The Key Word…


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

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




347 thoughts on “The Key Word…

    • ok ill bite in these wee hours lets describe the author
      F freedom

      O older inelegance
      R Re vision of normality
      R Riddle offered in time
      E Earned life experience
      S Solitude with commitment

      T Think deeper tantalizing thinker
      F faith with frustration
      E entertainer
      N nutritional mind feeder
      N nocturnal mind bender
      as i rounded the corner tonight i saw the Blaze pizza joint no kidding
      the Tc is not associated with a structure but it was funny so i started thinking. what do you think? good night to all stay safe out there. just my 2 cents

      • just a few more words IM SO GRATEFUL that SIR Forrest Fenn found his half, to make him whole Peggy, and with his tides, he shares his glory
        and saved my life with his story. you cant get much better then that
        TY again our friend Sir Forrest Fenn life is worth living every day the key is secrete. seen by all passed me by oh well back to thinking.

      • what if the key word was age: could you use it and not mess with the poem ? guess you could if the Blaze was next to old faithful but i like
        something about mavrick better.

        • sorry just tuning in to the thought waves with this one you do know that you never think alone. just a thought. thought by many i assume.

  1. It would not be wise to openly discuss anything relevant to the chest at this point. If you aren’t on the up and up then I might suggest folding the laundry and applying the exact pattern as before to each location. When you find the drum, beat it. When you find the dance, whoop it. We are gaining more ground waiting than we would with botg, imo.

    • This blog was created to do what you suggest we shouldn’t.
      If you do not want to openly discuss anything relevant to the chest or chase here, then you should not comment and don’t discourage others.

      • Jake,
        In theory that sounds Swell, but this thread is for discussing “The Key Word” is it not? How many seasoned searchers have stated what they believe to be “the key word”? How many unseasoned have STATED IT? So to me your comment is ironic at best.

        IMO Trout and Soda are keys. I seen someone mentioned on another thread that Laramie = Tears? Lamar? Trout? Soda?

        So, when you say —“This blog was created to do what you suggest we shouldn’t” —I believe almost everyone here posting is doing exactly what FallingRock has simply stated but in a round-about way! All the masses just beating around the bushes with their non-helpful-chat! JMO IMO

        • Many have proposed, shared, and discussed various words in previous installments of this thread, B.George.

          For example –

          in tight focus with a word that is key

          in there
          in the canyon
          in below the home
          in peace
          in the wood

          It’s one important possibility related to the winning solve analyzed by several searchers who consider the search destination to be a small one.


          • J A Kraven
            on November 17, 2018 at 4:17 pm said:

            “Many have proposed, shared, and discussed various words in previous installments of this thread, B.George.”

            Yup, all of which are useless per se’. A perfect example of my reply above is Zap. On the tread “looking in Colorado” a few weeks ago or so, Zap mentions to “Johnathon L” that his key word is ANKH! Has he ever mentioned it on this discussion board? NOPE! I know what it stands for. But have you ever heard Zap mention IT? NOPE!

            Also, how many other’s have never spoken about their “Actual” key word, TRUTHFULLY? Sure many/most throw out some lame crap to make it look interesting but the TRUTH is nobody has given up their “KEY”!

            Say what you will but we all know better. Heck, I have a few key words but I’m not going to share them.

            As for Zap’s key word ANKH, why don’t you ask him? Maybe he will tell you. And by the way, ANKH is not a key word, it’s a subtle hint is all. Go ahead and ask him! Don’t get all scary! BOO! I have a few times already but I got nothing from him.

            Carry on J A Kraven!

          • J A Kraven,
            Technically it should be NAHK but that would make it so much easier for all to figure out. Just sayin!

            Carry on J A Kraven!

          • ByGeorge: “the TRUTH is nobody has given up their “KEY”!”
            You just called everyone that shared their key word a liar.
            That’s just not right.

          • I have never said my keyword was Ankh. I don’t know where you got that. It doesn’t take a genius to know what my keyword is if you’ve been thoroughly reading this blog for the last 6 months.

          • Zaphod73491
            on November 27, 2018 at 9:55 am said:

            Love that movie, Jonathan! Hey… it even provides the answer to the word that is key: ANKH.

            Reply ↓

            Jonathan L
            on November 27, 2018 at 10:03 am said:

            You sure it isn’t the upsilon? you should email me what you think about ankh
            Maybe go to carousel together

            Then spin everyone some more. Key word, or word that is Key. I’m getting DIZZY!

            J A Kraven,
            I called NOBODY a liar! You just can not comprehend apparently!

            in there
            in the canyon
            in below the home
            in peace
            in the wood

            You call those KEY WORDS? I have to LAUGH! I call those “fluff”. You seasoned searchers are so full of yourself. Show me 1 person whom believes ANY of those words are key and I’ll show you a losing solve! LMAO!

            Zap, NEVER is a LONG TIME! Split hairs and tell me you NEVER said it. There’s your sign! At least I know better. BIG YAWN!!!!

          • Hi George

            Wasn’t me that used the word “liar.”

            And the word (not WORDS) I shared was “in.”

            Bye George

    • what is wise if i were to say some creek i need to re visit was worn what would you think? button zipper or closer underwear that’s close but if you think a creek you can see all that must be seen and smelled at the right elev where would it take you. we all think we’ve been there but where is the and can we go back? i have not found that spot yet but im thinking like you too. gaining exp aint easy these days the big picture is dont waste your time enjoy every moment.

  2. Could the key word be ONE
    First line of the poem, As I have gONE alONE in there.
    ONE & ONE wrote as a number =. 11
    An eleven letter word in TTOTC is Ye ll owstONE
    It has 2 ll’s which look like the number 11 and a 1 at the end.
    Forrest always says go back to the first clue
    Yellowstone was the FIRST National Park

    • Ya Little Jack, Those ONE’s have been discussed here before but didn’t catch the YellowstONE until you mentioned it.
      One is first and best.

      • Thanks Jake I’m not up to speed on what’s been posted, sorry if I’m not original, but it’s my idea so its original to me .

        • If you suggest that Yellowstone National Park may relate to this treasure hunt, please support the suggestion with reason(s).

          Oh . . . I should say something about The Key Word, since it’s supposed to be the topic here (even though I’m not convinced that it was originally introduced by Mr. Fenn). I believe that The Key Word in some circles is “jump”, which
          might be related to a good solve. As always, IMO.

    • Good post, Little Jack. A slightly more condensed variant:

      (As) I (have) (g)ONE (al)ONE in there
      (ye) ll (owst) ONE

      111 and 111. An integer longitude that passes through the westernmost part of the park. Also the integer portion of the longitude for West Yellowstone.

      • Little Jack, Jake & Zap,

        I don’t understand why there are those that don’t pay attention to what Forrest said:

        “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

        I believe the line of the thought of dropping letters or emphasizing a word within a word would fall into what F said in the quote. This also would apply to numbers for longitude and latitude, that will not help. I believe when F said to simplify is to drop all that pertains to head pressures, etc…. in the quote above.

        The only way to use longitude, etc. would be when the tc is found.

        So why are you still thinking along those lines?

        • CharlieM. I’m not one that will say that others are going about it wrong. Though what you point out , as I would too, a quote is just pointing something out that is guidance from the poems creator . There are a lot of posts telling people a lot of ‘Shoulds’ to think in this way and not that way etc. To me, reading those is rather humorous.. Its like saying, “Like everyone here, I don’t know, but you should all think this way , the way that I think”. Just pointing out that quote from the Poet whom created the poem ,is real advice.

          It is a poem that is written with the intent as clues that is a map. It is just poetry. Words from a poet translating what the eyes , heart and mind can see from an artistic perspective-painting a picture ,essentially. Learning the Poets history and background is helpful ( nope, Nope)

          IMO .

          IMO .

          • Close Alsetenash,
            I think the word that is key is “nigh”.
            Or maybe it’s “key” or “Gallatin”….

          • CharlieM posted this quote: “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

            And then this quote:

            “On the Road With Charlie” (May 2017): “Well, it’s hidden in a pretty good place. It’s difficult to find, but it certainly isn’t impossible. But if you’re gonna find the treasure, you’re gonna have to solve the RIDDLE that’s in my poem. The nine clues that are in my poem. Nobody’s gonna happen on that treasure chest.”

            He then asks how these two quotes appear to be in conflict. I think not.

            Quote #1 says RIDDLES – with an “S” – Plural
            Quote #2 says RIDDLE – no “S” – Singular.

            When I was a kid and getting my tonsils out my parents gave me a book titled – “1001 Riddles for Kids.” I would bet that no matter how many of these riddleS I solved, it would get me no closer to Indulgence – BUT – solving THE riddle (no s) that is the poem certainly would get me closer.

            Just a thought – JDA

          • Jake. the Gallatin County shape is interesting that it looks like a key ,as has been discussed here lately. Along with deciphering styles pointing to the Gallatin that look to be adding plausibility in investigating foot prints .


            Not my way of thinking. But a good one non-the-les.

            IMO .

          • I don’t know what you mean about: “deciphering styles pointing to the Gallatin”
            What do you mean by “styles”?

            What do you mean by “investigating foot prints”?
            If you mean the places Forrest has been then I understand your cryptic jib for this.

            Clever for who? You don’t say whether Forrest is clever, you, me or the others that were chatting about it.

            You’re not very clear in what you state.

          • Jake, my apologies for my speak.

            What I meant by their cyphering style is the method of the first letters of words in a line of the poem and also some second letters to form the Gallatin- duscussed the other day. They pointed out the Gallatin County border perimeter formed the shape of a key.(Foot prints)

            I think this is clever as a thought process/investigation. That’s all I meant.

            Just not the way I approach it.

            IMO .

          • Alsetenash,
            Thanks for the clarification.
            It’s a tough task to figure what Forrest is saying nevermind all the folks here.

            I’m not sure where the footprints relate to the county shaped like a key but whatever.

            I think the word “method” works better.

            Either way Forrest is a clever SOB and no matter which style (method) you use, make sure the poem led you there first and not the shape of a county.

          • Jake. Looking at the Gallatin County on GE , the outline looks like a key. Is what was said. It does sort of look like one. To each their own about this.

            I had many different approaches to the idea of the word that is key. I didnt tackle the word that is key untill after I had already an area picked. Only for the purpose for if it can be justly added as a positive point to with my solve area. Making sure I am mindful of not toying with confirmation bias, but best proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It wasn’t until recently when it occurred to me-“you have got to be kidding me” , was my first thought to myself about this word that is key I came up with. Almost too simple.

            I’ll find out this summer , either way.


          • Speaking of Gallatin County, y’all know about Lost Dakota?

            Don’t know that it gets anyone closer to the chest, but it’s an interesting little cartographic curiosity.

        • Hello CharlieM
          I listened to Forrest he said we need to figure, analyse, identify, solve, decipher and use your IMAGINATION.
          Forrest collects unique items, “one off’s” He likes to have the only one, it would be his alone to treasure.
          I think seeing one in a word isn’t over stretching the imagination.
          I hope someONE got something helpfull from my post, because I didn’t get any inspiration from yours.

          • It’s okay Little Jack, not many do get anything from his posts. Anyway, what you and zap could be a possible, IMO. You would still need to do something with the other letters or it would look like force fitting. But a good start, also interesting that zap’s longitude goes thru the park. We discussed this a couple days ago, Seeker came up with an example of 111, and I used the Gallatin example. As we progress thru the poem, we have to try to find all ways to solve the poem. If that is what you are trying to do, that’s great, as long as the word is in the poem. If this word is so important, it must be in the poem. It’s just, what do you do with the word “one”? IMO, the word is also in the statement he made, so both places, IMO.
            Along with that ATF that was posted, not to many focus on what was actually said. If f says that there is something that could result in a “positive solve”, everyone would be pursuing that lead. I guess there are those that rather follow a negative solve. If f says that using any of the thigs he stated would result in a positive solve, then why discount them. And again, the English language is part of a code, what, don’t use English? Ridiculous.

            If you find something within trying to solve the poem, and run with it where it gives good feedback, then who cares how you obtained it, as long as you are satisfied with the result. The only thing I see with what you proposed is leaving some letters out while using others to come to a conclusion. I may be wrong, so who knows, but I would think that you would need to place the other letters somehow, and within the poem telling you, or you will be playing with force fitting a solve. I agree with Zap Little Jack, which I don’t do too often, good post, good luck.

      • CharlieM: people do pay attention to what Forrest said. They just have a different interpretation than you do. I see nothing in the “head pressure” quote from Forrest that rules out the Easter egg insertion of a couple 111’s here or there. But I’m assuming you think it runs afoul of either codes or ciphers. (If Forrest intentionally hid 111 within the structure of the poem, it is definitely not a cipher; a “code” is more debatable. I don’t consider steganography to be a code, but I can appreciate if you feel differently.)

        Something that should give you some pause in interpreting that ATF from Forrest. You’ll notice “riddle” is in his list. You’re going to have to reconcile that with this quote from “On the Road With Charlie” (May 2017): “Well, it’s hidden in a pretty good place. It’s difficult to find, but it certainly isn’t impossible. But if you’re gonna find the treasure, you’re gonna have to solve the riddle that’s in my poem. The nine clues that are in my poem. Nobody’s gonna happen on that treasure chest.”

          • ken, has ff only said -riddle- once in regards to the poem? He seems to prefer ‘solve the clues’ just like using ‘hid the chest’ not buried.

            I wonder why is it, maybe riddles have a not so much (straightforward) connotation to it. On many of the interviews they call the poem clues cryptic and he has never complained about that either.

        • Zap,

          What puzzles me is F discounted riddles, yet again he says to solve the riddle. I’m very inclined to go with no riddle, and yet again the riddle of HLaWH is right there. So it comes down to when to accept or dismiss what F says. I think that time of statements were made, I tend to go with earlier statement as it was fresh at that time.


          • Ah!
            The catch 22 affect.
            “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”

            I take this as, the clues are not involved with a type of riddle – riddleness? Because we are told that is what the clues do… take you to the treasure. We simply need to decipher the correct interpretation of the 9 clues.

            Now the Riddle part or idea, seems to imply how and where we get started. Is it stanza one? and where “in there” might be…
            Is it stanza 5 with a question and answer, and we need to know what the answers mean?
            Is it stanza 6 and, well, all if it?

            Don’t we need to know of the location of all the “clues” beforehand and not so much the location of the treasure… I mean, that is what the clues do, right? So knowing about riddles won’t assist with the clues ‘needed’ that lead to the treasure, idea… but it may help with where the clues are at. * the only thing that seems to ‘assist anyone to the treasure’ are “the clues”

            ‘I warned the path would not be direct [the clues]… certainty of the location beforehand. [where the clues are]’
            Seems to me, that would be a riddle needing to be figured out.

