form prior to the day he hid the chest. So the question is, why share that fact with us? Why make the distinction that he could have, but didn’t?

          • Zap –

            We are seeing in the new book and hearing him say at the book store that he has made errors or expressed himself in ways he wishes to correct.

            Whether he wrote the poem first or hid the treasure first doesn’t matter does it? You may be looking for clues or hints in what he said and I am not in that conversation.

            To me, it’s much simpler. He made a mistake and he doesn’t care to correct it/them. He may well have meant to say – I could have hidden the treasure before I wrote the poem but I didn’t. OR – I could have finished the poem before I hid the treasure, but I didn’t.


          • Zap,
            Possibly Indecision is the key to flexibility… he ruined the story?
            Just take the chest and leave my bones.
            If you think about it… the time spent collecting items, the poem, etc… age was still a factor. Did fenn still aspire his original plan to take it with him and challenge us to find his trove and his bones… at some point?
            The at age almost-eight it was time to “act” but not go?

          • Seeker – Based on Forrest’s choice of words in his original Poem version, me thinks he is a fan of William Shakespeare, who has this epitaph in Trinity Church:


            “My church is in the mountains…” f

          • Seeker -.Me thinks Forrest may have been influenced by William Shakespeare in his first Poem version:

            The Curse on Shakespeare’s Grave at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-Upon-Avon:

            Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones.

          • But Lugnutz, he didn’t “say” it. He wrote it. Big difference. He had all the time in the world to write exactly what he wanted. If you aren’t interested in ~why~ he wrote such a thing, that’s fine. All I did was come up with a possible explanation that explains it.

          • Zap –

            He said in the bookstore that he rewrote the scrapbooks because he disagrees with some things he wrote earlier.

            He also allowed DP to say the treasure is buried. He also allowed DP to say there are clues/hints in the new book. He also admits he has no idea whether or not it was raining when he went to Borders.

          • Seeker – Pondering what Forrest’s original Poem stanza might have been. How about:

            If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
            Look quickly down and spare these stones,
            But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
            Just take the chest and leave my bones.

            Thank you, William Shakespeare.

        • “Could Have” is the indicator… Like PD said, fenn knew where the hidey spot was.
          The “,but I didn’t” refers to the fact that he “could have”
          The question is; when did he discover it the hidey space?
          Is that little tidbit of a hint in the book? {TTOTC} Not so much, where, but the age we was…

          • Hi Seeker – IMO it doesn’t matter when he found the spot. IMO the poem contains 9 clues that will show you where to start and where to end. While it can seem fun to figure out things without the poem, the poem really does have the answers so IMO the poem deserves a lot more attention if one wants to solve the mysteries.

          • HMA,
            Should a person follow the advise given that there are subtle hint to help with the clues… would it be reasonable to as oneself if there is anything related to when the hide was found?

            Example; Why mention there 9 clues? Just a simple ATF fact counting…
            The book is the man’s memoirs, but very little mentioned of his retirement, right?
            Visits to the greater YS area up to 20, time in the air-force, another 20, 17 years of business and sold it… got cancer in 88…
            Maybe the curiosity of the math would ask, WhatIF? while we look for hints that might help with those clues. The “9” very deliberately told of clues, and not just… Hey! readers the clues in the poem are all ya need. That simple thought might take out the guess work to the “certainty of the location beforehand”, Idea.

            Cuz just deciphering, indicating, figuring out the firs couple of clue has done nothing for actually finding and knowing…”beforehand”

            Opinions are great… I’m into fact finding.

          • Hi Seeker – My best advice is to not worry about the hints. IMO the hints give you a boost only if you’ve figured out the clues. If you’ve read the books, then spend time on the poem and nothing else because at some point you might see something.

            IMO, each clue matches up with places on the map. Find the first and follow to the end.

            “Opinions are great… I’m into fact finding.”

            I’m into facts to but as you know we can’t state facts only opinions unless we hold the chest.

          • LOL Good catch HMA,
            The opinion response in my post was directed at your IMO in your post… yep, it was a little jab.
            You said; ‘ IMO the poem contains 9 clues that will show you where to start and where to end.’
            LOL that’s not an opinion but fact… stated by fenn, first in the book; “I wrote a poem containing 9 clue if followed…”
            and later in a Q&A posted on MW’s
            “All the information to find the chest is in the poem”
            Just to point out two…

            If we look at just those two, doesn’t it raise an eyebrow that fenn could have said the second comment from the Q&A to be placed in the book, and not say 9 clues?

            Halo asked a similar question about the clues… fenn said he change the poem over many month, but the count was about the same… lol
            it’s either 9 or not 9, right? It can’t be 8 or 9.25…
            But, it does seem important enough to have it stated as ‘9’ clues. As well as, having rainbow stated prior to the treasure.

            We base opinion on the fact we have been told… but facts are facts when stated by the man who took time write them, for later postings.

          • Hi Seeker – I agree that when f states something, it’s afact but I still say IMO out of habit so I won’t forget.

        • Zap, I know your key word isn’t in the poem, but what do you think about this?
          I (Fenn) could have written the poem before I (meaning the key word) hid the chest, but I (Fenn) didn’t. I don’t know if you saw my post from yesterday, but it started a conversation by who or what is F referring to as I. I came up with an obscure thought that I referred to time.

        • Zap –

          Sorry for the late response, I’m not getting the emails for over 24 hours.

          Ok so it’s one or the other right?

          Either he architected that poem and worked on it for years before hiding the chest.


          He wrote the poem in the several months between DP last seeing the chest and publication of ttotc. Oct 25 2010

          • Lug,…. Doug Preston said that the poem was written in late 1990, he said that Forrest brought it out and read it to him. Afterwards he made a few changes to it. Go figure how F hid the treasure before he wrote the poem.

          • Lugnutz,
            Your either -or, is truly an illusion.

            The fact is; fenn knew exactly where he want to hide the chest, right at the moment of first thought of doing something like this [the challenge]. Even before the first clue was born…

            That prior knowledge means fenn “could have written” the poem at anytime after discovering the secret special place and before 1988 [cancer diagnosis, the kicker for the ‘thought’ of the challenge’ ].

            Does this help the readers any? Only if there is some sorta of indicator in the book/poem that would help in looking for information [ hints ] that might help with the clues.
            Basically saying… if fenn found the secret place at an early age…or later years… that information or related information would be more helpful, narrowing down ‘hintables,’ and possibly eliminate the rabbit holes and kitchen sink theories.

            This comment reminds me of many others;
            One being; “I’m not ready to say the chest is not in water…”
            Sounds to me like he just did… and later force to confirm it. ‘not ready to say… the chest is not in water’
            imo, is the same as;
            “I could have… But I didn’t”

            This thought or thought process of attempting to understand the clues in the poem can relate to why ‘time’ might be an important element to finding the trove… if you think about it… as well as, why over time it will be more difficult to locate the trove because of natural land movement of the RM’s.

