The Nine Clues…Part Eighty One


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This is the place to discuss the nine clues…For instance:
What are the nine clues…
Forrest has told us that  “Begin it where warm waters halt” is the first clue. What is the next clue.

771 thoughts on “The Nine Clues…Part Eighty One

  1. GCG and JD

    I was speaking to Zap. He was discussing the two words that don’t rhyme, Walk and Halt and he was conjecturing that one word maybe so important that it could not be substituted.

    First Neither was change which means Joth are essential per Zaps line of thinikng.

    What I did was flip them to show that jituing changes meaning that are not important and it happens just as F said, he couldn’t figure a rhyme that fit.

    • Lug: IMO, the hints he wanted to maintain trumped the rhyming of the 5th and 7th lines. Keeping halt and walk was much better than making those lines rhyme.

      • Zap

        You don’t think that halt is the original word in that poem that was worked on for years do you?


          • Hi McB,

            Mancos does not mean “halt” in Spanish. A “manco” is a one-armed man.

            -Spanglish Teacher

          • I know Lisa,

            Halt = Coxo Pt.
            Cojo Sp. = Coxo / Manco Pt.
            Mancos Sp. = Faulty En. = Coxo Pt.

            I just related to one another.

            After all, TTOTC is an enigma.

            Thanks : )

      • Lugnutz: I don’t single out “halt” as being some magic word that he had to get right. I think it’s the right word for the clue as far as its meaning, and it has the added benefit of being part of a hint (IMO).

        I’ve been gone skiing since last Friday, so I’m only now catching up on the hundreds of posts I missed. For instance, in The Nine Clues 80, I see you posted an altered version of the first two stanzas, with the rhyming words swapped. I don’t think it’s too big of a clue to say that doing so in the first stanza destroyed a hint (IMO). But doing so in the second stanza destroyed three clues and two hints (again, in my opinion).

        • Mammoth. Unfortunately, rained much of Friday and Saturday, but bluebird conditions on Sunday.

          • We love Mammoth and go there frequently. Too bad about the rain. We were there on the day of the avalanche last month. My son was the only one of us that was able to get a run in and he was not far from where the avalanche happened. We ended up leaving for home without getting slope time but thankful that we avoided the avalanche.

          • Hi Aaron: yeah, I had buddies up at Mammoth just days after the avalanche. As I’m sure you know since you were actually there (!), it started at Climax and came all the way down Upper Dry Creek before ending near chair 5. Very fortunate that no one was killed — I think it happened at around 10:15 am, which is prime time for crowds.

            There was little evidence of the avalanche this past weekend. But plenty of avalanche control mortar fire pre-dawn Saturday morning!

          • Hello, just wandering if Fenn has ever said if the clues were not associated with a man made structure? I know he said the treasure wasn’t but not sure about the clues.
            Thank you!!

    • I said this once before…maybe he just didn’t like the word “balk”…it rhymes with walk…either that or Zap may be right…

      • SuzyQ

        Zap doesn’t know that half remains unchanged. Halt may be a last second change driving to the printer.

        For me Halt is easily replaceable. For Zap Walk could only be replaced with another word beginning with W. Much of his solve hangs on the one letter.

        • I don’t know if halt is easily replaceable. Based on my theory, you could not say end because it would make the reality of where the waters halt confusing.

          • Halt is the key word! It is the only word that dose not fit the poems rhythm . IMO It also is a major clue for where you have to begin. As Fenn has said, “there are many places WWWH in the Rockies, MOST are North of Santa Fe.

      • Lugnutz: your theories about what I believe halt/walk’s purpose is are off-target. Halt is irreplaceable without changing something else in the poem. You can’t just swap in any synonym you like — even one that rhymes better. And balk is a poor synonym for halt in the context of how Forrest is using it, IMO. Meaning trumps rhyming.

        • Zap

          On so then BTFTW being the same letters as FWTBT no longer matters to your solve?

          I mean, I know Fenn said he was in deed referring to AFTA and he purposely swapped the name of the war, but I didn’t read anything where you abandoned your 5 letters.

          Did I miss it?

          Love the search bar btw!


        • Lugnutz: not sure where you got the idea that the BTFTW letters weren’t relevant to my solution. They’re extremely relevant. That has never changed. IMO, failure to recognize them for what they are is the reason that early searchers never solved more than the first two clues.

          • Zap

            There was a response from you saying it didn’t matter to you if halt and walt were switched.

            Or maybe someone jumped in and responded and I thought it was you??

          • Hi Lugnutz: I certainly wouldn’t have said it didn’t matter if halt and walk were switched. I don’t recall seeing someone else posting that, since if I had read such a post I would have strongly disagreed.

  2. Begin it where…….may be the first clue, but it is possible you have to use the first stanza to figure out
    Begin it where…….

  3. GCG wrote:

    The searcher who discovers the clues will:
    – Be positive
    – Be deliberate
    – Be confident
    – Be precise
    – Be smiling

    I ask everyone; What does this suggest you about the nature of the treasure hunt and the clues?

    The solutions to the clues are self evident. Any ambiguity will be on purpose but also part of it. They must have a corroboration mechanism.

    • Oz10, I am all five of the GCG list. Above all, I am most positive… The snow cannot melt too fast!

      • The end is ever drawing nigh Slurbs lol. GCG thinks he has a bead on it too. This thing should be over by the end of June by the sound of it.

    • Oz10

      What do you mean in your comment above by “self-evident” and purposeful ambiguity?

      Something else I’d like to point out about Forrest Fenn’s comments regarding how the searcher will “be” or feel. It isn’t really relevant to how the searcher will actually feel.

      His comments are hypothetical storytelling regarding some hypothetical searcher, but they are informed by his full understanding of the poems clues and are a strong hint to their nature…

      They are meant to tell us something about what we are looking for in the poem — NOT how we should feel about our solutions…

      Each of us can easily FEEL confident or positive or precise or deliberate and be smiling smuggling in our dens, but this is not what its about because its easy to fool oneself in a mysterious treasure hunt for riches new and old!

      What its about is the poem, its nine clues and their CORRECT interpretation.

      Those 9 clues (or the clues you figure out regardless, of if you count them or not) must be REVEALING in a very specific way, such that they would DIRECT a person or a reader to a specific place to start and a specific place to end and a specific way to get from beginning to end.

      If, your solution or your interpretations of the poem doesn’t provide a definitive start, a definitive way, and a definitive end;
      Then, its NOT a correct solution.

      Thinking that a line in the poem references some place in the Rockies and then going to that place and looking under bushes and kicking over logs & stones, trying to spot a blaze — That ain’t how this thing was designed…



      • Like I told my wife originally:

        “Either we know EXACTLY where we’re going,
        Or we don’t go!”


        • Lug,

          It is difficult to gauge the intonation of comments and so its difficult to know if there is sarcasm in your comment or the impression you believe I’m really on to something (or both simultaneously which is certainly possible). Regardless, I will answer you earnestly…

          My series of comments regarding Forrest comments in the degree of certainty the poem provides was intended to present Forrest own statements on the poem and no so much mine. I understand that I’m the one pulling them out and that all of these are known to many of the searchers however when seen in aggregate all together, they seem to strongly imply an exactness in the correct interpretation of the poems clues.

          Do you disagree with what I’m pointing out or do you feel there is a more substantial or at least equally substantial way to interpret that collection of comments from Forrest?

          But to answer your question another way; tonight I was watching “A Gypsies Kiss” panel discussions on various topics and was thinking that perhaps I should do some Youtube videos on approaching the solving of Forrest Fenn’s poem. Especially in the light of all the Youtubing I see people doing, most are so unspecific and all over the place. I really love SeanNM’s evolution of a Poem Purist precisely because it address approach. It looks at how the mind works as it proceeds down the path of solving the poem and I believe mindset and approach is absolutely key since Forrest has told us the solution is straight forward and all you have to do is “think the right things..” He has gone further saying the poem is like 90% thinking and 10% doing.

          An anecdote I’m particular fond of is how Astronauts approach problems versus the average person.

          If you allot an Astronaut 10 seconds to solve a problem they have never seen before, they will take 9 seconds to plan and 1 second to act. This is in stark contrast to the average person who will take 2 seconds to plan and 8 seconds to act. What the Astronaut realizes that the average person doesn’t is 1 second of precisely targeted action is worth 100 times that of inaccurate or imprecise actions…


          • CGC

            I am interested to know how you think the poem should be used because you certainly seem to be criticizing the way others see it.


          • Fundamental,
            Your handle is ironic given the topic… but to answer your question; I can’t do a better job in answering your question than seanm does in his YouTube talk regarding inefficiencies as a searcher.


            There is no harm in numerous trips and each of us requires different things to continue making forward progress but at some point you have to leave the comfort of the armchair and vice-a-versa at some number of empty trials, you need to return to the arm chair.

            Tony Robbins says:
            “When we succeed we party, when we fail we ponder.”


        • Cowbell,

          I have been BOTG 3 times but only 2 were fruitful – my last time was too late in the search season — ugh!

          Yes, Forrest has my exact solution along with my journey of its discovery…

          I have believed myself to be at least 80% of the way there from nearly the beginning (after I realized my first solve was a piece of imaginative, confirmation bias).

          The remaining 20% didn’t come easy since I had become fixated (I left the poem and went into my own imagination again) on something in the clues and this kept me from seeing the absolute correct interpretations of the final clues…


      • GCG, you asked what those 5 points suggest about the nature of the treasure hunt and the clues. To be positive, deliberate, confident and precise to me it means not going with a hunch. So each clue should tie to the next in order for the whole thread to be correct.

        The smiling part imo comes at the end. I think it has to do with the figurative vs the literal meaning of the poem. Maybe even with the place itself or some other paradox. That “what took me so long?” moment I guess.

        • Oz10,

          There is even a 6th phrase presented by Forrest at the end of TFTW on the backside of the map which I feel is even more powerful:

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

          So if you rephrase this for the opposite case:

          “I promised the path would be direct and certain for the one who was sure of the location before going.”

          That is why the searcher who finds the treasure will most likely go with a smile on their face, a skip in their step and a whistle on their lips — because the “correct solution” is comprehensively coherent and self confirming. Such that when figured out will leave little doubt in the searchers mind to its likely CERTAINTY.


          • GCG,
            Yep, I agree with the overall concept.
            However, I think it still needs a bit more breaking down.

            fenn’s comment seems to imply that certainty of the location will give up the direct path to where the chest lays in wait.
            Yours, seems to imply that the path will be known by the location of the solve / the hide. [ if I read it correct ]

            And there is the catch 22, imo. Exactly what “location” is fenn referring to?
            The hide ~ the overall solve of 9 clues, and not just a general area?
            Knowing the location ~ of all the clues beforehand_?_ to have that certainty, confidence, of now solving the clues correctly.

            This is why I have been bouncing around the idea two comments [ ‘Need to now where to start” and “need to start at the beginning”] are not one in the same, yet closely related.

            Basically saying; We need to know where the clues are at, before we can know where the clues lead… and maybe why this “location” is special.
            That also would change the ideas, of what some think, fenn means by his special place… the hide itself or the location.
            Even IF we can decipher a clue’s “reference” That doesn’t say we “know” of their correct location, and again, why that location.

            If we [ or at least I am ] are looking for the idea of; “What took me so long?” Does that come before or after a completed solve?
            The Idea of figuring out that “important possibility” to winning the prize. Which seems to be something we need to understand about one aspect of solving the poem… so where and when do we know of this?
            Could it be the reason for the location of the clues-?- and he never had any other place in mind?

            ~Folks have deciphered the first two clues, and walked by everything else, right!… what was it they didn’t understand-?- on site and supposedly the important first clue?
            ~Others got to the starting “point” but were oblivious to the connection with the poem.
            LOL it seems that anyone who is on location of all the clues are missing a connection, regardless of deciphered clues or not… IMO.

            That is why I say the comment about the “path” and “Location” might be the most important comment fenn has given all [and stated from the very start of this challenge].

            Your last comment in your post is, imo, a correct thought. But you talk about the “solve” [assuming you mean deciphering 9 clues that leads to the chest].
            Yet, without the knowledge of where they are located… Well… we see what is happening in four states… everyone has confidence of ‘their’ solve, because the deciphered clues fit perfectly where they hope it should be.
            That is a fantastic blueprint to build from… But before we build, don’t we need a place to call home?

          • GCG and Seeker, In my understanding, If one can use the clues in the poem, the hints in the book, and 95% of Mr. Fenns ATF comments, as well as doing what Seeker suggests as checks and balances, and still they all fit together like a hand in glove, leaving oneself 99% confident in your solve, then most likely you have it nailed down. One last thing, If you can find the Shadow Man from the cover of TFTW in your solve, you WILL have an Ah-Ha moment. All in my opinion, and that’s all folks. Waiting for the mud to dry.

          • Seeker

            Here’s what I think.

            Chasers identify wwh but instead of staying on the path to Indulgence they head off down a canyon.

            And I think you know that. By the way McB may have the starting spot.


    • [Well], I declare . . . that’s a nice (kind, gentle) hint you provided.

      Thank you for the subtlety. IMO.

    • GCG. My opinion is that the clues are related to each other. Perhaps as in coffee, cream, mug. Or, as in part of a story that Fenn is telling. In this way, the clues would validate each other, and finding the first clue would make the subsequent clues easier to solve, as Forrest has indicated.

      • coffee, cream, mug ??

        What do you mean, I do not understand.

        Can you explain it to me ?; I do not have the book.

        • Not from the book. That was just an example of three things that are related to each other because they are often used together. My point is that the clues are related to each other in some way. Not just a random set of clues. That, to me, is how you can be confident of your solution and go with confidence to the treasure. The book may give hints to the relationship between the clues. For example, perhaps the clues are all related to fly fishing, or art, or archaeology, or to something else in Fenn’s life.

          • All the clues and all the comments he makes and pretty much everything he does can be related to fly fishing.

            That’s my opinion.


          • Nice Lug, I have a couple general ideas similar to that line of thinking, but to state it more clearly, it seems many want to assume a ‘Theme’ to the solve, I’m not totally sold on that working, due to the layers idea, but ‘simplify’ seems to counter those thoughts.

  4. Random thought for the evening. . .

    What are the chances that Fenn hid the treasure near a child’s playground/area?

    • Kal,
      I think the chances are as good as near anything else on the landscape. A play area may even be a little higher odds considering the iron fire escape (a child’s slide) that FF remembers so fondly in TTOTC. Is that why you asked your question, or is there another reason?

      • You’re uncanny good. I was just ruminating on some things and crossing items off my list.

    • That depends on the definition of “near”, one might reasonably suppose.
      (And I hardly consider the question a “Random thought”.)


    • Kal-
      IMO chances not good. Originally Forrest was going to leave his body with the treasure. He said that even though he lived he still hid it in the same place.

      I don’t think Forrest would leave his body to decay near a children’s playground. Again though just my opinion.

  5. Dodo bird,

    On the previous 9 clues page you mentioned searching Slough Creek and finding a Skippy peanut butter jar.

    I was on 2 searches last year in the same general area (not Yellowstone) and on one search found 3 concrete test cylinders within about 20’ of a “in a word, yes” blaze and at the base of evergreen all covered in pine needles. Nothing.

    Then a few hundred yards away on a hiking trail I found a trail marker on the downhill side of a tree 15-20’ below the trail. I almost missed it because it was on the wrong side of the tree. Then off that trail another 100 yards or so was another trail marker pointing down to the base of a tree. Nothing there………..except some fairly fresh bear scat.

    The following day I found a large sheet of tar paper laying out in the woods in some tall grass off the same trail but at a different location. And finally, when I was at what I thought was the marvel gaze and near some thick underbrush, of all things, I found an old rusty shovel just laying there. That got the blood pumping for sure, but again nothing.

    I’m thinking people are copying parts of the Chase for their own fun hunts, like the Boy or Girl Scouts, or something like that.

    Take care………Pinatubocharlie

  6. I finally put boots on the ground today in New Mexico. I was stopped by two private roads with a gate. I am going to stay out of the Canyons. Forest at 80 years old could not hike back up without having a heart attack. It was so fun to have boots on the ground again though. It is so important to get out there. I found an old 60s pick up truck that someone tumbled down the hill that i thought was the blaze. At least I was on the hunt and I felt great.

    • I’ll have any kinds morning I like, thank you very little… [ insert ‘winky’ the emoji ]

  7. Hi all out there. Any of you guys & gals native Americans and can do a sun dance to milt this snow in the mountains.Hay waita minute my great great great grand mother was full blooded Charokee may be some left in me.I will give it a try as soon is I can learn one. I have had my solve all worked out cents November.I hope there are a lot of centsssss where I am looking I will go in with a smile and hope I come out with the biggest grin anybody has ever seen!

  8. Hi Whiskeyeyes

    I don’t know you but I have known a lot of whiskey eyes.

    I would say flip it. Maybe the first clue is Warm Waters Halt.

    So he asks Begin it where? And answers Warm waters halt.

    This allows you to focus on the words as a clue to a location as opposed to a direction or instruction.

    Let’s say I wanted to reference Castle Rock.
    The clue could be Stone Keep.

    I write:
    From the hound the stone keep,
    A masters work is nigh begun.
    Settle tightly fast to sleep,
    Dream of rabbits on the run!

    • Lug,
      I like your poem and the thought process of this and I apologize if my comments have seemed critical to you … my intent has been only to compile different Forrest Fenn comments in, order to perhaps help in reconciling some of the passionate opposing opinions on the forum. Also by limiting my input to compiling Forrest’s thoughts I’ve attempted to NOT be presumptuous — perhaps I’m failing…


      • CGC

        How about in your comments about Toby?

        You seem to be saying that Toby, and others, are misguided in the way that approach the peom.

        Well then, tell me how is wrong in his approach. Or simply tell me how your approach works?


        • Lug,
          I mentioned Toby by name only twice and that was asking the question: does he follow HOD and the hot topics?

          And I paraphrased Toby’s idea that Forrest didn’t initially have a poem, he had a “map” or set of directions which he converted into a poem.

          I don’t know if this is absolutely true but I think it’s a potentially powerful way to approach understanding the poem and discovering it’s clues.

          I think this is a very solid approach and was being very complimentary of Toby…

          I mentioned Gypsy’s Kiss once saying, they are all over the place…

          But I enjoy their presentations and Toby’s ideas are fantastic for keeping the juices flowing. the recent panel discussions are very good. Seanm is a strong addition IMO.

          I whole heartedly agree with the Poem Purist approach but not an absolutist about it Because I know the architect said read the book, it contains strong hints which will or could assist you with THE POEM.

          I believe that Stanza #2 is by far the most important and gets you 80% there since Forrest said if a person successfully solved only the first few clues, it was not impossible for them to find the treasure.

          This is in perfect alignment with the 2 clues and 200 feet and striking distance comments also made by Forrest.

          I believe all 9 clues correctly interpreted provide the 100% precision & certainty promised by Forrest in both his books TTOTC & TFTW.

          Those are some of my overall arching premises…


        • Lug,

          My specific approach to searching and numbers of searches…

          I believe people who are seriously in the hunt and/or participating heavily in the Forums do so for varied psychological reasons and the Chase feeds or fulfills or any number of other adjectives – their hearts, minds and souls. So the number of searches that will be made by the eventual finder is an individual quest!

          However the Architect suggest that if you don’t have where to begin, then don’t delude yourself – you are mostly on a vacation or a different adventure than his designed treasure hunt…

          So I believe it is possible to armchair it and go almost straight to the Treasure, especially if you had experience in the great outdoors (I.e hunters, fishers, hikers & rednecks even…) on your first search or attempt.

          “Possible but not likely in practice”

          I believe it’s designed to that degree but if it were somehow possible for a person to know they absolutely had only the first clue correct, then and only in that case would I say reconnoiter would be warranted. Otherwise I’m back to the belief a searcher should have Stanza #2 fully understood prior to making trips…

          That’s my approach and direct advice.


  9. GCG you stated:

    “My series of comments regarding Forrest comments in the degree of certainty the poem provides was intended to present Forrest own statements on the poem and no so much mine. I understand that I’m the one pulling them out and that all of these are known to many of the searchers however when seen in aggregate all together, they seem to strongly imply an exactness in the correct interpretation of the poems clues.”

    In summary, finding EXACTNESS in “Geographical Terms” ie. a precise location expressed would be either a GPS coordinate or in the ancient method, the one I am most familiar with is an analog term referred to in navigation on any good map as “Latitude and Longitude”.

    Realize that all 4 states left in the Chase have almost their total, and exact borders based on this measurement. That exact beginning of these 4 states borders is a 32 degrees latitude. All pilots, sea captains and travelers, even astronauts use such readings to draw a tangent and steer a course from beginning somewhere and ending exactly somewhere else…Right?

    So let’s say that Tom Terrific wants to tell you how to find an exact place on the earth, say in the Rockies and I said hey GCG, begin it where warm waters halt, is it possible that even a child knows 32 degrees is where water Halts, but Mr Terrific says we speak of WATERS, and he said take it in the Canyon Down, only two rivers flow out of the Rockies south or down, and both cross the 32nd parallel at the Texas Border, one is the Pecos and one is the Rio Grande, but in Old Mexico they refer to these waters as the “Rio Bravo” or Bold River. So once again, what does a hint look like to a kid? What if I said “And with my treasures bold, and HINT of RIches new and Old.

    Sometimes a hint works better than a clue, ask any kid. Don’t tell em the answer, just the hint.

    Now after the Civil War a dispute was taken to the Supreme Court to resolved the EXACT border of New Mexico and Colorado and 37 degrees latitude which even then was an exact spot, there are exactly 5 degrees of latitude from (between) the border of NM, at TX to the exact Colorado Border, another words there is exactly 5 lines in the poem until you reach WWWH, the next border between Colorado and Wyoming is also 4 degrees, the 4th line is put in below the home of Brown. I think you get where I am leading this, so no more hints, just take a compass reading from Santa Fe, and steer a course to Lander Wy, it is 348 Degrees NNW, same number of days ff spent in Nam, so if you are starting to understand the math, you might be searching where TT is looking and I will tell you that this would explain how many have come within 500′ but only a few within 200′ now ask yourself why we must walk over 1.29 miles from where you park to get within 200′ while many are within 500 but don’t know it and could not do anything about it….either.


  10. Although Fenn said “don’t mess with my poem” , it seems that broadly interpreting some of the clues used would help with Geographic locations. Like Begin WWWH, this would most likely be while he was still driving as later clue is “not too far but too far to walk”

    • Ann DeLong, Forrest did say to look at the Big Picture someplace, well all 4 states are shaped like Pictures aren’t they? Personally I like my pictures border framed in Wood.


  11. “PSSSST. I know where it ’tis. Yes, I do, I most truly, truly do. Hee hee. I was right there when Forrest hid it. Yes, I was. I most truly, truly was. Hee hee. But I ain’t sayin’ nuthin’ without first gettin’ paid for it. I want bananas. Loads of bananas and then I’ll talk. Leave ’em side the road off highway 126 and I’ll replace ’em with a map next day. Hee hee. Any takers?”

    —Petey the Porcupine

    • Sparrow, if you like Banana Stories, there is a good one told by Forrest’s father, I wrote all about it in “Winter Thoughts” by Tom Terrific, just type it into the search line here on Dals blog, on March 9th 2017, just before ff posted a trove of scrapbooks in late March and April.

      No one would believe me at first when I said “Forrest father would know where he hid the Treasure” also note that I had the first clue correct before it was confirmed by Radio New Zealand.

      Some one may find it this summer, and I submit it will be found near a Border.


  12. Somehow a word was sprinkled into page 9 of the Thrill Book and it Borders on what seemed to be Important to the Literary meaning of a large Hint, IMO, later on page 11 an invented word from ff’s imagination sprang into view, even though Forrest said it was still raining outside, it seemed odd that in the beginning sentence he said that not one, but TWO “Border Line Biddies” were causing him a loss of patience. what I can’t understand is why he was not shopping at Collected Works Books, he did donate the entire proceeds from the “Thrill Book” to them…didn’t he? Something fishy is going on here..right, Once upon a While, you may fish upon a star.

    I will remind all the searchers in this hunt that the easiest place to hide a TC is where the least populated areas exist, and when population density is considered, the borders are usually where the least number of people are clustered, it is also the best marked latitude and longitude.

    Just a little food for thought.


    • I agree Tom – Indulgence is NEAR “A” border. The question is: Which border? “The end is ever drawing nigh.” One definition of end = border or boundary. There are LOTS of borders or boundaries out there. I personally doubt that the border or boundary to YNP is the one we are looking for JMO – JDA

    • As any Santa Fean would tell you, parking was far more accessible at Borders than it ever was or will be at CW. By the time he published TTOTC (or that same year), Borders had gone bankrupt and closed it’s stores nationwide.

      But your question is intriguing. Do you think he purposefully shopped at Borders those two times for the sole purpose of creating a hint to plant in his memoirs, or do you think he was a CW loyalist and completely fabricated his encounters at Borders just to have the opportunity to introduce the notion of a border in the chase?

      • aardvarkbark, Borders and those itty, border line biddies tell me that those boundaries between states are actually itty bitty lines, but they intrigue me more because it was sprinkling and on page 9.

        Look closely at any map on a border and it is simply itty biddie lines. I think that is the message, and “The Important Literature” as well as WW1. 32 degrees is where warm waters halt and become ICE>


        • I get it — borders are narrow (just exactly how wide is the border between two states, anyhow?).

          But your observation that Fenn appears to favor CW, yet shopped at Borders, raises the broader question —

          Did he engage in activity for the sole purpose of planting a hint in his memoirs, or are some of the antidotes in his memoirs fabricated in order to offer a hint.

        • Aardvarkbark: I’m going to go with latter — that is, assuming you meant “anecdotes”. 😉

  13. That’s easy.

    He went to the horrible borders to buy a stupid book and the people there were terrible.
    All as he would have predicted.

  14. “Now, what if I wanted to secret a can of Dr. Pepper under a rock in the cooling waters of a rivulet somewhere in my allotted public acreage?” f

    Is the chest in some park?

    WWWH = City / River?

    CD = City / River within the canyon?

    TFTW = distance from WWWH to the beginning (high) or end (low) of the CD?

    HoB = a river? a rock? Legnite?

    No meek = brave?

    nigh = left?

    “your creek” = dry creek ?

    HL and WH = follow erosion to Blaze?

    Wise = Search in South?

    In “under” of a different stone (Blaze)?

    “Look quickly”, leave quickly, without being noticed by the guard or someone?

  15. First hint:
    1 key – this spring water is cold, the source is the key!
    What say?

  16. Yep it was around 10:15, just after I found a parking place half a mile away. My son was doing roller coaster around that time. They started shutting down all of the lifts, initially telling us it was due to viability. When they even shut down the rope tow I knew something was wrong. We actually hiked a little ways up the mountain, and me in my snow skates, just to get a little action. One person was buried that they took away in an ambulance but thankfully nobody was killed. The next day would have been a good day to go out but we were already headed home.

  17. Seeker on March 19, 2018 at 4:59 pm said:

    Few can be tricky in its usage…”

    Lifting this quote from Seeker as he, Ken and others were talking about the word “few”.

    I’m about to jump into the middle of the discussion, and admit that I have not read the discussion completely to the end, but I’d like to throw in a couple of pennies worth…

    If I were to say, only a few folks have been in outer space, and even a few of them have walked on the moon. Generally speaking, no one in their right mind would be thinking less than six people. If I were to say, it’s only been a few millennia since the formation of the Andes mountains, most of us get the idea that it is a lot of years. In like manner, a few miles is a lot of steps.

    The word few tends to be ambiguous in a good way. It helps us to inexactly define a range of numbers without having to take the time to define all the nuances involved. The maddening part of it is that it is imprecise. CIE – context is everything when analyzing written literature.

    My caution in this discussion is that none of us try to shoehorn an idea or concept where it doesn’t naturally fit.

    And my foreign friends on this blog are at a great disadvantage because of American idioms.

    All in my opinion.

    • Truth … translating is complicated. (Brazil)

      On the other hand I am “obliged” to think of “all definitions”.

      This may even help or hinder.

      I see it in a way that Americans do not usually see.

      In my case, I still know a little bit of Spanish, which is “very” used in NM and CO.

      So everything ends up being the same, without the CT in hands yet …

  18. Did Mr. Fenn ever say there are ONLY nine clues in the poem?

    I have a solution to the riddle but I’m not in a position to see if it’s right. I’m not looking to form a partnership but I am happy to share.


    • Casper;

      I am not aware of him saying “ONLY” nine clues, but here are two quotes:

      “There are nine clues in the poem, and the clues are in consecutive order. If you want to find the treasure chest – you have my book there – I’ll tell you how to do it. Read the book just normally … the poem and the rest of the book, and then go back and read the poem 6, 8, 10 times – study every line, every word. Then after you do that, read the book again, slowly, with the idea of looking for clues or hints, that are in the book that will help you follow the clues. You can find the chest with just the clues, but there are hints in the book that will help you with the clues.” f

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

      He says he “…wrote a poem with nine clues” – and he says, “There are nine clues in the poem” – I interpret these quotes to mean ONLY nine clues. You may interpret it differently – JDA

      • I think you need to add another ATF comment, JDA.
        ~A clue gets you closer to the chest >>> hints help with the clues, If you can understand that.

        The poem seemingly “contains” 9 pieces of UN-deciphered clues, that might be, the only things that will “lead” to the chest.
        LOL, but there must be something that “leads” to the clues, right? ~ “There are many wwwh in the RM’s and nearly all are N. of SF. you over simply the clues ” {get the dart set out, we have a lot of hiking to do}

        IMO, and attempting to answer the question of “only 9 clues” MY answer would be a definite Yes [ clues that will “lead” to the chest]. However, is that all that is in the poem?

        Here’s my question; IF the clues lead to the chest, What leads to the clues? Regardless of how many clues there are.

        • seeker from santa fe going north you are already driving in a canyon so if you go to wwwh and you take it in the canyon down it says to me and its just my opinon that from santa fe its not far but to far to walk – to wwwh and hob

        • For my solution I have a starting point then nine clues that lead to an end spot. To get to my starting point I had to solve what I’d treat as other clues. So my solution is based on more than nine clues. Perhaps this means my solution is wrong, but both sets of “clues” work in consecutive order.

          I’m not able to check out my solution, I can only offer to share it. Perhaps someone can give an objective opinion.


  19. So JDA,
    I also interpret Forrest words to mean exactly what they say; 9 clues in the poem which can lead one to the treasure (precisely). But the one quote from the Santa Fe with Lorene Mills Interview 5/2011 & this one from Mysterious Writings:

    “That’s right joseph, you should start with the first clue and follow the others consecutively to the treasure.” – 12/11/2014

    Are the two where he states that the 9 clues are in a consecutive order…

    However I have spent some time think about how to reconcile these comments with his statement in May of 2017 “Lure Screening” impromptu stage interview, where he’s asked; “Has anyone determined the nine clues and what they represent?” and his response was: “I don’t know that anybody has told me the clues in the right order.”

    If someone prior to May of 2017 had figured out all the clues correctly, then how could they be in anything other than the correct order, if they are consecutive?

    What do you guys think?


    • GCG;

      I am not sure that I have the correct answer to your question, but I have a possible answer.

      When I first started the quest, I was in the 9 sentences = nine clues camp.
      So, for me at that time, clue #1 was stanza #1. Clue #2 was the first three lines of Stanza #2, and clue #3 was the last line of Stanza #2 – etc.

      So, If I wrote Forrest and said that my solution is as follows:

      Clue #1 (Stanza #1) = Something
      Clue #2 (1st 3 lines of Stanza #2) = Something else and
      Clue #3 (Last line id Stanza #2) = an additional something …

      Let’s now say that for Forrest, Clue #1 is BIWWWH – ATIITCD
      and that Forrest’s Clue #2 is NFBTFTW and Clue #3 = PIBTHOB.

      Let’s then say that MY clue #2 and #3 are correct. Forrest could then say that someone (me) had figured out all of the clues (in this case clues #2 and #3) correctly, but not in the correct order – Since to Forrest the correct order would be My #2 clue = His #1 clue, My #3 clue = his #2 clue.

      I hope that this is not too confusing – Just something to ponder. JDA

      P.S. I have NO idea what Forrest considers as Clue #1, #2, or #3 etc….
      Other that that Clue #1 is BIWWWH – (it may or may not include ATIITCD)

      • JDA,
        I see what you are saying but using your example; since your clue #1 isn’t Forrest Clue #1 and therefore somewhere through the entire list of 9 Clues, you will either not end with the same #9 as Forrest or you will miss one on the way through the poem to #9.

        To me, he is either saying; that a some point various searchers have mentioned all the correct interpretations of the clues BUT no one searcher had put them all together at that point…
        He is hinting at something deeper about the poem and its clues…


        • My latest though is the the “blaze” is scarring from a wildfire that occurred close to the time that Fenn placed the treasure. This is particularly tricky as now the vegetation will be green and traces of the blaze are not obvious unless you are specifically looking for them.

