The Key Word…Part Seven


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“Many have given serious thought to the clues in the poem but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.”

The above is a quote from Forrest. This page is where we can discuss what that key word might be.




623 thoughts on “The Key Word…Part Seven

    • The key word is the starting point location, if you read the book again and again, take notes, think outside the norm, and have a little imagination of what you not just see, but hear. It will make sense. The path is a journey, educational, presents similarities of someone’s past. One must see through the many paths, to realize where and why warm waters halt. People, history, teaching what is important. Good searching, stay warm, safe, & dry.

  1. ps. I’m not near as savy as most of you are, at solving verbages that are not crystal clear,
    so i will leave this to more expertise.

  2. I see. Just play along. At least everyone here has a highly developed moral compass. I knew these people had kind hearts. Thank God for such trustworthy friends and family.

  3. I think the key word is related to this other quote from Forrest Fenn: “What surprises me a little is that nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve.” And this: “It seems logical to me that a deep thinking treasure searcher could use logic to determine an important clue to the location of the treasure.” He also said somewhere that you can’t ignore any of the nouns (I can’t find the quote right now though).

    • Best I can determine the that ff comment (so often quoted) “What surprises me a little is that nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve” is almost 3-years old.” IMO he would no longer make that claim.

      The older the quotes get, the less value they (may) have and the odds increase that the bracelet it going home.

    • OnTheChase,

      The first quote you mentioned has me pondering many thoughts. But I have always found it interesting that there is very little talk about the prior question in Jenny’s six questions with Forrest Fenn. Jenny’s question # 3 involved question # 2.

      I don’t think there are “new clues” or “hints” in fenn’s other writings… but a connection still the same. The TOTC is nothing more than a SB itself… a dairy… a log book… events book [ of the past ]. A correlation between them [all of fenn’s writings about the chase ] that could be pickup by a attentive reader [ but, they confuse me more with information overload ].
      I do think that there is information in fenn’s other writings that actually help eliminate areas or wild notions… the obvious is Canada is no longer in the running for the ‘location’ of the chest. I would like to chat more about these two comments and those questions 2 & 3 if anyone is willing…
      I agree those two comments seem to relate to the word that is key. For me, the word fenn might relate to isn’t a magical key to unlock the universe of the poem. But a word that explains something of importance and is needed to understand… like the last jigsaw piece to make the full picture completely… even though we might have most of the piece already, this piece shows what is not shown.

      However that piece might fall in the beginning, middle, or end of the puzzle…

      • Seeker;
        I have a long post over at “Odds and Ends” that I think is a direct response to your two posts over here – Take a look. I would be interested in your comments – JDA

      • Seeker – “I would like to chat more about these two comments and those questions 2 & 3…”

        If you get the ball rolling by specifying what the comments and questions are, I’ll chat with you.

        • Ha! Um,
          This post was many moons ago… so give me a few to review what was being questioned and we’ll go form there.

        • Ok Bowmarc,
          If you read this… I’m open to chatting.
          “In those stories I’m just looking back and talking to myself most of the time. It’s fun to be reminded of details I had almost forgotten. Hopefully, readers 500 years from now will find my tales entertaining.”

          To start it off… “I’m just looking back…most of the time. “…It’s fun to be reminded of details…”

          “I don’t want to broaden the clues and hints I’ve written about by pointing them out.”

          At first site this might not mean much… but add the important possibility to winning the prize, add memories, future readers…. The broader relationship to a ‘time’ span, seems to say; what once was.

          Regardless if folks want to think clues and hints are in other writing [ATF – hiding the chest]… the idea relates to “time” involvement, in the poem.

          • Seeker;

            I totally agree – “I’m just looking back…most of the time. “ Forrest certainly seems to be telling us that the poem relates to the past – not necessarily the future. YUP – the “Time” element is essential – JDA

          • Are you alluding to the alternate meaning to the word “below” by any chance? If so, cool because I am new and was just pondering that word earlier today then I read this post. Just trying to figure out if my latest idea is going anywhere.

  4. I was just over in the first “Architecture of the Poem” thread reminiscing about Goofy’s assessment. It’s a good “read” on the man. It is interesting to see how the times have changed…and most of early premises have been obliterated beyond recognition.

    • I kinda agree with Pluto, Umm er Goofy. [ I could never tell them apart ] That we need to be on site once the first two clues are recognized. Not because we need to stomp out the other clues… but more to… we need to recognize all the clues.
      That may sound a bit off… what I mean is… we can decipher what a clue refers to prior, but we don’t know what it is in the field until we can line them up with the others. This might be the observation part fenn tells us we need to do.
      However, I’m going to go out on a limb here, I think the clues connect in such a way that they actually might show the ‘Big Picture’ which might actually show us what the blaze really is. I know… the blaze is a single object in a word… but so is a car with wheel and windows and doors etc.

      Is the blaze in the poem or only in the field? Maybe the poem creates the blaze… the architect built the blaze if we can adjust what we see, line of thinking. So, why couldn’t fenn say both the poem and in the field… one problem was the question using “only” in the field. This might sound like dribble, but I think fenn could answer because we need to create the blaze by imagination of the information in the poem and that can only be done in the field.

      It’s the only real, logical assumption in my mind as to why searcher can decipher clue[s] reference and be on sight and walk by everything… without make all those searcher doing wrong turn, all missing the same clue, or drove down the wrong canyon…

      The word that is key might be something that helps explain what they did wrong or not understand or not see… a word that will help as far as… not stumbling upon the chest.

    • Thanks Ken, glad you enjoyed it. My opinion on how to solve the poem has changed many times over the years but my opinions about Fenn have pretty much stayed the same.

      One of my favorite sayings is “The greatest obstacle to discovering the truth is being convinced you already know it”. So I decided to start from scratch with a clean slate; which is difficult to do after all the years of trying to solve the poem.

      A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I came up with a solution after a few weeks of being in the chase. This was way back in the day before any of Fenn’s statements and when some/many of us thought the chest was in Santa Fe. I showed it to my wife and she said “OMG!!!! YOU DID IT”. I told her maybe, but probably not. She wanted me to get in the truck and go get it “RIGHT NOW!!!”. I told her I would check it out the next time I go through there.

      She was beside herself, wanting to know how I could be so calm about it. I said, “Well dear, what is it about “north of Santa Fe” that you find difficult to understand?” She, like tens of thousands have done since then, came up with all the excuses and trickery of Fenn’s words to make my solution viable. She was so excited and certain I was correct she made me start to believe I had solved it. Apparently being delusional is contagious. It’s called a buffalo jump. A buffalo jump is a cliff formation which Native Americans historically used to hunt and kill plains bison in mass quantities. Drive the first one over the cliff and the whole herd will follow.

      Anyway, I decided to start over. Like Fenn and Indiana Jones told us, “Archeology is the search for facts, not truth. If it’s truth you’re looking for, Dr. Tyree’s philosophy class is right down the hall.” So what are the “facts” about the chase? Fenn is a real person and resides in Santa Fe, NM. That’s about as far as I could get with absolute facts. I quickly found myself being philosophical about establishing facts. That’s a runaway train going down a dead end road, so forget facts; what do I “believe” is true, therefore factual, about the chase.

      1. The chest and its contents are real and hidden within the boundaries on the map Fenn gave us.
      2. Fenn is telling us the truth when talking about the chase.

      In my opinion if these two things aren’t true it’s a waste of time looking for the chest.

      Fenn has told us a lot since the good ol days. So I took what he has said in context and in chronological order. He started out by mostly telling us where it’s not. Not in Utah or Idaho, not in a graveyard, not under an outhouse, ect, ect. Then he started telling us how to solve the poem. It was interesting studying the chronology of the chase and what was going on at the time.

      Not necessarily how I want it to be, but considering everything Fenn has said, the first two clues can be found on a map, the remainder have to be solved on location.

      So I sit on canyon rims looking at the big picture trying my best to use an imagination I don’t have.

      Just my opinion and yet another buffalo jump on the chase.

      To stay on topic I believe the key word is “imagination”. It fits with what was going on in the chase at the time he said it.

      • “Apparently being delusional is contagious”
        Where the heck is the ‘like’ button on this dang lap top!?!

      • Ha !
        Another good eval. Goofy! Time does fly! I come back to THE beginning by reading the Early premises. Searchers now think all of their ideas are novel…but don’t realize how thoroughly and quickly the main topics surrounding the Chase were gobbled up and spewed forth….logically.
        Heck… my first few months on this blog….I believed Fenn lived in a “nutshell”…in SF ! Dal wrote it. You’re accurate in saying that being delusional is contagious…another reason I come back to the Clinic days for adjustment.
        All of the ATF are useful if used wisely…but freakin’ dangerous in the wrong hands! And by the way…thanks for all you do…and yup…”imagination”…

      • Ha ! At the time of Fenn’s comment, things were just about the same as they are now. It seems the Buffalo Jumps still work ! Personally I kind of rely on them….thins out the competition. Oh my…
        I agree …”imagination” fits the bill…and echoes everything Fenn has put out there.
        I come back to the early threads to stay connected to the quick clinic study on the Chase. Searchers today believe their ideas are novel and unique. On the whole…most have been presented and picked to pieces in some fashion or another…maybe not entirely…but bits and pieces. TRUTH…!! heck…most can’t handle it.
        Apparently being delusional is contagious !!! Jeebzum crow ! Talk about a firestorm…the insecure are gonna burst out crying when they read this !
        Thanks again Goofy…for the reality check/laughs.

  5. Re-opening a point I suggested in November:

    What if the key word is “part of the poem” but “not in the poem”?

    Said differently, the key word is in the poem but it’s not in the poem. IMO

    • Maybe some of these FF quotes are helpful:

      “I wrote this someplace a few years ago and maybe you’ll think it’s worth remembering, Imagination isn’t a technique, it’s a key. f”

      ….”but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.”

      …”He taught me that imagination could nearly always be used to narrow the gap.”

      “Complacency is the misuse of imagination”

      Many more quotes with “imagination”.

      IMO .

      • Look Alsetenash, If your going to to make excellent points, then I don’t know if want to talk to you.

        • Hello Betty. Not sure of your definition of “hidden”. For my opinion of using the word “hidden” is I think the first 4 lines is a riddle unto itself; descriptive of the essence of the ‘solver of the clues’. So, the “hidden” word is the ‘Solver’ whom then proceeds to ‘find it’. Thus , the riddle answer to the first 4 lines is within the essence meaning of WWWH. IMO .

          What I presume ,then, is its “imagination” applied to knowledge. This is not a leaning towards special knowledge . I just think it will only make sense to the “Solver” once they have actually solved the clues-then they can try to find it- “As I have gone alone..”. Hidden is the location, but one can solve the clues then find it or not!

          I am looking at applying my clues to a new location of mine.

          Hope this makes some sense of my thinking.

          • Thanks JDA! Been lurking here occasionally. Been focussed on other things. I will try again at this. Needed to break the chain of frustration, with a renewed key of imagination . Lol.

          • Aaron. There’s a slight possibility but unlikely I will this year. I have a new area, or rather I should say , two areas. Both are connected to each other within reading my opinion of the poem clues. I just am at the point of which one is the end point. Either could be and they are very close to each other. So, I am still investigating the direction of how it all reads from start to the end. Not sure enough yet on how to twist it .

          • Both connected and close to each other huh? Maybe you need to make the lines cross in the right place.

          • Aaron. There is no cross point to my two ares-no point of intersection. My struggle is the ‘contiguous ‘ of the clues to the geographic of which is the location-A to B. Is it A or B ? It’s seems like it would be a logical answer but a million intersecting linked circles would be considered touching to the center one even though miles away .Is it geographic contiguous , or is it the poem clues contiguous ?Or are both both linear contiguous? That’s my current struggle.

          • Alset;

            I can only answer for myself – for me, the poem clues are contiguous as are the geographic locations – A next to B next to c etc. JMO – JDA

  6. There is certainly enough evidence to conclude “the word that is key” is indeed “imagination”. Back in October 2015 Forrest stated that a person with a lot of resolve and imagination could solve his poem and find the treasure (paraphrased),

    I believe his statement is in this interview (I hope this is the correct one)

    His comment about imagination and resolve is towards the latter part of the interview. In my current solve area, imagination is very important, but to prove my solve I need yet another trip there. My next one will involve investigating things I have discovered since trip #3 September, 2017.

    I like the word “imagination” for the “word that is key” but it is not the word I favor. Either way, it all ends when the TC is found and the solution is laid out for all to ponder.


    • Franklin, what if the word that is key is “KEY? I just watched an interesting documentary last night that spoke of a KEY that the Anatasi Indians used to track the Summer Solstice for both planting purposes and ceremonial. It a sliver of sunlight that marks a point on a rock. Wouldn’t that just be in genius as the Blaze? It would remain hidden unless you knew just where to be when the sun rose. It’s so Indianna Jones. Lol

      • Now that’s an interesting idea Carol.

        There is much talk about “time” but what if the time reference meant you had to be (a.) at a specific place and (b.) at a specific time in order to unlock or identify further information or a path forward? That would amplify the complexity many times over. Is this also the reason nobody has the TC yet?

        Ponder that – if the poem has both location and time embedded and one had to be at that location and at a specific time to uncover a “key” (word or other) that allows them to move forward with the remainder of the correct solve.

        • A year or two ago, I asked my son-in-law to read the poem, and he said ‘Begin it…’ meant a point of time.

  7. I think if you take into consideration FF deep love for archaeology and one just has to look at his office alone cram packed with Indian artifacts. It’s really not difficult to use your Imagination within the poem or the stories within TTOTC. I Think ☺️

    • Not mine Lisa…but thanks for all the sharing.

      IMO – “Rainbow” isn’t even in the poem.

      I’m a poem purist, so I think there is a key word, but within the poem.

      The poem is the playing field.

      If you move off the field, you could be out of bounds.

      I’m not one of those who give up, just because questionable info is put forth.

      IMO – I only LISTEN to one person…FF.

      But do listen to the thoughts of others, because I believe in a Global Consciousness, and people say many things that come to them.

      Little do they understand how important what they may say, will/may help another. It happens to me all the time.

      I can count on one hand at least five comments made by posters, that actually describes my area to a tee…..and they don’t even realize that they fit perfectly to my solve, even the way they described what they think.

      Is that just coincidence? Maybe….but…like JDA….I will file it away as “interesting”….and keep moving forward.

      It’s like the recent “island” comments being made.

      I have a solve that puts me in an island….and the weird thing is I also found an “x” on the same island.

      Another coincidence? Maybe.

      So my point being….I never discount anything others say, just research what they say to see if it helps you.

      If not discard it….like I have discarded that the hoB is a structure. IMO – it is not….it is a place.

      Context is very important in the words we choose to use.

      Good luck.

      • Mr. Tim-

        IMO- Rainbow is in the poem.

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

        IMO that is a rainbow! specifically the END of the rainbow. You see.. done means “end”
        –tired comes from the word “Tiered or rank”
        –weak means “to bend”

        Therefore you have the end of something with ranking which is bent. I wonder what that is…….

        And that is in the poem…..


        • Ah the rainbow, is it not the nine clues that will lead us to its end and the treasure. So then where does this said rainbow begin?

          I guess the question we ought to be asking is: how can one be led to either end of it?

        • Nice… I always thought the line that reference the rainbow was ‘Not far, but too far to walk’

          • Mr. Oz-..

            IMO…The poem has a poem within the poem!…What?…..

            This was a hard concept for Billy to comprehend. There at least two levels (and maybe three) to the poem. IMO

            In other words.. there is one level, where you put words of a sentence together just like the rainbow example above.

            The second level is discovering the origin, or meaning of each and every word individually. IMO

            So even though you can now see where the rainbow is in the poem, one still needs to dissect each of the words in that sentence and the rest of the poem.

            So even though you used them once to discover the rainbow, you can’t dismiss them. The same words may have alternative meanings which Fenn is trying to communicate to you on another level directing your path.

            Of course this is all my opinion.

            I’m still wrestling with if there is a third level. If you hear a ..Pop…that was Billy’s head exploding…

            Best regards

          • SB,

            Now that you mention it, I do think there is more than 2 layers. At first, I thought, well if ff wants this thing found at some point he must’ve known that the level of difficulty raises exponentially as you add layers to something.

            But then again, it is his poem and his thoughts, he could have gone as deep as he wanted. And he did, otherwise why would take him 15 years to complete? He did say something like ‘I don’t know if my poem will take anyone to the treasure’ and very possibly why he is looking to 100s or 1000s of years from now.

          • SB,
            I hear a lot of snapping and cracking going on in my head… but unfortunately… no pop as of yet.

            I get what you’re saying about; “levels” and some like to use “layers” [self included]. But when those words of descriptions are used, I think many don’t understand what others mean by it.
            You’re example of rainbow in the poem is a good example for showing how to analyze the poem.
            For me… this is what fenn meant by “difficult, but not impossible” It’s like playing with your alphabet soup… finding just the right combination of words, lines, sentences, stanzas, phrases, and yes, synonyms, idioms etc. in the right order ‘of understanding’ and still be “Plain English” and straight forward in honestly of the design.

            That would be nearly impossible for many to attempt in writing a poem in such a manner. I dare say it would take me a few decades to get it just right… or in my case… I’d probably wouldn’t have the dedication to even attempt something so “complex” to write it out straightforward enough to make it all true and honest.

            “Some searchers overrate **the complexity of the search**. By knowing…” …going out of the box because they think the answers lie elsewhere”

            IMO, the research is in the poem.
            The only need to leave the box is because we need to refresh / reboot on what we should know…

            “I looked up words and definitions of words and changed them, went back and rebooted… it [ the poem ] turned out exactly like I wanted..”

            If that isn’t a tug on the leash, I don’t know what is.

            End of commentary.

          • I believe that we are definitely looking at multiple layers. The solving is in the words, the definitions, double meanings, the instructions. Also the nouns and pronouns, is he personifying a thing or objectifying a human action? Otherwise, why will it take him 15 years to write 166 words? Over-complicating it with those other things like Latin, bible verses, etc.. is not the way it seems.

            At the end it will be something like:

            Me and my partner will make you very rich. I can only tell you what you will find but I don’t know where it is. My partner will take you there not knowing what you will find. Without me there is no incentive to follow him, but without him you won’t even think of me. What’s our names? My name is Treasure and his name is Map.

          • Oz10,
            Are you implying that the map or GE is “I” in stanza one and the treasures bold are on the map? And, me in the middle, is fenn…

            If so, that would be a different concept of the poem [metaphorically]… But lets take it a step further, is stanza five to be fenn in the middle?

            If I’m reading into this correctly..IDK… I would really like to see the map your looking at. Not where, but what kind/type of map or GE details.

          • Seeker, I wish I knew. The literal or first layer is that (I-my) is ff. The second layer will be to insert something as a river or a mountain range or something else. That easily makes sense in the first stanza for example.

            The third and possibly extra layers needs some creativity. The words in the poem or their multiple definitions may be the (I), the (my) or the (it) at different times. They could confirm some of the literal lines and I think this is how we will find what we need to find on a map, by naming a place or describing a feature.

          • OZ10…You are saying( not exactly…but close) what I am inferring in my post response to GCG over @ odds+ ends.
            The clues are in the poem as a map to be followed progressively(in order, closely knit) to advance (get closer) to the end of the “rainbow” and the treasure. The wording is such…that it misleads(by wrong interp) from one point to the next.
            Your synopsis is much clearer than mine in terms of relating it to a useable map…never the less…I see it !
            I can’t reconcile the term, “layers”, meaning running through the layers one @ a time individually. I do see it as a “job” to tie them(the layers) in total…before moving forward from one step to the next.
            I noticed you were trying to make that point recently…but it was futile in that example. The individual definitions of words may well be all…or partially used…earlier and later in progression. Hence the layers….
            Excellent post!

          • Lisa, I like the Exeter book. I found some more info on rainbows:

            The idea that a pot of gold can be found at the rainbow’s end originated somewhere in old Europe. In Silesia, an obscure area of eastern Europe, it was said that the angels put the gold there and that only a nude man could obtain the prize. Hmm…..

            Can you go under a rainbow’s arch and come out the other side? Not according to the laws of physics. A rainbow is all light and water. It is always in front of you while your back is to the sun. However, there is an old European belief that anyone passing beneath the rainbow would be transformed, man into woman, woman into man! Hmm….

        • Hey SB.

          That seems to be a stretch….messing with the poem…..and manipulating the words FF wrote.

          He wrote them one way….and to disagree with your methodology….IMO – the way he intended it t be read is straightfoward, as it matches a place in the RMs.

          This method seems to be forcing meaning into the poem.

          I’ll disagree.

          Thanks for sharing.

          “IDITANIW” – IMO – is him creating the trail markers and the effort it took to hide the TC.


          • Tim this is a little late as your comment about RAINBOWS was earlier, but look at the word BROWN and a rainbow, then consider this: 7 colors IN the rainbow, but 9 total……In additive color mixing, like light, all the colors combined create white. Consider a prism and imagine the process in reverse, spin a rainbow and you get WHITE but in subtractive color mixing, like paint, all the colors combined create black. This is because you’ve effectively blocked all other colors.

            What was a favorite color of Eric Sloane ? Brown?


          • Hi TT…thanks for the responses.

            As for the phrase….

            “Bad Boys Rape our young girls but Violet gives willingly” . What was it about Radar School in Biloxi Forrest said?

            Red, Brown, Bkack, orange, yelliw, green, blue, violet gold white…..I think….it’s been about 40 yrs since my electronic days.

            This is an easy way of remembering the color bands on electronic resistors. It easily helps in deciphering the value of the resistor.

            Nothing more in that rabbit hole.

            Now if you can use that…then you are a much better man than I.

            Good luck.

          • IMO, if you can’t cross reference it with something from TTOTC then it’s not going to help you find the chest.

          • Jeebsum Tim!
            Years ago I went through Millington and remember that well! I always thought it rather …um …well…blunt and odd at the same time. Of other interest concerning the characteristics of a “rainbow” is how they are formed and the specifics involved. Angles…distance…etc.

          • OZ10, Tom Terrific, Tim and the two kens:

            Angles and Angels, and I think the excited naked man finding the pot of gold in the Silesia legend makes sense. With the sun behind him, he could be the Golden Gnomon of a Sundial to cast a shadow to indicate the end of the rainbow and the pot of gold, couldn’t he?

            And Newton correlated that color mixing chart with the musical scale. Is that?:

            “So hear me all and listen good”


            Note the X on the far left and the Y on the far right in that scale drawing. is that?:

            “The end is ever drawing nigh”

            Nigh means on the left. From GE or a good map or a Piper Malibu plane view, the Y of Madison Junction is my BIWWWH on the right, and my X is my hidey spot on the left, and that X is within my home of Brown. And I still think that “ever” in the Poem is a nod to Everard = Eric Sloane, and Forrest reuniting with him after his death. See also: TT’s mention of Brown as Eric’s favorite color, and color mixing, and the correct order of the colors , right to left, in Newton’s music scale chart. Newton was the King of Rainbows and prisms.

          • *And Purple or Violet corresponds to Newton’s Key of E. My hidey spot is almost exactly 500 feet off of the Red-Black-Violet trail #207. And you have to cross a proverbial “worth the cold” 360° Rainbow or Circumpunct = Gold symbol to get there.

          • History lessons are plentiful here at the hiS.

            What I’m not seeing is how you can marry this information to a place in the RMs, and retrieve the chest.

            Lisa, I appreciate your sharing and all, but to me, unless you can validate what you are “guessing” at, it probably is not a correct solve.

            I have a solve and cannot debunk the info it contains. Your info plays no bearing in mine at all.

            Thanks again for shaing and good luck.

        • Dear Sheriff! How do you do? I’m new, and have barely even made it through Dal’s blog. I just been quiet and trying to absorb what’s going on here.

