FFGM Treasure Hunt #1

January 2019



Solve the clues in the Forrest Fenn Gold Medallion Treasure Hunts for YOUR Chance to win one of the exclusive and limited edition Forrest Fenn Gold Medallions!

FF Gold Medallions image 1024x562


FFGM Treasure Hunt 1


Guidelines for FFGM Treasure Hunts to claim a Forrest Fenn Gold Medallion (antique gold finish):

  • ONE Forrest Fenn Gold Medallion will be awarded to the first person who can solve the clues, find the hidden FFGM Treasure Hunt Stone, and forward a successful claim to FFGMTreasureHunts@gmail.com.
  • Clues to find the hidden FFGM Treasure Hunt Stones will be posted on either DalNeitzel.com or MysteriousWritings.com.
  • The first series of hunts began 1/3/19. A total of 10 Hunts will be released (two each month from January to May). Second series of hunts will follow.
  • All FFGM Treasure Hunt Stones of this first series of hunts are hidden within the Great Appalachian Valley. Map is shown below.
  • A searcher who solves the clues posted for a hunt and finds a FFGM Treasure Hunt Stone MUST use the email FFGMTreasureHunts@gmail.com to submit a claim for the Forrest Fenn Gold Medallion prize. An image of the found FFGM Treasure Hunt Stone and CODE written on the Stone must be provided within the submission email. An image of the searcher at location is optional, but requested. REMEMBER, the Medallions themselves are NOT hidden, but FFGM Treasure Hunt Stones with specific CODES for claiming the Medallions. Image of the actual White Stone hidden will be released with each hunt’s clues.
  • A searcher must also submit full name and address to receive the Medallion.
  • ONLY one Medallion is allowed to be claimed by household/searcher/person. Because of limited supply, no multiple wins/claims of Medallions will be awarded. If a person has previously won/received a Medallion, he is no longer eligible to submit a claim in another hunt.

Greatvalley map

ffgm hidden stone 1



Please read and understand the following before attempting to search for the white stone






164 thoughts on “FFGM Treasure Hunt #1

    • I may be wrong, but didn’t I read somewhere that on the back side of the stone that there will be a group of numbers (12 in this case???) One must send a PIC of both sides of the rock to Dal or Jenny in order to be given the medallion. I could be wrong, but that is what I think I remember – 🙂 JDA

  1. A quick question…

    Are these located in association with the map? i.e. stone hunt # 1 is located somewhere in the Champlain Valley where you have 1. marked? Or could this first one be ANYWHERE on the length of the Appalachian map?


  2. Thanks Jenny and Dal, can’t wait to get started. Looks like the treasure is wet.

  3. So if we find one of the stones and choose not to turn in the code for a medallion. Who is going to get the medallion? Is there a time limit for turning in the code?

    Please don’t put any of the stones near Jersey. I can’t stand that place. Can’t pump your own gas!

  4. Jenny and Dal,
    This is awesome and amazing. I love all the creativity involved. Major Forrest is a Legend and my personal hero.
    Thank you, for this opportunity for all:)
    Sincere Blessings,

  5. I love the way those sticks are laying. .I wonder if Jenny put them that way on purpose?

        • I’m also confused. Is the picture a clue, or is it just an example of what the white rock we are looking for looks like? If it is a clue, could you please label it “first clue.” Or something.

          • There are two pictures. One is the clue/poem and the other a picture of the rock being hidden. I initially didnt see the clue/poem. The clues/poem is at the top of the page under the medallions

  6. LOL
    This should be a blast…
    Anyone see the heart monitor read out? The alien skull? Ok I was serious about the heart thingy… But I swear there’s an alien looking skull just above the letters on the bottom left. What is it about the leaveS? and why are the these two letters { rVeAl } appeared to be lighter?
    Hmmm, VA – heart monitor, and that little scary alien skull… and in the second picture, with the white stone, there’s a black sneaker… Is it a hint? or did Dal take a pic of Jenny’s shoe?
    LOL Jenny ? Dal, are there any red herrings? Sorry.. couldn’t resist.
    Ok, I have to go now, and count leaves.

