Odds n Ends About Fenn’s Treasure Hunt…

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147 thoughts on “Odds n Ends About Fenn’s Treasure Hunt…

  1. I have given a lot of thought to one clue Forrest gave us. He said that it would be there 100 years or 1,000 years, no matter what. Or something to that effect. Which led me to the conclusion that there has to be map coordinates hidden in the poem. Bear with me, even if the character of the land changes, it is still going to be the same coordinates. Right or wrong??

    • FF didn’t say that, Terry. How could anyone make a “no matter what” claim about anything 100-1,000 years from now?

      (Well, anyone could *make* such a claim, but . . . seriously?)

      This I think is what you’re after (25 June 2014) –

      *** *** *** ***
      Q – Did the same 9 clues exist when you were a kid and to your estimation will they still exist in 100 years and 1000 years?
      Thanks ~Ron

      A – ” . . . The clues did not exist when I was a kid but most of the places the clues refer to did. I think they might still exist in 100 years but the geography probably will change before we reach the next millennia. The Rocky mountains are still moving and associated physical changes will surely have an impact. If you are in the year 3,009 it will be more difficult for you to find the treasure.” f
      *** *** *** ***

      I think the poem was designed to deliver geography not coordinates, but it’s been suggested by some.


  2. Jake Faulkner – Sorry I missed the chance to respond to you on the previous thread.

    No, I do not agree to your proposal. I thought since you were bragging on the previous thread about how you had not had to eat your hat yet in the past, you would agree to it again now with me for this season. I guess you are now not as confident as you once were? That’s okay.

    • Ricky-
      If you know how to use Google maps…and a measuring stick of some kind you should certainly be able to figure that out for yourself. Forrest told us exactly where to measure from in Fundamental Guidelines…which is linked on a tab under the photo at the top of this page.

      Do yourself a favor…and me…by doing some simple research before starting a thread that has been yapped about ad nauseam for the past nine years…

      • Would love a second opinion on the distance, as Rio En Medio so close to 8.25 miles depending on the angle. I’ve analyzed for many months, so any additional thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated. There is no substitution for hard work! As for the nauseam thing, may I suggest a good nap and a cup coffee.

      • Dal as a relative newby to the forums the Fundamental Guidlines left me wondering because it seemed he puts ff after a direct quote and I didn’t see one there. Can you please clarify that Forrest wrote those guidlines because I wasn’t sure if it was something you typed up or him. Thanks for all you do.

  3. I might open a can of worms here, but I’m working through my solve and wondering some others thoughts on “Not far, but too far to walk.”

    I think most folks use the TFTW preface to justify that the hidey space is within 10 or so miles of WWWH. Think of it in terms of this. WWWH <Not far < Hidey Space < TFTW

    I have started thinking that "Not Far" is a large distance, and "TFTW" gives you a starting point.

    In the chapter Looking for Lewis and Clark, Forrest says "….on their wonderful Corps of Discovery, had passed through Montana not too many miles to the north."

    "Not too many" is actually around 80 miles.

    My WWWH hasn't changed much since I started with the chase in 2016, but my distances have.

    Something like this :
    WWWH < Canyon Down < TFTW < HOB < Meek < No Paddle <End < (Not) Far

    • Ya JimB, I think it’s more than 80 miles when I did the research back then when I read that. Not too many miles??? I always thought that was a weird statement.

      • Agreed. I just think everyone is looking too close to WWWH. From your posts, I think we are in the same general search area as well.

        • If WWWH is close to the treasure and several have figured it out then why the empty backpacks?
          Cause we think that the treasure is far away from WWWH and probably HOB as well.

          I search between Big Sky and West Yellowstone.

          • Question comes to mind , is it only too far to walk because of the heavy loads?.
            Without heavy loads ,or TC. Is it not far to walk?.

          • Heavy loads is 5 lines away in the poem from TFTW and about the 5the clue (place) so I would think they don’t relate to each other.
            It’s too far to walk either way and miles away IMO.

          • That’s something distant on mine. I’m Between Ennis and West. But I have a feeling we are chasing the same rabbit hole. I’m just hoping I looked at the right map to tie the 2 stories and the poem to the spot of the Blaze that Meek encountered

          • I did check those areas out in my armchair and realized there was too much private property to put BOTG.

            Once you get past Quake Lake there’s a lot of private property and roads till you get to Beaverhead Deerlodge area. Then after that more private roads and property all the way to Ennis.

            West Yellowstone to Quake Lake sounds good to me though. Not sure about any stories in his books tied to a blaze…