          I don’t want to start off being dumb, but often a fresh pair of eyes clear the windshield of any bugs that block our view. (I know…already dumb with a dumb metaphor.)

          In your analogy, I’m reading it as if the “end” of the rainbow is the “pot of gold.” Correct me if I’m wrong. I listened to the Podcast with Fenn, and he does not seem to be a man to play around with words. He sounded very serious and brilliant about the strictness of sticking to the words in the poem. I took the part of the poem that you just quoted at face value. When he created this treasure and treasure map, he was facing his mortality. I think he was saying, look, I’ve passed the baton to you all with my blessing, but he said (7 years ago) as a very sick man, that “I’ve done it, and now I’m weak….”

          I’ve been there….trying to clean house for my departure, but fortunately “it” didn’t happen. When you’re facing the abyss, you kind of look at your life and try to figure out if you have made a positive impact on this world…..even in the slightest way.

          If I’ve misunderstood your comment, please help me understand where you’re coming from. I’m probably the newest person to this awesome blog. I have a LOT to learn and I don’t mind someone showing me the way.

          Take care! and say howdy to Ms Katie!

          • Dear Suzanne–
            I am sorry for the late reply to your post. I understand your question but I think the assumption is incorrect. Please consider the fact that Mr. f has said several times, (paraphrasing) that we don’t know the meaning of the words we use or where they came from. THAT statement is perhaps the biggest clue Mr. f has given on just how to solve the puzzle. I would say that a majority of searchers without thinking, would try to turn up the thermostat if they read somewhere they were to give a visitor “a warm reception” IMO

      • Carol, since the Hopi nation is in Northeastern AZ it may be a little out of the pocket for the Rockies, but my favorite pottery and perhaps ff too could be Hopi created, ff once said it was pretty fine stuff.

        Ancient Hopi clowns (Kokopelli) are so rare and beautiful, they are made as a crossover from the Kachina/effigy and pottery, often have twin cone hats that look like a 19th century prisoner black and white uniforms, stiped. Called Koshari

        Forrest likes to play this “mythical character” when he intentionally says comments like WW1 and means Spanish Cival War.. or 4 cards and a Joker…just sayin. That is something that people of Pueblo decent know, understand and respect for their cleverness and creativity.

        Its reminds me of the “Indian Jones” who immerses himself into a culture to gain knowlege …and un-der-standing so he can find the hidden treasure.

        ff has certainly known that technique.


  8. Hi GCG: in Key Word 6 you had a long reply to which I didn’t get around to answering before #6 was retired. You started:

    “I promised to get back with you on a further review of the poem to look for a pattern regarding a repetitive word which is key in the poem.”

    I’m afraid with your first sentence, you’re already off-track if you’re trying to figure out my key that appears more than once in the poem. It is not one of the 166 words in poem; and it isn’t a synonym or homonym of one of those words. Nor is my key something generic that you can’t do anything with, like “Imagination” or “Confidence” or “Memories.” It is very specific.

    • Zap,

      OK thanks for following up – I understand what your saying

      I will review the poem for a reveal of a specific location either through acrostics, anagrams or idioms etc…


    • You can do something with confidence in the poem. It’s what got the whole word that is key ball rolling. Lol

  9. LOL…I work with babies and toddlers daily. Today one of them grabbed at my key and started repeating “key” over and over and over….
    Which automatically starts my brain to silently repeating the poem.
    I can’t get away from the poem. 😉

    By the way, I asked him what the key is used for?
    He replied, “Unlock, Unlock.”
    I am thinking about recruiting him on my search team.

  10. Here’s a funny thing I saw. Hope your key word isn’t “up”. lol

    There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is ‘UP.’
    It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ?
    At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ?
    Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?
    We call UP our friends.
    And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.

    We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.
    At other times the little word has real special meaning.
    People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.
    To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.
    A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP…
    We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

    We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP !
    To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.
    In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

    If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.
    It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
    When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP .

    When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP…
    When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.
    When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.

    One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so……….it is time to shut UP!

    Now it’s UP to you what you do with this.

  11. That would take “up” too much of my time. lol. No— I really haven’t done a word study on words in the poem. I probably should. I once did for the word “halt” and was really surprised at the definitions. Just recently, after a year at this I did realize that gold and brown are the only two “colors” mentioned in the poem though. 🙂

  12. Alsetenash – Key Word: Alice

    In tight focus with ‘A’ word that is key.

    I believe Lewis Carroll was inspired by the Wonder and Imagination of his niece, Alice, while rowing down the Thames River with her. YNP was aka New Wonderland in Union Pacific’s historic ad campaign:

    My BIWWWH is at Madison Junction in YNP. We know that Forrest floated down the Madison River, and fished using his dinghy there, by the preface in TFTW. And that Union Pacific ad was during the time that Steam Trains were bringing visitors to West Yellowstone. When steam evaporates also could be WWWH. And Forrest went to the Union Pacific Station in West Yellowstone to take a shower sometimes, because of the WWWH in the bathtub at his cabin there, didn’t he?

        • Lisa, I like your posts. A lot of research goes behind most everything you post. Very informative and compelling to say the least. “A” word that is key, who knows, maybe, I can’t say yes or no to it. It’s the part “I think” that you used that gives me pause. That would be a guess. I know you know, just throwing a possible out there, I get it, but all the speculation and research in the world can’t get by the fact that it’s proving a guess. Again, if the poem doesn’t solve for it, it’s probably a rabbit hole. Maybe all rabbit holes aren’t so bad, Alice came out okay, but in the chase, unless Alice knows Chinese, that hole is not going to take her to Wonderland.
          (Yes, I’m half kidding and playing around), just want to make sure we are all on the same page of “guessing”.
          With that said, a key from the poem could be, like we said before, ‘that’. There is a lot of support info for it, and I won’t say how this came to be, it’s something if someone wants to look into they can find, if not, it’s dust in the wind, but the word ‘that” is the longitude degrees. How is it the longitude is up to the person looking to find, like I said, lots of support info. I sure wouldn’t take my word for it, nobody should, but it is there. A word “that” is key. And yes, the poem also has a “key”. It makes his ATF comment true in both ways.

          • Reminds me of a riddle I heard when I was six – Railroad crossing, look out for the cars, Can you spell that without any “R”‘s? Of course, the answer was THAT – 🙂 JDA

          • charles – Everytime I use, “I think” in a post, remember that is my equivalent of writing, IMO. I am using my Imagination to always stay open to explore new thoughts and connections. And until the bronze chest is found, we are all guessing. I think.

            Here is another good rabbit hole I went down, regarding the, “Not far, but too far too walk” line in the Poem:

            Lisa Cesari
            on December 14, 2017 at 2:04 pm said:
            bob – Here’s a Scrapbook with lots of pictures of Forrest’s tired shoes:


            “This life, which had been the tomb of his virtue and of his honour, is but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more …”

            Thank you Mister Shakespeare, but we didn’t ask for your opinion, and we’re not ready yet to retire. We’ll let you know when. Hope you’re taking notes.

            Yeah, and everyone over at Dal’s keeps ignoring my references to Shakespeare’s Epitaph and Forrest maybe using that to write his original Poem…

            Too Far to Walk…the shadow on the cover.

          • charles – Like when you wrote:

            “There is a lot of support info for it, and I won’t say how this came to be, it’s something if someone wants to look into they can find, if not, it’s dust in the wind, ”

            You know not when you give an unintended CLEW. The song, Dust in the Wind, was based on the legend of Daedalus creating the maze for King Minos, and Icarus got too close to the blaze of the Sun, and he fell into the sea.

            See also: Ariadne and Forrest’s missing Big Ball of String.


          • Yes Lisa, you are right. I don’t think I was writing in as so much to noobs instead of you. Really, don’t know what I was thinking, was still at work.
            Anyway,” You know not when you give an unintended CLEW. The song, Dust in the Wind, was based on the legend of Daedalus creating the maze for King Minos, and Icarus got too close to the blaze of the Sun, and he fell into the sea.”
            I know, I was trying to show how the poem could be used but couldn’t explain, like I said, was at work. Lol, lousy excuse. I actually hate when posters do that. So, now at home and forgot what I was going to say. Wow, brain is in the abyss of the chase. I’m not even going to tell JDA there were no cars when he was six. I’m slipping. You guys have a good weekend, think I’ll reset until Monday…

  13. could the key word be CANCER? in the ode to peggy he starts by saying “Cancer is a terrible word” and it is written in red…also in the chapter Gold and More on pg 128 again in red letter he starts a paragraph saying “And then I got cancer.”…..I dont know how I could use the word cancer to solve anything but it stood out to me so maybe one of you will find it useful.

  14. i think the key word is meek and refers to land ownership. no place for the meek could be about georgia o’keeffe. following landownership in this area may induce madness and or conspiracy theories”not joking at all”.

  15. no mite be the word forrest regrets putting in the pome. cancer,religion and art just north of santa fe and book releases following google’s new sat photo updates for the area….ill be back there in january”looking for the gold cross buried by the salt lake”

  16. Personally the word YOUR seems to be the most important. If you translate this word in a creative way. like YOUR CREEK is really like MINE CREEK. The hidden meaning of the word YOUR is describing something the hidden name of the creek your going up.

  17. I’ve spent considerable time over the past few months in studying the poem exclusive of outside comments or books. Previously, I thought that “Brown” was the word that is key. I now believe that “it” is the word that is key. I think that “begin it” refers to more than just the beginning of the search, and could be the key to solving the poem.

    • TomB…Don’t forget the second instruction, “and take it…”

      Two instructions in sequence, two actions to be taken in turn, both concerning “it”…So what is “it”?

    • I do NOT think there is only one “it” though.

      I could be… probably am… perhaps not… WRONG.

      • I see 5 instances of the word “it” in the poem, one of which is a simple contraction “it’s” rather than an impersonal pronoun as the other 4 usages of the word….

        Lines 5 & 6 appear to refer to the same “it” by use of compound action verbs “begin” and “take” joined by conjunction….These two refer to same thing or object affected by different actions IMO…

        Line 17 “it” and line 20 “it” are impersonal pronouns and different usage than line 5 & 6. Each is subjective to the context of the question or statement where “it” is used.

        Similarly, the two “I”s used in the first stanza refer to the same entity, possibly NOT Fenn, while the three “I”s, the “I’ve” and “I’m” in stanzas 5 & 6 are different in the context in which they are used and DO refer to Fenn.

        But that’s me……….

        • Well said samsmith. It is very possible that the I’s and It’s in the first 3 stanza’s are one in the same and not Forrest or the journey.

    • One meaning for “it” would be the obvious “your journey” or “the search”. But Fenn’s use of “it”, particularly in the phrase “take it in the canyon down”, seems purposefuly done to allow for an additional meaning. What that meaning is, i’m not sure.

  18. Aaron- home of Brown is not the clue. put in below the home of Brown is the clue. put in a basement.

    no dont thank me, i give freely.

    • Dodo, I do believe “put in below” is an underrated part of that line and have stated as much here. I only worded it that way as question to DRock since he only used Brown in his statement.

  19. What if 500-200 ft are in reference to elevation, not distance. What if they told him they were at browns canyon Colorado which has an elevation of 5,600 ft (I’m guessing I didn’t even bother to look it up) , but the treasure location is iat 5,400ft or 5,800ft in Montana, again wehave no clue what fenn meant by this… personally tho I think it’s both, in my one and only solve the elevation change from my wwwh to where I beleive the treasure is located is almost 200’ exactly, and there’s a road that runs right by the treasure location I beleive the treasure is atleast 500’ from that road … all speculatiive of course, but then again what isn’t speculative in this chase

  20. Nigh is in tight focus.. it’s the only word next to a wink ;
    Seek? and Hide?
    “Key” – piano key?

  21. Here are 2 quotes from Forrest Fenn:

    “What surprises me a little is that nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve.”

    “Many have given serious thought to the clues in the poem but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.”

    The following comments are IN MY HUMBLE OPINION

    Forrest has talked about the “word that is key” and he had mentioned the “one important possibility related to the winning solve”. It is my thinking here, but I believe these 2 quotes are speaking of the same thing,

    I don’t know if any of you more experienced searchers and analysts have ever considered this or not. It is just my idea and it fits with my solve area and my selected “word that is key”.

    So any ideas you might have would be of interest to me. I am inclined to think this way but no one is correct until Indulgence is found and safe in the vault.

    What say you?


    • How could those quotes be related?

      The historically first one implies that a few people know about a key word, and the years later quote implies that nobody thought about something unspecified.

    • Hi Franklin, It’s hard to say if the two quotes are directly related. I think there are many who try to focus on “the” key work when the quote mentions “…a word that is key”. There’s a subtle difference between “the” key word and “a” word that’s key. For your question, I don’t see a direct relationship between the two quotes – there’s just too room in between them. IMO

    • Hi Franklin: based on those two quotes, it wouldn’t appear possible that they are the same thing since the first quote suggests nobody has figured that one out, while the second one suggests that a few have.

    • Franklin;

      I agree with you that Forrest could very well be talking about the same thing. Quote #2,“Many have given serious thought to the clues in the poem but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.” Quote #1:“What surprises me a little is that nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve.”

      If we take out the “Fluff” – we are left with: ‘only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key, and nobody has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve.’ To me this is saying that few have focused on the ‘word that is key’, and nobody has analyzed the importance of ‘this word – that is key’.

      To me, it is entirely possible that a few people, for one reason or another MAY have stumbled on the ‘word that is key’. Just knowing the word is not enough, one must figure out what the significance of this word is, as it relates to solving the riddles of the poem. Just my humble opinion – Good thinkin’ Franklin – JDA

      • Agreed (Franklin) and agreed (JDA) – The one important possibility could be the correct understanding of the word that is key that, although many are focused on, none have established.

        • Bowmark;

          I would venture to say that only a very few have discovered the correct “word that is key” – not many… and out of the few that have correctly identified it, even fewer, if any, have discovered its importance. It took me over two years, and until I find Indulgence, I will not know for sure, if I am correct. JDA

          • JDA,
            If all you need is the poem, which line in the poem tells us that “a word that is key” is needed to solve the poem? “Hear me all and listen good” maybe?

        • JDA: gonna go contrarian. I think everyone who has figured out Forrest’s “word that is key” (likely still a comparatively small group) knows its significance, what it specifically refers to, and how to use it. The “important possibility” is something else altogether.

          • “Ain’t it wonderful?” – So many viewpoints by so many that are sure that they have the right answers – me included. Come on spring – I gotta’ get out there and hopefully end this thing before I go bonkers. JDA

          • JDA: at least you only live ~5 hours away, so you have the luxury of going to your spot nearly whenever you want when the weather allows. Wish I could say the same!

          • Zap;

            5 hrs – more or less – but that makes it all the more exasperating at times – So close, yet so far away) – woke up to 4″ of snow this AM. Just looked at WDOT (Wyoming Dept of Trans) see about the same near my site – A couple of passes got hammered. Oh well, Spring WILL come soon (I hope) – JDA

  22. All in my opinion:

    Thanks for the replies. There are so many Forrest Fenn quotes out there, and these 2 have always stuck in my brain for some reason. For me, it is kind of like what JDA said. My word that is key has led me in a certain direction, which then led me towards an entire solve based on the 2 lines of thinking. Of course I may be wrong, and I freely admit that. However, I don’t think we should all assume the “word that is key” is actually a word in the poem itself.

    Forrest never confirmed to my knowledge, that the “word that is key” is actually in the poem. I also think he has never said it is NOT in the poem, so it all is subject to our interpretation(s). I like to look at the poem not as a cypher, but as a guide to the treasure. As for me, I do not believe numbers are hidden within it, but I know some disagree with that.

    Thanks all


    • Franklin;

      I again agree with you – I do not think that the “Word that is key” is in the poem – NOT one of the 166 words that make up the poem might be a better way of phrasing it – because, in a way, the IDEA is hidden within the poem – Confusing enough? I hope so. JDA

      • Hey JDA,

        I also believe the word that is key is not in the poem. The idea is hidden within the poem, and there are hints towards this way of thinking in all 3 books. It is confusing only to those who have not considered this line of thinking.

        Even though “imagination” is not my word that is key, it takes imagination to use my word that is key. For me it all fits together in a really beautiful way. I hope my ideas eventually lead to the TC, but like all involved, I am not right until I have it locked up in my vault :-))


        • Franklin,

          Previously at the top of this thread another searcher suggested the same idea.

          I also believe these two statements are connected along with a few other of Forrest comments.

          To answers Zap’s question as to how they could be related; Forrest gets many emails and does check in on the various forums from time to time (as you know) so the few who are in tight-focus could be on the right track to figuring out this “logical” possibility which is key to solving the poems clues or ultimately locating the treasure…

          I believe “a word that is key,” however, is most definitely in the poem!

          Forrest is a poem purist for the most part, at least in his replies relative to the chase unless he specifically is addressing the book and its “hints.”



      • A key word I am using is also not in the poem. It helps me with a geographic location that I can relate the clues to. The first stanza helped me figure out this word and the clues also relate so I feel good about it. Whether it’s the key word that FF is talking about I do not know. Hopefully in summer I’ll find out 🙂

  23. Thank You !! I appreciate that opinion.

    In my solve, imagination is a huge thing, and Forrest said long ago that imagination and resolve would be the qualities a person would need to solve the poem.


  24. Franklin,

    You said, “Forrest said long ago that imagination and resolve would be the qualities a person would need to solve the poem.” is not quite accurate.

    On the Santa Fe Radio Cafe with Mary-Charlotte Domandi interview on 10-25-2010 with F, the statement was, “…I’ve taken this treasure chest to a very secret and very special place, and I’ve hidden it there. And there are 9 clues in my book. You have to read the book. But if you have an imagination and you have a pretty good mind and you have a little bit of resolve you can find that treasure chest.”

    Just Say’n

      • Franklin,

        Maybe we could get together to discuss the poem some day. I believe you live in Denver as you mentioned the foothills on a earlier post. No discussion on our solves.

  25. FF said “a word that is key”. If he ever used the phrase “a key word”, please tell me where.

    I believe that there are several words in the poem that may be “key”
    regarding a good solve. The word “wise” comes to mind. But when I
    think of “a word that is key”, a different word comes to mind, and it
    isn’t part of the poem.

    The above is my opinion, and it is important to me. But I’m not necessarily authorized — by y’all — to speak for y’all, am I?

  26. “The Key word is contentment. If you can find it, everything else has already fallen in place” Mysterious Writings question 6 February 4, 2013

  27. I have a thought about “a word that is key” that is “water”. The references to water is mentioned 3 times, “wwwh”, “your creek” and “water high”. A possible fourth is “worth the cold”, which I think is a reference to water.

    The poem keeps the path to the treasure near water from the beginning to the the end.

    As always my opinion.

  28. i think that the word that is key is eye – to find hob you need to find a land mark that has an eye – to find where the tc is you also have to do the same imo

    • I agree with you frank, based on his comment “Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.” The words “tight focus” imply the word eye.

  29. The word that is key is simple. Its just one word in the poem that took a lot of imagination to figure out what it meant. thats it..


  30. Just passing through…interesting ideas….tight focus / eye
    Ojo means eye….Caliente means hot…the brain is like a rock tumbler…round and round she goes…when it is polished…nobody knows.

  31. Something I have pondered about ” a word that is key “. This may have been discussed over the years , I dunno.

    He didn’t type it as tight focus with a keyword but rather ” tight focus with a word that is key”. Perhaps this could mean that there are many people looking for numbers and coordinates in the poem but we probably should be looking at the words in the poem as words only? The poem contains only words not having any relationship with numbers? The word , “word” is singular rather than plural so as to not give focus on combinations but just words rather than numbers as being his point, perhaps? To me, it’s more than likely that a clue would be inclusive of more than one word used to describe a clue or clues naturally anyways. So, thus the usage of “a word” instead of words or keyword could potentially be a targeted response to help focus on the words rather than numbers ;nor does any word figuratively unlock the poem? Plurality is a natural given for words for a clue, such as HOB or WWWH etc.

    So basically, I ponder on this day that maybe he is just saying- there are no numbers to glean within the poem nor is there a keyword. Just focus on all the words for solving clues, the true core meanings of his words, is being advised by him? No codes ,nor cyphers or unlocky keyword -maybe? The poem being as descriptive words that can be physically seen ,mapped and imagined?

    I link this quote by FF to my pondering:

    “There are a few words in the poem that are not useful in finding the treasure Phil, but it is risky to discount any of them. You over simplify the clues.”

    Just one of my many ongoing changes of many opinions daily .


    • Hi Alsetenash,

      Your posts are always well articulated and thought provoking.

      First off, I believe that the “word that is key” is in the poem and I’ll go even further and say it’s a noun, but some imagination is required to see it. It’s my opinion that there are useful numbers incorporated in there as well.

      I’ve come to see one aspect of the poem as a tribute from Forrest to his parents (who were educators) by making use of reading, writing and arithmetic. To explain my take on it we have to delve into the hypothetical. Suppose one came up with a solve that married the clues to the geological features of an area in such a way that made good sense, but still left one wondering. If there were numbers for headings, distances and even elevations ingeniously hidden in the poem using simple math, then it might give a searcher a higher level of confidence.

      It’s not hard to put numbers into a poem, but it would be quite a feat to have clues, numbers and artistic composition work together in this way. These hypothetical numbers probably wouldn’t make any sense to a searcher unless they were applied correctly in the right area. It would defy the odds to have a heading, distance and elevation from one point to another randomly come out of these numbers, let alone several.

      The above musings may or may not be based on the experiences of a searcher, but they are certainly based on my humble opinions.


      • Thanks Welderon. I relate much to what you have written. I don’t think numbers are totally absent of value. I just don’t think that numbers were part of the leading indicators within the meanings of words in the poem; meaning-no value as equivalents in numbers to the creation of the words chosen for clues. So, no coordinates, codes nor numbers translated into words or vice versa. IMO

        Forrest has said,”Imagination isn’t a technique, it’s a key. f” . He didn’t say it was a word that is key, though it is a key , it is a word and is used as a definer. Imagination is a word just by default. So, how I apply this imagination is key to a word that is key–is to the missing tittle of the poem.IMO

        When I first read the poem the first 30 times, a saying popped in my head. That saying became my tittle to the poem. My grandfather was a unpublished poet. He wrote one last poem just before he passed at 98 years of age- same tittle as his poem came to mind when reading FF’s. That tittle was a leading indicator for the/a meaning of the poem for me.IMO.

        A supportive indicator for my thinking is this quote:

        “What surprises me a little is that nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve.”FF

        Yes, I also think ” a word that is key” is in the poem, or I shall say, of the poem within the poem. It is the title of the poem. IMO . It should answer and lead to a perceived tittle of the poem. IMO .

        • The missing title is an interesting aspect. Hard to say if is related to the key word. I can see where the two could be related.

          A few interesting things about the poem and it’s structure stand out to me.
          Missing an X
          No Title
          3 stanza’s with clues and 3 stanza’s with hints. 3 X 3 = 9. There is an X there.
          A line with title in it: Title to the gold. Does this mean the title of the poem should be ‘To the Gold’? Should the title be ‘X’? Any relation to the key word? Not so much for a key word I am using but possible for others.

          • Interesting ” missing things” one can notice about the poem. Your ” To The Gold” , doesn’t resonate to me but is inline with the thought though. The poem is very symmetrical in the numbers ,via counting, but I can’t relate this notice as being helpful for me.

            How many words with an X in it can you think of that could be used that would be conducive within the context of the poem? Therefore, could that word that is established by you be a missing word that is key? What would the word with an X be that it would rhyme with before or after it if the X was phoenically similar? How would this word with an X be used as a clue , hint or neither ? These are just questions I asked myself about the X missing. 24th letter in alphabet , 24 lines etc. I dunno, gets me to nowhere from these. I think the missing x is just an unusable extra fat. Lol.