        • Ken and CharlieM: I consider WWWH to be a riddle. It’s certainly a conundrum that must be solved, and I don’t think it’s literal, so that satisfies the definition pretty well.

          • Hi Ken: that works, too. After all, it’s not like any of the 9 clues have self-apparent, literal answers. Each one is an individual puzzle, enigma, or riddle to solve. Worse, we only know what two of the nine clues are in the poem with any confidence (WWWH and the blaze).

          • That’s the beginning and the proverbial end right there Zap. Let’s not forget that Fenn himself has equated the first clue as being more than half way there…metaphorically.

  3. One Key word ifor me I could be

    My guesses on that possibility:
    He may be talking about bills\money new and old in my opinion

    Chase bill is $10,000
    Thus the treasure is likely at 10,000 ft.
    It’s likely in a big game hunting area of either Carson Forrest (Blaze Carson cartoon)

    Or in the Gallatin Forest inside Yellowstone
    Both have areas that fit Forest’s altitude requirements perfectly

    Or near the money-President mountains in Colorado.
    The front range profile mimics Lincoln’s penny profile. And could be near the nose area of the profile?

    All above is my guess for ‘riches’ only. Not saying that others should believe it. Nor that it is THE key word.

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

    Eyes are something that focus, so i thought this looked related to the poems EYE KEY ‘EKS’ revealed on the internet several day(s?) before Forrests statement. Although i believe there is one word he was referring to that is more applicable.

  5. YEs the words simple clear
    The book honest and true
    The man a priceless treasure

    Thank you for sharing him with us and
    Helping him in the ways you do

  6. For some reason I feel we have something in common, but is the blaze an “i” or might it be a “!”
    In New Mexico?
    Just thinking…

    • ‘i’=Eye = Ojo
      Ojo = is where a branch of the ‘Warm Springs Apaches’ camped below Ojo Caliente area. Which is also near LaMadera (the wood). And there are beautiful hand carved sandstone caves in that area. Ra Paulette, the cave digging carver, said in his video that some of his caves are public, some are hidden and others are made ‘private caves’ paid for by people on their own land..
      Solo, NM (Solo= ‘i’=one) is north of Ojo Caliente, NM, but you’ll have to google it.

      Dal went there one time I think….to an ancient abandoned Pueblo….or maybe I’m remembering wrong.

        • Thanks Sparrow.
          The WarmSpings Apaches in the Carson National forestalso camped near a canyon.
          Tribes really found sacred where two creeks or rivers came together like at Cañada Alamosa.
          That entire area has so many things which could fit parts of the poem. But same to the Jicarilla Apace tribal area.
          Arroyo Hondo fits so many clues. It even has a street with same analogy as a parachute. Which passes by a Graveyard. Plus a famous weaver named Brown who live on a ‘walk-in in the rain’ street.and… With a final bingo at a place called the Tesoro de Oro. (Google close up) and All within a short hike to a waterfall.

          But that place has never panned our for anyone yet.

          New Mexico is magical though. I’d love to spend eternity there. Especially up in the aspen grove near Santa Fe ski slope. Doesn’t get any better than that in the fall, imho.

          • Also when he says “tight focus on the key word” then doesn’t the word “focus” also mean eyes or eye?

            An eye above the pyramid on money represents………

            (I’m still stuck on money marks\images holding all the clues perhaps also though. Mainly because he underlined SP Chase in the latest book and Chase is on the $10,000 bill. It could be in money/‘riches’ worth… such as start with penny, next buffalo nickel, independence dime, next Washington dollar etc…..quarter, etc. old and new…or start at the mint in Denver, etc)

            But ‘i’ Seems like a perfect word as it can mean eye\solitude\solo\one\focus etc.

          • Oops. It’s Arroyo Seco not Aroyyo Honda.
            Seco has the weaver named brown, walking rain street, el salty,=jump street plus the waterfall etc mentioned above.

  7. I think searchers are reluctant to discuss what they themselves believe may be the key. People are generally selfish, are not going to give away to some one else what they believe they have developed as the key. Especially facing the long winter wait that has just started. I think a lot of statements given here are meant to direct other searchers interest to other far reaching locations. Searchers are splitting the same hair so many times, and grasping at distance straws. Being here in S. America, where there is no secure mail service, I cant just order up the books. So I am doing my basic research with the tools ff recommended in the beginning. It seems quite clear to me there is a point in the poem you must have BOTG to recognize the details of the clues in the poem as they are in ffs head. The actual landscape of an area is much different then looking at any map. Remember a 10 x 10 box is a small target especially when partially hidden. That means the box is not visible from all directions, while clearly seen from 12 ft. on one side, it may mean you could be within 2 ft. on the other side and not be seen at all. The search it self is hard as the details of the poem.

    • Greg ~ ‘Remember a 10 x 10 box is a small target especially when partially hidden. That means the box is not visible from all directions, while clearly seen from 12 ft. on one side, it may mean you could be within 2 ft. on the other side and not be seen at all.’

      That sounds like the chest can be stumbled upon, which fenn was admit that shouldn’t happen.
      The other thing is; Are we really looking for a 10″ box? I mean, it seems the goal here is to locate the blaze… right? Regardless of how the chest is placed or hidden, buried, in sight, out of sight, camouflage…
      Could ‘anyone’ [ even a none searcher ] be within 12′ and actually find the chest [ in your scenario of the right direction]?
      IF that answer is Yes, then the place would need to be hidden itself, right? A place that would require someone to be “in there”. Basically saying; a place that would be 12′ or less in size.

    • “Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.” ff

      Why don’t you believe the word is in the poem, Eagles?

      Or is it just a gut feeling?

      If not in the poem, where are you looking for it?

  8. Well JA Kraven, I believe that tight focus means with a magnifying glass..
    Obviously the words in the poem are easily read, therefore it’s somewhere else.
    Did you scour the book for words that can’t be seen without a magnifying glass?

    • “words that can’t be seen without a magnifying glass?”
      I’m gonna get my microscope out.
      What do you think JAKe?

      I’ve been in the printing industry for about 15 years and there are lots of aberrations after the printing is done.

      Eaglesabound, if your words are in the pics or illustrations that were not drawn by Fenn then why and how?
      Get your hands on another printing of the book and put your mag glass to see the light but don’t do it in direct sunlight cause it may catch fire.

    • Of course I didn’t.

      “Every little abstract thing that might catch up in your brain” is a cold I’m not catching.

      Do you know what this means: “any part of some is better than no part of any”?

      Me either.

        • That’s too bad JA Kraven, there’s lots to be seen.
          IMO, there are alterations to some of the drawings in the book, some of those spell words, some are numbers.
          For example the word “map” on page 99. Surely you saw that one.

          • And luckily for me, they also make pistachio sometimes. 😉

            Thanks for answering my original questions.

            I’ve done an exercise similar to yours for decades now, a kind of armchair obsession of mine, searching maps drawn in the early 1500’s that show a still unidentified coastline in the Americas, and comparing place names on it with names in surviving accounts of the early voyages in the area by Columbus and his contemporaries.

            I’ve learned a lot and even found some things, some of it publishable. But I still can’t pin that mapped coastline to any real-world coast, nor tie its names to any of the documented voyages. I’d rather solve that than find ff’s old box, but the search itself suffices.


          • Sorry there’s no reply button to your post…
            I’m not sure where you got the impression that I searched maps from the 1500’s….but I do enjoy finding all the fun little things that Forrest put in the drawings for us to find. He did tell us that TTOTC was good research material.

  9. Hocus Focus….of all the clues the BLAZE gives instuction to tight focus….LOOK QUICKLY DOWN. To that end I stake my claim that BLAZE is the key word. Find the Blaze and find the chest. Just imagine some lucky bloke…..or blokess is one day going to find that elusive treasure and if it is not me then I will have to go back to my spitting and whittling or apply at Wally World as a greeter to past the time.This thrill of the chase has opened up my senses and for that I truly am greatful!
    Forrest I hope you spill some gravey down your front. HAPPY EARLY THANKSGIVING!!!

    • ** ** ** ” . . . I stake my claim that BLAZE is the key word.” ** ** **

      Good point about “look quickly down.”

      On the other hand, ff comes right out and says more than once that too many put too tight a focus on the blaze.

      ” . . . there seems to be more attention paid to the blaze than to the first clue. Perhaps that’s why the treasure hasn’t been found.” ff


      • Jake.. {J A Kraven}

        Ya can post it until ya blue in the face, a lot of folks won’t bother with it.
        But here’s the thing; fenn admits; figuring out the first clue before anything else [clues] is a must.. IMO the idea of a word that is key would be focused on that clue [the first clue].
        We know there are more than one word that keys in on something, and fenn even said when he reads e-mails he looks for certain key words in those mails. However, if we go back in time when the comment of “tight focus of a word that is key” it seemed to relate to the comments, at that time, about the first two clues deciphered.

        I guess I don’t understand why folks give the impression that there is a single magical word that will crack the case [all the clues] wide open. I mean, there are 9 clues we need to think about and it all seems to start with nailing down the first one or ya got notta… So here’s a theory… ‘IF’ everything is in order within the poem, that some say it should be, then any word that is important / key should be prior to any clues… right?
        So in theory… the word that works for BIWWWH should be in the first stanza.

        Here’s the kicker… IF that is the case, then another word of importance for any clue should be within a prior clue… if that’s how this works.
        OK.. lol that completely makes stanzas 5 6 useless, right? ~ No clues, no words of importance or key words etc.
        Until we bring up another comment that all the words in the poem were deliberate and risky to discount them.
        Ah! crap… well, there go that theory that a key word ‘must’ be prior to a clue.

        Alright.. with all that crap said; Why can’t the word “blaze” [not its reference] be a word that is key and help with deciphering WWH? Or any other later word in the poem… I mean, we’re talking about how a word can help figure things out, and not so much trying to figure out that specific word’s reference of that word or words. Do we dismiss Wood, or Brave, Brown or Meek, Tired or Weak or even what tired and weak could mean… just because we should “solve” the first clue before all others ‘clues’?
        ~How do we do just that [solve the first clue] if we don’t utilize all the poem’s words? and still keep in mind; all the information to find the treasure is in the poem.

        I’ll add this for thought;
        Could a person reasonably just use the words in the poem and find your treasure chest? Thank you ~Nope
        Thank you Nope. Nope.

        We have torn this this Q&A to shreds, and the most reasonable answer to why the poem words won’t find the chest is, you need to be there to find the chest… the question never allowed for physical presence, for a physical retrieval. fenn answered the question as it was presented.
        But that doesn’t mean the poem alone doesn’t have ‘All’ the ‘information’ to do so… a physical presence is needed. ~Basically saying; it can’t be ‘done’, ‘completed’, ‘completely solved’, to within a few feet, just by the poem.

        I think the word that is key words similar… it’s a specific word that kicks off the first clue only, and not a magical word that is all knowing for a solve.

        That was a long way to go to get my point across, but I like to show how I think things thru, rather than a fortune cookie post that don’t explain any thoughts at all.

        There ya go -Jake with the hat- … a nice long post for ya to run your spellcheck on. I don’t want ya to be bored.

        End of commentary…

        • Hi Seeker, I had a word that I thought related to the first clue. But the idea that the key word, “had” to relate to the first clue, never occurred to me. That’s one of the best ideas ever posted. IMO

          • I think that a key word may relate to the first clue in FF’s poem, but is not crucial in
            solving it. Good luck, all. As always, IMO.

        • Seeker,
          You mentioned fortune cookies, so here’s my best shot at one:
          “A word that is key” is quite apart from “THE word that is key” or “THE key word.”

          And another:
          Teach people WHAT to think and they will graze placidly among other sheeple, but inspire people to learn HOW to think and they will soar with eagles (tragically, I’m no Confucius).

          I’m sure you’re aware it’s mostly a waste of ink to attempt to sway opinion on blogs without cited facts, and there are very few facts in The Chase that are relevant to the poem’s solution. I know I’m not the brightest star in the drawer – or something – but that doesn’t deter my attempts to encourage intellectual gymnastics.

          To be perfectly honest, in the past few years I’ve given NO thought to F’s “a word that is key” comment. I need ALL my synapses and most memory capacity focused on correctly deconstructing F’s poem, and I give credence to only a very small number of his comments – just my approach.

          Last thoughts on your post:
          I agree there’s no “magical word” that breaks open the poem, FWIW. Too, I seperate F’s “word that is key” comment from his statement regarding looking for key words in searchers’ emails – I believe those contexts are independent and unrelated, again FWIW. IMO, F understands what words a searcher might articulate depending on how close they are to a “correct solve”, and I believe such a searcher’s words will be unique relative to words in the poem that are key – of course, it’s highly probable I’m wrong.

          It’s going to be a long winter, no?

        • *** *** *** Seeker supposed – “I’ll add this for thought;

          ** ** “Could a person reasonably just use the words in the poem and find your treasure chest? Thank you ~Nope”
          “Thank you Nope. Nope.” ** **

          “We have torn this this Q&A to shreds, and the most reasonable answer to why the poem words won’t find the chest is, you need to be there to find the chest. . . ” *** *** ***

          It’s much simpler than that – you left out the first part of Nope’s question, the qualifier about the backstory.

          The simple answer in short, if you don’t know there’s a treasure chest hidden in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, then neither the words-in-poem *NOR* any amount of boots-on-ground will find it.


          • Not really, Nope’s question has ‘treasure chest’ in it.
            The poem has treasures, chest and “trove for all to seek”
            In the mountains doesn’t truly help with the clues, as much as., gives us a much smaller area than the entire USA… I mean, at the time wasn’t Canada still in play?

            C?mon, which Jake am I speaking to? lol

            AH! just had a horrific notion… twins.
            Please say it ain’t so… Hahahaha.

          • If you don’t know wich Jake you’re chatting with then you may want to quit the chase. I just flushed your twin and watched the coriolis effect at work.

          • So you’re saying my twin thought is full of crap?
            Well, that’s a good thing… The thought of two of those hats floating a is no place for the meek.

          • Nope’s question also has the word “reasonably” in it.

            Canada? Without any backstory, Canada, Crete, Korea, Capetown, and the Galapagos Islands are all in play. I don’t see any nutritional value at all in that particular Q&A. It’s comic relief.

            And yet here I am still shredding and hacking away at it too. 😉

            Which Jake, heheh, a reasonable question – my mug’n’cap are on display here:


            I’ll go back to the sig I started with on HoD, when Jake F and at least one other Jake were already posting regularly when I got here.