          • Fenn said: “The clues did not exist when I was a kid but most of the places the clues refer to did. I think they might still exist in 100 years but the geography probably will change before we reach the next millennia.” I stand by what I said

          • Good luck to Ya’. I was in Yellowstone last year. I was in places that the 1988 fire devastated. Blackened trees can still be seen, but on the ground, there are NO signs that a fire ever went through these areas – Nature is SOOOO good at repairing herself – Just a thought – JDA

    • Just because he said he didn’t know that anybody had told him the clues in the right order doesn’t mean that no one has solved the clues in the right order. Someone could have told him the area where they thought the chest was hidden and described it in detail enough for him to know it was correct. But that person would never have to have explained the solution to each of the clues.

      Some others may have even told him the correct solution to certain clues but not all of them in the correct order.

      • John,
        It’s possible someone has solve the challenge/clues. And it wouldn’t surprise me that many, if not all the clues [ up to the blaze ] have been mentioned on the blogs.
        The problem is only with what we know of; first two clues and possibly the four first clues solved in order and nobody seems to know they did [ by what fenn has stated ]
        All the hypothetical scenarios aside, the logical reason should be… even if deciphered clues are right in front us [ on paper and /or on site ] we’re missing something. because those who have been close [ on site ]… missed everything.

        It really doesn’t matter if fenn knows ‘everyone’ solves or not… He does seem to imply by his many comments… no one, who he has been contacted by [ many many searchers ], has the personal understanding that they solved anything.

        That alone should raise eyebrows… Not the idea of someone is close, The idea that they can be and not know they are.

        • I’ll add this thought as well; Fenn’s gut feeling about the chest maybe found… Might be nothing more that something stated on the blogs, rather than an e-mail. Something that fenn may think, IF someone can tie the knot to a bloggers comment, They should be able to unravel it.
          Ha! that should send more into lurk mode.

          End of commentary.

        • Seeker,

          (0-0) Eyebrows raised. Do you really think that is a possibility, those who solved the first 2 or even 4 didn’t know it? Based on the ‘many’ comments…

          • Oz…I have had raised eyebrows for quite some time on this one. There have been occasions where Fenn has stated “figured out” in terms of 1st two Clues. The disconnect seems to be moving on to the 3rd clue. Could be just a total misconception about what the 3rd clue represents.

          • Ken, I guess we can assume that they did not have the first clue nailed down nor they were at the starting point because they passed the others. The clues took them to the general area but not to the ‘spot’ or starting point. Some have been at that spot by aberration not knowing the significance.

            Is there a clue within a clue? Does WWH takes you to an area and also to a specific spot within that ‘general area’???

          • Perhaps a “general” understanding of 1st…without connecting it further…so as to NOT have the correct start.
            It seems many have held fast to the premise that the overall distances involved may be much farther…looking too far ahead for next clue would cause folks to vacate proper location prematurely.

        • Seeker,

          I think when F said he has a gut feeling, is that someone is right on the mark with a complete solution. He also said that with his gut feeling that it would be sometime this summer. Someone has more than likely presented their solution to F and when they intended on going to retrieve the chest.

          There is no other reason for F to mention his comment. If for anything else that he was informed of he would not have said anything.

          Just IMO

          • It is imo that F’s comment possibly was to stir more interest in the chase but then again maybe you are correct.

          • Agree. I believe a correct solve has been presented to him. I don’t think he would specify a time (day, month, season, etc.) for the TC being found without a solid reason to make the statement.
            Just my two cents.

          • Maybe a correct solve was presented, but the searcher didn’t say when he/she would be going on his/her search. So the gut feeling is a guess as to WHEN the searcher is going, not whether the solve is 100% correct.

    • GCG,

      Does it have anything to do with the other comment where he said someone may have solved 3 and 4 but he wasn’t sure? They got the order wrong (1,2,4,3) or they continue to miss the starting point…

  20. locolobo on March 20, 2018 at 2:15 pm said:
    “Well, I’m late to the party again. Don’t have the inclination, or time, to figure out where this goes, above, so I’ll just drop it here.

    March 30, 2013 – Adam the Adventurer: I wrote Forrest and asked how can someone be 500 feet away and only solve 2 of the 9 clues? Forrest stated that it was 2 different searchers..(Searcher comment from Dal’s site)

    Feb. 4, 2016 – “There have been some who have been within 500 feet because they have told me where they have been. OTHERS have figured the first two clues and went right past the treasure and didn’t know it.”..( NM Tourism video)

    ***It would seem that in 2016, Fenn confirmed what A the A stated, four years earlier……the 500 feet folks are separate/different from those who have solved two clues.

    The 500 feet searchers apparently had detailed to Fenn where they had been in their travels, searching or otherwise…..and Fenn knew they were within 500 feet, at some point…..who knows what took them there??

    Without a doubt, hopefully at some point, the solving of the first two clues will allow you to progress to within 500 feet of the chest…..but so far, for me, none of his comments indicate that the start point is 500 feet, or 200 feet, from the chest.

    just half of .02……….. ”

    Still playing catch-up on this thread, so maybe someone else has already said this, but what if both groups of 200 footers and 500 footers just “guessed” correctly? (Horseshoes, jarts and hand-grenades, etc.) What if they did not know nor have confidence when entering the wood where Indulgence lay? It would explain a lot of speculation. So, at the risk of sounding like I am harping, just maybe there is a riddle or more to solve within the poem that gives/leads you with pinpoint precision to the rewards in the wood? It also shoots holes in the logic that you have to be on site to figure out the remaining clues – for those in that camp.

    • It does shoot holes for sure…some just cannot see that. Although…I do believe botg is necessary for the last clue to be discovered. Thanks for sharing and bringing this up …….again.

    • swwot, I agree with what you presented here…just maybe there is a riddle or more to solve within the poem that gives/leads you with pinpoint precision to the rewards in the wood?

      I see a lot of trying to solve the first clue (wwwh) by focusing on different types of warm water solutions like hot springs or state regulations on warm/cold waters. My guess is that none of the thinking about categories of warm waters is gonna help solve for the correct wwwh. Just like thinking of different types of blazes, hoB or canyons won’t help find any of those, respectively.

      My guess is a riddle in the first stanza is what we should try to solve that points to the correct wwwh.

  21. I’m curious about the layers people speak of to the poem. I understand that there is the literal meaning of the poem as in the “map”, as well as a metaphorical meaning. I recognize there are many different ways the poem could correspond to multiple avenues of thought in order to solve (for example other literature, lat/lon, ciphers (whatever you’re into to solve it.). What I don’t understand is if there are only 9 clues, then there should only be 9 answers in regard to the “map” aspect of the poem, IMO…so the layers thing as a means to solve using different “themes” doesn’t make much sense to me, unless you have a single answer for each clue. Perhaps I am simple minded.

    • Hi KK;

      “Layers” is an interesting term – meaning several different things to different people – I would assume.

      As I have stated before, I think that the successful searcher has to take more than one trip through the poem. Trip #1 takes you from point A to point (n). The second trip, for me, takes me from point (n) to another final point – call it (?). If a third trip is necessary, it takes you from point (?) to another “end” point. Do you call each trip through the poem a “Layer” – one could, I guess, I choose not to call them that.

      During one stage of my solve, one of my “trips” took me on a “Side trip” that related to “Time” – going back in time a long, long way. Would this “Side trip” be considered a different “layer”? Probably. Was this “Side trip” necessary to solving the puzzle? In a way, I think that it was. It gave me one of the reasons “WHY” – It allowed me to look at “The Big Picture”. It gave me “Context” and “Reason”.

      So – Yes, and no. You decide. I just accept that following the clues (and hints) of the poem has led me to where I am on this path. Will this path lead me to Indulgence? I am confident that it will, but only time will tell. – JMO – JDA

      • JDA, If you are the clever one to solve this, and even if not, I do hope you share your solve. You have such a unique way of looking at things, it really pipes my curiosity sometimes. I follow on a basic level your MO in your solve. I think a global vision is pretty cool to consider.

        It is funny sometimes how words are used to describe different things by different people in regards to layers. I was just looking at my own solve, and realizing I have various definitions for each word in play, history, etc. that work in conjunction for each line to answer it so to speak. I supposed to some that would constitute layers. 🙂

        As always, happy hunting!

        • Thanks KK – You say unique way of looking at things – some would say crazy. Oh well, that’s me – unique or crazy, or possibly uniquely crazy or crazily unique.

          Good luck KK – and Happy hunting to you too – JDA

        • F, in 500 years all a person has is the poem, and no back story: they don’t know “in the rocky mountains north of Santa Fe” or that there are 9 clues etc. Could a person reasonably JUST USE THE WORDS IN THE POEM AND FIND YOUR TREASURE CHEST? Thank you ~ Nope
          Thank you Nope, NOPE. f

          You have said to read the poem and read TTOTC to help solve for the 9 clues. We all know there are many options to choose from regarding, Brown, hoB, wwh, and blaze hinted at in the book. My question is, “In the book, do you also, in a more subtle way, tell which is the CORRECT ANSWER TO ONE OR ALL OF THE ABOVE?” ~BW
          NO I DON’T MADAM, sorry. F

          The ‘layers” so to speak seem to be just the way the poem needs to be solved. In solving each line, that will yield certain answers, those answers are used to solve different aspects of the poem, with those aspects solved, they lead to a path a searcher must take. Along that path will be “clues” that are referenced within the poem. Once you have the chest, the references can be clear and the poem read and understood for it’s face value. So, going back to the poem is really what must happen to solve certain things within it to move on. You can call them layers, that’s what I call them, looks like 4-5 different layers within the poem. It’s what follows the first ATF mentioned above. You will not just use the words in the poem to find the chest. But, if the poem is all you need, then seeing the layers of the poem can back up that ATF.
          The second ATF is backed up by solving the poem and getting your path. You cannot solve for Brown, hoB, wwh, or the blaze, he says it flat out, but you can find them, and reference them in the poem. That layer of the poem will be understood after finding the chest.
          To get the chest, you need to solve the different layers of the poem until you have your path.

    • KK,

      For me there is one answer for each clue. Any other method I believe will not work.
      Just IMO

    • KK,

      I’m in the “layered” camp. Maybe even the “weaved” or “intermingled” camp. However you want to express it, there is more than meets the eye at first glance. I do not believe that every clue is married to a spot on a map, or even can be, though some clues are. It is also my opinion that part of the reason that Indulgence has not been found is because until all the correct views of the poem are discovered, Indulgence is safe for eternity. But that’s just me, and I am in a minority here on hoD.

  22. After reading recent comments, I went back to my notes from the evening of the movie screening, and one quote stood out to me: “Part of the problem is, they don’t focus on the first clue….You have to start with the first clue, and let it take you to the blaze.”
    IMO, another part of the problem is (and I said something like this to someone that evening), IMO, the fourth clue is devilishly difficult to pin down “precisely”.
    IMO, this may explain why nobody has told F “the clues in the right order.”
    “Have flashlight, will travel”

  23. I have an idea to put out regarding the nine clues. This regards photography and the recently posted Creede Colorado solve suggestion by Doug Meyers. Anybody interested? I just want to know if I am still an active participant on this site.

  24. The poem has 9 clues, right, which move one closer with each solve, the hints in the book help us define some “frame of reference” for understanding the nature of those 9 clues or at least some of them, perhaps a couple.. right? Now here IMO are a few oddities, or the rub as Shakespeare might say…these comments attributed to Forrest as I see it, I will paraphrase just to shorten this list:

    1. How can many be within 500′ and a few be within 200′ yet he must walk over 1.25 miles to hide the TC? *See #9 below.

    2. If the little girl from India could get no closer than the first two clues, why?

    3. Why is it below 10,200′ and not say 10’000, Google Earth would certainly distinguish that 200′ to Forrest and therefore it must be important. Perhaps the most important tip.

    4. What is it about WWWH, the first Clue that is unique, is it the foundation of a structure? A 2 part layer? I was sure of it, I knew it in 2012 but the thought…seemed so.. too simple, a kid could figure it out…but I still confirmed it continuously and accepted that it was possible to have 2 WWWH’s in the structure, the Game and Fish Regs clearly stated it, which was it? Well it didn’t matter because it was at the exact place on the map and even little Indy girl could locate it, I must therefore I thought be correct because either way, I would be putting in the same Canyon Down, one just below the home of Brown. The fish and the State Regs. Both are boundaries, both are borders. Is there a structure here with 2 dimensions? Borders are two dimensional lines, all 4 states have them almost totally surrounding each, 32 degrees, NM TX, 37 degrees Colorado, 41 degrees Wyoming and 45 degrees at Montana. Big Picture.

    5. What does Forrest really mean when he says in the poem, “Not far, but too far to walk”, on page 63 of the Thrill book Chapter, “Looking for Lewis and Clark” he and Donnie were bewildered and lost at 50 miles from where they started their journey, that seems to me to be a much better definition of Too Far to walk, now understand, you do not hitchhike with 2 horses. Like Olga story, 45 miles up and 45 miles return = 90 miles, 50 miles away, 50 miles back, just too far to walk. Colorado Border 90 miles away, IMO TC is within 100 miles of SF.

    6. When ff says in that comment about Stephanie at Collect Works in 2013, when he was asked who had been closer to TC, Dal or Stephanie?…listen at 32.20 into interview? Where were they searching in 2011/12/13,
    New Mexico.

    7. If the TC is near the top of a mountain, the mountain is most likely under 11,000′ because the TC is 5000 to 10,200′ unless it is at the bottom of a very large clift face? Close is probably 500′ in ff terms.

    8. How can the poem lead you to the exact spot? Latitude and Longitude are the most likely answer, definition of Occam’s razor. : a scientific and philosophical rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities. Keep it Simple enough for a child to solve it, WWWH 32 degrees lat. Look at the Big Picture.

    9. If you can’t make two trips from your car to your solve in several hours, then don’t go. Several hours equals about 3 miles if there is no trail and you must bush whack some, no human trail nearby…cattle or animal trail anyone. Some how many are passing near but cant or dont stop there. That says about as big a red, black or green a clue as one can imagine.

    Prediction, it will be found this year, and it will be near or on a border.


    • TT…I’m with you. A summit that isnt a peak at 10,200’….a very important clue indeed.

    • TT,
      IF 32 degrees is WWH… You would have to assume that many who have deciphered the first two clues and been within 500′ of the chest ALL drove, to get within that little distance of the chest [ because searcher told him exactly where they been and that is how he knows they got the first two clues]. Not to mention that they would had to have ‘needed’ at least one more clue [ more than two, possibly 4] to stop at the next correct location to do so, right?
      So while it’s interesting what fenn stated about Dal and Stephanie, and just for fun, Both would have had to drive out their clues, like anyone else in your scenario, right? I wonder if Dal would chime in, if he ever used 32* for WWH and drove many miles to a location he thought more clues were at.

      The problem with 32 degrees as WWWH is; “there are many WWH in the RM’s and nearly all are N.of SF. Did the lat. line jump when I wasn’t looking? Or by adding another idea [2 part WWH, idea] you are attempting to make it work because of a ‘fishing guide booklet.’

      You said; ‘but I still confirmed it continuously and accepted that it was possible to have 2 WWWH’s in the structure, the Game and Fish Regs clearly stated it, which was it? Well it didn’t matter because it was at the exact place on the map and even little Indy girl could locate it, I must therefore I thought be correct because either way, I would be putting in the same Canyon Down, one just below the home of Brown. … That would mean ALL the first two clues solvers would have had to know of hoB… or am I confused?

      I mention these because they just don’t seem reasonable to fenn’s comments about the first two clues.
      And, ‘If you know what hoB is you’d go right to the chest’… That hasn’t happened so far, right? I mean if many, several, more than several, have made it this far, what happened?
      And The little Indy would have had to know of the fishing booklet to make a connect, right? She would also need to know hoB for the correct place to look on a map, regardless of what map she used, or anyone else.

      Although there are many of fenn’s comment about the first two clues solved… he also stated, no one has give him clues in order beyond the first two. What number clue is your hoB? [ just curious] Because that statement stands as of recent date, as it did, as early as 2012.

      Unless I’m reading this post all wrong, you have; Little Indy and many other searchers all lining up on the same boundary line. That means; they would have need to understand the clues from WWWH, Canyon, NFBTFTW, hoB, As well as NPFTM, and get to the line [ I’m assuming you’re using for boundary line ] ‘The end is ever drawing nigh…’
      Even without counting clues, that seems to be more than two that would have needed correct deciphering to get to that spot, and be close enough to be 500′ from the chest.

      • Seeker, listen to ff very closely at the interview at the debut of “The Lure”. More clues have been solved, perhaps incorrec in their orders.
        My opinion and objectivity insist that WWWH is a border, a boundry, an exact latitude, and the blaze is the final clue and is an exact longitudinal place. It seems like the obvious and exact pinpoint on the map.

        Tom T

        • Honestly, I like the location overall. I had a similar solve location using the clues in a different manner. I even connected the many wwwh to be one in the same… it was later in the clues that brought a searcher to a location / that boundary point, and all the clue referring to a large geographical idea… The big Picture effect… fenn’s church and fantasies, where he liked to play, so to speak.

          However, I just have a hard time hanging my hat on the idea a fish and game booklet, an outside source, is the reasoning ‘warm’ ~ in part.
          Trust me when I say I get 32, boundary n border, etc. What I don’t get is, making the booklet to be a second part of warm anything. I mean, I can see 32 degrees as both lat, and reference to cold later on, and how a canyon down works to head north to the same location… all that would be need then for verification would be the correct hoB reference to connect it all.

          But you never really answered my inquiry…

          IF a searcher deciphers the first two clues and by fenn’s comments; was on site [ not to mention they walked by the treasure chest ]… How many decipher clues got you to that boundary / border line.
          LOL the lure conversation was many years later, after the first, of the first two clues comments came out.
          Wouldn’t fenn had ‘known’ searcher got more than just two clues correct [ lets back in 2012-13 ]? to be at that boundary line?

          • “I think:”

            They were in the right place, but interpreting the clues wrong.

            It was mere coincidence.

            And since the first two clues were being misinterpreted, the others automatically did not fit.

            And others were frighteningly “near”, but did not recognize the following clues. (200 feet)

            And there’s more: some researchers came close using “only” the posterior clues. (throwing darts)

            Again coincidence.

            Others may have deciphered correct clues 1 and 2 but did BOTG in reverse order. Then they passed the TC too. (500 feet)

            This all must have happened between 2011 and 2013.

            The area described in the poem should have a radius of approximately 5 miles covering clues 1 to 9, with Blaze in the center.

            The place is great, but the destination is small.

            “These are just opinions of a foreigner.”

          • Seeker, You said “But you never really answered my inquiry”….

            I stated above some 9 curious, odd, even inexplicable thoughts allegedly accredited to ff and they seem, different or distinct form or version of normal understanding of terms and generalities, like why would 10.200′ be any different say than 10,000′? Why even say 10,200 Especially if he new searchers had been within 200′. perhaps for the same reason that he said his intent was not to mislead, but he obviously stretched this to 10,200 for an important distinction? Why?

            If many were within 500′ but why could they not just tarry scant with that marvel gaze?

            My theory is not new, in fact I illustrated it in my “Winter Thoughts” released in first of March, just before “The Lure” debut, and my video which I made intentionally slow, yet over 1700 views since November 2017.

            The Great Depression molded people like ff and his father and the RR trains dont just stop when you want to get off, so just like trying to hitchhike with a horse, the story of Marvin Fenn about the Banana Tree Train stopping is imprinted deep in the recesses of Forrest’s childhood memories, this CTRR is the highest RR in the USA and tops out just about 10,027 feet at Cumbress pass, 64 miles now but was the lifeblood of the Rockies from the 1870’s until 1950’s this RR crosses the border 11 times in 64 miles and the original narrow gague RR started at about 5000′ and the summit how it was named, Cumbress…… Spanish meaning “summit” Where I filmed this video.. A small Eurasian willow that grows mostly in wet habitats and is a major source of the long flexible shoots (withies) used in basketwork. Also know as “Canasta”.


    • TT,
      1. Your question is based on too many assumptions to answer quickly.
      2. Because after Clue 2, you have to be BOTG to have confirmation of Clue 3.
      3. Just minor “detail” that does not matter and stumps thousands of searchers
      4. That is the $2 million question…and you are making my head hurt.
      5. Some people in mall parking lots drive several minutes to be 50 foot closer to the door…
      6. What ???, surely someone cares?
      7. Seems like you are mixing “Apple clues” with “Orange clues” and not expecting fruit salad.
      8. Even Mr. Imaginations throat can apparently be slit by Mr. Occam’s razor.
      9. “Occam, give me a hand here!”
      Prediction: I agree! Yet, “near or on a border. How deep IS a hole?”
      Best wishes to you. Safe travels. Enjoy His creation!

  25. Hi all, greetings from down under!
    New to the chase, love it! Thanks Dal for the platform. There are some fantastic ideas out there. Here’s another one.
    In the poem, Begin where…..starting point. The end……finish point.
    The 2nd and 3rd stanza, the whole 2nd stanza and the 1st line of the 3rd stanza. Is it possible we can work a simple distance here to aid your solve.
    Not saying it takes you to the chest but gives you a specific area.
    I came up with 30 miles as the crow flies.
    I was just fooling, trying to disprove my solve and wouldn’t you know it.
    Just curious if anyone else had come up with a similar number?

    While I am here ( hope it’s ok to post). WWWH is the beginning IMO as it says begin.
    Are most things hypothetically forced to HALT at a border?
    Like many i like the Madison river area as my WWWH. As they say, if you don’t know where to start, how do you expect to finish?
    I have found a Blaze on GE that matches my solve. One good thing or bad thing is I haven’t heard my Blaze mentioned anywhere.
    Long way from Australia to USA but will be making a visit in September. Hope everyone enjoys and has a fantastic year ahead. Good luck and thanks for all the fish! In advance for all the trout I hope to catch……..and release.

    • Chris,
      fenn said you can’t see the last clue on GE [ paraphrasing ]… You’ll need to look up the exact comment.
      Is your blaze the last clue in your solve?
      I ask because fenn also answered a Q&A saying; If you can find the blaze the answer to your question would be obvious. The question was how far from the blaze is it to the chest? [ again, look up the Q&A for the exact wording ]

      This seems to say [ you may differ ] If you have found the blaze, the chest will be known, and that would imply the blaze is the last clue, right? { check out fenn’s comments I have mentioned and decide for yourself } I’d hate to make an 18 flight and drive more miles and hike whatever distance you have to, because I saw something on GE that, more than likely, couldn’t be what you think it is.

      Just saying………….

      • Hi Seeker,
        Thanks for the reply. This is the quote you are talking about I believe.

        Selected quotes, notes and commentary on Forrest Fenn’s Video at the Moby Dickens Book Shop in Taos, New Mexico on November 2, 2013 by Toby Younis

        “No. It isn’t.” (Responding to the question whether or not it was possible to find the treasure without leaving your computer and Google Earth.) There’s not a picture of the treasure on Google Earth…because Google Earth doesn’t go down far enough.

        Question – Is it possible to locate the treasure chest without ever leaving your computer and Google Earth

        Fenn – No it isnt, did I really say that. Theres not a picture of tc on google earth, because GE doesn’t go down far enough

        So he is saying you can’t see the chest from GE not you can’t see the Blaze.
        In my Solve, when you look down upon the Blaze, the Blaze gives you a succinct area that still needs to be searched for TC. I believe there is a further clue past the Blaze.
        I think you would have to be pretty desperate/crazy to fly from Oz to USA just to look for the chest! I only found out about TC a week ago and as we were planning to see Yellowstone why not have a crack at it. Who dosen’t love a riddle.

        • Chris,
          No, that wasn’t the comment I was referring to.
          I asked; Is your blaze the last clue in your solve?
          Or in your solve is the chest a clue?

          And, what about the Q&A I referred to? ~ IF you can find the blaze.. the distance to the chest would be obvious.

          Does that conclude the blaze being the last clues?
          I am curious, IF, as you say, you can see the blaze from GE, can you locate the spot the chest lays in wait.
          [ Regardless of hidden or buried ~ just where it should be at. ]

          • Seeker,
            I believe I answered your question in the previous answer but I will answer it again.
            Q : Is your blaze the last clue in your solve?
            A : No
            I don’t believe once you have found the Blaze you have automatically found the chest. As I said in my previous answer my Blaze gives me a defined area that has to be searched for the TC. BOTG needed.

          • Chris – I guess I am leaning more towards what Seeker is trying to convey to you about FF’s ATF. IMO, having to search a 30 mile area after you have found the blaze is contrary to FF stating that the distance to the chest will be obvious if you can find the blaze. FF has also made comments to the effect of being precise and going right to the chest, so, again, getting to the blaze and then having to search a 30 mile area from there seems contrary to what FF is trying to tell us.

            Like Seeker, I try to use ATF’s to affirm or refute my interpretation(s) of the poem/clues and further refine my solve(s) based upon balancing each. Not an easy task, for sure. Welcome to TTOTC.

          • The instruction of the poem after finding Blaze is:

            If you have been wise and found the blaze,

            “Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
            But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
            Just take the chest and go in peace. ”

            In other words:

            Look below, (to the south maybe) do not just look, grab the chest and go in peace.

            In order to win the treasure title:

            If you are brave and in the wood
            I give you title to the gold.

            This seems to indicate “little distance”.

            “Just My Opinion.”

    • Chris B…I think it is remarkable that Fenn’s Chase has sparked interest from all around the world. I often pause and let that thought sink in a bit. You have a great distance to travel if you are ever to put BOTG, and no matter what…I am sure it will be an adventure to remember. Safe travels…

  26. Sorry to post again straightaway but just had a thought on HOB.
    I believe Hebgen Lake is HOB, one of them at least.
    I used to go fishing for trout as a kid, mainly Rainbows! ( Fenn always goes on about Rainbows ) but they are similar beasts to Browns. Secretive, they like to hide away in a deep pool and only come out when they see a treasure to eat. Fits to me with the poem, his background, hard to shake Brown = Fish for me.
    I know Fenn likes to play with the English language but if I was giving direction to you and I was using where the Browns live or used to live as a reference, I would say go past the Browns house and turn left.
    If I was talking about fish and fishing and we were talking about trout, I think I would be inclined to say if passing a significant area for fishing “and that is the home of the Brown”, Brown? Brown trout of course.

    • Chris B

      Recently someone asked how a searcher could provide all nine clues to Fenn and in the incorrect order.

      Hebgen Lake may be considered WWH, HoB or even water high.

      A searcher could be going the wrong way.


      • Hey Lug,
        Thanks for reply.
        Didn’t Fenn say that WWWH isn’t a dam?
        Although to my limited knowledge (tempting to drop the d) I haven’t heard Fenn say the HOB isn’t a dam?
        Has Fenn said that someone has solved the 9 clues in incorrect order? I don’t think so, it is just a Question, Yes?

        In my solve once you put in at HOB, seems fairly easy to get to a specific area to find TC.


        • Yeah here is the question and response from Fenn

          In May 2017, Fenn was asked: “Has anyone determined the nine clues and what they represent?” and his response was: “I don’t know that anybody has told me the clues in the right order”

          • Make one ponder about the clues needed to be followed vs. followed, in order.

            Note; if ya don’t understand that, don’t worry about it.

    • Chris, I’m not convinced that the name of those trout should involve a capital B.
      (My opinion).

      • Hey Tight
        I am not 100% convinced either.
        I am mid 40’s, during my schooling days you would only capitalise brown (referring to trout) if it was at the start of a sentence. There appears to be much conjecture about this . Is it a proper noun or a common noun, I suppose that is the argument.
        My thought line was, If Fenn had over his lifetime referred to let’s say, Hebgen Lake as the home of Brown as in where brown trout live, dose that give him license to turn it into a proper noun?
        Curious about your HOB??

        • BE low the home of B(e) (a)R(e) OWN

          All uses of To Be are in lines 9 and later. By understanding this you, too, can OWN the chest

          To Be provided the mathematical validation structure needed to prove your math solve is correct.

          Play all the map games you want, but absent a coordinate, I don’t believe that anyone can find the box. Thus, to me, this is a math puzzle. Yes, linguistics are needed to unravel the solution, but if you are not working with numbers first, I don’t like your chances.

          Only way to put yourself on the map at all is to have the final coordinate in hand, then the geography context can be traced and understood.

          I think you have cart before horse.

          Food for thought.

          • B is capitalized to draw attention to this critical letter. Ergo, it must be understood correctly. We all agree on that.

            First definition of below is underneath. Here that corresponds to after this point, Lines 9 and beyond. For now, this clue can be extremely simple and straightforward as I’ve explained.

            Suggest coming over to the dark side and playing around in the mathematical wilderness.

        • Capitalization is a little muddy…. The Ford and Chevy dealers are down at the end of the auto mall, but the Cadillac dealer has a few fords and chevys on his lot. (& down ain’t elevation or south).

  27. **********************************

    The NINE clues:

    All are Enchanted Scenic By-way locations on the Enchanted Circle…

    1. Where warm waters halt – warm waters = Eagle’s Nest & halt = Vietnam Veterans State Park, both on Hwy 64

    2. And take it in the canyon down – Taos canyon from Angel Fire, NM to Taos, NM on Hwy 64

    3. Put in below the home of Brown – Refers to Rachel Brown, famous Taos artist/weaver. She lived in Arroyo Seco for over 50 yrs. Reference to stay on Scenic Byway via 522.

    4. From there it’s no place for the meek – Reference to passing Rio Grande Gorge Bridge area and Joseph Meek, Taos artist who painted the Gorge.

    4. The end is ever drawing nigh – Reference to DH Lawrence’s poem “The End” and his book “Sketches…” His location is off 522 halfway to Questa, NM.

    5. There’ll be no paddle up your creek – reference to Red River Fish Hatchery. Largest fish hatchery in New Mexico.

    6. & 7. Just heavy loads and water high – reference to huge Molycorp mine (heavy loads) in Questa and then you continue on Scenic ByWay to Red River (popular skiing area – water high = snow in mountains).

    8. If you’ve been wise and found the blaze – reference to Elizabethtown on Scenic Byway. Was a mining town (copper and later gold mine = foundries) and the town was also destroyed by a huge fire.

    9. Look quickly down, your quest to cease – “down” are soft feathers on underside of bird/in nest. Scenic Byway next point after Elizabethtown is Eagle’s Nest.

    ### – You’ve now made a full circle. End to End (like the two Omega symbols at the end of Forrest’s book). See map of scenic byway at

    The rest of the poem, I believe is to be deciphered from this point to get to the specific location of the treasure chest.

    I would appreciate comments/thoughts. Thanks.
    Robert O.


    • For example…

      Tarry scant could mean:
      – day use
      – small asphalt
      – small section of road

      Just take the chest and go in peace could mean:
      – take chest = take yourself
      – go in = enter trail, etc
      – peace = silently, quietly

      And so on.

      Robert O.

      • With the article this week on the treasure, it makes me wonder…

        “Read the clues in my poem over and over and study maps of the Rocky Mountains,” Fenn recently told Business Insider. “Try to marry the two. The treasure is out there waiting for the person who can make all the lines cross in the right spot.”

        A circle with crossed lines can look like a Medicine Wheel and may indicate a further location within the “circled” scenic byway….

        • Bob O

          We have a big proponent of the Medicine Wheel theory on this blog.

          I just want to say that you would need something that specifically points to it because there are several medicine wheels in the search area.


    • Bob_O….Robert, this is IMO exactly how the poem will be solved, sooner or later Indulgence will be found through thoughtful insight which takes Imagination, knowlege and boots, yours is a very interesting solve, local perspective with logic. Nice interpretation. Well done.


    • Bob_O, My first solve involved Elizabethtown as the blaze, but I was thinking that maybe the treasure was in the well ( look quickly down). Once I learned that the treasure wasn’t associated with a structure, I abandoned the area. I never had BOTG there. I am now focused on WY. Nice ideas.

    • Bob_O, the experience of putting that solve together must have been fun. Searchers of the NM area should take note that there are two Arroyo Secos in Northern NM. One is about 30 miles North of Santa Fe. The other (your Arroyo Seco) is further north. It is located North of Taos. My grandmother was born at home there and is also the home of the John Dunn bridge. A few searchers have shown interest in the John Dunn area and the hot springs near the bridge. Others have shown interest in Red River (town in the Enchanted Circle) and nearby Goose Lake. I’m not trying to bring validity to your solve. I would like searchers to know that the Circle is beautiful area. I’d even call it Home of Slurbs. Funny you didn’t mention that on the way to Taos from Santa Fe, if you take the main route, you have to pass through the horshoe. Once you get to the other side you are rewarded with a great view. I won’t say of what. I’d like others to discover it for themselves. Anyone who is a painting artist might want to bring their supplies with them! You all have a great day.

  28. Good morning all, I’ve spent the last couple of days catching up on the closed “The Nine clues” threads. While reading them I got to thinking that not only me, but others are stymied in our thinking. From other things I have posted, many of you know I have a bit of a sense of humor – so enjoy this link that graphically illustrates just how I feel about finding indulgence.

    All in my opinion.

  29. swwot: This kinda reminds me of what guys say to guys when on the court, the course putt is short, or when the pass bounces off the ground at your feet: to this unfortunate, miscalculating kitty Air Ball!… Weak! ….Does your husband play!