    • Jim, I don’t have it now, but there is an ATF that defines “too far”.
      If you are walking long distances looking for the treasure, you are walking too far.
      Since the poem says “not far”, but “too far” to walk, you could basically substitute. “Not far, but long distances to walk”.
      I realize this doesn’t answer your question, but it is a start. To find out, the answer is on page 15 of ttotc, and another ATF.
      I won’t get into how you come to page 15 as a reference, too long of a post, but it is the only page with an asterisk. The explanation would make this all clear, but if you count the words on this page you get 114. An ATF,
      A few are in tight focus with a word that is key.
      People can assume all they want, but this line says the word “that” is key. And the word “few” is in tight focus with it.
      “that” is in the poem, the 113th word. The word “few” is on page 15, the 113th word. THE KEY IS NOT A WORD, IT IS 113.
      So, another ATF, where f says he walked less than a “few” miles. We have 4 options, 1+1+3=5, 1,1+3=14, 1+1,3=23, and 113. Now 113 is not even feasible, so scratch that value. 5 miles would be 1 1/4 miles one way, this would not match the “long distances” ATF, so we can scratch that distance, but I would make a mental note of it. Now 14 miles would be 3 1/2 miles one way and a long distance. 23 miles would be 5 3/4 miles one way, and a long distance. Since he said “less” than a few, we can do what I hate, guess, that the distance to walk is somewhere between 3-5, or
      3 1/4 – 5 1/2 miles if you are not thinking rounding the numbers.
      This makes all the ATF’s on the subject and doesn’t lead to any conflicts of contradiction. It also gives a little insight to how f gives us info, sounding contradictive, but actually has no contradiction.
      Like I said, arriving at why page 15 for reference would make this long post 10 times longer, you will just have to go with what I’m offering, and I understand if skeptical, I probably would be too, but it’s solid, just depends on if it fits your solve I guess. My answer to how far you have to walk from wwwh to the chest could be anywhere from 3 miles to 5 1/2 miles, one way. The reason you keep 1 1/4 miles in play but the background is that f may have had alternate transportation, but for us, we walk. He very well could have walked a short distance, but for us, we are walking long distances. Hope that makes sense, all IMO…

      • The question is though. Do you actually walk from WWWH? Paraphrasing here… but the ATF was something to the effect of – if you’re walking more than a few miles than it’s too far.

        • In other words… Many people are taking f’s words That several people got the first two clues and then went right past the rest… Does that mean they physically went by? Or they didn’t understand they were there, or the meaning of the clues and “went right by” the rest.

          Kind of like me telling a joke that someone didn’t understand. I would say that the joke went over their head, Not physically of course. Unless they were shorter than me

        • jIM, I’m sure I have the ATF, I will find the exact quote. Again, I think ATF’s help with whether you walk from wwwh, or not. Side note, if you are walking more than a few miles….we can define by the word “few”. Anyway, when you organize the ATF’s on the possible walk, two stick out, his comments on going down a canyon, back up, then down again, in which he wouldn’t do. Also, no shortcuts, along with follow all the clues.
          If you are to follow all the clues, and there are no shortcuts, taking multiple trips, it leads to not being possible to do anything other then start your walk at the first clue. Driving passed the first clue would lead to a shortcut down the line, leading to not following all the clues at one point. That’s just where the ATF’s will lead if you consider all of them. But, it’s up to interpretation.
          I think you are right about the first clue searchers and walking by. Put it this way, a searcher parks their car, grabs their skis, and heads into a canyon via a trail. This trail leads to a mountain with some nice lines. But, along this trail was actually clues to a chest. He/she goes skiing, never knowing they were so close. They just walked on by, knowing nothing.
          I think we need to be careful when we consider the two clue or maybe the 4 clue searchers getting clues right. With them knowing nothing, puts them in the class of not solving the poem correctly. As far as we know, nobody has solved anything. For me anyway, it’s a 5 mile, one way hike from wwwh to the chest. My wwwh is my starting point gathered from a solve of the poem and finding a spot. Draw the path there, and where I start is wwwh. Anaconda, Montana. There are many references to why this is the spot, but nothing as far as just answering that clue. That’s where I park a car and start out. It’s a long walk, where there are no motorized vehicles, (gated with signs). But locals hike there all the time, or go skiing in Winter. So, my response to your post is somewhat bias, as most peoples response would be. You just have to go with what you think. I don’t want to tell you, yes, you walk from wwwh, that is just IMO. If you solve the poem and have a long walk, then it fits. If your solve has you walking short distances or driving to later clues, that’s just what it is.

          • This is why the search hasn’t been fruitful in my mind. Too many people take f’s words literal. I take “no shortcuts” as in there is no way to figure out later clues without first figuring out the newer ones.

            “The person who finds the treasure will have studied the poem over and over, and thought, and analyzed and moved with confidence. Nothing about it will be accidental”.

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

            So if I can move in confidence, and I have married the first few clues to a map (WWWH, CD), you could theoretically put me in the canyon with a helicopter, not at WWWH and I could still find the treasure. Would that be a shortcut?

            I could say start it in the smallest west and take it in the canyon up. Enjoy a warm swim and continue down. There you’ll find something colorful and grand.

            For those who are familiar with the West Yellowstone area could figure out that I’m saying start at West Yellowstone, take to Madison junction, up the Firehole and get to the Grand Prismatic. Someone who enjoys hiking , and knows a little bit of history (and has a good map) – Might hike the old fountain trail that starts near the old fire tower. And believe me, in the middle of the day when there are a bunch of tourists and buffalo in the west part of the park, it might be faster to hike that trail than drive to / park at Grand Prismatic.

            The fact that people have been within 500′ of the treasure (he said both people and searchers) leads me to believe that the chest is within 500′ of some trail, road, or significant place on a map.

            Fenn says “There isn’t a human trail in very close proximity to where I hid the treasure.”

            In referring to a question about his “Buffalo Cowboys” story, he replies “The buffalo has few natural enemies and are not known to attack anything that is not in its close proximity.”

            So he was far enough away from Cody (in the car), and wasn’t in “close proximity” yet he was close enough to put a rope on Cody and wait in the car.

            It would be extremely hard for me to go in confidence ( all the way from Ohio) without being sure of the first few clues. Even those who were within 200′ of the treasure have an extreme area to search, an area of 2.8 acres. And that would be if they even knew the exact spot that was within 200′. It is almost impossible to go to an area of 3-5 acres and “search” it to find the chest in the woods without having some understanding ahead of time what the clues mean.
            Just my opinion of course.