  10. FOCUS:
    1. the center of interest or activity.
    1. (of a person or their eyes) adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.
    “try to focus on a stationary object”
    2. pay particular attention to….

    • A couple other nouns (Wiktionary):

      The exact point of where an earthquake occurs, in three dimensions (underneath the epicenter).

      The most important word or phrase in a sentence or passage, or the one that imparts information.

      • Ah! PD,

        There’s the catch 22… “or phrase in a sentence or passage”

        Can the word of importance be something / single meaning of many words combined?
        Full sentence; begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk.
        20 words.
        line broken by commas; 3 choices for a word.
        Phrases? holy crap that’s a lot of word to brew over…

        Could “Begin it where” produce a word of importance like ‘time’.. ‘looking’ back in time? OUAW?
        Could “take it in” produce a word like ‘viewing’ or ‘observing’
        “Not far” to mean near, “Too far” – ‘don’t’ walk. or not far back in ‘time’ but can’t go back?
        LOL is “it” the magic word we all seek? Could IT mean the waters?
        Can “tight focus” be a hint related to the word that is key? “Gaze” maybe? to look steadily and intently… or “take it in”
        “Seek” is a word that means look for something
        “Gaze” is to look steadily
        “Look Down” is to. Well, look in a direction, “canyon down” is a direction as well. Do wee walk or just know something is not far to ‘see’
        “Put in” in the same context could mean ‘Look Below’ or down.

        LOL there seems to be a lot of observation going on in the poem… well, that I can ‘see’ anyways.
        Ha! maybe “observing” is the word that is key?

        • Hello Seeker. Observing could be a good possibility. Not far, but too far to walk could mean to stand still. I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but it’s something that I thought of a few days ago.

  11. knowingly =
    in a way that suggests one has secret knowledge or awareness.
    synonyms: deliberately
    ** There is no ambiguity with “feet” and “yards” within the context of the quote, thus “steps” is used for his subtlety.
    steps =
    a measure or action, especially one of a series taken in order to deal with or achieve a particular thing.
    a stage in a gradual process.
    ** Given the above definitions, I have the correct solve with one last step to complete, so for now, I’m probably more than several yards away. But what do I know?

      • Seeker –
        Typically my posts are geared for the focused few and they always fall on deaf ears. It’s lonely but I kinda like it that way, if you know what I mean.

        … Ok, here’s an innocuous know for you.
        I know there is no key word per se, because you don’t recognize it as a key word until after you have knowingly solved the clue.

        • I hope this knowlege has allayed all concerns about finding a key word, but woe unto those who believe that they have solved the poem and don’t surely know the word that got them there.

          • ID, our search areas are very different – and of course we are each handicapped at the moment, for different reasons.

            Unfortunately, in my solution, the finale is not a team activity.

          • Dear Idle: I offered Vox to tell him the solution. Being the gentleman he is he politely declined. I just cant convince anyone. No one it seems thinks outside the box…or is it in the box? Oh well…It doesn’t matter…I’m still wonely….
            Please excuse the cursing at the being of the video…otherwise it pretty much reflects how I feel….

        • Isn’t that more a confirmation words than a key word?

          I mean, the whole point of a word that would be key is to help with an actual thought, rather than something that say or implies later… hey, good job done after ‘knowingly’ solve a clue.

          But, I can almost see what you might be implying.

          For example; if the word that is key ‘comes from’ [lets say] “wood” yet it’s not truly wood… it might be meant as petrified wood [ by definition ]… then NPFTM might hint at a petrified forest, rather than a standing living forest.
          Another thought would be why ‘alone In there… bold’ would hint at petrified.. bold meaning not meek or timid or intimated. The same can be said for brave to be opposite of petrified…. all relating to a place / the same place, on a map.

          But don’t we still need the idea of what a key word does as far as helping / being in tight focus with??? rather than only known of – after you “solve” anything?

          I guess i’m not following your, who’s on first-?- if you already ‘know’ who, who is. Or we don’t know who who is because we don’t know who died in the first place… or.. umm… err, ah! crap, I forgot where am I or was… Watt was I talking about?

          • I think the key word acts like a “Key”. For instance, let’s say you had four houses, one in each state involved in the chase (Mt, Wy, Co, NM). Then you found a key that belonged to one of them. You could try that key in the lock of each house until you found which one it belonged to. Now you have narrowed the chase from the size of four states to a specific area in just one of those states. Personally, I ask myself why I even try to help. No one ever listens to me anyway. (That’s why it’s so lonely in my search area)


          • Billy,
            Ha, don’t worry, you’re not invisible! I hear you, and I believe you’re spot-on. I won’t spend time trying to find a key word within the poem or otherwise. However, I believe there is a key to solving the poem, and every searcher inherently possesses it. Forrest said this in 2011 during an interview with Jennifer London:

            “If a person will think, they can find the chest. But the secret is to think, and analyze, they can find the chest.”
            ( at ~10:25 )

            Hence, it’s always been my best guess that the poem’s key is to think, and as with many things in life, we can’t be taught to think – we must learn.

          • Billy, you started off by stating it as “I think the key word acts like a “Key”.”.

            It’s “a” word that is key, not ‘the’.

            Some say what’s the big difference?

            Imo, the big difference is what makes me not agree with Jonesy’s opinion about f’s word that is key proclamation which is posted just below in the thread.

            More specifically, we’ve had searcher Cynthia post that she talked to f right after he issued the “a word that is key” proclamation and she said he further described to her (paraphrasing >) that many of the lines in his poem contain a word that is key.

            Another veteran searcher named JJ has also previously posted on Dal’s and another site that he had emailed with f and told f essentially that he found the combination to unlock the poem. F’s response to him was that it took a key.

            So, I think f’s key proclamation was important for the idea of focusing on some type of word(s) that is key.

            F saying that he thinks the treasure might be discovered sooner than he anticipated doesn’t really affect my belief in the validity that a new, unknown dynamic in the poem was uncovered by a few searchers that can be valuable in helping one find the tc.

            Remember, f has said before in responses to searchers’ questions that he doesn’t really have expectations about when the tc will be found. His gut feeling was off also.

  12. I’ve said this a million times, but I dont understand the logic of this quote pointing to a positive correlation with a key word.

    If I were to say “Many of the blackjack dealers are drawing 21 while only a few are busting. I may be out of money sooner than I expected” the assumption would be that I would be out of money due to the MANY.

    If MANY are giving serious thought to the clues….and only a FEW are focusing on finding a key word….then wouldn’t logic suggest that the chest being found sooner than one thought would be due to the fact that MANY are on the right track while only FEW are off course obsessing over a key word?

    I dont understand the backwards logic of assuming the conclusion of the chest being found SOONER than one thought being drawn from the assertion that only a few are doing the correct thing. I cant wrap my head around where that is logically a viable product of the statements in the OP.

    Seems like people are reading what they want to think he said, versus what was actually said….though I give him props for his salesmanship skills. He didn’t mislead people, but people are misleading themselves.

      • Bingo . . . sorta. Not all leaders do the right (good/ethical)
        thing(s). But to lead is to excel . . . sorta.

        In the specific case, I think QUALITY of correct thinking will prevail over QUANTITY of ineffective thinking.

        If FF believes that a few searchers have been in focus with “a word that is key”, then I also believe this to be the case. Reading TTOTC many times could be helpful, if
        the info that was read sinks in.

    • A Jamie Jones sighting…The thought of Buckeyes enriches my taste buds. Anyway, that is if he means searchers and not clues. You are right, the many ways to think of that may be involved in what he said has become a little much. If clues are in tight focus, then it goes to reason that the key has meaning to that set of clues that are close together. And, with his comment of really only needing to solve the last clue, then we are talking about the final clues. I think that is what he is saying and not meaning to imply “searchers” are in tight focus. We only have a few that have arrived at the first two by accident, and maybe some/someone that may have come to the forth but not sure. That would leave the final clues not touched and his comment more inline with the clues being close to each other in the end. So it brings the thought of a word, used in the comment, and in the poem to be something that supports a key. More thought should be put in the poem, because if it is that important, the poem will solve for it.

      To think there is a magic word that opens up the poem is ridiculous. I don’t see this as him referring to the few as searchers. I see his comment from the few clues that are in tight focus. The only correlation I can see would be from that line in his statement, it being in the poem, and what it is doing in the poem. From reading the line, it sounds like he is saying the word is “that” or “key”. Since “key” isn’t in the poem, and that is, well, go figure. The word “that” is key. With it being the 113th word, and not really having any meaning, it’s easy to see that it is a distance. But again, like you said, that is one searchers interpretation. And we love to exaggerate everything. But I agree, searchers put to much thought in what they think he said compared to what he actually has said.

      You could compare it to his ATF that I love, that in the book, the answer to wwh, Brown, hoB, and the blaze are not given in a subtle way. Meaning, those things cannot be solved. But searchers dwell on the fact that they have solved for these things that have no answer. The only clue needing to be solved is the last, but, we will just forget about what f is saying and post that we can solve these unsolvable clues.

      You can only take some of these horses to water, but in the end, cannot make them drink. The guessing about some magical word will continue, as the rabbit holes start to bevel, more and more will slide in. There will still be those that say the two trips were on the same day, even though he won’t go down then back up then down a canyon, because his second trip he took a short cut, even though he says to follow ALL the clues, there is no other way. But we could drive to the third or forth clue, and not have to go all the way to the first on the second trip, even though we will follow no shortcuts. It is mind blowing how the masses just don’t listen.

      • Wait! What? ~ ‘because his second trip he took a short cut,..’

        How do you ‘shorten’ the “most direct route”?? Taking the “exact same’ route in reverse” – “following the clues when he hid the chest” – ” done’ in one afternoon”

        Dear Mr. Fenn, Once you hid the treasure, did you take the exact same route in reverse to return to your car?”
        Thank you. ~ Tyler Y.
        Yes I did Tyler, it was the most direct route. f

        If he “followed” the clues when he did the task of hiding the chest… for your scenario to happen, Follow would ‘need’ to take on two different meanings at the same time.
        The first time he followed part of the poem by understanding what the clues refer to and where they would be, and then parked some where to follow others in a physical hike.

        But I’ll take it one step more; IF he had to ‘drive’ a single route from the first clue to any later clue because it’s the only route to get to that later… that’s not following by any definition. That’s just passing by… something anyone could do, and not know of those clues, right? All they would need if the 3rd or 4th correct. Yet to our knowledge, no one has got those two clues correct… so you would need to give a reason why WWH doen’t need to be nailed down ‘or stay home’

        Fenn’s comment about the last clue [ the last one ] is common sense. You can have 8 of the clues deciphered, but if you don’t have the last clue… ya still have nothing.
        So when fenn said we need to follow all the clues [ have all the ingredients ] because to his “knowledge there is no other way” LOL well, he created those clues, and finally told us he “followed the clues”… so, he must have done ‘just’ that, all the clues, in the correct order “when” he hid the chest… and he **walked** less than a few miles to do just that.

        Your scenario [ no matter who is searching ] has someone at the first clue and/or first two clues… yet folks have been within 500′ and 200′ ONLY having those two clues?? Where does driving come into play? The problem is, for all, or anyone, to get that close and had the need to drive some unknown distance AND STOP in the same place… a third or fourth ‘consecutive correct clue’ is “required” to accomplish that. ~There is no other way~
        Yet for years [7 plus] fenn was admit; no one gave him the correct clues in order, past the first two.

        You’re forcing a need for driving because you don’t think NF, BTFTW can mean something else but a distance that needs traveling. You can think what ya want.. but to get near the chest {folks “unfortunately *walked* past the treasure chest”}, with a distance that needs driving to somewhere, from the first clue / first two clues… you ‘NEED’ a third clue to tell you when to hit the brakes.

        You said ~’It is mind blowing how the masses just don’t listen.’
        I agree. Welcome to the mass hysteria, your membership card is waiting for you at clue one.

        • Seeker, you either misinterpreted what I was saying, or, Shoot, I don’t know what else. I’m saying that most go against that thought of following all the clues. Not my scenario. I’m saying that he did follow all the clues, both times. And for him to do that, he wouldn’t go down then up then down on the same day. I’m saying there are no shortcuts, both trips he follows all the clues. Since that’s what he is saying, you cannot drive to say the first two clues, then on your second trip, skip the first two. This leads to him walking all the clues, both times. I have always said, you park at the first clue, then start walking. That’s what fits.
          Just because people have come to within 200′, 500′ means nothing. We cannot assume that is a horizontal distance. It very well could be elevation. The searchers that arrived at the first two clues, so what, they knew nothing. And, of course you will follow all the clues, no other way. It has to be. But the last clue being common sense isn’t what he said. You know, he said that is the minimum you need. That means I don’t need to have a solve for the previous 8 clues. Solving the poem is different then solving the clues. The poem solves to a spot, 8 clues will be on that path, to get to the chest, you need to solve the 9th clue from the poem. That is what is mind boggling to me. Searchers continue to solve for things that are unsolvable. Some clues need to be learned/found. What you said:
          If he “followed” the clues when he did the task of hiding the chest… for your scenario to happen, Follow would ‘need’ to take on two different meanings at the same time.
          The first time he followed part of the poem by understanding what the clues refer to and where they would be, and then parked some where to follow others in a physical hike.
          But I’ll take it one step more; IF he had to ‘drive’ a single route from the first clue to any later clue because it’s the only route to get to that later… that’s not following by any definition.
          Is exactly what I’m saying. It cannot work that way, you need to follow all the clues all the time, no shortcuts. He even says we have a long distance to walk, I’ve always said it, so I don’t know if it was me explaining it terribly, or I was in a hurry, or you just took it wrong, point is, Shoot, I don’t even know what the point was.
          So hear me, I now and always will believe that you park at clue one and walk to the chest, a long distance. As far as the comment about two trips in one afternoon, I see that as he talking about the one trip, not the one afternoon. He took two trips and was done in one. The last of course, when he was 79/80, which was his B-day, Aug. 22, 2010. He was 79 when he started that day, 80 when he got back to the car. So don’t go where a 79/80 year old man wouldn’t go. I also think there is only one way in one way out. At least for the norm, I guess someone could parachute in, probably illegally, but hopefully you get my drift. The best route is the one that goes in and the same way back out. Like he said regarding the first clue, “you need to find out….you need to learn where the first clue is” I agree, because the poem solve gives you a spot to go to, draw the path out to where you would start, that is wwwh.
          My opinion, Park, then walk roughly 5 miles. It is on a trail, because that is what he said. Hopefully, I explained a little better.