  30. Sitting inside today as the snow continues to fall outside – looks like we’re going to end up close to a foot and a half with this one. ugh. Continuing to catch up on older posts:

    “Seeker on March 25, 2018 at 3:29 pm said:

    Is it just me loco, or did you post the same Q&A twice? in your response, which says both Q&A’s.
    I just want to make sure my eyes are not seeing double w/o alcohol for an excuse.

    I kinda agree with your summation, yet we have this/these comments as well;
    “The most common mistake that I see searchers make is that they **underestimate the importance of the ‘first’ clue.** If you don’t have that one nailed down you might as well stay home and play Canasta.” f
    No 49, I cannot tell you how many searchers have identified the first clue correctly, but certainly more than several. I cannot imagine anyone finding the treasure without first identifying the starting point, although many seem to be **preoccupied with later clues**. To me that’s just expensive folly. f”

    I already suspect that some of you think I am out in left field someplace with what I am thinking, but never-the-less I am going to go out on another ledge with the following thoughts: What if the reason nobody has picked up Indulgence is because NOBODY has solved the first clue? Please hear me out. For those that have been following my posts the last couple of weeks, I alluded to the poem being like a bucket with the nine clues contained in it. And that one of the clues might be the water. What if none of us has discovered the water and we’re all seeing only the fish? WWWH is simply one of the fish and not the first clue, just a clue?

    Everything I have found concerning things Mr. Fenn has said, still seems to jive with all of his words spoken after the fact (ATF). There is still something to be discovered that will aid the seeker by giving them confidence to then be able to figure out the remaining clues and for picking up Indulgence. And maybe the water in the bucket is the word that is key or idea which unlocks the remaining clues? My contention is that we are still missing something important. FWIW

    All my opinion, of course.

    • Swwot,

      Its quite possible that deciphering a ‘clue reference’ is not enough… Or as you said, searchers may not have actually ‘Solve’ the first clue in its full meaning.
      But lets skip a head to the Q&A about; if you know what hoB is why be concerned about WWWH… This make me ponder that all the clues are as one, in the idea of, [ or what another searcher said ] ‘What am I” vs. where am I, line of thinking. Especially if we need to nail down the first clue. It might be just me, but it seems that IF we can figure out hoB we should know WWWH in full.
      So the Q&A would hold true. Another words, we need to know what the clue refers to [ deciphered ] and why [ instruction ].

      fenn’s referenced baking a cake and needing all the ingredients. If the clues are all the ingredients they should produce something [ other than the obvious, the location of the chest ]. If one ingredient is not use properly, the cake can fall flat. Example; you can add an egg, but if its not whipped with all the other ingredients your not going to produce the correct cake.

      What I see in many solves posted is, the instructions are not being followed, even though some may have many ingredients… or as fenn was asked and answered: they didn’t quit, they left the poem.

      Fenn has stated many time, this is a thinking process… “it’s not a matter of trying, it’s matter of thinking.” And as of recent fenn stated; he followed the clues when he hid the chest… complete (completed?). Some would lie to think this means fenn rewrote/changed the poem after hiding the chest. I think fenn had to utilize the poem the same way we are supposed to. Or has fenn has said; It’s the only way he knows of, right? Well, if he needed to follow the clues he created, then there might be more to this than just stomping point to point.

      Should he of had to, then its seems obvious we have to do the same that he did. [ others may say the idea is; one way in and out, but I don’t think that is the case ] IF that was the case, many prior searcher should be hanging their heads, that they can’t even follow the; one and only way to stomp.

      • I feel fairly certain I have discovered the first clue, whiich I will not reveal as I am going treasure hunting in Early June. So excited! Of course it will be loads of fun even if it is just another wild goose chase. It does seem true that you have to put yourself into the mind of FF, incorporate all the knowledge you can glean from the books, etc. and also there are ‘layers’ within the poem. Many of the words have double meanings. The blogs have also been very useful and interesting.

          • I think y’all can do better than that . . . There’s an old saying in (one branch of) the military: A day in which you don’t challenge yourself is a day not worth having.

        • Ann,
          Seeing there are many WWWh in the RM’s… what makes you confident of the location?
          No need to say what your wwwh might be. I’m more interested on how you could figured out which wwwh’s location to be the correct location.

          • the geology of the waters. Of course it is my interpretation, it could be totally wrong.

      • Seeker, we’re on the same page in our thinking – I think.

        I think, therefore I am?

        I’m already on record here at hoD in my “solve the riddle” as being more important, in one sense, than any of the other “clues”. However, leaving out any of the ingredients, or not whipping the eggs – following the instructions that are that clue, will lead a searcher astray. It is my humble opinion that the “mega-clue”, the solving of the riddle, will be a “check against” kind of resolve. You will be able to use it to verify if the remaining clues are correct. I don’t know how exactly, just yet, but when I figure out the riddle, I should be able to, kind of like an answer key. Maybe I am over-simplifying it – if that can even be done?

        I just keep racking my brain trying to figure out what Mr. Fenn is trying to say. Waiting for that “Aha!” moment.

        • I haven’t really want to say it… but I think the riddle is not part of the poem, nor is it the poem itself [ clue’s references ] It might be more about the location that makes the clues work. fenn needed to create clues that made the place come alive, so to speak.

          • dang seeker what took you so long to figure that out the places were there before he could write the poem that’s where the clues come in

          • “at the end of my rainbow” Seeker “At the end of Fenn’s rainbow” Took me a while – But could one say that the “End of the rainbow” is the Omega…. The Omega of the rainbow??? The Omega IS the rainbow??? Who knows? Maybe I better have another cocktail and think it over. 🙂 JDA

          • I think:

            The omegas refer to an event in the past.

            One that involved the treasure.

            Another that involved the place.

            I’m a good researcher.


          • Frank,
            Not places, but a place… imo.
            The clues represent pieces of the same place. No need for searchers driving out clues, no need for searchers to travel into a canyon, no need for searchers to put in below a different point some place else. Yet, the poem’s clues could be set up through a period of time ~of that location.

            It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know the clues came later…
            but it does take imagination to see how a set of clues makes many think; that it can only play out one way. [to be point to point and far a part.]

            End of commentary…

          • Seeker, I can concede that point. I can see “it” (the correct way of looking at the poem) as being paramount to the solving of the clues. Once the correct way of looking at the poem is discovered, we’ll be able to see what the architect had in mind. (No pun intended.)

          • Seeker,

            There is no enigma, code, hidden keyword.

            Just read and think hard. WWWH is …………… ??

            Use all available information.

            So use your imagination.

            Do this BEFORE you search the map.

            Imagine you in the place described in the poem.

            Go to map!

            “This is the place!”

            Minha sugestão de amigo.

  31. Copperhead on March 26, 2018 at 12:48 pm said:

    “Hi Lugnuts
    I’m for any county in MT as long as it has the Gallatin Custer National Forrest in it plus 20 miles in every direction from its outer boundary as long as the elevation fits.

    There are 7 clues in so many places it’s daunting. Ambiguity is the strength of the poem.”

    Copperhead – It is my opinion that you are 180 degrees incorrect. I think the strength of the poem is in its preciseness. (Wink-wink)

    The genius of the poem is an architect that made it both, and then tossed a bronze chest into the woods for us to find.

    Good luck in your searching!

        • An open-minded,.. imaginative,.. nitpicking,.. eliminating,.. perfectionist solver, who thinks like devious, impish Forrest.

        • Covert One, please tell us where FF said the finder would not
          happen up the chest.

          Really, I believe you should relax more. IMO.

          • “Nobody is going to happen on that treasure chest. You’re gonna have to figure out the clues in the poem and go to it.” (Moby Dickens video, Nov.2, 2013)

  32. wwwh is 1- place
    you must travel to another place to home of brown
    from there you travel to heavy loads and waters high
    the blaze is another place you must travel to
    then you have in the wood
    from in the wood you must travel to the tc
    there are 6 places you must travel to and they are not all in one place – sorry

    • Don’t be sorry, Frank you have your reading of the poem and I have mine, and so does everyone else.

      But just for fun, and if you’re that confident of your solve… How far between your clues must you travel?

      ~fenn made two trips in one afternoon. [ for me that is the same day ]
      ~Followed the clues. [ for me that means he is doing ‘exactly’ as he tells us to do, no bypassing clue’s references {note; a clue reference does not have to be a place}]
      ~He ‘walked’ less than a few miles [ for me this includes all the clues references [ place/places-location, directions, instructions and that would be for a total of the two trips. ]

      Logical assumption; He/We walk to the location of all the clues, all within a single location, all the clues at this location need to be followed [utilize the clues] by his design of that location ~ to the hide, rinse and repeat. The distance for a one way trip to the location of the clues, might be, less than a mile but not much less.

      Full of … opinions.

      • And people chasing the treasure have been there, but walked or drive away.

        Many people, many times. Heading on down a canyon that an 80 year old man wouldn’t walk down into and back up twice.


        • All in one = TC place

          From the car to the treasure you will see all the clues.

          WWWH = ONE name. ONE place.

          Blaze looks up. You look down.

      • Do you think that someone who is sure about the location of the home of Brown could reverse-engineer where warm waters halt? ~Ben Raylor

        If you are sure about the location of home of Brown why are you concerned about where warm waters halt? But to answer your question, sure you could and a few searchers might throw in some gas money for a percentage of the take. Good luck.f

        Why would you need GAS if all the clues are walking distance?

        Not far, but too far to walk.

        • Chance…A while back in another post on this same topic/thread I mentioned “other” comments that were “telling” in terms of where I believe folks were/are leaving the poem and missing the treasure/location. I think this is one of them. Another reason why I believe that the monstrous pile of ATF are only useful AFTER figuring out the correct first clue…and decipher the correct path from there. Otherwise…Canasta. Thanks for your post…

          • ken-
            I’m a poor planner and I credit that character flaw to my belief that planning is the antithesis of “fun”.
            I think Forrest said something like that…
            So, I dunno the precise answer but I expect to be out there at least three times this year unless you find it first.

          • yeah…”making plans is antagonistic to freedom”… and never truer words spoken. Your chances are as good as any Dal…

          • Yes you do need gas money to get to the search area wherever you live.
            It appears Forrest is hinting you need gas money to go back to WWWH from HOB.

        • Simple,

          WWWH + CD + HoB = ONE local = UNIQUE

          TC = 200 feet below

          But you can not go straight. You have to go around following the remaining clues.

          IMO because I do not have the TC, yet …

  33. seeker – from wwwh -32 miles to
    hob from hob to waters high 13 miles
    from waters high to blaze 9 miles
    from the blaze to in the woods 3-1/2 miles
    from in the wood to the treasure chest -1/2 mile

    • Who knows HoB and does not know WWWH, will spend a lot of gas looking for warm waters halt out there. IMO

    • seeker from in the wood to the treasure chest is really about less then a1/2 a mile but I would say a little over a foot ball field

      • Frank,

        Some people who “in the wood”: 200 feet.

        Many people no “in the wood”: less than 500 feet.


      • seeker you must remember that he drove to where he parked and he walked from in the wood to the treasure chest and that would be less then 1/2 mile imo

    • Frank,
      58 miles…
      For that to be true, how to you reconcile fenn’s comment;
      “…I mean, people have figured the first two clues and unfortunately walked past the treasure chest”
      Searcher have told him exactly where they been and that is how he know they got the first two clues. And many other comments relating to the first two clues and walking past the chest.

      For your distances to have reasoning’s, you would need to ask; How did so many be at the first two clues… and travel 58 miles… the be at the same location blaze / and/or in your solve, the wood… and no one had given fenn the correct order of any clue beyond the first two?
      [ until recently, some may have the first four clues ]
      That still leave 2010 to the very least 2016 +… more than 6 yrs… that those first two clues solvers [comments] went past the chest. Some, if not many, within 500′

      How can, “a few”, “many”, “more than several” searchers travel the same 58 miles and stop that close to the chest and not have more than ‘two clues’ that are 58 miles away from the chest?

      You also have 4 miles from the blaze to the chest…
      fenn was asked; how far from the blaze is the chest, answering; If you can find the blaze the distance would be obvious, right?
      Can you explain how that would happen at distance of 4 miles apart.
      An elevation factor and clear line of sight?
      Does the blaze indicate a distance when you arrive at the blaze-?- or does the poem surrender that distance?

      You don’t need to give up your references to the clues to answer those question. But I would think you would need to have to answered them yourself, in double checking your solve.

      • Seeker and anyone else who would like to comment,

        Did FF say “walked past…” or “went past…” ?
        I believe I read somewhere he said “went past”.
        Not sure though as I have read hundreds of pages of quotes, stories,clues, etc. It is all starting to run together.

        • Tarheel, you are correct. Here is the quote from Dal’s Cheat Sheet: “Some folks correctly mentioned the first two clues to me in an email and then they went right past the other seven, not knowing that they had been so close”.

        • Tarheel,
          fenn has used “walked past” “went by” “went past” and other terms in different comments over the years.
          fenn has also used ” some” “people” “others” when talking about searchers and what they have told him, or he knows of.
          One quote that utilizes a couple of these terms, as an example;
          “… I mean, people figured the first couple of clues and unfortunately walked past the treasure chest.”

          In the case “people” refers to searcher [ tourist don’t need to figure out anything ] a couple seems to imply the same first two clues, and walked past means… well… you can make up your own mind.

          imo, and with other related many comments… “walk” means physical walking by the remaining clues and the chest. { as you said; there are ‘many quotes’ that need to be considered, and not just hang your hat on one or two comments that works with a theory/solve }

          • Thanks Ken & Seeker, I had not focused on or missed the other quotes in relation. That is good food for thought. His flipping between being literal and being ambiguous in his answers and comments makes it difficult to pin anything down.

          • Seeker,

            One question, how old are those ATF comments about people, searchers? I think they all were older comments.

            Things have changed since then IMO. I’m only saying this because of his latest comment on a “gut Feeling” f

          • Charlie,
            The only thing that has changes is more searchers arrive or figured the clues, and some many have the first four clues …
            I’m sure there will be posting of those who believe they have all four clues solved.
            The first two clues comments have stood since 2012 with only the one added comment.

            The gut feeling comment doesn’t give us much to work with…fenn as stated before the chase may be found sooner then expected… so where to we go from here? keep working or sit and wait?
            Like I said before… it’s going to be a hard fall this year.

          • Are you aware of any more progress made past the first two clues? …..”I am rarely told exactly where people are searching so I don’t know if they are getting closer or not. ”

            Have searchers homed into other clues or words in the poem?…..”I am rarely told exactly where people are searching so I don’t know if they are getting closer or not. ”

            Have searchers been closer than 200 feet to the treasure?…..”I am rarely told exactly where people are searching so I don’t know if they are getting closer or not.”

            Based on the most current ATF(2018), he still doesn’t know if anyone is closer or not… would seem that his “gut feeling” is probably not that strong…..maybe just a slight twinge, but a feeling nonetheless! 🙂

          • Excuse my jumping into the discussion, but I would throw in another comment. It is my bed time, so I won’t lay out a number of comments from over the years that shows an evolution of what I believe is a specific search party who is getting close, who are most likely going back each year to their same search area.

            “I thought I’d thought of everything, I mean, I can’t tell you how many man hours I spent trying to ah, before I hid that chest, trying to figure out what’s going to happen and, and what, what’s the upside, what’s the downside, and, ah, I think I did a pretty good job and the fact that nobody has found it, um, um, I’m frankly surprised, but ah, I would hope somebody would find it before too long. Um, you’re, you’re not going to happen on it. You’re not going to find it on spring break or on a Sunday afternoon picnic, you’re going to have to figure out the clues, go to the first clue, and then the clues are consecutive after that, and if you can figure that, if you can decipher the clues you can find that treasure chest.”

            f was surprised the chest wasn’t found in the 2016 search season and he had hoped it was going to be found soon going into the 2017 search season. Now his ‘gut feeling’ is that it will be found this year.

            Someone is very close, the search party has come within 200 feet and in getting that close, ‘they left the poem’, somewhere close to that 200 feet (IMO) which is the reason they did not find the chest. My thinking is that they probably have not nailed every clue correctly on their quest to that spot that takes them within 200 feet of the chest, but I do think that they have correctly solved most of the first 6 to 8 clues and that it is just a matter of time until they correctly identify the last clue or two. I do believe that they are at that critical point where they only need to correctly solve the last clue, and one or two prior clues not correctly solved is likely not of significance for them at this point.

            If my thoughts are even remotely correct, and this search party has been coming within 200 feet of the chest for what I believe is 5 years and going on 6, I can certainly hear them profoundly expressing the thought, ‘What took us so long?!?’ when they finally find it. 🙂

            Analyzing and studying all of f’s comments from over the years, I believe this search party to be a family that started searching the location where the chest is hidden sometime between April and July of 2013. Considering they haven’t found it yet, after all these years, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t find it this year either. But f knows more than I do about them and what they may be thinking/doing, so his ‘gut feeling’ may just end up being correct.

            OK, so that still ended up the length of a book… going to bed now.

      • Seeker
        “First four clues”?
        Where is this information?

        Clearly Clueless

        • CC It’s on this site, just type in the search area… Not hard to find even for a computer illiterate such as myself

          Nov. 2015
          ~Are there signs that people are getting closer to solving your puzzle? How many clues have people solved now?

          ~Searchers have come within about 200 feet. Some may have solved the first four clues, but I am not certain.

          • Well, fenn is uncertain, so I guess I would have no clue.
            But lets face facts 4 out of 9 clues solved… if we lose the blaze.{ because the distance to the chest would be obvious}.. that is 1/2 the clues; If true, what the heck is taking so long? My guess is the stomping mode is a killer.

          • Need to add above: Do you think that nothing has changed in 3 yrs.? I think they have changed, just being flexible.

          • Seeker: I think when all is said and done, you will find that “stomping mode” was the correct approach. It’s just that few people managed to solve the third clue because they totally misinterpreted it.

  34. Seeker, you said “Frank,
    Not places, but a place… imo.
    The clues represent pieces of the same place. No need for searchers driving out clues, no need for searchers to travel into a canyon, no need for searchers to put in below a different point some place else. Yet, the poem’s clues could be set up through a period of time ~of that location.

    I agree that the clues lead to “a place” but F already stated this: I have a question for Mr. Fenn:

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

    Thank you Curtis

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

    Seeker, if the clues are as you stated “a place” this seems to contradict that idea.

    I think many have the idea that these clues are close together but nothing said in everything I read states all in a close area, which means to me :

    There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. Look at the big picture, there are no shortcuts. f . Mr. Fenn, Is there any level of knowledge of US history that is required to properly interpret the clues in your poem. ~Steve R . No Steve R,

    Many places, that means to me most places, but not ALL the places..All cats are animals, but not all animals are cats? If WWWH were the 32 degree (border line) and freezing mark, and the metaphor is borders of the 4 states then one is SOUTH of Santa Fe, NM at the Rio Bravo river and Texas line where the canyon of 1885 miles empties into the Warm Waters of the Gulf of Old Mexico at Brownsville, TX. Now that is a big picture, in fact all 4 states are big picture shaped chunks of the Rockies.


    • TT, IMO

      I imagine the TC is 200 feet from the WWWH.

      But to get to it you have to walk about 2200 feet following the poem clues.

      Or cross closed forest, river, high rocks …

      Just FF know…

    • The question to answer first after WWWH is really which state, or which border, it takes two readings to find and exact pinpoint on any map, latitude and longitude, if we were to fly in a straight line from Santa Fe Airport to Yellowstone, what heading on the compass do we follow? To Lander, Wy or Cody, Wy, how many days did Forrest spend in Nam, how many missions? Try a heading of 348 degrees NNW and 328 degrees NW and where does that tangent take you?

      I think this borders on hints in the book and hints in the poem and clues in the poem that the hints describe…..if the first clue is at the 5th line = WWWH how many degrees/ lines 5 lines and 5 degrees. NM is 5 degrees of the earths surface from 32 to Colorado which is 37 degrees and Colorado is 4 Degrees of earths surface and 4 lines to Home of Brown…what then is the first 4 lines about…hints and degrees.


      • Tom just may be on to something Tom, but numbers confuse me.
        Good luck in figuring it all out – JDA

      • Tom

        So… The place that is special to him just happens to lay on a heading from his current home that matches a verifiable number related to his service in a war 50 years ago.

        That’s a neat trick

    • TT,
      No contraction at all, really.
      fenn also stated; “…I would advise new searchers to look for the clues in my poem and try to marry them to a place on a map.’ [clue{s} to ‘A’ place on a map]
      He tells Curtis that the clues should be followed in order [ nothing about how many places ]
      fenn tells us we need to be certain of “the location beforehand” to be certain of the “direct path” [ nothing mentioned of how many places that path contains ] The path can be very small in area by a description of what the clue might be describing.
      fenn tells us ‘he’ followed the clues “when he hid the chest”.
      In your scenario, fenn wouldn’t have needed to follow the clues, metaphorically or other wise… just go to the last clue.

      A waterfall can be a good example of how a single place could hold all the clues… well, at least up to the blaze part.
      {example only} water halt its horizontal direction and travels vertical [ what is stopping it not the water, but its direction of that water, and by definition of halt is a change in direction… even if it is only a temporary change… ten the water continues horizontal once more]
      Canyon down explains the direction [ a vertical drop ]. NFBTFTW is the idea of that drop.
      This bring the reader to stanza three… that enter stanza could be the view point from the top of the fall… NPFTM [ nothing dangerous ]. The end is ever drawing nigh, may refer to the top-end of the falls where the waters actually is drawing from. No paddle up that part of the creek [ the falls ] “just” HL n WH ~ the entire waterfalls.

      That places the searcher at the top of the waterfall and describes the action of it… never needing the searcher to move. In this theory, the blaze would be near this viewing point at the top of the falls [ no need to travel in the canyon… “take it in” is the viewing point at the top.

      In most, if not all, scenarios/theories I have read on the blogs, and off, everyone is looking for WWH… very few if any were looking for the “location of the clues” When one’s mindset is fixated on finding WWH first and foremost they neglect to see how the poem can be of a single place and force many places and unknown distances, layer the poem in may different ways, to work, because they are fixated on a chest and not the “location”

      Many would like to believe that a 10″ sq spot or body size spot is fenn’s special place… I think his special place is the entire description of all the clues, as shown in the hypothetical scenario above. BUT, if folks think this is a travel from point to point, a vehicle/boat/train needed for many miles involved, some even have fenn going to the hide over two different afternoons… That’s ok by me… but they can’t show how all the AFT would ring true to those ideas.

      So fenn answered Curtis question, and years, later fenn finally add ‘he; actually followed the clues he created… the question is… by what definition of “follow” is fenn referring to?
      Did fenn simple walk out – point to point?
      Was there a need to follow/utilize/observe the actions of the clues in some form or another-?- because there is no other way to find the spot without knowledge of the location itself… [ geographically ]?

      I’m not say you’re wrong or right, or I am… My attempt is to see all the components of those sought after comments fenn has given over the years and make them true to each other without having contradictions and forcing a solve to work by not using all the comments.
      In Frank’s scenario, it would be highly improbable for the many searchers who were at clues 1 & 2, ALL travel the same exact 58 miles [ especially ] when fenn has indicated they ‘walked’ by the remaining 7 clues. And All the searcher got to the same distance away from the chest, without any of them having correctly deciphered more clues in the correct order, to get there??? How is that even possible?

      • ” Craig, there is no substitution for thinking and planning and observing and looking at maps, unless it’s the desire to keep it simple.”
        “Thanks Ron, thoughtful questions. The clues did not exist when I was a kid but most of the *places* the clues refer to did. I think *they*…”

        • Ken,
          In the hypothetical use of a waterfall… can the top of the falls be a place, the low be a place, an unknown distance between the top and bottom having that reference, and stanza 3 simple explains what you’re viewing-?- “from there” it’s NPFTM the [ its] end is ever drawing nigh etc etc.
          In this scenario… Put In below the hoB, refers to the place itself [ the idea of that confirmation, and certainty beforehand ] the waters [waterfall] and all it’s descriptions are below the hoB. And if we knew where that was, why would we be concerned about WWWH?
          Well, the answer might be obvious, right? We would have nail it down to the correct one of many.

          Example; If I said meet me at the blue steel ball’s waters. And then say; put in below Mr. Brown’s home…. Without tell you what the blue steel ball is, would you be able to the surmise the blue steel ball and it waters to be a water tower?
          Would you then understand that there are many water towers and you need to nail it down by; not only the description/reference of, but the location of the correct water tower?

          Fenn said to “try and simplify the clues”,
          LOL why many attempt this… I find it interesting to what they consider this all mighty Kiss method is all about. Coding word from the poem, many miles of travel between clues with no reference of distance, the use of transportation, and only using a couple of quotes that don’t happen to have the word “walk” in them… but skip all the others what refer to walking.

          So while I see what you’re saying about the word “places”… I think it falls down to ‘perspective’ of what the poem might be relaying.

          And before anyone says; Seeker, you’re saying we need to find hoB first… Um Nope,

          I’m Implying that we can’t understand the correct location without the other clues… deciphering what wwwh is only a reference of what it is, and not where it is located…. we need all the ingredients mixed just right, not just the bowl and pour them [ingredients / clues, into that bowl [ our ideas of the location] the way we hope it should be.

          Anyways… the way I see it. It’s going to be a fun summer. OK, maybe I should rephrase and say; one heck of a fall this year.

          just fuel for the fan….

          • “Emily, All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker.”
            “I’ve said searchers should go back to the poem so many times that I don’t want to say it again here.”

          • Aug 9, 2016 – Hello Forrest,. If in 500 years all a person has is the poem, and no back story: they don’t know “in the rocky mountains north of santa fe” or that there are 9 clues etc. Could a person reasonably just use the words in the poem and find your treasure chest? Thank you ~Nope Thank you Nope. Nope. f.

            How can we make those comments true?
            Ya can’t hang your hat on a single premise and expect a favorable outcome.

            The idea I present is from fenn’s comment of; “…certainty of the location beforehand”

            Beforehand, can’t mean anything else than ‘prior to going on a search’ We have also been told that we can solve the poem’s “clues” at home. That doesn’t say we can solve the entire challenge at home… So, I think the idea of “all the information” is only the path. The idea of the “location” of the “path” must be known first and foremost.

            Now we have; there are many WWWH in the RM’s and nearly all are N. of SF. LOL this isn’t rocket science… we were told In the mountains N. of SF. But even those two clues will not lead to the chest. Well, why not? I mean, WWWH is the first clues and we have been told to stay home if we don’t have that nailed down, right?

            Conclusion… We need the ‘location of all the clues’ first and foremost to nail down WWH… and all the other clues.
            Question is; Is that information IN the poem or “the book will help with the clues” ~ location?

            I think fenn’s [second hand comment] talking about ‘manufacturing wwh’ seems to imply that we need to find the location of all the clues before throwing darts at all the wwwh throughout the RM range. I’ll add; picking a state or a regions [ such as YS park ] is simply a guess. IMO the location is what fenn meant by “what took me so long”

            **The Nope, Nope comment is also interesting to think about. Should “All the information…” be contained in the poem… You have to ask yourself… if the words themselves don’t do it “all”… what else IN the poem does?

            The options and ideas seemingly lead to numbers of some sort.

        • Aaron,

          See Scrapbook 126 and pay attention to the photo with the lake, bear, hat, and stone post marker. All four have a nexus. Look up the origin and history of the words for the objects and you should be able to figure out what HOB is….at least what my solve for HOB is.
          Hope this helps.

          • I have to say that is an oddly photo-shopped photo and was not able to tie in a HOB based on the origins of the objects in it. It may mean something though…

          • Taheel and Aaron: that’s NOT how the photograph first appeared on Dal’s. It was doctored after-the-fact. *Dal* chose the stele, the bear, AND the hat as elements (some deliberately humorous) to add to the Wheeler picture, as I recall. Forrest’s only suggestion was to elevate the hat above his head rather than have it rest upon it.

          • Zaphod,

            Thank you very much for the info on the picture. You revealed to me a critical piece of info related to our solve. The puzzle has come together for us about 4 months ago but your shared info solidified our solve. Once again, many thanks.

            Look up the proto-indo european (PIE) word origin for the items in the picture. Not all items will have a PIE origin but the most important ones do.
            Look at the shape, material, positioning of the items, etc. to find the meaning of the picture.
            Based on the above, I believe the picture is the major clue for HOB and where to find the blaze.

            Hope this helps anyone. We have our solve and hope to be out west in about a month. Stay safe all.

      • Ken has hit the nail on the head. When Forrest wrote “I would advise new searchers to look for the clues in my poem and try to marry them to a *place* (Seeker’s emphasis) on a map,” what if in the context of the statement that “place” is a very broad area, like Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone NP, Glacier NP, etc.? Scale matters when making the distinction between place singular and places plural.

        In the second quote (Forrest’s response to Ken), he specifies places plural cross-referenced to clues plural. If the scale has changed between the two statements, both statements can be true without conflict. But if both statements are true, there is no getting around that the clues refer to multiple, distinct places. In other words, unless Forrest was being misleading to Ken, the nine clues cannot all refer to a singular, tiny, geographic point on a map. Besides, we have many statements from Forrest about the need for the clues to be solved in consecutive order. “Consecutive” is nonsensical if the clues all refer to the same spot. Finally, Forrest’s contention that it is extremely unlikely that someone will figure out the blaze without first figuring out WWWH is equally absurd if the blaze and WWWH are one and the same.

        • Good point though even using the statement with “place” it is hard to tell if FF is referring to marrying each clue to a place individually or marrying all the clues combined to a place.

          • JDA:

            You have said to read the poem and read TTOTC to help solve for the 9 clues. We all know there are many options to choose from regarding, Brown, hoB, wwh, and blaze hinted at in the book. My question is, “In the book, do you also, in a more subtle way, tell which is the correct answer to one or all of the above?” ~BW
            No I don’t madam, sorry. F

        • Zap…I think there is no getting around it. To pick and choose which ATF makes a solve work…is risky business. My opinion is that the ATF are dangerous until/unless the first clue is nailed down. Absurd is an understatement…

          • Ken,
            fenn has stated the clues have been deciphered [ first two ]. Now the question is; what does it take to nail down a “clue’s references” out of the many possibles?
            Be it a waterfall, merging rivers, hot spring, fenn’s bathing spots… where is the correct one?
            There is only two real options we have… the book will help with the clues, or the poem has all the information to find the chest.
            Everything else is guessing.

            **correct and factual opinion… lol

          • Seeker! Yeah…good one ! Now we’re back to the poem/book stuff…jeebzum. Kidding aside…I feel ya pain. I do think *strongly* that the poem is gonna do the job. The stuff in the book I fear is pretty obtuse and not too much help until the puzzle starts laying itself out. Lawn jarts is probably not the correct way to go.
            ^^^factual opinion^^^….kinda has a certain off kilter twang !!!

          • we need to be certain of “the location beforehand” to be certain of the “direct path”

            “I would advise new searchers to look for the clues in my poem and try to marry them to a *place* on a map,”

            To pick and choose which ATF makes a solve work…is risky business

            I totally agree. So, if the info to solve for wwwh, hoB, and the blaze is not out there, how do we solve for those clues? We can’t. But, we will know the spot beforehand.
            How do you use the words in the poem when just using the words in the poem will not find the chest?
            We won’t know the blaze before we know wwwh, but, we don’t have the info to solve for either.
            Yet, we will be certain of the location beforehand to be certain of the path.
            If you can’t put this all together and see that the searcher will know the spot before the first clue, I don’t see how you could solve this puzzle.
            The info to solve for the first clue is not out there, there is only one way to get the starting point. I know you guys know all this, maybe just don’t want to admit? IDK, how will the searcher find the chest when at the very start they are wrong.
            How do you find the spot? Look on a map. How do you find the path? Look on a map. How do you find some of the clues? BotG. The path are the clues, but we will know the end spot before we know the path…
            You know it’s right, but the “clue” purist are to stubborn to admit it.
            F has not contradicted himself with the ATF’s, and Zap’s right, you can’t just pick and choose. As tough as some of his comments are to many solves out there, you can’t ignore the simple fact that one of them says the info to solve some of the clues is not provided. Think about it, more emphasis on the poem and less on the clues…

          • Charlie;

            You say, “I totally agree. So, if the info to solve for wwwh, hoB, and the blaze is not out there, how do we solve for those clues? We can’t.” And then say, “The info to solve for the first clue is not out there, there is only one way to get the starting point.” You appear, at least to me, to be stating something as fact that has not been proven.

            I totally disagree – I firmly believe that the information for defining the correct wwwh IS in the poem. Can I prove it today? I wish I could. Do I think that I can prove it before Fennbree – I certainly hope so. Just my OPINION Charlie.

            You state as fact that what I believe is wrong. Can YOU prove your assertion? Just askin’ – JDA

          • What I find entertaining is that there is enough information on this blog to reliably conclude that JDA, charlie, lowaengr, Tom Terrific, Thrillseekeranimallover, and I all have different solutions and each of us appears to be equally confident that their solution is the correct one. Shows how much confidence is overrated. 😉

          • Well said Zap…

            JDA, the ATF about in the book does he give in a more subtle way the correct answers to Brown, hoB, wwh, the blaze? No
            You solve for those clues when you are on the path to the chest. You solve for the end spot from the poem, map a path, get starting point. That starting point will have references to wwwh. Your path will take you into a canyon down or whatever you have as a second clue reference.
            Some clues are solvable in the poem, just not all. That will take BotG to see. If you have the correct spot, you will find the chest, then know what he was referencing as clues. (you will not know wwh until you have the chest).
            It’s not solving the clues as much as solving the poem. Solve the poem, get your spot.
            So, same questions to you JDA, how can you solve for wwwh from the poem when f has said the info to solve it correctly is not there? If f has not told us how to solve for it, how can we?