          • Jim, the reason you would not say fly a helicopter in to later clues is the simple fact of f “following all the clues”. F followed all the clues, there is no other way. In taking two trips, that does not lead to his second trip going from say clue two or beyond. He could have said that his second trip was a little shorter, but he doesn’t, only says to follow all the clues. If he did drive to later clues, then his statement would be misleading and contradictive.
            It’s just the path he took, which contains clues along it’s way to the spot, f took no shortcut. This leads to him walking at the start. Theoretically, with f knowing the spot, he could have taken a helicopter to the spot, but that would be a different poem. If one way in, then there was no driving from a different direction or anything, it all leads to parking at the first clue, wwwh. That is the path he laid out for us in the poem.
            As far as very close proximity, along with your example, there is a scrapbook about pickles, his fishing lure, hanging from his wall. He says pickles doesn’t like others in his close proximity, I forget if he says very close proximity, think he does, anyway, you can measure that distance by how long pickles is. It’s around 2 1/2″ inches or so, I apologize, going by memory, but that is the distance. So he could be just saying there is no trail within 3 ” or so. So that statement really means nothing. And also, again, that 200′ and 500′ thing could be elevation, we don’t know, so take it for what it is.
            Also remember, the poem leads one to make an “X” on a map. Also, he has stated that he has not given us the answer to wwwh in a subtle way, and we know that there is nothing anywhere that says in an un-subtle way, hear is wwwh. So, IMO, there is no answer given by f on wwwh. WWWH has to be discovered, learned, found, IMO. Not saying you can’t solve some of the clues, just not the one’s in the ATF, (blaze, wwwh). But with the poem giving you an “X”, a path can be found. With some of the clues needing BotG, how could you solve for them if he doesn’t give the answer? And be confident? It comes from solving the poem, that’s why it is useless to try to solve later clues. If it was possible to solve clues in the poem, then you could, theoretically, solve later clues. It makes more sense, you won’t know the first clue until you have the chest, so you can’t be confident until you have the chest? Makes no sense in trying to solve for clues that you don’t know where they are. IMO, you will know your end spot, draw a path to get there, where you start is wwwh, follow the path to the chest, along the way finding clues that are referenced in the poem. If you know where home of Brown is, why worry about wwwh? If you know where the spot is, why worry about any of them, clues, just the last one.
            IMO, need to tie in all his comments, and your solve should confirm all of what he has said, without contradiction or anything misleading. If we could individually answer some of his clues, then why did he say in an ATF that he has not given the answer to some of the clues? The ATF about if he has given the answer to wwwh, hoB, the blaze in a subtle way in the book. Unless he is lying, or has given the answer in an un-subtle way, which is obvious. That is the ATF that ruins many clue by clue solves. It all boils down to interpretation, when he says he hasn’t given the answer, I believe him. Once you have the poem solved, best to look for the clues in the poem and marry them to a map, your path, IMO, using a map at the start will only get in your way.

    • JimB,

      Though I don’t post much here anymore, IMO, the correct answer to NFBTFTW is miles (smile) and the answer to the ‘secondary’ question ‘how far?’ is in My War for Me. Specifically, Nam.

  4. Gotta love chase related dreams. In this one, I found a rock wall that had a large split i in it that looked like a lighting bolt. Indulgence was in there. My husband told me that I woke up laughing.

    • Veronica – I happened to have had my first Chase-related dream earlier this year too! It was pretty ridiculous: a group of lambs hopping around on a mountainside and I found the chest nestled in a rock outcropping on the opposite side of a ridgeline from where a trail runs. I guess this means I’m officially obsessed now?

    • Dreams are so interesting. I have had several Chase dreams over the years. In one I had a couple years back, I remember diving down deep at the base of a great big waterfall looking for the treasure. When I came up it was the same waterfall but my surroundings had changed. There was a house sitting at the edge up on the bank. It was like a secret place for him to hideout from all of us overwhelming searchers I guess. I don’t really remember much but what I do remember is that after I had showed up, Forrest ended up just telling me something like “congratulations its over there on the counter”, all nonchalantly, like the treasure chest didn’t mean anything at all. I lost track of it but didn’t care and ended up hanging out there with all his family and friends. I want to also say that he invited me to dinner at his banquet table, but that would be a lie. True story.

      • I actually had my first dream that included Indulgence in it. Your dream sounds better though. I bet Forrest would have invited you to dinner.

        • Sometimes its just not in the cards. Thank you for the kind reply though. Your dream sounds more useful than mine.

      • Clee, that sounds like one of those great dreams that you wish hadn’t ended and you try to go back to sleep to recapture, but alas… it never works. Thank you for sharing !

  5. Begin it wwwh… , to me the starting point wil be a slap in the face to most, you will be starting at an intersection in your car, at a T with the area that warm water is to your back. The reason is “IT”, begin it where, your quest starts while facing it, but at the same time you are at the spot www stops (halts). Next clue you will take it, this would mean the first two clues can solved before you leave this spot. This is why searchers that figured out the first two clues and didn’t know, Forrest said they contacted him and told him where they were at. If two different people contacted him with the first clue and then the same two searchers contacting him agian after locating clue two just dosn’t make sence to me, plus “If you don’t have the first clue nailed down you might as well stay at home,” right? To me they named a spot, just one and was just lucky, but not. If they went to clue two and contacted Forrest but couldn’t figure out clue three this would mean “if you don’t have the first three clues nailed down you might as well stay at home.” Right? Sorry I got carried away, ok two clues while in one spot because your begining it at the end of clue one wwwh, and at the start of clue two, and take it in the canyon down. you know the next line this is why we are in a car or truck it’s to far too walk. that’s all I can say for now.

