VOA Unedited Interview…



by DAL


In September I visited with Forrest while a Voice of America film crew recorded an interview about the treasure hunt with him. I asked the crew and Forrest if I could audio record the interview and post it on the blog. The crew and Forrest agreed.

My interest was in recording the entire interview because we rarely…if ever… get a chance to hear parts of these interviews that are not used in the final stories. Reporters often have different priorities when they edit the story than those of us searching for the chest might have.


Forrest with Penelope the reporter


Mike the cameraman


Forrest by his army ammunition wagon on the Santa Fe Trail which goes through his yard

So here is a complete interview…beginning with the first question by Penelope, the VOA reporter and ending some 28 minutes later with Forrest reading his poem. I did cut out a minute or so of silence near the very end…just before the poem is read because it took us awhile to locate a copy of the poem for Forrest to read…other than that minor edit…this is a continuous recording and includes many things said by Forrest that did not make it into the short finished stories that appeared on the VOA website.

The voices you hear on this recording include:
Penelope, VOA Reporter
Mike, VOA Cameraman

Just a technical note…
I broke the interview into 4 parts to make the file sizes 2mb or less so that my WordPress server would accommodate them. There is no missing information at the breaks. Where one stops is exactly where the next begins. Each segment is aprox 7 mins in length depending on a nearby convenient breaking point.

Part One


Part Two


Part Three


Part Four





180 thoughts on “VOA Unedited Interview…

  1. I think we’ll all get a little help from this interview…
    There are several clarifying points made by Forrest. My favorite point is in Part Three where Forrest is talking about the ninth clue. I think you will find that helpful as well.

    • sure would like to be standing where the ninth clue is. do i hear a Amen?. good night to all be safe out there thanks for sharing this.

    • Turquoise (bracelet), “mine”? A signature moment? “The author signing books at the turquoise mine”? Forrest, I don’t know how you manage to keep it up but you crack me up. I didn’t know the story about your granddaughter. I’m sorry she was exposed to that. Best, John

    • Dal, thanks for this. I’m interested in the photos here. Did you choose these, or did Forrest?


  2. Part 3 – “When you get to the last clue, look down because that’s where the treasure chest is.”

    Does this confirm that the blaze/look quickly down is the last clue?

    I think so.

    • I don’t think it does. I feel like I’m really missing something.

      1) We shouldn’t discount the words that are in the poem because only a few are not significant (according to F-speak somewhere in history).
      2) And yet, the first clue is at the start of the SECOND stanza, while your theory leaves another 2.5 stanzas stranded. I don’t buy it that the first stanza is just supposed to get us to warm waters halt where we begin, otherwise the first stanza would be the first clue. If we’re supposed to read it over and over, I feel like maybe we’re looping through the poem somehow, but I don’t know how or why.
      3) And I see signs in various places that the word “clue” may not even be what we are hearing / reading, like how a ball of string is coincidentally a “clew”, or a nail (as in “really have nail it down”) is a “clou”.
      4) And when he talks about the “edges”, this implies maybe there’s a center that the edges have to surround, according the definition of “edge”. So maybe our clue path takes in a circle and draws the edges, where the center is the ninth clue, no looping required?
      5) And if we solve the ninth clue, we are to “look down because we’ll be standing next to it”. I don’t think this has anything to do with “look quickly down”, or if it does, it seemingly requires rearranging (“messing with”) the poem in a way I’m not ready to take on.

    • If line #1 of Stanza #2 is where we “begin” And we “cease” at the end of the second line of Stanza #4 – That is a total of only 10 lines out of 24 – That’s not even 50% of the poem.

      Forrest says on: http://www.ontheroadwithcharlie.org/podcast/
      (30:08) on (5/8/2017)

      “But, I said before, that that poem was really written by an architect, every word is placed in there strategically, and you can’t ignore any of the nouns in the poem.” f Sounds like good advice to me!

      One MAY find the blaze, and look quickly down (as Forrest has said), but even though the poem says, “your quest to cease, …” there is no period at the end of this line. One must consider AT LEAST the next two lines just to complete Forrest’s thought. And, it is my opinion that one must complete the remainder of the poem if they are to receive “title to the gold.”

      “When you get to the last clue, look down because that’s where the treasure chest is.” I agree, when you get TO THE LAST CLUE – look down because that is where the treasure chest is.

      In my solve, once I find the blaze, I DO have to look down, and find a tarry scant, and marvelous “something”, and I have to then go to a certain spot where I will find other “somethings” that lead me to a spot where I have to “Look down” on Indulgence… but that is just me and MY solve – JMO – JDA

  3. Thanks for posting this, Dal. It confirms the purpose of the chase as being the experience and wonder for life.

    (BTW, that picture of the boulders I’m posting is just typical of the sort of hiding place that I look for. This picture just happens to be in Norway. But, it does have a nice blaze.)

  4. Can I just say Forrest is one passionate, tenacious, won’t-take-no-for-an-answer mf’er?! I love this man’s refusal to allow the status quo to swallow him whole. He knows The Edge is the only place life is truIy LIVED. It’s the only waterfront real estate. All other lots lack an inspiring view. “Settle” may be the only word remiss in ff’s dictionary. And just for the record, despite my name, I’m not typically one to get campy and cheerleaderish, generally speaking.