          • PosionIvy,

            I git most of what you’re saying and agree with most.. But lol now ya really lost me on starting at age 79 and leaving at age 80… OK so it was his birthday he may have done the task, but does that help?
            I don’t know the time of day fenn was born… so I don’t see the relevance to know ‘that’ day.

          • PoisonIvey: you wrote, in part: “As far as the comment about two trips in one afternoon, I see that as he talking about the one trip, not the one afternoon. He took two trips and was done in one. The last of course, when he was 79/80, which was his B-day, Aug. 22, 2010. He was 79 when he started that day, 80 when he got back to the car.”

            Absolutely false. Refuted by Forrest’s own words as well as witness accounts. The treasure chest was hidden prior to July 13th, 2010 — more than a month before Forrest turned 80.

          • Zap ~ ‘ Refuted by Forrest’s own words as well as witness accounts. The treasure chest was hidden prior to July 13th, 2010 ‘

            Well that’s late breaking news I must have missed.
            ya got a link, a report, a video… I can ketchup on?

          • Zap, pi… and Seeker… do you find it at all interesting that the TOTC was *published* January 2010, *released* in October 2010 ?

          • January 2010 is simply what’s printed on the Edition Notice page of the book.

            October 2010, the release date, is when printed copies of the book were actually available for release.

            No significance to the difference that I can see, or at least nothing useful. It’s from a small press, and unlikely ff micro-managed the edition notice. Likely just means that that’s when it hit their ‘work-in-progress’ list.

          • No Seeker, it doesn’t help. I was just rambling.
            Zap, could that have been the first trip?
            Seeker again, zap is referring to last eye witness accounts of when they saw the chest. I think it was Shiloh or Preston, I forget. I agree Zap, I have his first trip well before his B-Day, doesn’t really matter. I’m not 1000% on his B-Day, but it is when he was 79/80. If we take him at his word, like so many like to drive in, then that is when he was 79/80. Simple, means nothing.

            Ken, the thing I have noticed is the difference from his B-Day and the release. 64 days, could that be the mirror of the latitude? He mentioned this “Book of Days”, I have an explanation for that number in the poem, but there is something about the words in the book, 28,800, the difference to 80 years, 29220 days, or 420, and his comment. My book of days is the clue lines per stanza added to the key line, I get 29,220, probably coincidence, but there are reasons for his stories, not sure yet. I just think they are like little puzzles that f has included, really mean nothing, like when he hid the treasure, side notes if you will.

            Seeker again, so, since I agree with you that it really means nothing, and you agree with me on the other stuff, can I assume that we see the whole thing the same? Lol, just kidding. A little more time until the numbers start to soak in, whether they are wrong or right. Plus you need to work on your spell checker, maybe someday.

            I think Jamie comes out of nowhere sometimes to drop a topic for us to pull apart. She is pretty smart, almost intimidating. Notice, not too many “pirates” around anymore. Lol, still haven’t forgotten that verbal pirate execution that happened so long ago. Good to see you Jamie…

          • Seeker: I’ve posted my research for generating that hide cutoff date at least twice here before. Start with KBCO-FM Podcast (11/18/2010). Irene Rawlings talks about gallery owner and author Forrest Fenn and his book “The Thrill of the Chase”. Link:


            In it, Irene mentions having lunch with Forrest in July 2010, and during the lunch Forrest tells her he has “… hidden a treasure box – a box full of gold – and was just finishing up a memoir of clues and how to find it.”

            I dug into this further and found that Irene was in Santa Fe on Tuesday, July 13th, for her book-signing at 5 pm at Garcia Street Books, so it’s likely that her lunch with Forrest was on that day, or a day either side of it since Irene doesn’t live in NM. Even July 13th is generous if the chest was hidden in Wyoming or Montana — he would have needed a day or two to get back to Santa Fe in time for that lunch.

          • Jake… the significance(or not) is that if the book was written and listed as published in January 2010, and was in progress printing etc. for October release date, that the *deed* was done as early as January… or maybe earlier. yes/no?

          • Just to clarify… The date/s are probably not significant as a good searching tool per se. The exercise is more a fact finding mission to clarify Fenn’s statements to get a sense of chronological order to all of the events leading up to the launch date. It is winter mode…

          • Zap…

            Sure, I know of the interview, but what difference does it make… it seems the chest was in its place before July of 2010 [13th]. Later the book published.
            Any date after that shouldn’t have any bearings on the hiding of the chest… right?
            All we really have is “at age almost 80” it was time act.
            However, we now know it was “summer” when fenn hid the chest. IF, big IF, a date was/is usable to help with the challenge, there is only an approx month window to work with; June 21 thru July 13.
            [ ok 23 days, probably less, for traveling and not letting anyone know the chest was actually gone. I think it would be safe to say we can eliminate another week or so, before the set date of that interview]. so we should be able to round it all off with a two week grace period; from the date of the hiding to the arrangement of the interview [ assuming phone calls were made to do just that ].

            And, should any date be reasonable for why it would be important to understand, regarding the clues- if for any reason- would be the first day of summer..imo. Possibly the idea of “if you can find the blaze, the distance… would be obvious.”

            [ other than the blaze being a marker, idea ] What could cause an unknown distance to produce itself-?-to an exact spot- of something hidden from view?……… Something that needs “planning” and “observation” and a need to be on site. As well as, something that; time and movement of the RM’s would have an impact on in 3009 making it more difficult to find the chest… a 10 sq inch piece of real estate, that nobody will stumble upon…

            LOL and it might be told of, in the poem. The date and what to do.

          • Seeker: “Sure, I know of the interview, but what difference does it make…”

            Hey, you asked, I answered. I would say it makes a difference if he hid the chest in June if a searcher thinks the hiding place is at 9800 feet in northern Montana. (“Get a new solve.”)

            “… it seems the chest was in its place before July of 2010 [13th]. Later the book published. Any date after that shouldn’t have any bearings on the hiding of the chest… right?”

            Yes, that’s why I poo-pooed the whole business about hiding it on his birthday at the transition from age 79 to 80. Forrest has eliminated that possibility. (That, or he lied to both Doug and Irene, which I think is grasping at straws.)

            “However, we now know it was “summer” when fenn hid the chest. IF, big IF, a date was/is usable to help with the challenge, there is only an approx month window to work with; June 21 thru July 13.”

            I’d allow any date in June. For Forrest (IMO) summer = June+July+August. People can argue that summer doesn’t start until June 21st (most years), but the date of the solstice is hardly the relevant number for a boy anxious for summer vacation to begin.

            “[ ok 23 days, probably less, for traveling and not letting anyone know the chest was actually gone. I think it would be safe to say we can eliminate another week or so, before the set date of that interview].”

            Agree that it’s unlikely that Forrest just happened to hide the chest three or four days before he had lunch with Irene. Need some extra fluff in there.

            As for the solstice vs. Father’s Day, I’ll side with the latter. Seems more meaningful to Forrest. It’s also a more humorous match to all the times that Forrest mentioned folks not being able to find the chest on a Sunday afternoon picnic or on “Spring Break” (get it?) I think that makes for a funny backhanded hint. But I get why you like the solstice as a possiblity — solar alignments and all. You should just be aware that the difference in the sun’s location in the sky on June 20th vs. 21st is imperceptible — less than 0.1 degrees in azimuth.

          • Zap,

            I’m not talking about 9800′ or where, or what state, as much as the interview itself.
            All the interview does is narrow down a date of possibilities. Which is ok, however, I think that the poem did it on its own… no guess work, no waiting for a possible Q&A interview… I mean, IF that interview never took place, would it make a difference? I say nope. I think the poem produces the info needed.

            Without codes or gimmicks…

          • ** ** ** Zap mentioned “. . . the solstice as a possibility — solar alignments and all.” ** ** **

            It’s clear from the context, Zap, that it’s not *your* possibility, but are there really searchers who have proposed some sort of solar, lunar, or stellar alignment elements as part of an attempt at locating the chest?

            The amount of precise information the 166-word poem would have to convey to get one to a right spot at a right time . . .

            I can imagine *that* ATF – “. . . a couple dozen searchers have now uncovered ‘one important possibility related to a winning solve”; they followed the clues to the right spot *and* on the right day, but unfortunately arrived on a cloudy morning when they needed to be there on a sunny afternoon.’

            (Though I do seem to remember one searcher writing something about a seven-foot stick and the shadow it cast being a key element of a proposed solve . . .)

            I recommend the third chapter (‘Astronomy with the Naked Eye’) of Anthony Aveni’s classic archaeoastronomy text “Skywatchers” as a corrective.


          • Hi JAK3: I’m not aware of any specific BOTG searchers who are employing astronomical alignment(s) as part of their solutions. (If I was, I would strongly urge them to reconsider.) Seeker has always seemed interested in the possibility (I think limited to sun-based), but I think the chance of an Indiana Jones Staff-of-Ra or Stonehenge-like 4D system being involved is extremely remote.

          • We will see Zap. You can twist all you want, the proof will be in the pie. There are more to just that zap, really. I like when you TRY to sound smart, I can see f laughing away next to his fire. We will see zap.

          • If we are going to get a date, we need to use the whole timeline and not just one interview. It started when f was diagnosed with cancer, Jan. 1987. When he got it removed, or, when he was told he had a 20% chance to last 3 years, when he got the idea, when he hit rock bottom, and when he got cancer, plus 15 years. I get the last week of June to the first week of July. But again, does it matter? Just a little side puzzle. But the shadow, Indiana Jones, Skippy standing, two people can keep, knowlege, and “Y”, are all part of the end, IMO. And, don’t forget the bell.

          • Zap, Seeker, Jak3, et al… The supposed timeline has issues that probably do not matter much in actually finding Fenn’s treasure. Zap has a good eye with the logic but his motivation is skewed by factors that are not true factoids through and through. The theory is a really good one Zap, and normally I might go along with it. Same goes for Seeker’s option. Still… there is no definitive proof presented as to who actually called who(that I know) when Fenn met with Irene. One would assume that it was Irene because she was going to Santa Fe for her book signing. She has known Fenn since the 70’s so it would make sense she would try to make the connection. Then again…because of their friendship…it would not be a big leap for Fenn to have known Irene was coming to town and made the call to hook up for lunch and talk shop. That said… Fenn’s TTOTC is listed with January 1, 2010 as the date of publication. As a self publisher there are a lot of hoops to jump through to get a book to the printer…as evidenced by the lapse between their lunch and the October release. Given the fact that Fenn has stated he thought of everything…wouldn’t he have been foolish to set the publishing date BEFORE he actually hid the treasure?

          • “wouldn’t he have been foolish to set the publishing date BEFORE he actually hid the treasure?”

            Yes ken, very foolish. I would think you would want the treasure in it’s hidey spot first.

          • ** ** ** Ken – “Given the fact that Fenn has stated he thought of everything…
            [ahem – “*tried* to think of everything”] 😉
            …wouldn’t he have been foolish to set the publishing date BEFORE he actually hid the treasure?” ** ** **

            All winter-mode speculation, but we’re looking at the finished product and working backwards. What if he was working on a memoir-story collection for 2010, and hiding his chest and completing the poem was just a to-do itch that grew and grew until it finally became the *main* idea of the book.

            Last known sighting of ff’s Wetherill Bracelet, May 2009

            (Summer 2009 was a *very* traumatic time for southwest artifact dealers and collectors, including ff)*

            ff turns 79, Aug 2009

            ff turns 80, Aug 2010

            *(Hardly anyone ever discusses Craig Childs’ pre-Chase visit and chats with ff in May 2009, documented in Childs’ 2010 book “Finders Keepers”, chapter14.)

            So. Did he write the book because he’d finally decided to do his “Viking Funeral” act, or did he finally work himself up to do his “Viking Funeral” in the course of putting together his memoir scrapbook?

            “. . . “when I hid it and was walking back to my car, I started laughing out loud, and I said ‘Forrest Fenn, did you really just do that?’ ”


          • Jak,

            This conversation was talked about long ago…

            Don’t quote me on this, but I think I recall fenn telling us, he wrote the book after hiding the chest and ** it [the book] wrote itself, ** taking a short time to do it. {maybe 6 weeks}
            But he was close to the deadline for publishing before the book was done…. Or something to that affect.

            So. it seems; poem was drafted and finished long before the book was started, the book was the carrier of the poem.
            But fenn need to hide the chest to complete the poem. Hence maybe why he said; **hid the chest before the poem was complete (completed?)
            The poem would be useless without the prize in place… right? No matter when the final draft was done.

          • ** ** ** Seeker requested – “Don’t quote me on this. . . ” ** ** **


            (see what I did there?)


    • ** ** ** Jonsey wrote – “I dont understand the backwards logic of assuming the conclusion of the chest being found SOONER than one thought being drawn from the assertion that only a few are doing the correct thing.” ** ** **

      I like the twist you put on ff’s “word that is key” answer, Jonsey; I hadn’t ever looked at it from that angle before.

      I think though that it’s important to consider these answers in the context of the question(s) asked. In this case, there were three questions in one:

      *** *** *** ***
      Feb 2014, Jenny Kile – “My previous 6 questions were asked shortly before last year’s February 27th segment of the Today Show. Reporting on your extraordinary treasure hunt, it resulted in an explosion of new seekers from all across the world.

      “What are some of your thoughts about the flurry of activity over the past year?

      “Did the excitement towards the Chase surprise you in any way?

      “Does it make you think the chest might be found earlier than first thought?”
      *** *** *** ***

      Three questions, and three sentences in ff’s written response.

      Answering via e-mail, it’s certainly possible that ff’s “the treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated” was intended more as a standalone answer to the third question, rather than as any consequence of attention or lack thereof to “a word that is key.”

      Q – “Given the explosion of new searchers from around the world . . . the flurry of activity . . . does it make you think the chest might be found earlier than first thought?”

      A – “The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.”

      That, anyway, is how I read it.


      • Mr. JAK3-

        You are correct, IMO. I predict the chest will be found close on a tangent very important to the ancient American Indians. This tangent is visible overheard on the winter solstice and formed by the alignment of three stars of Orion’s belt. Some consider those three stars to be represent the three WISE men. That tangent I believe, is 208.55 degrees. IMO Interestingly enough, that is similar to the number which Mr. F says we are all should be able to claim of Federal land. What a coincidence.

        • Ya ‘ta Hey-O, Billy –

          Hereabouts that time of year, Orion appears at dark kinda falling over backwards, and fades at dawn kinda tipping over frontwards on the other side of the stage.

          His belt maintains perfect alignment, but only with itself.

          Can you assist me in converting 208.55 from degrees into dollars and sense?