  6. Hi
    Does anyone know the Forrest qoute about the “Lead Searcher”? I know someone on here was claiming to be the “lead dog”. Does anyone know if he said this qoute after that was stated or before? Where did he state this? I’ve been trying to find this.

    • This was in reference to being on a trail –

      “If you ain’t the lead dog the scenery never changes”

      That the one?

      • Imo.. this is a big clue to one of the many uses of no place for the meek . No place for a sheep that just has a view of the meek butt in front of them … Leader of the pack and lone wolves only. If one just follow the status quo and goes through life digging into fake news and the propaganda fear-mongering. Doesn’t use his or hers own eyes mind along with the
        HUMAN heart . Those types will never solve Mr. Fenn’s brain teaser. That all just my opinion tho.

        • Pay tree, is this your first post?
          You sound familiar.
          Coffee shop to library to internet cafe?
          And thanks J.A.
          Maybe I just read some spins from this statement somewhere. I guess some people thought he was referring to
          Someone in the lead and people thought he was talking about them?
          I missed some things along the way.

  7. Sorry y’all guess my posts and your responses have now been deleted. Waiting on a response back from Dal. Something seems mighty fishy here…….

    • Just got told that it should have been posted elsewhere – and so everything was deleted. I simple heads up would have been the “polite” thing to do (IMO). I reposted my original post under “The Poem” but alas, we have lost all the later responses. Oh well, probably a fruitless endeavor anyway.

  8. Way off the subject right now but has anyone really taken a close look at the photo of Amelia Earhart by the plane in TFTW
    page 230..? The people in the background look very familiar, or is it just my imagination * who do you see…

    • Jake I know the phrase you are looking for and cant find it either. I think it is on MW. When I read it, it was immediately obvious (to me) why Forrest says not to search in the winter. It changed everything for me, truthfully. My take was that the TC is within an area where the roads are seasonally closed due to snow. Which reminds me of seasons, seasoning, and spices. I’ll look a little harder over at MW.

      • Yes Sandy! Thanks!
        I’m glad I’m not alone on this one.
        Yes, I think 2017 or 2018 as well.
        I had the same feeling “area where the roads are seasonally closed due to snow.” or wildlife protection.

    • hmmm, keep it up Jake. I like that comment. I don’t remember anything gate except in regards to his property, but gates and signs are a minor hint for me. actually, falls into 3rd clue area.

  9. Pdenver, anyone, … prior O&E thread…. RE: “Don’t make the alligator mad until you’ve crossed the river……..
    has anyone described the two arms of Hebgan as the jaws of the alligator? I keep relating to what might pass as a 13 year olds’ mnenomic devices (rules) that in adulthood might serve as metaphors.

    What explains that strange passage, and Beowulf ?

    • Hello OS2. I don’t recall if anyone compared the two arms of Hebgen Lake to that of an alligator’s jaw, but it seems it could work. Madison Arm looks more like the outline of an alligator in a calm state. The Arms could be compared to that of an old-fashioned can opener. The tail of an alligator while swimming forms meanders. Also, when one gets an alligator mad, they might hear a loud snap, (break/fault?). I know I won’t insult an alligator! Two arms/Arms may relate to time. These are some thoughts.

      • pdenver – Forrest worked on the Poem for about 15 years, before he hid the treasure when he was 79-80, right? And he thought he was born 100 years too late (paraphrasing).

        This YNP brochure was dated 1885 with “Alice in Wonderland” as the title:


        That’s Lewis Carroll’s book title with “The Crocodile” poem in it. And the Croc’s lower lip is on the YNP boundary.

        All IMO. But so awesome!

        If Tick Tock from “Peter Pan” tips over, he will swallow all of Forrest’s memories along that No Man’s Land section of the Madison, downstream from the Barns Holes to Baker’S Hole. I think that was a Clock in “Peter Pan”, right? He was one of the “Lost Boys”.

        • Hello Lisa. I concur it has been stated that it took Mr. Fenn to work on the poem, and has stated he felt he was born 100 years too late. The latter makes me wonder why he states 100 years. Open range? Simple suggestion of time passed, which may lead us to his memories of his travel to Yellowstone/West Yellowstone? The arms on a clock, pointing to Hebgen Lake’s Arms? Manifest Destiny/Indian Removal Act (May 26, 1830)? I’m just letting the mind flow with thoughts.

          Thank you for the link. I enjoyed it. A few coincidences to the story of “Peter Pan”.

    • Cross the Mad-ison at the ford….. I think there are some swampy places or rapid place that might be troublesome… So I thought maybe it was a Fenn family joke. I looked one time long ago, but never found an Amos n’ Andy link.

          • Hello OS2. Let me see if I can make some connection to Good Housekeeping Magazine. Good Housekeeping could refer to maids, and I think there’s an area in northern Montana which may suggest this. I found it on Google Earth a few years ago, and I haven’t found it since. Another idea for Good Housekeeping is a church. Magazines are delivered by mail carriers, which there is a story in the book about Mr. Fenn’s mother. Magazines may also refer to cartridges.

          • pdenver and OS2 – Or ‘male’ carriers of firearms, like Muskets, in the time of QE1. The saying, ‘lock, stock and barrel’ comes to mind.

            And, for that matter, so does, ‘hook, line and sinker’.