            For me, the word that is key is part of the missing tittle and the tittle is in sync with the first stanza . IMO . My line of thinking is , is that a solve would explain the tittle also. IMO.

        • I also believe the word is in the poem. He tells us, “a word that”, those three words are enough to tell someone what the “word” is he’s talking about.
          The key is something different. “That” is just key to a certain part of the quest, the key has it’s own meaning. There is no “key word”.
          A searcher should come out with three different scenarios. 1. “that” is a key,
          2. the things in tight focus are in tight focus with a ‘key”, 3. there is no “key word”.
          There is no magical word, IMO. I believed for awhile that this statement, ““What surprises me a little is that nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve.”FF, was related to the fact that all clues cannot be solved from home. If you have not had BotG, you could not solve all the clues. What word would there be to help solve the whole poem? It doesn’t seem likely f would do something so possibly easy to just guess.
          Something is in tight focus with a key, that’s a gimmie, obvious. So there is a key so to speak.
          The word “that” is also a key to something.
          If you believe that some special word outside of what he is saying will help, and is in the poem, how could you think numbers would not be a part of that? So there is some word, so what, means nothing. Unless you look at the placement of this word. Then you would have a key to something. The word “that” is in the poem once. Means nothing, except it’s placement, the 113th word, this could be the start of longitude degrees, could be a distance, feet, miles, whatever.
          If you really think about it, the word is later in the poem, most likely the clues at the end of the chase are in tight focus, or closer together. The actual “key” may give the result of the word “that”. 113 of something, degrees, feet, miles, whatever. This is something that happens after the half way point, IMO.
          Maybe it’s not the words so much as it’s their placement. Why else would he say not to mess with the poem? Changing a letter changes a word, changing or moving a word takes it out of place. Switching stanzas or moving them around messes with the placement of the words. A lot to consider, but some magical “key word” that unlocks the poem?
          If there is a key word, then it is something that can think. Or, is a person. Sounds foolish, right? Consider his other statement,
          “Forrest Fenn on February 18, 2016 at 2:02 pm said:
          Spoon, “If a person had the correct GPS coordinates they could find the chest.” Physics says this has to be true. How can it not be? The key word here is “correct.”

          What is correct? Since Forrest is the one making the statement, and he’s the one being correct, then Forrest Fenn is the key. But you do have a choice if you want to believe in some magical key word. It’s something in that statement. Whatever was correct, in your mind, would be the key.
          So, 1. placement of word or words, 2. something with Forrest is key to the clues at the end of the chase, 3. no magical key word to unlock the poem.
          He says all the info you need in these statements, there cannot be a word outside the poem, because all we need is the poem. If anything, it is in the poem. And if it is so “key”, it would have to be. The thing is, so what? What makes any of the words in the poem so important? He uses a word “that”, big deal. But a word “that” is key. So, what makes this word so special/ It’s the number. It’s placement in the poem. Whether it’s a distance, or a degree, or a mile marker on the road, whatever, it’s something. Forrest says so. And it will help with the last parts of the chase.
          Why is it not wise to discount any of the words? Why not mess with the poem? If we are to go by what he says, why look for words outside the poem? This is all about him, his memoirs, his life, I would think that he has something to do with the chase. He will be in your solve. Searchers can think it’s about his siblings, or friends, or parents, or family all they want, this is about him. The one thing that is his. Nobody knows except him. That sounds pretty “key” to me…

          • I never said I think there is a “magical keyword” . Rather, a word that is within the poem that is mentioned or eluded to in the first stanza; that gives meaning to the ‘missing’ title. IMO. A solve would likely have some relative credence with the “word that is key” as an affect with a title to the poem. IMO. Essentially, my theory is a solve would explain the word that is key linked in the first stanza equating a figurative missing Title to the poem. Meaning perhaps all them ‘it’ words is the word that is key in the meaning of the ‘it’ words. Does this explain it better?

            Seems that you are working with coordinates gleaned within the poem as a word that is key and I noted a contrarian opinion- sparking a thunderous lambaste and lecture.

            Continue as you are. 🙂 .

          • “perhaps all them ‘it’ words is the word that is key in the meaning of the ‘it’ words.”

            This could be indeed so. In algebra X is a variable for an unknown value. Perhaps our missing X is ‘it’ which is the unknown variable we need to solve for. When known, this becomes our word that is key.

          • Aaron, yes, yes and yes! IMO. You get ‘it’, got ‘it’ and ‘title ‘it’!!! The word that is key is the MEANING of ‘it’. ” I give you title to the gold”. IMO. Surveying the poem with the lense of consistency in mind. What is the most predominant break in a chain of consistency? Well I see it with the words: ( we’re looking at it from the word that is key perspective here) treasures, chest, trove and gold. Gold is the only one that is singular of an item, where as , the others reference the plurality of Indulgences’ contents! There’s more in there than gold! So, the last line is title to the gold and the first stanza is the introduction of the poem ; which is always the closest link to the title of any poem! IMO!

            “It” is the focus word in the poem. Not all of the ‘it’ words represent the same word for their meanings- they are different each for the 3-treasures, chest, trove- leave gold out of ‘it’ . Because the consistency changes . So, there are 3 words in the Title of the poem. IMO . So why does he say ‘gold’ in the end?

            The answer I think I already know! IMO.

            The word that is key is “it” in the poem. More than one meaning , the meanings are not in the poem- but connected.

            This is just my opinion of course.

          • Interesting thoughts here. For what it’s worth I believe that the keyword does tie things together and is related to treasures and trove. I have another thought about gold. IMO out of all of the fore mentioned chest could be the only direct reference to indulgence.

          • Al, I didn’t mean you specifically, I was talking “all” in general that think there is this one word that will solve everything. I’m not trying to criticize your method for finding info. Sorry for the mix up. And again, I am not hell-bent on coordinates. I’m just showing a way numbers could come into play. For me, the stuff I was referring to has nothing to do with coordinates. I just said it’s a possible.
            I will say that to find a small box out in the Rockies without a number system is going to be very difficult for whoever goes that route. F did want this to last awhile, not forever. Names change to easily, just don’t see a solve not having numbers. I understand some cannot find numbers in the poem, to each their own. I don’t see f doing that, (leaving out numbers). If for any reason, just the safety issue would be one. I think the chase is to get people out and about, not out and lost. Too many first timers, f would know this. Along with his comments, it’s best to at least have a try on trying to see the numbers. Couldn’t hurt. And I don’t mean just you, everyone that hasn’t found them, no matter what method that searcher uses.
            As far as the first stanza goes, I don’t hear him saying anything about the first stanza and a key. So, I don’t know where you are going with that, but if it works for you, all the better.
            So, to now criticize,lol:), he should have said, “a word it is key”. But he didn’t. You are right, a lot of “it” words, but cannot tie them in with his comment. Only one “that” word.
            Maybe the “it” words are for something else, but for a word “that” is key, I don’t see “it”. Maybe “it” is a title thing, IDK, but a “key”, you’d have to come up with some good info that f has said to dispute anything other then the word “that” or the word “key”. IMO. (you know I like your comments, I apologize for coming off aloof, it’s the Aquarius in me).

          • No problem fellow Aquarian. I was being humorous about the intense passion of thoughts lol. The combined different minds working on this chase solving the poem is incredible . Very high entertainment value I must say.

            “Tight focus with a word that is key” is in my opinion, is a very important admonishment that FF has said. It’s in the top 3 most relevant ATF’s . IMO.

            What does he mean? In the poem? In his ATF words? In his books? Is this eluding to steer away from numbers as focus? This statement is similar in style to his poem lines. So easily no so easily straight forward.

            A good debate includes good humour. IMO . 🙂


          • Well said, Al. I can see that discussion. I always reserve the right to be totally wrong about everything regarding the chase. I know it’s hard to get on board with letters having numerical values, there is no “X”. I get it.
            (but, it is a mute argument, “X”, IMO, can be anything, 1-9). I just use 9. xisix…:)
            A fellow Aquarian, :), everyone should know we are right anyway, at least we do…

    • Alsetenash,
      My thoughts are:

      The “focused few” have had over three years to ponder over a “word” that they know for certain is key. What do you suppose these “focused few” are doing now? Did they give up or are we three years behind?

      • I think those people who had the word that is key had no need to ponder it if they already knew it and let Forrest know. They employed it.

        The full 2014 quote at Jenny’s site ends with “The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.”

        After that, somebody maybe had four clues correct. Then it was nobody closer than 500 ft. Then nobody told him the clues in the right order. Then he was frankly surprised that nobody found it yet. And just recently Forrest speculated this summer it may be found.

        I don’t think everybody with the key and the method gave up.

        • dejoka and Muset,

          Keep in mind that one or more could have discovered the “word that is key” in the three years since Forrest mentioned it. It’s just my opinion, but knowing what to do with that word might be as hard as finding it.


        • Hi Muset: I think once a searcher discovers Forrest’s “word that is key,” they are unlikely to ever throw in the towel.

  32. “Tight focus with a word that is key” To me many are in “tight focus” with the word “blaze”. Is it not the main word that is key to unlocking the location of the treasure? Sure “wwwh” is the biggest, but it is only the beginning of the search.

    I believe one can find most of the route to the treasure, without the blaze it never will be found. It’s very well illustrated with the Book of Blazes on this website that there are different blazes. It is the end focus of the poem.

    Without that single thing “the blaze” no one can be fully prompted to put botg. The blaze also strongly focuses imagination, and questions as to what the blaze really is.

    Yes, we all focus on solving the poem, as I said, the most focus is put directly on the blaze it is “a word that is key” and the main key to unlocking the location of the treasure.

    I’ve also said in an earlier post above, “water” also brings focus, but it is not the main focus. Water is relevant in solving the poem, but the blaze is absolutely the word that is key.

    My rambling and IMO

    • CharlieM

      I had never considered “blaze” as the word that is key, but I freely admit my word may be wrong. How’s that for an argument?

      I remember you said we might get together since we both live in the Denver area. Here is a web page, and my contact information is in the final paragraph of the page, if you want to meet up.


    • I agree with almost everything you said except “blaze” being,” a word that is key”. You’ve even stated in your line the word ‘that” is key, not blaze. Wouldn’t it read, “a word blaze is key”?
      But, the importance of the blaze I agree.
      Two things though,
      “the blaze is absolutely the word that is key”.

      “Without that single thing “the blaze” no one can be fully prompted to put botg.”,

      The blaze seems to be one of those, BotG clues. Meaning that it can’t be solved, just do not have enough info to do that. In that case, with f saying you will go in confidence, then someone can put BotG, not know the blaze, and still find the chest. F could walk right to the chest, he doesn’t care about the blaze, just the spot. If you have a correct solve, then that would hold true for you also.
      Like most of the clues, it’s just a reference point to let you know you’re on the right path to the right spot. IMO, of course.

      • charlie,

        I agree that one can’t find the blaze until botg, but on the other hand it could be found using GE. I’m not persuaded either way.

        Thanks for your input.

  33. IMO You can find the blaze from home using GE or any other mapping system, you just have to know what you’re looking for. The blaze is the easy part,it’s what it points to that people are missing.

    • You are probably right. I did find several blazes that way with one having a lot of the other clues line up, and I’m still clueless as to what any of them might point to (and it would resolve some issues with non-poem hints if the treasure were not actually at the blaze). Never did get through the marvel gaze [ga(i)ze(r)?; What m@$^#! gaze if it doesn’t just mean “don’t gawk the blaze”?!!; was as good as i got].

      Hope your plans for this summer are still on, though I wish you would just take the whole thing and announce the solution if you found it. If you are leaving some though, don’t forget to add a weather-proofed “Birdie wuz here” note to replace what you took.

      -neither green nor blue

  34. I decided to take a break from Chasing today and hope you guys enjoy this because I had a lot of FUN writing it.


    Since the beginning of this thing for me I’ve been trying hard to understand what Mr. F has been telling us in his poem, his books, his scrapbooks, and his interviews. Misspelled words, punctuation in weird places (like I’m an expert right?), switching things around, strange ways of saying things and the like.

    I was confused by his “speak” and at times I questioned if those things called New Ron’s (maybe they’re related my old childhood friend “Old” Ron) were the source of my problem. That’s because as one ages, those New Ron’s stop firing or something, right along with something else for us guys I hear.

    Any way, this started me thinking about, of all things, communication skills; languages to be more “precise” as “the man” likes to say. I’ve been orbiting the blaze (Sun) for a while now, experiencing many languages and associated cultures, so I thought to myself, maybe there’s one of them there language schools out there that can teach me how to understand what Mr. F is talking about.

    Well heck, I looked everywhere and found stuff on Spanglish, redneckglish, Jerseyglish, Mainglish (why does Maine have an E anyway? Seems unnecessary and a waste of a perfectly good E to me), and even Alohaglish. Do you know what “da kine” means? It’s like “ya know”….I think. I worked with a guy at Pearl Harbor and “da kine” was like every other word and brutal to a “haole”……a non-indigenous person now living/visiting there……like me.

    Dang, even my wife, a Filipina has some of her own PhilEnglish words. Like when we first got married she was telling me one afternoon cooking dinner that she didn’t have all the ‘engregents”. I said what? She said “engregents”. That’s when my “high-powered” 10 watt INCANDESCENT bulb flipped on and I said “oh, you mean in-gre-di-ents?”. O-O (oh-oh) was the reply. That means “yes” in her tongue.

    And let’s not forget about good old English where frank is a proper name, a hot dog, and a blunt verbal instrument. Or (oar) then there’s to, two, and too, but let’s not their cousin tutu. How my wife learned English, fluent English at that and no accent is beyond me.

    Now, 43 years later after marriage and experiencing Tagalog, Hawaiian Pidgin, German, DEEP south, and Italian, I run into yet another new language, completely and utterly unique to the Grand Key Master himself. What am I going to do? I don’t speak whatever language it is. So I thought, why don’t you find a tool to help you learn and speak that foreign tongue?

    Of course I checked out Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc, but no luck. He mentioned “no notes to be found” or something like that, so I thought, this is kind of like college right? Cliff Notes! Yeah, that’s got to be it. Nope. Heck, I even went to Rosetta Stone because after all, they are the best language platform around, right? No dice. Snake eyes. I’d probably have better luck in Las Vegas since I say crap all the time.

    I start whining to the wife, “I’m never going to understand what he’s is saying; the language is just too hard”. I had better luck learning I-talian, as dad used to say. Her unsympathetic response was “would you like some cheese with that whine”? How would that make you feel after working so hard for months on end?

    I was in deep despair and then just a week or so ago I was at a flea market and a small book caught my eye, hidden under a short stack of old books, like pancakes, and was titled FennGlish, written by Darby O’Gill of all people! There just has to be some kind of gold in there, right?

    It was only $10 and in good shape but I got it for $5 and as soon as I got home opened it up to see if it could help me. Progress was slow at first, stumbling with pronunciations, weird, almost alien math skills, geography, a lot of history, and moving back-and-forth because Darby likes to do a lot of cross-referencing. And just like elementary school, the book even has a few tests along the way so you can measure progress and proficiency.

    As usual, I was slow at first (thick or dense may actually be more accurate), then that there light bulb started really firing those New Ron’s and before I knew that bulb was at 100 Watts and the room got a little brighter. And then one day it it happened! Darby had me do an exercise. It was difficult to perform at first, and then got easier the more I tried. And suddenly it clicked! I was making New Ron’s faster than his F-100 spits bullets. I tell you, it was remarkable for my wife to see the change in my demeanor and attitude. Not lightning level brightness for sure, but getting there.

    FennGlish was getting easier and easier to read and understand by the day and with my hustle and perseverance came a nice gift this past week. A gift so nice that I wouldn’t trade or exchange it for anything except it’s equal, that being the chest of course.

    I can’t say I’m fluent in FennGlish yet, but hope to graduate to the level soon. Nevertheless, I’m hot on the trail and the scent of gold is in the air.

    Oh, speaking of scent I almost forgot. Darby also included a few very good dessert recipes in his book that my wife baked that I think Forrest will like. For added flavor and appearance, she decided one day to smear a dab of melted butter over the top and add a single small peanut she found squirreled for decoration. She thought that adds a cute little touch and I agree.

    So with these new found language skills and after hopefully graduating from Darby’s School of FennGlish, I hope to greatly improve my skills and do better in the future. There’s still a lot to learn and I need to get back to studying, so please take care folks.

    One last thing. Don’t go digging up the Blarney Stone. It’s not in the RMs and will probably get you arrested if you try. But I think you can kiss it if you’re so inclined.

    Happy trails and be seeing ya’ll. Or is that yawl?


    • Pinatubocharlie! You have such a way with words, what a wicked good story. You were lucky to find such a helpful book. It’s funny how words can be twisted, right? As a kid I was always afraid of cobwebs because I was sure a cob must bite. Wednesday was always Prince Day, or spaghetti day because of that brand, Friday was fish day, Saturday was always beans and franks. But if you’re not from back east how would anyone else know that?
      I’m very superstitious and believe in that Blarney Stone, you bet I’d kiss it! I never put shoes on a table, either.

      • Thank you much Jeannie. I have my moments, and I’m glad you like fiction. Unfortunately those moments are rare. Just ask my wife!

        My daughter was born in Savannah, GA and driving home one day from work we saw a traffic sign that said something like “zipper effect” and we looked at each and said whaaaat? It even had a symbol that looked like a zipper!

        I soon found out it wa there way of saying get ready to merge. “Mash” the peddal is fun too. I like so miss the sweet tea, fried okra, and especially the fresh shrimp as we lived only a mile from the shrimping fleet on Tybee Island.

        And just so Dal doesn’t get mad at me, when I worked there I had projects at HUNTER AAF, just outside of town. 🙂


        • What do you mean “fiction”? I want there to be a book written by Darby O’Gill. I want that secret recipe with butter and a nut!

          • hello Jeannie – im fixing to get out of the chase and want to share some of my findings with you if you care to listen to them because of health I wont be able to go looking so I quit here is my email

          • frank,

            I sure hope it wasn’t something I said. I agree with the others. It’s very sad to see you go. In fact, I don’t like it when anyone leaves though circumstances far too often dictate the path we take.

            Sincerely, please take care …… pinatubocharlie

          • Frank;

            Sorry to see you go. I have enjoyed your posts. I hope your health issues get better soon – Good luck in where ever life leads you – JDA

        • Pinatubocharlie,

          Ain’t that great what imagination does? From the storyteller to the readers it involves imagination.

          • I’m pretty sure any book written by Darby or the “little people” would be useful. That reminds me I need to check on my leprechaun friends!

  35. All New Rons age too fast and soon they are the same Ole Rons.
    Followed by old, old Rons, and then really OLD RONS.

    TTOTC might be FennGlish for having to relieve yourself bravely in the wood = tee-tee oh tee see. What “a little imagination” can unleash.

    Katie bar the door!

  36. There’s sure a lot of old and new Ron talk going on here, do we really need more-Ron talk? I’m pretty sure the “word that is key” isn’t Ron. 🙂


  37. thank you JDA its been fun I guess you could say we grew up to gather on this blog 5 years is a long time – I have injoyed you seeker and the rest of the searchers that came and went you hang in there and find the treasure for the rest of us its been nice —— frank

    • You are most welcome frank – and again, good luck to you in all that you do – and get healthy – JDA

    • Frank and ALL,

      Speaking of “Seeker,” have not seen one of his posts since maybe early January. I know that he battles health issues and wishes that he was BOTG. Anybody know???

  38. lol Pinatubocharlie – no its not something you said its just time to call it quits I have gone as far as I can with the poem – and because of my COPD lunge problems I cant travel to high elevations to go look so that is takeing some of the fun out of the chase – but I had fun with it for 5 years im happy with it – now you go and have fun and see if you can find it – wish you luck — frank

    • I’m so sorry to hear that frank. I can’t imagine what you go thru everyday with such a condition.

      Again, please take care and check in from time to time if for nothing else except to say hi to everyone.


  39. I have a hunch that the key word is “treasure” it’s derived from the Latin word “thesaurus” where you would find words in bold print. So when the poem says “I can keep my secret where” it’s referring to “treasures bold” the multiple meanings of words as well as their etymology. Which i think is alluded to by “Hint of riches new and old” I think the trick is to think of the clues in as many ways as possible and see if you can attach them so a single idea.

  40. I am just going to throw this out there. Maybe it is something that you can add to your list of words that could be KEY:

    A key is a note that a musical arrangement is based on.Also known as a Key Signature. A song played in the ‘key of C major’ revolves around the seven notes of the C major scale – C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. That means the fundamental notes making up the song’s melody, chords, and bassline are all derived from that group of notes.
    So what word in the poem sounds like a key on this scale? “CEASE”
    Oooookay….now what do we do with that? Look for a place that starts with a C? Like Cabresto or Cimarron? Look for words with letters in the scale? The poem says “to cease”. Is that 2 Cs?
    Add it to your list and use your imagination.

    • In Piano class students learn the SCALE notes using
      ‘Every good boy does fine.” These are the line notes EGBDF
      The spaces notes on the scale are “FACE”

      Masonic symbol is a key and a scale… and both are symbols of US Treasury seal

      • “Masonic symbol is a key and a scale… and both are symbols of US Treasury seal”

        I had to look it up. Yes, the Key and Scale are on the seal of the TREASURY Department. It is almost too perfect.
        With that information it takes a very small leap to think that “treasures” is the word that is Key. It has 9 letters.
        Will it reveal the 9 clues?

        • Money has a key on it
          FF mentions money a lot.
          He plans to park his car in Denver (USA mint is in Denver)
          First USA govt produced bills all had Salmon Portland Chase on them
          Current $10,000 has Chase’s portrait
          Page 83 photo of OUAW book has the name of Salmon Portland Chase (Lincoln’s secretary of Treasurer) and it is underlined with red.

          Incidental info:
          Money has key on it
          Money is both treasures and riches
          Money has 13 stars on it
          Forrest’s map has 13 on it (‘bold’ can mean capitalize. Capital. Capitol of MT is near 13 on Fenn’s map)
          Capital B in traditional treasure symbolism is a 13

          But what any of this ‘SP Chase’ or money info means in order to find the tc is a mystery to many.

          But treasures with 9 letters is certainly considerability worthy.

    • Eleven words in the poem contain the letter C:
      Secret, Riches, Canyon, Place, Creek, Quickly, CEASE, Scant, Chest, Peace, Cold.
      Outside of the poem is in the title, Chase.
      Does that tell a story? Or tell where to go?
      Without WWWH, not so much.

  41. there is just one word that puts things in perspective when you relize it its a hard one to come up with but then again arnt they all

    • I think there are several words, any of which could be “key”, depending on
      definition/interpretation. My list of these words contains about five words,
      and I am considering posting the list (but not before about mid-summer 2018).
      The above is my opinion.

  42. Did Mr F ever say the word that is “key” is in the Poem or TTOTC……or…?

    • Rick;

      To the best of my knowledge, here is the only quote where Forrest mentions the “word that is key”.

      1Q) My previous 6 questions were asked shortly before last year’s February 27th segment of the Today Show. Reporting on your extraordinary treasure hunt, it resulted in an explosion of new seekers from all across the world. What are some of your thoughts about the flurry of activity over the past year? Did the excitement towards the Chase surprise you in any way? Does it make you think the chest might be found earlier than first thought?
      “It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.” f JDA

      • Hi JDA,

        that is also the only one that I was aware of. Seems to me alot of folks are looking for a key word in the poem only.


        • Rick;

          For me, the Word that is Key is not in the poem. I am pretty sure that it is not in TTOTC, but know that it is in TFTW.

          Don’t want to point it out, but it is there if one looks – JDA

          • How? How could that be? How is the word that some are in tight focus of, be a key of some sorta importance, not be in print in the only thing we had from the start; book with a poem on one page of that book?

            Maybe it’s just me and I don’t understand what ‘get back in the box’ means.