        • Hi JAK3: Orion’s belt is actually slightly misaligned. A line passing through the two brightest belt stars would pass south of the dimmest star (Mintaka). The misalignment is rather similar to that of the three largest pyramids at Giza — provided you orient your map with south “up”. The smallest of the three pyramids (Menkaure) would then occupy the same relative position as does Mintaka relative to its brighter belt neighbors.

          • When I’m up before dawn without my spectacles, looks like about 5 or 6 stars in his belt to me.

            four-eyed JAK

    • Jonesy…deep thought as always, and definitely challenges the gray matter when trying to understand exactly where Fenn is coming from when he answers. The problem does seem to be that often times there are more than one Q’s and Fenn’s answer/s can be misinterpreted as to which Q he is addressing. In this case I believe that he is admitting that folks have made *some* progress( perhaps to his surprise), he scans emails looking for *key* words and has seen some of those words, and he knows a lot of folks are out there searching. I too think he is a magnificent salesman and that most folks are misleading themselves. It is still a grand adventure, and when he says a few are in tight focus with a word that is key, it is not a big leap for most to put themselves at the top of that list and so goes the game…..

      • As a fan of Salinger (author of “The Catcher in the Rye”),
        I’d like to point out that the word “grand” makes me want to
        erupt. I remember that a character in that book was named Sunny. Maybe Holden’s experience with her could be called a “conversation piece”. As always, IMO.

    • Hi Jonsey1: Sorry for the long post to follow. I agree with what others posted here that there is opportunity for confusion when Forrest is answering a multi-part question. My takeaway is that he thinks the treasure might be found sooner than he expected for two reasons: that SO MANY people are searching, and that as a consequence of this a few people have uncovered something that he expected would take longer to discover.

      This ties in with another ATF from Forrest that I think gets misinterpreted because it is rarely quoted in full. It’s the “immediately started searching maps” ATF. A lot of searchers think Forrest was surprised that people went straight to maps looking for answers. But when you look at the context of the Q&A, that is not the only takeaway — nor even the most sensible one. Here’s the full Q1 from Six Questions 2013:

      Jenny: “I am sure you are aware The Thrill of the Chase has captured many hearts and ambitions of those who have read your book. Are you happy with the way the search for your hidden treasure is going? Do you have any regrets; or more importantly, would you like to see anything different in the ways people are chasing the prize?”

      Forrest: “It was fortunate that two writers, Irene Rawlings and Margie Goldsmith, liked my book enough to review it in national publications. Those stories gave it ignition. The hidden treasure story in the book provided enough propulsion to keep it in the public view long enough for word of mouth traffic to broaden its desire across America and beyond. I am more than pleased with the way it has been accepted. What I didn’t expect was the number of people who immediately started searching maps and using Google Earth to locate their special spots. Many have read my book multiple times looking for additional clues, or even hints that might assist them in the hunt.”

      I’m confident he was surprised by the NUMBER of people, not that those people would (quite sensibly!) start looking at maps. Further support for this interpretation can be found in “On the Road with Charlie”:

      Cole: “The community in the Thrill of the Chase and the treasure hunt has become massive. Like you said, there’s thousands of people looking for it. Did you ever, uh, think that it would get this big?”

      Forrest: “No. I’ve written 10 books and nobody’s ever wanted any of them. Every writer thinks their book is the greatest thing ever printed. My parents were dead, so who’s gonna buy my Thrill of the Chase book? So I printed a thousand copies thinking I’m going to die with these things. Two weeks later I went into reprint. There’s a lady by the name of Margie Goldsmith in Manhattan that wrote a story for Hemispheres magazine. The next day I got 1200 emails. Shut my system down. It took me three days to get my computer back up online.”

        • Miafarmerfriend: I’m sure the searchers were ever HOPEFUL that their special spots coincided with Forrest’s. But since Forrest was talking in the past tense, clearly those folks all failed, and so I’d say “their special spots” was more accurate. 😉

          • Thanks for the reply, Zap. And I can see why you say that.

            But I also wondered if f might be implying *his* special spot was identifiable in some indelible way that allows having a place in mind prior to visually searching for it on a map or GE.

            My thoughts tend to short circuit when thinking about the chase… which is why I don’t post very often. So for clarity of context, I probably should have included: “people who immediately started searching maps and using GE…”.

      • You and I sing together in close harmony when it comes to those two “Six Questions Q1s”, Zap (Feb 2013 and Feb 2014).

        They both get bent out of shape due to being considered as sound-bytes out of context, and/or paraphrased (if “didn’t expect” = “surprised”, why not “impressed” or “bewildered” or “alarmed”?).


    • Jonesy,
      I’ve always wanted to ignore the ATF about the word that is key since putting the clues in a code that needs to be unlocked doesn’t seem like a very Forrest thing to do. But I haven’t been able to find solid enough counter arguments in other ATFs to refute it. You pointed the way for me with this other way of reading the original. Thank you.

    • No, Jonesy1….. I have to disagree……his statement is as follows “It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.” f

      This suggests that the “Many” are giving serious thought, but are not giving enough thought to a word that is key to the clues. And, only those that are giving serious thought and are in tight focus to this word that is key have a chance at finding the treasure. He knows who they are and they have sent him confirmation in an email or in a photo. That’s why he said the treasure may be discovered sooner than he anticipated. This is the logic one should take from his statement. JMO

  13. Hi All;

    “A word that is key” If the “Word that is key” is within the poem, we have only 166 to choose from. If, as Seeker said, the “Word that is key” needs to relate to the first clue – we have shortened our list quite a bit – “Begin it where warm waters halt…” Maybe we need to lengthen it to include the next two lines, but for now, let’s just stick to the first line of stanza #2. only 6 words –

    For me, the only word that sticks out among these six is “waters.” For me, the whole poem seems to revolve around water.(s) – WWWH, canyon down (flowing warm waters), put in, no paddle up your creek, heavy loads, water high. and maybe there are more less obvious ones in the remaining lines. – like go and leave and tired and weak (Sorry can’t take the time to explain this one 🙂

    Maybe, just maybe, if we really look into this word “water(s) we might find the “Key” to the poem. Where do waters originate – today and maybe back eons ago? How do waters flow? Fast, slow? Torrents and rivulets? Above ground and below. on land, and in the air. What is their “Life’s story”?

    Imagine (There is that word again) that you are a drop of rain or snow that helped create a glacier eons and eons ago – You started as a fragile flake of snow, and became a part of a force powerful enough to carve valleys and fill lakes with your precious liquid. You have evaporated and gone into the heavens, only to return a million, million times – each time renewing life where you land. Today you are part of a river, tomorrow a tiny rivulet that flows above ground only to go underground where you cool, and reemerge as a refreshing spring. All a part of a never ending story. Is this story the one Forrest is referring to? Is this the story that is the key to unraveling the riddle that is the poem? I think that it is – JMO – JDA

    • JDA,

      I didn’t say ‘needs to relate to the first clue”
      I suggested that IF there are other key words of importance that fenn looks for… then the tight focus word should relate to getting us started with the first, and apparently, most important clue… don’t leave home without it.
      Your scenario is a master key that unlocks the entire meaning of the poem, and not so much the first clue. With that said, fenn did say we need to ‘learn’ WWH.
      The question is; how do we go about learning? Does that info come from the poem, the poem and the book, the book, the poem and the book and the right map /GE, or do we spend hours on the HTTP:// and study ever possible avenue available.

      When I read your post, water was not the first think I thought of as a key of importance… to be honest… time was more relevant that water[s] alone. If you remover Time from the thought, all you are is wet. So IF we look at this as how water[s] go from solid to liquid to gas, rinse and repeat… and gong back to the ice-age to the present.. would the idea of “Riches New and Old” [ or what was meant by that ] be more important than the revolving cycle of water[s].

      WhatIF this is not about the water[s] cycle and more about how water is dependent on survival.. and the ‘environmental’ changes that affect the waters.
      “and realize *that all of us* are environmentalists to some degree”
      Really? Some don’t give a rats tail about the environment.. I’d even say many don’t, even when environmental changes hits us smack in the head. So is this the idea of fenn’s Big Picture? Thinking down the road? Folks don’t see the poem the way he does?

      WhatIF the word that is key, relates to water{s}, not as a cycle, but the end of it. The halting of it … The loss of Riches [new and old waters] The basic idea is; water is worth more than its weight in gold.

      Good post. It got the juices flowing for thought.

      • Seeker;

        We may be saying the exact same thing, you just might be better at expressing it than I. I may not have stated clearly how important water is to our survival, but tried to when I said “each time renewing life where you land”.

        In the poem, Forrest may be hinting at “A” cycle of water where it is visible, and then not, only to reemerge, only to go underground again. In the end, we are not sure if it will reemerge a second or third time, and this may be a “hint” at how earth’s precious water may disappear – for one reason or another.

        Will the next big war be over water? Possible. Will global warming eventually turn earth into a Mars-like – waterless planet? My crystal ball fell off of the mantle and broke – sorry, I can not know what the many-tomorrows may bring. I can only live in “today” – and thankfully that “today” includes life-giving water.

        Off of my soap-box – Gets the old noggin a whirrin’ though – thanks – JDA

        • JDA, my point was; could the preface in the book hint at environment? All our riches, new and old.

          For example: IF i wanted to give a clue that related to time or a specific date in time, idea. I may say; time was different when I was a kid, only you may not make the connection unless you had the right thoughts.
          It has nothing to do with my childhood, or the decades I was a kid.. the hint might be about when day light saving time came into affect .. time was different on a specific date.

          So instead of water being the key or important word… can something within the environment or cause to the environment have warm waters ‘halting’
          Note, I used a present tense and future tense of halt. Another words; what is the problem that had waters halting being good waters or the same waters?
          Instead of the idea of halt to mean, stop right now… looking at it as; ‘down the road’… “From there” could refer to the future environment and still be a “place” today and tomorrows…
          The idea would be that where the first clue is, is being told of as past, present and future trends, if the environment keeps going the way it is.
          GNP fits that bill well… in theory…begin it where warm liquid waters halt and take it in the canyon down… NF in time, too far to walk in time… the end is ever drawing near…

          It’s only a twist of thought [ twisted thought? ] to your idea.

          • I think I see your point Seeker. Only one of my two good brain cells seem to be clickin’ this AM – JDA

          • GNP is also the *only* place in the search states from which waters drain off the Divide to Hudson’s Bay (as opposed to the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of California, or the Pacific for all the other watersheds on the chase map).

          • Kee-reckt, Seek’, Triple Divide Peak in Glacier NP, Montana.

            If you look at the drainages in the search states, it’s at High Noon, and drains to Hudson’s Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific.

            The other triple divide in the search area is Three Waters Mountain, sw of Dubois WY. Waters draining there end up in the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of California, or the Pacific.

            All other divides are double at best, going to only two of those four possible final basins (Gulf-Mex, Gulf-Cal, Huds-Bay, and Pacific-Ocean).

            A little bit of the Bear River runs through sw Wyo, draining finally into the Great Salt Lake in Utah, an endorheic basin.


      • That is if he is saying searchers are in tight focus and not clues. But, both need to be addressed and see what he is saying in his comment. Who said they didn’t like commas. Insert some commas to his comment, maybe that will help.
        What if this word references some clues that are close together? This word somewhere in the poem, gives maybe a coordinate, would need to be a long word, but could, or maybe this words placement in the poem gives a distance? We don’t know if he means searchers are in tight focus or clues, that’s how it is read. He says a word “that” is key. What is the problem? Where did he say, a word “water” is key. Or anything for that sake? This is what I’m saying that we as searchers are not listening, and what I believe Jonsey was saying. It’s how searchers are interpreting, and until now, seems wrong. What we are use to gets in our thoughts way, meaning we get in our own way. We need to start with a blank slate and go from there. It’s best to not only see the different ways that his comments can be interpreted, but to solve for each way as much as possible.

        If you want to think there is some magical word fine, but if you are unable to see the flip side of what’s possible, you are doomed to fail, because we don’t know. Nobody can say the word “that” is not what he is referring. Just can’t because it is what he said. But all these made up words from everyone, what’s the point. They are not reading, they are interpreting. They are not listening, they are assuming. Then again, I guess it is easier to learn how to play darts…

    • Warm Springs Apache tribes

      Warm Springs boat dock North of Ennis lake Montana

      Warm springs mountain man group meets in West Yellowstone during the annual rendezvous. Don’t they also go to the crazy mountains for events?

      Warm waters could be trains or vehicles.
      If vehicles they would stop at national\state park areas to pay for permits

      A caldera’s boundary could be a halt of warm waters.
      As could a dead geyser…l

      I can name about 20 more which ‘waters’ can apply.
      So you are correct that ‘waters’ could very well be a key word.

      If the poem is a map… andi if ‘waters’ is the key word, then is it part of the “map’s legend”.
      A map’s legend explains what the legend’s symbols mean, right?
      Maybe Forest uses ‘waters’ as part of a map legend’s symbols?
      If so, ‘waters’ could very well unlock the map’s legend… that unlocks symbols of his map poem? Thus, are the clues all the names of waters\creeks,rivers,arroyos etc.?

      Certainly possible, imho.

  14. Rather than discussing what the actual word is that is key, I want to bring up options as to what Forrest was suggesting we do once we identify the word that is key:

    (1) Interpret it literally, rather than figuratively, or interpret it figuratively, rather than literally (Forrest seems to be very figurative sometimes, and very literal at other times);

    (2) Apply a dictionary definition for the word other than the default definition most people go to automatically when they think of the word (Forrest’s many quotes about dictionary definitions, e.g. the definition of “several”, support this)

    Anything else anyone can think of?

      • All and l is ten Iowa, a+l+l+l=10. That is why the word good, go odd. Since there are three values that make this line possible, two being odd values, one being even. Drop the even. A=1, L=3, or A=7, L=1. (no on A=4, L=2). SO HEAR ME ALL AND LISTEN GOOD, you need to use the whole line, (he is me, leaves you with some) Some ALL AND L is ten go od. Not the centerpiece, but close.
        I know you are hesitant in my way of finding the numbers, but you should really, give it a try. The answer to that line ends up being A=7, L=1. After you find the numbers in the poem, you then need to ask yourself, why give these letters these values? Answering that will answer all the values, giving you primary values and secondary values. The letter “E” is basically the center piece you are talking about. Just be ready for all the dumb comments about, errrr, that’s a code, no way. Just ignore the blind…IMO.

        • Gotcha, Charlie.

          I have your full key, so I understand your derivation fully. And I am very happy for you that you have a full alphanumeric output that you like. And I sincerely hope it leads you to the chest next time out.

