SUBMITTED MAY 2018
It’s been almost two years now and I still have no idea where Forrest Fenn hid his Treasure. I have decided that I will search no more, but I did want to share a few things that have intrigued me during my search, before I let go and return to reality (lol). Often, when fishing, someone may ask you “Have you caught anything?” One answer that can be given to help assuage the feeling of being “skunked” is to say “No, but I have had a few nibbles” (or “bites”).
So what I am sharing in the rest of this article are just “nibbles”, because the truth is I haven’t caught anything. I am not a very good writer, so I would ask that you bear with me as I share these little trinkets with you. I often visit the Blogs, so very early on in my search I began to see things in the writings of Forrest Fenn, especially in the “questions and answers” pieces that he has shared with us. Here are a few of the things I have seen that just might be “hints” from Forrest in regards to HOW we should be investigating his poem. Hopefully one of these little discoveries might help another searcher along the way, and possibly lead them to the correct solution to this amazing treasure hunt.
“Jesse, I am a fan of Georgia O’Keefe. But not her work, and my opinion was no mystery to her. She said I was a LOW BROW. I countered with a comment something like, “who says you have to be a SNOB to enjoy art?”—from “Featured Question with Forrest Fenn, Georgia O’Keefe,”(September 1, 2015), Mysterious Writings Blog.
When I first began the search at the end of July, 2016 I began to regularly visit the blogs. I began digging into some of the older articles on the Mysterious Writings blog (hosted by Jenny Kile), and the writings and Scrapbooks on blog hosted by Dal Neitzel. When I read the above question/answer between a writer named Jesse and Forrest I immediately remembered something I had seen in the poem itself. Why was Forrest using the words “snob” and “lowbrow” in the discussion? Somehow I didn’t think the words themselves were hints, but possibly how they were arranged in the poem was a hint of importance.
When I recalled that the words were in the poem (see above) I wondered whether Forrest was hinting that part of the puzzle might be solved using acrostics, and not necessarily orthodox ones either. The word SNOB would be considered orthodox, as it is exactly (5) letters in from the right on all lines. But the word LOWBROW combined two types of acrostics: a diagonal one counting in 2-3-4-5 from the right, and then meeting with another acrostic, BROW, which is part of a word flowing from left to right. This acrostic was in an “L” shape which greatly intrigued me, as Forrest had mentioned “ells” in some of his stories. Was the “L” shape significant in some way? This put me on a path of looking for acrostics in the poem which I do believe is ONE aspect used to hide hints and clues in the poem. It did lead to seeing some interesting things. Unfortunately I can only consider these “nibbles” as the elusive fish (solution) remained aloof.
As I continued my search I found in the same sentences shown above another “L” shaped acrostic that also intrigued me due to what it ultimately spells. It involves aligning the 17th letter from the left on three lines meeting with three letters in a line flowing from left to right:
17th letter from left
What makes this intriguing is that the N-O-E letters are all exactly on the 17th letter from the left and then down. When combined with the C-A, from the sentence flowing left to right we have an “L” shaped “CANOE”. And it is interesting that the word “canoe” appears right where the poem says “take it in the canyon down”. Could “canoe” be something we take in the canyon down? What do you think? Is it purely coincidental, or is it a hint? It certainly left me wondering.
In another “Featured Question with Forrest”, called ‘Early Morning Ideas” (October23, 2014), someone named “Thrill” asks a question of Forrest to which he replies: “Especially burned into my memory Thrill, was the idea to arrange a cultural exchange program with the Russian Government. A few art scholars jazzed me pretty good and I was the butt of some funny jokes, because it was 1975 and the Cold War was in full blast”.
Again, when I read this I immediately thought of the poem and something I had seen in it. Because not only had I looked for acrostics, I had experimented in other ways also, such as typing the poems sentences with no spaces between the words. One sentence in particular caused me to laugh, as crude as the humor was, because the words “butt” and “fart” were in the same sentence.
Again, as crude as this is it does appear to match the story’s words of “butt” and “full blast”. As I laughed under my breath I remembered another possible explanation which used another “L” shaped acrostic, this time appearing on exactly the 12th letter from the left combined with a word in a sentence flowing from left to right. This time also the word read upwards and to the right.