          • Seeker –

            I think they must be referring to a magic word!
            A word that isn’t in the poem but yet is the Key to the whole thing AND we magically become aware of it!


          • Every word in the poem has been keyed (analyzed) to death and we still are no closer to solving anything.

            A key can be like a hint and Mr F has said the hints are in the book.

          • Hi Rick;

            A hint won’t open a lock, but a key will.
            A Word that is Key, can unlock the poem’s secrets, but a hint will only help you understand or get closer to a clue. JMHO – JDA

          • Did Mr F say the key would unlock the poem ?

            From what I read He says it is a word that is key…key to what…A clue? Or the Poem?

          • JDA,
            From reading your other comments, you believe the word that is key is also in the 6th stanza.
            I do believe the word that is key is in the poem.

          • Chance;

            You are wrong. Possibly in the past I felt that the word that was key was within the poem, and maybe even in stanza #6. That is NOT my current belief.

            My “Word that is Key” IS NOT one of the 266 words in the poem. I believe that, over one year ago I felt that the word that was key was associated with a very obscure definition of “the wood”. This obscure definition is invaluable, but the “Word that is Key” (to me at least) is even more important and valuable – JDA

          • Chance;

            As I said, at one time I said that it could be in stanza #6 – That was December 3, 2016 – a LONG time ago. One can change their mind. I have changed mine. If you MUST be right – You ARE right, on Dec 3, 2016 I stated that I thought that the word that was key was found in Stanza #6. I NO LONGER believe that – period – Have a Great day – JDA

          • Chance;

            I have one open bet – if it is of any business of yours.- It is an open ended bet. One other bet was with Jake Fauker, and we mutually agreed to cancel that bet – again, if it is any business of yours.

            Do you have a peeve with me? If so – email me at SculptorJDA at aol dot com and I will be happy to discuss whatever it is in private – hope to hear from you – JDA

          • I was just stating facts JDA, No reason to get upset.
            I know you want to end this just like most here and you are a colorful character that shares your outer thin skin.

            If the word that is key is in TFTW and not in the poem then why the Q & A?

        • Been awhile Rick, here’s another:
          Forrest Fenn on February 18, 2016 at 2:02 pm said:
          Spoon, “If person had the correct GPS coordinates they could find the chest.” Physics says this has to be true. How can it not be? The key word here is “correct.”
          It is f saying the comment/answer and that is who/what he is referring to. Forrest Fenn is the key. In the book, ‘A little of me is also in the box”, refers to the key.
          The word that is key is different but backs up the key. To consider any words, the only words you can consider from this statement is the word “that” or the word “key”. Everything else is just a guess. And yes, the word “that” is in the poem. It is the 113th word. “That” is a word “that” is key.
          To consider words not in the poem is just wrong, sorry JDA. It would have to be there in the beginning, I agree with Seeker…

        • A lot of folks don’t know what “halt” means, and are too proud
          to look it up.

          I don’t think that FF has ever said that the “word that is key” is
          in the poem. But I believe that the “word that is key” can be
          heard if one reads TTOTC out loud. “Listen good.”

          The above is part of my opinion. Yours may differ.

  43. Imaginação,

    Ver com o olhar de uma criança.

    Até agora eu vi aqui apenas análizes lógicas e teorias.


    Coisa que Brasileiros têm sobrando…

    Imagine: onde água quente fica parando e voltando??


        • No specialized knowledge is required…My TTOTC book is enough to lead an average person to the treasure. (MW Questions with Forrest 6/27/2014)

          “People will be surprised when they find out where it is.”

          Don’t let logic distract you from the poem. (2-12-2016)

          “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”
          -Albert Einstein – ff

      • Why:
        “Begin “IT” where WWH”?

        And not:
        “Begin where “THE” WWH”?

        So I think WWWH is not literal water.

        I think FF refers to a place that “represents” WWH.

        And so far “it seems” no one has presented a correct solution on WWWH.

        As he said: Some were in the first clues but did not know.

        And others “seem” to have identified but did not identify the other clues.

        I think that’s why he talked about using “imagination”.

        • McB;

          Possibly it was important to Forrest to have an alliteration – three words starting with “W”. Possibly it was as simple as a rhyming scheme – putting “THE” in between where and warm waters halt destroys the meter of the poem.

          Putting “THE” in between where and warm does nothing regarding whether the water is literal or not. Possibly in Portuguese it makes a difference, but to me,(as an English speaker) adding THE makes no difference – maybe an English teacher can chime in and correct me if I am wrong – JMO – JDA

          P.S. It is OK if I disagree with you, that is what the blog is for, and I am NOT making a moral judgement. JDA

          • Also – You (McB) keep saying WATER (singular) In the poem, Forrest uses a plural form waterS – Something to keep in mind – JMO – JDA

        • Yes … We’ll only know, when someone finds the trunk … and it may take veeeeery time … : (

  44. seeker- I’ll give you a clue. The word that is key is a homonym.
    Maybe its in the poem, maybe not. IMO

    • emmett;

      The hare may have a wild hair, but it will lead you down a rabbit hole none the less. Think about it – JDA

      • been there in the rabbit hole that is its a chase i dont feel bad tho titan cant catch that rabbit either

    • I get what you’re imply, Emmett.
      Bare-bear beach-beech..Yet, we have fenn saying the poem is in plain English, right?
      The problem that arises is, all about [ a deliberate ] incorrect spelling of the intended word. That is not the same as misspelling knowldge to draw attention to the word knowledge, or bending a word, for use of meanings and/or synonyms with the same meanings. Example; Admire vs. high regards or respect.

      How could a word be usable in plain English if it doesn’t have the correct context to what is in the poem?
      I mean, you can’t talk about a bear the animal vs. talking about bare the animal… not only is it spelled wrong… the context is lost.

      But I get it ~ Two and Too or To… many would like to use these as numbers. And some force far to be four.

    • emmett1010, please remember that we are not supposed to make claims here
      of anything being factual, without also informing our audience that the claims
      are part of the poster’s opinion.

      The above is part of my opinion.

        • TLo, it looks like I missed seeing that. Thanks for pointing it

          My apologies, emmett1010. It looks like you do indeed
          remember, and don’t need reminding by me.

          The above is my opinion.

  45. another quickie- everyone loves to quote “there are a few words in the poem……Phil”. but few searchers seem to pay attention to “you oversimplify the clues”

    Only today, after 5 years, did I realize what the word worth is saying. You have to redefine worth, and then reinterpret it correctly to apply it in the poem.

    Whats scares me is not what I know, but the hints that I’m still missing. Trove is a good example. I sure hope its just to identify the treasure trove(legally or whatever), because I cant come up with an alternate reason to use that word,

    • Very interesting to see you all talking about a word that is key. Besides the things you have mentioned, another word is “title”. There is trove, treasures, trove and title. But the most compelling phrase is “title to the gold”. So, we all wonder exactly what that means right?

      Does the finder only get title to the gold? What about the remaining things which are not gold? Maybe “title” is more significant than we realize?


      • I don’t (wonder about it).

        Please make a big eFFort to relax; if you’re not interested in protecting your own health via relaxation, maybe you could at least protect the health of your legacy.

        Your family and friends might conceivably have some concern about
        this. All IMO.

  46. I don’t remember ever seeing anything in writing from FF using the phrase “the key word”.
    I do remember seeing something in writing from him using the phrase “a word that is key”.
    There’s a big difference in meaning.

    Anyway, I think that (in the context of all this) “a word that is key” is qualified by one of the

    It has exactly one syllable, or exactly two syllables, or exactly four syllables.

    If it has one syllable, the word contains the letter “e”.

    If it has two syllables, the word contains the letter “a”.

    If it has four syllables, the word contains the letter “a”.

    I realize that the above is not much help, but I believe that it’s all true. IMO.

    • Hi Tighterfocus — I wasn’t going to respond, initially, because I didn’t want to give too much away. But I found a way to do so that avoids giving away the farm. IMO, at least 3 of your 4 statements are false. 😉

  47. If one is to “Put in below the home of Brown”, and if a few are “in tight focus with a word that is key”, does one put an N under the O of Brown?

    The word “home” has a meaning of “a focal point”. “Home” is on my keyboard, so it’s a word that is a key.

    Would that make the focal point of Brown the letter O?

  48. If the poem is a map, would the key word be “legend”, for what is the key to a map but the legend which explains the symbols used?


    • It is a sound theory Horace but it seems more is needed. Dictionary dot come sends you to a map key link if you look up map legend. The description of a map key is explanatory table of symbols used on a map or chart.

      If one could create a key using symbols derived from meanings in the poem then it would be a way of creating a map with the poem with this line of thinking.

      • Aaron,
        Perhaps Forrest is using the several definitions of the word legend to create more ambiguity. Yes, a legend can be the explanatory table of symbols used on a map. It can be a myth or tale, an inspirational person , or an inscription on a coin or stone. (The gravestone bore the legend, “Requiescat in Pace”. -Merriam Webster)

        Or, as one blogger said, “When I look quickly down , I see two feet.” What are feet but leg ends. And that is really atrocious.


      • Aaron,

        Does another line in the poem suggest that the key word might be legend, meaning a tale or myth? “If you are brave and in the wood I give you title…” If you are brave, you are not spineless; you have a spine. In the wood-in boards? “Boards” is a printing term meaning the covers, front and rear, of a hardbound book. “In boards” is an obsolete style of binding but that might constitute specialized knowledge. And title means…well, title. Spine, covers, title-is Forrest referencing a book?


        • I don’t believe that to be the case but i will say this. If the key word you have found leads you a great idea then I would go with it. We know the clues could refer to locations on a map so legend doesn’t seem like that big of a hint IMO. I could be wrong though.

          • In the past something important may have happened at the hiding place.

            Hints… new and “old”.

            ; )

    • Perhaps “legend”. Also consider its synonym “inset” … which crosses over with the words “put in”.

  49. Horace. You may very well have something there. There are a lot of pics in the books where one or more leg ends are missing or displaced. Or illustrated by themselves.

  50. The Key word is IMAGINATION. Trust me this is the Key word.. I will not explain how I know this. I will not explain how I have came to this conclusion other than Mr Fenn has most definitely pointed us to this word. Use this word in every aspect that you can with the poem and with the TOTC book. And it will lead you to what I already know.

    Trust me..

    “Kettle Corn”

    • Yravis;

      Sorry I have to disagree. Although imagination is needed, and is important, there is another word that will actually lead you to Indulgence – IMO – JDA

        • All good Mr JDA. Can’t wait to shake your hand sir. This chase is so much fun.

          “KETTLE CORN”

      • I’m with JDA.

        Also, “A word that is key” isn’t one in the same with a “key word.”


        • Kal,

          It’s not the same as “the key word” or “the word that is key” either.

  51. Ok? I won’t try to impress this upon anyone but when this is said and done you will see what I mean. Imagination will literally and I mean quiet literally take you to The Chest. It is in every part, part of every one of the 9 clues.
    Important literature!

    With this said I will say no more. Saying more is just too much to say. I will not sink my own ship. But trust me.

    oh ya. Remeber “KETTLE CORN”

    • You haven’t said much of anything… many think the word that is key is imagination. Only they give examples or explanation for a thought process. Yet, you have three back to back postings telling us what?

      Seeker’s fortune cookie for the day’ A cow is not a bull, it’s an udder

      • I like “down” because of “emargination”, and “down” is a key on the keyboard. It also led me to research the 42 gods of Ma’at, each who are depicted wearing a feather.

    • Travis B,

      Have you been botg this year? If so did you eat a bunch of Kettle Corn when you returned? It might be that Kettle Corn isn’t helping :-! Just fun’in 🙂

      • Seeker: I have given you one of the biggest clues that can be given use your imagination with the word imagination. I will keep what I know to myself and hope you can figure it out.

        By the way Seeker, I will take back something I said to you once, I said that a numbers solve is a waste of time. Your number system really wasn’t that far off but yet just a bit off.

        Charlie: yes sir I have had my boots on the ground this year. I have made 3 trips to my search area. 1st 2 times returned because of conditions. 3rd time returned cause conditions to severe. My next trip will be much more profitable.

        And no I don’t eat “Kettle Corn” any longer. I love my stuff I have customers who have been so mad because I take a weekend off to go hunt. I have a huge following for my corn. Lol

        • Travis,
          Fenn told us this would be done more with imagination than anything else…
          My point is, what type imagination are you talking about in regards to the poem, clues, botg observation, planning?

          On thought is that “time’ or Time Lines might be involved.
          Example only; WWWH being the glacial period. Or The right map is a map of the constellations aligned with the search area, Revisiting the past as seen through history of the Native Americans.. etc etc. Where and when should imagination kick into high gear?

          All we got from you was Donkey Kong. Are we dodging barrels? On a rescue mission to save “she” [ the princess ]?
          A little elaboration to your comment might be helpful then just repeating what we have been told from the start. That’s all I’m asking…

          • Imagination of a child …?

            Just go in Santa Fe and ask a child, who has adventurous parents, to tell you where the chest is?

            What if…?

          • travis…imagination id definitely needed in the search.
            I do not believe that id the *word* fenn was alluding to though. Maybe after you search again you would be kind enough to dumb it down for us and explain what you really mean.

  52. I have always thought that the “word that is key” must be in the poem. If not, imagination is a possibility Travis. Or tenacity. Or the word that is key may even be two words..


    • Bathing in contentment in the safe and comfortable waters of home. But that will not gain you anything unless you cross the threshold of your own front door and venture out into the wild waters of the world. 😉

  53. To me, the word that is Key makes sense from the perspective of FF as an architect.

    Instead of tossing around ideas on which word it is, I think it would be more helpful to talk about how to use it, as one uses a key on a map.

    My understanding is that the letters in the word that is key will also be in the correct WWWH, though I have to believe that there is more use for it than that.


    • I cannot remember the last time that I posted here. But Mr. Belmont’s post is quite elegant and well considered, in my view.

      A key unlocks. “Unlock the clues…” as in TToTC.

      A key is essential; it unlocks what remains beyond and allows it to unfold. Talk about “how to use it.”

      It comes first, as the unlocking with the key to the door of a house allows everything inside the house to unfold. No key, no entry.

      No contiguous process…

      “It is an architectural plan.”

      A map. “…because it is.”

      And a word that is key is therefore associated with the Begin it, with wwwh, in my view. To unlock the solution. And it appears again at The end, in order to confirm the origins of the beginning.

      And “tight focus” was carefully selected, as was “caret”.


      • Hi Halogetter,

        Can you expand on what you like about “caret”?
        – misspelling of carat?
        – relationship to hats?
        – 5E?
        – carrots?

        • The shape of the literary character or grapheme, the caret (or Chinese Hat, if you prefer) can be considered a graphic representation of tight focus.
          An inverted V (^). Very simple.
          And it can be oriented like .

          There is a narrowing to a point, like the focused light of a magnifying glass, or the focusing of the eyes or mind.

          The shape of the caret I feel is important as it relates to tight focus. And…
          the shape is prominently shown in TToTC, and I believe is found in the landscape near the location of the treasure chest.

          And this relates as well to thought process and imagination- from general ideas becoming more tightly focused on what’s important or essential, as in the phrase that Forrest composed:

          “…in tight focus with a word that is key.”
          Something small or precise, not expansive.
          Being key, or essential, it comes at the beginning.

          You need to be very open-minded in your approach to the solutions of the clues, but at some point I believe that you need to narrow it, to narrow your focus on what you believe to be true. Otherwise you will end up in an ever-expanding encyclopedic morass, a marshy fen, or something like that.

          I’m not concerned with carats or carrots.

          I don’t have anything to expound upon about hats, although Forrest’s hat in the SB and his Dad’s hat with the flies, and some other hatty stuff, have gotten lots of press…

          I’m curious as to why you mentioned 5E.


          • Thanks Hologetter, The 5E was just something Wiki mentioned about the hex representation of the character, no significance for me at this time.

            This is great ” can be considered a graphic representation of tight focus.” I didn’t know that. I did see one typo were Forrest used caret for carat.

            I’m still struggling with “tight focus” and the key word. I see Forrest using “tight focus”, “resolve”, and “aberrations” and I think optics but I need to keep a more open mind.

            Thanks for sharing about caret

  54. For me, the key word is “it”. Whatever “it” is….. you can begin “it” and take “it”. So far, I’m equating “it” to “the search”…. begin the search and take the search. I’m so confused at this point. Studying for 5 days straight online. This hunt has given me something exciting to think about. Thanks Forrest!

    • Indeed, Veronica. That was the first one of those I considered that made real sense to me, and it still does.

      It’s what he tells us he did in the very first line, and what he suggests we do several times in the following stanzas. Go in there (as opposed to “walk on by” there) still ties my map together and colors how I walk it. Small destination, tight focus.


  55. I am 99% confident what the key word is, but I can’t tell you about it, you’re going to have to figure out what it is.

      • Which reminds me, the Knights who say “nih” (nigh?). The word they cannot say? Brave and in the wood? Cut down a tree with a fish? Wouldn’t that be something…if only there was a shrubbery in the poem.

  56. I think the word that is key is “nigh”.
    Lug knows what I’m talking about and he can explain it.

    • Only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.

      Nigh, near, left, etc, IDK…I’d say many are in focus if I had to guess.

      • North Intrastate Gallatin Highway. nigh
        You have to be at the 4th clue to know this.
        Pick your creek up there.

          • Were you joking about the alligator? In my search area i took a picture of a rock that looked just like an alligator.

  57. I have a new revelation on Fenn’s word it. I believe the word “it” is actually a map coordinate . ” I t ” is broken down to mean “I cross”
    as in ( I + ) 0r I X if laid down 45 degrees. This works very well in my solve. He mentions” it” many times
    In more detail, it = I cross (Crucifix) but where Crucifix = cross as in (intersect) =or tilted slightly to = x as in put an x here. In my solve , when the x’s are plotted and a line is drawn to each x in the order of the poem it forms a drawn back bow or an arrow point , however you look at it.
    I just realized the stars on Fenn’s new book match very closely to my “x” plots on my map solve. Think Sagittarius. Good Luck everyone!

    • Even without “it”, there are a lot of crosses in the poem. Practically a theme.

      Consider: waters are halt (struggling or stumbling) at a ford. A ford is where you cross.

      Additional occurrences are left as an exercise for the reader.

      Not certain you are correct, but not willing to say you are not. I will just offer you my wishes of Good Luck!

      • So true you are, many ways to interpret . t’s in front of words eg. (t)here becomes (cross) here or
        (w)here becomes (double horseshoe)here

  58. It’s raining here in Kansas so the wife has no projects to work…..alright over think time.

    Started by watching Moby Dickens interview for hundredth time. He States he was a architect drawing the poem. We know there is a KEY word….here’s where I started my art project.

    I found myself a piece of plate glass (something see through) placed it over the poem. Poem reads begin IT (key) where warm waters halt. I have drawn the edge of the poem on the glass starting at halt…jagged like a door key. IMO IMO IMO this is why he says don’t mess with (or distort) his poem…you have to fit the key. Flipped my Key (mirrored it). I’m sure you all can figure out where I put it in at. Does this give me warm waters halt?? Not sure YET.

    Sorry if someone has posted this idea already.

  59. GCG –

    I never saw a response you addressed to myself and Charlie in the previous KW page. Here is part of what you said.

    “Lug, I happen to agree with you that revealing my WWWH or even more details probably wouldn’t change most peoples minds however given the large number of people searching for the treasure and how compelling the nature of my solve is – regardless of whether I am correct or not – this place would be overrun with the searchers who would surely descend like flies upon the place…”

    The idea that anyone ever would descend on an area because you mentioned it is ludicrous. A few might try but I doubt even that. The only time I have ever bumped into other chasers in a hot area was in Cimarron Valley. That are was HOT because Jeremy had actually published multiple solves and discussed his ideas every day for over a year. Eagles’ nest this and 7 waterfalls that. There were literally 4 search “parties” at the same waterfall on the same day at the same time. That’s how I knew I was in the wrong place. If Fenn says one weekend warrior won’t find it, certainly 4 won’t find it at the same time.

    Let me get back to the main point I have made with you more than once. No one has ever sent me anything or published anything that made me go YES that must be the spot, this idea holds water. Never. I love Charlie’s solve, I think it’s great and he may be thinking along the right lines, but his WWWH is still random. I have never read an actual reason to begin somewhere, nothing that can be backed up. You have not revealed your start to me or your method, maybe you have it pegged.

    Most of what I see is coincidence.

    Unlike Zaphod73419 I do not understand Madison Junction.

    How about an update? Are you still using the same key word? Do you still believe in the spot where you begin or where you search?? I think you could be the one, but I don’t know how many flies have landed into your jam jar.


    • Hey Lugnutz, since I think what you are saying is very important, the part about you have never read an actual reason to begin somewhere, nothing that can be backed up. Only random wwwh.

      If you’d like, I’ll send you one of my ideas for the correct beginning area and you can rate it on the blog here as it compares to others…

    • Hi Lugnutz: the reason that you’ve never had the reaction “YES that must be the spot” is because no one has ever published it or sent it to you. (A fact that I think we can agree on.)

      As for Madison Junction, I think it’s far better than the majority of the other random dart throws that searchers use because at least it pays homage to the fact that the poem says waters plural, not singular. It’s still wrong (IMO); it’s just a lot less wrong than most.

      • Zap –

        Respectfully, waters plural aside, it’s still a dart throw or some other euphemism. There is no reason to start at Mad Junction.

        Nothing to argue about here really.

      • Lug: yes — it’s another area that we’re in agreement about. I think each hot or warm spring that searchers toss out as their WWWH is a dart throw/crap shoot. There is no METHOD behind it — it’s completely arbitrary. Since no hot or warm spring is any better or more relevant than another, then it seems pretty clear to me that they are all wrong.

        • A non-arbitrary method to begin is to look at a map within the 4 named states, typically with elevations between 5000 ft and 10200 feet. If something resembling where warm waters halt strikes you, it is natural to continue looking for other clues in the same vicinity. Not sure why you say this is not a method and is arbitrary. Seems pretty reasonable, actually.

        • E.C.: I get what you’re arguing — that the support for a particular choice of hot/warm spring as WWWH might come not from its standalone uniqueness, but from its geographical proximity to locations that match later clues. Workable in theory; but I keep waiting for a posted solution that SHOWS it can work in theory. Typically, one of these so-called supporting pieces of proximal evidence is that “brown trout” are the Brown of hoB, at which point I know the solution is crap.

          • There are many workable solutions that have also been posted. But for entertainment purposes, let’s just start one that seems logical.

            The book has chapter titles of First Grade and Gypsy Magic. An aberration you have pointed to in the past is the spelling of Borders. Forrest repeats and emphasizes the phrase “big deal”, how it’s funny being almost eighty, and the importance of the Fourth of July. All of these are benign as stand-alone in their uniqueness. But when looking around on a map and considering what they could represent if they are in proximity, perhaps a place where warm waters halt is the Great Divide Basin (divide being a border / boundary and a grade). Within the basin area is the Red Desert, also an Egyptian (gypsy) theme. A really big deal could be the Gangplank, upon which I-80 is constructed. A feature within the Red Desert is Brown Rock Reservoir, next to Fourth of July Wash. Farson is not far to the west. And if we continue to look around, eventually we can find places where tar sands (Tarzan) are located, lots of mammoth bones and dinosaur graveyards, and a desert where any redneck could just walk into and leave life behind.

            The most entertaining part about this saline solution is that it still fits the Rockies area and elevation requirements.

          • Not to mention all of this is within proximity of the 42nd parallel. But no need to get more logical than these to inspire thought, I suppose.

          • E.C. Waters, do you think f put anything in the poem that supports those areas?

          • Hi E.C.: “There are many workable solutions that have also been posted.”

            None that I’ve seen, but admittedly I still have about half of the posted “solves” here to read through. (I started from the oldest and am working my way forward.) But since you’ve offered your own recent theory for consideration, I’ll share what I think are its problems.