          Unfortunately it does not work for me based on my vision for what a key should do. Ergo, I am still searching for alternatives.

          This past summer I eliminated full mathematical equivalence across “To Be” as my Fluid Math solution failed to yield results BOTG. Beautiful as it was, it failed, so I’m looking at simpler alternatives now.

          Using L = 10 as a centerpiece, one can derive:


          Now direct substitution can be made for any letter string in the poem. Coordinates in the zone can be found quite readily. Plausibility of each can be assessed by correlation of location to fit of description. Obviously this technique requires interpretative judgment, but knowledge of existing codes is not required for this concept, so maybe it skirts the rules . . .

          At any rate, I have a point of interest on my docket for next year.

          Best to you.

          • But, how about the other letters in that line? Wouldn’t “some all and l is ten good” make use of the whole line?
            Let’s try some poem words:
            blaze, bl as e, 10+10 = 3?
            How about gaze, g as e, 5+9+3?
            Add them all together: 131?
            Forrest Fenn= 4,3,6,6,3,1,2 4,3,2,2,= 25 11?
            And, wouldn’t “M” be the centerpiece?
            Finding the values is throughout the poem, not just one incomplete line. At least if you used the whole line, and came up with two possible answers, one of those could be the actual alphabet, A=1,L=3. It would be wrong but at least it would fit that one line. Just L=10 makes no sense. And then figuring out the rest is just too easy. Really think f made it that simple? You have to solve for the letters using the poem, to think he just put in one letter to solve and that gives all the values would be way to easy. Plus, these values should mean something. Sorry, I don’t see your values as valid.

          • I understand your perspective, Ivey. I, too, strongly prefer a more complex key, with mathematical validations. And, as you know, I’ve been working with those ideas and permutations for a long while. And as my as-close-to-perfect math solution failed despite 30 pages of word algebra validations of a the derived key. And as I had 2 inputs for the original key that changed 6 times as directed by the poem itself with the final key solving all 10 possible word equations across To Be just as I thought they should solve, I”ve moved away from your level of complexity in favor of extreme simplicity.

            I grant you that this key looks and feels skimpy. It’s probably wrong, as you say. And yet, it does produce an interesting coordinate combination. And as I would like to go to this place, it’s on my hit list for next summer.

            Admittedly, my expectations for this place panning out are quite low, but WTH? It’s got the same chance as any other poetically-derived solution.

            Besides, a keyword concept probably ought to be limited to a single word. Listen certainly fits that bill, especially if it served as the Longitude coordinate, as well.

            Listen = 107.1232

            2/3 of the way to a pinpoint solve with one word. Crazy simple, yet completely bold, too. Talk about needle-in-a-haystack clever, but only time will if my little idea pans out.

            Best to you.

          • Okay Iowa, I see what you are saying. Listen is as good as any. I just know you attempt the numbers and just blabbing my two cents. As always, good luck, and have fun.

          • easily deemed not probable…
            ‘all’ and ‘L’ is ten (all and listen)
            W is ‘E” and ‘found’ (wise and found) ((which already makes no sense))

            W = 5
            E = 3

            5 does not equal 3
            not without a multiplier of…
            where does it end?
            for that matter (the alphanumeric approach) why not just use the prescribed scrabble values?
            because they too are of no tangible consequence…..

  15. The very first clue line ends with halt. Is halt the key word? It stands out as it does not flow with the poem. This line starts the path to find the treasure. In a way, this can be a blaze or trailmarker. Halt is key to WWWH. Following the poem and paying attention to punctuation is vital and not getting lost with oral clues that haven’t been written or references that people bring out as they remember.

    If you’ve been wise and found the blaze. Maybe “you’ve” is key. You have studied the poem and looked at Google maps endlessly. Is this past tense implication saying you will know what the blaze is. Instead of believing that as you take the path to the TC, you are looking for a blaze, maybe it is a known and taking the precise trail, the blaze can only be seen briefly in one location which is the intersection of 2 points.

    Neither one could be a key word. You can’t discount any word because it was written by one man whose meaning is really only known by him. This is just my thoughts on some possible key words that are bias to the area that I think it could be.

  16. Poppycock = nonsense, rubbish, claptrap, balderdash
    Forrest said: Many are giving serious thought to the CLUES….NOT CLUE NUMBER ONE in my poem.

    It is amazing how word/ words travel and morph into something different than the origin. We have an old bitty living in town thst we call Telegraph Trudy. If you want something broadcast just tell Trudy. The word around town isn….telephone…..telegraph….tell Trudy. You can be sure that by the time the news gets back to you it sometimes is so full of POPPYCOCK that the original can not be discerned.

  17. I think there are three locations to identify in order to find the TC according to the clues in the poem. As the most searchers already know by now the first location is where warm waters halt. The second location IMO is the put in point below the home of Brown, and the last location is the blaze. The remaining lines contained in the first, fifth and the first part of the sixth stanza are the logistics. And the third stanza describes the path from the put in point to the blaze and back to your car IMO.

    And I think there are also three “key” words in the poem which help to identify three locations, one for each, and another key word for the final action after you find the blaze, and the “tighter focus” key word for the whole poem.

    “Halt” is the key word to identify the first location. “Home” is for the second location. And “wise” is for the third location. If one can correctly interpret what “halt” means, all you have to do is to identify where the starting location is out of many places which will fit the subsequent clues. Fenn said that there are many warm waters halt in the Rocky Mountains. If the searcher can correctly interpret what “home” refers to, he may be able to nail down the correct put-in point, the second location. Then you have to be “wise” in order to find the blaze, the third location. How wise? I can guess what that means, but most searchers will laugh at it. And finally you have to “be brave” in order to actually find the TC. I think this is where you have to be on your BOTG.

    And I think the most focused key word is “Brown”. If you correctly identify who or what this “Brown” is, then you will be able to find the second location together with the “home” to correctly nail down the put in location. Then you can park your car there and start walking toward the blaze. Fenn said once that you can nail down the put in point it will definitely (not the exact word Fenn used, I guess) lead you to the TC’s hiding place.

    Then the first half of the third stanza describes the path to the blaze, and the second half of the same stanza describes the same path, the only path, after you retrieve the TC, to your car at the parking lot.

    Happy ending! Of course all these are my humble opinion only.

    — MajinKing

    • After retrieving the TC, it may be kinda arbitrary what path is taken to return to your parked car. Something relatively short, rather than
      winding for the sake of scenery, might “fill the bill”. As always, IMO.

      • Hi tighterfocus,

        According to my current solve, I think the return path is the same as the path to the blaze, but also it is THE ONLY path there is between the put in point and the blaze. I remember that Fenn said that the path he took was the same one as he took to hid the TC and the most direct route in answering to one of the questions.

        — MK

  18. Googling “key definition” has shown me the word “key” defined as I see f as he has used it in the context of this thread. It is, here, defined as a verb. Fifth definition as listed hence, the “5.”
    be the crucial factor in achieving.
    “Ewing keyed a 73–35 advantage on the boards with twenty rebounds”

  19. Majinking…..brilliant, brillant, brilliant! BROWN …….BROWN ……BROWN. A daunting task to say the least. Difficult, but not impossible according to the wizard. So many Browns and not enough time. Could it be possible that there is something in the poem that would lend to conjuring up the right Browm. Could it really be as simple as the home of the largest Brown trout? I think he is still on the wall up at Coopers at El
    vado. Maybe a put in is on the Chama below there. Well, the bones are starting to creek and ole man winter is making himself at home and it is some time before the seekers should come out for safety sake. Lots of time to read and read and read and reread the poem. Brown bear, Molly Brown, Ranger Brown, Brown Pelican, Brown Wooly Worm, Rachel Brown, Brown Bat, Brown trout, Buster Brown, Brown & Bigaloe, Brown buffalo……………

  20. But here’s the thing; fenn admits; figuring out the first clue before anything else [clues] is a must.. IMO the idea of a word that is key would be focused on that clue [the first clue].

    Well stated, Seeker IMO, I would think that since the first clue is “Begin it where warm waters HALT” that the Thrill Book might offer some (hint) guidance to that (Halting) place, so what happens on page 9 TTOTC? A Border, is introduced, where we must halt, next to a Canyon Down and a “put in below the home of Brown”. First two clues confirmed IMO. Key is Halt/Border, the Canyon, from there is no place for the meek. Which creek is nigh and drains into this canyon? Why would a creek be not paddled and Just (only) heavy loads and water high?

    Some time back after the release of “The Lure” ff made a comment that no one had given more than the first 4 clues and hinted that stuff said by many searchers might be given but in the wrong order, it was at the theatre I think after the first showing. can’t find it, but I paraphrase.


  21. Just caught up with this entire post to this point. Zaphod dropping some A+ knowledge, IMO.

    I suppose this is why I need to keep reading these things. Cheers.

    • Thanks, FMC! You’ve reminded me … back in September you were close to sending your latest solution to Dal to post. Did that ever happen and I just missed it? I see yours from 2017, but I’m assuming the 2018 one was different.

      • Sorry for the delay, I’m still not getting notifications for this thread and I’ve been taking a break from keeping up as diligently with these threads…

        Yes, it was posted in September(?) I think. I’d link it, but that would make it too easy to find for the masses.

      • Hi FMC: well if it’s there, it’s posted under a name other than FMC. The only FMC submission under “Other’s Adventures” is “Going to See the Elephant” from August 2017.

          • Dal, with how much you have done for the chase community while working and searching I am not surprised, or offended, by trivial oversights. Just to clarify, I mean the link not being added to the page (not FMC’s solve). I am more impressed by how well this blog runs and is maintained. I only knew that it occasionally happens because mine never made the list.

          • Dal: I echo Idle’s sentiments. I love how this blog is organized and I have no complaints. You have a life, and that you dedicate such a large portion of it to maintaining such a smoothly operating, wonderful treasure trove of information is an astounding gift to everyone here.

        • Thanks, Idle! Now that I visit it I realize I must have read it right when it came out — just didn’t remember that it was FMC’s submission.

  22. I think “it” is the key word. It defines wwwh as something that can be followed.Where warm waters halt has to be “to far to walk from the next clue”.I can not see wwwh as anything but a starting point to drive from.

  23. Only thing that i have found that matches wwwh that can be followed is the continental divide trial’The map in ff book is a copy of the first continental divide trail map,this fits look at the hole pitcher ff has stated over and over.

  24. Key word in the poem, just me maybe, “Waters” to me is the key word. Also in the poem is the word water. Where warm “waters” halt and “water” high.
    Just me again, if you can discover the difference between “waters and water”, you just might discover a new place to look.

  25. Perhaps,
    A key that fits a word, is a word that is a key.
    Just as an eye in sight, can help one see.
    The sound of silence, to assist the ear.
    Echos to be heard, a ghost most fear.

    The pool of spells, prehistoric head.
    Reminding us all, not all life is dead.
    Though waters will rise, waders are warm.
    A kitten will call, the dove to warn.

    A turtles tail, will know it is ours.
    Just look up, and follow your stars.
    Travel through space, forget the time.
    Iconic memories, of a terrestrial kind.

    With bears and ice, stick figures talk.
    It’s here you’ll find, the art to walk.
    Just don’t forget, it’s all for fun.
    And learn to dance, with a skeleton.

  26. Maybe “halt”, as in moving with a halting motion. It makes me think of a locomotive starting out, chug……chug…… chug, ect. It makes me think of Chugwater, WY. all though it’s outside the search area.

  27. Dear Design-
    The key word is why…….I cant tell you just how important it is to narrowing down the search area,….but I can tell you it is right up there next to the double omegas! All of course IMO.

    Best regards;

    1f Billy

    • No, leigh, but . . .

      . . . when ff came out with the ” . . . you can’t ignore any of the nouns in that poem” comment (On the Road with Charlie pt I), I took a moment to list all the “the noun” combinations (on the same page where I listed all the “in” occurrences in the poem, because some of them become “in the . . . ” combos).

      There are nine:

      the canyon
      the home
      the meek
      the end
      the blaze
      the chest
      the cold
      the wood
      the gold


      • interesting, I wonder if “The answers” can be construed as a noun. And then again, we would have to ignore entire parts of the poem that seem important, like loads, water, paddle, etc…..

        and also ignore the part where ff says that he crafted every word, of course that could mean he is purposely crafting misleading… welcome to another possible conflict of ATFs…

        • Good eye, Writis –

          “the answers” should certainly be added to the list between “the chest” and “the cold.”

          The three places where “in” and “the” combine are

          in the canyon [down]
          in [below] the home [of Brown]
          in the wood

          (The “in”s are
          in there
          in the canyon
          in below the home
          in peace
          in the wood)


  28. Site works mostly smoothly and I thank dal for his efforts. I am still having trouble at the moment with subscribing (this attempt is from my phone).

    • I’ve figured out my issue and posted the solution in the OnE thread.

      My word that is key used to be not in the poem. My new one is in the poem with an interpretation I’ve not seen on this site. #hope

  29. I have a thought on the key…as I just got back from LV…all their keys are electronic…digital if you will. Made me think twice about keys.

  30. I cant decide whether the key word is halt or Brown. Needing to solve the 1st clue, is the most important per FF. So i guess I’ll go with halt. Isn’t there a warm river in Park county in the search area? Or is warm referring to us, our warm bodies halting? Like coffin lake. ( that no subterfuge atf comment confuses me on that one). Or those steam trains halting in CO? Is the triple divide peak being the trifecta, trinity of warm waters halting? Below that is the NBR , ( national bison range), hob. Three forks Montana could also be the triad, trifecta or trinity of warm water halting as well. If FF is advertising in full color per J. Lewicki, does that mean this whole poem is kinda referencing fishing? Eh again more questions than answers. Since its winter and its getting to cold to fish, i guess its time to start logisizing this poem again. Godspeed to all fellow searchers.

    • Choices you have to make to have a solve you believe in. You must learn how ff thinks. He dislikes hard fast rules, but sublet changes that requires imagination.

    • Hi TN,
      If you are able to nail down the first clue, WWWH, you can at least start your search at the right spot. But if missed the home of Brown, you are going to end up in a faraway creek somewhere deep in the RM. Please don’t forget Fenn’s comment about some lucky searchers. They were able to solve the first clue and come close to the treasure within 200′ or 500′ but past right by the treasure, because they could not pinpoint the home of Brown. In that sense I think the word “Brown” is the key, IMO.
      — MK

  31. I am curious if the word that is key is enough to get the “correct” coordinates to the treasure. I had an out of the blue insight that gave me a set of complete coordinates based on one word that I currently believe is key. The 500 and 200 foot circle concept works there for notable landmarks. Not that I think I have found the treasure, but a nice warm thought to help with the cold winter. Which, wow, definitely has been cold as even my cruise control wouldn’t work until my van had warmed up.