          • Okay JDA, I’m not trying to say who’s right or wrong. All I’m saying is that if you choose to solve the poem by solving for clues, then you have some ATF’s to address. If it works out for you, great, but those ATF’s paint a bleak picture that must be addressed, that’s all. If you want to say his comment was about the book or being subtle, and that is good with you, then I won’t argue how you interpret his comments. I will just say, there are ATF’s that go against that way of solving this puzzle. Now, as far as solving for a spot, there are no ATF’s against it. I tell you that you need to solve the poem and it will yield a spot, which you can get your path and the starting point. There will be no ATF’s to contradict that. You tell me to solve the clues and after I have solved all 9 I will have my spot, well, I can show ATF’s that go against that thought. That’s all…

          • Charlie;

            You again say, ” when f has said the info to solve it correctly is not there? ” I am old and slow Charlie. Please tell me, or point me to the quote where Forrest has ever said that the info to solve it correctly is not there.” Is not where? Is not in the poem? He has said just the opposite – Here is just one quote: ““So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.” f

            Please show me where he said the opposite – Thanks – JDA

          • JDA, I would also add, the comment you gave could be taken as following the poem, not the clues. Even though we know to follow the clues, it could be read as to follow the poem precisely…

            The ATF is above, sorry I didn’t put it down here. In case you missed:

            You have said to read the poem and read TTOTC to help solve for the 9 clues. We all know there are many options to choose from regarding, Brown, hoB, wwh, and blaze hinted at in the book. My question is, “In the book, do you also, in a more subtle way, tell which is the correct answer to one or all of the above?” ~BW

            No I don’t madam, sorry. F

            Again, like I said, it’s up for interpretation, but seems pretty obvious to me. He does not give the correct answer, and since all we need is the poem, leads to the “can’t solve all the clues with the poem” thought, since the poem is in the book.
            Put this ATF with the one he answers “Nope”, and it’s pretty obvious that some of the clues cannot be solved. Add in that we will know the end spot to get our path, etc…etc…etc…leads to the possibility that all the clues is not the way to finish this cake, that following the directions gets you a spot, the end spot. There are a couple more JDA, but I’m sure you already know.

        • FF was an architect, engineer, bricklayer, painter and resident of his work.

          Being in the right place, any interpretation confers. > “IMO”

          Even the last two letters of the book (omegas) confer.

          I need the book in DOC or PDF for me to translate and read.

          Does anyone know if there is an online version for me to buy ??

          The physical book would be much harder for me …

          • No full pdf version online that I am aware of. I know someone on here has mentioned typing the entire book out but not sure that they would give that up.

          • McB,

            You would be better off taking a crash course in the English language than you would believing anything that you see on Facebook. Using the name Facebook along with News is what we call an oxymoron in America. Fake news is what some call it. Highly censored propaganda in other circles. You are at a disadvantage my friend, if you have to translate words and still search for Truth. IM(and a couple hundred thousand other Americans)HO. Done with my rant…Best wishes to you.

          • LMN,

            Do not bother with me.

            I’m here with all you, are not I?

            And without the TC too, just like you!

            So, I think EVERYONE is at a disadvantage …

            As for the language, only here in the BLOG that I automatically translate.

            ALL important information translates word for word (in three languages).

            I have a wider range of information than anyone who speaks “only” English.

            This gives me a certain lead in interpreting the poem.

            And I have high consideration for many here on the Blog, that help me when I need it.

            Let’s exchange tips and help us, like “Seeker”, “Charlie”, “Aaron”, “JDA” and others.

            I’m happy to be able to help and be helped.

            Thank you for your concern. : )

          • Inserting a joke here:

            What do you call a person who speaks three languages? Trilingual.

            What do you call a person who speaks two languages? Bilingual.

            What do you call a person that speaks one language? An American.

            I heard that joke in Sierra Leone, West Africa many moons ago and it has stuck with me.

          • Mc B
            In my opinion, the poem is all that is needed.
            Also, in my opinion, if you are going to spend all that $$$ to come join the chase…
            Please, go to New Mexico.

          • Hi Swwot: first heard that 3-2-1 joke from comedian Eddie Izzard. The best jokes are those that contain a strong element of truth. 😉

          • swwot,
            Aquí en California nos molesta esa broma. Y construye tu propia pared maldita. 🙂

          • Charlie – I knew someone was going to somehow try to figure out if I was an American or not. 🙂

            While Spanish is my “next best” language, I still had to translate your comment. I also do even less ASL and was forced to take Koine Greek in seminary.

            I was in Sierra Leone only 3 weeks, but in that short time was able to learn the important phrases, like – where’s your bathroom, please?

          • Yes, Lugnutz. Also typed in about a third of TFTW. May finish typing that one in some day, but feel like I’ve already extracted enough from my 20+ passes reading that book.

          • Zap,

            Could you please provide me the typed TTOTC so I can translate and read it? Or would that be a problem?

          • McB: I’d like to help you, but I believe that distributing my Word document version of TTOTC (with all my notes redacted, of course!) would be a violation of U.S. copyright law.

          • Zap, I did not want to bother you, but,

            You should have the text well in mind after typing the entire book, I imagine.

            Could you please tell me if at some point in the book FF talks (or photos) about:

            Ashes, burned wood, burned pine, walk on ashes, something under ashes, forest fire …

            And if the FF talks, in what context?


          • Hi McB: Forrest mentions ashes three times in the chapter “Tea with Olga.” “Her plan was for me to spread her ashes on top of Taos Mountain and in exchange, she would state in her will that I could have her little rooms at their appraised value. She loved the sacred old mountain with its strong ponderosa and aspen groves that blanketed its landscape so completely. She said her father’s ashes were there and she wanted to be with him again.” Later, “We joked about the irony of my plane wrecking with her ashes on board as being nature’s ultimate affront.”

            As for burn/burnt/burned, there are quite a few references, many from the chapter “My War for Me,” which incidentally you can find online (in an earlier form, not too different from what appears in TTOTC). Three mentions of afterburners on jet aircraft, salty tears burning his eyes, “burned into my brain” and “burned in my brain.” In the chapter “Father on the Banco” he mentions his parents ceremonially burning their mortgage papers when their house was paid off.

            And finally, George Burns is mentioned in the chapter “Gold and More.”

          • lol swwot, I had to look it up too…People that know 2,3,4,5 etc…languages, to me, are very smart. Or, the one’s I know just so happen to be smart. Some of my friends try to argue that point by their plant consumption. They succeed very well.

          • Zap, When you had the book put in 1’s and 0’s, did you scan and use a text recognition program or did you transcribe manually?
            How many hours and technology invested for a digital copy?

          • Hi Chance: old school — transcribed manually. It’s a good exercise because I spotted things typing it in that I missed in the dozen plus times I read the book. It didn’t take that long, but then I type pretty fast.

        • The word “Place” is in the poem. Line 9. I daresay that this is the correct “Place” to focus your attention regarding Fenn’s statements.

          I believe that the clues, all of them, are in the poem. Fenn has 9 sentences, 6 stanzas, 4 lines per stanza. Every sentence contains useful information and the successful solve will utilize info from every sentence. And info is NOT presented in a strictly linear fashion. You must identify the correct inputs, develop a process to transform inputs to outputs, then use To Be to validate your effort.

          I know you guys are reluctant to believe it, but i’m convinced that this poem is at heart a math puzzle. The answer that Fenn provides is a singular coordinate: one lat, one long. Until you have that point in hand, then you are stuck in an endless loop of unverifable information. But once you do have it, then the descriptions in the poem can be successfully translated to a map.

          So, if you want to know WWWH, you need to do the math. Once all the math is done and you’ve solved the puzzle completely, you will be able to look at a map and identify the actual place that Fenn used these words to describe.

          Note: my current WWWH has been identified successfully on this site (by association only). And it is not within walking proximity to the final coordinate. Per my map, none of the other physical locations in my solve have been discussed here yet. So, in general, I don’t think my current location of interest has been searched hard or overly often.

          And FWIW, I only needed basic addition to derive my current solution. The difficulty is not in doing the math itself. The problem is imagining the right process and coupling that with the right inputs. Whether my understanding of the poem is perfect remains to be seen, but I have more than enough validation proof in hand to believe that my odds of success this summer are worth the BOTG time.

          Food for thought. Hope it helps someone out there.

          • Yup, I believe math is involved for the 1st clue.
            In TFTW Chapter 5 he describes riding his bike about 20 miles to the Firehole River where he bathed in his teens.
            He doesn’t exactly tell you where this spot is in the book so you must do the math and go about 20 miles to this place and look for a hot spring that is about 50 ft away. Definitely too far to walk for me.

          • Kudos, Iowaengr, you may have struck a gold claim with that line of thought, The Poem, it is Latitude and Longitude and borders are very important to the solve.


      • seeker from wwwh you take it in the canyon down to home of brown
        from hob all the clues going north from there its a straight shot to the treasure chest depending that you know what is waters high the blaze in the wood to the chest – it doesn’t matter if you got 2 clues right – if you don’t know what you are looking for you are not going anywhere and if you do because you don’t know whats next you are going to miss the other 7

  35. the only thing I can think that the people that found the first 2 clues – found hob first and from there they went the other way to wwwh and missed the other 7 by going the other way and not going from hob to waters high jmo

  36. seeker I have worked with just the poem for 5 years and ff has giving a lot of hints – that match with my solve – on scrap book there is a picture of a rooster and the crown of the rooster is the blaze or what might seem like flames and the eye of the rooster is where the tc is from the blaze and that to me says – as eye have gone alone in there but that’s what I get out of that and its jmo

  37. I had a dream last night about the chase. Forrest was there too. I came to realize that all the hidden hints and directions where in one chapter. I just dont remember which one. I was woken from the dream.
    I think I better read TOTC again!

  38. all I can say is – what kind of fun would an easter egg hunt be if you were to put all your easter eggs in one pile

  39. being that wwwh and home of brown would be one of the places to start I put them at – o- elevation
    and from there to the treasure chest is 7000 elevation
    that would not be one place – for me imo would be – places

  40. In the theatreer while watching Ready Player One, my son looked at me and whispered, “Mom, if the Egg Hunters are Gunters, then you are a Fennter.” There were a lot of similar reasons in the Fenn treasure hunt and the Key/Egg hunt in the movie. Ha Ha Ha!

    My solve has the Home of Brown just under 10 miles from WWWH.

    • T.S.A.L.: I thought the very same thing. Ready Player One was the video game version of Fenn’s Treasure Hunt. Lots of parallels.

    • TSAL – 10 miles sure seems right to me – Best of luck in figuring out the rest – JDA

      • JDA,
        I have a feeling I just may bump into you out there….somewhere in Wyoming….this summer. That would be a nice surprise.

    • We went to see Ready Player One last night. It was a fun movie. I had read the book and so I was happy when it was made into a movie. I don’t think any hunter could go see it and not think of Fenn’s Treasure. I like Fennter-it works. I liked the camaraderie between Gunters, it reminds me of the kind people on Dal’s blog.

      • I read the book a few years ago and loved it. So many similarities between Gunters and Fennters like researching and knowing everything about Fenn’s/Halliday’s lives. That building to go in with the videos of the past was awesome. Also the gold coins are shared between both as well as a “key” or a word that is key ha ha ha! Halliday and Fenn both want to leave something to someone who deserves it who is worthy. Same with Wonka.

  41. This whole statement is ONE OPINION ONLY, ( the correct one) From my perspective the poem is a map. Insofaras a map is of one “place”, so is the poem. That one place just so happens to cover over 30 horizontal miles in one direction from Wwwh to the home of Brown makes it more difficult to describe the poem as one place. When the treasure is discovered and the solve is revealed I am sure People are going to be AMAZED at the simplicity of the clues, and utterly stunned by how well Forrest hid the solution so well in plain sight. I have had the first four clues solved ( except for one line) for three years now, and in November I finally figured that last part of clue four out. I will say this about the poem, a person could have seven of the nine location clues CORRECTLY identified, and still NEVER COME CLOSER THAN A QUARTER MILE HORIZONTALLY, OR 200 feet in elevation. If you are on the same road FF was on when he went to hide the chest then you have been within 200 feet ( in elevation) of the chest, but you may not have known it…
    There are more than 9 clues in the poem too. There are nine clues that DIRECT YOU TO THE LOCATION OF THE TREASURE…. But I guarantee there are a MINIMUM of three more clues in the poem that serve to confirm your solve, and one more clue that I feel you MUST solve at least partially before you can discover the exact The keyword and the word that is key must also be discovered before you will successfully locate indulgence. Again, all is my own correct and factual opinion.

    • MichaelD;

      Good luck to you my friend. I wish you well. For my solve, I hav e to disagree with almost everything you say, but that is OK – That is the Chase. Happy Hunting, and TRY to STAY SAFE – JDA

    • MichaelD,
      To give you a different opinion, I agree with most of your general statements. I especially like “When the treasure is discovered and the solve is revealed I am sure People are going to be AMAZED at the simplicity of the clues, and utterly stunned by how well Forrest hid the solution so well in plain sight”.

      What doesn’t make sense to me is if you’ve only got through clue 4 how can you know how close clue 7 will get you to the chest? Also how do you know what is clue 7? My take is that it’s hard to figure out how to group the information into clues, so until I’ve figured everything out I’m not even trying to parse that information into 9 discrete clues.

    • All the discussion about anyone being within 200 feet of the treasure is just a
      rabbit hole. Especially if one defines it using elevation. Back to the poem,
      folks! All IMO.

  42. You must know before you go, but you have to solve the last clue on site. Hmmmm….there’s only one way these statements make sense.

    • That’s because clue 8 takes you to a “very” small place.

      I believe the size of one acre or less.


      • Hey McB, It’s a precise spot at clue 8 that you must know beforehand, but when you know where to go you have to do something after you get there, solve the last clue. Probably why it hasn’t been retrieved yet. Maybe they hiccuped at hear and listen. Have fun on your chase. All imo.

        • I respectfully disagree. I think that all the clues can be solved
          from home. But the last few steps, BOTG, are still required in
          order to find, relatively precisely (say, about the size of a kitchen
          table) the hidey place and the TC. All IMO.

          • Hi tighterfocus, There’s a reason he recently said the last clue must be solved on site. Imo.

        • Tighterfocus: I believe everything through the blaze can be solved from home, which is certainly the majority of the clues.

  43. “Shows how much confidence is overrated. ”

    Well said. There has been lots of extremely confident searchers over the years. Confidence is good to have and makes it more fun. As far as finding the chest though it is a little overrated.

  44. LMN, you may have misunderstood McB. I asked him how he found out about the chase and he replied that he saw it on Facebook. That was not fake news.

  45. if those people got 2 clues right – lets just say one was wwwh and the other was hob
    and not to knock anybodys solve the next clue would be heavy loads and waters high a lot of searchers say that its a water fall that’s fine but if those people did not see a water fall
    they just kept going looking for one imo that’s what I think happened I mean no offence

    • I think they were in the correct location but with a misinterpretation of WWWH + CD + TFTW.

      Because Hob gives a direction that if they had followed they would find the later clues.

      And they did not have “as much” information as we have today.


  46. They got the first two clues right, but completely blew number three. If you make a mistake in the middle, even if you continue on correctly, you will not arrive in the correct location. Clue three is one of the hardest clues in the poem IMO, and I had the rest.of the clues figured out well before I finally figured out my mistake on clue 3…

  47. McB…
    New Mexico
    Because, in the poem, Mr. Fenn, tells us to look in New Mexico.

    Clearly Clueless

    • CC: you are welcome to the relatively tiny portion of the search area that’s in New Mexico that Cynthia hasn’t walked within 12 feet of. 😉 I will certainly never search there. When next I set foot in New Mexico, it will either be to return Forrest’s bracelet, or search for meteorites at Glorieta Mountain. Or both. 😉

      • Zap
        Of course it is just my opinion.
        And, I could be biased towards my solution.
        It just seems to me Mr. Fenn would have told us, which state to search in…

        • Glorieta: excellent pallasite meteorite hunting grounds. Meteorites with a decent fraction of peridot (olivine) in them sell for over $30/gram — approaching the price of gold (~$43/gram).

          • Hi Lugnutz: as with anything, it depends on how much time you want to put in. I have friends who have made multi-kilo finds at Glorieta. I’ve yet to search it myself, but would be thrilled to find something in the 200-gram range.

          • Olivine is the most plausible solution for the origin of complex life on earth. It possess the “correct” mineral types to create the natural chemical properties for the beginning of proto-proteins in the presence of water and gases…


            Sounds like fun Zap


          • Zap –

            I sometimes see these things differently then other people.

            First, sure If I KNEW i would find enough Olivine and then sell it for the 8k I would go and put the work in. W don’t know. Since I don’t know I would adjust my expectation for the trip. I would look at the opportunity to explore nature and enjoy the adventure of hunting.

            As a Morel mushroom hunter living in an area where they are scarce. I put in an extraordinary amount of hours. So the return cannot be monetary. The return on my investment is in in joy. The joy of hunting and the joy of finding.

            I will let you in on a secret that only my wife knows. I do not like morel mushrooms. I don’t really like any of the mushrooms I gather.

            There is no mushroom that is more valuable than the enjoyment I derive simply from the pursuit. Spotting a Morel from 15 feet away in dense scatter before the person next to me and then proceeding forward in anticipation of when he will see it. That is exquisite!


          • Hi Lugnutz – for me, meteorite hunting is a lot like fishing. It’s not really about the finding. My first 10 trips out to various desert locations, I found nothing. But I learned something on every trip, becoming familiar with all of the terrestrial rocks that can bear some resemblance to meteorites (e.g. black or dark brown, fairly dense, attracted to magnets, etc.) so that I could ignore them. Like Forrest Fenn’s Chase, stubborn persistence is a requirement for success. Now I find one space rock for about every 6 hours of searching. I still have days that I’m skunked, but the scenery, solitude and silence of the desert are always worth the effort. There is nothing quite like sunrise and sunset in the Mojave.

            You would be surprised (though maybe not!) how many meteorite hunters are also morel hunters. Or gold prospectors, or fossils, or arrowheads, or tourmalines or other minerals. Overactive hunter-gatherer genes, I suppose.

          • Zap –

            Meteorite hunting does indeed sound like morel hunting.

            the other thing I do in Illinois is look for remnants of history. Where you live are you familiar with the Joliet and Marquette?


          • Hi Lugnutz: as for Joliet and Marquette, I’m certainly familiar with the names of those cities — the former thanks to The Sting, and the latter because of NCAA basketball.

          • Hi GCG: I’m familiar with ambergris thanks to Rush’s Caress of Steel album (song: Panacea):

            I catch the scene of ambergris
            And turn my head surprised
            My gaze is caught and held and I
            Am helpless, mesmerized

        • McB,

          I agree with you. WW are only specifically referenced for NM. Haven’t found it anywhere else.
          Just my two cents.

          • TS

            WW in NM seems too obvious, to be part of an enigma.

            In my solution, I found only 8 WWWH (singulars) in RMs.

            Only one that confers with CD + TFTW + HoB.


          • McB;

            You have stated this several times, without giving any detail as to what these 8 wwwh (singular) are. Can you be a bit more specific? Just askin’ – JDA

          • Sorry, JDA

            I can only say this: it is a NAME that carries virtually ALL clues to an exact location.

            Anything else I say about it will open the eyes of many researchers.

            And since I do not have the chest, it’s best not to talk too much. Do you agree?

          • My solution, no places.

            Finding WWWH,
            go northwest for CD,
            to the west for TFTW,
            to the southeast to HoB,
            to the south for NPFTM,
            to northeast to NO PADDLE,
            to the east for HL and WH,
            to the northeast for WISE,
            to the south to BLAZE,
            LOOK QUICKLY DOWN for CHEST.

            All in One. WWWH ever very near.

          • Ah, JDA,

            There is no code, no number, no cipher, no riddle, no key word, no such thing.

            It’s quite simple. Just a matter of thinking the whole sentence and researching geography. ; )

    • I think NM also. In TTOTC on page 133 there is a antique map of NM. Also FF posted, I think on a scrapbook…could be wrong, a picture of a travel map of NM without any words….just the map. To my knowledge, he hasn’t done that with any other state.
      The TTOTC map on page 133 was published several years before the new map in the back of TFTW and I believe that map is a major clue…not just filler for the book. The TFTW includes a portion of northern NM on the map.
      FF has lived in NM for decades and I believe while he has fond memories of MT and WY his connection to NM is stronger, not to mention closer. I have fond memories of where I grew up 40 years ago but would never go back there to hide something like the TC…only 5 hours but still too far away. My TC, if I had and hid one, would have to be close enough for me to verify if it is still there and not cumbersome (flight bookings, connections, drive time, etc.) in traveling to get there. I believe FF can hop in his car in the morning and drive to the TC without any trouble and be back for dinner.
      So for me, all indications point to NM.

      • Hi Tarheel Searcher: you make the good arguments for New Mexico that many other searchers have over the years who favor that location, strongest of which is proximity/ease of access. But a solitary antique map of NM in TTOTC is not a strong hint to hang your hat on. If one goes that route, there are 10 times as many hints for Yellowstone in TTOTC (and no, I don’t think the chest is in YNP). Once Upon a While has many maps in the background including Kings Canyon (CA), Yellowstone, and many other parts of Wyoming and Montana. I don’t have my book handy, but it wouldn’t surprise me if map portions of Colorado appear somewhere in there.

        If you’re looking to the poem for hints of the state he hid the treasure, you’ve probably seized upon “riches new and old” as a hint for New Mexico vs. (old) Mexico. But equally valid arguments can be made for the other three states:

        Montana: the Treasure State (“treasures bold”)
        Wyoming: “so why [WY] is it that I must go”
        Colorado: “I’ve done it ti(RED)”

        Correctly solving WWWH will tell you the right state for the starting point, IMO, without the need for guesses based on pictures, or biases against the perceived extra difficulty of hiding it outside of New Mexico.

      • I also believe it’s in NM. He said it took him two trips. He didn’t take two trips at age 80 all the way to Montana. I’m pretty sure he took two trips to somewhere close.
        Also, when I first read the poem, I didn’t know he lived in NM. When I searched for the warm waters I found a place just north of Santa Fe. I wondered if Fenn lived in Santa Fe and sure enough, he did. So I’m pretty sure I’ve found where the warm waters halt and the canyon right next to that spot. I’m guessing the box is within 66,000 links from there. Turn to face the blaze and look down and you’ve found it.
        Which makes perfect sense because I am pretty sure I know from my history studies what the blaze is.

        But I’m sure others have felt so certain before too so lol, we will see.

        • Scott: it’s not two round trips from his home to where he hid the treasure, it’s two round trips from where he parked his sedan. Forrest would have had no trouble getting to any one of the four states to hide the chest.

  48. If we are all convinced that WWWH is the first clue, why not accept that the first stanza is a hint? Heck it even says HINT in it…Right? now the next 3 stanzas contain 12 lines, Right?

    So simple to hint, or say after the clues: Why is it that I must go, And leave my trove for all to seek? The answers I already (spoke) (you) know, SO HAS HE TOLD US all 9 clues in those 12 lines? Everything after that are HINTS..JMO…So hear me all (has been said) of clues, but HINTS are the KEY for you to use….or you are out in the cold. ff has said that he spent 15 years constructing this like an architect and furthermore his intent was not to mislead, but it would not be easy….without imagination, it is impossible and God know we Searchers got more than our share of that..

    Now that’s about all I have to say about that! Forrest…Gump


    • I like your thinking Tom T. I’m curious about something. Since we’re zeroing in on wwwh being the first clue and we know that’s where f thinks the focus should be on then why would we need hints (in the last two stanzas) after those supposed 12 lines of clues?

      Wouldn’t we be dimishishing the value of the actual clues if we think they don’t provide the precision to the final resting spot of the tc? I have never understood that.

      • FD;

        Forrest has said: “: “There are nine clues in the poem, and the clues are in consecutive order. If you want to find the treasure chest – you have my book there – I’ll tell you how to do it. Read the book just normally … the poem and the rest of the book, and then go back and read the poem 6, 8, 10 times – study every line, every word. Then after you do that, read the book again, slowly, with the idea of looking for clues or hints, that are in the book that will help you follow the clues. You can find the chest with just the clues, but there are hints in the book that will help you with the clues.” f

        May I emphasize these words: “then go back and read the poem 6, 8, 10 times – study every line, every word. ” By reading the poem over and over again stanza #6 begins to flow into stanza #1 – Kinda’ like a circular poem. A circle has no beginning nor no end it is continuous. So, IF the clues are in stanzas 2,3 and 4, and the hints are in 5,6 and 1 – either the hints are coming BEFORE the clue stanza’s, or all are coming AFTER the clue stanzas – just depending on how you look at it.

        If BEFORE, the hints are helping with the clues that are soon coming, and may help you to understand what the clues are, or what they mean.

        If AFTER, the hints may give you a better understanding of what the clues are or mean. Just my opinion – JDA

    • Warm waters halt in the first stanza. So when he says in the New Zealand interview that “begin it where warm waters halt” is the first clue, you have to understand that he is not literally talking about line 1 of stanza two. You have to find where warm waters halt, and they halt in stanza 1.

    • Chris B: if, by your equation, you are suggesting that there is one clue per sentence in the poem, you are provably wrong by Forrest’s own admissions.

      • You have itched my curiosity, zaphod. Are you referring to Forrest’s statement that one stanza sounds like it contains three or four clues? (Paraphrased)

        • Dodo: Forrest does all the time, IMO, up to and including the latest Q&A on MW. That’s what’s going to be so exasperating to everyone when this is over.

          • Not to everyone (in my opinion), zaphod73491. Of all
            folks posting here, it seems ironic that y’all would be

            I suggest that you go back to the juniper ffire. All IMO.

          • zap- you may get the impression that Forrest is helping searchers, but he is not. the Q&A’s are worthless. and yes, i am speaking as if i know where the chest* is. also, more importantly where/what it is not.

            i think.

            *chest of the poem.

          • Hi Dodo:

            “you may get the impression that Forrest is helping searchers, but he is not. the Q&A’s are worthless.”

            Hmm. I would agree the Q&A’s are worthless to the searcher that hasn’t solved any clues. But for the searcher who has, they are confidence boosters IMO.

      • Hi astree: partially that, though “sounds like” is a far cry from “has.” The main argument against 9 sentences = 9 clues is two-fold, and Tom Terrific below has half of it. “Begin it where warm waters halt” *is* the first clue, per New Zealand radio interview years ago. When you couple that admission with the requirement that the clues are both consecutive and contiguous, there can be no clue in the first stanza.

        • At the extremely great risk of saying too much, I am going to weigh in here.

          As I have stated on here before, there are 9 sentences and every sentence contains useful information. Whether Fenn defines the usefulness of the information as a clue, or not, is immaterial to me.

          I find the letters in the 4 corners of the poem, from lower left, CCW:


          To be hugely important info. Far more important than WWWH! Is it a clue, or a hint? Pretty sure that Fenn would say, “hint.”

          Same for all the other input and process “hints” needed to even put oneselfonto the correct solve at all.

          So, sure, WWWH is the first place where the formal proof work begins. I agree w Fenn on that. So call it clue #1 . . . Makes no difference to me at all. But until you have a full and complete understanding of the inputs and processes needed to perform the steps, in order, moving forward from this point, your efforts will be GIGO.

          Operations are presented simply and consistently from Lines 5-16. My process produced a perfectly verifiable output before Line 13, so the requirement “to find” was satisfied on time.

          As for map correlations, which I know is where most of you think the rubber meets the road, I have a different perspective.

          I have a coordinate, a specific place to go. The map provides me with all possible routes . . . Flying, driving, boating, walking, whatever. I can choose how to get there, or not. Whether Fenn and I would both choose to label The Firehole River/Madison River confluence (fir example) as WWWH is irrelevant. My map does not have to mirror Fenn’s at all. Ever.

          So do I have warm waters, canyons, trails, Browns, wilderness areas, lines, creeks, loads, lakes, et al . . . Of course because all those points already exist on the map.

          So many of you are killing yourselves trying to unravel this or that with maps. I don’t believe it can be done. Not by me, or by any of you, either.

          Mathematical operations with answers and validation structures provided can be interpreted. Hard, yes. Tricky, absolutely. Permutation overload, been there. But solvable, and most importantly, verifiably so.

          Food for thought. I hope it helps someone out there.

          • You said “My map does not have to mirror Fenn’s at all. Ever.” You’re correct, your map may differ. IMO

          • Iowaengr,

            Although I fully believe that every individual might have their own unique touchstones into successfully interpreting Forrest Fenn’s poem, I find your previous post highly curious.

            Why would you disagree with the architect of the poem?
            Why wouldn’t rather say I don’t fully understand the authors intent but I have a fully viable/actionable solution that hasn’t required, what it seems others have been languishing over…

            However, your statement: “So many of you are killing yourselves trying to unravel this or that with maps. I don’t believe it can be done. Not by me, or by any of you, either” — Is extremely suspect!

            Forrest has said that a complete solve isn’t absolutely necessary to find the treasure but a complete solve is possible and whether or not my solution is correct or not, it is a complete solve based only on the poem and its correlation on a map…

            Further, the use of a map (marrying the poem to a map) is what solidifies the interpretation of the clues. Which seems antithetical to your postulation, that a map isn’t required but rather incidental to the correct solve.

            Lastly, much like the debate revolving around the importance of identifying the exact 9 clues; I can agree that seeing the poem EXACTLY as Forrest does, may not be necessary or even possible but when it comes to “certainty” and precision — I for one, will stick to the suggestions provided by the author.


          • @GCG,

            You wrote, “Forrest has said that a complete solve isn’t absolutely necessary to find the treasure but a complete solve is possible ……”

            Can you provide a link to where he supposedly said that, or was reported to have said that????

            *reference Rules, above….#1 and #2

            thanks, and good luck to ya

          • Hi, GCG.

            I am not trying to disavow anything that Mr. Fenn has said at all. If I implied that, I made my point poorly.

            So let me try again.

            I believe that the hints and clues provided relate specifically to the poem itself first and foremost.

            I believe that the poem provides explicit instructions to the astute reader that are mathematic in nature.

            I believe that a simple, specific and precise process is needed to solve the body of the poem. Inputs provided by the author need to be identified before the process of solution can even begin in earnest.

            I believe that various work process validations are built into the poem whereby the solver can continue or backtrack as neccessary. And based on my experience it is very hard to find the correct permutation that can pass all of the validation checkpoints provided.

            There are myriad ways to convert letters to numbers and back again. Therefore, a system of checks is needed to successfully initiate and sustain communications. Think frequencies, languages, dialects, etc. That Mr. Fenn provided so many varied answers was really quite generous, IMO.

            But, if i am mistaken and Mr. Fenn did not encode the specific coordinate of his box within the poem, or if my current solution is incorrect for any reason. then my trip west later this summer will be a vacation. And if so, c’est la vie. I will have a great time in any event.

            My personal opinion is that the math correlations are beyond germane, they are imperative. And I don’t see many posters talking about those possibilities. To that end, I offer an alternate perspective for anyone interested.


          • owaengr,

            I will agree with CGC fully.

            You said, “So many of you are killing yourselves trying to unravel this or that with maps. I don’t believe it can be done. Not by me, or by any of you, either.” That I feel is the most absurd statement I have seen.

            The nonexistence of any clues in the poem and only has hints, even when f says to marry the clues to a map and clues are in consecutive order, [gist of what f says].

            It sounds as though you are ignoring the true fundamentals of both the poem & some of the ATF comments f has made in regards to the Chase.

            Overall I believe you are grasping for straws because you have demonstrated that you are. I’m not being mean just realistic take no offense. By the way, what a way to slam f and the other searchers. I truly believe you will be proven otherwise.

            Good Luck your going to need it.


          • Iowaengr,

            *Scrapbook Sixty Two…
            Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses, Latin, cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, riddles, drones or ciphers, will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.f

          • Loco – two comments from f stand out to me as related to GCG’s comment…

            The one about reverse engineering wwwh from hoB and the other about the minimum number of clues needed to find the chest (the last one).

            Of course I don’t think you can correctly find either without correctly identifying wwwh as per f. But once you are in the right area, and if you have an understanding of how to correctly figure out a clue, then I suspect that a correct interpretation of every clue is not absolutely necessary to find the chest, but getting most of them correct will be needed to get there.

            I won’t be surprised if this idea bothers more than a few people… just mo.

            GCG – if there is something f has said in addition to the two comments above, I would be interested in hearing it as well.

          • Loco – one other comment from f that I think applies… the one about just finding the ‘blase’ and f talking about finding a fish on you hook…

            Forgive me for being lazy tonight and not copying and pasting actual quotes… but I know you are familiar enough with ‘em all.