            You got me, Forrest, all this time. Why didn’t I think of all this sooner?

            You are the Master Joker of them all.

            But Robin Williams was really great as Peter Pan in “Hook”. And Robin was also a genius. And a Genie in “Aladin”…

          • Hello Lisa. Don’t tell Annie Oakley or Belle Starr, to name two, about male carriers.

    • OS2 and PD – at some point in the journey, Beowulf slays a dragon…(a mythical monster like a giant reptile) which reminds me of the poem that Forrest likes to quote – “How doth the little crocodile….” and now we segue into our alligator. Don’t we all have our dragons to slay?? Love these tangled webs.

      • Hello Sandy. Alligator, crocodile, lizard, salamander, axolotyl, may point to Axolotyl Lake.

        Another consideration for Beowulf might be a hero. There’s been several suggestions which may lead to this. Mr. Olds, and the heroes in the comic books, just to name a couple.

        • Maybe. There’s Axolotyl Lake just north of Hebgen… but south of Virginia City in the Gravelly range there’s a group of Axolotyl Lakes.

      • Sandy…. I’m sorry I wan’t clear… (brutal brevity – my fault). I was not referring to the epic poem but to a ‘not deliberately placed’ subtle hint of the kind that might also distract super-students off to far fields of inquiry, i.e., Lisa C’s forte.
        I wonder why FF would mention alligator & Beowulf at all. Just a memoir, good humor? Or something else? I think TTOTC is peppered with odd, vague, subtle references, which if taken together, might hint to the general search area. We forget how bewildered we were those first 5 years… and we still aren’t positive where it is.

        • A good hint is one that is dressed in meaningful or entertaining communication…. like the fox that dresses like the hound.

        • OS2 – You rang? About “Beowulf”?:

          Beowulf then tells Wiglaf to build a great cairn for his tomb that looks out over the sea which is now called Beowulf’s tower.

          Wiglaf is Beowulf’s ‘General’ or ‘First Officer’. And there is a ‘Beacon’ blaze in that Epic poem, also.

          Too far afield for you???

          • Yes. It’s too far afield.
            I was questioning the inclusion of the story in TFTW about FF’s pet gator, Beowulf. Was it a reinforcement of the alligator reference in TTOTC? It was an entertaining story…. a perfect opportunity for the Fox to casually drop another simple hint quite naturally. I prefer to think about the fox’s selections from the word buffet as he plated his paragraphs.

          • Hello OS2. Should the “plates” move, there will be a whole lot of shaking going on.

          • OS2 – I elaborated further on “Beowulf” and how it may relate to Forrest’s Poem, over at the bottom of the Poem thread. Where this discussion belongs.

  10. So, out of boredom I used a paraphrasing tool to take a fresh look at the poem and I thought I would share it . Here is the result:

    As I have gone alone in there

    Furthermore, with my fortunes striking,

    I can stay quiet where,

    Also, trace of wealth new and old.

    Start it where warm waters stop

    Also, bring it in the ravine down,

    Not far, yet too far to even consider walking.

    Put in underneath the home of Dark colored.

    From that point it’s no spot for the quiet,

    The end is regularly drawing near;

    There’ll be no oar up your rivulet,

    Simply substantial loads and water high.

    In the event that you’ve been shrewd and discovered the blast,

    Look rapidly down, your journey to stop,

    Be that as it may, delay inadequate with wonder look,

    Simply take the chest and go in harmony.

    So can any anyone explain why I should go

    What’s more, leave my trove for all to look for?

    The appropriate responses I definitely know,

    I’ve done it tired, and now I’m frail.

    So hear me all and listen great,

    Your exertion will merit the virus.

    In the event that you are daring and in the wood

    I give you title to the gold.

    Some parts seem comical, but then some make you say “hmmmmm…”

        • Oh c’mon – *everybody* makes decisions about the sense of the poem’s english.

          The most obvious example – can *anyone* here really execute the apparent instruction to “tarry scant with marvel gaze” without first figuring out what that means “in other words”?

          Trying to work out the sense of a poem’s sentences and the relationships between them is not messing with the poem. You can’t read a poem at all without doing it. Any poem, not just this one.

          Q – What does “where warm waters halt” mean?

          A – Don’t mess with the poem!

          It’s one of the oddest ‘rules’ in the game, based as it is on a throwaway line to dal taken completely out of context.

          Take Seeker’s reading –

          “Begin it when warm waters halt
          And take a look around . . . ”

          Completely messes with the poem, but that hardly disqualifies it as a way of looking at what the poem’s trying to tell us.

          (I don’t buy it, but that’s beside the point.)


    • If the poem took 15 years to construct in the first place a fairly random deconstruction like this doesn’t seem likely to yield results IMO. I’m not against non-literal interpretations, but they should acknowledge and respect the amount of effort and time that FF put into writing it, and not just change things willy-nilly. Random connections (sometimes leading to more levels of random connections, etc.) don’t seem like a useful strategy. This poem doesn’t reveal it’s secrets easily or quickly. All IMO.

      I’ve been thinking about the indications over the last year that there’s a lead dog, or someone who’s further along than the rest of us. But that person still seems to be stumped by something that Forrest sees as simple or obvious. I’m guessing that person isn’t lacking in imagination or intelligence (though his recent Q&A might suggest that their eyesight is suspect). So what is it going to take to solve the whole poem?

      • JW and all others,

        If a dollar bill is “found” on the counter of a convenience store, next to the cash register but just outside of the view of the store employee, who owns the dollar?

        Can it be freely picked up and kept by the “finder?”