    • Idle;

      I think that you MAY be dreaming if you got a complete set of coordinates from one word. I wish you luck with it, but I, personally, would have to see it to believe it.

      The solution has evaded folks for close to nine years – who knows, you just might be the one – JDA

      • I definitely am dreaming. December of 2017 I felt confident in my solve location. December 2018 I have a different solve, confirmation bias is running amok, and my confidence is no where to be found. I think I ended up poking my head down so many rabbit holes that eventually I fell into one and ended up in Wonderland.

    • ID;

      Just for fun, I added the digits of the first set of coordinates and came up with a number. I then went searching the stories in TTOTC to see if I could find this number. Well, I couldn’t find THAT number, but I did find two numbers very near to each other in a story, that when added together equaled my number – Interesting.

      I then added the digits of my second set of coordinate and again went looking. This time, I found the exact number.

      Coincidence? Probably, but interesting none the less.

      One can make ANYTHING fit into a round hole if they have a big enough hammer 🙂 JDA

      • Interesting yes, but I could use a little clarification as I would definitely be willing to try this.

        When you say first set of coordinates, which format of coordinates are you using (degree, minutes, seconds or decimal or ?) and are you adding all the numbers in the coordinates or maybe just the minutes? Are your first and second set clue locations or just coordinates that you have?

        There is no hole on Earth that can hold Uranus.

        • ID

          I use what GS displays – _ _ degrees _ _minutes __ . __seconds

          So, there are 4 sets of two digits that I add such as 12 degrees plus 34 minutes plus 56 plus 78 seconds North

          12 + 34 + 56+ 78 = 180

          I then found two numbers that were VERY close to each other in a story that when added together equaled 180 (as an example)

          150 + 30 = 180. Hope this helps ID – JDA

          • yes it does, thanks for the clarification JDA.

            180 also is divisible by 9, but I am assuming that isn’t your actual coordinates. I have noticed a lot of the interesting numbers in the book (like the number of words) are divisible by 9.

      • On another rabbit hole related to numbers:

        15 years of setup followed by 9 years of the chase added together is 24 years, so 1 year has passed for each line in the poem since the chase started to be implemented. 1 year has also passed for each each clue in the poem. Plus 88 years have passed for the man who have brought us all together with 89 quickly approaching.

  32. Don’t worry Idle Dreamer, I’ve got enough confidence to compensate anybody lacking such. Every thing is as it should be.

    • Hi ID & Slurbs,
      I’m against the idea of the clues being interpreted in the form of coordinates. IMO the clues should be interpreted like they refer to the specific locations (or waypoints). If they are connected in the right order, it will eventually lead the searchers to the blaze and the chest IMO.
      — MK

      • Technically that is how I got to the area (and all my areas) but the winter is long and confirmation bias is in the air.

        • Me too! I can say that I have not searched for hints to coordinates. I have looked at the coordinates of my spot just out of curiosity. I cannot recall more than three digits of on half of my coordinates. To myself, they are not too significant. I might be able reverse find something in my coordinates, but have not done any trying to that attempt. That may be something I can focus on while we wait for all of this fresh fallen snow in New Mexico to melt.

          • Try adding those coordinates together, to get a 4 digit number, then subtract the coordinates, to get another 4 digit number. Take those 4 digit numbers and do the same thing. See what you get when you subtract those 4 digit numbers. See if that number is anywhere in the poem. Makes you think if you come up with 2442.

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

    i think Forrest means that a few have taken a photo of a word that is important. that word might be IN. the word in, in capital letters found on the lid of the wooden chest at the Draper museum. the reason the word in is important is because of the line…”if you are brave and in the wood” again the word in. and the reason, i think Forrest doesn’t put an s on the end of wood is exactly to make it work this way. he didnt mean tromping around in dangerous woods. its a hint to the lid of the chest. confirmation you have photographed the correct chest at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. there are many antique chests at the museum. only one has the key word IN, on the lid.

    here are the “few” that have been in tight focus, that i know of….

    but, of course i could be wrong as i usually am.

  34. Hi, every one i’m a new searcher and believe me when I say this. Mr. Forrest Fenn is an amazing men. I wish I could create so many adventures, like he went too. This treasure is my ticket for that adventure. This summer it will be found and it will be found by me, I have decipher all the clues. My story is super funny, but I will leave it until I find it. I hope Forrest read this because, it was around midnight that I crack the poem. With my hot chocolate at hand and lots of imagination that took me to see a lot of beautiful scenic vistas that I want to explored. This men has given so many clues that is even crazy to count. All I can say Mr. Fenn that ring you gave Mrs. Peggy is well deserve and I’m Glad she will always be your hero or your captain. Thanks see you on the summer.

    • Whew, Luis, it’s about time someone figured out the poem. We’ve all been waiting for someone like you to come up with the correct solution. Let me be the first to congratulate you on your upcoming vacation. I can hardly wait until you share the details of your adventure. Just remember, one of the best things to pick your teeth with after a mountain picnic is the feather of a crow.

    • Welcome to the chase, Luis! I will keep an eye on your progress and prepare the dough for a delicious humble pie!

      Please come back to taste it after your first trip!

      Good luck, stay safe and have great adventure!!!

    • Luis- fantastic !
      enjoy the treasure, and just take the chest.
      oh, you can just take the treasure too if you have enough film….its a lot.

      i think.

    • Well Luis, we can’t say that you don’t have enthusiasm. Welcome to the Chase and good luck. We have all been where you are, so cock sure of ourselves and our solve. We each have wondered how everyone else could have been so dumb, or blind.

      Well, as the saying goes – We shall see if your boast holds water, or is a sieve. Again welcome, and good luck – JDA

  35. Nigh is an interesting word, Near is one meaning, as well as approaching, bordering on…etc.
    What is interesting is, it can relate to ‘time.’ Something that we would need to know of, that is coming.
    We have been told /suggested to “plan and observe.”
    We have been told fenn followed the clues when he hid the chest… yet… he stated; “To answer some questions and save others from being asked, I did follow the clues in the poem when I hid the treasure chest, although I hid it before the poem was complete. (Completed?) f ”

    What wasn’t completed? A clue in the poem that needs to be planned out? The entire poem needs to be planned on?

    The poem seemingly start in past tense ” As I have gone…” The jumps to present tense for the searcher… to begin. Yet later we have the line; “So why is it I must go and leave my trove…” Future tense? Past tense in line with “As I have gone… and now leave the trove?
    IF stanza 5 should mean that, Then the poem must have been complete when the chest was hidden because he followed the clues… right?

    Unless Nigh might indicate something “approaching”.. something related to
    ” ; There’ll be no paddle up your creek” An event that might need to be “planned and observed” to actually complete the clues.

    Some may say; Nigh means the searcher is getting close. Other might say a creek is flowing your way etc etc. However, many words and phrases relate to ‘time.’
    NF,BTFTW… in time, for example.
    Begin it where .. in time, for example.
    HORNAO… past and present, or even a future event idea. Example; New Years…[ in with new out with the old, line of thinking ]… a point in time that changes something related to time, or time of year… “The end is ever [always] drawing nigh [approaching]” ~ Something that happens on a yearly scheduled?

    “Riches” beside meaning; of wealth, also means; of knowledge. Is the poem hinting about the idea of ‘time’ and something that “approaches” during a time period? Something we all have ‘knowledge of’ not unlike New Years…
    Fenn said when he wrote the poem he was thinking down the road… Regardless of how far down the road… he was thinking of the future. Could it be of a future even, yet something that happens each and every year?
    The end is ever drawing nigh… it always approaches at a certain time of year.

    Grant ya, this idea won’t go over well with those who think the poem is a point to point only method. The line; “the end is ever drawing ‘nigh” in the case is more about instructions and understanding what “riches new and old” might imply… something “ever” ~ Always, approaches.

    • I believe the first and fifth stanza represent a double entendre in that there is the obvious meaning involving FF hiding the chest, and something else. Perhaps a past event. This “something else” helps us with the location of the clues. The clues then take on meaning that involves the geography and the end is ever drawing nigh has to do with something we find on location that gives it meaning. I don’t think nigh is a keyword, but something to help us get closer to the box.

    • Kinda the idea, Ted.
      Only that seems too simplistic and not precise enough… allow me to explain;
      I was thinking more about the ‘time’ / date during any given year the event takes place to be more narrowed down (narrow down-able?)… such as ‘fall’ on a September day or week, and not so much the color of leaves. Or New years at the end of January, as another example.
      Nigh, might not represent a searcher, a searcher’s movement, or a flow of a creek drawing closer… but something that approaches needing to be planned for and observed.
      Another thing fenn talked about is; over time, because the RM’s are still moving, that movement will have an impact of the clues… Ya got ask, why? Not only why, but how-?- it will impact them… making it harder to find the treasure.
      We are told right from the get go, follow the clues precisely [exactly].
      How exact, precise, are those clues needed to be done?…. especially when we are told; it’s not something someone can’t do over spring break or a sunday picnic; he was thinking down a 100, 1000 plus years. [ note; that’s not saying it can not be found today ].
      So we have movement of the RM’s [ assuming that implies the natural movement that has been going on for ages vs. a catastrophic event ] and time, knocking things off kilter.

      What type of ‘approaching’ events would/could be affected orver a long time span of natural movement of the land / landscape?
      I’ll add; something that can be traceable / ‘track’~ even predicted / figured out, in the past and into future… even when the movement of the clues and/or clue are/is affected.

      We are told the book will help with the clues. We are told all the information to find the treasure chest is in the poem. I think the book helps only with the ‘type’ of ‘references’ the clues were intended to be.
      I also think the poem is more about instructions of how to utilize the clue’s references, properly and intended, by fenn. And the reason they “all” needed to be followed exactly as “instructed.” A point to point stomping method allows the process to possibly skip a clue.
      Example; IF you ‘know’ what hoB is, why be concerned about WWH is?
      The question is; Can hoB actually be discovered without WWH? or any other later clue, be discovered?
      Note; the word discover… That is meant as; to ‘know’ [absolute] what it is, and where it is [exactly], beforehand.
      I don’t think that is possible…. but I do think that most, if not all the clue’s references, can be deciphered to what ‘they are’ or represent… yet, not so much of how they may have been intended to be understood and/or how to utilize them.

      However, I do think we can figure out where the clues are ‘all located’ in a certain area. In short, we should be able to discover WWH, then follow the maps ‘instructions’ exactly [the poem is the map with instructions – not so much directions only]. We follow the instructions of what is expected to be planned out for… to observe… what is taking place… something that the allows the clue’s references to unfold.
      One fun little ‘example’ would be, for this line of thinking, Yosemite’s Golden Falls.

      Think and analyze [ an analytical mind, logical reasoning ], Plan and Observe{?}, and will mostly be done by using imagination… [ *forming a concept* ]
      Nigh’s definition as; something approaching, seems to give reasoning to stanza 1 “hint of riches new and old” as to something that is observed as the change in time approaches…

      In theory…………..

  36. Dal – New word that is key idea:


    From page 15 of “Flywater”, where Grant McClintock is discussing what that word means with Scott Schnebly, who happens to own a fly shop here in Sun Valley:

    ‘Evocative of joyful days and revelation, “flywater” is the shortest poem in the fly angler’s library.’

    I still want to explore where that rainbow ends on pages 18-19 behind those cabin at Parade Rest Ranch on Grayling Creek. Could that be the end of Forrest’s Rainbow???

    • Lisa-
      I took a look out there. Didn’t find any ending rainbows. I am not certain it’s a good place to catch Browns either. Nice folks at the Parade Rest. They serve a great breakfast for $10 in their cozy lodge. I recommend it.

      • Dal – Right. Thank you. But good fishing for Arctic Grayling up that creek, if you paddle over from say the Madison Arm of Hebgen Lake, fishing a while for Big Brown trout, then make your way over and go no paddle up your Grayling Creek on foot to the Parade Rest Ranch area.

        And then there was that Big Brown bear that attacked that guy on Rainbow Point on the Grayling Arm. Where did he call home of Brown?

        Forrest and his Dad loved to fish Hebgen Lake by boat. Remember all those Brown trout in a circle in that picture in his book from one of their trips? The Brown trout head up the Madison Arm to the Madison River and spawn every year just below Madison Junction. Is that home of Brown?

        What was the exact place that you determined that Forrest put in on Hegben Lake with that blue boat and paddle in that picture of when he came back from the Airforce again?

  37. Hello all, new to this searching thing but I am trying to keep it simple and look at the word warm for my key. There are plenty of different places in all the states that do warm /springs/river/creek in the name. I look around those places for my canyons to see what fits. I have a few places I wanna check out this year sometime in the later part of the summer. Hope this helps!

      • Anytime and thanks for the welcomes. I posted not to long ago on the where warm waters are fourms, looking at Missoula, Montana. I have a few places where I think it may actually start. But this will be the first year I get to go and see some of the places. I am from Louisiana so it’s a bit far for weekend travels.

    • Reo;

      Welcome to the chase – We always look for new insight – You just might be the one to bring us that new insight. Good luck, and HAVE FUN and TRY to STAY SAFE – JDA

  38. Thanks! I am just not sure where a good general area is for posting random questions or leads that someone else may have already tracked down. I don’t wanna clutter one page that has nothing to do with the main topic.

  39. Reo;

    “General stuff” that does NOT relate to one of the threads usually goes under “Odds n Ends.”

    To find a list of the other threads – Go to the top of a thread – look on the right dor “Searcher’s Discussions” – click – you will get a list of the available threads – including archived threads of the basic topics. Hope this helps – JDA

  40. Hi Seeker,

    A few more thoughts on Forrest’s “word that is key” quote. I’m posting here in order to stay on topic.

    Here’s the quote:

    “It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching.

    Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.

    The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.”


    Here are a few things that jump out at me from this statement:

    1. “a great number of people”
    2. “many”
    3. “clues in my poem”
    4. “few”
    5. “tight focus”
    6. “word that is key”

    Here’s the thing. In tearing this statement apart, it would appear that we need to be looking for a “word”. That’s what the statement seems to be saying. When looking for this “word”, Forrest’s comment spins back to “clues in my poem”. I can only surmise that whatever this “word that is key” might be, it most likely exists somewhere within the “clues in my poem”.