          • JCM ~’The one about reverse engineering wwwh from hoB and the other about the minimum number of clues needed to find the chest (the last one).’

            We can take that comment to ways…
            1. IF you know hoB you don’t need WWWH, line of thinking. We can also add the comment about; IF you knew hoB you’d go right to the chest. [ seems logical that we can skip a clue or two if we know later clues, right? ]
            2. The other Idea is; IF we knew hoB [ as you implied…] we would probable know WWWH.

            There are many comments [ most searcher are aware of… you being one obviously ] such as;
            If all you have is WWWH and IN the mountains N.of SF as clues, we are not going to have a good change of finding the chest without all the ingredients.
            Or the clues must be followed in order, there s no other way [ per fenn ] that he knows of.
            ***And fenn finally answering the age old question; he followed the clues when he hid the chest.
            And, folks are wasting time looking for later clues… need to nail down wwwh.
            Not to mention; all the comments of deciphered first two clues and searcher apparently didn’t know they did, or at the very least understand in full. [ and apparently didn’t get hoB deciphered or properly deciphered {depending on clue count/order} ]

            I agree with you… IF we knew what hoB was, WWWH has to be involved [ knowledge of it ]… regardless of what # clue hoB is to fenn.

            Now I’d like to add a second party quote [shown by e-mail ~ DG] fenn asking “where is your home?”

            You know where I’m going with this lol… I think we might be reading this poem toooo literal and not enough with poetic eyes.
            The line “Put in below the home of Brown” could be the ‘idea’ of the location of WWH, the canyon etc. Rather than… just dart toss WWWH and then go look for hoB.

            IF fenn needed to follow the clues, there might be a good reason for the creator of the clues having to do, exactly as we are told to do. My opinion here is… the clues need to be known and understood and ‘used’ in order to find the chest. So why shouldn’t we be concerned with WWWh if we knew hoB? They could be one in the same… contiguous to each other in such a way they are inseparable and all in one location. [ and possibly all the clues that lead up to the blaze ].

            The last clue comment? Well that’s just obvious… right? “IF you’ve been wise and found the blaze…” And we have been warned, looking for the blaze without solving the poem is a waste of time.

            Now add in all the other AFT about searchers at the first two clues; walking by the remaining seven clues, figure out the first clues and walking past the chest; Add time and distance fenn as given us [with two trips from his car to the hidey spot] etc etc. And a pattern appears… IMO… no major distances between the ‘clue references’ [or hardly any distance at all ] no alternative transportation while actively searching, not being able to skip or drive by clues, no need to invent scenarios of more days needed other than one afternoon time period, or saying fenn didn’t mean he followed ‘all’ the clues when he “completed” the poem.

            ~If we are attempting, at all, to use all those ATF comments… we must understand how they All can be true [ truthful ] to each other.~


            when you say things like;
            ‘Pretty sure that Fenn would say, “hint.” ~ WWH.’
            Opinions aside, show where fenn ever stated anything close to your assumption.
            Or you said; ‘My map does not have to mirror Fenn’s at all. Ever.’ How do you get around the comments that fenn stated following the clues in order is the only way?
            Or, whatever method you personally apply to a solve, you said; ‘So many of you are killing yourselves trying to unravel this or that with maps. I don’t believe it can be done. Not by me, or by any of you, either.’
            There are too many comments I could list against your comment/post for debate purpose… while your process is your own… I would personally like you to at least back up your claims, so we on the blog, can exchange thoughts about your post with you… otherwise all we are reading is; you telling us we’re all wet and how brilliant you think you are.

            I mean, the gut who created the challenge, created the clues, tell us GE and/or a good map are good reference tool [ the book as well ] and you say… we’re ‘killing are selves’ by following his suggestions.
            It is easy to blurt just it out… give us a reason why fenn’s suggestion shouldn’t be !!! and not just what you hope the poem solve should be in your mind. Back your post up with something…

          • Loco,

            You asked me to provide the Forrest quote supporting my statement that you kind find the treasure with out solving all the clues:

            “If a person reads the poem over and over…and are able to decipher the first few clues in the poem, they can find the treasure chest. It may not be easy, but it certainly isn’t impossible. I could go right straight to it.” (Collected Works video)

            So the way I take this is; correctly interpreting the first 3 to 5, clues can get you close enough to the location of the treasure that it could be discovered even if the remaining clues weren’t specifically or exactly worked out yet…

            This is very consistent with his comments regarding 2 clues correctly interpreted, allowed searchers to get with in 200-500 feet of the treasure (“striking distance”). Therefore with just another clue or 2, “correctly interpreted” beyond the first 2 and a diligent/persistent searcher might be able to discover the treasure by BOTG investigation and thorough searching.

            The second part of my statement was “a complete solve is possible.” Forrest certainly has never said his Poem is possible to be completely solved, however he certainly implies that it can be completely solved since that is the point of the treasure hunt in the first place…

            But he has said, if a person does “correctly” interpret all 9 clues, then finding the treasure can be achieved with certainty and with precision vs. say 4 clues still possible but “I warned the path would not be direct for those who had” not figured out all the clues!


          • 9=9 ~ ‘Seeker,
            Do you think you can solve this poem and find the treasure?’

            I wouldn’t be trying it, if I didn’t think I could. The question should be; am I ‘able’ to solve it?

            A ‘solve’ is a completion of the full task.
            1. Decipher what is need to be understood / intended. [ general solve ].
            2. Utilizing that information [in this case; a process on site. ]
            3. Proceed in such a way, as intended by the creator of the clues.

            The full task is not easy, It is layered [ just not the same layering as may have described in their theories ].
            IMO. fenn designed the poem so only the ‘correct reading of the poem’ can send someone to the correct location. [layer 1, lets say] imo, that is not a point to point solution or simply walking the dotted line to a X, idea.
            Then the fun really starts… most would like this to be simply a stomping point to point, I don’t think so, [ layer two ] needs observing/ overseeing how the clues unfold.
            But even then, that might not be enough to actually finish the task. [layer three] might involve when [ time ] this can be accomplished.
            *[ note; time has to meanings.
            1. time of year for a searcher to search and discover…
            2. a process of time that will be needed to complete the poem]*

            Becky’s Q&A is a very interesting [ and deliberately posted ] response. fenn stated he took 30 minutes to decide not to answer her question.
            My thoughts here are; the poem allows the searcher to discover the blaze. That means a searcher need to think on his/her feet on site, oversee what is not only there but what could be there.
            I used the word “discover” because a searcher needs to be “wise to have found” what is needed to be understood. While the blaze might be an object… that object/feature/ thing [ call it what ya will ] IMO is a usable piece.

            The question is; exactly what is it? That is the catch 22… is it all the clues references combined is such a manner that is usable? Is it a single object [ a stand alone object ] – that the other clues lead to?

            Wen fenn stated; IF you can find the Blaze the distance to the chest would be obvious… I think at this point in the task the searcher need to relate to layer three. This layer or part of the challenge related to the “Wise” part of found. We should know there is more to be done here that simply kicking a log or rolling a stone… and that info is within the poem…. a type of; when in time to complete the poem.

            Sure, we have comment from fenn about;
            If you ‘know’ where the chest is you can ‘probably’ retrieve it in any weather… imo that can’t be done if you follow the clues.
            Basically I’m saying, you can not “know” where the chest is without being on site and observing. [ that comment simply says; it wouldn’t be a big job to get the chest, nothing about actually finding it ] IMO… the chest can only be found in summer because the clues only allow that to happen.

            You asked, do I think I can solve this poem and find the chest; I think the clues can be deciphered to their references [general solve], “finding’ the chest will only depending on how the clues are used on site [a solve / task that now completes (completed?) exactly what fenn created… the poem]

            LOL ~ I bet you’re sorry you asked for my opinion now, huh?… but there it is.

          • Seeker, you should put out your responses in volumes. Ha! A simple yes or no would suffice. lol If I read your response correctly, you cannot solve it because, “’finding’ the chest will only depending on how the clues are used on site.”, backed up by FF’s latest MW comment that at least clue 9 can’t be solved from the armchair. So if you need confidence that you solved it to go, how are you going to find it if you need to be on site? Kind of a chicken an egg thing don’t yah think?

            This begs the next question, how did FF get a gut feeling the treasure will be found this summer? Tic Toc

          • 9=9,
            How would I know what fenn’s gut feeling actually means? I don’t have the luxury of read searcher solves and knowing if they are close or not…

            As to your question; I thought I answered it as best as I could. But I’ll add this; fenn stated he doesn’t even “know” if it can be found … but “everyone as the same opportunity”

            I never count the chickens first… I just enjoy the french toast.

        • Zap

          When did you begin to believe this?

          I ask because for many months you commented that there was a clue is stanza alpha.

          Do you just call that a hint now?


          • Hi Lugnutz: there is certainly information in the first stanza that I was originally inclined to believe was a clue because I felt it was essential to identifying WWWH. But the New Zealand radio interview made it abundantly clear that Forrest must consider anything in the first stanza to be a hint (or hints), not clues. Personally, I can see it either way since in my opinion WWWH cannot be solved without it. What tipped the scales for me toward hint rather than clue was that my main hint from the first stanza can also be found in every other stanza.

          • Zap –

            Do you have an quote from Fenn about hints in the poem? I do not want to see the quotes about hints in the book and the book is in the poem.

            Also if you are referring to Horn I think that is absurd. I know some people focus on Madison County because of Horn. As if Fenn were in the 3rd grade when he wrote that stanza.

            That’s my opinion but please do respond to the questions about Fenn statements on hints.


          • Hi Lugnutz – as far as I know, Fenn has never claimed there are hints in the poem in addition to the clues. I’m confident there are, but I can understand others’ reluctance to believe it, since Forrest has never addressed the issue. Personally, I think it’s similar to the burial issue; if pressed, I imagine Forrest would say something like “I never said there were hints in the poem, but I never said there weren’t.” Perhaps a Q&A for Jenny to ask someday.

            As for the horns (plural, not singular), you can believe it’s absurd if you want. It’s not really that helpful or important a hint if it is a hint since there are horns all over the Rockies. If you don’t believe there are hints in the poem, then you must believe that at least one sixth of the poem (the first stanza) is fluff because there cannot be a clue there. 15 years to craft a poem, and over 16% is boilerplate? That’s not a very logical stance to take.

            So what’s going on with Dal’s site today? Has today’s MSN story brought a flood of visitors? The blog seems like it’s on life-support and I’ve gotten a number of 504 timeouts today.

          • Zap –

            It’s not boilerplate it’s the way you introduce the subject of the poem

            In Madison County there is “the horn” in addition to Horn Mountains.

            But if you believe that’s a hint that’s giving Fenn so little credit.

            He crafted the poem for years and then then the solve is just naming the location by utilizing the first letter of four consecutive words.


          • Zap ~’Hi Lugnutz – as far as I know, Fenn has never claimed there are hints in the poem in addition to the clues.’

            What do you consider “I can keep my secret where, And hint of riches new and old” to mean?

            I mean… this piece of information / suggestion / idea, is what the readers see just before the very first clue, right?
            If we take fenn’s explanation a hint helps with the clues and clues gets you closer to the chest… what is fenn “hinting” at? Does this refer to the book?
            If so, could brave [ to take on a challenge ] and in the wood [ paper ] refer to the idea that we need the book?
            Can the usage of ‘trove’ that fenn must leave for all to seek refer to the value of hints in the book? ~ He leave us the poem to solve, by the use of the book, that poem contains?

            There has to be a reason that the words ‘only’ in the poem, seemingly by themselves, won’t do the ‘full’ task of solving the challenge… Nope, Nope?

          • Hi Lugnutz – sure, you’ve got to start the poem with something, but why waste the opportunity? He chose his words carefully, deliberately, and yet look how clunky the whole first stanza is. It’s clunky because it’s not just simple words there, and he was “limited” in his ability.

            As for the two horns in the first stanza (not just the acrostic), how is that giving Forrest little credit? It’s not trivial to get it in there twice and still have something that doesn’t sound like gibberish. Besides, as I wrote earlier, if it’s a deliberate hint, it isn’t a useful one because there are horns throughout the Rockies.

            You seem to be complaining that it’s too easy — too obvious. But why is that a negative? The “redneck from Texas” has to start somewhere. What if Forrest is simply trying to teach us how to fish? You are attaching too much significance to the word — as if he’s giving away the search location (e.g. Big Horn Mountains). He isn’t. It’s a harmless hint, in my opinion. I think he’s showing us the simplest form of a technique — the same technique that was utilized in Masquerade.

          • Zap –

            We can ask him when this is over.
            But to me, clearly, the first stanza is an addendum to the written piece. The poem was just the 3 stanzas (2,3,4,). He added a beginning and ending stanza but couldn’t contain his thoughts so 5 became 5 and 6. That’s how I see the first stanza. It is stilted and was not worked and refined like 2,3,4. These are my opinions, but if you know one, ask a poetry professor without telling him about the chase.

            I am interested, as you are, in which stories or puzzles may have been read before he wrote his poem/book. Below is my opinion.

            He has never read Masquerade, though he may be familiar with it.
            He has read the Poe’s Gold Bug. (read all of Poe)
            He has read several Hardy Boys Mysteries. (Drew too)
            He has read Brown’s Descent and is familiar with Frost’s back story as relates to it. (a stretch but I belive)
            He knows more about butterflies than just about anybody.
            Warm is not a reference to a temperature. Warm Fuzzy

            The question for many here is Where is the treasure? That is putting the cart before the horse. It is not impossible to travel that way but it is rather difficult. You might as well be looking in the opposite direction of travel. The question is only, Where do I begin? Of coarse, you cannot answer that question until you know what I am.


      • Yes, just listened to that interview. Shall take that idea off the list. Do you prescribe to the theory that the 1st stanza has any meaning to the whereabouts of the starting point WWWH?

    • Chris, Zap, and me are both sure of the New Zealand interview where ff said that WWWH “is” the first clue. The second stanza is well past first sentence, which end in OLD. Now not everyone agrees with me that the end of clues is at the Blaze, it but should be clear that the first stanza is a HUGE HINT< not a clue…

      So ask yourself if thei is a map or one singular (small) place, it is perhaps both if you think that the poem is like a sandwich and layered. That is truly for the one who is certain of their solution.


    • The problem with the 9 sentences = 9 clues theory Chris is that it doesn’t match Fenn’s statements. Listen to this radio interview from 03/04/13, starting at 4.23,, Fenn says “that sounds like 3 or 4 to me.”

      This is my interpretation of the 9 clues. You will notice 4 clues in stanza 2, and no clues in stanza’s 4 and 5. I may have gotten it wrong, but I have a lot of confidence in this list.

      1. I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old
      2. Begin it where warm waters halt
      3. And take it in the canyon down.
      4. Not far but too far to walk.
      5. Put in below the home of Brown.
      6 or 7. There’ll be no paddle up your creek, just heavy loads and water high.
      8. If you are brave and in the wood I give you title to the gold.
      9. As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold,

      • Hi John;

        The only real problem I see is that Forrest has said that the first clue is “Begin it where warm waters halt.” You have it as clue #2.

        How can “I can keep…” be clue #1 if Forrest has said that “Begin it…” is clue #1? Just Askin’ JDA

        • JDA, warm waters halt in lines 3 and 4 of stanza 1. When people hear “begin it where warm waters halt” is the first clue, they interpret it literally to mean that the 1st line of stanza 2 is the first clue. But I think this is an example of “Fenn speak” People hear what they want to hear. Forrest is saying to begin where warm waters halt in the poem. Warm waters halt in lines 3 and 4 of stanza 1.

          • John;

            Why would Forrest say “Begin it where warm waters halt” is the first clue if he meant something different?

            Sorry, you seem to be the one who is hearing what you want to hear in order to make your point of view work. – Good luck in solving the poem, even if you are starting at the wrong clue #1 – JMO – JDA

  49. Theoretically and Figuratively speaking,
    Please Imagin Clue 1 to Clue 2 is 242ft.
    Then double down to Clue 3, near 484ft.
    Once you arrive there, you are at Clue 4,
    your presence is THE key to unlocking Clue 5.
    Clue 6 is obvious and it’s blatantly cliche.
    Clue 7, Clue 8, Clue 9 require physical labor.
    It will not be easy. You must work for it.
    Whoever is close, I imagine, is preparing.
    They can’t afford to be too confident, but
    I’m sure they are sure enough… Godspeed.

  50. Zap, thanks for sharing the info on the picture. Tarheel Searcher, the PIE references stood out but since it did not apply to all of the added images I discarded it. Since Dal is the one that dr’d the photo we can assume those extra images have no hints associated.

    • Maybe Dal is the “Fixer”?
      Just kidding…..understand your rational.
      Good luck.

  51. iowaengr
    In my opinion you are correct in thinking a precise location is encoded within the poem.

  52. John the lads / ladettes have said that the 1st clue is WWWH as has Fenn and After a rethink I have been working on this format of the clues
    clue 1. Begin it where warm waters halt, and take it in the canyon down, not far but too far to walk.
    2. Put in below the home of Brown.
    3. From there it’s no place for the meek
    4. The end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, just heavy loads and water high.
    5. If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, look quickly down your quest to cease, but tarry scant with marvel gaze, just take the chest and go in peace.
    6. So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek?
    7. The answer I already know, I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak.
    8. So hear me all and listen good, your effort will be worth the cold.
    9. If you are brave and in the wood.

    • Chris B,
      I like that you put all of stanza 4 into one clue. To me it all speaks of the same place. My list would be fairly similar though I don’t feel a strong need to figure out where one clue ends and another begins at this point.

      • Chris,
        Stanza 3 is a good example of why I don’t try to count or parse the clues. My reading of it is that FTINPFTM is one place, then TEIEDN connects it to the final 2 lines of the stanza. But you could view them as one place also. I’ll also mention that your first clue going from begin to walk agrees with my ideas. Those three lines cover some distance but they’re all variations on the same theme so I bunch them together. All IMO. Best of luck this summer.

  53. Hi, Chris B. I appreciate your effort and willingness to seek collaborative solutions. Please allow me to assist with some specific considerations related to line 5.

    Begin it where warm waters halt.

    The Granddaddy, the Mother. The _____ (pick your favorite idiom) . . . Of all clues.

    My take:

    Begin, verb, meaning to start.

    That is the obvious answer, but are there any other possibilities?
    Most certainly there are.

    Consider: Be gin . . .
    By artificially halving “begin”, the verb, “To Be” suddenly appears.
    “Gin” the remainder has multiple meanings. It can be alcohol, a card game, GI N, and other things, as well.
    And these are only the possible linguistic permutations possible. Gin, depending on your perspective can be good or bad, as well. Thus it’s utility or lack thereof is absolutely debatable.

    Use of simple substitution, which I consider to be a child’s math game, not a code BTW, yields:

    2+5+7+9+5 = 28 = 10 = 1

    Isolated analysis of this single word yields multiple potential answers. Absent context, process, and verification understanding I cannot know for certain Mr. Fenn meant to say.

    If I had to guess offhand, I would use Occams razor, vote “verb”, discount the math and move on to the next word, “IT”.

    So let’s do that and see what happens next.

    It, pronoun, designation unknown.
    IT, acronym, “Information Technology/Transfer”
    It, place designation. Example: the Blckfoot River central place in “A River Runs Through It.”

    Halving yields I remainder T. Possible if Fenn’s trail moves down from T, less likely if from I.



    Myriad possibilities. Multiple potential paths, both inside the poem and off the page, as well.

    I am generating questions, questions, and more questions. I have no answers as yet.

    Continuing from here absent clarifying info is almost certainly pointless, IMO.

    Believe me, I tried to start here, I wanted to start here, but I found that I only saw forrest, no solutions.

    I’ve found this puzzle to be like a kaliedescope, rotate the knob a fraction and the picture changes completely. If that is true, how can one ever see the same thing that Fenn saw? This is an open question. One we all must consider independently. I have absolutely no assurance that my current picture is any better than anyone else’s. But I have reached a level of personal satisfaction that I feel comfortable sharing my thoughts with others regarding some of the roads I’ve traveled this far.

    This has gotten long, and time for work, so that’s it for now. Feedback expected and welcomed.


    • Iowaengr,

      I left a post above regarding a few things…
      Some you answered here to Chris’s inquiries. So, thanks for giving us something to work with…
      Can you explain how you get around fenn’s comment [ in part ] The poem is in ‘plain English’? [ if you’re not familiar with the quote, it’s easy enough to find ].

      While you also say, your math is child’s play… how can it still not a code? [ hence the idea, “don’t mess with my poem” ] You break down a single word into two or even three words and give number values to them, then find a letter from those values [such as your T example]…
      Let me skip your math process itself and I’ll ask;
      Does any of this seem to answers fenn’s idea of a solve as… “what took me so long”? Or another comment; “try and simplify the clues”

      Don’t get me wrong… lol.. I have tried it all myself.
      But if we ignore all these ATF’s fenn has provide over a period of almost 8 years… it seems we might as well ignore WWWH is the first clue, right? or think that we can just drive down the road looking for the blaze and the chest. Should we just ignore the ATF-?- or only use the ones we each personally like for our own reasons?

      • Gotcha. Was just getting started. More to come. Will address your questions directly, as best I can. They are fair and germane. Just too much for current time window.

      • The irony of my story is that I found the blaze first before I solved any of the clues. Fenn has said “those who start by looking for the blaze are wasting their time.” I wasn’t familiar with this statement at the time, because I had only just begun the chase. Maybe it was a one in a million shot. Maybe it was just luck. But I think a degree of luck is involved in solving the poem.

        • well if you haven’t found the treasure how do you know what the blaze is. I’m pretty sure the “blaze” is a fire-scarred area or a natural outcropping of quartz.

          • I’m with JDA…
            How do you see quartz?

            I am so amazed at what all diffrences folks pickup. Wise owls and or Solomon math and now quartz? Hopefully about to learn something new i hope.

            Best of luck you all.
            Study time is getting short.

      • Well, he is trying to solve the poem, and not clues, so I can see that.
        how can it still not a code?
        I think we need to be cautious with that comment Seeker. I may be wrong, I reserve that right, but the alphabet is a type of code. So are words, etc…etc…etc… but I see what you are saying. We can’t just pick and choose.

        You break down a single word into two or even three words and give number values to them

        This is kind of the way I also see it, but not so much at random. It’s following instructions. Like the word “gone”. I see “g” (on) “e”. (On) being an instruction. To me, there’s instruction words, instructions within words, and even instruction letters. There’s abbreviations, and homophones. And, occasional misspelled word.
        While his number system falls on the a=1,b=2,c=3,d=4 pattern, I see a different number system, derived from following instructions and the poem telling me the values.
        I’ve wrestled with the Traditional values and found they don’t work in every situation. Take for example the word “gaze”. “G” (az) “e”. It doesn’t work. It does work with the system the poem gives though. Actually, only five letters match their traditional values: b, c, j, t, y.
        I think he still needs to tweak his system so that it fits every situation. Plus, as Seeker said, we cannot pick and choose. That’s force fitting and messing with the poem. The poem must tell us what to do and where to do it, IMO. BUT, if he’s found a way to make everything work out to his satisfaction, he must stick with it. He just needs to critique his solve to leave no questions.
        I don’t think he needs to worry about simplifying the clues in a sense. I don’t think he is even looking at what a clue or a hint is, and I think that is also a plus. Just trying to solve the poem.
        But again, and it’s a big but, like Seeker pointed out, we cannot pick and choose. That is the poem’s job. We need to find in our solves the answers to all and not just some.
        I also think it helps to put some of your solve out there to be critiqued. Only real way to tweak one’s solve. I’d rather hear all the points against rather then the points that are good.

        • Thank you, Charlie for weighing in on the ATF issue. Naturally, I agree with you on many points. But I would like to add a little personal color. So, Seeker, this is for you.

          First, let me say, that I am pleased that the debate is raging. I think it is healthy, and we all might learn a few things by participating and following along vicariously, too.

          Here are the tools I’ve used to solve the poem:

          a) the poem itself
          b) my ability to read the poem, both literally and imaginatively
          c) my intellect, be it inspired and successful, or foolish beyond measure . . .
          d) a dictionary
          e) a calculator . . . at least until I invested the time to prepare a Fenn-specific spreadsheet whereby I can type in any key that I want and then compare right and left sides for 10 lines of text simultaneously to automatically ascertain whether the sides are equal, or not immediately. If I type correctly, the math is always perfect. Gotta like that!
          f) Google Earth – map substitute
          g) no special knowledge at all . . . simple addition only (assuming you discount the knowledge needed to create a project-specific tool, that is)!
          h) puzzle concepts like anagrams and homophones (only when deemed extremely useful).

          Here are some things that I have not used:

          The entire list of items specified by Fenn as no-no’s.

          Now I understand that the presumptive opinion is that I am reliant on codes and/or ciphers. Perhaps I am, and perhaps I am not. Let me expound.

          I view simple substitution as a child’s game, not a code. It is the simplest, most direct way to convert letters to numbers. I consider this to be “Common Knowledge.” Thus it is absolutely fair game to play around with this as a puzzle solving-tool.

          Now where it gets more dicey is when I reach the point when I decide to change the order of the letters, or make letters = other letters, or change the initial values of the letters, etc.

          So, beginning with the dreaded, “cipher”. I consider a cipher to be when one letter is exchanged for another letter:

          quick example . . .

          C = J
          A = E
          R = T

          Car now equals Jet. I can say unequivocally, that I have not used any such device because the substitutions are of unequal length.

          C to J is 7 spaces
          A to E is 4 spaces
          R to T is 2 spaces

          This probably crosses the line and after careful consideration, I have decided to rule this type of machination out for myself. I am quite sure that Charlie might have a different opinion on this, and that’s absolutely fine.

          But, if the alphabet is a wheel, and the alphabet is simply rotated 7 spaces, the output of the previous example would be:

          C = J
          A = H
          R = Y

          This makes no sense on face value, so English-to-English conversion fails almost every time. But is this illegal?

          I think it depends on one’s personal opinion about what is a game or puzzle and what constitutes a code. I am certain that the majority of you out there consider this machination as against the rules, but I consider this level to be a game, and as such, I’m a willing participant.

          As an example of why I think that this can possibly be classified as in bounds, I’m going to jump ahead to Line 22:

          Your Effort will be Worth The Cold

          Per my B(e) (a)R(e) OWN interpretation of LIne 8, will be (future tense) becomes an equal sign.

          Your = 7+6+3+9 = 25 = 7
          Effort = 5+6+6+6+9+2 = 34 = 7

          7+7 = 14

          Worth = 5+6+9+2+8 = 30 = 3
          The = 2+8+5 = 15 = 6
          Cold = 3+6+3+4 = 16 = 7

          3+6+7 = 16

          14 not equal to 16, so no joy with this key . . . for me, at least.

          Some of you out there might be satisfied with “Your” = “Effort” = 7
          matching “Worth The Cold” at 16=7. And this is where the demand for elegance argument arises neatly.

          I, personally, believe that Forrest spent many years working on this poem because he wanted it to be perfect! I believe an elegant solution is out there somewhere, waiting to be found. While simple substitution has more than enough hits to exceed the 1-in-9 standards odds threshold to muster statistical relevance, it does not work in all situations. So, like Charlie, I think it needs to go. While Charlie finds virtually no value in starting with simple substitution, I have found it to be quite useful. For me, it is “hint-level” math. And that is absolutely precious stuff because it points the way forward, and it spurs the imagination, too. If the goal is out there, make Line 22 (and all the other “To Be” lines, too) work as I think it was meant to work, then that is a challenge that I can rise to, and most importantly, I will know without doubt when I’ve found success with any given attempt.

          But, “will be” states directly that these will become equal. This can only be achieved if the simple substitution key is changed somehow. Can it ever be changed, or does the very act of changing it at all, in any way, make it a “Code or Cipher?”

          If you answer this question, “Absolutely,” then please ignore anything else I have to say, as my solve is obviously incorrect, and I am just another lunatic barking at the moon. But remember, if you say no, no coordinate for you!

          For those of you who would like to try for a coordinate, please stick around, because you might learn something useful.

          Lastly, I think what Forrest was trying to say is that specialized knowledge about any pre-existing code or cipher is both unnecessary and unhelpful. I think he considers his obfuscation efforts his own proprietary work, and only someone who successfully “tunes in” to his personal frequency will ever know what he’s done, anyway. As a point of argument in favor of this interpretation, review Mr. Fenn’s comments on Mr. Briggs book. My personal take on Forrest’s comments regarding Briggs is that Briggs had some aspect of his work that was almost on target, making it impossible for him to automatically deny his book outright immediately. While I don’t think the Jefferson Cipher has any bearing at all here, it is a point worthy of research just for grins. But I digress.

          In closing, I ask you, Seeker, “Is simple arithmetic guided by one singular alphabet wheel, values TBD by solver, a code, a cipher, a game, or a puzzle?”

          Feel free to answer this question as you see fit. You know how I feel, already. Right, wrong, or indifferent.

          And before you answer, please consider one more thing.

          If you had a box and you truly wanted a person to find it, would you identify your location with 602 intentionally multi-faceted yet oddly non-descriptive words leading to at best a general area search of some indeterminate size, or would you skillfully hide a coordinate in the poem somewhere? Reasonability says that if you intend that the box be found, you use a coordinate, and moreover you would provide validation statements in order to give the other party a realistic chance to solve your puzzle. I believe this is what Mr. Fenn did, and my efforts have been directed at trying to pick up on his trail, listen to his words by reading them aloud to myself, and thinking hard about how to reverse engineer his magic trick.

          Hopefully you found this meandering statement entertaining, if not enlightening, Seeker.


          • Iowa
            I don’t think you are a lunatic.
            You seem very smart and a hard worker.

            I don’t think this is the way to solve the poem.
            But that’s just my opinion.


          • iowaengr,
            I do enjoy a good debate. And you ask as many question as I do… lol that might not win ya popularity points with everyone. I posted above to Charlie some thoughts… have a look see.

            To simplify a code definition… it’s a message within a message. However, If talking number [ example of one in the post to Charlie ] wouldn’t the method have to be singular to a clue, or, a clue itself. That would kinda, sorta, maybe, eliminate the problem of a “coded” message with in a message.
            Here’s another example;
            The capital letter in each line [ while many poems use this ] In this poem we might not want to ignore them.
            The simple idea is to write out the Alphabet and numbers 1 thru 26. We all know the letter A is the first [1] letter in the alphabet, B is 2 etc. so the lining up is natural and taught.

            In the poem there are 5 capital letter A’s, right?
            A is the first letter so A is the first number… 5 A’s
            B is the next have 2 B’s. So now we have 52, right?
            There are no C’s or D’s.. they zero out and not used. In the end, this will produce these numbers A/5 B/2 F/1 I/5 J/2 L/1 N/1 P/1 S/2 T/3 Y/1 [0] or 52’.1[5]2” -111. 23’.10”…

            There is a number missing if you see the idea of coordinates. So we need to decipher another clue to give us that number for the Lat. Yet IF you notice the 5 in the brackets… something seems off, too many numbers… There is a line in the poem that says; “So why it it that I must go” Odd way of saying that, don’tcha think… ‘why must I go’ flows much easier in a poem right? Or is that line telling us “that I must go” and there are 5 I’s in the capital letters…. so we boot it.

            The idea [ for me ] the number usages would need to be involved with deciphering/working with other clues, and not so much a single answer to a 10″ spot… the idea here allows easy usage and understanding of of numbers and letter [ letter already bold to be notices ] using a simple 123 ABC every 1st grader learns.
            Yet to make it work and a bit more difficult… we may have to use the poem [ line in the poem as example above ] to fully get it correct.

            I would imagine to write a poem as such would take a bit of time and changes and still be easily understood without breaking down or picking and choosing words to use or halving words… And a searcher would still need to decipher clues reference’s to to accomplish it.

            So I see how numbers can be involved… I just don’t like the idea of breaking down words by our chose can word, especially, if fenn may have done it for us… by using Capital letters when they are not need to be used.

            Will these number plot someone on top of the chest? I doubt it… but it may be the idea of, “Need to know where to start” without all the guessing on which state. A staring point to locate all the clues. location location location of the direct path… LOL in theory anyways.

          • Good explanation of a process Iowaengr. Others reading this blog are thinking along the same lines – that there has to be “more” to the poem than meets the eye. It’s just figuring out what exactly that “more” is, so we can walk into the wood with confidence.

            Good luck to you,

        • Charlie,
          The problem isn’t really numbers. Your example of gone give me pause. You use only two letter [I get the example but] IF the idea was to work, wouldn’t it be hidden in a way that the pattern [ once known ] comes to live… most of these number matching to letters seem like a hit and miss all the way through. I just don’t see a AH AH idea or what took me so long.
          You may recall my idea with number and letter using the capital letter. Or the idea of full word count to have come importance… These are numbers that would be easy to extract, it just the thought of what to do with them that is a problem.

          Let’s say you come up with a bunch of number [regardless of the method/count] You still have to ask, What are they for? Most automatically go with coordinates. The problem is… many have attempted this to no avail. Also, imo, I would highly doubt they would put someone right at the chest… they may give a starting point for the correct location, line of thinking. But once a code ‘ system ‘ [call it what you will] is found, it shouldn’t take 8 years to figure it out…. that and with computers and software and folks who can write 0 & 1 … you would think the job be done by now.