    • So how many think “chronological” means something related to dates etched into rocks vs. plain ol sequential in stanza order?

      • I don’t know how to get from that to ‘dates etched into rocks’ but I think he was talking about the nine clues alone. Start with warm waters halt and one leads to the next until the 9th clue. He has said consecutive, contiguos and now chronological.

        All are associated with ‘sequence’ and it seems that the solving of each clue is fully dependent on the previous one being correctly solved as well. There is also the possibility that the chronological order of the clues is different from the physical order in which they appear in the poem. Maybe why he said ‘no one has given me the clues in the correct order’.

        • Hmmm… Well… to tell you means you wish to wind your way through an interesting trail. If you want to get to dates etched into rocks…

          1) have a look at the thing he’s leaning against in the photo of this post. It’s a wagon, much like the kind that was used to cross Wyoming back in the day when Wyoming was called Oregon (also have a look at some of the people who have tried to define the etymology of the word “Oregon”, and see if any interesting coincidences come up, like a similarity to a quoted poet named T.S. Eliot).
          2) have a look at the definition of “chase”, as in to “chase” one’s name and date into a rock.
          3) have a look at the geography of these places, like a feature across the southern part of Wyoming called “the Gangplank”, and see if this place is also a “really big deal”, where the word “deal” has interesting definitions… but if almost 80 has anything coincidental about this same place across southern Wyoming, it may be useful.
          4) have a look at the poem where he mentions “so why is it that I must go” and see if it sounds like “So. WY is it that I must go”.
          5) have a look at several locations around Wyoming where people etched, a lot, like a lot lot…
          6) does any one of these places with etched names have a place name like Warm Springs, a rest spot where folks might have “washed their clothes” in something less than a flying washing machine? Is there a Warm Springs Canyon right next to it?
          7) If I had a nice fawn-colored Guernsey cow, would I have a cow that is brownish?
          8) If I’m walking Nine Miles (Station), isn’t that a bit too far to walk to the next set of etched years at Register Cliff?
          9) If I’m dancing with the millennia, might I try to “sway” or perhaps “rock” with a f* ton of years etched around me, and while I am feeling the importance of Independence?
          10) but what’s in a Name if not a Twig or switch? Maybe a Bridger to jump off?
          472) I don’t know if La Barge is in the wood because barge = “bark” in ancient times, but it sure is weird.

  5. Thanks Dal for having recorded this interview. I love hearing Forrest talk about the poem, the treasure, and why he wrote the poem.

    So, it is deliberately hard to find, but not impossible. This seems to imply that just “look(ing) quickly down” may not be as simple as some believe it is.

    Thanks again Dal – JDA

    • It may be that simple but you have to be standing in exactly the right spot. “Deliberately hard to find” could refer to the entire poem, not just the last clue.

      • Good point. I think lots of people are over complicating this thing. Sure the words probably have multiple meanings, but it can’t be too complicated if you can follow the poem’s directions like a map. In my opinion the first thing to do is to just go on google maps and search for locations that could have to do with the chase.

  6. Forrest has been interviewed…what? two hundred times over the past nine years??
    Imagine the hints he’s probably given out that we never heard…
    I’m sure it’s concerning for him…he remembers saying all these things, making all these points, but so few of them get to be heard by us…the rest are on the cutting room floor…never to be appreciated by anyone…

    • Thank you Dal. You’re a good guy to do so much for the chase community. It was a rare treat to hear Forrest’s interview in its entirety.

      • 42 – Heare, Heare! Thank you, Dal! This has been my favorite interview posting by you on your site to date. It was a perfect idea for you to record this important interview with Forrest in its entirety. And dividing the 28 minutes into 7 minute segments was really useful for me to listen carefully and to analyze Forrest’s answers.

        I always love to hear when Forrest says he ‘loves’ something. Like in Part Two, when he mentioned that he loved to see what turned up in the anthills of San Lazaro Pueblo. He mentioned tunelling. I witnessed the same phenomena in the mole hill I used my forearms to excavate at my hidey spot out Baker’S Hole. How exciting that was! I didn’t love how tired I was, after, when I had to do the return crossing to reach the opposite shore of the Madison River. And I didn’t love the water that seeped into the bottom of the hole on that early Spring day. And I didn’t love having dirt caked under my fingernails for days. And I didn’t love not bringing the bronze chest and its contents back in the two backpacks we were carrying.

        Also in Part Two, Forrest mentioned always looking at the ground, with his anticipations on the horizon. I do the same. To stay in hope for my future, even as I am looking at the usually meager options laid at my feet by the Universe. Except when I found a 2.67 carat high quality diamond on the sidewalk, at night, on the Main Street in town here. That I waited several months to sell at the right price. And except when I happened to find The Chase on a news program I didn’t ever watch, back in late February of 2013. I attribute these two fortunate events to having saved my life. Really, Forrest. You mentioned hope. My church is here, in the mountains, also. And I have no intention of leaving. Thank you again for helping me to have the strength to endure. For several years now.

    • after many great days searching and analyzing and peering through watering eyes nodding off to sleep at times i just cleared my mind and wrote what seemed simple:
      From Wherever You Begin (WWWH)
      Go Down a Canyon
      It is too far to walk
      to get to the HOB
      The HOB is no place for the meek
      Then end is close or on the left
      No paddling up
      Heavy Loads and Water high (you are still low having gone down)
      Find Blaze
      Look Down.