            Then again, I could be over analyzing…

        • Zap…sorry I shot from the hip and skipped town. I take Fenn’s ” I could have written…” statement as a great example of how he likes to make folks “think”. He has been very prolific with his interactions with us over the years and I believe he gets great pleasure from messing with us a bit. He uses words to do that. It all depends on interpretation.
          I admit…it can be a brain teaser…but if we take the “facts” provided us(written, verbal) by Fenn and others…it cannot be disputed.
          That would be a magic trick Zap. We see what we want most times.
          What I want to know is when and how the “spot”(hide) was discovered. Was it something as a child and he held on to it for all those years? Or was it a place found while pit stopping in his aircraft? Was someone with him? Or, was someone already there when he found the place? I want to know those answers because they may move me closer to the treasure.
          The other alternative is bad juju Zap…

  32. Hi pdenver – You may recall this answer from 2016.

    “No other hiding place was ever seriously considered Jenny. There are places near where I grew up that are dear to me, just like everyone else. If I had it all to do over again the results would be the same, and I can’t think of anything I would change. I feel fortunate that my poem said exactly what I wanted it to say.” FF

    For me this statement puts two of the search states on the chopping block and leaves two because of where he grew up.

    • Why two? HMA.
      I can assume you are talking about MT & WY as places [two search states] he grew up?… but fenn did imply, there was no other place he thought to be than SF… {I believe, the comment fenn talked about; what he we see if standing at the chest}

      • Hi Seeker – Well where are the two places where f grew up? Temple, TX and West Yellowstone. Since TX is not in the search area and near probably doesn’t mean hundreds of miles away, I see WY and MT as the only logical states that connect with his statement. And I haven’t found anything in the poem about one of those states so for me there is only one choice.

  33. “—And yet it still remains out there somewhere, secreted in a dark and wild place, waiting to be found.” Doug Preston

    How does DP know it’s in a dark and wild place? “

    “I could have written the poem before I hid the treasure chest, but I didn’t.” f

    In the early 1990’s he invited me into his vault ———He had already written the poem, and he now brought it out and read it to me.” Doug Preston

    So which is it? It may not have been the final version but it was a completed poem. So why does f say he could have written the poem before he hid the treasure? He hid the TC in 2009 or 2010. What a quagmire of statements.

      • MOW, Possibly completed the poem after the hide because he wanted every poem statement to be truthful… like ‘gone alone’ or ‘with my treasures’ or ‘leave my trove” or perhaps the blaze needed to be completed, some final embellishment. My Q is, why “must go” if he’d “done it.” OS2

        • OS2,….”Why must I go and leave my trove for all to seek?” Because in life we all must go, and he finally realized that he can’t take it with him. And now, he really doesn’t want to take it with him— so he leaves his trove for all to seek. That’s why he finished the poem after hiding the chest. IMO.

          What is really important to him is his legacy. His story of his memories and of his life. We all want to be remembered in someway; that we are or were somebody, and that we too have had a life that’s hopefully not forgotten. With Forrest’s full and wonderful life and his varied experiences through it, it would be ashamed and regretful if it were all lost to time. Thanks Forrest, for not letting that happen. I think Forrest got it right, we all should take the time to write down our memories least they be forgotten.


          • I can’t dismiss that interpretation MOW. It is logical and rational. Whether its the right one, I don’t know, it does ring well. The only iffy bit for me is that the “can’t take it with you'” is about treasure, while the “answer” is about our fragility and ridiculously unfair mortality.
            I may be wrong. I often am.

    • Another thought… it could be that ff found an old cache of some mountain man years ago, perhaps beaver firs or something that has deteriorated over the years, and he put his treasure into the same hole… i.e…. “riches old & new”. Maybe the surprise is that below the TC, there’s some old indian or mountain man artifacts for the finder OS2

          • OS2 –

            “In the Saharan desert of Libya I discovered thousands of war relics left over from the tank battles of WW-II: burned out tanks and shell casings were everywhere. And in close proximity were stone projectiles and crudely made hand axes that could have been 30,000 years old. I was looking at conflicts piled on top of conflicts. Who can imagine how many…”

      • OS2,
        This has been discussed before after the “she” Q&A….The Item “saved” that is now in the chest, idea.
        IF there was another Cache at the location of another person’s treasures now turned trove… would it be the same principal idea?

        Q~ “Are there any objects placed in the Bronze Chest that are connected, or have meaning to the place the chest is hidden?” ~ Mike

        “No Mike, everything in the chest is straight forward and visual, except my autobiography, which some might find dull. Oops, I forgot, there is one thing in the chest that I have not talked about except to say I don’t want to talk about it. It is something saved especially for the person who solves the clues. I think that person will be pleased when she sees it. f”

        The idea, in those past conversations were, is that something “saved” [keepsake] for the finder, is something that was “saved” [keep safe] for “she” the previous owner. But IF that were true… then that something in the chest would have to be related to the site, right? And visa versa, If there is another cache, trove, treasure etc. of an other on site… would that not be the same?
        But the real question is… Do we the searchers know [by way of the clues or poem] or even need to know to solve the clues?

        That was a brilliant question though. Don’t ya think?

        • I’m not sure when Forrest made the comment about “She” but I think he said it because after so many years of a bunch of old men armchairing the poem, books, and maps and still not having a clue. He is confident that a “She” will find the chest, He knows this because he lived a great part of his life with a wife and two daughters, and he has learned just how much smarter females are then their counterpart
          “MEN”. Being raised with three older sisters, I for a fact know he is correct.

        • Not holding the chest, but I would venture that that Special item, that “she” will like or enjoy, is very much associated with the correct solve. Just my opinion – * * * and I am sure that SHE WILL like it – JDA

        • Seeker, I don’t see a difference with a distinction… or is it a distinction with a difference . Anyhow, I like the “she’ reference because though smart men have learned to hide things well, smarter women have learned to hide things from their smart men. The first cache may even be one with things an Indian housewife may have wanted to save/hide… perhaps a cooking pot too big to take with her, maybe it had some saved teeth of her first child, a piece of jewelry from a lover. or a trinket from her original tribe if she had been captured by or traded to her current consort. I don’t know, but something significant to her.

        • Ha! ya guys seem to be bowing to the women a lot, bunch of nannies…lol.
          I mean… it was us ‘men’ that allowed them to even get a vote, right? Women smarter than men?! Pleeeassse… we have guys on here that know where the chest is within 12′ right?
          Ever hear a woman claim that? I think not!!

          I’m the man! and I wear the pants in my home!!
          The woman, well, err, “she” tells me if I’m wearing the right ones.

          • Guess I should the used the term, they have a different way of thinking. Not any smarter but possibly wiser. We know we’re to look because of my better half. I finally listened to what she had to say…. and quess what she was right.
            Damn male ego gets in the way every time.
            Didn’t mean to insult the male ego and arrogance. Sorry if the truth hurts.

          • PD,
            Just goes to show ya…
            A man’s work is never done… or is it, Can bring home the bacon and cook it to?
            Or was it, Lets see you feed the baby without a bottle wise guy, or something like that.

          • I’m going to borrow a line that another wise woman once said – I make all the small decisions in our household and my husband makes all the big ones. It just so happens that there haven’t been any big ones yet.

    • ” I could have written….: Maybe because “me” wrote the poem before me hid the treasure.