          The same for the idea of Morse code..using periods and commas some have tried, or any other method that involves a hidden ‘system’ within the poem. That by definition is a code… an alternative message within a message.

          All that said…….. IF, big IF, something like this was for a single idea of a single clue… err maybe. Like word counts of each stanza’s lines to produce elevation points. In that scenario there would be six point not nine [ just as an example ] and more as a guide, rather than, the idea of just needing to know a 10″ spot and nothing more…. which is the whole premise of what a clue does.

          Here’s a question… by using numbers, what happens to any [ for lack of a better word, and if there is one ] theme for the poem?
          My example would be the CD and the watershed, idea, geographically. Other use fish / fishing, beavers, family, old treasure to the new one, native American history, etc etc. There should be a theme, right?

          • Hey, Seeker.

            Interesting idea with the capital letters count. It does not resonate with me, for the following reasons.

            Missing lat for any -111 23 10 combo must be

            44 to 48 in order to be in search area.

            Pretty easy to map check only 5 permutations.

            One quick check of Google Earth would put me into the 44 camp. That is close to Earthquake Lake, above Beaver Campground. That point is marvel gaze, though. Fenn could not walk there to deposit the chest as he has described, IMO. None of the other spots look particularly likely as starting points, either.

            Granted concept is clever, but this does not provide the solution elegance that I believe is involved. So, I’m out.

            So moving on to your code rebuttal comments. I do appreciate your outside the box thinking. As is obvious, I am an outside the box guy. Ultimately, my solve is what it is. It’s either right or wrong. Jackpot or GIGO. Either/or. No way to know without putting boots on the ground, which I will do this summer.

            If it fails, I’ll be happy to share the full solve with the board, because if this isn’t the answer, I will have to admit defeat.

            At that point, I will have given this puzzle my best shot. Read it thousands of times, performed tens of thousands of calculations, eliminated millions of permutations, and if the one on my screen is incorrect, then it must be a statistical outlier of unbelievable proportions. But if that is the case, then I can walk away comfortable in the knowledge that I’ve done my due diligence.

            Ultimately, this quest is completely self-directed. We do what we want with the challenge. For me, I’ve satisfied myself. And, ultimately, that is all any of us can ever do in life.


          • iowaengr,

            In my theory of lat and long… hoB presented the need piece. The idea was ‘Brown Valley man’ located on the 45th… we simple put in below, at the 44th [finishing the coordinates]. However to do this, you need to read the poem as “put in” to mean where wwwh is.
            In this case the poem is read completely different than waters. Its read as death. or the death of someone. [ I won’t bore you with the interpretation. ] Other than to say; warm waters could have referred to the human body upon death [halt] canyon down represents is the thought of a grave, NFBTFTW represented the metaphor , one foot in the grave, line of thinking… and all would have a reference to a location at “Earth Quake lake”

            The point to the theory was; to see how “time” can be involved, and how clues that refer to places far apart, can also refer to another geographical location and fit like a mirror image. The two places have very similar stories and creation of the lakes
            “Time” relating to the past, present, and even future of the challenge to be solvable, “down the road.”

            It’s a shame you’re looking at this problem with numbers only… it is a poem after all. IMO. There really isn’t a challenge if all there is, is number that take to the hidey spot. And like I said to Charlie… If that was the case, it shoulda coulda woulda been solved long ago.

          • Hi, Seeker. Different subject from last reply.

            There are many ways to convert letters to numbers. Charlie has focused on one particular method to create an answer key: compilation.

            Because I have seen his key, and it is proprietary, I will not divulge anything related to his work other than to say that he has meticulously compiled a unique key where each letter has a primary and secondary value. His work is absolutely error-free, and it is certainly derived exclusively from information taken from the poem itself. Is it Fenn’s key? I don’t know. It certainly could be. But it does not resonate with me because it does not solve the “To Be” validation equations at all. Therefore, I have rejected it and looked elsewhere for one that does what I think a key needs to do. So Charlie has his method and I have mine, and we are both quite happy to proceed on our merry ways with many jointly held ideas and concepts and yet a vast difference in methods. And, Charlie, if my method is GIGO as you think it is, then I sincerely hope yours is not, because I know how hard you’ve worked on this.

            Other methods of converting include:

            1) using simple substitution math to start on Line 5 and using it plus linguistic reading to blaze a path through the poem. (See Brock Swenson’s, “Not Just Another Solution” as an example).

            My take on this is that I’ve tried this repeatedly using virtually every letter on Line 5 as a potential starting point. I’ve tried using other points in the poem as start points, too.

            Quick examples of likely points for those brave enough to investigate:

            Line 9:

            it’s no place . . . sounds like . . .
            it’ sno(w) place . . .

            Talk about a hidden gem! Warm waters are certainly halted when frozen.

            Line 14:

            quickly . . .
            could be . . .
            Q you IC (o)K ly . . .
            IC = Ice

            A big stretch, but maybe a big stretch is needed to get started on this path?

            Other points in the poem are possible, too. Consider these brain teaser possibilities.

            2) The math of the full line could be applied to the Line itself.

            Begin = 1
            It = 2
            Where = 5
            Warm = 1
            Waters = 5
            Halt = 5

            My personal favorite is:

            It+Where+Warm+Waters = 2+5+1+5 = 13 = 4
            Halt excluded by directive.

            Now should 13 be reduced or not? Have to check both!

            Ultimately, I like 4 better.

            Fourth letter: Line 5, is “I” in “Begin”

            Fourth letter: Line 6, is “T” in “The”

            Moving down, as directed in Line 6, results in “IT”, which matches the second word in Line 5. That feels like validation that you can and should keep going.

            For anyone interested in playing around, have at “IT”.

            “Begin” becomes “Beg” “I” “N”.

            As I have gone “alone in” . . .
            sounds like . . .
            “a lone N” . . .
            I has a secret, a solitary N left over, works for me. Your mileage may differ!

            Following the clues in this manner would ultimately create a 26-letter substitution key.

            A = I
            B = T
            C = ???

            FYI, I do have a live solution using this starting combo, but it is not my primary answer.

            3) alphabet wheel. starter key values TBD by solver.

            This creates a machine that allows fluid math. Spin the wheel and the picture changes. Directions in the poem mean, spin the wheel and use the new math to keep going. Total safety, hiding in plain sight this method. No one can get to final answer without going through the full enchilada. Simple, direct, yet oh, so hard to imagine and execute properly!

            I love it!

            4) Anything else you can think of and want to play around with!

            Food for thought for anyone interested.


          • Asking the right questions, huh Seeker. Okay, from the poem, the values extracted only give: a,b,c,d,e,g,l, and: w=efft, w=efo, s be o, page dce, bl az e, c as e, g az e, And that’s pretty much it.
            In no way a plausible solve/system. I would have given it up, but, wondered why give only those letters values. It didn’t yield the whole a-z, so I thought forget it. Tried one more thing, what if these primary values were mirrored. Keeping with the supposed theme back then, I’ll mirror the values. So, it’s given a=7. So, 7 paces forward and 7 paces backward, yields t and h. So what right? Then thought, maybe these secondary values equal each other. So, a=7 means t=h. So I started going thru the values the poem gave. B=2, so z=d. Since I knew d=1, then z=1. If z=1, then y=a. Since a=7, then y=7. So I kept going, and it tuned out that after awhile I had all the values, primary and secondary, and they all matched up, EXCEPT, no value for “X”.
            Was hoping something would cross reference, but nothing. So, scratch the idea, didn’t have all. Before that, figured I would test to see what “x” worked with and what it didn’t. Turns out, ‘X” can equal any number 1-9, and the whole thing still works. I settled into “X” equals 9. This made the primary numbers total 80, and the secondary totals 57. It then started to prove everything: Forrest’s name equaled pages in the book, 14 and 8. His rainbow, 22 degrees, butterfly=flutterby, Eric Sloane 1910, along with others. I knew there was no way I could have come up with this and have it work. I would have to have known his stories beforehand to get all of the to match up. Also directed me to page 137. Which directed me to “your” medicine wheel, which was backup info of the correct “X” on a map. Which matched the coordinates from the poem. ( along with “we are all environmentalists to some degree. 44 + 2 = 46. Also the area code, 406.
            They worked for all his stories, which made me think of why he chose the stories he did. So, as far as a pattern/theme, I think so: mirrors, his age, age when he got sick, A rainbow at 22 degrees, (rainbow halo), just everything.
            All I know is that I’m just not smart enough to come up with this system on my own and have it match up with everything. Believe me, I tried using other values and my own storyline, couldn’t do it. This took some time, and in the end, it was so easy. He hints with using the traditional values, but at certain points, they do not work. The word “gaze” for an example. So that’s how the numbers were extracted and what they mean .
            Of course there is still a lot of work, but as far as the numbers, they’ve been solid. They have even helped with some of the clues. There is just no way to solve some of the clues without them. For me, IMO….
            They’ve directed me from the poem to the book, “two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead” for 1 example. And of course, coordinates, which only gets a searcher to clue 8, IMO. still have work to do.
            So yes, in reading your post over, it deals with all the themes, or at least in my mind. Mirrors, age, time, shadows, book references, distances, and his stories. If I was to pick one, I would say mirrors. Two sides thing. Like his comments, but mirrors. Look at the word six. Mirrored is “xisix”. Again, if I didn’t know it and came up with all this stuff on my own, lol, I’m a freaking genius…lol, I know that just is not true. So, I’m either wrong and a freaking genius, or I’m as dumb as I need to be to figure this whole thing out. Wrong=genius, right=dumb and rich…:). I’ll even take either or, means I’ve got at least something. I would guess it’s the numbers.

          • Hi, Charlie. Looks like we are talking to ourselves on this thread.

            Perhaps that is good news for both of us, eh?

            And Seeker, I apologize if I lack a poetic theme for you. I am an engineer by trade. Currently I am managing and advising on 6 multi-million dollar projects ranging in size from 3-135 million each. Math and puzzles are my forte, not artistic thinking. Given that the preponderance of evidence leads me to conclude that math is involved across the “To Be” uses, I don’t know if that is a bad thing at all. My belief is that if math is involved, I have.a much better chance of wading through the permutations than most.

            For lurkers, hint math signposts:

            Line 9.

            From = 7
            There = 2
            It = 2

            No = 2

            Line 10:

            The = 6
            End = 5
            The+end = 2

            Ever = 5
            Drawing = 4
            Nigh = 2

            Line 11:

            There = 2

            No = 2

            Line 17:

            Why = 2

            It = 2

            In all four lines, the word immediately to the left equals the word immediately to the right of the equal sign. Odds of any two words hitting 1 in 9. 4 for 4 feels like a hint to me.

            Once “You” gets involved, the math switches. This, too, feels intentional. My take is that the math across “To Be” is the performance check. If true, this makes the implied objective to make the full left become the full right across the “You/Be” lines, especially 22, 23, 13!

            That’s my premise and I’m sticking to it.

            I hope this helps someone out there. Regards.

          • Charlie: your system sounds like Captain Kirk’s Fisbin from “A Piece of the Action.”

          • Iowaengr,

            I like Suduko as much as the next guy, but I am not following your explanation of words equaling numbers. Please try to reexplain what it is you are doing, maybe point me to a website? I tend to be pretty literal when it comes to words like always, never and equals. Are you meaning similar or congruent? Maybe represents? Sometimes words take longer to express mathematical expressions, but you’ve lost me in your explanations.


          • It’s not tooooo…difficult…..Zap.
            Actually, it’s just a place where he kept his soda.:)

        • Seeker –

          I had not realized that you and I share an interest in the 45th. If you are standing at the 44th you are approximately 222 clicks from the 46th. So there is your search parameter.


          • If it is an opinion, you should so state – Like, It is my opinion that… – If it is a fact, you should show proof.

            Please review the “Rules” at the top of the thread if you are unsure. Not being a hard a$$ – it just helps the newer people from believing something is a fact, when it is actually an opinion – 🙂 JDA

          • JDA, its a fact. As proof I point to scrapbook 62. He clearly states “no cyphers.” Attaching a numeric code to letters is my definition of a cypher. He wanted a unemployed Texas redneck with a pickup and 6 kids to solve the poem, not a CIA analyst.

            Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses, Latin, cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, riddles, drones or ciphers, will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.f

            noun: cypher

            a secret or disguised way of writing; a code.
            “he was writing cryptic notes in a cipher”
            synonyms: code, secret writing, cryptograph, cryptogram
            “information in cipher”
            a thing written in a cipher.
            synonyms: code, secret writing, cryptograph, cryptogram
            “information in cipher”
            a key to such a cipher.
            a zero; a figure 0.
            synonyms: zero, 0, nil, naught/nought
            “a row of ciphers”
            a person or thing of no importance, especially a person who does the bidding of others and seems to have no will of their own.
            a monogram.

            verb: cypher

            put (a message) into secret writing; encode.
            do arithmetic.

            late Middle English (in the senses ‘symbol for zero’ and ‘Arabic numeral’): from Old French cifre, based on Arabic ṣifr ‘zero.’
            Translate cypher to
            Use over time for: cypher

          • So, the English language is a cypher then. It’s going to be tough if we cannot use language, words, letters, to find something. Even though the words in the poem will not find the treasure. Oh, but, “those things have been offered as positive solutions.”
            Positive that they are solutions or positive in the fact that they are solutions?
            I’ll admit, iowaengr’s solve teeters on the line of cyphers, and messing with the poem, it still needs some tweaking from what I see, IMO, to get farther away from that line and not crossing, but it is an attempt at solving the poem, and that, in my opinion, is the right track. And no, I don’t agree with some of his methods, but who is to know.
            You can’t say it’s a fact and then say “Attaching a numeric code to letters is my definition of a cypher.”
            We have to take that comment and not be so critical about it. For the FACT that the alphabet could be considered a cypher, or code. And, considering that they have been offered as positive solutions, tends towards a thought that it’s better than a negative solution.
            Don’t get me wrong John, I’m seeing what you see, it looks coded somewhat, hopefully he can tweak it out for himself. It just seems to me that whenever numbers are mentioned, the ol’ “no cyphers” argument pops up. Confusing numbers with a cypher is a mistake, IMO. There are numbers in the poem, there is a number system, and it answers everything, IMO. Just look at line 21 and break down that line for proof. Why use the word “good”? Why not “well”? To rhyme? maybe. Maybe not…
            I would also add that if people think the poem cross references parts of the book, how would it do that? We would need page numbers. When we walk out in the forest, how many steps, what distance? Seems kind of weird to have no numbers but have 9 clues to follow, to find a 42lb chest, 10x10x5 inches, in the Rockies. I would at least expect to have some coordinates, and hopefully the poem would let me know how far or how many steps to take in a certain direction. Because the words alone will not cut it…

      • Good reply farther down. I wish that you had said something like – Forrest has said that The solution does not require a cypher system of matching letters to numbers. This would have made it a lot clearer from the onset. – at least to me – Thanks for the explanation.

        People new to the search may not be aware of Forrest’s comments. Again – Thanks for ‘splainin’ – JDA

        • You are right, JDA, I should have prefaced the comment with “Forrest has ruled out cyphers.” Most of the names in this thread are familiar names who have been in the chase for a few years. It is important to remember that the audience may include newcomers. Since we all came to the chase at different times it can be difficult to gauge the level of each participants knowlege.

    • your substitution may be simple maths but it is still a code and as I think you probably know Fenn has said knowledge of codes will not help you to the chest

  54. Seeker, You seem to realize the BOTG is required. Does this mean you will get BOTG or still working on WWWH? You have a lot of great thoughts on the poem and how it should be analyzed. At some point doesn’t seem like a good idea to go with your best idea and get out there? Besides, there is nothing wrong with a nice vacation.

    Would you mind elaborating more on why you think the clues lead to the chest being found in summer?

    Thanks! – A

    • Aaron going half cocked isn’t going to do it… of course I’ll add… IMO.
      fenn was asked can the clues be solved at home, Has stated match the clues to a place on a map, Has emphasis of having all the ingredients… Has warned us the path would not be direct for those who had no certainty of the location “beforehand”… etc.

      While I applaud those who have the opportunity to go on a whim, or are close to their search idea, or are so certain they have it right and take repeated trips to the same location… I don’t have the opportunity, the lesser distance, nor the idea that anything I came up with is correct. This idea, and your not the first to say it; At some point you have to go and check it out. My answer is simple… if I feel that there is only a good guess to a good idea… I’m not going to search.

      While I have ideas of how the poem can unfold, I didn’t have the clues that give me the “what took me so long” or “that certainty of the location or the correct path” ~ by the correct deciphered clues [ many thoughts I had were shot down by fenn’s ATF over the many years, I don’t dismiss those pieces of information as easily as other do ].
      If everyone else want to, just go… then, have a great time, I’m looking for a solve, that for me, has no other choices.

      PS, I never said botg where not required… I have implied that stomping point to point only is a failed method… there is more thinking needed to be done than just deciphering wwwh.

      • “there is more thinking needed to be done than just deciphering wwwh.”

        Yes, and as you implied previously it may take being on site and thinking on your feet. Nobody knows for sure right now.

        To me the exploring and being in the outdoors is fun regardless. Getting the opportunity to try and solve this thing at the same time makes it that much more fun. I have 4-5 (the 5th depends on what I find on site) solutions based on 3 different strategies for solving the 9 clues. On one of them two solve strategies can be used to get to the same location. This does not represent a confident solution for one but none of them conflict with ATF comments, except maybe for one but the comment is so vague that it leaves room it to be correct.

        My family and I will get to see things we haven’t seen before so it will be fun regardless. Getting the kids away from video games too is a win in my book!

  55. JDA / John, To me this conversation goes back to the hint vs clue debates. According to Fenn the first clue is “Begin it where where waters halt”. Many believe the first stanza helps us with WWWH. If he can use 2 lines from that stanza to help determine this location does it really matter if he says its a clue, hint, or a jibberjabby?

    • The people who have their minds set on the notion that “begin it where warm waters halt” is the first clue will not find the treasure. I would reveal the meaning of lines 3 & 4 of stanza one but until I have the chest in my possession that would not be prudent on my part.

      • It’s the first clue of the path you take to the chest. It is the starting point.
        For me, lines 3&4 are seconds in the coordinates. (I’m not the prudent type).
        Actually, if line 4 confirms your wwwh, then line 4 would be the clue, and we know that cannot be. Line 5 must be the one to confirm your wwwh.

        • “lines 3&4 are seconds in the coordinates.” That is an interesting interpretation Charlie, but personally I didnt find the seconds until I put the clues in the right order, at the very end. Yes line, 4 confirms my wwwh, and line 4 is a clue, Fenn put the cart before the horse. Why do “we know that cannot be.?” Here is a possibility line 4 is clue one and confirms wwwh, line 5 is clue two and tells you how to solve the poem.

          • hey John, f has said that the first clue is line 5. That’s why I said that line 4 as the first clue is impossible. The radio interview for one, and some comments.
            Line 3- I (can) (keep) my sec r et w(here).
            Instructions are in parenthesis,
            my sec are et w
            Line 4- and h (in) t of riches new and old. = tree, “h” (in) “t”. = three.
            My sec are et w and three.
            Line 5 is the first clue, but unsolvable from the book, (poem). It’s the path you take that solves for wwwh. The starting point.

      • I guess it has something to do with “can keep” – “Tarro” in Spanish.

        Antique “tarro”.


      • Line 3 – I keep the “Tarro” my secret place,

        Line 4 – And vehemently refer to something original and obsolete.


        • Or yet:

          “New” Mexico and “Old” Mexico

          Where has “Warm Waters” and Agua Fria

          I think it’s kind of too obvious.


  56. Seeker: ” that object/feature/ thing [ call it what ya will ] IMO is a usable piece.”
    Can you give examples of usable besides just being a beacon for the chest if that’s what you mean? Blaze

    • My Idea[s] is that the poem’s refer to a single place [ in one thought ] That utilizes stationary point of the ‘place’ all equate to the blaze itself.
      Or the blaze is one single part of it all and is used in some manner or the blaze is off by itself, but close at hand, so to speak.

      A shadow affect, for example, or a sun beam / sun cast.
      Both, obviously involve the sun… and why I think that movement of the area [ RM’s ] will have an impact later down the road.
      You have to wonder why fenn repeated he was looking down the road 100 – 1000 years, why someone will not find the chest on ‘spring break’ or a ‘Sunday picnic’ idea. … we also have been wondering from many years; if fenn actually had to follow the clues as we are told to do or did he just walk to the hide… fenn stated; he followed the clues when he hid the chest. I take that as, he had to do exactly the same as he tell us… he created the clues to ‘work’ the way he wanted them to work, and used them for a hidey spot in his special location.
      Note: I don’t think the “hidey spot” is fenn’s special place… the poem refers to that location [ a place special to him ], the “spot” is simply a place he hid the chest ]

      Another option is, the clues are aligned or an alignment… like looking down a barrel of a gun, idea. The poem is all viewed from a single vantage point. The last option is a type of triangulation with three point meeting somewhere in the center. But not necessarily a triangle.
      My whole point to these thoughts refer to fenn’s actions, as we have been told, and how I can read the poem as such… to find a 10″sq piece of land.

      That’s probably more of an answer than you wanted, but I think he made sure that; even a searcher would not find the chest unless the understood a critical point in the poem. IMO, that is contained in stanza 4, and involves the “planning and observation” part of the task. I think the chest’s ‘spot’ can only be discovered once a year… for a ‘scant’ amount of time.

      • In my solution they work:

        Point to point (You follow the clues) 20.8 miles

        Observation point (You see all clues from the top of the chest)

        All in one (You have all clues (-1) put together within a blaze of 300 Feets)

        HoB 200 feets of chest. (very big)

        Normal map only 2 clues.

        Specific map 7 clues.

        GE 8 clues.

        The last clue only with BOTG.

        • McB ~’Observation point (You see all clues from the top of the chest)’

          I have had similar thoughts… the clues are viewed from the hide or at the very least, the location of the blaze near the hide.
          IF this was the case, do we need to “physically” follow the clue point to point, or just have certainty of the location [ where you see all the clues from ]?
          {regardless of distance of each clue} and ‘follow’ the clues back to us, as we stand at the blaze? And that is how we had been wise and found the blaze… we need the clues all to be seen from this vantage point… fenn’s final resting place [ at one time ].

          That might seem a bit odd to think about, But if all the clues can be deciphered prior to leaving home… the location of the hide is all we would need [ mapped out to it and we would have confirmation once on site / sight ]. The path is viewed, not hiked, idea.

          He warned the path would not be “direct” [ directly viewed?] for those who had no ‘certainty of the location’ beforehand [wise and found the blaze]. That is what I call, marrying the clues to “A” place on a map.

          • These clues may be distant but converge to a specific location.

            One clue marries the next.

            They can follow each clue to Blaze.

            I agree with FF: “There’s no way to find Blaze without knowing what WWWH is.”


          • Well said. It’s the big picture! The panoramic view is the blaze; Viewed from the “home” of Brown (Brown=Chest). So tarry scant with marvel gaze – “Just” take the chest and go in peace.

      • Very interesting analysis Seeker. Reminds one of looking at “The BIG Picture” in a way – maybe?

        Your last comment is interesting – HUMMMMM??? JDA

      • Seeker, what is it that makes you state:

        “I think the chest’s ‘spot’ can only be discovered once a year… for a ‘scant’ amount of time” Tarry scant line?

        It sounds like a suggestion of water flowing to much from the snow melt to get to it or see it.

        • Hi Aaron: no, Seeker is entertaining the idea that one of the clues is tied to the sun’s position in the sky, resulting in an alignment that only happens 1 day out of the year. Astronomically, there are only two possible days he could be talking about: the solstices. And since locations above 5000 feet in the Rockies are unlikely to be accessible in late December, and Forrest admits to hiding the chest in summertime, Seeker can only be referring to the summer solstice: a Stonehenge-like alignment if you will.

          It’s not a bad theory, and would help explain the 8 years of failures. But I think it’s overly restrictive. Plus the sun’s relative position (e.g. at sunrise or sunset) shifts very little in the days immediately surrounding the solstices, and I doubt the alignment required is so precise that it would only work one day a year.

          • Hi Aaron: I, too, think it’s a bridge too far, and one could argue requires at least a little bit of specialized knowledge (solstice timing). Of course, it’s not that hard to look at a calendar and read the date the summer solstice occurs each year.

            But eventually the local features involved in such a solar alignment will move sufficiently to destroy that clue. Maybe not in a hundred years, but what about 1000, or 10000?

  57. After reading recent comments, I am reminded of something F said at the film screening, which IMO seems to provide a clear, perhaps even a simple, process for finding TC:
    “The clues will lead you to
    The treasure;
    And whether
    It’s buried or not,
    You can find
    It if
    You can find
    The blaze,
    As a result of starting with the first clue;
    That’s what you have to do.” F (18 May 2017)
    Safe searching, everyone! (And remember, “try to simplify.” F)
    “Have flashlight, will travel”

  58. There are many interesting and unique ideas on this blog and it has been entertaining to say the least to read through all of them.

  59. Nice GCG, going to have to start keeping my eye out for this stuff on our beaches.

    If you’ve been wise and found the grayish yellow blog…

  60. Honestly the greatest lesson for me inside the charm and glow of the Fenn’s treasure hunt is that life is infinitely diverse in the treasures it has to offer — we just need a little persistence and imagination to discover them!

    Our society unfortunately cultivates a limited set of desires & goals, which fosters a system based on scarcity and consumption. But thankfully we live in an unprecedented period of possibility and exploration .


  61. Someone stopped to think that he may be referring to himself (FF) in the sentence:

    “Not too far, but too far to walk”?

    In the sense that he is not far from it (FF), but is now out of his reach?

    Suddenly, we are going so far to look and can be “there”, near Santa Fe !!


    • Imagine an “I” at the beginning of the sentence:

      (I) start this WWWH

      FF telling us where he went.

      Sts 1 and 5 he can talk to himself.

      Sts 3, 4, and 6 are addressed to the second person (you).

      Stanza 2 does not define a person. If “I” or “you”.

      I do not speak English. I may be wrong.

  62. Or if you draw a line on a map from the Blaze mountain to a point near Brown’s house, then match that to other lines draw on the map between points of other clues. They will intersect.

    • Hi. The first part of this statement was cut off. I was wondering if a view of Blaze mountain, north-west of the Gardiner theory location is the “blaze” that Fenn was referring to. Maybe there is a spot near Browns put-in where that mountain can be uniquely seen in the distance.

  63. Just thinking about the “…meek, end is night, no paddle up your creek, just heavy loads and water high”. At first I was thinking it must mean you walk down the river at Brown’s put in. But then I wonder if its referring to the small ponds/lakes above and behind Joe Brown’s home. Maybe Daily lake or one that is before it up the line of dense trees. Here’s why.
    1. “Not for the meek”. Looks like maybe you need to trespass a bit to go behind Brown’s home.
    2. “end is ever drawing nigh”. People say this is “left”. So take the trail behind the house on the left.
    3. “no paddle up your creek”. This means its uphill, and not in water.
    4. “just heavy loads and water high”. The uphill climb through those dense trees is heavy load and water high refers to a lake up on that ridge somewhere. Simply water higher up.

    • BTW – I think “your creek” means its not a existing trail. You veer off and make your own up that hill. I have not been able to read everything so I’m sure this is already a shared idea.

      • Blaze can only be seen from above.

        Go up, be wise, find Blaze, look down (south), chest, go in peace.


        • Which blaze though? As most know, I think that one must go through the poem more than once. For me, blazes #1 and #2 ARE seen from above. Blazes #3, 4 and 5 not so much. Blaze #6 kinda from above (I think)

          Yes, I know,” I’m a little bit crazy”, but as the song says, “It keeps me from going insane.” – 🙂 JDA

          • Too hard to explain – It just would not translate well – Sorry. But, I will try.

            I solve the lines of the poem. I start at wwwh – I end at “Just take the chest and and go in peace.” Between those two points I find Blaze #1, but do not find indulgence.

            I start over, but I start over from where I ended.
            I find wwwh #1, canyon down #2 etc. including Blaze #2.

            On trip #3 through the poem, I find blazes 3,4 and 5.. Blaze #6 is special, and I choose not to talk about it at all.

            Like I said, I am probably crazy, but that is OK. Now you and a whole lot of other people know it 🙂 JDA

          • I meant – I find Blaze #2 instead of Blaze #1 during my second trip through the poem – sorry – JDA

          • Darn, I still did not get it right – I start over, but I start over from where I ended.
            I find wwwh #1, canyon down #2 etc. including Blaze #2. – should read “I find wwwh #2 – not wwwh #1 – Can I have another margarita please? – JDA

          • Yes, I understood JDA.

            With each reading a possible interpretation.

            In the sixth reading, all Blazes culminate in a special Blaze # 6.

            It’s more or less this … : )


          • JDA,

            Here in Brazil we say:

            “Come down one more (caipirinha), please?”

            I’m laughing alone here …. : D

  64. Hi, SWWOT.

    Words totaled by simple substitution.


    It = 9+2 = 11 = 1+1 = 2

    Conversion works for all words likewise.

    Sorry for any confusion.

    • It’s simple numerology (an absolutely HORRIBLE system, btw, because it’s not 1-to-1, and there is no zero). Why anyone ever decided it was a clever idea to add digits together until you get a result under 10 is beyond me. IMO, numerology has absolutely nothing to do with solving Forrest’s clues. You’d have just as much success using bible codes.

      • Zap, please explain the statistical relevance with what they’re doing…likelihood of ‘hits’ with what they’re doing is so high. I really enjoy the ‘confirmations’ and ‘proof’ they have found…so compelling. I do hope to see pictures and read about their nice vacations, good luck out there, stay safe. Me? still staying home playing Canasta.

        • I apologize to the board for bringing up simple substitution at all. Obviously my remarks have been misunderstood by several people.

          1) simple substitution provides a hint that simple addition is involved..
          2) my final coordinate is in WY, lat 43. Obviously my longitude requires a 10, so I leave it to board to figure out how I turned that trick.
          3) The ISO/IEC 646 international alphanumeric designations for 43 are:


          Oh. I’m sorry . . . I shouldn’t know anything about no stinking codes . Or the need to create equalities across “To Be” for that matter.

          And FWIW, the coordinate 43 was derived before I acquired the specific knowledge provided by ISO/IEC 646. Rather, I learned about 43 while performing outside the poem answer validation work. But I probably shouldn’t be doing that either . . .

          Ciao, for now . . .

          • I apologize for interjecting again, but I have something else for anyone still interested in my thoughts . . .

            A brief word on MY blaze . . . My opinion only . . .

            First, my blaze was a mathematical construct. It provided mathematical validation that I was using the right process. At that point, it gave me a green light signal . . . Good work . . . You may proceed.

            Later, after more math, and once I had my final answer, I understood that the blaze is an object, a place of same name, and a very fine answer to the stumper, what IS the stinking blaze, anyway? Thus I found it to be multiple things, just as many of you have in your solution travels, as well.

            And in closing, with respect to mapping, I humbly suggest that at minimum a line from place “W” to “F” is needed. Other points included on this same line are: canyon down, brown, and blaze. For anyone so inclined, best of luck duplicating my line given these descriptors. I think you can follow my mathematical bread crumbs far more easily than anything just revealed here.

            Ciao, for now . . .

    • Iowaengr,
      Ah, now I see what you’ve been talking about. Seems a bit simplistic – but maybe that’s the beauty of it. To me, at least, all this seems to do is ratify sets of numbers in some way – what ways I have no idea – but perhaps sets of numbers for use in some way. To get today’s longitude and latitude numbers, you need larger numbers though.
      Something I learned in Algebra class, back in 1972, was that when solving for an equals (=) sign, confirmation of your solution could be done by reversing the problem with the plugged in numerals. From what has been shared, I cannot see how that could be done in this instance, because of the “compacting mode” that has occurred. This makes me suspect.
      For me, it seems to be a mental gymnastic, as it stretches the mind but doesn’t really get you anywhere. But maybe I do not know enough of the system to follow it and to be able to “proof it” after I have solved it.
      However, I do think you are on the right track. As I have studied the poem and tried to figure out what was “behind it”, I have wondered how to figure out that “spot on a map” that it leads us to. What I am looking to solve for, is a solution that allows me to solve for x, and can be confirmed. So that I will have confidence when stepping into the wood. And, it most likely is not a “numbers game”, but more a way of looking at things – perspective and context, in my opinion.

      Thanx for sharing!

  65. Hi,

    Many keep searching around Tom Miner’s creek due to the Brown put in and then the “heavy load” being a bridge and mining. Then it says “if you’ve been wise”. Has anyone looked significantly at “Reeder Creek” that branches from Tom Miner’s Creek?. Its well known that those who read are wise. Could it be in the thick of the brush and trees as Reeder Creek meets the rise of “Mans Foot Mountain”?

    BTW – also a nearby creek is Sphinx Creek. Some also define Sphinx as being wise.

    Both creeks do not need a paddle as you’ll be walking up it anyway.