      It seems to me once you find HOB you are really close.

  7. I am hard of hearing, so unless I see it in text , I cannot follow what is said.

  8. Mr Fenn says more than what you want to hear. We’re all concerned about the treasure… that’s why weee here but when he says… (The answer is) “Your life was giving to you… make be sure that you use it properly.”

    THAT alone tells you what kind of man (person) Mr. Fenn really is.

  9. Thank you for posting this Dal. You’re providing a great service to the search community.

    • Great interview! My favorite part was when Forrest said he never broke any laws but sure as hell stretched a few! That cracked me up!!


    • FD;

      When Forrest first said that clue #1 was the first line of Stanza #2 – Didn’t that end the 9 sentences = nine clues? I know it did for me. If the clues are consecutive, and clue #1 starts at sentence #2 – Seems dead to me – JDA

  10. Perfect poem. Forrest you are my knight in shining armor. Do like that saying? 😉

  11. Thanks Dal. I’d be interested if you noticed if Forrest displayed any body language when he mentioned looking quickly down. Did he look down towards his feet, or far away and down?

      • Dal maybe sometime you could ask Forrest how He feels reading that poem out loud when he knows exactly where it leads one. Does he get chills or does he visualize the journey he made and does he ever think he could change the poem in any way if he did it again? ‘Knowing the Answer’ stanza is important. F is asking everyone a question – Does anyone know the answer he is asking? The poem is challenging us.

  12. I have this fantasy that where the treasure is located is near a waterfall with lots of trees in the area. That the blaze appears when the sun reaches a certain angle with the waterfall a rainbow appears and one end of the waterfall points down to where the treasure is located on the ground between evergreen trees. I think I recall FF saying something like finding the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

  13. People hear what they want to hear and interpret the rest however it suits themselves. But I think we can all agree that the chest is below eye-level once the searcher is stood at the last clue.

    Thanks Dal.

    • Not sure about that considering the last words before you’ve been wise and found the blaze are “water HIGH”.
      You could be looking high, therefore the blaze may be above you.
      It’s in the poem.

      • Sure, the blaze is above my own water high spot. But if the blaze is the ninth clue, the chest is down from that (as described in the poem); and if the blaze is not the ninth clue, the chest is still down from whatever is the ninth clue, IMO.

        Cheers Jake.

        • Got it!
          Took a second look. I was looking too quickly before.
          Makes sense. “stood at” – the blaze.
          Treasure below blaze.

        • And, I also think we have some solid clues in the poem (not places but maybe) where we have confirmation trickled out through the years.
          So, it’s not “all or nothing” as JDA stated. We do have something to hang our hats on.

          I call it progress and some that do not have those phrases or words in the poem as clues are far behind those that do.

          • Ego is something we either protect or risk.

            Experience teaches us the consequences of our actions.

            And somewhere in the base of our brain stem lurks that decision-maker which sets it all in motion..

      • Jake Faulker.
        In my solve there is a distinct looking Bathtub. It is High on face of a mountain. Water high..what is in a bathtub? Water. Also corresponds to Menchen, sp, who authored the bathtub hoax and was mentioned in scrapbook 205?
        The Goat bronze that Forrest made correlates to “looking up to see the mountain goats” and you will see the bathtub, blaze.
        Some people seem to think you have to climb high or look down at what the goats see, I think it’s just a landmark that tells you you are in the correct spot.

      • what is the significance of ‘being wise’ to finding a Blaze? Do you really have to be wise to follow the clues?

  14. Thank you Dal for posting this.

    Can we get the exact date of the interview for “Good journalism” sake?

    I think it’s fair to know.

    Thank you.

  15. Thank you Dal. Once again your generosity and efforts enrich us all. I am a poor hunter and you are a rich educator. You give us hope in our quest.
    Rick (lasttosearch) Painter

  16. The clues are “chronological”. Past, present and future tense define the order of the clues. So when Forrest says “if you’ve been wise”, that’s a past tense reference after several present tense references such as “begin it” and “take it” and “the end is ever…”. To me, this proves what I’ve believed all along – that the blaze cannot possibly be the 9th and final clue. Yes of course the clues are in order. They are in the order of when they MUST be solved. That’s why it’s essential to find the blaze on Google Earth before you drive your Vespa all the way to southern Wyoming.

  17. As a 9 sentences, 9 clues kind of guy. I have to admit I have been absolutely totally wrong based on Fenn’s latest words. I am out. Good luck all.

    • You don’t have to be out.
      Just relearn how to ride the bike, the right straightforward way again, as you did before this chase.

    • I respect one that can admit something like this. Flexibility is a good thing. Hopefully it will serve you well.

      We’ll see how other 9 sentences are the 9 clues proponents fare. Anyone heard from Seannm lately?

    • Dont let the one and only 9 letter word in the 9 sentence, 9 clue poem – ‘Treasures’ mess with your mind either 😉

  18. Hi Dal: in part 1 of the audio, barely into the second minute, I think Forrest conflates the number of gold coins (265) with the number of rubies. Most of the time in the past he has only said there are hundreds of rubies; on one early occasion I think he consulted a list and said there were 254. In another interview he said 280. But I think he’s been pretty consistent about 265 for the coins.