        Are you obligated to ask the store employee?

        Is it stealing to “find it” and keep it?

        Does it belong to the store owner?

        What if it was a $100 bill? What if it was much, much, much more?

        • ken,
          Good answer.

          Ethical Dilemma,
          I’m not sure what you’re asking. I’m saying that the poem is difficult and won’t be solved by a lucky solver merely making the right random connections. You seem to be implying that it could be found lying around? Forrest said that no one is going to just stumble upon it so I’m not seeing the connection to a bill found laying on a counter.

          • I was asking for some conversation regarding – where folks draw the line on profiting at the expense of another? My point is that regardless of where the chest is discovered someone (government/individual/family/business/tribe/taxpayer, etc.) has at least a reasonable claim that they were victimized.

            I am suggesting that once the chest is discovered, reality will sink in and you will be forced to ask yourself, “Do I have the right to pick that up and carry it away?”

            I am suggesting that will be an ethical dilemma any moral person will be confronted with and is in fact an ethical dilemma that is continuing to keep the chest in place.

            An ethical searcher may find that to be the largest obstacle of all.

          • In the area that I’m searching the public agency that manages it has very clear lost and abandoned property laws that I’ve taken the time to read. If I find something I have to turn it into them and they hold it for 30 days (maybe 60, I don’t remember exactly), during which time they have to try to find the original owner. If the owner is found they are given the opportunity to reclaim it or relinquish their claim. If they relinquish their claim, or if the original owner isn’t found (not an issue in this case) the property is given to the finder. So I don’t see myself depriving this government agency of anything since they’ve spelled out exactly what should be done with found items.

            My dilemma would be that it seems like this treasure was in spirit given to everyone. So I would give most of it to charity, while keeping a modest amount for myself. This actually presents a larger dilemma since claiming the chest as personal property, then giving it to charity would still incur a tax burden on the finder. How to get around that is what I would spend my 30 days trying to figure out.

            I would only leave it in place, as you suggested an ethical searcher should, if I felt that Mr Fenn didn’t want the search to end. And if he indicated he still wanted to be involved in managing the hunt. If someone were to find it, leave it where it was, and assume the responsibility of managing the search for fairness and safety I think Mr Fenn would also approve. But that would be up to the individual, and for me I would choose not to assume that task.

            Looking back over what I’ve written is seems arrogant for me to have spent all this time thinking about what I’d do if I found it. I’m not the only one though, didn’t Forrest do this to foster some dreams?

        • EthicalDilemma,

          In the case of your convenience store heist example, the money on the counter is nothing similar to the treasure hidden in the Rockies.

          We are told by the owner of the treasure to find it out in the wilderness and keep it.

          The patron who spots cash or jewels or anything of any value anywhere within somebody else’s private property has no right at all to pinch it, I think.

          • Muset,
            Please see the post above. There is no land in America that -someone- does not claim to possess. Plenty of lands that someone might call “wilderness” but no land that remains unclaimed by a government, individual or other entity. Fenn may say “just take the chest” but that is easier said than actually done. IMHO.

          • Ethical Dilemma- taking the chest is reaally easy…if you use a camera.

            i think.

  11. I didn’t mean to offend with my up-thread post. I just thought it was interesting when I put a paraphrasing filter on it to see what alternate words would plug in and how they would translate. I am one of the biggest “poem purists” out there, but whom among us hasn’t looked into alternate word definitions in the poem? I’m sure there are a few words in the poem that have a double meaning, but what do I know?

  12. There are two things that recently puzzle me. Can anybody offer any insight on the following?
    First, it seems to me that when forrest speaks of the treasure chest, he committedly refers to the treasure chest.
    He doesnt seem to back and forth or interchangeably use the word ‘it’ or refer to the treasure chest as ‘it’ like he does in other instances.
    I have a theory on this but would like to hear another take if anybody has one.
    Also, i dont believe that the two trips in one afternoon were one with the chest and one with the contents. I also believe that these two tie together.
    Before offering up any discussion check out 11/2/13 moby dickens book shop q&a video excerpts. Particularly minute marks 3:42 & 11:04 and surrounding.
    Both places he catches himself. Of special interrest is “the weight of those…”

    • Badge R – Great observation! My response to you about “IT” vs. “the chest” is at the bottom of the Architecture of the Poem thread. Where this discussion belongs.

    • BadgeR… you may want to check out the interview with Richard Eeds 5/29/2015. Fenn specifically explains that one trip was for the chest and the other was for the contents because the combined weight was about 42 pounds. There is another specific comment where Fenn answers which was first and which was second.
      The other part you are talking about has been hashed over and some folks have intimated that there must be some motive for Fenn to be specific when he talks about the treasure chest vs. just referring to it as *it*. He has also referred to *it* as the “treasure” and “chest” individually in some instances… so that seems to put a wrinkle in any solid theory on that.
      The * poem* contains the words treasure and chest singularly as opposed to combined. The Chase bible(TTOTC) says on page 129…”So I decided to fill a treasure chest with gold and jewels, then secret it- …” and then describes the Romanesque Lock Box, ending with…”It was the perfect treasure chest.” After that the words are used singularly, in intermittent fashion as he finishes the “Gold and More” story.
      Personally, I do not see any tie-in to some defining reason to not referring to the treasure/chest, as *it*.

      • I’m pretty much in tight focus with ken on this one, BadgeR, and he’s covered the main points.

        From what you wrote I’m not understanding why these two things puzzle you, and/or what of significance you think could be hidden in there.