            “The book has chapter titles of First Grade and Gypsy Magic.”

            It would be better if to start off a solution, the poem alone was used since Forrest insists the books are not needed. But I’ll let that go for now.

            “An aberration you have pointed to in the past is the spelling of Borders. Forrest repeats and emphasizes the phrase “big deal”, how it’s funny being almost eighty, and the importance of the Fourth of July.”

            Forrest only mentions the 4th of July once in TTOTC (p. 112) and without additional commentary, but “big deal” does come up a lot (just as it does in “Catcher in the Rye”).

            “All of these are benign as stand-alone in their uniqueness. But when looking around on a map and considering what they could represent if they are in proximity, perhaps a place where warm waters halt is the Great Divide Basin (divide being a border / boundary and a grade).”

            Divide/border works fine — but would you think of it if Forrest hadn’t mentioned Borders/Border’s/borderline biddies?

            “Within the basin area is the Red Desert, also an Egyptian (gypsy) theme.”

            I think it’s too big a stretch to go from Red Desert to gypsy.

            “A really big deal could be the Gangplank, upon which I-80 is constructed.”

            Again a big stretch in my mind — almost anything can be a “big deal” — Grand Tetons, for instance. And “almost 80” would be a better match I think for a road numbered 79, but fair enough.

            “A feature within the Red Desert is Brown Rock Reservoir, next to Fourth of July Wash.”

            Okay, that’s a bit better (though I don’t like the idea of Brown=Brown — too obvious). It’s funny that you mention “Fourth of July Wash” — it must be a common place name because I’m familiar with one in Arizona.

            “Farson is not far to the west. And if we continue to look around, eventually we can find places where tar sands (Tarzan) are located, lots of mammoth bones and dinosaur graveyards, and a desert where any redneck could just walk into and leave life behind.”

            I gather the Tarzan connection is with the prior nickname for the chest. These are all interesting associations, but I’m not seeing a poem-clue-following, unambiguous solution. For starters, WWWH is not a vast area like the Great Divide Basin — it is a specific location. What is your precise starting point? What is your canyon down? Do you have answers for all the ATFs, like why people solve the first two clues but then go right by the remaining 7? How lots of people come within 500 feet, but not very many come within 200 feet? And an explanation for Forrest’s quote “Your destination is small, but its location is huge”? There are a score of other ATFs for which a good solution will have clear explanations.

          • I don’t have the energy nor the motivation to continue this thread in the way that you do. A case can often be made anywhere one looks, which is why others here have suggested I habitually do this. Our cases are no less viable than anything you propose, but you always seem willing to criticize. Consider humility. It works better in conversations.

            I will point out that I don’t see you connecting “deal” as a synonym for “plank”. Suggesting any connection related to Tetons shows you haven’t even considered either’s etymology. The word “gypsy” has its origins with Egypt. The Red Desert is not at all a stretch.

            If you’re looking for a “METHOD” as you put it, consider using “title” as a word that is key to land surveying, and have a look at geodetic survey markers with words on them. You might be surprised at how they start to connect, for example SOLON for “alone in”.

          • E.C.: I answered out of politeness and thought I was even-handed in offering an opinion. I’m sorry that my remarks were not at all well-received. Let’s quit why we’re behind. You don’t have the energy or motivation, and I don’t have the desire.

            I will sign off by writing you do make at least one fair point: that the impression I leave is that I’m overly critical of others, and I don’t offer any details of my own solution(s) for others to criticize in kind. If that’s the bargain, then I shall refrain from commenting on others’ solutions, solicited or not. I agree that that is hardly fair (and who really wants their hard work criticized anyway?)

            I take it you never saw my positive contributions to your own Seven Falls theory, following my visit there this summer. If true, that’s a shame. I found a few things you missed that you would have appreciated.

          • Jake: if you mean to single out the correct WWWH, then yes — that’s my running assumption.

          • So you think the key word singles out WWWH?
            I would have to agree if there is a word that is key, it would help with the 1st clue and definitely not the last.

            But considering F’s statement about the word that is key and that there could be many key words in the poem, I’m beginning to think he may have F’d us.

          • Jake, my take is that the keyword shrinks an impossibly large area of possibilities for WWWH down to a precise point, and that is its primary purpose.

            “But considering F’s statement about the word that is key and that there could be many key words in the poem, I’m beginning to think he may have F’d us.”

            I think all that Forrest is getting at is that there are many important (i.e. key) words within the poem that have to be correctly interpreted, but that is a separate issue from finding what’s needed to identify the starting point.

          • Zap,
            I don’t expect you to give us the precise point but what is this large area you talk about?
            I’m assuming it’s somewhere in Montana.

            I hope it’s not about the 4 states or tftw map seeing that would be a total cop out.

          • Jake: no, not the whole 4-state area, the TFTW map, or even a single state. But it is the only thing in the Chase that I think a child could figure out.

  60. Lug,
    I appreciate the follow up.

    You guys are all seasoned chasers/searchers/forum members so you’ve heard it all before so I’ll just say that NO solve or solution I’ve ever read comes close to my solution/interpretation of the poems clues.

    I have seen some pieces parts here and some pieces parts there but it’s very clear to me why no others searchers have what I’d refer to as “rational certainty.”

    Mark Connors has not revealed his solution so his details are unknown to me…

    Sean’s Third Round Table question is very appealing to me and I’m considering a video response to explain what I believe the “nature” of the one “clue” is searchers could think of themselves but haven’t…but the meat of this response is;

    Forrest has a clear idea in his mind as to HOW his treasure is “possible” to be found and how his clues can be correctly interpreted. He has told people the verse in the poem which contains or holds the first “clue.” He has made a distinction in his mind between clues and hints but uses them a bit interchangeablely. Further he has said we must LEARN where the first clue is and then follow the clues from there consecutively/contiguous/one-foot-on-top-of-the-other (he knows NO other way).

    The one good clue (HINT) is the entry way or “key” to begin correctly interpreting the nine clues correctly in the poem with a rational sense of confidence… …not the 7 percenters!

    In my last few quiet months I’ve been working hard to peer into the poems last few clues to understand or learn how I’m missing it.

    Forrest said in January of 2016, nothing ruins a “good” solve like poor execution.

    I’m not sure what Forrest meant by “good” but my execution was queerly poor…


    • GCG ~ ‘Forrest said in January of 2016, nothing ruins a “good” solve like poor execution.’

      I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say, deciphering the clues is only part of the challenge. Just having the clue’s references may not be enough. As fenn stated; think, analyze … ‘plan and observe’ < poor execution?

      • I very much agree Seeker. Without knowing what to look for, I honestly believe that someone could be within a very few feet of Indulgence and walk right past, never suspecting that they were so close – But then again, what do I know? Probably NADA – JDA

      • Seeker & JDA,

        I believe, I know precisely what the “blaze” is and exactly how Forrest has concealed the treasure chest… I know exactly WHAT to look for but I won’t know it’s exact configuration until the end!

        Unfortunately, Summer Time is important, as well as a couple other factors.

        Urrrggggg! I’m chomping at the bit and when we get done re-fueling this reactor, I have plans already in the works.


          • Ya, I know, Jake but Lug asked me a specific question so I’m answering as truthfully as I can, regardless of how cliche it may sound.

            Look for my video and see for yourself if you think I’m a crank….

            I believe that in general people in aggregate a good but the people in our search community are especially fine individuals.

            I love what Kpro, Cowalazers, Sean, AGK and many others are bringing to the Chase and am honored to be apart of it.


        • CGC,
          I know exactly WHAT to look for in your video but I won’t know it’s exact configuration until the end!


          Please do refuel. I know most of us are chomping at the bit and think we know where it is but try to control your emotions before you retrieve the chest.

          • GCG…
            Help me understand.
            You mentioned other people. And you are proud to be apart….
            I don’t keep up with people and boards? Blogs? Rooms?
            Who are these people?

        • Where is your video GCG?
          I got some time to go through it. Can ya post a link? or did I miss it …

          • Seeker,
            No video posted yet.

            Very little free time in my life right now.

            Hope to get something out tonight.

            Maybe …


        • GCG: you’ve got all fall, winter and spring to consider the what-if’s, and look for support in Forrest’s books. Forrest’s revised Once Upon a While is coming out in a few weeks which may prove interesting. Oh: you may be surprised to learn it’s “champing” not chomping. 😉

      • Seeker,

        In my understanding of the poem, the interpreted clues are precise, there is NO guessing involved, you aren’t out in the wilderness poking under every random bush or picking up random rocks.

        The Blaze reveals the preciseness…


        • GCG;

          After the blaze, and looking quickly down – there are still two stanzas. Forrest has said that every noun is important etc. What are we to do with these last two stanzas? Ignore them? I seriously doubt it. So, I take exception to your statement – The Blaze reveals the preciseness… The search is NOT over at that point – in my humble opinion – JDA

        • GCG,

          Follow the clues that will lead you… right? Precisely knowing a clue “reference” may not be enough.

          Example; I tell you to travel route 111 south, turn right at the third red-light on to First Street and take your first left… is not the same as… travel route 111 south and turn right on First Street, then take your first left.

          First street as two entrances, but only the third red light will give you the correct needed next step, to get to “then take your first left” even though you know of route 111, First street and then next turn on First street.

          So precisely knowing a clue “reference” [ in this case the roads and turns ] doesn’t help, unless you follow them exactly as intended.
          The same premise can apply to the clue’s references. You know WWWH, but you “take it in” as ‘go in’ the canyon down… when the intent could have been “view it in”

          If I gave you the first scenario above, and added, “below the water-tower,” after I said, take route 111 south. That could refer to “where on” RT.111 S. you need to start at, to locate the correct third read-light… So, it would read as;
          You to travel route 111 south, *below the water-tower,* turn right at the third red-light on to First Street and take your first left, is not the same as, travel route 111 south and turn right on First street, Is it?

          You have all the clue ‘reference’ but failed to “follow” precisely which will lead you to the correct ending point. Just knowing the “references” may not be enough.
          When fenn answered the Q&A about clues being around when he was a kid, with; “…most of the “places” the clues “refer” to did…” seems to imply *places* ~ not directions.

          Hope that helps with my thoughts of knowing a clue “reference” may not be all we need to know… even if we have all of them known of, before the blaze.
          This is why I also think… attempting to count something as a clue, prior to, a full understanding of the poem, will lead many, if not all, near the ending point… only not exactly at it.

      • I agree Seeker, solving the clues is one part.
        Then on to the challenge of seeing where they lead.

      • JDA,
        Forrest has said, that he PROMISED the road to the treasure would be filled with misinterpretation BUT sure for the person who didn’t have misinterpretations!


        • Never saw that quote GCG – Could you please provide the quote and its source – Thanks – JDA

          • “I warned that the path would not be direct for those who had no certainty of the location beforehand, but sure for the one who did.” TFTW statement on the map insert

          • Ok Guys,

            Here is the exact quote from the back of the map in ‘Too Far To Walk.’

            I can’t believe you two don’t recognize it:

            “I warned that the path would not be DIRECT for THOSE who had no certainty of the location BEFOREHAND but SURE for the one who did…

            Jake, I’m done playing Canasta…

            Just waiting on the right card to go out!

          • PROMISED
            The misinterpretation is all you gcg.

            Please give us a break so others don’t think what you type is what Fenn said.

        • GCG;

          The closest quote I can find comes from the statement made on the map insert of TFTW. It reads:

          “I warned that the path would not be direct for those who had no certainty on the location beforehand, but sure for the one who did.”

          Id this the quote that you had in mind? If so, your interpretation is a bit off – JDA

          • So JDA and Jake,

            My previous paraphrase is slightly different from Forrest exact words however if you combine that quote with his other quote:

            “My guess is that the person who is successful will very quietly solve the clues and walk to the treasure with a smile on their face.”

            “nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the … … the treasure:”

            “It’s about thinking not doing.”

            And there are more, that I know you guys know as well as me…

            So why do you take exception to my paraphrasing?

            Isn’t Forrest making it very clear that he sees a way or a method of EXACTLY solving his clues in the poem. And once solved these clues are an precise map to the Indulgence and the natures of the clues and the map given by the “correct solve” provide the right searcher with enough confidence that they can go right to it with a smile on there face – meaning although they can’t be 100% certain they have solved it; they can still be pretty damn certain!

            Where am I incorrect on this interpretation? Not to argue but to understand your view points better and to learn something for myself because my solution fits the above description very well.

            Many searchers and commentators like to discuss how there is “no certainty” and that it’s all human confirmation bias however Forrest the designer of this hunt fully believes there is a clear opportunity for the person who can accurately solve for his clues…

            I have experience confirmation bias but I also have discovered very clear and exact interpretations from the poem alone that have clear corroboration from TToTC and the poem itself, multiple times. Enough times that it is ridiculously unlikely to be coincidence (for a single clue – not some contrived mixture or match up of various clues).

            JDA – you asked me why there are two Stanza’s after the blaze and I will tell you its because Forrest had to build in confirmation key into the poem, with out this a searcher can have very little confidence in their solutions to the clues…

            Forrest did not over engineer the poem, that’s all I’m going to say on that.


          • Further many are likely to say, “how is corroborating evidence not just a fancier more deluded form of confirmation bias?”

            That’s a fair question here is how:
            induction, the ability to generalize from a set of facts to one or more axioms. But not generalizing beyond what the facts truly demonstrate. And then gathering additional data, or using existing data and the new axioms to establish additional axioms. Specific types of data can be particularly useful, such as negative instances, exceptional instances and data from experiments. The whole process is repeated in a stepwise fashion to build an increasingly complex base of knowledge, but one which is always supported by observed empirical data.

            Inductive Reasoning is absolutely necessary in this crazy treasure hunt and making extensive use of “negative data” particularly so since when evaluating the many possibile solutions or interpretations of the poem, a searcher must rapidly eliminate those ideas or possibilities which don’t comply or stand up to the test of multiple corroboration and the many bounds Forrest had given in Q&As.


    • This is fir everybody. I’ve seen a comment about putting one foot on top of another or something like that. It’s a fly fishing thing. When you have to cross deep water & can’t see your feet, you must walk that way. Take a step, then step on that foot with the other, it’s a safety thing.

        • Hi Birdie

          That style of fly fishing occurs in what is called walk wade water.

          One fun theory is that this is why the three Ws in the first clue.

          Begin at the walk wade water and head downstream.etc

  61. Hi Seeker and JDA I know what you mean by a poor execution last June 15 I went to my solve area.I went to the blaze where I though Indulgence would be it is not where the blaze is , if you’ve been wise and found the blaze ,pass tence go back to stanza 3 last line he is carrying heavy loads to water high stop, your at water hi and you have found the blaze and pass it to water hi look down your quest to cease.This is where I went have to follow the poem precisely.let the stoning begin ps I followed all the clues to this point and marry every thing together poem map & books

        • You say: “he is carrying heavy loads to water high stop,”
          So, you think that Heavy Loads is Indulgence, and he carries it to water high – Is that correct?

          You then say: “and you have found the blaze and pass it to water hi look down your quest to cease” So you are saying that that you find the blaze, walk past the blaze to water high and look quickly down – Is that correct?

          For me, I find a place that is heavy loads (NOT Indulgence), and then I find a place that is water high.

          I could have found the blaze earlier, as you imply, and I look quickly down from that blaze. The poem then says that your quest to cease, but there are still two stanzas to the poem. I am not sure that these are wasted stanzas – I think that they have to be solved before you are given title to the gold – I agree, you have to follow the poem precisely – to the very end – JMO – JDA

          • Hi JDH yes & yes on both your question and for heavy loads gold once box once to hi water.i have not been to water high yet and that is where the rest of stanza 4 -5&6 will be solved.

    • Clint,
      I can understand that HLnWH could be the blaze, or at least the location of it. I can even see it as.. a searcher would have to be at HLnWH to see the blaze… instead going to look for it somewhere else.

      But I’m gonna throw a curve ball at ya… what if HL is more like a burden or sorrow. Stanza 3 seemingly talks about a place some my not enjoy being at. Not ugly or dangerous, but possibly sad or represents that kinda feeling. The same can be said for heavy loads.
      The line TEIEDN could represent exactly what it says; the end of all, at some point in our own life. TBNPUYC, could have the same premise. Something difficult [ maybe emotionally ] for some. {example} the Memorial Wall.
      This idea would make stanza 3 being a single location all it’s own and possibly below hoB… hence the idea IF you knew hoB you’d go right to the chest… which could be what stanza 3 is explaining… a place that fenn said;
      ~ “Well Andrew, I’m not sure “admire” is the right word but if we twist it a little maybe we can make it work. The word means **approval or high regard.** So it works. I sure feel that way or I would not have hidden it there. I like the way you think Andrew. f”

      Some may not like the idea that a stanza can represent a single place… we tend to break it down so we can see 9 clues before we actually have 9 clues understood. Personally, in different readings [ different thoughts ] I can see the poem’s clues being of only two or three places a searcher need to be at… and none are far apart.

      MY suggestion is; when looking at word usages, don’t forget phrases and words combined; heavy and load mean something different than heavy loads, for example. Meek for example may not refer to physical strength or shyness as much as a mental discomfort [even for the strongest among us]. Like some folks would never enter a graveyard or a ghost town etc. So, could HL mean something altogether different to weight of an item or object-?- and still be represented at a place of water high?

      I mean, if you came across a pile of humans bones, in some place, would you stay? or only stay, because there might be a chest full of gold, you think should be there as well. Yet would you still be sadden by the bones discovered there? IMO each word, sets of words, word phrasing gives a type of little story all their own… some might refer to a place, other might refer to something ‘about’ the place. A clue doesn’t have to be a place… its a clue, and can have different reasoning for it.

      But your scenario is plausible that HL is carrying the chest to WH. But how do we know what WH actually is without guessing or hoping we are at the right/correct clue’s reference… just because water is there… at some place ‘we think’ fenn would holds in High Regards?

      PS. Hold in high regards is a synonym for admire… Both words or wordings mean; respect… rather than enjoyment or pleasurable.. for this line of thinking. Fenn did say; it as the most atrocious thing he ever did and if he was sorry, he could go back and get it tomorrow. Why the heck would he be sorry for a place he calls special??? I think this theory explanation might give an idea to why…
      But, Shhhh don’t tell anyone… let everyone else look for rail road tracks and water towers

      Sorry, just rambling and rumbling… lol, I always keep a backup plan handy.

  62. After listening to others thoughts of what the KEY WORD may be and having watched so many youtube vids I am now (right or wrong) declaring that the KEY WORD is BLAZE ….IMO.

    At first I contemplated that the KEY WORD was some kind of device used to unlock coded messages. No way….no ciphers.

    Next I tried paraphrasing Forrest’s statement and the light in my gray matter blinked on. In my take on the statment….the focus of many is directed at The Blaze. Find the blaze…quest to cease…treasure found.

    Sounds simple….sure….but it is kinda like an archeological dig and you must uncover the layers one by one in succession. …WWWH…HOB…CANYON DOWN…NO PLACE FOR THE MEEK…UP A CREEK…before you can realise
    what the Billy-Hoot the BLAZE is…..guessing what the BLAZE is will not surfice and only following in succession can you find the BLAZE.

    Time for winter rest upon the wind and time to put on some warm slippers, sit by the Junipher fire, sip on a mug rereading over again THE THRILL OF THE CHASE

      • CC,

        If you go to YouTube and search for Fenn Treasure Hunt, you will discover a many YouTubers dedicated to discussing The Chase and most of them are pretty positive in their approach.

        Some of the newer ones like Kpro has an explicit mission to inject fun & optimism into the “online community of people involved…


        • GCG, are you saying that here in the chat rooms there are only negative searchers injecting pessimism into the chase? lol…

          Maybe some enjoy beating the same dead horse over and over, but I agree and have been enjoying what you guys are attempting out there, it is like they say ‘a breath of fresh air’.

    • You are entitled to your opinion, but I don’t think he said, “a word blaze is key”.

      “guessing what the BLAZE is will not suffice”.

      Agreed, and neither will guessing on anything else suffice. You are guessing on some word. And I think many are more focused on wwwh is. Since they feel that looking for the blaze before knowing wwwh is would not be the correct route. Plus, f has not said that the blaze is as crucial as wwwh. Those are the only clues that we know of, all else, just a guess.

      Is hoB a clue? Up a creek? Heavy loads? Water high? Tftw? put in? drawing nigh? marvel gaze? why is it? in the wood? title? etc… Can anyone with 100% certainty tell me these are clues? Can anyone prove it with the poem? (knowing that it is impossible until you have the chest) all a guess, no matter if educated or not, still a guess. Since blaze is a clue, hard to think it is key also.

  63. “It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.” ff

    What I get from F “with a word that is key” is greatly leaning to is *fact(s)*.
    Fact means, a thing that is known or proved to be true.

    This is what that is needed to solve the poem, anything else that is a belief or an opinion will not work. In other words every clue that is solved must be proven to be a fact before moving onto the next clue.

    Just Say’n

    • Without finding Indulgence, how is that possible CharlieM? I may think I have the correct wwwh, and I find “A” canyon down, and then find a possible hoB etc – but finding “A” canyon down is no proof. Find what COULD be a hoB is no proof. NOTHING can be proven until you hold Indulgence – JMO – JDA

      • JDA,

        Don’t you have to have the facts of wwwh before you can move forward to the next clue?
        I’m paraphrasing F, nail down the first clue, is saying know for sure with the fact(s) that makes it wwwh.

        • “Nail it down” as best I can with whatever information is available, and make the best judgement I can with that information – Proof? No such animal available until Indulgence is found. “Preponderance of the evidence”
          but not “Beyond a shadow of a doubt” so to speak. JMO – JDA

          • Never did I mention proof, talking about fact, if one has all of the facts, leads to proof in the end.

  64. Questions for all:

    I’m wondering what kind of expectations other searchers might have in regards to “the word that is key”?

    For those of you who believe that you have found “the word that is key”, what have you gained from it, (if you care to share without giving away your “word”)?

    But what is the primary purpose of this “word”, if there is such a word?

    Should it provide a searcher with an exact starting location (WWWH)?

    Should it help with any of the other clues?

    Should this “word” unlock the entire poem? Maybe teach us how to actually read or understand the entire poem?

    Could this one “word that is key” be the one piece of information that provides the searcher with a ton of confidence or certainty of the location beforehand?

    I will say my “word” that I think might be key, is a word from the poem. My “word” is the glue that helps to bind some of my earlier clue(s) to some of my later clues. I don’t really know if this is the correct “word that is key”, but it does seem to help a bit, at least for me. IMO.

    It would be interesting to learn how many searchers have found their “word that is key” from within the poem, compared to those who have found their “word” from outside the poem.

    What does everybody else expect from this “word that is key”?

    Appreciate your thoughts.


    • For me the word that is key is the word that is meant by Warm Waters Halt. I dont think you have to go to WWH or drive down a canyon…. I think that part can be done on a map. I think you need BOG at the ‘Put in”.
      But I don’t ‘go with confidence’ yet. OS2

      • Thanks OS2,

        I agree with BOTG at the “put in”.

        I guess what I’m trying to get my head around is how the “word that is key” is different from just a basic solve for a clue. IF the “word” is special, in any way, it must do something else besides just solving a clue. Right?



      • Hi SRW: since clues 2-9 cannot be solved prior to solving the first clue (or at least Forrest doesn’t seem to think so), then if his “word that is key” is critical to solving the first clue, then I’d say it’s monumentally important — even if it does nothing besides that.

        • Thanks Zap,

          I agree that clue 1 must be solved prior to the others. But I feel like I learned my WWWH from the info provided in Stanza 1, and the clue itself, without the use of a “word that is key”.

          LOL…Maybe I used the special “word” without realizing that I did. Hope I don’t need to use it again!