  19. Thank you Forrest and Dal. Gonna be one hell of a Spring. Got a nice long winter ahead and hopefully many more scrapbooks. Be safe ya’all

  20. Yeah, this new poem reading at the end of the interview, is the best I’ve heard.
    I wonder how he follows his clues, as he reads his riddle.
    Nine spoken phrases, not nine sentences?

  21. Thank you Dal for recording this and sharing it with the community! Thank you Forrest for being such a good sport and continuing to share your time with us! I believe eventually some team is going to cross the Rubicon and find your trove! Until that time I hope everyone continues to relish the TTOTC! It’s been a blessing and a gift and sometimes a thorn, but I’m working on getting past that part LOL!

  22. Thanks Dal, forrest…..
    Wow! what a pleasant surprise. This is a game-changer. This will definitely light a new fire in the Search, it has for me.
    I’m totally 100% pumped again. Am I consumed, u-bet I am…….

  23. all IMO, obviously:
    1. Structure == building 6:52 in first section. “not hidden around any buildings” I think we can safely conclude a hole with a rock over it is not a structure.
    2. Part 3 0:45 “The clues are chronological after that. One leads to the other leads to another” I think the second sentence indicates he is just saying they are contiguous, as he has said before. I don’t see a new “chronological time twist”
    3. Part 3 1:00, 9th clue is surely the blaze. I think that is now a non-issue. (” when you get to the 9th clue look down because you are where the treasure chest is”). That means each line of the poem after BIWWWH is a clue.
    4. When asked about the depth of the clues (part 1 6:20), he responded with comments about previous ATF’s, leading me to believe the clues are not as complicated as many presume (he doesn’t seem to think of the poem in that way. After all, we now know “it’s not complicated”). Think of all the complex interpretations of Tarry Scant. Those were certainly shown as totally wrong headed during the aftermath of this interview.

    As a whole it is certainly seems to be a validation of the KISS contingent (and chairman Jake Faulker).
    I wish there has been some tidbits regarding home of Brown.


    • I agree completely. 9 lines, 9 clues from Begin..

      I heard two big hints/confirmers for my solve… but don’t we all.

      I think a lot of people will be disheartened today… but we now know the rules of the game.

      Starts at Begin, nine lines, a clue a piece.

      It’s a riddle.

      The first line alone isn’t enough to solve the first clue location.. so there’s something else. Some mussing ingredient/s.

      The clues are in order, with no gaps. Solve each clue (riddle) to get the next location, starting at the answer/location to clue 1.

      You can’t jump in to location 2 onwards, you have to be led there (so no Brown canyon, Brown Mountain…).

      The game’s rules are now 100% clear.

      Don’t be disheartened.

      • Hi Jono Jones: I agree with much of what you’ve posted. Though I don’t think you can just end with the word “blaze” on line 13 because that line doesn’t include the instructions for what to do with it. At the very least you need the “look quickly down” on line 14.

        I take it you believe the 2nd stanza contains four clues based on your post, and I’m with you on that score. I’ve occasionally pondered that there might be five clues in that stanza since I don’t believe home of Brown is especially close to the location indicated by “Put in below the home of Brown.” But I decided against it because of what we know about WWWH. “Home of Brown” is a place, but that’s not the entire clue, just as WWWH isn’t the entire clue.

      • it seem clear that WWWH is High
        In the canyon down is Low
        To far to walk to HOB
        HOB no place for meek
        End is near or on left
        No paddling Up
        Look Up to see Blaze
        Look Down to see Treasure

        The distance of your HOB is probably 7 – 10 miles from WWWH

      • FD: “use a non complicated hoB”,

        that would mean the “several” people who have figured out wwwh, (although they did not know it) were completely inept at a simple HOB.

        because we also know that none of those people mentioned the correct HOB to ff.

        • Yes, a complicated hoB could be considered one that is akin to grasping at straws.

          I was thinking an example of a non complicated hoB would be one that was used for a previous clue solve (known or not).

          We weren’t told that any of the “several” people who have figured out wwwh tried that approach. Just that they went by (walked or whatever) the other clues.

          • Hi FD,
            It’s true, Forrest one time said:
            “I know a few have identified the first two clues. Although others were at the starting point I think their arrival was an aberration and they were oblivious to its connection with the poem.”
            “I know of a few searchers who have been reasonably close to the treasure puttputt, but there is no indication that they knew it. No one has given me the correct solve past the first two clues. f”
            If first 2 clues are: 1) BIWWWH 2) ATIITCD nobody even identified next one:
            Not far, but too far to walk. (possible #3)
            Put in below the home of Brown. (possible #4)

            Q: Last month, you indicated that still nobody has correctly solved beyond the first two clues. Is this correct? Still nobody has solved beyond the first two clues?
            FF: Very few people tell me exactly where they are searching so there is no way for me to know. Some searchers have been within 200 feet.”
            We don’t have direct answer here about solving clues number #3-4 but even without solving them some searchers were within 200 feet from TC. How it is possible? Did they just accidentally stop at correct parking lot and did fast search around with purpose to find the hoB?