  7. Hi Jenny,
    Thank you for bringing the treasure hunt on the east coast. I’m looking forward to try my hand at possibly finding a stone to claim a medallion (they are beautiful). I’m new to the cipher/puzzle/code thing, I figured out the easy ciphers but I’m finding it challenging with the harder ones. I was able to learn a few cipher/code tricks from your book ATH and code and cipher section on your web page, but like I said I’m knew to it and discovered it take a long time to figure each cipher out. Do you know if there’s any apps that can help me figure them out? Do you need extensive knowledge of code and cipher to be able to solve the clues in the pictures?

  8. the twelve numbers are on the map.
    Go to the park entrance. look to the right, near the line of rocks.
    “Not far to get lost, that you shall know” hmmmm…
    It must be right off the side of the road at the first stop after passing the entrance. The name is the trick. Did somebody once get lost there?

  9. Maybe discover and space = discovery in space. The discovery space shuttle now resides in Chantilly Va. in Fairfax county at a museum near Dulles Airport.
    Fred Y.

  10. A starting point may be to read up on Stonewall Jackson which appears relevant to the picture clue. Then Virginia is for Lovers would be relevant to both Stonewall and the EKG / ECG heart monitor symbol. Good Luck to everyone.

    Safety First !!!

  11. Pretty sure I know exactly where this is. I live in Wyoming and can’t get there,
    Anybody interested in wanting to know, email me at jel3695@yahoo.com and I will tell you where it is.

    Just Joyce

    • I would just post where you think it is. The person that goes to look for it will be someone already in that area and I dont think there will be that many that are in the immediate area.

    • Have you had any responses? My best guess is that the letters on the bottom right are the code. Notice how they are from A to L but shuffled? This maybe provides some type of code from 1 to 12. That is then used to decipher the information on bottom left.

    • Lower right corner: KJHEFDLGAICBA =ABCDEFGHIJKL

      pots eht skram X = X marks the spot

      Lower left: ? not yet

    • I coded them a little differently. And I read them backwards, because x marks the spot is backwards. So the numbers I get are 4, 1,2,7,9,8,5,10,3,11,12,6. I then pulled out the letters from A to L out of the left set of letters. Using my code I come up with 7814271. My thought was 78.14271 is a coordinate that falls within shanandoah valley in VA. Maybe? I could be way off.

      • And I might be wanting to make that fit. Because the last stanza (line of rocks), makes me think of skyline drive. And there are lots of overlooks where people park their cars. And there is an overlook with the same name as one of the entrances (swift run overlook).

      • Nope I like your theory I see what you did there. Very familiar with Shenandoah valley and the overlooks. Was one of my first thoughts when I saw the rock wall but this one is different. Beyond the wall is woods. Normally you would see mountain range and valleys.

        I think it’s at an entrance to a park or attraction and all cars have to stop at gate ranger station perhaps.

        Key is the 12 numbers for sure to narrow it down.

        • Thanks. And great point. But don’t assume those are woods behind the wall. The leaves aren’t real, and the sticks and twigs look placed. There appears to be one tree to the left. If you actually look at the picture, the background is quite blurry and could be anything.

          • Kris I was looking at the real photo of Jenny placing the rock but after looking again you don’t really see much behind the rocks as I thought you did could be steep drop off right behind them yes. Stopped at many of those overlooks as a kid. Lol.

        • And the line “look over to right” screams to me that it is at an overlook on the right!

      • Nope, you are right Kris. I’ve got the “Natural Bridge” in the Shenandoah Valley, Rockbridge County Virginia. The “Lost River” is about 1/2 a mile upstream. from the bridge. Place is a historical landmark. Somewhat fenced off, but can park the car near by.
        So there you go, I think we got it Kris. Lol, NEXT…

        • Coordinates should be easy enough. Nice work Kris. And, I reserve the right to be totally wrong. 🙂

        • But there is no entrance,it’s a parking lot. Been there many times. It’s unreal.

          But what about the lost river? Why did you mention that?

          • Frustrating how this thread works. Doesn’t quote and can’t tell what the reply is to

            I’m speaking of the natural bridge.

            I’m keen on the area but it’s something else that has an entrance like a park, skyline, etc.