12th letter from left
The S-H-O is exactly 12 letters from the left—again very intriguing. But why “Shofar” you ask? Well, first, if you read the answer from Forrest above he says that the art scholars “jazzed” him. When I think of jazz I think of horns. Incidentally, in the first stanza of the poem are two different acrostics which both spell HORN. And here, with the word “shofar” is another HORN.
If you google the word Shofar you will see it defined as having a “blasting” sound. They use the word frequently when describing the shofar with long “blasts” or short “blasts”. In Forrest’s answer he states that the Cold War was in FULL BLAST, which is an interesting choice of words. Another interesting thing about the sentence itself is the fact that Forrest said that he was the “butt” of Art Scholars jokes.
NORFARBUTTOOF ARTOWALK The sentence seems to confirm this.
Now, I realize some of you may be calling me “nuts” by now or deluded, and actually that’s fine with me. I realize that stating that “full blast” may refer to a shofar or a fart is a bit silly, but the placing of the words in the poem seems to be a bit more than coincidence in my opinion. What do you think? The shape of the acrostic as an “L” for both CANOE and SHOFAR on the exact letters that they fall on is quite interesting to say the least. But then again, above in the sentences we can see the words FORT BROWN quite clearly too. I thought this might be a hint, but Forrest has since stated that HOB is not a man-made structure. Fort Washakie in Wyoming was called Fort Brown first. So it is obvious that coincidences can happen.
One other interesting acrostic found in the poem is the word GAIT (“Gone Alone In There”). This word has been hinted at many times by Forrest. Even in SB146, when he mentions the duck named ‘Tail End Charlie”, he states that it was born with a strange “gait”. Near the very end of the poem there is another acrostic, BAIT (Brave And In The wood). I had noticed these two acrostics right away as I read the poem, along with WAFT (Wise And Found The blaze) and the two examples of HORN in the first stanza also. However, I did also realize that these acrostics, being only (4) letters long per word, could easily have happened by chance also. But the more I read the more I felt that at least GAIT was a real hint.
One thing that confirmed this a bit for me was another exchange in a question/answer between Forrest and Carolyn. This is found in another “Featured Question with Forrest” titled “Inside Indulgence” dated 12-14-14. Carolyn asks: “Are there any bronze animals in the chest, indulgence, or anything bronze?” To which Forrest answers: “Nothing bronze at all Carolyn, or even silver. I wanted more expensive metals in Indulgence. That’s why I chose gold. There is a gold frog that’s very old”.
I found the question and the answer both to be very odd. Forrest is asks whether there are any bronze animals in the chest? Why bronze animals? Why? It just appeared to be a strange question. And then Forrest answers with a couple of strange replies also. He states there is nothing bronze in the chest, or silver also. But we all know that Forrest wants the SILVER BRACELET back if anyone finds the chest. So why does he say there is nothing silver in it? Then he ends his answer with: “There is a gold frog that’s very old”. What I noticed is that the question and answer both begin and end with same acrostics that are in the poem—except they are reversed:
“Are there any Bronze Animals In The chest” (BAIT)
“There Is A Gold frog…” (TIAG = GAIT)
Again, this may be entirely coincidental. But the number of hints I have seen mentioned regarding the word “gait” leads me to believe otherwise. Because the poem begins and ends with these acrostics, is Forrest purposefully beginning and ending the question/answer with these two acrostics to hint to us that they are important? I really have no idea. I am just fishing, and getting “nibbles”. I haven’t really caught any fish. By that I am basically saying that I see these things, but don’t really know how to apply them in order to get the big fish.
I might add though: In a recent post on Dal’s blog a gentleman mentioned a game he put together for his wife. He hid envelopes around the house for her to find. He actually went into quite some detail—and even added a bit more after Forrest responded to him
However, Forrest gave only this short reply: “That Is A Good story.f’ (TIAG = GAIT). He added nothing more.
Of course there are many coincidental things that we can find in the poem. Here are a couple of examples. In the past someone shared how they believed the sub-conscious mind might have something to do with the poem. They mentioned ID and EGO. Naturally I had to check it out, and here is what I found almost immediately (lol):
As I havegone alone in there
AnD with my treasures bold
And another person mentioned an esoteric meaning being part of the solution. They mentioned TAROT cards—especially the WANDS cards. Surprisingly, if you arrange the poem in an up and down manner the following appears and there are many other coincidental things that appear just like this. Or are they coincidental?
It’s kind of strange how WAND appears all on 4 letters in from the left. Just coincidence I guess.
END OF PART 1.