        • Yeah — for example i had this one solve where i started at the Ranger station (west yellowstone) at the Madison / Firehole river and went into Firehole canyon. I took my jeep towards Firehole canyon falls. Shortly after turning off onto the road to the falls i noticed a Brown Forestry Building on my left side of the road. (visible on google earth). So i stopped and walked down to the Firehole river and then proceeded along the river banks towards the falls. I found 2 shallow ‘caves’ which had it not been August i suspect those caves had some river water in them – and turned over every rock in the floor of the cave but nothing. Seemed to fit the clues. One of the caves was smaller than the other and being alone i didn’t feel safe about going to far into it but i did take some video and when i get to the airport i notice a rock on the floor way back in there with what appears white letters on it. (i have the photos). The last 3 letters are definitely ‘old’ not sure what the first letters are. Anyway seemed too easy to find – maybe lucky that time of year but I’ve since moved on to NM because of logical reasons

      • Here is an example of a difficult HOB but not complicated. Difficult because it can’t be seen from Google maps but not complicated because no ciphers are needed or any other historical knowledge.

        The image below is a precipitator that fell through the ice at Kintla Lake in the early 1900’s. It was just left there to rust.
        I couldn’t see this on Google maps but came across a picture of it when searching Kintla Lake.

        I could imagine the Fenn family taking a few trips to northern Glacier National Park and seeing this along the lake edge. This precipitaor is rusty brown and this is it’s home.

        My “Put in” would be to exit the lake from a canoe just past this location. There is a campground near the precipitator so it’s possible for someone to come across it.

        This solve didn’t pan out. (no gold rush pun intended)



        • Well, I learned something new today. I would have never guessed what use that thing had – JDA

    • Hi meBigGuy: agree with your #1 and #2, but not your #3:

      “One leads to the other leads to another and … when you get to the ninth clue, look down because you’re where the treasure chest is.”

      He says ninth clue, he doesn’t say blaze. You and others are ~inferring~ blaze because of “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, look quickly down your quest to cease.” But that isn’t the only possibility. Down from the blaze and down from the 9th clue aren’t necessarily the same thing.

      • We know it’s not the only possibility. But, is it one of the more reasonable possibilities?

        Some prbly tank it higher compared to other possibilities if the other possibilities are more complicated in comparison.

        Same thing like how tarry scant played out. Some inferred the correct interpretation before f provided it. Same thing with some correctly inferring that biwwwh is the first clue before f confirmed that.

        • *tank it higher/like it better

          I was watching the Seahawks while typing that mess.

      • When are you folks going to get that the last clue is the blaze?
        I’m not sure why Fenn even speaks anymore cause most of you don’t believe what he says. Why even bother looking for his treasure?

        • Jake: you’re entitled to your opinion, but that’s all that it is. Since you don’t know what the blaze is, I think it’s presumptuous to assume that its identity alone is the sum and substance of that clue — regardless of whether it happens to be the 9th clue.

          You cannot point to a single statement, or collection of statements, that unambiguously identifies the blaze as the 9th clue. I have a database of every comment Forrest has made about the blaze, and not once does he say which clue it is.

          • Even the poem states the blaze as the last clue.
            What more do you need?
            Never mind what the blaze is in geography, know what the last clue is in the poem and that is the blaze.

          • No Jake, the poem says no such thing. You are INTERPRETING it that way, probably because of the phrase “your quest to cease”.

          • “You cannot point to a single statement, or collection of statements, that unambiguously identifies the blaze as the 9th clue.”

            Great, we didn’t have that either for BIWWWH but many searchers still figured out that it was the first clue.

            That means they didn’t need their hand held by f. I’m ok being presumptuous sometimes.

          • Hi FD: regarding WWWH, sure: it’s the first clue. But it is still unsolvable in isolation. Forrest has been unambiguous about that. Therefore anyone who thinks they have the answer to WWWH based solely on the line “Begin it where warm waters halt” is flat out wrong because a critical element/ingredient is missing. (And no, it isn’t the “River Bathing is Best” story: that, too, is refuted by statements Forrest has made.)

          • Ummm, Zap…I know that wwwh is unsolvable in isolation because of missing ingredients. I’m the one that first pointed that out in regards to Crysty’s theory for her wwwh.

            But, that’s not what we are talking about here. I was just making a different point about your quote of “You cannot point to a single statement, or collection of statements, that unambiguously identifies the blaze as the 9th clue.”…and seeing that it compares to when and how some searchers knew wwwh (in general) was the first clue before we got definite confirmation from f.

            I wasn’t talking about anyone figuring out the actual, correct wwwh just from that poem line.

        • A quick check of the archives in the hippocampus referred to some wise person saying that… you can find it [the treasure] if you can find the blaze as the result of starting with the first clue. That’s what you have to do.

          • I’ve got no problem with that ATF, Ken. You “can” find it if you can find the blaze, not you “will” find it. What this really says is that you *can’t* find it if you don’t find the blaze. Just as you cannot find it if you don’t solve WWWH.

            Remember, Forrest also said at Collected Works almost six years ago that if a person is able to decipher the first few clues, they can find the treasure chest. I don’t think most searchers count the blaze among the “first few clues,” so I think this early quote instructs our thinking on what he means by “can.”

          • It’s all good in my book Zap. There be a couple of others[comments] that add to the idea that the blaze is the ultimate target… however… I do agree that there is more to it at that point. So you have to start with the first clue and let it take you to the blaze.[period]

            Be that as it may… An Indulgence requires the recipient to perform an action to receive it… usually a specific prayer, but also could require visiting a specific [place]. Could be in any order. Carry on.