  34. In my opinion regarding conversation above about hints in books and what not. 1st of all we have figured out all the clues including the blaze and I would say we know where the treasure is within 50 feet, using only to poem. Guess I have to say it I MO. Their are probably a few more that could possibly be searching in the same area but maybe missing something to complete their search. We figured out the blaze 1 months ago. I actually knew what his marvel gaze was after I first read the poem and that is why I concentrated on the area we are in. Alls I can say is all you searchers are missing the search of the man and the person he is and where a person like Fenn spent is time. I think Forrest was going to let Preston know where he placed the chest if his cancer continued to progress, being the meaning of two can keep a secret when one is dead (that being Forrest). There are legal issues with the chest so someone had to release the chest or if you found it after his death, Peggy would be the legal owner. Forrest tested Preston for quite a few years by showing him the chest in his vault. Preston never told a soul about the chest prior to Forrest placing it so he knew he could trust him. Preston would have also known after Forrest had passed so he could let Peggy and his loved ones know where he made his final resting place. They would have all laughed just as we have laughed when we figured it out. Alls I can say is it’s an awesome spot based on Forrest’s church. LET THE BELLS TOLL.
    May Forrest someday later then sooner get his wings and make his last flight with the angels. we love ya Forrest.

    • Interesting and original thinking. Thank you Trailblazer. Hope your confidence is warranted … well, maybe not. Like ff, I don’t know if I want the TC found or not. I might have to go back to yelling at my TV and congressmen.

  35. Guess I had a jump on everyone because
    1) I was raised by a soldier of the US Government
    2) I was in the woods hunting at age 9, and continued the tradition with my kids.
    3) I raised a 6 day old calf at age 15 and rode my bike 4 miles one way to feed him twice a day.
    4) I never grew up
    Just sayin

    • I hope you are right 1trail, but I am all of those plus more such as a vet. I have thought I was right in the past as well, but this chase has a way of humbling us all.
      Best of Luck and fortune.

      • DPT, I choose not to be a soldier at 10 years old because I learned some lessons about humanity and chain of command at an early age. I am only speculating but through FF’s stories about the POW that was his friend. He explained IMO his level of patriotism and his feelings about war. Never saw any generals on the front line. By seeing this prisoner he didn’t see hatred he thought about the mans family and also the man. Forrest was able IMO to see what he had done in all his sorties to a people he did not hate but had to kill in the name of WHAT! IMO it still haunts his soul, that his government made him do things he normally (as the man I see him as) would never had done. All in the name of patriotism. He reminds me of The greatest General of them all. That being General MacAuthur. We killed 250,000 Japanese with the fury of hatred. I know my mother was there.
        It haunted MacAuthur till his dieing day, why do you think he wore out the carpet pacing. We did the exact thing to the Native American people and we’re still doing it to this day to the Mexican people. So what is your level of patriotism. If your thinking of hatred towards the North Koreans with fire and fury, well then you don’t understand Mr. Fenn. This is my opinion and I felt this way prior to reading TTOTC. The book only solidified how I think Forrest thinks. His story about the grave marker of the French soldier changed his life forever along with the POW. I am proud of every soldier, my father and Forrrest included but I am not proud of our US Government. We have destroyed the homes and lives of a great number of different races. All in the name of PATRIOTISM. So we are free thank god but our time will come.

      • DPT. My comment not an insult to you or anyone else. Just my thoughts. I read a post about someone talking about a movie deal, what a joke. I will never tell anyone about our solve. Whether we find it or not. Good luck to you as well and be safe.

        • Trailblazer, why would you not share your solve if you found it?? I would love to be able to tell everyone the correct answers to the clues although I would want to do it without identifying myself, but just to let everyone know how close or far they were in their searches

          • It reminds me of an old story that a plumber once told me that used to hunt pheasants in Montana. The grizzlies would come down into the lower valleys and surprise the upland game hunters to the point of attack. He said ” when you hunt pheasants in Montana their is a rule called the 3 S rule. When a grizzlies attacks you put the 3S rule into effect. SHOOT, SHOVEL and SHUT UP. Same analogy as “Just take the chest and go in peace.”

          • TB have you read the ‘Legal’ section here at HOD? FF ‘thought of everything’ and also consulted a lawyer…I just think it is POSSIBLE that the hide is on land that makes the legal ownership manageable…NF and NP land do not do that…BLM is better, but still not foolproof…a trove will be determined by the judge and length of time hidden comes into play, there are precedents about that time. My thought was a THEORY that maybe FF ‘took care of it’ by putting it somewhere you would have no legal recourse, that is you HAVE to give it up…reservation, NP/NF land may have to do that…if you follow the law. A movie/book deal might be more lucrative if you approach it correctly, FF knows this, after all, he is pretty famous (even before the treasure)…at least in archeology and art circles…still famous imo, and certainly now.

            I love that you KNOW how FF thinks…yep just like everyone else who ‘knew’, good luck and looking forward to when you stop posting, since we’ll ‘KNOW’ that you found it, don’t let us know.

          • Believe me you and everyone else will never know where it was found. Forrest will tell Dal and three media outlets and guess you armchairs gossips will have to resort to and wondering where you went wrong.

          • If I found a wallet with no ID but had cash, or a bag full of money and turned it in to the authorities… if not claimed in 30 days… it’s legally mine[in most cases of legal standings]
            I’m not saying this is the case for the chase… what I’m attempting to say is the legality may not be a question to the challenge [ as fenn implied ] but your route says; anything goes, break the law… just take the chest and run like ye just rob a bank.

            Boy, I hope little Sally and Johnny wear their sneaker when mom and dad take them treasure hunting.

          • 1trailblazer ~’guess you armchairs gossips will have to resort to and wondering where you went wrong.’

            You have said in the past you’ve been on this for what, 5 whole months, correct?
            The folks you’re chatting with have given thoughts and responses to you as to be helpful… that I can see… because they have work on this challenge for a few more month than 5.
            Why are you using words like “armchair gossips” and resort to suggest some dang “dating site” is where we should be ???

            I’m gonna ask straight out… are you just attempting to be funny / joking? Or just another newbie who thinks they have it all figured out, and we’re just slow old folks who don’t know what you do?

          • I was responding to the guy that said he can’t wait till I quit posting. I will not post again. Good luck to everyone. Thanks for the help and fun. Most of all have a nice winter. Seeker you are the only one that ever made sense hope you are the finder of the chest. Take care

          • 1Trail;

            A bit touchy ain’t you there bub? Look at Tnbug’s quote again, all he was sayin’ was that according to you, IF you found it you would NOT post it. So he said, “good luck and looking forward to when you stop posting, since we’ll ‘KNOW’ that you found it, ” What is there to take offense about in those words?

            I won’t say you have to be thick skinned to post here on the blog, but one had better not allow the bloggers to get under your skin either. Life is short – Enjoy the smell of the roses.

            This is just my 75 years of experience talkin’. I would hate to see you go.

            In the Marine Corps years ago, on the shootin’ range the DI said to B.R.A.S.S
            Breathe – Relax – Aim – Site – Squeeze.