  12. Luray Caverns in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Luray Caverns has 12 letters.
    v/a: the letters v and a are grayed out. Va. is Virginia.
    Luray Caverns Entrance sign at entrance to parking lot: With this name located to an entrance.
    Maze for tourists is right near entrance: go not far to get lost
    Parking lot is segregated for cars and buses. The car parking spaces are near the entrance while the bus parking is at the bottom end of the lot.: where all cars first stop
    Across the street from the car parking is a rock wall: to rocks in a line.
    Google Earth street view confirms the above.
    Can’t get there soon so maybe someone else can claim the medallion.
    Good luck.

    • You might be onto somethin’, Tarheel. I checked Google Street and the rock wall across from the entrance doesn’t match the wall in the clue picture, but it may lurk somewhere close. Worth a look, but I’m too far and too busy.

  13. If this first stone happens to correspond to the number one on the map, it would be in the Champlain Valley of Vermont. Most of the pictures of Vermont show quaint photos of buildings. But I found one of Milton town Forest that is nice.

    and here is a link to parking areas along the Appalachian trail in Vermont. They are not in the Champlain Valley.

    • Hi all… The numbers on the map are not relevant to the hunts at all. It was just a map to offer the range– showing where any of the stones may be hidden. They won’t be hidden out of this area.

      There isn’t any connection to the numbers of the map to the hunts–

  14. I’m on the fence with this one, I should just leavs it alone, but don’t count me out yet. Thank you Jenny, Dal, and everyone else who helped for all your hard work, I’m sure it was not easy coming up wilth puzzles for this fickle bunch.

  15. Hi All;
    The first stanza reads:
    Twelve numbers you seek
    To reveal a place
    where you can discover
    a hiding space.

    If one uses the “Great Appalachian Trail” – There happen to be 12 different letters in these three words.

    Someone pointed out that the numbers read – 11-10-8-5-6-4-12-7-1-9-3-2

    If one were to assign a number to each letter -in “Great Appalachian Trail” – in order – One would get:

    11 = G, 10 = R, 8 = E, 5 =- A and 6 = T
    4 = P. 12 = L. 7 = C, 1 = H. 9 = I, 3 = N
    and 2 = R

    Using these letters, will it disclose which Park Entry we need to use?

    As I have said before, I am not a numbers person, but this MIGHT be the needed code.

    We have all figured out that there will be a line of rocks (a rock fence???) on the right edge of a parking lot that one can use before entering a specific spot on the Appalachian Trail. Logic says that one must begin at the beginning. Due to weather conditions, I would think that it is hidden on the southern end – or start- of the Trail – Just a thought

    Since I live in Idaho, will not be searching. Hope that this helps someone – JDA

    • Why use a word that is not in the info?
      Seems to me if there’s a key to a code it might be within the information itself… right?
      What do we have;
      Letters lower left [ but are the all letter? [ 20 ]
      Cap letters lower right [12 ]
      12 Branches [olive?] with a number on leaves on the them [83 in total]
      X marks the spot Spelled backwards [ mirror ]
      A stop sign.
      Heart monitor
      LOL an alien skull
      And the 12 lines of information, set in 3 stanzas

      Without completely understand the coding in the info… I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest folks who live in VA may like to check out the maze that looks back at you.

      • Seeker;

        I agree – finding words in the poem, or on the poem page would seem more logical than using “Great Appalachian Trail” – I just have not figured out which words to use – This was just an example.

        Under your “What do we have” – You said 83 leaves, I counted 85 – I count 12 branches but 85 leaves.
        Going left to right, top to bottom, I count 2, 10, 14, 10, 11, 5, 2, 5, 12, 4, 7, and 3 = 85 (I hope-
        As I have said, Numbers confuse me).

        I admit to being slow, but I do not see the “VA” nor the “Alien Skull”

        Tina Jones found that the CAPITAL letters = an anagram that says NUMBER TWELVE by using the numbers and then using the first stanza and counting the letters to spell out Number Twelve – pretty smart.

        You mention “And the 12 lines of information, set in 3 stanzas” maybe (somehow) my 4 words from the bottom left corner can use the remaining two stanzas in much the same way???