    • I never had “expectations” – with – “the word that is key”.
      My word that is key came to me when I was stuck in the Madison River at the border of YNP near West Yellowstone after solving the 4th clue FTINPFTM.
      That 4th clue put me there at that spot until my imagination kicked in again and told me “nigh” is North Intrastate Gallatin Highway.

      It’s near as in nigh.
      Your drawing out after puting in.
      There’s a ramp there to put in and draw out.
      It’s also the Gallatin Gateway and some gates need a key.

      There’s more to this crazy thinking and will share more someday.

    • SRW,

      If you have read this whole thread then you will know previously, myself, Franklin and another forum member mentioned Forrest saying “imagination” is the key. Forrest has said that solving the poem’s clues requires deep thinking and some imagination.

      However, I believe (and from my experience with the poem as the clues have been working out), there is “a word” in the poem which can be logically figured out that can significantly aid a person in “learning” the correct interpretation of the words/phrases/sentences in the poem.

      And as Zap said previously; most lines in the poem have words which are important (or key) to the solving of that specific clue or hint. But everything begins & ends in the poem, so the word which is key — is in the poem… (IMO)

      “There is no secret information, its all in the poem for all to see.”

      Further the poem is a map and like all maps will lead you where you need to go if you know how to read it and also like all maps, it has a map legend or key!

      Maybe two types.


      • SRW,

        I work to provide comments that are more specific than vague so here is a specific example of what I’m talking about.

        Forrest makes reference to understanding what words really mean. In the beginning of TTOTC’s in the Preface he talks about his own use of words and bending them a little.

        Therefore how does a person begin to solve his poem’s clues accurately especially if he’s flexing meanings of words?

        For example let’s say we are reading the poem’s infamous line: “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze”

        IF we just single out the word; “found.”

        Here is a list of its possible meanings:
        – having been discovered by chance
        – (of an object or sound) collected in its natural state and presented in a new context as part of a work of art or piece of music.
        – (of art) comprising or making use of found objects.
        – (of poetry) fformed by taking a piece of non-poetic text and interpreting its structure metrically.
        – (of a ship) equipped; supplied.

        And the various definitions and possible meanings for this word go on much further, so how does the searcher with confidence choose the “correct” interpretation… …

        The “key” helps unlock the correct understanding of the poems words and imagination is required with the word which is key.


  65. I am wondering this morning if the word that is key might be “drawing”. Forrest has mentioned drawings many times in his stories about artist friends, an architect creates drawings, and Forrest himself has shown us some of his own drawings.

    But my main thought is wondering if Forrest used this word in the poem in reference to the geographical feature known as a “draw”. Perhaps the reason that there’ll be no paddle up your creek, is because you leave the creek to follow a draw up to the blaze? The unique feature of a draw (according to Wikipedia anyway), is that it runs perpendicular to its bordering ridges rather than parallel. A creek would likely be running down a canyon or valley parallel to surrounding ridges, and then one would leave the creek at a roughly 90 degree angle to follow up a draw. Perhaps?

    I’ve been thinking about the path of the poem as a 2-leg journey: travelling between WWWH and HOB along a canyon, and then travelling between HOB and the blaze via a creek. But perhaps the possible reference to a draw would indicate a short 3rd leg of travel where one leaves a creek to follow a draw up to the blaze. Or perhaps one follows the draw directly from HOB?

    • I used drawing as a key word for a solution, but it was for a different reason. It was for drawing an X using the clues.

      • Aaron, I haven’t worked on a solution like that myself, but I have heard others on this site working on something similar.

        • I sure hope so, Blex. I have my WWWH, Canyon down , HOB, NPFTM, and I recently found my draw. I just have to wait until next year to search.

          • Gotta love the timing of those “a-ha” moments that choose to hit you right at the start of Winter!

          • Blex, or even worse… on the trip home. Lots of time to think, however, and the chest is patient.

  66. “…only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.”

    “I didn’t read the long emails, but in most of the short ones I looked for key words that would get my attention.”

    “Imagination isn’t a technique. It’s a key.”

    “[A]lmost every line has a key word.”

    “It takes a key, not a combination.”

    “[T]hey didn’t give up. They left the poem—the whole key.”

    If you notice in the quotes above, FF uses the word “key” for purposes other than for “a word that is key.” Therefore, the word “key” is a huge hint as to what the “word that is key” is. How often do you use the word? He is punching the word for a reason. Here is another hint: Ask a drug dealer or someone born and raised in Europe what a “key” is.

  67. Reposting here per PDenver’s request (sorry, didn’t know how to reach this thread directly).

    Regarding the “word that is key,” I posted this over on reddit earlier today, and I’m surprised and confused at the number of downvotes it’s getting. I’m new to that site as well, so am not sure why that is since I think it’s a perfectly logical discussion to have. I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on this interpretation of the WTIK. Please let me know if you see any pro’s or con’s to it. I would love to be confirmed or dissuaded before I go down that dangerous-confirmation-bias-rabbit-hole that I’ve seen so many people tumble into…

    Looking at the first letter of the first syllables of the first two lines of the poem: “as i have Gone ALone In There ANd With My Treasures bold”

    I can spell “GALITAN W MT”

    I cheated a little and kept the “n” from “aNd” and I don’t have a legitimate excuse for dropping info from “as I have” and “bold,” but crikey, that practically leaps out of the poem and into the locket holding Fenn’s heart.

    Bonus Round: What shape is Gallatin County, Montana?

    Any thoughts on this? Discussion? Am I crazy? Please, just no random downvotes w/o any discussion!!

    • Geez, Karl. Why don’t you just give away the whole darn farm? I can’t believe you’d be so unwise as to post the keyword on a public forum. Thankfully, you apparently don’t know the answer to the third clue, otherwise you probably would have blabbed that too.

      • I see it as the 5th clue, the middle clue where you need to focus.
        You do need a key to a gateway, The Gallatin Gateway.

    • Hello NDKarl. You are not alone as to searchers looking at letters in the lines of the poem and coming up with other words. Is it the correct way of understanding the poem? I believe it’s for each of us to decide. Searchers may say Mr. Fenn said not to mess with his poem. Would this be doing so? Again, some may say it does, yet, if the words were untouched, you and others might not have come up with the words which you have. With what you’ve found, can you continue to go through the poem and find the nine clues within the poem which will lead you to the treasure chest? I believe we all have gone down many roads which didn’t lead in the correct direction. Enjoy the chase!

    • Hey Karl – I don’t know what feedback you’re getting from other sites, but this looks like confirmation bias to me. You’ve admitted that you “cheated a little” to get to something resembling Gallatin, and yet in the end it only somewhat resembles that word, requiring three changes to make it that word. If the real solution is that imprecise, I for one will be very disappointed. 15 years and he couldn’t figure out how to spell out Gallatin precisely? I doubt it.

      The shape of the county is pretty cool, but no, I don’t think that is the word.

      • I’m letting the “Hear Me All” allow me to read Galitan as Gallatin as I pronounce both the same. If this is allowed, the only real “cheat” would be the addition of the ‘N’. But that’s just a cheat from the rule I made, and if this were right, may not have been Fenn’s rule.

        A second note regarding spelling, if Fenn included it correctly (like horn), then I think people would have solved it sooner. I default here again to HMAALG and would posit the spelling may not matter.

        Thanks for your response Spoon. It’s good to get feedback on an idea!

          • Karl – I’m remembering the old “A Treasure’s Trove” book. One of the puzzles in that book – the one where the token was found behind a park bench in Foss SP in Oklahoma – intentionally misspelled a word. A T was inserted into a word and that had something to do with the solution. And it was effective, at least as far as my solving it, because I was using a simple spreadsheet to generate all possible permutations of the substitution cipher. The misspelled word (along with the fact that the location, FOSS SP, has 3 S’s in a row) caused me to overlook the correct solution. So I would have to acknowledge that a certain degree of misspelling is possible, though I still think you are going too far with it. I do like the way you tie in “hear me all and listen good”, though. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

        • Hello NDKarl. There are searchers who have used the four corners of the poem to find the word(s) “idea/aide”. While reading the poem backwards, one can see the word “offer”. With those two, one could come up with the idea of “offer aide”. Can these thoughts pinpoint anything to a map, which would include the nine clues within the poem? I’m curious to know what your thoughts are after reading the comments posted.

          • Hi PDenver, somebody else mentioned the IDEA angle to me today as well. At first glance, I think it’s a neat idea, but I would need to percolate a few days to give a more thoughtful opinion.

        • ND,

          IF it’s fine, not have correct spelling for a word that is supposedly a key, or any clues… and isn’t breaking the rule, idea, of don’t mess with my poem… ok… whats to say we can’t replace halt with balk to rhyme with walk, is that ok as well?

          Or how about using the same method and the same line to produce numbers.. for example;
          As I have gone alone in there…
          As “I” {1} have g “one” {1} al “one” {1} ~Can we use that section as 111 in for the lat. line?
          Or as my other example; As I – Isa lake?

          Just using the first few words in the first line can produce many different outcomes… how do you choose which coded method to use? And yes, I personally would call it a code… which we have been told would not help [assist].

          • Seeker: I would respond, but the lurkers have been given far too many gifts in the last 24 hours, and I don’t want to encourage further disclosures of naivete. Every time I see that NDKarl has posted I get a knot in my stomach.

          • That means keep posting Andy!

            pdenver, I had seen “idea” in the poem but not “offer aide”, will have to work on that.

          • Zap, that made me chuckle. Gifts to Lurkers. Lol. I get it , it’s just funny. Seems more like IDK to me.

          • Pdenver: I’m fine with it all, just a bit disappointed by the development. I don’t worry about sleuce gates opening or anything, as evidenced by the responses here. People love their own solutions, and as I’ve opined before Forrest could post the complete solution and (nearly) everyone would ignore it.

          • Zap are you saying that is ok if a word created, a clue deciphered, or any for of information is not correctly spelled, numbers not exact, or any other possible conclusion… it a fair game to the idea of “straightforwards”?

            I gave a couple quick examples of the same line, and all in different locals, all plausible using this type of method, Yet, I can get to the same locations by the poem and the book… no fudging something that is close in spelling or a digit off. I even came up with the same date you did and only by the poem [ as it is spelled and worded, no crabbing letter from one word or another ], and a possible subtle hint from the book.

            Here’s a question… IF you can do it one way [which I call a coded message], and I can do it another [words usages and possible hints]… What is the likelihood either are correct?
            I’d say it’s pretty slim at best that two different method can produce an almost same outcome.

            This is where I think, and I can’t stand the word to be honest, Bias thoughts / thinking come into play. We know the stories, the ATFs and all and we make it happen in some form or another. I think prejudice is a better word, because it spoils and prejudges what we want, and all other idea are ‘not worthy of consideration.’

            Any method can lead to bias or prejudice IF we don’t believe / consider there is another way… other than what we want it to turn out as.
            So when I hear a process like this, I personally cringe if it looks similar to my location… we both can’t be right if the methods are soo far apart in their process of getting there.

          • Hello zaphod. It’s possible searchers are set in their thoughts of how to understand the poem. It’s been eight years already and most are enjoying the Chase. If Mr. Fenn had posted under a different name and given the solution, it would seem if searchers had studied it, it probably would make sense. At least these are my thoughts, and certainly could be wrong. Four states, and searchers are in each. 🙂

          • Seeker, how do we know that there are not different methods built in to reach the same beginning area? We are not even talking about the first clue here but a keyword that will help us. Finding an area, or keyword, seems like it should be easier than figuring out the remaining clues and finding the chest shouldn’t it? We know already that people somehow found the first 2 clues at least. They didn’t literally throw a dart at a map to do it. Ending up at the end with different methods won’t happen but I wouldn’t rule out the beginning. Not saying I think this is right just that I don’t necessarily agree with your line of thinking here.

          • Aaron,

            With the comments from fenn saying; There’s no other way to his knowledge.. clues in consecutive order, Clues Contiguous… I find it hard to fathom that we would use [ lets say ] coded words from letters of many words… then use coordinate for another clue… a sound-alike- made up word for another clue, then yet another clue is just a design of a rock formation on a map that looks like a bunny or two bends in a river for horseshoes, yet another type of method for yet another clue…

            NOT unless.. we can explain that from the poem, imo. or at the very least, a hint from the book. Just picking a line and looking at letters in the beginning of words or the end of words can produce many words in any give line. In those same lines, numbers can be produced, in those same lines a mirror image spells out words.

            IF just those types of methods are needed as we read through each possible clue… we just expanded the possibilities of answers 100x

            Now, when it comes to the first couple of clues… we have folks on site who mentioned something to fenn correctly, only he felt the didn’t know. Others [imo] searchers, had no clue at all because they got there by an ‘aberration’ maybe a story in the book about the Madison River or Cody, or L&C… only not having any real connection to where they were… they got lucky to be in the correct area.

            But here’s the kicker… none of the above rings; “what took me so long” while using many different method in the attempt to solve the poem. IMO changing from letters to numbers to made up words to coordinates to another thing etc. etc. leads to huge rabbit holes. LOL that doesn’t seem to me to have the idea of “try and simplify the clues”

            IMO OMI

          • Seeker, I agree that it doesn’t seem like a way to simply the clues. I am with you that there seems like there should be a better way.

            At the same time, I do find it hard to rule anything out. Fenn’s mind is a bit complex so his idea of simplify might be different than others.

            On a side note, we can also spell Gardiner from the first stanza. No letters missing.

          • Seeker, I agree with your suggestion to find ‘at the very least’ a hint in the book where ff used that method to obfuscate a word or a phrase.

            I have asked Zaphod in the past to provide evidence of those hints in ttotc or in the poem but he couldn’t. Using the first letter(s) of words to form other words have been tried many times but never anything to back it up from the poem or book.

            The biggest issue with pulling any location from the first stanza is that it doesn’t jive with BIWWWH being the first clue. ONLY the clues will get you closer to the treasure, the hints will help with the clues.

            Now I understand why they used to think that the first clue was in the first stanza. But as soon as Locolobo revealed that NZ interview, then they conveniently switched it to the ‘word that is key’ or even better ‘a county shape that is key’. Still, the definition of a clue vs hint should be revised over and over.

            If I am anywhere in the world and it is confirmed that Gallatin is in the first stanza, then that takes me much closer to the chest and it should be considered a clue, not a hint and not a word that is key.

            On the other hand, is winter and it’s time to have fun with the poem in any way we want. I’ll play…

          • Oz,

            I agree and disagree with the thought that a location such as Gallatin [ imo GNF to be specific ], is a clue. The reason would be the warning of the direct path [which would be the 9 clues] is not the same as “certainty of the location beforehand” {which in this case is only where the ‘clues can be used properly’}

            Example; IF “Treasures” in the first stanza was a place to search [ which has been references as; the treasure state or MT ] would that be a clue? I wouldn’t think so. this is where I differ with most… I think we need a location of the clues first and foremost so we can locate the correct WWH out of the many or the correct canyon down out of how many there could be etc.

            Other wise it’s a dart toss to where to start.

          • I don’t agree with this opinion:

            The biggest issue with pulling any location from the first stanza is that it doesn’t jive with BIWWWH being the first clue. ONLY the clues will get you closer to the treasure, the hints will help with the clues.

            My belief is that pulling a location from the first stanza of the poem is entirely in the realm of possibilities as it pertains to jiving with f’s definition of what a clue and a hint is.

            It’s because of f’s definition of what a clue is (gets us closer to the tc) and that he has told us what the first clue is (wwwh) that pulling a location from the first stanza doesn’t violate f’s terms.

            How? Because if a clue gets us closer to the tc than we pretty much know there isn’t a clue in the first stanza (consecutive and contiguous). That doesn’t mean there can’t be a hint in the first stanza. That’s because the first place that has to reach the bar of f’s definition of a clue is the first clue (wwwh). Not a hint that comes before it. I know some will say then that would make a hint a clue. But, one point might not have been thought about.

            Somehow the poem has to tell the winning searcher how to realize where the correct first clue is. Also, there has to be a potential way for the 350,000 searchers to start at the same starting line. That starting line is BIWWWH, the first clue and f got to pick that starting line. All of the places where the searchers live aren’t where the starting line is. F could never manage that. So, it’s possible to have information from f that helps searchers with the clues by getting them closer to the correct wwwh.

            After all, we are suppose to follow the clues precisely. I would consider following the first stanza precisely. It does use the term hint to refer to more than one thing in time.

            We found out begin= begin.
            Probably hint= hint. Imo

          • Hey…I forgot my best reason for my opinion. Lol

            A hint can get you closer to the tc if that location the hint directs you to is further away from the tc as compared to where the first clue is in relation to the tc. It’s all about the distance in relation to the tc.

          • Oz10: “I have asked Zaphod in the past to provide evidence of those hints in ttotc or in the poem but he couldn’t.”

            Not couldn’t. Wouldn’t. I’ve got over 100 examples, but why in the world would I share that on a public forum?

            “The biggest issue with pulling any location from the first stanza is that it doesn’t jive with BIWWWH being the first clue.”

            WRONG. It has EVERYTHING to do with it. It is a hint and not a clue because by itself it is unactionable. It is essentially little better than knowing that the chest is in NM, CO, WY or MT. You have to know precisely where to start. That isolated word doesn’t even tell you what state to start in.

          • The way I see it is simple, no matter if we go from a big area down to the spot or a linear, circular, triangular or any other shape or form; these clues once deciphered (one or multiple) and contiguously will eventually point directly to the treasures’ physical location (the last one is the most important). If WWWH is the first clue there is no way in hell that the first stanza points to any location whatsoever, like it or not.

          • “If WWWH is the first clue there is no way in hell that the first stanza points to any location whatsoever, like it or not.”

            Care to place a friendly wager on that, Oz? Maybe loser takes a bite out of Jake’s hat… 😉

          • The first stanza has to have some *worth* in the correct solution… or searchers may as well discount all of Fenn’s ATF. On this count I have to agree with parts of Fundamental’s accounting. I am sure our methods are starkly different… however, the logic is there. I also like the idea…begin= begin and hint = hint to a certain degree.
            Zap… how do YOU choose between the more than 100 hints? I mean seriously… I could find hints in my bellybutton lint if I look close enough. Just kidding.

          • Oz10 said- If WWWH is the first clue there is no way in hell that the first stanza points to any location whatsoever, like it or not.

            Then how would you counter the reasoning that I put forth? Since you are saying that the clues will get you closer to the tc and wwwh is the first clue, then we know that a hint can’t help us in between the first clue and the second clue or it would be considered a clue.

            F has never said that there isn’t important info somewhere that can get one closer from where they live to the first clue. If a hint gets one close to the clue 1 location it’s ok if it’s still further away from the tc than clue 1 is.

            For example, it’s just like saying clue 2 can’t be further away from the tc than clue 1.

            By saying “If WWWH is the first clue there is no way in hell that the first stanza points to any location whatsoever, like it or not.” it doesn’t really provide any help about your position.

          • Clue – hint – information – etc. etc. etc. Names. titles – Does it make any difference? Forrest said something to the effect that he did not count the clues until after he was finished writing the poem.

            Can a clue hold within it a hint, or visa-versa? Why not. Why get hung up on a “title” of something. The poem contains “Information” of many types. Figure out what this “information is.

            Forrest has said that Biwwwh = the first clue – OK we all have the same starting line. Is there “Information” in stanza #1 or #5 or #6 (or whatever) that can help us figure out which, among many thousands is THE wwwh that Forrest wants us to use? Why not? As far as I am concerned, there is only one “rule” – “Figure out what the rules are.” Forrest is NOT going to TELL us what ALL of the rules are – that is up to us to figure out.

            Figure out, using whatever means necessary, what WWWH is, and THEN, move forward following the clues (once you decide what a clue is (or is not).

            If you do not like someone’s rules – figure out a set you like. Just the mutterin’ of an OLD fool – JDA

          • When I first started, I was in the camp that said – 9 sentences = 9 clues.

            Then I moved to the camp that said that the clues are in stanzas 2,3 and 4 and that stanzas 1,5 and 6 were hints.

            Today I am in my own camp that says that stanza #1 is a prelude, and that the clues are in stanza 2 – 6 (With hints intermingled among the clues)

            There is “Information in ALL of the stanzas that will lead to the finding of Indulgence.

            Who cares which “camp” one is in, if step-by-step one gets closer to finding Indulgence.

            Goof luck to all – May you each find all that you seek – and TRY and STAY SAFE – JDA

          • Zap, I have to say that pulling Gallatin out of that line is very, very shoddy work. I think must agree that 15 years of work to produce something like that is questionable. No wonder why you have hundreds of hints if the bar is so low. I’d say stay away from Kryptos or any other cypher if our lives depend on it.

            I understand the desperation to produce a real, tangible starting place after all these years but ff has said that the hints will help with the clues but will not take you to the chest.

            Should we understand from that comment that it is okay for a hint to give us Montana, Gallatin, Big Horn or any other location as long as it is ‘unactionable’??? (your word and your definition, not Forrests’) Sounds like a cop-out.

            I will not be so cruel to make you take a bite out of Jakes’ hat (we all know where that thing has been) but anything else is fine. Cyanide, Ricin?

          • I pity you, Oz. You clearly have little to no experience with armchair treasure hunts. You have placed personal, arbitrary limitations on what you think Forrest could (or should) have done that will actually prevent you from even solving the first clue.

          • Ken: The first stanza has to have some *worth* in the correct solution…

            I’m sure the first stanza is of utmost significance here. The hint or hints there should help us crack the methodology used to obscure what we are looking for and/or find the correct meaning of what follows. My only point is that no hint there will be of a physical location related to where the treasure is located.

          • BTW, at least Jake has the ‘ever drawing nigh’ (nigh) for North Intergalactic Gallatin Highway or something like that for a keyword. Now that is straightforward and NOT in the first stanza. I say that is at least 5 times better.

          • Fund Design,

            The dictionary definition of clues and hints are pretty similar and they can be used interchangeably.

            Forrest made a distinction between the two only for the exercise of explaining what we could find in the book. The clues are in the poem, at least the 9 clues that will take us within steps from the treasure chest. The hints alone or the book will not take us there. The book talks about a lot of places within the 4 states and, if we follow his lead, should not use any of those as hints.

            It is a very simple distinction we all know but fail to apply when talking about hints because we are wired to think a hint is as good as a clue, but not to ff.

            His hints are all those ‘abstract’ things that our brains can catch while reading the thrill of the chase. That is how he explained it.

          • JDA, I do think it makes a difference, and therefore important, to focus on details like what makes a clue different than a hint. I think they are both important in the roles they play.

          • Zap,
            I’ve got you down for a few servings already.
            Don’t be a glutton! There’s many others here that need to be fed.
            Oz, I’d go with the cyanide tabs, it will be quicker and less painful.

          • Oz10, thank you for responding. I see what you are saying but what you said doesn’t go against what I said.

            You are explaining f’s definition of what the hints in the book can do for us. I talked about a hint “in the poem”. F used the word “hint” in the poem. He has also been pretty deliberate to define the difference to him of what a hint and clue does for us.

          • What I see is that the first stanza contains no hint as to the location of the starting point…WWWH of the first clue. Just because the word hint is in the 1st stanza does not indicate there is a hint. The line in the 1st stanza, “I can keep my secret where *And* hint of riches new and old.” simply says ff can keep a secret where the tc is and then goes on to say he is going to give *hints* as to the location where the old and new contents and the chests location.

            Twist it any way you want will not help in finding WWWH, I keep saying over and over one has to *learn* of that location. Some have figured it out, but went astray by not recognizing the remaining clues. So it can’t be that hard to learn WWWH. This method is pretty much *straight forward” and simplified.

            I believe the key word is *halt*. Where does waters truly do this? This is why learning is important, this applies to all of the clues. I think folks need to stop worrying about the clues and start paying attention to what the poem is telling us.