        • JAKe,
          Thank you for asking instead of shooting down a point that has yet to be made.
          Im thinking that once we arrive at the hidey spot, we should be looking for ‘it’ instead of the treasure chest.
          It is what the treasure chest is disguised as.
          Or hidden within.
          I think two trips were made because gold is heavy and forrest couldnt carry 42lbs plus the disguise.
          I know, 5/29/15 eeads, bblah, blah. Why was this not his story all along and the back to back stumbling (only 8 mins apart) and the story changes. Honest men are terrible liars. (thats funny, i like that)
          Several, or maybe its a few other random quotes that support this.
          Dont go where an 80 yo man couldnt carry 42lbs. Once asked why forrest thought the treasure hasnt been found yet, after asking for clarity, ‘why what’?
          He replies, because searchers havent discovered where ‘it’ is.
          Walked right past it…
          I wonder why sage says to not try to carry the treasure home in one trip. In mid winter ive carried a full 20lb propane tank and torch in addition to metal detector, water, binoculars and more.
          I think 42 lbs would not be a problem for most. But twice that?
          Little bit.
          And the kicker…something more than merely hiding the treasure chest made him laugh out loud.


      • I was actually waiting for someone to notice that both times Fenn used *treasure chest* in the story “Gold and More”… he used the word *it*.

        • Here is another one Ken:

          “If you find the treasure please keep it in a vault for thirty days while you think. f”

          • Mark… thanks… there are oodles of others too. In simplifying things for myself after what seems like a hazy crazy journey, pretty much anything Fenn has said outside of TTOTC book has become an *either/or* choice in my book. Of course there are numerous safety facts he has shared and some other basic tidbits that can help disprove going down the wrong path. Aside from that…I’m sticking with his “good research materials” advice and moving forward. Keep on keeping on Mark…

    • Badge R-
      what IF….
      treasure chest=bronze box. (not treasure)
      “it” =treasure. (there is a difference)
      treasure=our national parks north of santa fe.
      THEN,you already own the treasure GOTO and need only to photograph “it”. (take)
      boolean expression, simple math.

      i think.

  13. Hi All;

    Just checking in. All is good. Am now in Roswell, NM. Will visit my step son today, and my son in Las Cruces (He is on a business trip to White Sands) Saturday – Then we head north on Sunday. STAY SAFE all


  14. Has anyone else come across a solve that matches the exact words in the poem to the same named places on a map for first 5 clues”2 miles”. But it make no sense outside of that.

    • To my uncertain knowledge, the short answer is NO. The poem seems to use descriptions of places geographically. Double, even triple entendres, suggest place names. So simple and yet…..

  15. I just saw this!
    The Travel Channel is having a sweepstakes that could fund your search in Wyoming. I know it is a long shot, but it would be great to see one of our fellow searchers win the $10,000. You have to answer a trivia question each day on Wyoming to enter.
    Wyoming Adventure Giveaway. Good luck!

  16. The first Saturday in June is National Trails Day. The American Hiking Society is sponsoring events around the country…check it out and get involved. Have a good one…

  17. jim rice – Thank you for that great video with the daughter of Robin Olds presenting about her book. A civilian illustrator, named Jim Laurier, was mentioned in one of the photos. Which reminded me to go look for ‘JM’ from that pen & ink drawing on page 99 of TTOTC. I found a Wikipedia page with a list of civilian illustrators and the years they served, but those listed for 1968 didn’t match. One of those people, or others on the list, could be a good resource, though.

    This morning, Jim Milich popped up on my search result:


    There are great pics under ‘Miscellaneous’ of the Rockwell Commander and the Piper Malibu, Forrest. The site reminds me of the great drawings I saw in “Jet Fighters Inside Out” by Jim Winchester. That book had great schematics and descriptions.

    I will add the link next for that Wikipedia list of Civilian Artists in Vietnam below, in case anyone wants to chase this one down.

    • Lisa;

      Glad you liked the Olds video. I hope other people also enjoyed her work.

      Thanks for your tags, above and below.

  18. All,

    I have a question. For some reason I feel like I read a Fenn quote where he said something along the lines of someone emailed him a photo of the correct location and then he never heard from him again. Is this true or have I fabricated it along the way?

      • Hey-O, Sean –

        As Jake said, he’s mentioned at least once that people have sent him pictures of where they’ve been and he’s recognized spot(s?) near clue location(s).

        Then there’s the exchange with Rudy Maxa on Rudy’s Travel Show (17 July 2016), that *kinda* syncs up with your scenario.

        Maxa tells ff that he got an e-mail from a guy who’d heard ff was gonna be on the show. He said he knew where the treasure was, and was going out to dig it up, so Rudy might like to have him on the show with ff.

        MAXA – I said ‘listen, if you really think you’ve found it, send me a photograph of it. If Major Fenn validates it, we’ll have you on the show next week.’

        FENN – Well, you’ll never hear from him again.



        • Looking at FF’s close to within 200-500 ft comments about searchers, it seems like those searchers were not actually searching at that location. Might of just been a side trip . Could be why they “didn’t know it”. This has been hypothesized before, just restating it.

          I dunno, just an idea.IMO.

          • That 500′ comment by Fenn is a killer, literally.
            It’s like he is saying he was going to kill himself within 500′ of where “lots” of people have been.

            I’m not sure what to think. Is his statement(s) stretched or is the treasure actually within 500 ft of where lots of people have been?