        As I said – numbers confuse me – Good Luck All – JDA

        • C’mon JDA… lol

          The VA comes from the word “REVEAL” those two letters are of a lighter shade then the others, not unlike the leaves imposed on the second pic.
          Both pics are of the same exact spot. So when you enlarge the poem pic.. at the bottom left, just over the letters {ZX}, and in the rocks, you’ll see what looks like an alien skull { ya might need to cock your head left a little }. The only reason I mentioned it, is because it’s not in the original pic with the white stone. Yet the other white mark on the stone above is in both pics.

          • OK – I see the blurry V and A in reVeAl. I also see the alien skull – Thanks. I must be half blind as well as half deaf.

            I still see 85 leaves not 83 though – Probably does not make a difference – But who knows? – It may – JDA

          • Haven’t looked too closely but first read through and what pops out to me is VA Reel or Virginia Reel. Might want to look into that. FWIW

      • Seeker,

        Let’s focus on the olive branches for a moment (assuming that is what they are). The US Treasury Department uses the olive branches on currency to denote the original 13 colonies.

        If you look at a map of the original colonies (Georgia to Maine) it pretty much matches the highlighted search zones.

        Assuming these are in fact olive branches, perhaps we need to identify the 13th colony that is missing. Doing so would at least put us in the correct state.


        • Hey Scott, how ya doin?

          Yep, not sure if they are olive leaves or not. IF so I’d be looking into the lower states for warmer weather. But I was thinking another reason… Olive trees are a sign of peace and friendship.

          Also… with addition of the letters and told of numbers, each branch might have a connection to the decoding of the solve. My Idea [ at the moment ] is the picture has what is needed to show how to decode itself.

          Still baffled by our alien friend though..lol

  16. Here’s some help from Wisconsin.
    The lower right letters are an anagram for NUMBER TWELVE.
    (You use the letters in the text, counting forward: 11-10-8-5-6-4-12-7-1-9-3-2. EBUVELRNTMEW)

    • If you apply any numbers from 1 to 12, in any order, to the first two words in the poem you will get an anagram for “NUMBER TWELVE”, because the first line of the poem is “Twelve number(s)”. So why bother with the particular order that they are in? This is not how they are to be used.

  17. When read from right to left, the letters to the left of the last stanza says -“X Marks the spot”

    The long string bottom left has 3 “X’s” – If “X” marks the spot, and the long string starts with a “STOP” sign – anagram of spot = stop so stop at the “X’s” = four words in the long string.
    6 letters in first word – dyqfqo = 4, 25, 11, 6, 11
    4 letters in 2nd word – bpsa = 2, 16, 19, 1
    2 letters in 3rd word – cz = 3, 26
    5 letters in 4th word – rdbyw = 16, 4, 2, 25, 23

    What does this mean? – Time for you number’s guys and gals to get to work. I have done all I can do. JDA

    • Good thinking JDA. If we are supposed to stop at the X’s then do not use the last word since there is no X at the end. Without using the last word we have 12 letters: dyqfqobpsacz

      • ** ** ** JD notes – “When read from right to left, the letters to the left of the last stanza says -“X Marks the spot”” ** ** **

        Why not then read the line below from right to left too.

        wybdr X zc X bpsa X oqfqyd

  18. I would like to offer my assistance in solving this puzzle rather than do it solo, so here is what I would like to share.

    First the upper right hand corner is a clue to what one type of cryptogram is being used, the zig-zag pattern indicates we are to use a 3 Rail Fence crypto, Second the other set of 12 numbers comes from the branches with transparent leaves, I believe just about everyone has noticed the transparent v and a in the word reveal and connects this to mean Vigina, which I think is partially correct, and I belive it is also saying count the leaves. This is important again, if we count the branches from left to right, the fourth branch has dark and transparent leaves, only count the transparent ones, when all are counted you will have number 12 and below for the anwsers. It is at this point that I belive the 12 letters in the lower right hand corner comes into play, and don’t forget X marks the spot is written backwards.
    Thats all I have for now, good luck!

    • Nearindianajones;

      I am new to crypto puzzles. What is a 2 rail or 3 Rail Fence crypto puzzle?

      OK, Just googled it – No wonder I do not like crypto puzzles!