            One other thing that I feel folks should not select areas that were associated to ff. Maybe that is the biggest downfall that folks are doing. If you LEARN WWWH it will put you in the right area to find the remaining clues.

            Logic tells me that ff wouldn’t put the tc in an area that everyone is familiar with by way of association with his history. Sure ff might be familiar with the area, but he may have never mentioned it. Good way to hide something.

            Can anyone change my mind? That’s a possibility but I highly doubt it. No I won’t eat anyone’s hat, its disgusting.

            And of course,
            Just Say’n

          • CharlieM, I do like your thinking that the tc might not be in an area that is associated with f by him mentioning that in the past.

            I would throw this out there as how it may be more difficult to ascertain the correct wwwh by just focusing on that…

            Dear Forrest,

            You tell us that we should find “where warm waters halt” before trying to solve any of the other clues. Imagining that we haven’t seen the rest of the poem, and all we have to go on is:

            a. “begin it where warm waters halt” and

            b. “somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe”

            Do you think that we can confidently determine the starting place for your treasure trail? Steve

            No, if all you have to go on are those two clues you cannot proceed with confidence. Look at it this way. If you were making a cake and you left out a few ingredients, would you achieve your goal?

            Your question reminds me of another: You leave home and walk a straight line for a mile, turn 90 degrees left and walk a curved line for a mile and shoot a bear. Then you turn 90 degrees left again and walk a straight line back to your home. What color is the bear? f

        • I don’t think Fenn has any “rules” for this hunt, although
          he has said “Don’t mess with my poem.” (or something
          similar and equivalent, in my opinion.)

    • ND,

      I don’t know why we would need to fudge things this way. I mean, if all we need is to know of a location ~ Gallatin ~ I would think a subtle hint from the book would be enough.
      Searching for L&C tells of burning a map… right?
      An act done by kids… right?
      On an exploration… In the greater YS area.
      The we have; GE and/or a good map as suggested tools.
      Not to mention FF, Forest fire… might that little nickname relate to the burning of the Gallatin NF map?

      My problem with the approach seems to be very bias in nature [ as spoon pointed out ] Would you even have seen it, look for it IF you didn’t have some idea of the Fenn’s summer outings? I mean, just by reading the book this area would be one of the top picks for a searchable location, right?

      But for this to be logical… I would have to ask this question; Why would the poem state; “as I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold” -?- Do these lines mean nothing else but a way to produce misspelled words as an answer to where? That would mean all the answers to clues could be misspelling of named location. features or object… right?

      • Thanks for the response Seeker. I agree, it reeks of confirmation bias! But I think any searcher in the chase more than a week has a bad case of the CB’s!

        I absolutely would not have found this had it not been for the story with the map. I put it out here because I (personally) haven’t seen anything (besides anagramming) that accurately reproduces any other location in the search area. Seeing the picture of the county shape just seemed to good to be true too.

        And, I’m not for it, but I totally wouldn’t put it past Forrest to misspell other words in the poem or answers. Isn’t there a famous quote he had about how he likes to misspell to make people think?

        • Seems to me that if we are to find the TC by following the clues “precisely” the creator would have likewise made his clues with an irrefutable precision when understood… somehow I just cant accept a sloppy misspelling that sort-of of sounds alike. But thats my confirmation bias, and its carved in applesauce.

        • Sure, I agree the more we dig into the info the more we create a bit of bias. But to hang on it and not allow other types of thinking is the killer.
          But like I said; why would we need to stretch it so far within the poem, when a reasonable conclusion can be presented from my examples above.

          Look at it this way. We know there are many WWH in the RM’s
          fenn has told us a tool to use that will help with the process “GE and/or a good map” and added later “the right map”
          The kicker might be fenn’s warning; the path would not be direct for those who had no certainty of the “location beforehand”… I think beforehand doesn’t mean before you leave to go on a search or where the ‘chest’ is hidden in it spot… I think it means having an idea of where all clues are at before you can solve them properly.

          Having a location like [ for example ] the GNF bring the search to a reasonable local to begin checking out specific clues, instead of ‘just’ looking for any WWH in any state. fenn said the hints in the book would help with the clues… so could the ‘hints’ only reflect on a single area, rather than an answer to a deciphered individual clue?

          You could be correct that Gallatin is a word that is key… it’s the bending ans twisting to ‘make’ it happen is what bug me. Especially when we can come up with other named places using any lines IF we leave out any letters or add letter from other words.
          You said: ‘I put it out here because I (personally) haven’t seen anything (besides anagramming) that accurately reproduces any other location in the search area.’

          I won’t say who or how, but I have seen exact names or locations spelled out [correctly], and none are even close to Gallatin, or each other, in different methods [in three different states. One I came up with is a mirror image of the first two words… AS I… ISA lake, in YSP.
          So you see, there are ways to create names and places with correct spellings… and one reason I dislike the idea that clues refer to names directly. But that’s just me.

          The map [GNP] on the other-hand is possibly meant for a searcher to begin in the correct area with the “right map” without forcing the idea with misspelled words, line of thinking, rather than tossing darts at a four state map, and no fumbling with a type of coded message.

          Just saying.

        • Sandy, I think you may be onto something with Gallo. I had to look up the meanings of the word, and there was something in the back of my mind about Mr. Fenn being thirteen and remembering my sons and what they went through. Mr. Fenn’s comment about him “shrieking” makes me giggle because I remember when.

    • KDKarl, the exception of “n” would give me pause. If f did it this way, he would make a rule for himself, and it would be consistent. For instance, if you had say letter values, the first letters in the first sentence, A i h g a i t. Let’s say Aih equaled 3, so you had 3 gait, this could be a hint to the third clue. The 3rd clue is a gate. If reading the poem, the word “some” could be for “sum”. Etc…etc…etc…, that I can see. A continued way to find words, misspelled, that is consistent. Once you add your own rules, without the poem giving any kind of reason why, IMO, it must be debunked.
      If I was to try to solve for letter values and one letter didn’t work out, then the whole thing would need to be discarded.
      If f put something in the poem, say architecture of the poem, that is a way to solve, IMO, from it’s chaos even, there will be consistency. It’s f’s rules, not ours. I do believe that there are misspelled word usage, abbreviations, and homonyms used, but if they are to follow any part of a solve, they will not need me to “add” my own rules. Also, the dropping of “as I have” and “bold” from something that uses your own rules is cause enough to let this thought go. The process isn’t following your own rule to put out. The argument against would be well, I can just grab letters from anywhere and spell anything, as long as I spell something chase related. Or, force fitting a solve. IMO, it has no flow or consistency.
      If you come up with “as I have the grale” from the first sentence, I would say you are on to something. Or, “As I have the ale”. But, IMO, the way you are going about it is force fitting. Not messing with the poem, but force fitting. Remember, f wrote the poem to leave no doubt in the searchers mind. Inconsistency or a searcher making there own rules without the poem telling that searcher to do so leaves the room for doubt. So, I “cheated a little”, and “I don’t have a legitimate excuse” should be proof enough that you have doubt. I will say this, there is a way to get Gallatin. 🙂

      • Thanks for the reply Poison. I think you make good points.
        It might have been a mistake for me to say “cheating” on the “N.” I’m personally happy with it saying “Galita W MT.” I added the ‘N’ to complete the word and to make it immediately obvious while sharing with others. So for me, it follows the internal rule consistently. And I would love a better answer regarding the “as i have” part, but my thought has been that if it was spelled out like “horn” it would have been too easy so Forrest might have just made it more difficult to find. (and been limited by the structure of the poem and his own abilities).

        I really like the idea of Gallitan being the key word b/c I’ve seen nothing else posted that helps to gives a clear, precise starting location. (i’m new here, so obviously could have missed it in the 700,000 comments that have come before mine). Seeker mentioned ISA above, and I think that’s legitimate. Seeker also alluded to others spelling out full names (but I’ve never seen anything other than the ‘meeteetse bighorn???’ anagram of one line and I just don’t think anagrams are all that for this puzzle. I’d love to see people post about other locations they’ve pulled out of the poem – and an X while they’re at it. 🙂

        Thanks for questioning and giving me a push on my ideas.

        • NDKarl, what you should take away from all this is the fact that you are attempting to solve the poem. That is the only way to think. Find the niche. The thing is, and what you should focus on, IMO, is all the different possible ways to solve for a line. Solve each line as many different ways as possible. Like Seekers example, may not be valid, but is a way to solve the poem, that’s what needs to be done. Your way, may not be valid, but what we searchers don’t enjoy is knowing the way to solve this puzzle, so, we must address every possible avenue we can think of. That’s why this is so tough. We have to look into the possible dumb ways to read the poem, so we can debunk them.
          Your way had some holes, you know, I said there is a way to get Gallatin, and it’s pretty simple. The thing is, it is straight forward, doing what your told, by the poem, and solving a line one of the many possible ways it can be solved.
          The first line: As I have gone alone in there.
          You have “As I have” nothing to say here, leave it alone. You then have the word “gone”,
          “g” one. (like Seeker said but we are going to just use one “g”)
          “al” one(you then have “al”)
          “l” one (you then have “l”)
          “a” lone(“a” by itself)
          in t “here”(the end has int, with “t”in front, gives you tin)

          So, one “g”, one “al”, one “l”, “a” lone, and tin. G-al-l-a-tin.

          Gallatin. You are going with Gallitan, that is not the spelling, it is Gallatin.

          The point is, ways to solve for a line in the poem. Not just throwing a dart, hitting Gallatin, then giving a history lesson on the area. If you can see that, you are well on your way, and even though our 3 examples may not be how that line is read, we have to explore all possible ways to learn and get to the end. Even though, Gallatin may look good as far as solving that line, it is not what I use. To me, that line says, “As I have the ale”. There’s reason later that I use that, but it’s also the start of the poem, and as you can see, ail, is spelled wrong. He’s just saying “as I am sick, when he had cancer, the beginning of this thought about the chase. As I have the “cancer”.

          My point being, you may debunk the way you see this line, and the other examples also, but see that they are all parts in solving the poem, for being new, it’s a good job on your part, and whatever you decide, it’s a step closer. Good luck…

    • Hi, NDKarl! Thanks for sharing your ideas on this. I believe pdenver’s first comment is pretty much where I stand as well. I won’t rule out that this track of thinking may lead to something, but I do not believe word games or deciphering of the poem in this way is required, based on what Forrest has said. However, I’ll agree that it is kind of cool and intriguing that Gallatin County kind of looks like a key. (It is also intriguing how much you have seemed to ruffle Zaphod’s feathers on this topic!)

      I’ll admit that I am biased against the treasure being hidden in close proximity to Yellowstone Park and West Yellowstone. Why would Forrest kick off the Chase announcing that the treasure is hidden “somewhere in the Rocky Mountains” and then go on to tell story after story about his fond memories of living in the Yellowstone Park area? It just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t have anything to substantiate this opinion of mine, but I feel that the treasure is hidden in a place that Forrest has never specifically talked about in his books or online postings. It’s a special place that Forrest isn’t going to tell just anyone about. All just my two cents.

      • Ya, I don’t think that this method was/is intended to be a way to decipher the poem. But that’s just my opinion and I am really hooped if it was. I just can’t fathom it would be that simple and if it is; I would think it would have been solved already.

        It’s a poem that took 15 years to finalize. Maybe this simplicity is masked by it being in the form of a poem? I more than doubt it. IMO . But I know less than what I don’t.

        Yellowstone Lake looks like Lisa Simpson blowing smoke rings- maybe that’s the Blaze…lol. IMO .

        • Maybe we should be looking for visual clues (i.e., that
          could be seen from an airplane, or by using GE) instead
          of anecdotes, stories about FF’s youth, etc. All IMO.

  68. Gallatin County on a map kinda looks like a key. In this suggestion by the clever searcher, a word that is key is Gallatin, found with some letters in the poem.

    • I used letters in the poem to “find” the phrase “rabbit hole”. That’s my
      story and I’m stickin’ to it. In other words, one should not attempt to
      re-arrange the letters or words, phrases, lines, stanzas, etc. of the poem to gain or create insight into how the solve works. As always, IMO.

      • Hi tighterfocus,

        I mostly agree with your idea except one thing. As I pointed out in my post on other subjects we should re-arrange the lines based on the tense in which a particular line is written to correctly solve the poem.

        Also I’m against the idea of anagrams, word manipulation, crypto-analysis, numerology and other analysis techniques. Fenn said that the poem is straight forward, meaning IMO, that the poem should be read as kids read it with no twisting, bending, and stretching.

        — MajinKing

  69. @NDKarl,

    I think you are on to something; unseen in the Chase previously. 🙂

    I’d like to encourage you to seek Indulgence! GO! Go! Go!

    Best regards!

  70. Has anyone thought that peace may be the key word?
    Peace = contentment

    “ The key word is contentment. If you can find it, everything else has already fallen in place”

    • Definitely and many things align with that train of thought. Watching a movie with my parents so can’t elaborate but olive jar comes to mind.

        • Not sure how much I can share as the topic is ultra hush hush (kidding for the most part). There is two pages in the book though that I feel connected the topic of peace with a few other topics (at least one). Those pages are 102 and 103. Let me know if you feel it has more importance than meets the eye.

          • ID, those pages always rang out to me as being a bit more profound than most of the others. Just as the last pages of the book do. I will have to concur with you that they have a deeper meaning and most likely something is there. Its pages like those that keep me awake at night.

          • Definitely have gotten a lot less sleep from the chase, lol. I just got done getting a massage and have a new solve. Why can’t it be spring already (or January when I have more funds).

    • Hi Veronica, Yes, peace, or the phrase, “go in peace”. Pax Vobiscum. In the Catholic church, the priest makes the sign of the cross.

      • yes Indeed. Peace has never been the key word for me, but it jumped into my mind and stuck the other day

  71. So how is your pedestal Zap? I love how much taller you are than everyone else. Care to describe your trip you took this summer? Rhetorical, I know you won’t.

    Andy you mentioned you haven’t read all the blogs 700k comments (it’s actually only 300k something) but you should. What you may have missed is that your post brought out EC Waters, poisonivey (he used to go by charlie), zap and others who have discussed these types of ideas often. Zap has posted before about probability and how these ideas are easy to prove as coincidental (his methods of course PROVE something). Not trying to discourage anyone just pointing out that these ideas have been around for a while and same results as us canasta playing dart throwers. You have come to your first rabbit hole, Andy, how deep is it? (FF has a quote along these lines), it’s time to ask yourself, did FF intend this to be straightforward or ? Seeker pointed out several reasons you need to explore, here is one more: the hints in the book are ‘very subtle’ and were ‘not intended to directly aid the searcher’ … do you think his stories of Gallatin do that? Don’t forget his sister lived in Bozeman and his mom was in Ennis. Good luck and enjoy the chase!

  72. I haven’t seen anybody mention about this a little mistake, or as I call, “an error” on one of videos Fenn appeared. It’s the NBC Today Show dated 3/1/2013 (video ID #9075 on Matt Lauder of NBC said at the end of his opening words, “… and Mr. Fenn is going to reveal a brand new clue exclusively for our viewer.” Then after three conversations between Janet (who was interviewing Fenn) and Forrest, she said.

    JANET: Well, all right. How about the clue?
    FORREST: The clue is: The treasure is higher than SEVEN … than 5,000 feet above sea level.

    I don’t know whether this error, or a mistakenly spoken word, SEVEN, was a genuine mistake or a calculated (or intentional) one, but when he was saying this he had a paper in his hand. I wondered that first, since this clue was a simple one why he needed a written paper for that, and second why he made a mistake in saying 7 instead of 5. He should have prepared for this some time ago and practiced at least a couple times before the show started. Anyway from that moment on, everybody got the idea of looking the TC between 5,000 and 10,200 feet of elevation (higher elevation number came out from him later as one of the hints).

    When I’ve got my first solve (of course it is not the right one until the TC is found, or it could be the right one, who knows?) the elevation of the hiding place checked with a topo map was higher that 7,000 feet. Of course 7,000+ feet elevation is higher than 5,000 feet, so it satisfies his clue anyway. But I felt something more than just a coincidence.

    — MajinKing

    • Definitely curious as it makes my current solve a crash and burn if I did BOTG but it is hard to say if it was intentional or not.

    • Rudy Maxa travel Show 07/17/2016

      MAXA: I know you live in New Mexico. Is the treasure buried in New Mexico, or could it be anywhere in the Rocky Mountains?

      FENN: Well, it’s BURIED more than eight and a HALF miles north of Santa Fe in the Rocky Mountains, but below the Canadian border.

      [vs the usual insistence on ‘doesn’t want to say whether it’s buried or not’, and the distance usually given as ‘eight and a quarter miles north of Santa Fe’]

      I don’t get too wrapped up in occasional inconsistencies or “mis-speaks” in interview statements. They’re not congressional hearings, with his lawyer leaning over to whisper in his ear every few minutes.

      From your description, looks like you went and watched the actual interview instead of just relying on the written transcript, and that’s the smart thing to do when you’re looking at something possibly significant to you. Only once did I ever find a substantive error in a transcript; more often you might ‘hear’ something as a throwaway line in real life that ‘reads’ as a more serious answer in the transcript.

      You got to decide for yourself in the end, of course. In this case I’d sure NOT discount 5,000-6,999 feet on the basis of that one slip. Santa Fe NM is at 7,200 ft, while the *tree line* in the mountains in Glacier Nat’l Park in Montana is down around 6,900 feet. The search area is big and varied.


      • Thanks Jake, mostly it makes me realize I need to consider plenty of what-ifs so that when I make boots on the ground next I don’t get tunnel vision.

        One of the things that still comes up is the 500 and 200. How important is that to a solve? Curious of others opinions

        • ID;

          In order for Forrest to say that someone is within 500′ or even 200′, whoever emailed (or told) Forrest where they were, had to describe the spot to a degree that Forrest would understand – A trail marker, a significant landmark (A waterfall or distinctive cliff face etc.). This being said, Let’s say that I work my solve, and for Water High, I pick a waterfall. From that spot, I draw a 500′ circle, and a 2q00′ circle. Is there anything within either (or both) of these circle that COULD be a blaze, tarry scant, cold or “in the wood”? If yes, it may well be worth investigating.

          What will lead me from this “Water High” location to a Blaze etc. that is within this 500′ and/or 200′ circle? If nothing can be found, maybe I am in the wrong place. – MAYBE???

          Worked backwards, if I am at the place that I think Indulgence is located – Is there a landmark or describable spot within 200′ or 500′ that I could tell Forrest about? If NO – I am in the wrong spot – MAYBE.

          Just how I use the 200′ and 500′ info. JMO – JDA

          • JDA,
            I’ve got so many ff phrases floating around in my head sometime I can’t remember what’s true and what’s been dreamt. I could swear Forrest said the way he knew someone was within 200′ was because they sent him a picture. I did a search on tarryscant and here and can’t find that quote. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

          • Chris from CO: can’t recall if there was a Forrest ATF about searchers having sent pictures that clued him into how close they were. This is the closest relevant ATF that I have: from “The Lure” post-screening Q&A with Forrest Fenn, Question #2 on 5/18/2017: “How do you know searchers have been within 200 feet of the treasure?”

            Forrest: “Well, because there … people have told me exactly where they were, and that’s the only reason I know. And, and, that 200 feet I think is pretty accurate. But there weren’t very many people within 200 … lots of people within 500 feet of the treasure. But, uh, the people that were with(in) 200 feet didn’t know that they were that close to the treasure, and they walked right on by. And of course I would never tell ‘em that, ‘cuz they’d, uh, they’d try to remember where they had been.”

          • Chris from Colorado,
            You are correct, from an email and he also stated he recognized the area.

            I’m going to see if I can dig this one up and would be great if someone finds it.

          • Chris from Colorado,
            This the closest quote I got.
            My verbiage was off. My apologies.

            Forrest: I’ve had positive indication that people have been within 200 feet. I don’t know that anyone has been closer than 200 feet of the treasure.
            Janet: And that knowledge comes from what, emails that they talk… have written to you?
            Forrest: And photographs. People… people tell me where… normally people tell me generally where they are but not specifically; but these people told me exactly where they were. I recognized the spot, and… but I didn’t tell them that they were close.

            Not sure of the source but I’m sure you can find it easily.

          • JDA-
            You wrote:
            “n order for Forrest to say that someone is within 500′ or even 200′, whoever emailed (or told) Forrest where they were, had to describe the spot to a degree that Forrest would understand – A trail marker, a significant landmark (A waterfall or distinctive cliff face etc.).”

            I think you are assuming that the chest is in some “remote” location and not within 200ft of a commonly used road or parking lot.

            I know many folks believe that the chest is far from a road or parking area…but I am not convinced. If the chest is near a road (lets say it’s along the Gallatin Hwy between Bozeman And Yellowstone) all someone might have to say is (for instance):
            “Forrest, I flew into Bozeman and then took highway 191 along the Gallatin down to West Yellowstone. It was beautiful.”

            A letter like that reveals very little, if anything about solution details and yet lets Forrest know that the searcher went right by the chest.

            This has nothing to do with the first two clues being correct or incorrect. It just allows Forrest to say that a searcher has been within a couple hundred feet of the chest.

          • Dal;

            You COULD be correct, or so too could I. I guess that we will just have to wait and see – IF it is found while we are both breathing.

            Since Forrest has said that he walked less than a few miles, I (personally) doubt that it is at the side of a major roadway. He also said that it is not is very close proximaty (sic) to a human trail – which also leads me to believe that it is not within 200′ or 500′ of a major roadway.

            I guess that that is all part of the “THRILL” of the chase – we all have a differing view – JDA

          • Thanks Jake Faulker,
            That’s what I was recalling. I’ve imagined someone taking someone else’s picture who is unknowingly within 200′ and the photographer standing just outside the 200′. Who knows. I try not to let stuff like this sway my solve. Dal may be correct, however if I was going to leave my bones somewhere it probably wouldn’t be within 500′ of a public road or trail. I’d hike in a ways. That’s my thinking anyways.

          • FF quote:

            “But, uh, the people that were with(in) 200 feet didn’t know that they were that close to the treasure, and they walked right on by. And of course I would never tell ‘em that, ‘cuz they’d, uh, they’d try to remember where they had been.”

            Along with other similar quotes FF said about 200ft and 500 ft. I always interpreted it as being that those searchers were not there because of their solve. It was a side trip.Either on the way to their actual solve , coming back , or just a side trip . I don’t think anyone has correctly solved any of the first 4 or 2. as he said, they probably didn’t know it.

            “they’d try to remember where they had been.”

            They wouldn’t have to try to remembe where r if it was their actual solve that brought them there. IMO .

            Or Is there a quote somewhere sometime that he said some actually did solve them, rather than assumed?

          • Just checked my Google Earth – IF Indulgence is where I think it is – It is almost exactly 200′ from a major landmark AND 200′ from the closest trail. 🙂 – JDA

          • JDA, maybe someone sent Forest a photo of the spot. If it’s correct (even at a 200 zoomed in Google earth photo – no description or solution details would be needed for Mr.Fenn to know that person knows the correct spot.

          • JDA,
            I have never drank your kool aid and never will.
            I still have a few pieces of my hat for you too.

          • Chris from Colorado,
            It could have been a selfie, just the landscape or someone else. One thing that sticks out in my mind is that it is not in a forest with all trees around because I don’t think Fenn could have recognized the pic seeing when you go 50′ into a forest with trees all around, it’s difficult to know which way is which.

          • Dal,

            “…Sure, I mean people figured the first couple of clues and unfortunately *’walked’* past the treasure chest”

            While fenn could use the excuse some drove by, or even flew over while landing at an airport, or even canoeing down a river… placing them very near the chest [regardless of footage] I doubt the passing by idea was about a ‘none search mode movement.’