    I also give the word “few” some consideration. This “word that is key” might possibly be located somewhere within one of the first “few” clues. It’s possible. It’s certainly worth exploring. Forrest also goes on to mention “many” and that “a great number of people are out there.” Could this snippet of information be pointing to a possible idea of a “word that is key?”. Of what this “word that is key” might represent? I’ve considered that possibility as well.

    Lastly, we have “tight focus”. My understanding of the poem is that there is a “looking” clue. We would probably be wise to be in “tight focus” with the “looking” clue. Makes perfect sense, right? This could also be a hint as to where the “word that is key” might reside. These are all things that I personally take into consideration when exploring the possibility of the idea of being “in tight focus with a word that is key.” Plus, I really like to tear Forrest’s comments apart. That’s half of the fun for me!

    You got any ideas on this one?

    Anybody else?

    All IMO.


    • I have found a word in the book that has always caught my eye. It’s mentioned several different times in several different contexts and is a specific word. Not something generic like water or creek.

      • Hi JimB,

        I like the idea that hints are in the book (TTOTC). I can work with that. But Forrest has also told us that all of the information to find the chest “is in the poem” (paraphrased). Shouldn’t this mysterious word be found there too?


        Can your “word” also be found in the poem? Or, Did the “hint” in the book lead you to it? I understand if you don’t want to answer. No worries. Just curious.

        If it’s “contentment”, how does that word help with the poem? Contentment would be something different for each of us. If that is the “word that is key”, I wouldn’t know what to do with it, even if I did find it. LOL.

        Thanks for the reply.

        Good luck,

        All IMO.

        • The word is not in the poem, but it is probably a word I hear Fenn repeat many times, especially when telling people what to do to find the treasure. And that word is also in both the preface and the last chapter of TTOTC

          • JimB

            Very nice. I’m intrigued. I’ts just so hard for me to imagine selecting a word, for help with the poem, from outside of the poem.

            LOL. The thought that keeps running though my head is: Pick a word, any word. Like a game show. LOL.

            But you may well be right, that may be how this “word” can be found.

            And good catch on the repetition of words that f likes to use repeatedly. That seems like a wise thing to do. IMO. Yep. I do it too!

            All IMO.


          • It wasn’t a word I looked for, but it had always intrigued me. I’ll admit that my search area hasn’t moved much since I first started the chase in 2016. As I continued to work each clue, and moved farther down the poem, this word kept popping up in stories describing my search area.

          • Jim B, If this was such an important word, and all you need is the poem to find the chest, then the word would have to be in the poem. If not in the poem, then I could find the chest without the word. Making it not needed. Either the word helps find the chest and is in the poem, or, the word makes no difference, is not needed, and hence, not in the poem.

          • poisonivey said this…

            Jim B, If this was such an important word, and all you need is the poem to find the chest, then the word would have to be in the poem. If not in the poem, then I could find the chest without the word. Making it not needed. Either the word helps find the chest and is in the poem, or, the word makes no difference, is not needed, and hence, not in the poem.

            I don’t agree with this. I mean, on the surface it sounds good but one can find a situation in the poem that doesn’t agree with what’s said above.

            Many searchers say something that sounds good on the surface. I think it’s important to dig deeper and try to find situations where another discovery can be found.

          • FD,

            That is a good way of saying it… a situation.

            One consideration is, what a clue could reference. Or how is a clue is usable and/or understood.
            Example; A “clue” can be of a place and an instruction of why this place is needed. WWsH could be such a place.

            A physical place to start, a place that is not able to skip over by just simply driving by it, and a place that we need to perform the next line at “take it in”

            In this theory, the word “observe” might be a word that is key.
            As you pointed out in another post when someone stated “The” word that is key and correct it…
            I recall a comment [from fenn] about looking for key words in the poem or through out the poem or something [don’t quote me on this, that’s why I’m asking for help]… I can’t recall where or when, but if you or anyone else happens to know of it, could you point me in the right direction… I’d appreciate it.

            LOL where’s loco.. I need to send up the bat signal.

          • I’m following the *situation* model in terms of a word that is key. That is just as reasonable to think along those terms as it is to think that the word is in the poem. The part that I think gets glossed over whenever this topic comes up is the context in which Fenn is saying it. His answer in part from the 2014 6 Q’s is…”Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.” He’s talking about the clues in his poem and folks giving serious thought to them. In the same breath while talking about his poem he says that only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. Why would he shift to a word outside of his poem while speaking about his poem? That seems like a huge leap to me. Further… if one takes that thought to the next level and couples it with searcher progress…maybe it could be said that this word helped those few decipher the first clue enough to get close?

        • Seeker;

          Check out this link:

          Here is a part of that conversation with Jenny:

          Many searchers told me the general area in which they are looking. I didn’t read the long emails, but in most of the short ones I looked for key words that would get my attention. Several did this year and I hope my lack of an email response was not taken as a clue.

          Hope this is the one you want – JDA

          • Could be. like I said, I couldn’t recall exactly what was said; i’m getting old. It was just something I recalled hanging around in the back of the closet, in the deepest darkest corner of my mind.
            However, I think there’s another comment about key words [ plural ] in the poem…

            IF i find it I will post it, but no luck so far.

          • I believe you are speaking about what Cynthia shared at one point about what Fenn told another searcher.

          • Yes, I agree with Ken that it could be about the Cynthia post.

            She wrote that f told her many of the lines in the poem have a word that is key. (Or something like that).

            I believe that there are some words that are key in the poem. I just wanted to show that because I think that, I don’t think there’s no possibility of a word that is key which is not present in the poem. Could be both.

          • That’s more than likely where I heard it, guys… thanks.

            It does raise an eyebrow to the idea of the original “a word” that is key to relate to the first clue only, or even the second stanza and having the same idea of remaining stanzas.

            LOL but it raises more questions. IF many lines have a type of key wording… are those key words fenn picks out of e-mails in the poem or from a deciphering of those lines in the poem.

            Example; is the line FTINPFTM… a single key word??? mentioned by someone yet, they may have not understand what the word was meant for?
            Or can home of Brown, be more about habitation, rather than a structure, idea.

            Anyways, thanks for the heads up…

          • ken,
            I’ll add to your question about ‘outside the poem’
            IS it really outside the poem IF a word is meant as a deciphering of a clue?
            MY, example only, is how Take it in, be either a ‘movement’ [ as a key word for understanding what is needed ]
            or view from WWsH [ as a key word to observe from WW’sh ]

            Neither move or observe are in the poem [ technically, as words ] but can be considered part of the poem as to their deciphering word needed to be understood.

            How would that change folks way of looking at/ reading the poem? Because at the time of the Q&A only the first two clues were known of as mentioned correctly in “order”. But what was mentioned?

    • Is it the same few that got the first clue(s), came close, but went on by not realizing? My suspicion is the key word was among the first clues. how’s that for an idea?

      • Hi Saun,

        I like it. Whenever I notice Forrest using certain words repeatedly, I start paying attention.

        Interesting thought about the first “few” searchers getting close. Maybe they did have the “word that is key.” Maybe that’s where it can be found?

        Here’s a thought. How helpful would “a word that is key” be, if it were to be discovered near the end of the poem? I suppose that it might only help with later clues. But if that were the case, then it doesn’t really “unlock” the poem in way, much like a “key” might be expected to do.

        Heck…..I don’t even know what this “key” is supposed to do anyways. Do you have any ideas about that?

        All IMO


        • A “key” not only unlocks but can “wind” something up!
          I definitely believe it has “wound” us all up.
          Don’t you just love the English language? LOL

          • Hi wwwamericana.

            Yep. I’m feeling a little wound up now. LOL.

            I’ll admit it…..I do enjoy digging deeper into Forrest’s words and comments. I think thats where some of the answers might lie.
            It’ is crazy. So many different meanings for what seems like such simple words. I’m having fun with it.

            Good luck to you.

            All IMO.


        • As I sit here opening a can of Spam, it occurs to me that a word that is key is church, as in “church key”. And if you are in tight focus, does that mean you are zoomed in “real close”?

          On the other hand, the chest is not associated with any structure, so….

          Might have had a brain storm. Or maybe it was just a brain fart.

    • SRW;

      It may not be the “Word that is Key”, but the word “Where” in the poem has always intrigued me. “I can keep my secret WHERE,…” followed by “Begin it WHERE warm waters halt.

      “I can keep my secret WHERE’…” is such strange phraseology – an incomplete thought or sentence – – – “I can keep my secret (as to ) WHERE I secreted Indulgence.— or something like that. WHERE indicates a place, but what place? Followed by “Begin it WHERE (an unknown place again) warm waters halt.

      The word WHERE is “nowhere” in the rest of the poem – Interesting.

      Where oh where is this missing or secret WHERE that we are told to look for???

      Just ramblin’ JDA

      • Hi JDA,

        Yea…..Where. That’s a good one. While I don’t see “where” as being the “word that is key” (though it could be), I wouldn’t know what to do with that “word” to help in solving the poem. This mysterious “word” should help not hinder, I would hope.

        LOL. If “where” is the “word that is key”, I’m probably better off chugging along without it. LOL.

        But the “where” question. Yea, that is a good one. The wording is strange but then so is the rest of the poem too so I’m not sure that its super unique. IMO.

        Thanks for the thoughts.

        All IMO.


      • Where is at place “Begin”.

        IMO, “Begin” is the most important word in Line 5.

        Your mileage may vary.


        • wwwamericana – I think the first ‘where’ stands for the ‘secret’ hidey spot, and the second ‘where’ stands for the start; the first clue.

          ‘where’ > w•here

          Alpha = A
          alpha = a (fish symbol)
          Omega = U upside-down
          omega = w

          Eye•M the Alpha and the Omega…I See ‘a fish’ at the Beginning and the End. I See a Double Omega Island at the Beginning, and a Double U backwardS bike S at the End. I See an Alpha fly fishing at Madison Junction, and I See an Alpha upside-down in my hide-y hole….

          I think they are identifying the Beginning and the End of the Poem map. The Alpha/alpha and the Omega/omega. But T.S. Eliot would say an End is a Beginning, right?

          The ‘M’ is for ‘Montana’ in my solve.

          All Eye•M•O.

          • wwwamericana – Just remembered someone said that Forrest referred to Skippy as being an Alpha, and Forrest also said Skippy should have been buried standing up.

            Thinking about my Cache A hole….

    • My previous 6 questions were asked shortly before last year’s February 27th segment of the Today Show. Reporting on your extraordinary treasure hunt, it resulted in an explosion of new seekers from all across the world. What are some of your thoughts about the flurry of activity over the past year? Did the excitement towards the Chase surprise you in any way? Does it make you think the chest might be found earlier than first thought?
      It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated. -February 4, 2014

      It’s been over 5 years since that statement came out on Mysterious Writings. I always wondered what triggered that comment and what was the chatting at the time. I don’t have a lot of time to research so I only used two chat sites that were in existence for at least a year before 2/4/2014 and found some interesting things. Not saying ff read it in those sites, it could’ve been in emails sent directly to him, sure.

      Coincidence or not, I found that less than 3 months before that statement came out, some searchers were arguing that if the poem was a riddle/cipher then it will be impossible to narrow down the vagueness of the clue references without some type of KEY. That is the way most riddles work anyways they wrote. Nowadays, if you want to talk about this topic and you start your post with ‘I have an idea for a key or keyword’ you immediately get blah, blah, blah, he didn’t say keyword, blah, blah, blah he said ‘word that is key’, blah, blah two different things. The issue is that nowhere anybody put it that way, of course, Forrest was the one who gave us that term ‘a word that is key’, I doubt those who he heard/read it from used that term. Those posting publicly back then call it just a key, keyword and others compared it to a map legend.

      What words were they considering? I think home of Brown wins by a long stretch, then wood comes in at second and halt wins the 3rd. But other words were talked about in depth at that time like EVER and some others.

      Another little thing I found out that back then, remember this was before Loco came and crashed the party with the first clue NZ interview, lol.. was that many used the home of Brown as the most important clue to figure out first. Some argued Brown is tangible, something like a true north if (below the home of) means true south. I thought that was interesting. If someone says something like that nowadays gets crucified or worst, beaten down into the box again.

  41. SRW said…”If it’s “contentment”, how does that word help with the poem? Contentment would be something different for each of us.”

    Also said…I’ts just so hard for me to imagine selecting a word, for help with the poem, from outside of the poem.

    On the point that contentment would be something different for each of us. I hear that often. It’s like when searchers say confidence is different for each of us so how can you objectively gauge that? It’s subjective.

    I say, not if you use confidence or contentment as a key and not just the usual subjective use of the word. It turns the subjective into a non subjective key. A key being something tangible. It’s a different way to focus on the attributes of a word like ‘confidence’.

    On the second point, a word that is key like confidence (for example) can be utilized in the poem even though f didn’t use that word. He used a line and word in the poem that can possibly produce the word ‘confidence’…”From there, it’s no place for the meek”. If it’s no place for the meek, then maybe it’s for the one that is the opposite of meek. I haven’t heard many searchers say they go meekly on their botg search from this point in the clue path.

    • Fundamental Design – Yes! Like the answer to a contiguous clue riddle in the Poem, maybe? Or, like the answer to a crossword puzzle?:

      Two across (10 letters):

      “From there it’s no place for the meek.”


      What’s that, Miss Ford?

      con•f•i•den•c•e > con•f•eye•den•see•e > with•f•eye•den•See•e

      That ‘con’ means ‘with’ in Spanish. Forrest said, “move with confidence” in that quote. Is that another ‘word map’, Forrest? That final destination backwardS bike ‘e’ sure looks like a profile Smiley, winking at me on my topo, with a tear of laughter coming out of that eye!

      Fran Warren would get the ‘den’ part:


      Did you breed those Star-nosed Moles in my hide-y hole, Forrest, to study the medical application of those super sensitive touch-for-sight stellar facial structures?


  42. I would opine that the word that is key is opine.
    A combination of the convergence of the Rio de los Pinos (Pine) and your creek, the Osier creek.
    Oh sure!

  43. I think it’s all about reading and interpreting exactly what is said. Breaking it down, I see:
    the word “few”
    the word “that” is key
    the word “few” is in tight focus with the word “that”, which is key.
    To find the answer, takes a couple other ATF’s, the book, bighorn medicine wheel spokes, and opposites/mirrors. I know, sounds ridiculous, but it will answer your questions.
    Remember, the word “few” is important. The answer will give you an idea of how far to walk. (I walked less than a “few” miles). And is your answer to the 9th clue. All, IMO.

  44. As searchers we need to focus on the fact that he went ALONE in there . study the places he went alone . that may not be where the treasure is but may be the place to start , TIGHT FOCUS WITH A WORD THAT IS KEY , alone .

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