      Also, I do not understand your statement: “I believe just about everyone has noticed the transparent v and a in the word reveal and connects this to mean Vigina,”
      1) I don’t know what you mean by transparent v and a in the word reveal. What is that? Sorry to be so dumb, but I just do not understand. 2) did you mean VA = Virginia NOT Vigina?

        • Sorry about the confusion JDA, My phone typing speed versus my brain output speed causes writing traffic jams resulting in misspelled words and confusing sentence comprehension.

    • The zigzag in the upper right is Jenny’s “Mysterious Writings” logo, NearIndyJ.

  19. Guess #1

    McClellan Gate at Arlington national cementary.

    the letters V and A are blurred in Reveal.. Virgina is where the cementary is located.
    12 Numbers are 12 letters of John F Kennedy.

  20. “where you can discover a hiding space”
    or…where you can discover a hiding, space
    where do stars, faraway planets and galaxies hide? outer space.
    so…where you can discover a hiding (outer) space.
    you need a telescope.
    bring the kids.

    a planetarium.
    i think.

      • i was wrong. 5+5 vision was my wordplay for Tennessee. its a play on 20/20 vision.
        5+5=10 vision (see)
        10 see
        tennessee. bad huh? lol
        i came up with Bays Mountain Park, Tenneessee for the solution. there is a planetarium there. i thought the leaves represented bay leaves. and the “lost” meant lost in space. bays mountain 12 letters. simple.

        i had my search buddy Bur watch the blog so he could call me and tell me to turn around and go home if it was found. he did, i did at mile 350.
        the chase was thrilling, until i made the U turn.

        i dont want a medallion, but i hoped to find the stone and prove that no codes, ciphers or anagrams are needed. as i believe the same is true for finding Forrest’s chest.
        and still do.

        way to go AJ!!!!
        no codes, ciphers or anagrams.

  21. Probably nothing, but the leafy branches look like mountain ash or sumac…. very common. But will this background be the same on all the hunt hints or is it specific to just #1?

    • Don’t know, OS2.

      The branches are just part of the original photo, but the leaves themselves have clearly been deliberately added. As has already been noted, 12 bunches of leaves have been grafted onto the background photo.

      • The original photo? …sans the clue lettering… was that presented somewhere? I’ve only seen Dal’s site, Has there been or will there be more or different data on Jenny’s site?

        • Enlarge the image – each leaf has a perfectly straight little stem, and the leaves themselves are two-dimensional flat and transparent. You can see the background branch through any overlying leaf.

          The branches themselves, on the other hand, fit right into the grayscale of the background foliage.

          • Thanks Jake… in my next life I’m gonna study computer stuff… if we’re not writing again with sticks on wet clay or quill pens on sheepskin.

  22. 12’O Clock, Virginia, Appalachians
    Google is your friend, street view is your daddy.

      • I doubt that anyone would have been able to solve the Vigenere angle. I used to do cryptanalysis, and the size of the text samples needed to solve Vigenere is higher than this, especially with an unknown length keyword – – too few letters in each separate substitution to get a statistical trend. If you use ciphers in the future, I suggest you make sure they’re reasonably solvable unless you also provide alternative means of solution as was the case here.

        • I suggest you look at Jenny’s past hunts, in particular, “The Philosopher’s Stones”. Some of these contained the Vigenere Cipher, and were solved super-fast.

        • It was only meant to be used If you had the key word sky meadows and then it would gave you the exact location

          But to confirm this anagram, if needed, in the bottom right corner are the letters: KJHEFDLGAICB

          The letters are A thur L (1-12) and indicate the order for the letters WPSAMEOYSKSD should be.

          W(the first letter) goes where the A is. P goes where the B is. S goes where the C is…and so on to confirm/give ‘Sky Meadows SP’.

          Dyqfqoxbpsaxczxrdbyw, in the left corner of image, uses the vigenere cipher, with the keyword skymeadows, to provide ‘Lost Mountain Entrance’.

    • Bottom of first fence post south of Azalea Drive, on Howardsville turnpike in Afton, VA?

      Great puzzle, Jenny, and congratulations, AJ! Good thing you’re limited to one find – that was killer fast.