    • My Other thought right now is that “Shooting Star” Creek, Lake, or Mountain is the “blaze”. Do any of you think this is too long a hike for FF to make twice in an afternoon….just a few miles? I think it might be too far out, but do not know the area. But that might be too tough a hike for a granddaughter…but not an 80 year old. What are your thoughts about “Shooting Star”? they blaze through the sky and its a mark that will not change…not dependent on geology or erosion.

    • Sphinx = maybe NO place for the meek. Sphinx would devour you if you could not solve the riddle.

  66. It seems unlikely that the nine clues would be very far apart. I would think that the nine clues had to be close enough together, to maintain a degree of continuity between the clues.

    • If most of the clues are connected by a road of one kind or another – doesn’t the road provide continuity – no matter how far apart the points or clue spots may be? Just something to think about James – STAY SAFE – JDA

      • ~ *I could have written the poem before I hid the treasure chest, but I didn’t. f
        Some would like to believe this comment meant; fenn finished the poem after hiding it in or about 2009… or just before the book release.

        JDA, what roads are you referring to?
        IF fenn could have written the poem from a time [lets say] of 1940’s or 30’s,.. but he didn’t, because there was no reason at that time to write a poem containing clues. Wouldn’t the area be much different or even lacking roads and trails and whatnot’s that many would travel today-?- and have them in their solves has usable/needed points to points travel by car.

        fenn said he didn’t need maps to write the poem, it was all in his head… the question remains… when could he have written the poem, prior to the reason of actually doing it. IMO that would have to be prior to 1988, at the very least.

        • Seeker ;

          I agree. In the 1930’s or early 40’s, the destination would have looked much different than it does today. What, today, is a road, would probably have been a trail. A campground would not exist, but the place that one might camp did.

          One would camp at a “special” place for a particular reason.

          Would Forrest, as a young boy have “left his mark” at or near this camping spot. Who knows,? One can only imagine.

          Who knows, if one is lucky and finds that campsite, one might find Forrest’s mark. Wonder what it would be? an OLD ff on a tree? Who knows? Wish I did. Just musin’ again – JDA

          • JDA,

            I’m curious, it seems to me you say luck or lucky quite often. Is that how someone will find the blaze and treasure just by luck.

            I am inclined to believe there will be no luck involved, it’s more like solved with the right answers.

            Just picking on ya,
            Have a nice day.

          • CharlieM;

            In all truthfulness, I am quite sure that luck will have very little to do with me, or anyone else finding Indulgence. Saying that, “If I am lucky…” – at least to me, sounds a lot better and nicer than several other options.

            With that said, I wish you luck in your next search – JDA

          • JDA,
            There is a WhatIF as well…
            WhatIF fenn could have written the poem out, like he did, with the idea that nothing had change [ by man ] even before he was born.

            Think of it this way; for the clues to be relatively the same down the road [ 100 – 1000 yrs ], they might have been the same 100 years ago or 500 + years ago. What did the land look like with no roads to drive… the USA wasn’t even a twinkle in Miss Liberty’s eyes yet…

            Could folks like Meek, L&C, Russel follow the same clue references if they ‘knew’ where to start? and during their time periods…
            ~Granted, there could be a catch if fenn did leave a marker, but for the sake of enlargement.. the marker would have been there.

            I for one would like to know, if fenn would answer that question. [ IF those folks knew where to start ]

          • Seeker;

            I have a wwwh today, that ‘s over 500 years old.
            I have a canyon down that’s over500 years old
            I have an hoB that’s over 500 years old.
            I have a meek place that’s over 500 years old.
            I have an end location that’s over 500 years old.
            I have a no paddle creek over 500 years old.
            I have a HL that’s over 500 years old.
            I have a WH that is also over 500 years old.
            I have “A” blaze that is over 500 years old.
            The question is, “Is this blaze the correct blaze, or is there a newer blaze that is yet to be found? For me, that is the question.

            IF there is not a newer blaze, that is OK, I still have the one that is over 500 years old. Finding a (the) newer one just might make finding the next one a bit easier. Even without a newer one, I still feel that I know where to find the next one.

            Time will tell. Is it Memorial Day week-end yet? JDA

        • Seeker,

          If it were for you to describe the location of your home to someone living in a neighboring town to get to your home, how would you describe the way to your home?

          Would you need a map?

          That’s what FF did.

          He described how to get to the TC.

          And if he said he did not need a map, then this place he described should not be greater than the distance between two villages, towns, cities … (I do not know how you say it).

          For example: from Santa Fe to Tesuque.

          It is a very simple observation.

          I thinks…IMO

          • The idea is good McB, the problem is what neighborhood? You automatically know where you are starting from [ the neighboring town ] right?

            If we don’t have that information.. the directions are useless, not matter how good the are.

          • Seeker,

            This is where the correct WWWH comes in.

            That’s why the IMO WWWH is singular and has a unique feature.

            Being the correct WWWH we will see clearly the other clues.

            I found a WWWH in the FF stories.

            No did to easy.

            IMO – No TC yet…

      • Hi JDA, I think that distance would matter. Do you think that you could follow the clues if they were 50 miles apart? I would think the greater the distance, the less continuity.

    • Point to point and convergent at the same time.

      So close that you can see “all” from the top of a hill.


      • McB, This may change your mind. Something to think about. Read SB 149, and the comments.

        • KK,

          I did not see anything different from the other FF’s evasive answers …

          He replied without replying …

          Comments are what they are, comments, (based on nothing) …


          Thanks …

          • Perhaps you missed this comment from him on the SB. Forrest Fenn on November 23, 2015 at 7:18 pm said:
            Wally Eagle was a rare man. When WW=2 started he tried to enlist in the Army by falsifying his age. They caught him and he sadly took the bus home. He always looked younger than he was. f

          • I don’t think that is a typo. It should be WWII rather than WW=2 (Warm Waters = 2). Just my opinion that WWWH is plural.

  67. 9/26/12 “Several months ago some folks correctly mentioned the first two clues to me in an email and then they went right past the other seven, not knowing they were so close.”
    ” I think part of the problem is, they don’t, they don’t focus on the first clue.”
    “No, the first clue in the poem is begin it where warm waters halt. That’s the first clue.”
    “If you can’t find the first clue you don’t have anything.”
    “Those who solve the first clue are half way to the treasure, metaphorically speaking.”
    “You have to find out-you have to learn where the first clue is. They get progressively easier after you discover where the first clue is.”
    Our final guess is that the treasure may be along road 156 in Wyoming. “You cannot solve the problem by starting in the middle of the poem. You should start with the first clue and then solve the other eight in order.”
    “So you have to start with the first clue and let it take you to the blaze.”
    “People driving down the street looking for a blaze, because that’s one of the clues, but you can’t start in the middle of the poem and find the treasure.”
    “….Whether it’s buried or not, you can find it if you can find the blaze as a result of starting with the first clue. That’s what you have to do.”
    In your mind who…. ” A family that is joined together and going out looking for the treasure 4, 5, or 10, or 50 times. Take a tent and sleeping bags and your fishing pole and go out looking.”
    Nice Sunday morning recap for those who are interested. Easy reading…and not ambiguous…unless you need it to be.

    • Ken, the list you posted is good… been there done that. But I need to add one more.

      “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.” f

      Ken, does it interest you that many of the ATF comments talk about the first clue as in ‘finding’ the chest ‘solve the other clues’
      Yet, one of the very first pieces of info we had is the above comment?

      To find the correct wwh [ the first clue ] has been done many times over, right? All the other clues walked past, and folks within 500′ of the chest, right?. What is missing from the ATF to the first thing fenn stated?

      I like this comment [ you posted part of ] “You have to find out-you have to learn where the first clue is. They get progressively easier after you discover where the first clue is.”
      This one say; “You have to find out” …”learn” [ there was a little stumble there ] …
      How many time has fenn stated “nail down the first clues”? Seems to me that even with a deciphered “references” ~ a clue or clues, are still missing something we neglect to add into the equation. Simply deciphering what something is or refer, even on maps, to has not worked… I mean, we can’t even see or understand the other clues when we are on “location” – site.

      imo. We have not ‘learned’ what or why fenn chose the clues he did. How the are “contiguous” ‘Ingredients” that need to be in the correct order, Understanding the “significance of where they/searchers were”

      While the most important start of the clues is wwh to find the chest [ that path ] What is it we are missing about the “location”?

      fenn has said many times the place is special to him… I highly doubt he’s talking about a 10″ spot… make one think about the Q&A from Nope. And fenn’s continuing suggestion… “the book will help with the clues” — I’ll add this last thought, and rephrase the last comment — the book may not decipher the clues perse, they might help to the thought of; why the location fenn chose to hide the chest is special.

      Many are fixated on the end of this task… What about the “beginning”~ “Need to know where to start”? There is more to that ATF then meet the eye.

      End of Commentary.

      • What if the poem is from the point of view of a fisherman, who enters the river water to fish ???

        Should we be in that river to find clues?


      • Seeker…Nah, it doesn’t interest me at all, I just posted some easy reading for Sunday morning. Jeez, sometimes I wonder if you have been there and done that! Of course it interests me Seeker. There is a trail in those words I posted….granted…far from the complete correct trail without the rest of the elements from the poem….but a trail just the same.
        Gonna do up some BBQ with potato salad and corn…later

        • Wait, Hold up…. WTH… ya gonna leave me hangin?

          WHERE’S the BBQ taking place?
          Don’t make me guess, the food will be cold by then…

      • The hidey place is special, dear, because the sensory experience takes Fenn to another dimension… like touching Stewart’s painting of GW or touching an arrowhead, a peace pipe, an obsidian shard that brought down a mastodon. I doubt the hidey-space is just a beautiful fishing hole. Fenn probably knows hundreds of those places. It was a place of a different dimension. Searching will help you find your own portals, and maybe the treasure.
        But what do I know? I’ve never been a poem purist.

        • OS2,

          I believe yes the place is special, but that special place was to be his finale resting place. That special place I believe is out of character of what many think it is. It is somewhat on the order of the valley and the waterfall F went to while in Viet Nam finding out it looks good from above, but the complete opposite of what he envisioned it to be on the ground. Of course with no grave markers.

          If I wanted to hide my body so no one can find it, I would do it out of character. Yet the place has nuances of things that reminds me of places and memories I had been.

          Just a thought

          • Yes but…. what does my comment have to do with the treasure hunt?…. Would it be too perfect if Fenn had found a place to lay his bones near an outcropping of rock he had discovered years ago (& perhaps shared with someone dear) where an ancient people had marked out a sun-calendar to measure their own lives? Hmmmm… Mother Earth, Father Time? Are we just links in the chain of life ? The universal whys we answer with elaborate imagination while waiting for the light to change?

            Q. Is such a place of petroglyphs or natural or man-made stone arrangements & notchings that captures a shaft of sun, a structure? Is a medicine wheel a structure? More and more, a pretty fishing hole becomes… just meh.

            So many posterss have said they need to understand Fenn, to get into his head… but it seems to me many are running in place.

          • Wow, that “Yes but..” comment is out of place, it goes after the “Thanks Ken…” comment . My point was, pick a theme and explore it.

        • Nicely said OS2. My thoughts on the “special place” have evolved. I believe that seeing the big picture, combined with the answers to the clues, embodies everything(that other dimension) that brought Fenn to where he is now. The dinner table…so to speak.

          • Thanks Ken, I think as Fenn sensed ‘the end drawing nigh’ he felt a growing urgency to teach… thats why Ms Ford and dad’s career are so present in the book; I think the feeling was a driving force to the whole treasure hunt plan. Reflecting on having received so much, done so much, experienced so much… all the riches & lessons in contrast to a mere few years of life, seldom even a century, is a ridiculous futile absurdity. A design defect. Heck, arn’t we made of stardust? Somewhere after denial, some discover an accute longing for a finale of justice, balance, pay-back. We leave our treasure trove in our memoirs and possessions. We even teach. I think it’s akin to his father’s comment on paying off a 30 mortgage debt … a “religious experience.”

      • Ken and Seeker – Yes! This! (Was that emphatic enough? 🙂 )

        Solving for x is not equal to solving for the first clue – and solving for x will confirm solving all 9 clues – does that make sense to anyone else besides me? That’s the nut I am trying to crack.

        • Swwot you have the X for the final place [the spot], correct?
          But fenn said [ paraphrasing ] put an X on a map…. fenn also made a comment [ I posting in another post to you ] we need to be physically on location after the first few clues, and the last clues will not be helpful with GE… doesn’t it make more sense that the X refers to where we need to start or find the clues themselves? If we need to be physically on site after the first two clues? [ few can mean two or even on ].

          *Please read the comments I posted in your other post today.

    • Ken,
      Thanks for the recap. The tent,sleeping bags and fishing pole tell me the TC is near a campground where you would bring your family. Our solve has WWWH near a campground.
      Also, do you know if anyone talked about barb wire in their solve? The barb wire has led us to our solve. (remember the hat with barb wire, bear, lake and stele)?
      Take care, good luck and stay safe.

        • Ken,

          Thank you. I’m sorry for not clarifying.
          Do you know if anyone else has mentioned “bob wire”. The barb wire with the hat has helped us solve the poem…at least in our minds.
          We believe there is meaning in the hat/barb wire. FF specifically told Dal where to put the hat in the picture. That tells us FF had a reason for this request.
          Just my two cents. Many thanks.

          • It has been mentioned two times that I can recall. Both times as a boundary device. I was on that kick three years or so ago…even took a couple of pics while out searching. Couple of them were very old barb wire specimens. Today if I was out and about in search mode and saw some…I would pay attention to it…but I don’t think I would hang a whole lot on it.

      • Tarheel…I forgot to mention that the camping quote was meant for you in particular. Only because you mentioned it…and that caught my eye. This comment also has significance in that Fenn is casually explaining that this whole quest is to be “experienced”…and not just exploited, to race out and grab a prize because someone thinks they’ve cracked it.
        Wham, bam….not going to happen.

    • Ken, I’ve posted this before, and now see you have also. This line:
      “You have to find out-you have to learn where the first clue is. They get progressively easier after you discover where the first clue is.”

      It’s almost proof that you have to find the end spot first. In talking about the first clue, he says you have to find “out”.
      If I find my spot first, when I find “out” I will find my starting point.
      So, fine the end spot, find “out” to find the first clue. I don’t know how it can be any clearer.
      Along with some of the clues do not have the info to solve them correctly, It seems ridiculous that searchers are trying to solve for the clues. I love hearing how searchers have solved all the clues with a map and they can’t be wrong. It’s the other way around, you can’t be right.
      IMO, and ATF’s seem to back it up, if you found some of the clues before you found the end spot, especially the first clue, it’s wrong. The ATF’s do not back up a clue to clue solve, they go against it. They back up what f has said all along, solve the poem to find a spot, to put an “X” on a map. On top of that, you have to know that the words in the poem are not enough, but, all you need is the poem.
      I would really like to hear someone refute the idea, but it cannot be done. The ATF’S will not be in that person’s favor. Hopefully, searchers will critique their solves hard enough to realize this, it may save them some money.

      • Charlie,
        What you’re basically saying is; you need to find the location of the hide first and all the clues present themselves?

        IF correct and I have had similar thoughts, wouldn’t the clues be seen from this location/spot working back to you.. a spot that can only be the correct spot to see all the clues?

        • Seeker, that’s a tough one to answer. I’m going by my solve, so I would be bias to that. For me, the only clues that cannot be solved are clues: 1,2,3 and 4. The blaze being my 4th clue. If I was levitating say 200′ up, I could see all the references to my clues. Some of those clues are directions, and distances though. Once at my blaze, everything/clues are in tight focus. It’s just going into the forest, with the trees, and mountains on either side, it’s tough to see where I started.
          I have that the searcher must walk a long distance. Backed up by the poem,” not far but too far to walk”, and the ATF, ” if you are walking long distances looking for the chest you walking too far”. My first to my forth clue is roughly a 5 mile walk. It’s the only “problem” I may see in this solve. I don’t underestimate Fenn, but it’s a hike. Around the 3rd mile is when I start cursing f for hiding it way out here. But, it’s where the poem told me, and ATF’s back it up, so, my future will have me cursing f again some day soon. :). All in fun of course, (and a little thin air).
          The thing about the end spot seeing the first clue is tough to swallow. Beings how the forest and all. Now, looking from a map, the path and starting point are obvious. For me, once at the blaze, (which cannot be seen at first or solved, it’s the marvel gaze that is the big hint), but once there, the scale shrinks. Google just does not go down that far, or at least isn’t clear.
          The thing I’ve been thinking is about the 2 clues thing or possible 4, and 200 or 500 feet. His comments stem from when searchers tell him where they’ve been. He says maybe 4 clues, but he never says maybe 3. He never mentions the third. We take it for granted that the searcher would have to get the third if f thinks maybe 4 have been solved. I say, someone sent him a picture of the forth clue, but didn’t know it. He can’t say someone has solved the third maybe because nobody has sent him proof that they have been at the third clue. So, it’s possible people walk by the chest everyday. He did say the chest would start to hear the footsteps of people again. A trail that leads to a lake, mountain with snow, locals hiking, biking, whatever, it’s just, if someone doesn’t send him proof of a clue, how could he comment on it? Someone may have never sent him proof of the third clue, but did for the forth.
          You could find the chest if you have the first couple clues because if you have those, you already have the end spot. That’s why I like the comment about the first clue that you have to find “out”. It’s a strong statement if you think about it. Since we have to find “out”, means that we have to be in. A place that the end would not see the start because finding “out” is what is so important to finding wwwh. “out” of what? Forest? This leads to some of the clues not being so close to the end spot. I think if we were to have to go into a forest like 500 feet or so, it would be too easy to find “out”. The way he puts it, sounds like that is not the case. My thoughts of course. (sorry about the long, boring post):)

  68. i think that the people that found the first two clues – did not walk past the other 7 clues – the reason that i have and its just my opinion – is that from start to finish up to where he parked you had to be driving – the only time you put botg is where he parked – for me its like this if iyou wanted to go to home depot from my house – i would make you a map and say this is my house and id put an x from here go to grimes turn left there is a tire shop that’s grimes keep going you will pass a church on your right – on the third traffic light turn left about 1/2 mile right after the car wash is home dept i think that is how the poem was written so as you are driving all the clues will be on the side of the road and you will see all the clues as you are driving by that’s just my opinion – but like JDA says but what do i know

        • I agree with you because my WWWH is not exactly “water”.

          But I follow the river that runs alongside the road.

    • frank,
      I have asked, yet no one has truly answered the question… How can folks be at the first clue[s] and then be at the area of the chest within 500′ all while driving out other clues, when no one, for the whole time the chase has been going on, told fenn any other clues in the correct order?

      They all/searchers would have needed to drive exactly the same route, the same turns, the same distance, all of the same remaining clues to get there… that 500′ foot mark. What would possibly have them all/searchers stop at the same spot, if other clues were not solved?

      • Seeker: what if the road that comes physically closest to the chest’s location is a major road — perhaps even the ONLY road that one could take through the area? If that road comes within 500 feet of the chest’s location, voila: any searcher taking that road comes within 500 feet. And yet many might only be taking that road to go someplace else, and thus oblivious to the fact that they had been so close.

        • Zap,

          That’s pretty good logic and would apply to trails. I personally think two reasons why that has happened, because they didn’t know hoB and the blaze and went right out of the poem. The searchers and others not associated to the hunt all went right on past and not know it.

          Just add’n my 2 cents

        • Zap,

          Exactly….great logic. Been to a location where this is exactly the situation.
          Have since narrowed the clues for our solve and will be back to that location.
          It’s good to see somebody getting it.

          • The methodology may be getting more refined…but THE location has to be spot on, or else Canasta.
            Stay safe…

        • Can’t be… no matter how many say that is logical.

          Driving by doesn’t say walking by, Driving to the location to ‘be at’ 500′ or less, is impossible without more clue to get you to that spot.

          What you are implying is, a searcher is rambling and rolling by… you know I can post fenn’s ATF that has searcher walking by, and those searchers, are the same who figured out the first two clues, and again, walked by the chest.

          The only possible way for those “drivers” solvers to walk by the chest is they ~’Had to know where to stop’ ~’Had to know the exact distance to drive’ and at the very least, once the exit there vehicle ~’had to know what direction to walk towards the chest’s location… that is a minimum of three needed extra clue.

          And again, fenn has been badgered for 6-7 years about how many more clues had been solve and the answer was only the first two. I can’t see any wiggle room around this… and trust me I have tried… Not if we take all the comments and put them together… searchers in search mode [ not tourist ] walking by all the clues, not driving, boating or biking, and right by the chest.

          • Seeker,

            And if the clues are very close to each other ??

            Someone considered the first two in the right place, but thought the following were within 10 miles, then passed in the road 500 feet from the chest and went forward. TFTW can have this effect on researchers.


          • Seeker,

            Respectfully disagree. Depends on what those individuals first two clues are. FF has not stated what the clues are.
            Suppose you travel on Hwy 1 which traverses the canyon the whole length. Your first clue is BWWWH and told FF this. Then you say to FF, I started down ABC canyon as it is your clue 2. Then you tell FF you stopped at several points down the canyon just to look for the TC and/or site see, all within 200′ to 500′ off Hwy 1. So you give FF your itinerary through the canyon and he knows you have solved the first two clues but went right on past the rest but were very close.
            FF would know what your first two clues were and they were solved correctly but that you missed the other seven, which all could be 200′ to 500′ off HWY 1.
            Hope this helps.

          • Tarheel Searcher ~’Seeker, Respectfully disagree. Depends on what those individuals first two clues are. FF has not stated what the clues are.’

            Umm what? I get what you’re saying, but we know the first clue. IF searcher got to 500′ of the chest and had to drive there, Again other clues would have been needed and deciphered.

            Scenarios; a searcher is at wwwh, they look down a canyon [ is that not a clue?] they see the next location they have to drive to [ is that not a clue] they drive to that location and get out of the car, then what? they would need a direction to go in [ is that not a clue?]
            A searcher is at wwwh and they go into a canyon by driving. how far do they drive? [would that have to be a clue of distance, if they could see the next location/clue references ] then they stop when they reach that distance, again, what is next, it must be a clue to say go this was, right?

            Now I have heard some say there is not driving from clue one or two or three, all that is needed is to drive to the location closest to the chest… OK fine… how many clues would it take to get to the center of a tootsies pop? For anyone to be within 500′ of the chest, because they told fenn exactly where they were, and doing that by driving clues, more clues must have been solved. there is not other way… unless you bend all the ATF in half and toss the rest away.

            I am open to any logical driving the clues idea… just show me how it can be done without other clues, than the first two [ no matter what those clues are. ] We still need to know distance to drive and the next step to head to.

            Yet it would be a kicker Tarheel, IF stanza two clue’s gave up a single location and stanza three was that location and only two locations involved [ other than the chest hidey spot ]. That would mean stanzas 5 and 6 would need to have clues as well, right?. So sure, I’m open to possibilities.. but they still need to pass the sniff test.
            But we would need to bend the heck out fenn comment about: “sounds like three or four clues” for stanza 2.

        • Zap – that what I think happened – lets just say that the clues they found were wwwh and hob – from there they did not know what heavy loads and waters high were and I think they went looking for a water fall they got on the same road going north not knowing what heavy loads and waters high was and they drove past the other clues not knowing what they were – knowing what is the next clue is from hob is a good reason for them to go by the other 7 if you don’t know the 3rd place you go to from hob you are not going to miss the other 7 in my opinion – seeker

        • Seeker: just file this comment away for when the chest is found later this year. 😉 IMO, people drive within 500 feet of the chest every day. Obviously most are not searchers, and most have probably never heard of Forrest Fenn. IMO, s
          Searchers during search season drive by as well — searchers that haven’t solved WWWH, but their route and destination just happen to take them right by it.

          “Driving by doesn’t say walking by…”

          If at any point a searcher that’s barking up the right tree gets out of their vehicle and does some BOTG investigating, but in the wrong location (e.g. did not figure out the correct home of Brown), they could both walk by clues and drive by clues. In particular, if someone has correctly solved WWWH, I believe they will unavoidably come within 500′ of the chest, whether or not they solve any of the remaining clues.

          “And again, fenn has been badgered for 6-7 years about how many more clues had been solve and the answer was only the first two.”

          Yes: IMO, you solve WWWH, you solve two clues automatically. There are no 1-clue solvers. It’s abundantly clear that clue #3 flummoxed everyone for five or more years; thus if you have a solution with an easy, obvious answer to clue #3, it is almost certainly wrong because all the two-clue solvers would have gotten it back in 2012. I think clue #3 is comparable in difficulty to WWWH, but requires lateral thinking that is distinct from the lateral thinking needed to solve WWWH.

          • AHA ! Sounds like the big picture is taking shape…except that…the correct *start point* is perhaps a bit more involved than just a “mentioned the first two clues” scenario. Also…don’t let it slip your mind that the “big picture” might include…all of the clues. Again…not learning what/where the first clue is…I believe will kill the solve just as easily as missing the 3rd clue Zap.

          • Zap ~ ‘people drive within 500 feet of the chest every day. Obviously most are not searchers…’

            Fenn as used words such as “people” ‘some” “several” “many” in his AFT of searchers in search mode. You are adding tourist and daily passer by’s.
            fenn has use words regarding searchers; walked past, walked by, went by… You have them driving by.
            He has told us he know of this by e-mails [ and probably conversations with searcher on a search ] because they told him their process and exactly where they been. You want to add other scenarios to something that has never been stated.

            You [ and yes any others ] dismiss the actions fenn tells us he did, and many AFT about the actions of the searchers “process” and “locations”…
            fenn ~”walked less than a few miles” when he hid the chest… made to trips from his car because of weight, done in one afternoon, He “followed the clues when he hid the chest”…
            So you and others have stated; he didn’t follow “all” the clues. You can bend a twist this all you like, but the after the fact comments do not line up with what you claim as possible.

            Searchers, IF driving, needed more clues than two… they would need exact “distance,” need a “direction” after parking their vehicle to “walk past” the chest… Every single one of them who was within 500’ and “walked past the treasure chest”

            Not to mention the comment about searchers deciphering the first two clues and walk by “the remaining seven clues…”
            Your scenario can not be… more clues would have needed to have been deciphered.

            I won’t need to file your comment away.. I’ll just sit back and watch the dominoes fall.

          • Seeker: would you agree that if it turns out that you don’t walk all of the clues, but instead drive through/past several of them and then walk the remainder (twice, if need be), then your current running assumptions will prevent you from solving all the clues and finding the chest? Specifically: if it was NOT Forrest’s intent that you park at the first clue, would that kill all your theories? Sure, it’s a loaded question, but it’s purely hypothetical at this stage since no one can know (with Forrest’s level of certainty) what WWWH is. I’m just asking you to consider the WhatIfs: what if you are wrong, and some of the clues are driven?

            Your posts suggest that by your calculus, Forrest’s ATF comments rule out that possibility. I claim they don’t. Some rather serious searchers with over a score of trips under each of their belts aren’t parking at their respective WWWHs either.

            On a side note, by my estimation there is nothing particularly special or notable about WWWH, other than that simple clues can be constructed that pinpoint it. To Forrest, I think it’s nothing other than a convenient starting point (not unreasonably far from where he hid the chest) for which he could devise a cryptic clue. It wouldn’t surprise me if he spent more time architecting that clue than all the others combined.

          • Zap,
            Lets look at your idea with time involved.

            IF we’re looking at WhatIF… then could the poem have been written in the 1940’s or even earlier with the same knowledge of the land/landscape that fenn had when he came across this place?

            Fenn has repeated he was thinking “down the road”… for whatever other reasons, he would have to have thought about the clues in the same manner ~ 1000 years down the road. And you know he stated the possibility of; land movement will have an impact on the clues making it more difficult… in fact that is pretty much all he has said that will have an impact on the clues. Other than a catastrophic event.

            So if fenn could have written the poem before he hid the chest, and he said he could have, then could the poem have been solved with the same info we have by someone 500 years ago? or even in the 1940’s, with no roads or different roads?
            in your solve you would need the same road today, to be the same road and design, back to at least fenn’s younger years [ 9 – 19 for example ] to play it safe. Not only that, you would need exact distances to travel.

            You’re relying on today’s factors more than imagining what it could be like, or was like, when fenn said he could have written the poem before he hid the chest.
            I’ll add; should a comprehensive knowledge of geography might help, wouldn’t it be safe to say the clues are only of the same, and have longevity… Eisenhower began the Interstate System back in the 50’… that would be a kick in the backside if fenn could have written the poem in the 40’s ~ or even written the poem ‘about’ an earlier time of the same location of the clues.

            With one possible exception… if fenn left a marker of sorts.
            But we’re not talking about the exact spot… where talking about the clues prior.

            However, IF there is actually driving “needed” in the “actual solve”? Well, it really doesn’t matter what either of us think at that time, right? Ya might have just asked; What would happen to the chase if YS popped it’s cork.
            All we are doing at this point is using what we have. I don’t see how anyone can go from the first two clues to 500′ near the chest without having other clues correctly solve… You still need to know distance to drive and where to go from there… explain that! That info would ‘have to be’ clues as well, right?

          • Hi Seeker,

            “IF we’re looking at WhatIF… then could the poem have been written in the 1940’s or even earlier with the same knowledge of the land/landscape that fenn had when he came across this place?”

            1940s — yes, I certainly believe so. 1840s, I would say not.

            “Fenn has repeated he was thinking “down the road”…”

            Amusing side-thought: what if for once, Forrest was being literal rather than figurative? “Down the road” could quite literally mean … down the road. Something to consider that only just now occurred to me. But returning to your time-based “down-the-road,” sure, the landscape is going to change. New roads could come and old ones go. Places could get renamed, and so on. I don’t dispute any of this. I think Forrest is right: it could be quite a bit harder to solve his poem in 3009. In fact, impossible unless those third millennials still had access to maps that were contemporary with the era that Forrest hid the chest.

            “So if fenn could have written the poem before he hid the chest, and he said he could have, then could the poem have been solved with the same info we have by someone 500 years ago?”

            In my opinion, absolutely no way. None of the place names that *I* believe the clues refer to existed. Not one of them. Sure, the places existed, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Native Americans had names for some of the places, but that would be of no use. IMO, Forrest’s WWWH did not exist 500 years ago because part of its definition had not yet come into existence.

            “… in your solve you would need the same road today, to be the same road and design, back to at least fenn’s younger years [ 9 – 19 for example ] to play it safe.”

            Not a problem. The road has been there since before Fenn was born.

            “Not only that, you would need exact distances to travel.”

            The clues in my solution never once reference a distance. That’s part of the beauty of it, and I believe also the reason everyone fails: because they think one or more of the clues is a distance.

            “I don’t see how anyone can go from the first two clues to 500′ near the chest without having other clues correctly solve…”

            I explicitly explained how: you can’t AVOID coming within 500 feet if you’re on the right road.

            “You still need to know distance to drive and where to go from there… explain that!”

            No: IMO you don’t need to know the distance at all. It is completely irrelevant. You have to SOLVE the third clue. It’s not a distance! I know everyone seems to think it is, but that, in my opinion, is why they all fail. It’s not — it’s a puzzle to solve. A puzzle worthy of its own book title.

          • Seeker,

            If I gave you my solution, you would see that it is not only possible, but also mandatory that you pass “TWO” times to 500 feet from the chest while following the “point to point” clues.

            And you would also see how simple the solution is.

            The hard part is finding WWWH. It depends more on thinking than looking on the map.

            You think it’s too complicated, and it is not !!

            As FF said: Look at the “general” picture. As a whole.

            Think small. This hunt is not from the “Dam Brown” books.

            I do not have the TC, and maybe I can not even go looking for it.

            IMO – of a colleague, to a colleague

          • Hey Zaphod,
            Apologies for butting in. Doesn’t it all depends on WHAT the clues are?
            I know everyone THINKS they know what the clues are but apart from where FF has said start at Begin it ……..WWH.
            How does anyone really know what the next clue is?
            Probably why no-one has found TC yet. IMO

          • Hi Chris B: butt-ins are welcome! Agree with you 100% that just enumerating the clues correctly is half the battle, and that failure to do so guarantees a chest-less vacation.

        • This has been my solution to that little niggling problem for quite a while actually. I am in the camp of “you actually drive by the hidey spot, within 500 feet”, as you get to the spot where you park your vehicle. Then you get out and walk along a river, stream, or creek and come within 200 feet of it, and just keep on walking by because you miss the turn off. I suspect some searchers have shared this journey with Mr. Fenn in specificity, which is why he can share what he has shared in ATF quotes. They guessed where to park, but had not solved the poem.

          • There have been a few people within 500′. I think there have been people within a couple hundred feet. They figure the first two clues, but they don’t get the third and fourth and they go right past the treasure chest.

            It helps to know something about Rocky Mountain geography when making plans to search for my treasure. Rocking chair ideas can lead one to the first few clues, It helps to know something about Rocky Mountain geography when making plans to search for my treasure. Rocking chair ideas can lead one to the first few clues, but a physical presence is needed to complete the solve. Google Earth cannot help with the last clue. Google Earth cannot help with the last clue.