            In later years I used BRASS to mean
            Breathe – Relax – And – Smile – Softly
            Kept me out of a lot of scrapes – So my advice to you is BRASS – Take your pack off and B R E A T H E – JDA

  36. Thank you searchers for your insight. Some very intuitive responses above.
    One of the phrases that many of us are perplexed with during the discussion above is ( paraphrasing) I could of hid the chest before the poem, but I didn’t.
    The word that jumps out to me here is hid. Forrest says he does not say bury because he doesn’t want bury to be considered as a clue. So that means hid is a clue. He uses hid a lot.
    Hid is past of hide. Hide means to conceal, secret, adjacent, cover up, the closer side of, near, nigh and avert ones gaze , especially in shame or grief.
    Avert ones gaze! To turn away in shame or grief. Grief is dolor, extreme sorrow such as for the deceased. Someone near or dear.
    Grief is also misfortune. I think misfortune is Forrest reference about Fortuna.
    Forrest has that animal HIDE with a bullseye on it. I could go on and on with the references.
    But near, not far, nigh, scant, avert ones gaze, tarry- dark grief.
    All of these things remind me of Forrest sitting in graveyards and enjoying it.
    I am not sure what it all means or where this place is, but I wanted to hopefully give some information to others if they needed it.

    I think hid is an important word.

    • Hi DPT…
      Interesting way to come to this conclusion, basing your conclusion on just how FF speais.

      I’ve always expressed that the truly only way to solve this puzzle, is to think like Forrest.

      You clearly are in this camp.

      Good for you!

      Good luck and be safe.

      Be the chest.


      • DPT – The cache building instructions from the second link on that page I included in my last post. And Forrest’s collection of Clovis Points is called the Fenn Cache, by the way. Same concept used in long ago times, IMO:

        “A proper place being selected, which is usually near the border of some stream, where the bank is high enough to be in no danger of inundation, a round hole two feet in diameter is carried down to a depth of three feet, when it is gradually enlarged, and deepened until it becomes sufficiently capacious to contain whatever is destined to be stored in it. The bottom is then covered with sticks to prevent the bales from touching the ground, as otherwise they would soon contract moisture, become mouldy, and rot. The same precautions are observed to preserve them intact from the walls of the cave. When all is snugly deposited and stowed in, valueless skins are spread over the top, for the same excellent purpose, and the mouth is then closed up with earth and stones, beat down as hard as possible, to hinder it from settling or sinking in. The surplus earth taken out, is carefully gathered up and thrown into the stream, and the cache finally completed, by replacing stones and tufts of grass, so as to present the same uniform appearance, as the surrounding surface.”

        • Good information.
          I like the idea of a cache.
          I think I will put this as a possibility on my clue list.

      • Lisa –

        Animal hides are used to conceal caches, true, but there are a lot of things that are true of all other treasure hunts that are not applicable here.

        As I have just mentioned to Seeker, in all other case we know what the clues are.

        If Fenn listed the clues out, I would find the treasure quickly and so would lots of other people.


  37. The thread and posts have been excellent, and I’ll respond to an inquiry.

    Food for thought.

    I think the date is important in Fenn’s life as to when the treasure(s) was/were hidden. But look at dates this way. There are an infinite amount of times within a date that the treasure was hidden, for example 1:30 pm or 1:30:26 or 1:30:26.2 etc. Realize how insidious and perplexing the thought is when considering an infinite amount. Which brings me to my point – the poem will give us the answer(s). My neck seems not to be so red, but I’ll try.

    Page 147 ttotc – ” ‘No’ ‘time’ spent in thought is wasted and ‘nothing’ is too small to know, so one should not let knowing a little bit be a substitute for learning more.” ‘Nothing’ versus ‘the answers I already know.’ ” ‘No time”, ‘No paddle’, ‘No place’.” (Did you notice 147 pages ttotc versus new book.)

    Page 4 ttotc – “My books have to write themselves or I struggle. This one did.” The book wrote itself and/or he struggled? Well, the poem was planned and the book wrote itself?

    Page 131 ttotc – “age almost – eighty” as posted above in the thread. – = subtract.

    Page 95 ttotc – “My experience beside the waterfall was on December 22, 1968. Two nights later I walked in my front door…. It was Christmas Eve.” I guess this a 15% reference because of the international dateline. It bugs me.

    Page 125 ttotc – “It’s the being ‘there’ … ” while fishing. “as I have gone alone in ‘there”.

    Page 137 ttotc – “Each one is ‘signed’ and ‘dated’ or ‘there’ would be ‘no’ point to the madness.”

    And to my point about infinity (omega sign) – whatever date and time you might imagine, your search to solve all the clues will be affected by your choice of date and time, IMO.

    Maybe the treasure(s) will not be found for 1008 years.

    Have a good day.

    • Rob,
      Good write up… However I think your “time” is different than other’s idea of “time”… at least what I think time might relate to.
      You relate it to a clock hour. I, personally, relate it to a time of year and day broken down in seasons and morning to night… which doesn’t have the need for an exact hour perse.
      Example; Time ~ a season being [ now summer ] a month of a year.
      ; Time being involved with a sunrise to sunset.

      The day[s] are of a short span, as well as, time of day to be of a short span… And all related to what we have been told we need to do… Plan and Observe.
      “But Tarry [ linger = observe ] scant [ a short time during the right month and day time ] with marvel gaze.”
      If we have found the blaze, we are told to look “quickly” [time related] down. But WhatIF fenn is telling us we need to know that ‘time’ relates to the poem’s clue and we need to utilize ‘time’ to find the chest in a short ‘time’ span.
      Theory; you’re standing at the blaze and need to look down, but from where? [is the blaze in the poem or only in the field??? A question that couldn’t be answered.] Is fenn telling us we need to let the shadow, who knows, tell us where?
      “Wise and Found,” in my mind equal “Discovery”… knowing what is needed to be known.

      Is this part of fenn’s thinking of… down the road… and difficult, but not impossible?
      Searchers with no certainty beforehand of the ‘direct’ path would simply walk by the chest? And if any of this “anal-yzing” might be remotely correct… does it help with understanding why the first clue might need to be ‘nailed’ down? or stay home.

      Just food for thought……

      • I appreciate what you are saying. But what if….?

        This is big IMO – page 91 ttotc “So we agreed to stay only five minutes.”

        Page 94 ttotc – I had to hurry (look quickly down because he fell face down) – less than five minutes.

        The poem has the blaze, but so does the physical world, how I think. I’ve been using coordinates.

        I’m just letting the book guide me. The poem will tell me.

        However, page 121 ttotc – “June, July and August in Yellowstone seemed to pass so fast when I was a kid that I often wondered if summer ‘some’how missed the turn ‘there’ .”

        So, Forrest defines summer as June through August, and he talks of the season, exactly to to your point. I’ve been thinking we better not miss the turn ‘there’.

        And ttotc Page 124 – ” ‘There’ come’s a time (maybe it’s an age)……” So to get back to the original thread, the age is almost-eighty.

        So your point is well taken and I suppose our rabbit hole just got deeper(or has always been deep) or as Fenn quoted page 125 – “God subtracts from the allotted time of man, those hours spent fishing.”

        And so to my original post, this thread has great comments.

  38. I don’t understand why it is important as to when F hid the treasure. I don’t believe that there is any relevance to finding the treasure and the poem. What I will say that it is a good discussion by many that have participated with their input.

    May be I may be stupid, but for the life of me I can’t understand why this has any thing to do with finding the treasure. What I do get its about time, when F hid the treasure. Relevancy?