  19. Well Jake, the only thing I know for sure is that it wasn’t me lol. I think we all create , to some degree, our own perceived “FF Profile” . He will not say anything to assist a searcher individually, but only collectively in what he says and writes. Any such assists are really just another riddle, just as difficult to perceive and decipher much like his poem is.

    So, in my opinion ,at the moment, I think those by feet statements were because of where people said they were during their whole trip-all the places they were on their trip vacation/search. I think these statements were safe to say for him because no one actually said the correct first clues for where and why they were actually there- just that they were there as an inclusive to their trip . He was receiving 20,000 emails et al. Therefore, he wasn’t giving anyone assistance by saying what he said.

    Though, there was/is a point he makes in the saying of it and not adding much to that ever since.

    The point remains the same today as it was back then. Just as many have been that close since, maybe every year; as have been that close back then ,but didn’t know it.

    Who knows, but that’s all I can reason.


    • Maybe what Forrest considers Treasure is not the box of gold trinkets… I think I have heard him say something like that a few times. Finding the things to put in the box was the treasure for Forrest .. or something like that. So maybe when he referring to being within ‘500 ft. So maybe the treasure he speaks of is something really unrelated or just a treasured LOcation

      • Patriot, I think he’s being rather specific about being that close to the chest when he said that because that is what he said…right? IMO .

      • It’s important to remember that the chest is full of gold and jewels. But what Forrest considers “treasure” is far different. A medal, given to him by the South Vietnamese, a pebble that fell from the sky when a B-52 bombed near the place he was rescued in Laos, a $2.00 bill Peggy’s Mom would take and return to Forrest, an arrowhead he found when he was very young. A belt containing a turquoise buckle that has been worn for many years. Lastly, is one of these “treasures bold”, a silver bracelet, in the wrong chest?

        “My treasures bold” could be different than “my trove”. I can’t pretend I know how they are different, but I have wondered about it.
        Do we need to find out what “my treasures bold” are before we can understand and locate “my trove”?

        I simply throw this out there for fun. Over three years I have thought in many different directions. Happy hunting!

    • That’s pretty good reasoning to me Alsetenash,
      I do agree on all points you said which is rare.

      “their whole trip-all the places they were on their trip vacation/search”
      Yes, it was probably a trip where they were either just sightseeing for several days but maybe also searching for several days and that would explain figuring the 1st 2 clues or the first and the going by the treasure and I suspect it was on different days.

      Going back to the 200′- 500′ comment(s).
      Yes, we have to also interpret the ATF statements correctly and the “lots” statement has me believing the treasure is within 500′ of a frequented place by people even though when he walked back to his sedan he said no one was around and he loudly spoke out laughing at what he did (paraphrasing).

      Could the place where he parked his vehicle be the same place 500′ away?
      It seems we are left with more questions everytime he said something. LOL

        • OK Alsetenash and Michael,
          I appreciate the feedback and it certainly seems the 500′ distance away from the treasure may be a parking place, attraction area like a waterfall or overlook or hot spring etc.., a creek where fisherman frequent, not a dry creek, a trail that is frequented, gravel road?, trailhead sign or sign, split trail where they go off into 2 different directions, etc…

          At least I was able to eliminate a dry creek.

  20. Proximity. a noun
    nearness in space, time, or relationship. IF Forrest uses the 500′ like he may use “not far, but too far tow walk” then it could meet the same criteria IMO of WWWH, imagine that people go by it at the end of a runway, say in a mountain airport, they certainly would not smell someone’s bones decaying say a mile or two away, they don’t open the windows of the plane to sniff for remains and look for a tc hidden in the wood below them, but still they went 200′ or 500′ from it….right?

    Why do we have to walk less than several miles if we can just pass or be within 200′ or 500′, and no human trail is nearby? Do we actually understand what a human trail is? I think that is a sticky wicket. Is a runway a human trail?

    How tall is a mountain? Forrest has defined 10.200′ as the upper limit and it is near some shorty up north somewhere, by shorty I mean he stated, near a mountaintop? Near is relative, but even in vague terms probably not much over 10,200 IMO. Say less than 11,000′

    Can anyone actually state out loud why the first stanza does not hint at or foreshadow the first clue WWWH or many other clues, am I dreaming? Cold it be so easy to see….using the first stanza, now what; on to clue 9 which by the way ff inferred google earth won’t help us because it does not go down that far (paraphrase) now what does go down far mean…lack of focus or resolution or hidden by time, it seems obvious to me time has obscured it somewhat like the image or walls of an ancient pueblo.



    • My feeling is that the blaze is some ancient place that ff once excavated I am putting all my marbles in that as the final clue.. Wise you must be to see the true blaze, but it is IMO a clearer now.

      We shall see in Fennboree if this theory is correct.


    • Tom T. To my understanding, FF meant the chest can’t be seen via GE because it doesn’t go down far enough. Unless you think the last of the 9 clues is the chest?

      I am one that does not think the first stanza is a pre-description of the first clue -wwwh. The first stanza is the begining of the poem. Though, I think that stanza has zero a shadow towards the first clue or any of the clues. First part of the first stanza is the begining of his story of what he was doing and the second part is what is forthcoming from him continuing with the story. The last stanza concludes the story.

      To agree or disagree in this aspect is nothing more than an infertile vine that will never hear the hum of such a bird, until the title of truth is in hand. No more likely than a dove will nest on the moon. Who knows? It’s good to be confident, non the matter. We work with our own established and decided patterns.

      In the RM’s, trees don’t grow much beyond 11,000 feet.

      Maybe I will be at Fennboree but it doesn’t look too likely I will be able to at the present .

      IMO .

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