          • Zap said-

            Remember, Forrest also said at Collected Works almost six years ago that if a person is able to decipher the first few clues, they can find the treasure chest. I don’t think most searchers count the blaze among the “first few clues,” so I think this early quote instructs our thinking on what he means by “can.”
            I don’t no why how many searchers count the blaze among the first few clues matters, but I do.

            My take is the puzzle is set up where there’s an opportunity to figure out the blaze early on.

      • agree. looking down takes you back to the poem where you need to be brave and in the wood and probably cold.

    • #3, I agree with Zap.

      #4, Forrest cut off and then deflected the question; so I think no conclusion should be made from that.

      But I’m glad we can all disagree with some things over the winter..

  24. “When you get to the ninth clue look down because your where the treasure is.”

    As I always thought. So if you are looking past the ninth clue for clues there are not any, could there be hints in the last of the poem- then to what?, you already solves the clues. As for me that statement above is it for clues and your search, the rest of the poem just discribes – exit area quickly, Forrest, to listen, yourself, and title to the gold. The first stanza tells you about the area of search after you go “in” there, or after you put “in”.

    So this is how I see it, and maybe it will pan out if I get the chance to find or figure out that ninth clue, the allusive “blaze”.


    • Bur, I think the blaze can be figured out first. It’s a clever way to make sure one goes with confidence. Knock out the correct starting area and the blaze in one swoop. Then off to the correct wwwh.

      • Fundamental Design,
        Maybe the blaze can be figured out first for your solve area but if that were true for mine I missed something.
        Yes I had a few, thought they could be, blazes but am missing something somewhere. Some things Forrest said in the last few scrapbooks has me wanting to research this winter. I’m at water high and confident on all solves before this place. I might have seen the blaze and it just didn’t sink in on my last search.

        So for know I will go over photos and things Forrest said and see if I can understand what Forrest blaze is.

        Thanks for you comment FD.

  25. Thanks Dal…… love those pieces of wisdom in there… one which was…(maybe not exact, but close)

    “my eyes have been on the ground, but my anticipations are on the horizon”…..

    and some others…

  26. Forrest said when at the last clue ‘look down’, not ‘look quickly down’. That is to some significance to me IMO.

  27. Thank you Dal for posting this interview and Voice of America.
    I wish the reporter would have mentioned the 20,000 word Autobiography.
    I agree with Amy, I believe it to be the perfect pot, I think it’s genius what Mr. Fenn has accomplished and look forward to the discovery of the Chest.
    Wonderful interview and the wisdom of Mr. Fenn.
    Only in America!!
    Thank you Mr. Fenn!
    Best regards, Martha ♥️

    • you mean the biography that needs a magnifying glass to read? Just like FF uses now to read his email?

  28. I like the way ff bypasses the question re whether it’s straightforward or layered 😉

  29. IMO the poem could include hints. For example. In the last stanza it reads:
    “Your effort will be worth the cold.”

    Could this be a hint? Either the treasure is hidden somewhere that is always cold (even in the summer) or you will get cold getting to the treasure. If you had to cross a shallow creek or stream to get to the Blaze then you certainly could get cold, at least your feet. I am trying to think about places that you wouldn’t go into the water but would be cold year round where Forrest could hide the treasure. That may have to be at very high elevations but even in the summer these high elevations can be warm. I have backpacked at elevations above 11,000 feet in the summer and the temperatures were warm even though there was still snow on the ground in some areas.

    Or maybe because he has said the chest is wet that when you pick up the chest it will be cold to the touch. So is it always wet?

    The line in the poem about being worth the cold has always given me pause. Is it a hint or just poetry?


    • Kurt, imo it’s poetry. I have a hard time figuring out how that can help us narrow it down to a reasonable amount of places or to one.

      It seems to do the contrary. Like that would add a whole bunch of places to consider.

      • Fundamental Design,

        I think this “…worth the cold” will remain a mystery until the treasure is found.


        • I agree. So, I don’t focus on it. I focus on the beginning of the poem and the first clue.

    • Kurt;

      I have always thought that cold can relate to a place that never gets sunshine. Not a cave, but possibly a crevice of some kind – Possibly on the south side of a hill.

      Another thought. On a thermometer HOT it towards the top, and COLD is towards the bottom. Is Forrest saying to put your efforts to work at a lower level than you were at? Makes sense to me – JDA

    • Also, on the same line of thinking – Heat rises, and colder air sinks to the bottom – look lower – JDA

    • One last thought along the same line. On a thermometer, freezing is at either 32 degrees, or zero degrees. Look at most 32″ above floor level – down to 0 inches – at floor level for Indulgence. JDA

          • JDA,

            I am just hopeful that while reading others posts that I may have an epiphany which will send me in a direction with new possibilities. I currently have a new area to explore next year but would like to have as many ideas as possible to make the trip easier to justify.


        • Kurt;

          Don’t forget what comes before “the cold” . . . “Your EFFORT will be worth the cold.” If the COLD relates to something found in a low place that seldom, or never, gets sunlight, you (the searcher) is going to have to do SOMETHING that will take a bit of EFFORT… But that this EFFORT will be rewarded.

          I am 77. Forrest was 79 or 80 when he hid Indulgence. At 77, it is NOT EASY for me to get down on the floor and perform some task. Forrest appears to be asking me, a 77 year old guy, to get down on the floor and perform some sort of task – just like he did – when he was a few years older than I currently am…. when he hid Indulgence.