    All IMO

    • Hi CharlieM: in Seeker’s case, I think he might be suggesting a Stonehenge-like relevance to solving one (or more) of the clues. For example, what if one of the clues has a temporal component (such as a specific notch in a mountain range where the sun rises or sets)? If that’s true, then it would mean that the clue could only be experienced at a specific time on a specific date. In such a situation, the date he hid the chest could be quite critical to success. And if the date/time is critical, it stands to reason that he might need to include that information in the poem.

      • If what Seeker is suggesting is true, the “direct” statement from F via the map flap in TFTW is false (along with several other statements):

        “… the clues in the book and thread a tract through the wiles of nature and circumstance to the treasure.  If you can find it, you can have it.  I warned the path would not be direct for those who had no certainty of the location beforehand, but sure for the one who did.” (flap on map in Too Far to Walk)


          • That any clue, be it dependent on time, date, sun, moon, etc., can and must be solved ONLY while BOTG. Therefore, you would be searching for answers to clues instead of going to your predetermined location and finding and retrieving the TC as the map flap “direct” statement seems to imply.


          • I was actually responding to Zap’s comment that was responding to CharlieM’s comment with a “Stonehenge-like” example of something you said (I think I got that right). I probably should have prefaced my comment with “Zap,”.

          • Not true… You assume I meant botg only. When what I mean, is the understanding of what and how the solve might work, prior to retrieving the chest.
            Another wards if we don’t know how it could unfold, prior, we would simply walk by the chest.

            This falls in lines with fenn’s answer to; clues solved at home…? “yes in theory, but not in practice…”
            And the comment; I warn the path would not be direct for those who had no certainty… beforehand.
            Direct means; undeviating means; constant means; accruing continuously over time… Does this mean that a clue or clues can’t act as an constant that accrues continuously in manner -?- to the “location”
            A day of summer /day[s] / the solstice occurs… continuously over time?
            Could your effort be worth the cold be a hint from night to day? sunrise? possibly “planning” an overnight stay to “observe” such an alignment, that with movement of the land in a thousand years would have an impact-?- to the “precise” location…

            “I’m not flippant about this. It’s not something somebody is going to be able to do on spring break or a Sunday afternoon picnic. I’m looking a hundred years down the road, maybe a thousand years down the road. People don’t understand that.”

            What don’t we understand about down the road? Time related?
            Now, I guess if someone was smart enough to find the blaze… on any other days… it could be calculated with the proper understanding to find the hidey spot.
            I know I’m not that ‘quick’ witted… but it can be done.

          • Seeker, do you have the correct quote, was FF’s “onlly one way in, and its the SAME way out” (paraphrased) to begin from the WWWH, the HOB, the blaze, from where he parked his car? I never did find that whole quote in context.

            One way in and out could be one way in and one way out… 2 ways. And to me, ‘a way’ implies a known or used track, not an open field or woods. Thanks OS2

          • OS2,
            I never made a comment that fenn stated that… I have commented on the idea in conversations with searchers as a possibility. To my knowledge fenn never stated it himself… In fact, I’m almost positives. But then again, Loco caught me off guard with a audio he found of fenn in 2013 saying wwwh ‘is’ the first clue…

        • OS2;

          As close as I can come is this quote,”Question posted 6/20/2014:on MW

          I have a question for Mr. Fenn:

          When you hid your treasures, did you take the same path that is described in the poem, or were you able to skip some of the steps because of your familiarity with the area?

          Thank you Curtis

          The clues should be followed in order Curtis. There is no other way to my knowlege”.f

          Although this quote does not answer your question directly, The answer “Implies” (to most readers) that there is only one way in, and one way out – You may interpret the answer differently – Hope this helps – JDA

          • Thanks JDA, Seeker. I thought there was another quote besides the one JDA presented. So the clues should be followed in order…& they are presumed to be in order in the poem, but no guarantees, Again, tricky. And no limit to entry or exit routes…. unless there is some other quote to surface. Thanks guys.

          • OS2;

            You say, “& they are presumed to be in order in the poem, but no guarantees,’ For me, there is no question whether the clues are in order or not. Forrest has said, “There are nine clues in the poem, and the clues are in consecutive order. …” f This (at least to me) says they are in order. JDA

          • OS2.
            We can debate what consecutive order implies…
            Clues are set in the poem as 123456789? true to how fenn placed them in the poem, right?
            Clues are to be executed in the order of 123456789 Possible, right?
            Clues need to be understood in the correct order, to execute the path directly?
            Example: WhatIF hoB is where wwh is located. and “we” begin at wwwh below the hoB… So technically “From there” would mean; from wwwh, take it in, canyon down and NFBTFTW -to be- no place for the meek…
            Is that out of order? or reading the poem as where warm waters halt is located… put in below the home of Brown.
            Put in, simply means; a place, in plain English … does it have to mean a searcher that puts in?
            Or can it be the first clue we need to “nail down” or stay home… out of all the possible location for wwh reference [ whatever it actually refers to ] To know where to start…
            Order in the poem [ for example; as read line by line ]
            Order in execution is by understanding the order in the poem as being relayed.

            The question is; no one has given fenn the correct order after the first two clue, right?
            Wrong turns in following 123456789 or misunderstanding what is being told? Clues 123 are below 4 and clue 5 is from clues 123. In theory.

            If we knew what hoB is, we’d go right to the chest?
            If you know what the first clue is, you’re 1/2 way there, metaphorically?
            If you know what hoB is, why would we be concern about wwh… but we could reverse engineer if we wanted to?
            We won’t “know” the first clue to be correct until the chest is found? lol.. BUT don’t leave home without it…

            Things that make ya go hmmm!

    • CharlieM,
      What Zap said… even though I had to look up a couple of words [ psss Zap, Plain English, will ya? eye R a redneck]
      IF, as some suggest, [ myself at one time ] the clues are basically one way in and out, and that is why fenn “followed the clue when he hid the chest” Well, we have some very poor navigators as searchers…

      But for fenn [ who knew prior, exactly where ] to “follow” the clues… there must be a reason, right?
      The same reason he might be telling us, “there are no shortcuts.” The clues need to be followed “precisely”; without vagueness, exactly, accurately, absolute… And why in 3009 the movement of the RM’s will “surely” have an impact on the clues.

      • Seeker,

        I don’t believe the movement of the RM’s is going to change where the treasure is. The grid coordinates might change just a teeny bit in lets say 100 years, that is if one tries to use grid coordinates. Time by its self isn’t going to change where the treasure is at. At the time where F hid the treasure IMO hasn’t changed where the treasure is now, then or before.

        F knew where he was going to hid the treasure and IMO he only changed the poem to be more difficult. Sure there was a time frame when he first wrote the poem and when he finished. IMO time is not relevant to the poems directions, only “tarry scant” meaning is to not delay.

        It does take time to find the treasure but it isn’t relevant to when or where I find the treasure.

        All IMO

        • CharlieM

          It’s not my opinion… fenn stated as such; {in part} ~”…The Rocky mountains are still moving and associated physical changes will surely have an impact. If you are in the year 3,009 it will be more difficult for you to find the treasure.f ” 

          • Seeker,

            I thought the subject was about time not earth movement. To nail down the exact month, week, day, hour or minute when the treasure was hidden IMO is not going to solve the poem in any why.