            You’re saying you can drive up to a 500′ area from the chest [ guessing that spot aside ] how many clues does it take to get to this ‘spot’?

            fenn basically has searchers at the first two clues and walking past the chest… some agree, others don’t… however, with these two comments, doesn’t it seem that only a few clues[ few can mean two ] can be understood to get someone to a location and all the others clues need to be completed on sight…

            I’m curious to what folks might think about ‘but a physical presence is needed to complete the solve’ -?- and the remaining clues. [ with the comments above ][ and fenn stating he followed the clues… to complete [ completed? ] the poem.
            Also; If many believe the blaze is a physical object and the last clue… how do we get around; ‘ Google Earth cannot help with the last clue. ‘?
            Because it just can’t be seen? or could it be the last clue is instruction rather that an object, feature, picture…. Because we have the comment; GE “and/or” a good map… Which seems to imply the last clue would not be helpful by a map either… no matter how detailed or closeness, that map might provide…. heck in a few years or so, GE might be able to read the date on a dime on a sidewalk in NYC.

            Just curious…………

          • Seeker…swwot. I was just reading the earlier posts above and wanted to add on a bit about…”reading….X on a map….”. I think this avenue ties into the ” big picture”. Whether or not Fenn was implying *start point* or * treasure location* could be a factor…but overall I lean toward what Seeker was saying because of how crucial the first clue is(start point). Without that(start point)…”you have nothing”. If the blaze can be “found” by starting with the first clue and following the rest in order…keeping the “big picture” in mind…ultimately a searcher can get there(treasure location) with “correct” clue deciphers. I wanted to point out to Seeker the idea about Fenn’s “…followed the clues…” quote and how he seems to not be looking at what the exact interpretation may be. The second sentence of that answer—” Although I hid… before the poem was complete/completed.” Some folks believe he modified the poem AFTER he hid it because of the second sentence. I believe he is implying he may have not followed all of the clues exactly.

          • Seeker,

            My “solution” for the 500 and 200 footers is a large “U” or “V” shaped path. I’ll try to explain, but it would be a whole lot easier to draw. (A picture worth a thousand words?) Anywhose –

            For the sake or this discussion, let us assume that someone is in a vehicle that is skirting a ledge or sharp drop off. This road is a “touristy” type of road with turn offs with binoculars you put quarters into to look at the vistas. One of the views looks over a watershed area. The road doesn’t get down to the “bottom of the valley” for another mile or so. So you park your vehicle there and have to walk back along the water to get “parallel” to where you were looking from the binoculars. The distance between where you used the binoculars and where you are now standing is roughly 700 feet, with the hidey spot between the two spots. In fact, because of terrain, I suspect that the distance between the two spots is actually less “as the crow flies” along the hypotenuse of a triangle. From this explanation you see I have not used a single clue to extrapolate this deduction, just imagination, a bit of logic and experience in the woods.

            The clues take you to where you parked your car. They then would direct your steps “in the canyon down”, “up your creek”, “the blaze”, and “look quickly down” etc.

            Hope this helps,

          • Seeker, after I re-read my last explanation it occurred to me that all these comments Ihave been making about the 200 and 500 foot club is ancillary. It supports the actual chase, but is not the actual chase itself. Does that make sense?

          • And another thing, is this the most likely scenario? I have to rely on “Occam’s razor” – as it appears to be the most elegant and simple explanation. I can think of other scenarios to resolve the 200 foot and 500 foot comments, but not as nicely.

            And as always, all in my opinion.

          • Occum er, I mean Swwot –

            I gave a simpler example earlier using an actual location.
            Look at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. No one believes the TC is there, so this is a good example.

            If you stand at the beginning of Uncle Tom’s trail, you are 500 feet about the canyon floor. You can follow the trail down the steps and arrive at the viewing platform 200 feet about the canyon floor. From where you are there is no apparent way to get down even as you watch the rainbow;s form in the mist.


          • Seeker,

            I believe the poem’s path can be followed from the “Begin it where warm waters halt” to the hiding place of the treasure, without putting botg. That is provided that the searcher is somewhat familiar with the area. The retrieval of the chest naturally requires a physical presents. The distance from wwwh to the hiding place is in miles.

            The 200′ & 500′ is in no way near the second or third clue, it is near the end of the clues. This happened because the searcher most likely could not recognize the blaze and failed the remaining clues after the blaze.

            Anyway that is how I see things with my solution. I tried to stay away from ATF comments because in the beginning all one really needed was the book with its hints, the poem and a good map with a little knowledge of geography. The map in TFTW came about to set the boundaries in the RMs. A little imagination is needed in the beginning of wwwh and the hoB, after that the clues are very specific as to where to go to get to the hiding place.

            As always IMHO

          • Swwot, lugz,
            Both scenarios are plausible.. or even when at wwwh… not far, is simply across the canyon to the other side, Too far to walk… means you need to go around. However, to do that, we would need to know why and what we have to go to… that requires another clues.
            Granted; it also depends on exactly what the clues are, in this number counting business.
            But if you’re a believer there are 3 or 4 clues in stanza two… we would need the third clue correct, idea, to go to the other side and not ‘down’ in elevation or descend into said canyon.

            LOL the distance across could be in feet, not miles of travel. These Ideas are all plausible IF we stop there. IF we add the many pieces of information fenn has stated over the years… we should be able to understand which of those [ and only those three ] works better than the others. IF NTBTFTW means distance of physical travel.

            For example [ I’ll pick on lugz hypothetical example ] Up and Down those stairs twice? would give pause to fenns comment about making two trips with a heavy back-pack, and the other comment from’s Q&A with fenn.

            I won’t say bingo lugz… is “bazinga” ok? lol.

      • Seeker,

        It was the purest coincidence mixed with a little misreading of the poem.

        And as FF said, “They complicate the poem too much.”


      • seeker – in order to get that close to the treasure chest you have to salve all 9 clues starting with clues in in order – clue -1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 – if you can salve 3 clues at least the clues get easer imo – from wwwh to hob they are farther apart then the others are- but still the other clues are still not to close to each other eather

        • Frank,

          Just to give you an idea of a simple resolution:

          Following “all” the clues in order you will travel about 25 miles.

          If you “Understand Exactly” what is the WWWH, You will walk, from Clue 1 to the chest, 200 feet.

          According to my solution. IMO

          • I have a solution that works in a similar fashion only the distances are a little different so different spot I’m sure.

          • McB;

            It may be a translation problem, but, to me, your post makes mo sense.

            wwwh is clue #1. “You will walk from clue #1 (wwwh) to the chest 200′ BUT “Following ‘all’ the clues in order you will travel about 25 miles”.

            This says, you start at wwwh (clue #1) – walk 200′ get the treasure and then go on to other clues, and travel about 25 miles. Why travel anywhere once you have the treasure. Please explain – JDA

          • JDA

            The Poem is convergent and dependent on a unique WWWH.

            WWWH is 25 miles from the chest, but converges on CD, TFTW and HoB.

            HoB gives the direction of HL and WH, but if you already know what HoB is, you also know what Blaze is.

            Then you can go straight to the chest that is 200 feest of HoB.

            HoB is a part of the WWWH.

            All clues are linked to a single position on the map (Blaze).

            Blaze has 12 feets.

            They all come to a place that has two omega letters (one made by man – “new” and the other made by nature – “old”) side by side.

            Made by the man to 500 feets from the chest.

            Made by nature to 200 feets of chest.

            “Look quickly”
            “Brave and in the wood” = you have to enter the forest without being surprised by some impending danger. (and it has several dangers – nature, animals, waters, people, etc …)

            IMO – Chest no is my, yet.

          • Still sounds pretty confusing to me, but good luck to you. Maybe your visa will come through and you can test out your theory – JDA

          • JDA,

            If I follow “ALL” the clues point-by-point = 25 miles up to chest.

            But as I “UNDERSTAND” what HoB and WWWH are, then I only need to walk 200 feets from WWWH to the chest.

            FF really is an architect.

            Just IMO

      • seeker – its my opinion that in order to get that close to the treasure chest 500 foot mark they solved all the clues but did not walk far enough to the treasure chest that’s my opinion – you can not get that close with out knowing the clues imo they did not know how far the chest was from where they parked – they just did not go far enough

      • seeker – to get that close to the treasure chest – you would have to know the clues to get you there but didn’t walk far enough from where they parked – that or they didn’t know they were in the right place and didn’t walk far enough they got 500ft from the chest and didn’t know it

  69. Another thought about the some of the guidelines people apply to the poem that FF did not. For example, I’ve read some say that they turned around because the trail was going too far out and that FF only walked a few miles. One thought to consider is that the path FF took to get to the “spot” is not necessarily the path he lays out for us in the poem.

    He has basically stated there are two paths to get to this “spot”. Those who don’t know (thus follow the poem) will arrive via an indirect route. But to those who know, they will take a direct route. So I think FF took a direct route that was shorter and not the path of the poem. But the poem guides us on a longer, and likely more scenic path.

    When I look for the “spot”, I look for one that matches the poem and then I look to see if there is a more direct route from a different starting point where a car could get closer. Therefore, the poem trail could be much more than just a “few miles” as FF has stated. I don’t think by much, but maybe twice as long. I believe he still wants families to make the trip and not just seasoned hikers.

    Net result, just be careful to not add more restrictions to the poem trail based on things he has said that might apply to his direct path instead.

    BTW – I have one word association that pertains to the “blaze” that made one poem trail work much better and aligns to FF’s hobbies . I’ll bring it up later….teaser….

    • Brien – ff did not take the same path as the poem – the poem imo was not made for botg only where he parked and walked and that was not to far – the poem was made only to get you on the right road and to follow it to the chest and its my opinion that you need google map with satellite to find the clues I don’t think that you will find them with out it -imo

      • Hi Frank,
        I read further up with your earlier statements. I think we are saying the same thing or close to it. Without knowing where it is you need the clues in order. And therefore, learning that FF parked close by and walked a couple of miles, is not necessarily the exact same path he gives to us in the poem. Therefore, I think you and I agree, when we check if the road or parking lot or road or trail is 200/500ft away, while true, it may not be the same parking lot, road, or trail we must follow when chasing the clues. It might be, but we need to be flexible enough to look at options that match both scenarios.

        • Brian – thanks for your reply – i also think that we are saying the same thing or close to it

  70. Brian B

    Can you tell me where you found the following information.

    He has basically stated there are two paths to get to this “spot”. Those who don’t know (thus follow the poem) will arrive via an indirect route. But to those who know, they will take a direct route. So I think FF took a direct route that was shorter and not the path of the poem. But the poem guides us on a longer, and likely more scenic path.

    I’ve been under the belief that he as said there is only one way to the chest, there are no short cuts.

    Hope you can help. Thanks, Jim

    • I get that understanding based on the following quote I got from “” and “”.

      “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.” -FF

      To me, this means that once you know the site, you can take a direct path (presumably shorter). And until then, you follow the poem clues that take you on a less direct path.

      I think without realizing this, some might ignore the right solution because the poem path is longer than they thought.

      BTW – I would be confident that FF has made sure that both paths are safe for families and 80 year olds. So all that talk from FF about no steep walls, under water, moving objects, etc… All that still applies.

      • BTW – I’ve not heard him say “no shortcuts to the TC”. But I have interpreted him say there are no shortcuts to the clues. IOW, the blaze clue will not make any sense without starting at the right location. So you could not just think really hard about the blaze and get it right….or at least it would be amazing coincidence if one did. But as far as the actual path to the TC – obviously there could be lots of different ways to get there once you know its location….assuming its not in a one-way tunnel. 🙂

        • Brian;

          A little research would have brought you this:

          “Someone unfamiliar with your poem receives a message that says “meet me where warm waters halt, somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe”. Would they be able to work out where to go? If they can’t, would they need the whole poem, another stanza, or just a line or word to help them on their way? ~Phil Bayman
          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. There are many places in the Rocky Mountains where warm waters halt, and nearly all of them are north of Santa Fe. Look at the big picture, there are no short cuts.” f


          • Hi JDA – completely agree.

            In turn, he also said “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.”

            I conclude that both statements are true. I believe the comment that there are “no shortcuts” is for the one’s (like all of us) who “have no certainty of the location beforehand”.

            Given this TC needs to remain for hundreds of years. Its not likely in the soil where it could easily get buried by erosion. Its more likely in a solid structure, like a crevice in a boulder or a granite overhang. Logically, I could arrive to that location from the east, the west, the north, or the south. Once I know where it is, I could choose to hike from any direction. The poem is about one path to get there. An easier path could exist that did not suit the poem and is how FF describes his experience to get there twice in one afternoon.

          • Wouldn’t the poem path that follows the clues be the only way. Since he said to follow the clues in order, “there is no other way to my knowledge”
            The poem gives a spot, the path is then mapped to find the start, along this path will be references of the clues. Indirect, direct, whatever, he said there is no other way, meaning one way.
            I’m sure someone knowing for sure may hang glide in to make it shorter, but the path in the poem, which contains the clues, is the only way in, and out according to f, there is no other way…

          • Also, you said”
            Its not likely in the soil where it could easily get buried by erosion.

            Exactly, that’s why he said he didn’t want to say if it’s buried or not. It very well could be hidden in soil or a dead tree right now, but 100 years from now it might be buried. He has explained this.

            Its more likely in a solid structure, like a crevice in a boulder or a granite overhang

            A granite overhang may be construed as a cave, and a crevice of a boulder, ?, would this boulder be on soil? Or up a mountain, where it may fall?

            Once I know where it is, I could choose to hike from any direction. The poem is about one path to get there.

            Sure, if maybe another way to the chest is to scale a 10,000 foot mountain, I guess so, but f said there is only one way as far as he knows.
            I do agree with the second part of that statement though.

    • Hi Brent, Seeker, and others who have lately been quoting this line from Forrest:

      “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.” -FF

      If you don’t have a full appreciation of logic rules, you may close yourself off to alternate, equally valid interpretations of this quote. I think most people assume this line implies that the path IS direct for the one who is sure of the location beforehand. But that is faulty logic. We have two declarations from Forrest:

      1. “the path would not be direct for those who had no certainty of the location beforehand”


      2. “but (presumably “the path WOULD be”) sure for the one who did.”

      In logic, “but” is no different than “and”. That Forrest is saying the path would/will be SURE for the one who did (have certainty of the location beforehand), in no way promises that that sure path will ALSO be direct. Forrest would not at all be lying if the path to the chest (taken by the individual who is certain of its location) was indirect. People might ASSUME that, but Forrest’s statement does not require it because sureness of the path is not the same as directness.

      • Zap –

        I believe what I might call the opposite.

        Many read the word Sure and assign a definition like Certain.
        The other use of Sure is Straight.

        In this reading Fenn is saying that some will be uncertain and take the circuitous route. Others will be certain and take the Direct or Straight route.

        You see? He’s not making a distinction between certain and uncertain but rather between circuitous and straight.

        This is how he speaks and how he wants you to think. He challenges you.


        • Hi Lugnutz: well, my route from where I park is direct, but the full route through all the clues is decidedly not.

      • Zap,

        Your logic is sound, provided Mr. Fenn means what you have interpreted. Lug has already kicked in his two cents saying his interpretation is different. I am of the opinion you are more correct in this instance. If we take out the double negatives, his words say, “the path would be direct for those who have certainty of the location beforehand”. I am also of the opinion that direct does not mean straight. The most direct route between two points may not be a straight line because of obstacles in the path. Things like river bends and steep terrain come to mind. Walking around these obstacles is still the most direct route. FWIW

  71. Seeing a lot of discussion about the 200 feet 500 feet and number of clues being solved. For some reason I was unable to hit reply, and I do not have an answer one way or another if all clues are within that distance or people are driving by.

    In the the past FF has been very upfront about the number of clues being solved but during this years MW six questions he avoided it completely. I think if we could get an answer to how many clues has been solved to this point we could better understand all of theb 500 200 feet debacle.

    As I stated in the past FF has answered how many clues have been solved so it would keep all things the same if he was able to give us an update as to how many clues have been solved or how many in his opinion he thinks have been solved.

  72. My search has led me to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Ojito Peak in Colorado. I have a few clues to figure out still. Has anyone been to the Fort Garland side of the mountains?

  73. Quite the lively and in-depth discussion today about people coming within 500 feet today.

    Just to throw an additional thought into the mix… if the chest is indeed hidden within 500 feet of a road and people/searchers have been driving by it while out searching, then when I read f’s early/first comments about people getting within several hundred feet and 500 feet of the chest, I would have to rule out New Mexico and possibly some of southern Colorado as a possible place where the chest is hidden.

    The logic and potential of this theory is there if people read those early ATF comments and give it some thought with regard to timing of those early searchers getting close.

    Of course there is this other comment by f that I haven’t seen being referenced in the discussions of recent, but maybe I have just missed it being used as I don’t have time to follow all the details of these discussions:

    “You just can’t get out of your car and walk over in the woods and walk to it.”

    • Clint,

      Do not complicate.

      She has “ONLY” a map of RMs and the poem.

      “Nothing else.”

      No GE or Internet.

      Only the first two clues are found.

      For more clues she needs a more detailed map, + internet and GE, after finding WWWH and CD in the normal map.

      BOTG to find chest.

      That simple.

  74. Seeker JDA or Zaphod –

    You are all so good with quotes. Can you source this Forrest quote for me please?

    “Revisit my Scrapbooks looking for hints. There are hundreds of hints. I am always giving hints and constantly trying to trick you. Pay close attention to each and every ATF comment I have ever made and continually quote them to each other on Dal’s site. Turn those quotes over in your mind as you fall asleep. The more times you rehash your conversations about ‘where I parked my car’ or ‘how long and afternoon is’, the closer you get to Indulgence!”

    He must have said this right? Iron Will? Bueller?

    Thanks guys!


    • Lugnutz: here’s a Forrest quote for you: my revenge will be Forrest wearing the bracelet.

      • Almost non of them follow that!
        They make up exceptions to allow their confirmation bias.

        Off the top of my head, no codes right? None. Not one.

    • * To save time and keep searchers from asking ambiguous questions and endlessly quoting my answers…I consulted with my good friend Lugnutz and have compiled a few ready answers that a determined searcher can apply to almost any clue in the poem.* List coming soon…after Lugnutz approves it.

      • Ken –

        Yes, a link to the quotes that JD constantly posts would be great. I cannot tell you how many times I have read the same handful of quotes, at least hundreds, maybe thousands of times.

        So a list of the popular quotes and then JD (not to single him out) could respond with See Quote #4 with the TINYURL from the page of quotes.


    • Lug,
      Read the poem for entertainment, read the blogs as if you were going to put an X on the map. FF’s evil twin said that one.

      I occasionally get frustrated that there isn’t more specific discussion about the poem on here. Since talking about how you see the poem usually means giving away some part of your solve I can see why it isn’t done much. I do find some entertainment value in seeing how comments get loosely interpreted to support a solve though.

    • HA! Lugz… I wish that were stated as fact… I would know within 12′ where the chest was… noooo doubt about it.

      • The point of my post was to mimic what Fenn says about the book to refer to the ATF comments and scrapbooks. That’s what we spend our time here discussing. Apparently Iron Will (the wiley vet), Zap (the intellect) and CGC (the new upstart) each have a “test” that involves rectifying ones solve against a small island of comments in a vast river of ATF material. They constantly tell new an old alike “that doesn’t work” based on these litmus. All of which would be fine if anyone ACTUALLY knew even the state where Indulgence resides. As is, we have these Cabinet members telling us what’s incorrect when they don’t even agree within a factor of hundreds of miles. IW could not be searching further from CGC. Right?

        Anyone can talk about whatever they like within Dal’s rules. And we enjoy talking about some of these things. I just don’t see why anyone ever tells anyone they are wrong. The discourse is fine, the debasement is pointless and unnecessary. Do I need to add in my opinion?

        One more thing.

        This is really a pet peeve, I grant you, but can we agree to stop using the word Bingo? Again, this would only be appropriate from someone who knows with certainty where the treasure lies. If I’m not crazy I think I saw a Double Bingo yesterday.

        Thanks and have a great day!
        Lugnutz Dodge

        • I’ll take a Tomahawk. Might need Bingo though. Probably a couple. And yes, you are crazy…
          I hear what you are saying. We should disagree/agree all we want, but the fact of telling someone they are wrong is just….wrong.
          With all the ATF’s, and the masses just picking and choosing which ones to use, seems to be the major “rabbit hole” at this time. I don’t see any progress as of late. Just random guessing.
          If the people you mention enjoy their contributions to the site, and believe they are helping, then I say let them loose. It is up to the individual if they want to listen or not. There are things that all of those have said that I just know/feel are wrong, and supplying an ATF that goes against what there saying, still does nothing. So we just have to take it in stride. could only lead a thirsty man to water, but can’t make them drink. There are times I get bogged up in the same situation, knowing something that is not widely accepted. Doesn’t bother If other searchers don’t see, I would hope for critiques rather than acceptance.
          Individually, we all have our way, and it’s difficult to see another, or even worse, to admit to it being wrong and having to start over. Everyone trying to be so smart, when this isn’t even going to prove whether you are or are not. The real smart ones will not figure this out, they are just to smart. They pic and choose ATF’S and come up with reasons not to use the ones that go against their own solves. In the beginning, f even got confused on some of his ATF’S, (since corrected), so it’s best to just use them like Seeker pointed out, a “checks and balance” system, that should end up working. Lol, we have even been told that some of the clues cannot be solved but yet, searchers have solved them. Common sense, checks and balances, trial and error, all good things to keep in the back of your thoughts. And I agree, no more Bingo.

  75. Hi All;

    Something has been bothering me for quite some time. For a couple of my solves, I have thought that “Just heavy loads…” had related to large boulders, and this idea worked well for those solves.

    For my current solve, it does not seem to be working as well.

    For other reasons, I have just reread TTOTC. As I reread “My war For Me” I was again struck by Forrest finding the Grave Marker of the French soldier. It dawned on me that a Grave Marker is indeed a “Heavy Load”. Heavy can mean “Great responsibility” or “weighty”, and Load and mean “a burden”. Doesn’t a Grave Marker or Gravestone do just that? Doesn’t it represent a “Weighty Responsibility”? After all, this marker stone bears the responsibility of keeping the deceased’s name alive for eons.

    Am I getting too far out of the box? Could “Heavy Loads” relate to some kind of Marker Stone that resembles a Grave Stone (One that lies flat on the ground, or one like young Forrest is sitting on on page 37 of TTOTC) or Marker Stone? HUMMM??? I wonder – JDA

    • I personally do not see a grave marker as having any responsibility or relate it to a heavy load in any way. Lets just say it was though. It would seem to need to be somehow related to water high.

      • JDA,
        I think it is possible it relates to a gravestone- it is a heavy load to carry when we lose someone close to us so I wouldn’t rule it out entirely, however the “Just” before it is something to consider as well in that context, and in the context of its definition’s. These are the kinds of things I keep in a “maybe” important file in my brain.

        I would also consider, that it is possible heavy loads comes into play in more than one context in this poem. Just my opinion. Happy hunting!

        • Thanks KK. All I can do is keep “Turnin’ over logs (or stones) until I get that “AH – HA” moment. JDA

      • Maybe not “related to”, but possibly just near . . . although either or both might apply. IMO.

    • Seems to me if a meaning of the word is usable, why would it be wrong to use it. It just needs to line up with everything else. Plain English doesn’t mean common usage… fenn said he looked up words and meanings when he wrote the poem and it came out exactly as he wanted it.

      For example; If the Memorial Wall was to mean HL… it could have something to do with weighty and burden… BUT now you have to wonder if WH is a second entity or does “and” combined both into one? In my mind, it would make a big difference on how that line is read. Would WH have a similar meaning[s] or completely different.

      Difficult, but not impossible

      • Good point Seeker. My Water High is close to where I expect my “Heavy Loads” to be. Question – How are they connected? HUMMM? Something else to think about. Thanks for your input – you too Aaron – JDA

      • Another thought – Some have associated Heavy Loads and Water High with a waterfall. I wonder if there might be a waterfall somewhere close to my WH spot? another HUMMM? JDA

        • JDA,

          A place (0.75 miles) no very up, with many rocks and erosion with several waterfalls, would not define HL and WH ??

        • Sure, why not… but you’re changing meanings. A waterfall would have nothing to do with emotions as; a burden line of thinking… it would be a more weight type of meaning.

          Hence the idea that this poem can fit almost anywhere within the searchable area, with any reading of the poem, in many styles of the words and there meanings and usages… but it seems, the trick is, to have that AH HA! moment that says… “What took me so long?”

          And if I can be honest JDA… I don’t see 9 wwwh, 9 hoB, 9 blazes… I don’t see the poem repeating itself 9 times.
          Searchers would need to go by, drive past, walk past, hop, skip and jump everything 9 times to get to the correct location @ the 500′ mark… that sounds more like musical chairs, to be honest.

          • Just exploring possibilities for what these two simple words could mean. I do like the idea of the words heavy loads relating to a weighty burden – more than a waterfall, but how do I relate the heavy burden idea to the water high? That seems to be the challenge.

            Wish I could have one of those “What took me so long” ideas – I’m workin at it – Maybe it will come in the night.

            regarding the nine thing I too would think that 9 wwwh’s is a bit much. I like three better. JDA

          • I think that “the 500′ mark” is being over-emphasized,
            compared to its real value in solving the poem.

            Same for the concept of “500 feet” (in case anyone has
            used the ” ‘ ” symbol to mean “minutes” (of navigation)
            instead of “feet”.

            The above is my opinion; y’all may have a diFFerent one.

    • JD –

      I think there very well could be a tie in. Thinking about not just grave stones, but also the memorials. There are big memorials like the one Forrest discusses in DC. There are smaller ones like the one outside of Helena and Missoula.

      And then, and I am adding this for the nuts, there is the fact that Forrest wanted to say “Hats Off” after Dal added the Grave-Stone-Like image to Scrapbook 126.


      • I had a thought that all the clues could be about a grave-site area, with the chest laying in wait outside that location. Sure it took imagination… and in hind sight… why I place arguments against driving clues. The line NFBTFTW, might not, have anything to do physical movement.

        In the theory mentioned; HL would be the gravestone or same type of object… using both meanings of weight [unit of measurement] and burden [emotion], and WH represents the sorrow of that emotion and lost that represents the marker……..
        Point? Multiple meaning and word usages [ in a poem, especially ] can be of more than one meaning of a word or words, with respect to a clue or clues reference. fenn never said deciphering clues would be easy… he said try and simplify them. fenn never said the poem was not complex, he basically said don’t over complicate by looking for answers out side the box… with a small list of examples that “bloggers” have used in the past.

        Yep, this post is full of it…………. opinions, I mean

    • JDA,
      Since you asked I’ll give you my opinion. Remember that I don’t see definitive answers in the poem when reading it literally, and my comments about the poem are usually greeted by polite silence. IMO looking for analogies often leads to too many vague possibilities and doesn’t give one the clarity or confidence that we should be looking for. If you do want to explore that vein (and I think we should be trying to solve each line in as many ways as we can imagine) there are a few analogies that seem more likely. Lots of people have thought of power lines, I’ve also thought that the heavy load of thoughts and worries that sits on our shoulders should be given more consideration as a possibility. I’ve developed quite a collection of pictures of head shaped rocks with that in mind. So I guess that means that instead of headstones I would look for stone heads.

  76. JDA, & anyone else-

    Your comment: “how do I relate the heavy burden idea to the water high?” is something I have been thinking about in regards to my own solve.

    Do you think there is an underlying “theme” to the clues as a whole? Do you think clues such as “Just Heavy Loads” and “Water High” (as well as the other clues) must relate to each other in some way, or are they independent of each other?

    I have been unable to decide if there is any relation or prevailing underlying theme to the clues or how they relate to each other aside from getting us from point A to point B.

    • KK,
      Yes, I believe there’s a theme, and it’s flowing water. “waters halt,” “up your creek,” and “water high” all suggest this.

    • KK,

      Just so you have an idea:

      My local blaze: there was a forest fire, has a trail marker, has a HUGE white thing totally out of context with the forest, and has something to do with shooting brilliance …

      Heavy Loads has: Big Rocks, Electricity, Train Rail, Murdered People …

      Water High has: Flood, waterfall, deep water, pond, rapids …

      It’s not easy…

      • Thanks for your thoughts McB! I don’t have an underlying theme that ties my clue solves together, they are all pretty independent of each other.

        My heavy loads and high water could have multiple meanings in my specific solve. My heavy loads can be answered by a horse trail, boulders, and/or utility lines. I can’t say what my water high is- might give too much away.

    • KK;

      For my solves, there is a definite “theme”. This “theme” connects all of the clues. This “Theme” provides the “Big Picture” – for me at least.

      Without understanding this under-lying theme, I am not sure I would have progressed as far as I think I have.

      Good question – JDA

      • Thank you JDA,

        The big picture is important…and it does make sense the clues might be tied to it in some manner. It is so interesting to think of how many different ways solves are arrived at.

        I started my initial research and solves in a manner that used literature theme(s) tied to physical locations…but that wasn’t working well for me, although it did help me refine my search area. I am not sure where to apply that statement by FF regarding the big picture, other than my specific location.

        • KK;

          How big is your general search area – (I do not want an answer) If from wwwh to hoB is more than a couple of miles, that MAY be one side of a picture frame – so to speak.

          How far from hoB to – say – The “end” location? – another side of the picture frame.

          How far from end to No paddle creek? – another side.

          HL – WH – Blaze ? In reality, once you have the four sides of the picture frame they probably do not form a square. I am just using these “distances” between clues as an example.

          Whatever the shape of your frame, whether closed or not, for me, this forms the outline of my “Big Picture.

          Somewhere within this framework is Indulgence. For me, this outline encompasses the “Big Picture”.

          What ALL has happened within this framework?. By ALL, I mean now, in the recent past, in the past long ago, and in the past long,,long ago.. For me, this is the “Big Picture”. But that is just how I view it – JDA

          • JDA,

            I am inclined to think the “big picture” is the map such as using GE. One ends up with the complete path of the poem as in my solution the clues create a wide picture but not as tall as it is wide. When I return from my next botg I will share my solve it does create the big picture of a map and includes the text of the poem as one goes along showing the clues. That is to me the best way to show the solution.

            I’m agreeing with you mostly except for your last paragraph. Everything will be in the present and not have anything to do with the past except for when the Chase began.

            Happy hunting, stay safe!


  77. McB, that would be a high water mark that is an indication on rocks of where the water was at higher points. There is a chance that water high could refer to this. The snow melt in spring generally brings about higher water flow that could leave visible marks in the summer.

    • Aaron…I too like that interpretation you posted. It seems to jive better with as a likely visible direction marker. Alleviates JDA’s above stated problem.

    • Good thought Aaron – Just might work . Heavy loads could be fast moving water during Spring runoff, or a look-back in time to when the creek flowed with a lot more force than it does today. – Good thinkin’. JDA

    • Arron,

      Just to throw something else at you. Who’s to say clue solves are natural objects. Yes Forrest wants kids to go out into nature but sometimes you run across a bit of history out in the middle of nowhere. Objects of time gone past that help tell a story, maybe about the clue.

      Good luck with the BOTG,

        • Charlie M,

          I first considered that when I searched YNP my first areas, but getting to where I am now well had to reconsider.


          • Bur,

            WWWH = natural
            CD= natural & road
            HLWH= path & natural
            Blaze= natural
            Cold= natural
            Wood= natural

            This how I see things, I did deliberately leave out some clues as they are important and revealing.

            Take care!

      • Thanks Bur, it would be fun to find something like petroglyphs along the way that helps with a clue. Good luck to you too! -A

      • Bur,

        The FF resting place can easily be an archaeological site that FF discovered in their fisheries.

        It may even be an ugly place that would not generate “Admiration” for beauty.

        So he asks the discoverer to have “Approval and High Regard” for the place.


  78. I think we should consider the poem and the clues through an archaeological view as well.

    After all FF basically loves two things: Archeology and Fishing.

    For example:

    WWWH can relate to indigenous places.

    Brave indians. No meek.


    • McB,

      Keep on going in that direction, the big picture is always a good idea to think about.

      Good luck,

    • Hi McB, other than trail of tears what other examples can you relate WWWH to indigenous places? That particular one requires some specialized knowledge, I would guess since it is not really on a map.

      • Aaron;

        As you know, I do not search in YNP, but very recently there was a very interesting article about the Sheep-eater clan of the Shoshone Indian tribe that lived within the boundaries of what today is YNP.

        They were much maligned. They were called dim-witted and filthy, despite the fact that they were very skilled hunter/gathers who had lived in the Yellowstone area for centuries.

        For those searching in Yellowstone, I suggest that you google “Yellowstone Sheepeaters”, there you will find some fascinating links – It might be important research – Who knows where it might lead? JDA

      • For example:

        The water that fed the “Mesa Verde” tribes was the result of the melting snow (Águas Quentes) and the formation of small lakes at the top of “Mesa Verde”.

        This happened every year (Halt).

        Just thoughts … I do not know if MV is part of RMs.

  79. JDA, the Sheep-eaters were an interesting group. When I first started searching I thought sheep-eater cliffs in YNP seemed like a good idea for a search location using Mammoth as WWWH. Never searched there and moved on as it seems a little too public of a place.

  80. its my opinion that waters high is a direction- telling us to go to the north end -of the body of water – its just telling us to go north from there- where if you go north- you will find the next place you go to is the blaze – its my opinion that from the blaze you keep going north and higher in elevation is in the wood

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