          PHEW, I am tired already.

          Not only do I have to get down on the floor, and perform some sort of task, I have to be brave while doing it… and
          “in the wood”… My head hurts 🙂 JDA

          • JDA,

            Maybe I should ask you to join me in my BOTG’s to see if it’s too hard for someone around 79 to search. (just kidding of course).

            For my current idea there will be some effort to get “cold”. I won’t know if I’m correct until next spring/summer.

            My first solve in 2018, in retrospect, was a crazy idea. I’ve learned a lot since then but the indulgence is ever elusive.


          • Hi JDA,
            I think the task you have to perform is to walk to where the TC lies on the ground, lift it up and put that in your backpack, and walk back toward your car. That’s all you have to do, IMO.
            But before you do that you have to be brave enough to initiate that historical walk toward the TC’s hiding place.
            — MajinKing

    • Kurt – don’t forget the story in TTOTC about touching something that is metal and the reason it feels cold. Just food for thot…..

      • wwwamericana,

        I need to read that again. Good thing my book is right next to the computer.


      • Just re-read page 111 TTOTC. Maybe when the poem says, “Your effort will be worth the cold.” Forrest is just saying the chest will feel cold because it’s made of bronze. So, your effort will be worth picking it up with bare hands. Didn’t Forrest once mention bringing gloves? Maybe easier to pick up the cold wet bronze chest with gloves.
        No hint her maybe.


        • maybe the effort is all that led up to reaching down and picking it up and opening the lid knowing the last person to touch it and close that lid was the man Forrest himself.

    • What’s interesting is f wrote just take the chest and get the Hell outta there in an eloquent way. For people that ask what the reasons are for the lines after the clues…that’s one reasonable reason along with other factors.

  30. Listened to the interview, then scrolled down through the comments. Everyone so eager to decipher and translate and identify new hints and clues (not just here, but on the other boards, as well). I encourage everyone to scroll back up thread and read James (TZP)’s post. I think he heard now and listened goodest.

    • I agree with Jame’s point about FF.

      But I think you missed the whole point.

      “Your life was giving (sic) to you… make be sure that you use it properly.”
      Meh – Everyone knows that and practices it to the best of their ability. This concept can only be applied to ones self.

      It’s not for others to judge. This is hard to express, but to many this is “Your life was given to you… make be sure that you use it in a way that fits my values”

      I’m using (part of) mine to solve a puzzle and find a treasure. Who are you to judge that?


  31. Thanks dal and mr.forrest.enjoyed listening to interview. I like that old wagon.boy the stories it could tell if it could talk.of course I could sit and listen to forrest all the time.

  32. Mostly typical Fenn interview answers.
    Although “It’s hard to find, ..deliberately hard to find”
    is a new variation of “The treasure is not easy to find, but it certainly isn’t impossible.”
    or “It’s difficult so it won’t be found right away, but it’s easy enough so that it’s not impossible to find it.”

  33. So, now that we probably know the 9 clues, what about the rest of the poem?
    I tend to agree there are hints (or aspects) of earlier or later lines that refer to or reference the solution area. For example cold, wood, listen, etc. and, Forrest HAS said “If you are in the right spot something you probably haven’t thought about should be obvious to you” (quote from Jenny’s book)


  34. Holy cow. I just finished going thru Dal’s little 22 second snippet and then this. That firehouse is flowing fast and I can’t drink quick enough.

    What a great interview. Thank you VOA, Forrest, and Dal!

    So after going thru all the comments I didn’t see where anyone mentioned his comment about the reason for the bracelet in the treasure chest. What about all the trouble he went to protect the hair sample he put in the jar?

    “So I pulled a couple of white hairs from my head and put them in the jar that contains my autobiography. Future scientists will be able to make DNA, Carbon-12 and other tests to learn about me and the times in which I lived.”

    And here I have thought all along the reason for the hair was so a little of him was in the chest and now it’s the bracelet?


  35. Twice during the interview he said “I wish I could have lived to do the things I was attributed to.”, the epitaph he wants on his headstone.

    Why did he repeat himself? Why the emphasis? What “things” is he referring to?

    Perhaps he was a non-conformist in the art world and conducted his business in a way contrary to the ‘norm’, but he was very successful and in the end, isn’t that what matters?

    This simple sentence is very important IMO and something I believe we need to concentrate on.


    • Pina… In this case everyone was looking for a copy of the poem for Fenn to read. As Dal explained it took awhile and he even deleted a minute or so of dead silence from the recording. Fenn’s still pretty quick on his feet so he seems to have adlibbed a bit to fill the void.

  36. Pinatubocharlie;

    Not wanting to be morbid, but the reality is that Forrest is 89 years old. At 77, I know that I have seen more sunrises already than I will see in the future.Bottom line, I am reminded every day of my mortality. Forrest may live to 115, or he may die tomorrow. He is stating a reality, He wishes that he could have done some of the things that others have accused him of doing. He has accomplished SOOOOO very much, but I am sure that he would have liked it if he “went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu” – or some such. JMO – JDA

    • Hi JDA,

      Like your Tim McGraw reference. You are sooo right, Forrest has done so much and enjoys telling those stories. I don’t want to count my years anymore, but i know they will be counted by the ones around me.
      I just want to “love longer”.