            It’s the “where” is important. If time was so important why isn’t it in the poem as a clue?

          • CharlieM
            Who says it not in the poem?
            There is a section of the poem that might be hinted in the book…[imo] as abstract as it might be… but we were told to look for any little abstract thing that caught our attention.
            And one reason I was able to come up with the same date as Zap did without applying numbers to letters.

            Although it was interesting just the same… But in my mind it won’t help with the location of the clues itself, as much as helping locate the chest.

            Remember, we’re all BSing about possibilities and WhatIFs… if anyone knew anything, we be talking about what is in the chest and not where it is.

          • Haha Seeker..nice! Is there not a chapter in FF’s new book …something of a different kind? I thought I saw a picture if it posted . Whom is Jaya?

            In the poem I do see time written as past , present and future in the poem story line. IMO .

          • Alsetenash,
            Wait! Whaaat?! You don’t know the alien egg theory???
            Ha! and you call yourself a searcher…lol

            Once upon a while… Long ago and far away… naa maybe i’ll tell ya another time. It’s a long story.

          • Seeker, never heard of the alien egg thingy lol. But I did meet an alien once, his name was Nikola Tesla lol.

          • You’d have to go back a couple of years but he posted on this site, and others…
            To be honest, I was a little jealous. He ended up at a beautiful place. And I could write a better SiFi thriller if I wanted. I mean, a alien dragon egg that would steal the souls of little kids that fenn and his 12 apostle were attempting to do with the chase… I was one of the apostles.

            Apparently to be one, all you had to do was disagree with him… Imagine that… me an apostle… lol or was it that i’m disagreeable?
            Oh! and Goofy was a high ranking member as well. I think I was 10th or 11th. Goofy has been around longer than me… Umm, I mean he’s been on the chase longer, Not that he’s some old-guy.

          • Hmm, you an apostle? Perhaps more so in a poetic rhyme lololol. I never heard of Tesla untill I met him but I researched he name and he was long ago dead. So, I guess it wasn’t him lol. Unless he did figure out time travel lol.

          • HA! I remember that guy Seeker. He thought the treasure was in Ra Paulette’s cave. He did have quite the imagination.

            And I’ll have you know I was potentate of the council of apostles. At one time he said I was Fenn but then he promoted me to potentate of apostles. Us apostles actually controlled poor old Fenn making him do our bidding by hiding the treasure so we could steal the souls of all the gullible fools looking for the treasure.

            I seem to remember that he had you in the higher ranks of the evil council. Us apostles were pure evil. He sent me an email telling me I was evil incarnated but he wasn’t afraid of me. I ask him what made him think I was incarnated and told him perhaps I live in the web, or perhaps I am the web sucking the life out of everyone through their electronic devices.

            I never heard from him again, maybe he burned his I-Pad and move to Siberia.

            And you should be careful, you almost called me a Goofy_Old_Guy. 🙂

          • I’m still jealous. You got to nuke him, twice… Ah! the wheedling power of a potentate apostles.
            Dear Santa… I want a shiny red nude button for Christmas. Not the cheap one either… the one with the special sound effects that goes Booom! followed by the Curly’s chuckle… Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk!

        • It has been said, “Forrest has thought of everything.” It is my personal belief that Forrest would have somehow taken “Even the movement of the Rockies” into consideration when he secreted Indulgence. Yes, it might be more difficult in 3009, but I think that it would still be possible since “Forrest has thought of everything.” – But what do I know? NADA – JDA

      • The clues need to be followed precisely and in consecutive order while you’re riding a backwards bicycle.

  39. Zap – nice work and very interesting. A comment if I may…the moon was in First Quarter phase on June 20th, 2010. Certainly I’m not the only one to have noticed how often Mr. Fenn mentions “quarters” – so I do find that interesting. But, I kind of go with the idea that he may have hidden Indulgence on the Waning Crescent phase of the moon in the summer of 2010. Mostly because of the picture on page #146 TTOTC. Might also explain that weird crescent? wrench on the school kid’s forehead page #19 TTOTC . If you are interested in archeoastronomy, (which wouldn’t be surprising, considering… ), you might look in that direction.

    • Hi Sandy, and thanks. I had not considered the moon’s phase, but out of curiosity I did now just check it for that date. Moon was a waxing gibbous, noticeably past First Quarter. I agree that a skinny crescent (oriented as in TTOTC) would have been quite nice, but alas no. 😉 As for the crescent wrench that some people claim to see in the school picture, I think it’s nothing but pareidolia. There seems to be a lot of that here.

  40. August 4,2010,…moon phase-last quarter 37%, it would have been a perfect crescent moon. This is the day for an annual meeting of the Board of Directors for the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. It would’ve been a perfect time for F to hide the TC on this trip.

    • Great ManOwar,
      Where did that information come from [fenn’s annual board meeting] ? the poem? the book?
      How can we take the date seriously, as to, important to know about to help with the solve?
      Zap”s theory give a reasonable idea ‘from the poem’ as a possible need to know [ a date ].
      Don’t we need to use the tools given us from the start… Can you line the thought up with either.

      I’m not sure that is a bullseye, as it is a poke and hope.

  41. Seeker,…. I didn’t say bullseye.
    Answer from question 1: From the internet. Look it up.
    Answer 2: I didn’t say it was important to know about the solve.
    Answer 3: The internet was given to us from the start. Were we not supposed to use the internet just because he didn’t mention it from the start. LOL.

    I made a statement about a perfect time for him to have hidden the chest. I didn’t say it was a fact. In my mind the time that he hid the chest doesn’t have to relate to the poem at all. I said it WOULD have been a perfect time, I didn’t say that he hid it on that trip or even if he attended the meeting. Sorry, but I’m not poking or hoping for anything. Carry on my good man, and good luck.

    • I forgot to mention even though it would be a perfect time to hide the chess I don’t think he would have taken the chance to carry the treasure with him for four or five days..
      Over an 800 mile trip to Cody from SF 2 days up and 2 days back. Why would he have taken the chance of carrying the loot for three days and leave it in his car or hotel room? And then hide it on the last day afternoon and be able to be home for supper. Unless he calls a hotel room home. Ha, Ha. No, he didn’t do it then. IMO

      Remember he said he hid it in two trips from his car in one afternoon and home for supper. (paraphrase).

      Oh, and I like the sound of how you put it: Great ManOwar

      • Hi ManOwar – I’ve never heard that Forrest was home in time for supper. Can you provide the link? I suspect the comment about supper was a fantasy that has been passed down by a searcher who didn’t fact check. If you can provide proof that Forrest made that statement, I will stand corrected.

        • Hi HMA,…Sorry if I got caught up in that fantasy. Maybe he did hide it on that trip. Hmmm, if anyone can show a link that would be helpful.

          • I mean he may have hid it somewhere while on his way up to the meeting, not on his return trip.

  42. Hey guys and Gals ,

    I like this stuff I did this for a long time and have dated the whole book .

    Thing is f don’t like folks talking about his age. If you all didn’t know ,

    Let me be the first to tell you he don’t like it. His comment ” Can we get over that now”. As I was speaking to him about 79 or 80. So don’t do it.

    Just thought you all should know also … I have stated in the past

    in 2009 is when his grand son placed the chest on the table in his home .