    • Thanks Jenny, and Congrats to the winner. It takes a special kind of mind to solve c crypto based puzzle. My hat is off to the winner – 🙂 JDA

  23. AJ posted a video on armchair hunt page. In the video he said he didn’t solve any of the puzzles.

    Congrats to AJ for the find

    Jenny and Dal I need closure. Can you guys post what all the puzzles in the picture are?

  24. Alright..hold on…Who wrote this poem…Yoda?
    Twelve numbers you seek…hmmm.
    LOL…Come on, I know you all were thinkin it…
    Thanks FF, Jenny and Dal.
    Happy hunting everyone and try to enjoy the sights on the east coast…lots of history in those parts.

  25. Thank you all for participating and enjoying the hunt! We can’t wait to post the next one which will be on the 17th, but on MW. Dal and I will be alternating– posting two each month, one on each site. These hunts and of course the MEDALLIONS are awesome!

    We couldn’t have asked for a better ending to this first one! Exciting…and so much more to come…. thanks again….

    Here is the full solution to FFGM Treasure Hunt #1 for those interested. So many of you were right on track!:

      • I tried to cipher Dyqfqoxbpsaxczxrdbyw but I guess I was using the wrong decoder lol.

    • Thanks for your solution and explanation of the ciphers. I learned something new today. Fun.

    • Awesome, Jenny!

      Did the heart monitor symbol in the top right corner signify anything?

          • oh… forgot about putting that there….. yes at TxTH says, a fun MW…but also since it connected, just a nudge towards heart…. since VA is for lovers..(a slogan they have)

          • Lol, as i re-read it again….those first sentences, i am describing how i tried to solve it…NOT how i would have created a hunt. I am no where near smart or clever enough to create a hunt. ug. I need to write more carefully.

      • Forget the heart monitor… what about the alien skull?!, lol
        I’m I the only lonely one who seen it?

        Good job, AJ

    • Wow, I just looked up vigenere cipher and I still don’t know what the heck it is….lol

        • So, i am obviously missing something…x marks the spot. What x?

          And was it written backwards simply to disquise it? Also, i definitely wouldnt have split the branches up correctly to be two rows…i would have gone left to right. And for the cipher, i would have used the entire…skymeadowssp.

          For future hunting, would you suggest to hack a bit? Or was there anything i am missing that would indicate how to split up the branches and what to use for the cipher?

          Thanks so much for this brain expanding eXperience!!!

          • You were supposed to just count the leaves on the branches that would give you the number you would need didn’t matter where the branches were

          • Where the branches were was of consequence…they correlated with the lines in the poem. 1st branch, 1st line…

          • As i re-read my first post i hope it is read with sincerity…none of it is sarcastic. I have made that mistake before. I am loving this hunt. I think it is awesome and just want to expand my skills by asking questions. 🙂
            Thanks again jenny and dal!

    • As i re-read my first post i hope it is read with sincerity…none of it is sarcastic. I have made that mistake before. I am loving this hunt. I think it is awesome and just want to expand my skills by asking questions.
      Thanks again jenny and dal!

      Hopefully this posts in the correct spot…i seem to be having trouble with that this evening.

  26. Yaaaaaaay!!! Congrats!!!

    Really enjoyed the finding the medallion voucher video 🙂

    Safety First

  27. Lol, as i re-read it again….those first sentences, i am describing how i tried to solve it…NOT how i would have created a hunt. I am no where near smart or clever enough to create a hunt. 🙂 ug. I need to write more carefully.

  28. Awesome! somebody found the first rock. Is there a link to where it was found so the rest of us can see if we were close in our guess? thx

  29. Forrest says imagination is more important than knowledge. because Einstein said it too.
    to me, any codes ciphers amagrans represents knowledge. thats why i dont use them. im not an egghead pocket protector straight A Poindexter.
    id rather work hard (physically) and play hard (physically) and let my imagination run wild to solve treasure hunt mysteries. maybe Einstein was both intelligent and a dreamer. i think god is too.
    which came first the chicken or the egg? i dont know but even god had to imagine either the chicken or the egg before he could make it.

    i imagine i will find the chest. lol
    i think.

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