            Ken posted another example as well;
            F~ “Well, because there … people have told me exactly where they were, and that’s the only reason I know. And, and, that 200 feet I think is pretty accurate. But there weren’t very many people within 200 … lots of people within 500 feet of the treasure. But, uh, the people that were with(in) 200 feet didn’t know that they were that close to the treasure, and they *’walked’* right on by.

            Jake posted another;
            Forrest: I’ve had positive indication that people have been within 200 feet. I don’t know that anyone has been closer than 200 feet of the treasure.
            Janet: And that knowledge comes from what, emails that they talk… have written to you?
            Forrest: **And photographs.** People… people tell me where… normally people tell me generally where they are but not specifically; but these people **told me exactly where they were. I recognized the spot,** and… but I didn’t tell them that they were close.

            There are other ATF’s with similar wordings; paraphrasing; searcher figured the first two clues and went by the seven reaming clues…

            Another where he states: searchers walk him through **their process,** and that’s how he knows…

            My point is, it seems more than reasonable to assume searcher were in search mode, hiking their areas, and explain to fenn their movements in a search and their clue references. I’m not saying a comment couldn’t imply someone simply driving by within 500′ or so… only the ATF’s don’t really imply that thought.

            Just an observation…

          • Jake Faulker
            Well I’m thinking that whether it’s in a forrest or not it must be pretty well hidden. If I was walking along and saw some metal box sitting there even 500′ feet away I’d go have a look, whether I’m looking for the treasure or not. So… if it’s hidden so well that I’m going to miss it at 200′ then the clues will have to lead a searcher to a pretty specific spot. Like GPS close. Of course even if one has a GPS coordinate they could still be off by 12 feet and have to look around for it.

          • Not sure how to answer your question. It is prominent, But no nameplate or sign or not designated on any topo that I have viewed. JDA

          • And here’s another possibility I’ve considered which I will share even though it may stir the pot some. It is possible that Forrest isn’t correct about the 200′ thing. I do believe that Forrest is a smart cracker and rarely misses a beat, but it is possible that the photo looked just like that spot but it isn’t. The, “lots of people have been within 500 feet” is pretty hard to ignore though. I guess, as I said before, I try not to worry too much about 200/500 feet. (which is why I keep yackin about it)

          • And yes, we are definitely off topic here so just let me say that in my thinking it will be the “Word that is key” that is going to give us the GPS coordinates. My last word that was key rendered nothing so… yeah. Still a lot of words floating around out there!

        • Idle… one of the many things that come to mind for me is this Fenn comment…
          “Let’s coin a new phrase. You can’t have a “correct solve” unless you can knowingly go to within several steps of the treasure chest. Otherwise you have a “general solve”. What do you think? F”
          One thing is certain…folks early on figured the first two clues… and searchers got close…500 feet and 200 feet. And I do not believe they used any cryptology/steganography or letter substitutions or wiggling the poem’s words into knots doing so.

          According to Fenn( by his ATFs) they were metaphorically more than halfway there. I believe there is a fatal twist at the 2nd and 3rd clue juncture that has prevented searchers from successfully moving past this point… even though he has indicated a *possible* four clue adventure. My take-away/s from the above comment is/are that it is possible to attain a correct solve and *know it*… and another is that the *correct solve* may have another significant *twist* at the very end.

          • Ken;

            I quite agree – ” and another is that the *correct solve* may have another significant *twist* at the very end.” – JMO – JDA

          • JDA… The reason I believe there may be a *twist* at the end is because of the wording in this comment. “…knowingly go to within several steps of the treasure chest.” Why not *right to the treasure chest*? Sure… several steps is subjective as to actual distance… but why not precisely right up to it?

          • ken,

            “Knowingly” seems to be the kicker… This might be why no one will stumble upon the chest, and why Becky’s question couldn’t be answered without revealing too much. Without all the previous clues, you just won’t know what the blaze is or where exactly, line of thinking.

            The idea is, the blaze may get you within several feet of the chest and at that time only [ because of a “correct solve” not a general solve ] from the blaze the distance to the chest would be “obvious.”
            If the chest is buried or hidden so well, how can just finding the blaze produce the chest without knowing it is the correct blaze? This seems to imply you can only discover the blaze by only using the clues.

            The point of “knowing” is to know you have the correct blaze. IF ya don’ know beforehand by the other clues… the blaze is just one in a billion and not known as “the blaze” So, IMO, there is your preciseness…. the need to follow all the clues to have “found” the blaze… Hence; “wise and found” equate to discover and discover means to ‘know what you have found.’

            ~ Only attempting to have ATF’s align with, being true to, each-other to make any sense of how it may unfold. ~

          • Seeker…I hear ya’. I still believe there is another aspect that may come into play at the Blaze. Not sure what exactly, however, even using the word *obvious* seems to indicate that the *actual distance* to the treasure chest may incorporate another *twist*. In an attempt to validate the ATF to keep things true and in perspective we can’t eliminate the word precisely either. Why doesn’t *precisely* bring one right to the chest exactly? Why several steps away?

          • Another point to think about in terms of *knowingly* is that by using that word Fenn seems to be saying that a searcher can knowingly plot the path *precisely* right to the blaze. Does this also imply that the blaze can be predetermined?

          • ken,
            I agree with your observations and wish to expound a bit on a couple of them.

            Regarding Forrest’s “correct solve” comment and the word “knowingly,” I happen to believe “knowingly” was intended to mean ‘per the poem’ – that is, the clues in the poem would lead a searcher to a particular area. I believe most searchers will solve the poem in its entirety before putting BOTG, but we can’t “know” that we’re correct until we have eyes on the TC.

            With regard to “twist” and your apparent implication, I would add the word “leap” to your concept. Due to the poem’s interpretive nature, each clue has the potential, IMO, to become a “fatal twist” in any or every poem solution. Add to that the concept of “leap” – the potential for a significant distance between successive clues – and it seems to make the challenge even more difficult.

            Though you don’t mention it, I will add one more thought on another of F’s comments that may be relevant to this discussion: “…I did follow the clues in the poem when I hid the treasure chest….” Even a simple statement like, “Follow the leader,” can be interpreted literally and still result in different meanings. As many or all are aware, context is always important – just sayin’.

          • Ken and Seeker.

            verb: twist:
            form into a bent, curling, or distorted shape.
            “a strip of metal is twisted to form a hollow tube”
            synonyms: crumple, crush, buckle, mangle, warp, deform, distort.

            The final “twist” could mean that the searcher needs to bend – curl or distort his/her shape in order to get to Indulgence. – Quite likely.

            “Knowingly” = having knowledge beforehand. A searcher COULD be standing right next to Indulgence, and not “Know” it because, although the poem had brought him/her to the “general” area, the searcher has not yet figured out “precisely” where he needed to look.

            “A” blaze may have helped bring a searcher to the general area, but maybe the “real” blaze had not yet been found – the one, that once found, will leave no doubt in the searcher’s mind “Precisely” where Indulgence is.

            All speculation, all just thoughts – JDA

          • I agree with Seeker that one must know the blaze for what it is before finding the tc in the last few feet.

            But, I don’t think Seeker’s idea that only by following the previous clues will produce the blaze to a wise searcher.

            I think that route is akin to finding the correct wwwh without any other information (like the first stanza) helping narrow down the search to the correct wwwh.

            I believe there’s a hidden story in the first stanza that points to the blaze.

          • Ken,

            I’m working this as an investigation of fact finding… ATF’s.

            For precisely to come into play we need to know other pieces of information. Hence “knowing the blaze and what it does. Not only do we need to know each step in the process, the entire process may come into play. Basically saying ALL the ingredient must be known of. The baking a cake analogy if you will.

            The blaze is the goal. Many don’t like the idea because they are hopefuls, and want to believe the blaze can be found beforehand, seen on GE, shown on a map… only I don’t think that can happen. Whether the blaze is a marker, a pointer, of a center focus of calculating… we need the other clues [ more than likely the physical local of those places ] to precisely take us to our goal… the blaze. And/or use the blaze in some manner…. its intended purpose is to give us some kind of information needed.

            Ok this brings me full circle… we are told we can’t find the blaze without the first clue… right?

            So think about is like this; After all out exploring we will know the place for the first time.

            The idea of a blaze is a marked path. only a path doesn’t need to be made of dirt to stomp down, a marked trail can be on a map it visual in the idea. The blaze is a marker that places you in the correct spot… imo.. at WWWH, and not a linear travel of a path.

            I’m going to change things up here, I would normally call this a small scale search area. Yet now I’m looking at it more as a small destination in a huge location, line of thinking. Basically saying we can view all the clues from the blaze… and aligning the clues correctly [ their path of alignment ] is our destination and where we need to be for the whole thing.

            I think we are standing at the blaze seeing what we are told of [depicted in the poem].. right at or very near where we come upon WWWH. Only we wouldn’t know it was the blaze until we understand ‘nailling down’ WWH as a fix point to be at. And without having all the clues [needed] to align just right… we will not “discover” the blaze, even though we could easily walk by it.

            ~Is the blaze in the poem?
            yep and nope, but the blaze is all the poem, in theory. All is parts must be known of.
            ~Or only in the field?
            Yep and nope, a physical location yes… but it may not be [ for lack of a better term ] “marked”… it might just be a point/spot/vantage place, to be at… for all the other clues to Fit, Fixed, joined, coupled together, line of thinking.

            I said it before; LOL – if an 80 year old is not going down and up a canyon, carrying a heavy backpack, twice… I’m not either.

          • JDA…I like that you put some possible definitions on the thread for twist and knowingly. I try to keep in mind some of the possibilities and those definitions certainly point out *some* of them. I also like Joe’s addition of the word *leap*. After all… Fenn does talk about jumping out windows, leaping from the bridge, doing flips off the high board, jumping into the trees to avoid having to hike around a 100′ vertical wall.

          • Well Seeker… we all want to be the ultimate Sherlock and figure this out don’t we. TTOTC is not really an ATF…more like the Bible in the Chase. “…containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.” Your investigation is different than mine…and as always I still like to chat back and forth.

          • Fun ~’But, I don’t think Seeker’s idea that only by following the previous clues will produce the blaze to a wise searcher.’

            It all about the “following” part. It might be more about understanding how it unfolds, rather than a linear movement through points and locals.

            For example; If stand on a platform of a water-tower… looking in one direction you may see one or two things. Standing is another part of the platform, three or four things present themselves, but only standing in the correct spot will produce all the things needed to be seen.

            In this hypothetical scenario; WWH is the holding tank and HLnWH and all point of interest are seen at a specific place in the platform.. the place that marks the correct vantage point to see the clues.. hence you have been wise and found the blaze… you have “discovered” the place to be at and only done by the use of all the clues.

            “Just” means exact, So just HLnWH is the blaze.

          • Hi Ken: one possible answer to your question:

            “…knowingly go to within several steps of the treasure chest.” Why not *right to the treasure chest*? Sure… several steps is subjective as to actual distance… but why not precisely right up to it?”

            “Several steps” is about the precision of GPS.

          • Hi again, Ken. Second opine of the day:

            “Another point to think about in terms of *knowingly* is that by using that word Fenn seems to be saying that a searcher can knowingly plot the path *precisely* right to the blaze. Does this also imply that the blaze can be predetermined?”

            IMO, yes. I would go further: I think every clue can be precisely predetermined from the poem prior to BOTG.

          • Zap… Not that I believe there are coordinates involved… you are absolutely correct there. *Look quickly down* after finding the blaze was where I was heading. Thanks for the input Zap.

          • Seeker, in your example how does one get closer to the tc after figuring out each clue but not backtrack at all by getting to your blaze spot to see all the clues?

            I don’t even know if my question makes sense.

          • Zap…I agree to a point. I am not clear about the blaze though. Shoot…who am I kidding…not sure about nuthin’! But having fun just the same.

          • Ken;

            You like “leap”. Leap can mean “Jump” which can mean Jump higher – rather than jumping DOWN. Could Leap mean to jump UP rather than down?

            verb: leap;
            jump or spring a long way, to a great height, or with great force.

            This just might work.

            Twist can mean:: to follow a winding course : snake

            2a : to turn or change shape under torsion

            Maybe one needs to take a winding course around something, like a knob or knoll rather than a course that may seem more obvious.

            Just musin’ JDA

          • Actually Ken – The course I have in mind – “winding” is a poor choice. Spiral would be better. Staying at the same elevation, spiraling around a knob to a defined point – really just making an arc around a knob would better describe what I have in mind – JDA

          • FunD,

            There’s no backtracking in the scenario… You are basically at the blaze when you start, ya just need to fine tune your exact position.
            In the scenario, WWWH and HLnWH are one in the same, yet different for reasons of being in a specific spot. The idea of “getting closer” is a much smaller area to deal with vs. a large area to stomp through… an exact spot to stand in. You get closer by discovering that spot you need to stand in or at by usung the other clues to place you at it… those clues need to be seen.

            Hence; “your location is huge but your destination is small”

            Just take out the idea of stomping point to point and you’ll see it clearly. We need to nail down WWH for any of it to work, when the clues are all visually seen- in theory – you are at the blaze. A blaze that can not be known of until all the clues, all the ingredients, all come together.

          • Ken – I can only hope that caper and/or gambol are involved in this “leap of faith” haha – 🙂 – JDA

          • Seeker, do you it would have been simpler or harder for f to architect the clues as your example describes than a linear approach of traveling from the first clue to the next one and so on?

            Much easier, a lot more difficult, 10 or 100 times easier or thousands of times more difficult to design and then come up with the correct solution?

            How do you gauge it?

      • Idle: I get the impression from one of your posts above that you think I’ve been ignoring you somehow? Did I miss a question from you? If so, I apologize — I don’t always subscribe to every topic and so I could have missed something.

        • Not sure if it was a question or not anymore. My work tends to drain my mental faculties.

  73. Upthread Alsetenash was questioning whether folks had actually gotten the first two clues correct. The Cheat sheet on this blog has the Fenn statement confirming that folks have emailed him correctly mentioning the first two clues. Some have and gotten close and *others* have showed up *there* unknowingly. None of this really *helps* anyone… but does confirm that some have had the *correct* initial thoughts and went astray.

  74. Upthread Chris from Colorado stated that Fenn may not be correct about the 200′. The Lure 2017 has Fenn confirming that the 200′ is pretty accurate… again not particularly helpful…but still tantalizing none the less.

    • Ken. Thank you. Though I have read that quote, it didn’t sound clear that someone had solved the first two clues- could be interpreted as just mentioned correctly the first two in the poem. I read other quotes from him that also were not exactly clear about solving the first two.

      But then I just found this one:

      “No one has given me the correct solve past the first two clues.” f

      So, yes. There it’s is point blank. Someone has stated the correct solve of the first two clues. It’s a done deal for the fact.

      I have been at this since the beginning of 2017 but never looked into it thoroughly. Yes, because it doesn’t really matter, other than it gives the beauty of I can be done by us humans.

      • Al…it never hurts to look back and question everything. Those little points give a glimmer of finality….

      • It looks to me like you’ve jumped to an unsupported conclusion about anyone having solved the first 2 clues.

        As a theoretical parallel case, if FF were to say that no one has given him the correct solve past the first 8 clues, would you assume that those 8 clues had been solved?

        In case you aren’t grasping my reasoning, here’s another theoretical parallel case: I haven’t taken a human-powered flight beyond Moscow. (That is a true statement,
        by the way.) Are you going to assume that I have taken
        a human-powered flight to Moscow?

        I’m trying to teach other searchers something about logic.
        But it’s kinda discouraging, seeing not much evidence that
        anyone has learned from my postings. As always, IMO.

      • IMO someone has given him the entire solution. This fact has given f stomach troubles. All imo

        • Wait, wait, Don’t tell me.
          It was you that have given him, the entire solution?
          You don’t know fact from fiction which creates friction.
          It’s your addiction that will constitute your conviction.

          • Question: Has anyone determined the nine clues and what they represent?

            FF- ” I don’t know that anybody has, has, has told me the ,the clues in the right order”.

            I always found this interesting.

          • Thanks for the link Alsetenash.

            I wasn’t even in the chase at that time but if someone had figured it out (out of order) I am assuming they must have moved on in their solves.

          • I dunno, Idle. The thing about this poem as a map is : identifying what are the clues in the poem ( we know WWH is one and the first) , what each clue represents and where the location of each one is. Then there’s BOTG to follow and find the chest. That’s 28 proof positive results to achieve.

            IMO .

          • PDenver. There seems be be a greater interest in the first 2 clues being figured out. But I always have been more intrigued about this statement abyss FF:

            FF- ” I don’t know that anybody has, has, has told me the ,the clues in the right order”.

            Does he mean all 9 but wrong only in the order? How could this be correct but in the wrong order?

            Me thinks it’s the word that is key that is applied to something .Meaning, a meaning of something else is of something else and is closely related to interpretation to another word , both being in the poem.

            To me, this is the riddle of the word that is key! 🙂


          • I thought ‘abyss’ was more appropriate compared to the other things you were trying to say.

          • Jake. I appreciate everything you have to say. You should write your autobiography. I assume the first half of it would be the best part. 🙂

          • I get what you said and most won’t.
            I put you in the same boat as others when you stuff “everything” in your comment.

            As I stated here in the past, there is no such thing as “everything” – “always” – “never”- “perfect”.
            Your assumption stinks just like everyone else’s because we all have one.

          • Nice Jake, we have all had our knowitall monents within our playlist of clues we think are correct and crystal clear gale force aha moments. Only to be humbled, kicking ourselves after our boots on the ground .

            It’s the only way to win though.


  75. Fundamental Design,

    I read your post again. You said:

    1- F has never said that there isn’t important info somewhere that can get one closer from where they live to the first clue.-

    Let me use this comment to illustrate: Imagining that we haven’t seen the rest of the poem, and all we have to go on is: a. “begin it where warm waters halt” and b. “somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe” Do you think that we can confidently determine the starting place for your treasure trail? Steve
    No, if all you have to go on are those two clues you cannot proceed with confidence. Look at it this way. If you were making a cake and you left out a few ingredients, would you achieve your goal?

    Notice how Forrest used ‘clues’ for both BIWWWH and ‘somewhere in the mountains north of SF’ because both of these statements will get us closer to the chest, so they are clues. It doesn’t matter if it is ‘actionable’ or not, somewhere in the mountains north of SF is a freebie clue that came with the book and the poem to guide us in the right direction. Not in the Appalachians or the Himalayas, so no matter where in the world you were when you read that line in the book you got a free clue that needs no deciphering. Forrest does the same thing when he told us about NO Canada, he called it a clue as well for no Utah nor Idaho. The same for 5,000 to 10,200 and others.

    Now going back to your question about important info that can get one closer, yes ‘the mountains north of SF’ is that info but is not a hint it is an outright clue. Further, when he said there are hints in the book, but those hints will not take you to the chest only the clues will and hints only help with the clues: what do we understand a hint could be? That is the real issue as far as I can tell because most believe the only way Forrest will hint to a clue is by pointing out other places on or around where the real clue points to, and that I believe is a big mistake and/or lack of imagination.

    2- For example, it’s just like saying clue 2 can’t be further away from the tc than clue 1.-

    I didn’t say that. All I know is that we need to follow the clues in order cause they are contiguous. Maybe one clue will reveal the next and so on. How many clues to a location? Not sure, maybe there are 9 locations or maybe you need 3 clues to one location. At the end, you may end up with a linear clue trail, a circle, square, triangle, the infamous X or just something resembling the keys on your phone (a 3 by 3 block) but again no hint will give you a location near any of these to help you reveal the true clue. That is my understanding.

    3- it doesn’t really provide any help about your position.

    My position is simple, the hints are subtle, abstract things that can get tangled in our brain to help us understand what he means by his clues. That’s all. Using places mentioned in his book as hints is the reason why the crazies are digging at graveyards (including his parents in Texas), or south of SF, in his personal property. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is someone planning a trip to the French soldier’s grave in Vietnam/Laos, etc..

  76. I think there are three very important points in the poem. I’m not saying all other clues are not important as you know. First is the starting point, namely WWWH. Second is the put in point, namely HOB. And third is the close to final point, namely the BLAZE.

    I don’t need the twist for the first starting point. It’s straight forward as Fenn stated more than several times. If you guessed it correct then you have it. If you didn’t you have nothing.

    I don’t need the twist for the second point either. JDA won’t agree, I know. But in my thought the key word in the poem is still “the home of Brown.” That will decide which creek or trail you have to follow (either “the” or “your” creek) and in which direction you have to go (up or down) to find the blaze. Looks like some searchers may be closing in on Brown, whether this is a trout or a person, what his first name is if it is a person, and how he is related to the general search area if one gets correct Brown intended by the poem. Also there are many discussions about the word “home”. If it does not represent a physical house (Fenn said that it does not) then what “home” refers to. Therefore, if a searcher gets the name of Brown right, and interprets the home correctly, then he has the right point to put in and right creek to follow to get to the next important point, the Blaze.

    Now I think there IS a twist in the Blaze IMO. I think you can find THE BLAZE if you are wise (along the creek, on the trail, or been wise enough to figure this out up this point, I’m not sure). If you find the blaze and quickly look down to find where to go from this point on, you have to face the twist I mentioned. I think at this point, you’re several steps from the TC. Now you have to figure out what is the next clue and what it means, because the next clue says that “you have to be brave and in the wood” to actually, physically find the TC. I think that’s where you need BOTG, and that’s also the twist, because you cannot see and tell beforehand what the “several steps from the TC” requirement means.

    I mentioned about this a couple of times in other discussion areas also. I think that’s what Ken refers to as “knowingly” will apply up to that point, but not any further. You have to be there (I mean, several steps from the TC) and be brave and in the wood to finish your job.

    For the current solve I was able to see most of the locations I’ve selected for my solve on Google Map. I’m pretty sure that I saw my WWWH, HOB put in point, the creek and the trail to the blaze, the blaze itself, but not any more. I think the several steps mentioned may involve in the vertical direction, not the horizontal direction.

    I also have another point to make. What if 200′ and 500′ distances Fenn mentioned are not horizontal distances, but rather vertical distance, or the elevation? Has anybody thought about that? Just an idea.

    — MajinKing

  77. I think it is simple. Take a sheet of paper. Draw a line from the top to the bottom. Label the top WWWH and label the bottom the end. Now label the complete line from top to bottom “the blaze”. How far is it to the treasure chest? IMO Forrest has stated many people have been within 500′ but did not know it(paraphrase). The treasure chest is 500′ from the blaze , that does not help you locate where the TC is, but how far is obvious. IMO

    • Tin;

      Or not. – 500′ could be a measurement fron -say – the END spot. and/ or 200′ could be measurements from – say – HLnWH.

      From your END spot draw a 500′ circle then
      From HL draw a circle 200′ in diameter.
      From WH draw another 200′ circle. IF they all cross, or intersect – THAT could be your blaze, and the TC. – Just another possibility – JDA

      • Instead of END spot – maybe it is your “No paddle up your creek” spot that you draw the 500′ circle – JDA

        • Hi JDA,

          You’re still not buying my idea of HLnWH being a description of the “no paddle creek”? So do you think that is another location between the HOB and Blaze?

          — MK

          • Put in below the hoB = a place
            From there it’s no place for the meek” = a place
            The END is ever drawing nigh = a place
            There’ll be no paddle up your creek = a place/thing
            Just HLnWH = 2 places (close to each other)
            If you’ve been wise and found the blaze = a place
            JMO – JDA

  78. When Fenn mentioned about 200′ and 500′, I think he was referring the distances from the TC. If the blaze is located about several steps from the TC the location of the blaze is essentially the same as the location of the TC when the distances are drawn out on the map. So if you think you have found the blaze for your solve you have to draw two concentric circles with 200′ and 500′ radius with the centers at the blaze. And if some landmarks or recognizable places or beautiful photo locations (that people frequently visit) can be located on BOTH circles, then you have nailed the blaze IMO. And then probably you can back track the clues in the poem and double check whether your solve is the correct one or not.

    — MajinKing

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