    And Doug was told in 2010 that is was hidden . Every one thinks 79 or 80 is a hint and I do not believe that .

    Ive been on over 150 hikes and have solves reaching up around 100.

    All thought out and most are really good . But nothing like when I tracked him to Denver with the chest and he disappears from there. I have said this in the past and accused of spreading rumors. According to the forward written by Doug Preston in Forrest’s new book – I was correct.

    But I wont say how I figured it out , I have tried to share with a few folks out here but , my information was not to par with them . Hey I don’t blame them . Some of what I have was used with Imagination , But ; the evidence of how he got there and how it is done . Well my metaphysic mind can only work that way . Towards the Maverick that Mr. Fenn is.

    All Mr. Fenns grand kids must really look up to him , and learn form him all the time .

    One thing though – the book store signing. Did anyone think to ask f

    Why he felt he needed to right another memory ?
    Everyone wanted to talk about the gold not f.
    I felt sorry for him.

    Also ;why did he Jump off the Leon bridge. Which is Deloen in french .
    Boy that name is really similar to me Deleon . And his ISBN number rings some bells . I recognize that number also .
    Well Mr. Fenn said he wouldn’t have anything if it weren’t for his name .
    I like that idea. A lot . I think I know more about him then he dose .
    But I am sure that was a two way street … Hey a cross road …. =)

    Sorry all iI always write coded when it comes to the Chase.
    But hey what do I know anyways . You all are way way smarter then I in here.

    But I liked Goonies and Indian Jones a lot … So I like to think Im them some times , and that id fun for me.

    The care all happy hunting and good luck in all you do .
    ” I can do all things through Christ whom strengthens me.”


  43. Sub – better late than never, eh?

    Rob, it has been said/quoted numerous times on this site, “don’t mess with my poem”.

    So , what’s Mr. Fenn trying to say with that statement? Growing up, I was told over and over again, (must have been a slow learner), “look with your eyes, not with your hands.” Is that the tenor of thought that Forrest is making in his statement of not “messing”? And if it is, does that mean “do not rearrange the words, or change the words, but use your observation skills and imagination to find things others might not? I tend to fall into this camp, that as long as we don’t edit it, we are free to dwell on it. Of course, this is my opinion.

    I respect your observation skills and use of imagination to pull a hidden date out of the poem. Nobody in the above dialogue asked you this question though, unless I missed it as I was skimming; were there any other dates in the poem? Was this one you found the only one?

    FWIW, I have, as have many others, read over the poem almost on a daily basis, and maybe multiple times on any given day. I don’t have the background you do in working out dates and would never have thought of that, so thank-you. Makes me wonder if the person that picks up Indulgence will have more in common with Mr. Fenn than I ever could.

    Good luck on your search!

    • Hi Swwot! Long time no see! Totally concur with your first long paragraph: don’t change words, don’t rearrange words, don’t change the order of lines within stanzas. I even think there is a little danger in moving stanzas. For instance, a few searchers like to order the stanzas 5-6-1-2-3-4 (We’ve seen other orderings, too). If the clues are consecutive (Forrest says they are), and they are wholly contained within stanzas 2 through 4 (which many would probably agree with, though not all), then as long as those three stanzas move as a group, you *might* be safe. In other words, 5-6-1-2-3-4 or 2-3-4-5-6-1 would preserve the clue order, but 4-5-6-1-2-3 would not.

      So moving on to the date extraction theory. You wrote: “Nobody in the above dialogue asked you this question though, unless I missed it as I was skimming; were there any other dates in the poem? Was this one you found the only one?”

      A good question, and this was long enough ago that I don’t recall if anyone asked me that specifically. As I wrote in that long-winded theory, there are lots of steganographic methods for hiding information in text. As such, I can find many other decodable dates in the poem, limited only by how imaginative I want to get with the letter extraction method. But I think you would agree that sticking to the first letters of each line of the poem, pulling out four from four consecutive lines, and constraining those four to fall within a stanza is simple and quite restrictive (only 6 possibilities). It’s not like a letter or word skip-count, or requires laying out the poem in a regular grid and looking for something arranged vertically or diagonally.

      But to give you an example of another date that falls in 2009-2010 that can be relatively easily extracted from the poem, consider the line:

      “I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.”

      The four consecutive letters ITTI from “it tired” could encode 9-20-2009, and that date is technically within the range of dates that Forrest could have hidden the chest. However, I think you’d agree that that possibility isn’t quite as compelling as the one I proposed.

      In the end, the main point of sharing this idea was to demonstrate that there are some very simple ways to conceal information in plain sight, and to get people thinking beyond what seems to be a nearly exclusive preoccupation with deciphering what the poem’s words mean. Yes, my theory could very well just be a coincidence. But since Forrest likes to use imaginative word spellings, specifically mentioned a Spoonerism in TTOTC (flutterby), and has reversed quotes/lyrics/sayings on more than a dozen occasions, it tells me that we shouldn’t just be “reading” and interpreting the poem. We should be *looking* at it as well. Forrest didn’t just write the poem; he architected it.

      Thank you for replying and your kind words — I’ve been following your posts for years, and I’m happy that mine caught your interest. Good luck and good hunting!

      • Zap;

        You say, ” In other words, 5-6-1-2-3-4 or 2-3-4-5-6-1 would preserve the clue order, but 4-5-6-1-2-3 would not.”

        I don’t understand. Why wouldn’t 4-5-6-1-2-3 be the same as the other’s? The stanza’s are still consecutive, you are just starting at 4 and going to the end and then starting over starting at 1. Seems the same to me. JDA

        • The clue order is the same – 2 followed by 3 followed by 4 – 4 is now just at the top. but still consecutive.

          If you look at the original poem – the “Hints” are broken up
          1 = hint
          2 = clue
          3 = clue
          4 = clue
          5 = hint
          6 = hint

          If it was OK for Forrest to separate the hints with the clues. Why would it be wrong to separate the clues with hints? Just askin’ JDA

      • Hi JDA: 456123 is different from the others because it puts 4 ahead of 2 and 3. If a searcher believes the clues in the poem — as written — are in consecutive order, and that all the clues are in stanzas 2, 3 and 4, then reordering with 4 before 2 and 3 would result in the clues now being out of order.

        Now, one might explain that they are only reordering the stanzas for reasons other than extracting the clues. If so, that’s fine (though I don’t really see the point of the exercise).

        The other danger of physically reordering the poem (i.e. actually writing it down in a stanza order other than as Forrest wrote it) is if a hint isn’t wholly contained within one stanza. For instance, suppose Forrest secreted a hint that extended from the 4th stanza to the 5th. I’m not saying that he did — I’m just giving a for instance. If someone then rewrote the poem with the stanza order 5-6-1-2-3-4, that hypothetical hint would be destroyed.

        To summarize, I see no problem *reading* the poem in whatever order a searcher feels is helpful. But physically rearranging the poem for purposes *other than reading it* is a risky idea. Does that make sense?

        • Zap;

          A reasonable argument. I will stand by mine, and that is OK. I see no evidence of splitting a hint between stanza’s, but who knows.

          As I said, Forrest split “Hints” by putting clues between them. I see no harm in splitting clues by putting hints in between. I am in the 561234 fan club, so “arguing” about 456123 is moot as far as I am concerned – I was just curious about your thought processes – JDA

        • Hi JDA — I have a short reply, but I’ll put it on The Poem thread since it’s more applicable there.

  44. My thoughts on between 79 and 80

    Gold #79 was discovered in the Middle East (before 6000 BCE)
    Mercury #80 was discovered by Ancient Chinese and Indians (before 2000 BCE)

  45. Hi Ron, Mr. Fenn also said when he hid the chest, that no one else was around. Making it sound like a place that gets visitors. He has also said that people arrive there , not realizing the significance of the place. It sounds like he would have hidden the chest on an off day. Maybe early in the season, or a week day, in a place that gets weekend visitors.

    • James

      Think you’re onto something!

      Actually, I believe the weekends to be busy near where Forrest hid the treasure. IMO

      • I’m thinking maybe a week day and let’s not forget Forrest said, “ I’ve takin the treasure to a very SECRET very special place and I’ve hidden it there.”
        Maybe it’s just right around the corner from where so many are stopping.

        • Maybe something big happened there in 2009 or 2010 and thats why he doesn’t want to give the exact year…. Any big mark-able events in the Rocky Mountains in either year?

          • I always have believed it was the EF/BE/EYE situation . Add the information Dal said there and it becomes rather plausible . IMO .

          • I believe that my “Fire Damaged Tree” dates back forty or fifty years at least – maybe even a lot longer than that.

            I often wonder about this tree, and wonder what stories it could tell. Maybe some day I will write a book and make up my own story about events that might have included “her” – amusing to think about. “She” is the kind of tree that HAS to have at least one story of interest – 🙂 JDA

          • Thanks for the link Loco. I’m still here! Just been a really busy Winter but Spring is around the corner! 🙂

            JDA your tree getting marked could very well be a mark-able event 🙂

            Alsetenash are you talking like EF lenses for cameras?

          • Spallies;

            My tree is more than marked. It was burned so completely that all that remains of her is a 1 – 2″ ring of wood. The entire center of this 3′ diameter tree has been burned away. One can actually sit in the center of this burned out tree. Counting knotholes and space between the “slats” there are about 9 portals that one can see out of if “in” the wood.

            The remains of this tree are about 8′ tall

            A searcher, about three years ago posted something about a “Fire tower with eight windows.” I can not help but think that this searcher was referring to “my” burned out tree – but maybe not. Maybe I just have an over-active imagination.

            “She” is a beautiful sight to see – and imagine her past – JDA

          • ** ** ** Alsetenash opined – “I always have believed it was the EF/BE/EYE situation . Add the information Dal said there and it becomes rather plausible.” ** ** **

            I agree. We can’t know if or how much that was a *driver*, but it was certainly an inescapable part of the environment at the time (spring/summer of 2009 and after).

            That situation also, I think, accounts for spending “a bunch of money with a lawyer” working out the legal implications of where things are (or have been) found.

            A lesser maybe-landmark, 22 June 2010 (just about the summer solstice) was the 100th anniversary of Richard “Wetherell” ‘s death, and was celebrated at Chaco Canyon with a Wetherill family reunion event.

            Not a trigger, but just maybe accounts for ff’s decision to slip the bracelet into the chest?

            And finally, turning 80 in August 2010. Absent any other consideration, anticipation of that landmark may have been sufficient to set the wheels in motion.

            Add the situation you mentioned, shane, and synchronicity renders things more than the sum of their parts.


          • Jake and Shane… I have had that event on my radar for a long time now as a strong probable as the catalyst for the hiding. The timing speaks for itself…

          • Thanks J A Kraven, Ken for your comments. It’s an interesting scenario that I looked at a while back. Sure Charlie , these events may not be withstanding about the intent of TTOTC ,nor would it help in finding it. On any given day the wind is just wind, but in days in the spring it speads seeds for the propagation of life.

            The artifacts covert operation started in 2006 and ended in court cases in 2010. So, it was on the radar before 2006. They raided FF’s house with a somewhat sketchy search warrant in 2009 and found nothing. Fenn said-“So it was 15 years from the time that I got cancer until the time that I hid the treasure chest”. 1988+15 years is 2003. Yes, I can hear you all what you’re going say about that. Yes, I know about the the seeing the chest on his kitchen able in 2009. No debate need here about this.

            My point is: take what Dal said in response to the post by Will in Texas:

            “The 2009 or 2010 seems to be a significant clue/hint as in something happend in one of those years that points directly to one of the clues in my opinion.”

            Dal: “Will-Yes, that is the general consensus. In fact he even said as much himself to me.”

            Maybe Dal would add a comment here about this?

            So, Charlie, here’s the perspective:

            There’s a lot of gray within these rainbow style of quotes. Plus , doing a little bit of investigation research on this was interesting for me.

            Doesn’t seem much to do about anything right? Maybe it’s just about WHAT is in the chest that he doesn’t want to talk about? I think he hid something there first before he hid the chest there. That’s my take on it.

            It’s just interesting.

          • @J A Kraven,

            “Add the situation you mentioned, shane, and synchronicity renders things more than the sum of their parts.” J A Kraven.

            I agree. When is coincidence mathematically impossible? When it is synchronicity. IMO .

          • ** ** **
            pdenver asked – “Hello J A Kraven. Wouldn’t this place be considered in a desert?”
            ** ** **

            Hey-O, pdenver –

            Chaco is not in the Rocky Mountains, but my post (and this thread) wasn’t about getting closer to the chest.

            I only mentioned Chaco in connection with the silver bracelet with turquoise beads that originally belonged to Richard Wetherill. The southwest archaeology/history community grapevine would have been aware of the 100th anniversary of his death (22 June 2010), and probably the family gathering at Chaco.


            If ff hadn’t already hidden the box by then (say in late summer 2009 or late spring 2010), that anniversary may have prompted him to add Wetherill’s bracelet to the chest.

            Just speculatin’ fer the funnofit about possible timeline landmarks around “when f hid the chest.”

            (I’d be appalled if Chaco, Mesa Verde, Chimney Rock or any other cultural heritage site were turned into a playground for a treasure hunt.)


  46. I don’t believe that there was anything that is plausible for any even that caused F to hide the treasure. The only thing that is plausible, is for F to hide the treasure was to get people off their duff and very likely to help those during the time of the recession that started back in 2009. The other that is very plausible is F wanted to share the experiences that he had while searching for his treasure hunts. All three came into play.

    Forrest I believe, during his time of sharing the chest and a different version of the poem to Doug was more than likely over a couple of years. I believe the Chase more than likely came about during his struggles with cancer. The chest was hidden during the start of the recession of 2009.

    I takes time to write a book and publish a book, I would say it was a few months. The lay out of the book, the right font, the cover, the dust cover and the paper type for it to come out in 2010. It also would take time to set up the cancer charity(ies) to receive funds from the selling price of the book and the seller. The time line when he hid the chest could very well be from 2008 to 2009, remember he hadn’t finished? the poem when he hid the treasure, so he wasn’t done writing the memoir, so more time was needed to set things up, much like an architect does before a project is started.

    Never the less, when he hid the chest isn’t all that important, but searching for the chest is.

    Just Say’n

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