      • Well said Bur – I like the whole refrain –
        “I went skydiving
        I went Rocky Mountain climbing
        I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
        And I loved deeper
        And I spoke sweeter
        And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
        And he said
        “Someday I hope you get the chance
        To live like you were dying”

        Seems like a good way to live ones life – JDA

        • 2.7 would be quite a ride on a bull. That song makes a really good point. I like it too JDA and Bur. Thanks, I’m listening to it now!

    • JDA,

      Earlier you said “He wishes that he could have done some of the things that others have accused him of doing.”

      What have others accused him of doing? Being accused of anything infers to me unethical business behavior, poor character, some kind of mischief, or just plain wrong-doing.

      Why in the world would a man of his caliber, stature, and character dignity intentionally “wish” to be accused of anything? I realized your use of that particular word may be somewhat out of his context, but the question remains, at least in my mind; what was his BIG wish? And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t his aspiration to be a PGA golfer.

      I know I’m doing a poor job articulating myself, however, I sincerely believe his wish is much deeper and far more personal than that and might have something to do with Dancing with the Stars. But to be clear, IMO they ARE NOT Hollywood stars even though he knows and has rubbed elbows with many.


      • Charlie;

        When I used the word “accused” in no way did I mean it in a disparaging manner towards Forrest. I sometimes kid my wife, she will say that I had done something nice – my response will be, “I’ve been accused of lots of things, but being nice has never been one of them.” 🙂 JDA

  37. JDA – Like I said, I have trouble articulating myself and wasn’t in any way suggesting your words were disparaging towards Forrest. In fact, my interpretation of that quote is in a positive one.

    Example. I am a 70 year old avid cyclist, recently logging 19,000 miles since I first rediscovered cycling in 2011. Not too long ago someone asked if was a professional rider back I the day? I chuckled pretty hard and then said, “only in my dreams”. This example captures what I believe to be the essence and spirt of that quote.

    I’m just trying to understand exactly what he wished he could have done that people “attributed” (said) he did or IMO, what they thought he aspires to be. That’s it plain and simple.

    My apologies for the way my response came across to you.

    Take care……..pinatubocharlie


  38. I keep listening to Forrest read the poem at the end. Does Forrest say ,” marble gaze” instead of ” marvel gaze” ?? I wish I could get verification from other searchers that he said marble. I feel like there is also a reason he had a long pause after he said, “found the blaze”. I have been a long time searcher and took a break for a year or so. I was just catching up and listened to this interview. I was shocked when I thought I heard him say marble..it could be a new twist to the chase!

    • Thank you for verifying for me. I wonder what him saying marble means to the chase?? Forrest is the marble champion.

      • If you’re willing to read through a theory, below is one. But first a few facts to baseline the convo.

        – The reader of the poem is instructed to “listen good”.
        – “My Spanish Toy Factory” is the name of the chapter where he talks about marbles.
        – In Spanish phonetics, one learns there is a “fricative V” which is changed to a “B” sound, as in marvel to marble.

        So what does this mean? I don’t know if this is correct, but it would be cool if it were. My theory is as follows:
        – “found the blaze” from the poem could be interpreted as Sampo, WY and Elmo, WY.
        – Sampo is lost on the map, and pretty much forgotten. A “sampo” was “founded” by a blacksmith in a Finnish (“finish = to cease”) epic, Kalevala.
        – Elmo has been absorbed by a town literally down the street, called Hanna, WY. Elmo is currently my blaze until a new SB convinces me otherwise because of St. Elmo, “a gut feeling”, a “hoist” on a helicopter, a Pfleuger reel, the patron saint of gluten ailments, lightning, a charge, “In Praise of Folly”, and several other possible Elmo/Erasmus allusions.
        – Hanna is also Dizzy Dean’s middle name. Hanna stems from Ann, a name also mentioned recently in SB220.
        – In Hanna there is a scant/slab memorial “observance” (gaze) made of marble, containing the names of coal miners (“tar” is a “bi-product”, was used in “asphalt” mentioned on p135 and again recently in SB219) who died in two miner accidents in the early 1900s. There are two photos of “minor accidents” on the inside cover of TTOTC. There are asterisks on this marble slab that denote who died in which accident. One of the years was 1903, a prime if summed, and a photo of this year underneath his father in TTOTC for the year he was born. This to me suggests “Tarry scant with marvel gaze”.
        – But trying to understand “Look quickly down” is what captured my full attention. Forrest writes in TTOTC about scalding a chicken to remove its feathers. He talks about cats being “blessed” (like from a saint) in Bessie and Me. The British phrase “like a scalded cat” means “to leave in a hurry”, “quickly”, similar to how he describes a “natalie”-dressed man needing to leave “like he was late for lunch with the queen”… an interesting choice of words and another British reference.
        – A skald is a Norse word for poet. Some speculate skalds often carried a “lyre”. Bragi is attributed as the first. The word “bragging” is used recently and poetically in SB213.
        – In Hanna’s cemetery, where one would take the “chest” (ark — arc-shaped street called “Tipperary”, meaning well of the Ara, like Sinbad the mackaw is an Ara) and go where others are resting in peace, there is a grave marker for “Betty Poulos”, rest in peace. Poulos etymology is “chicken”. She might be the “quickly down”, the skald chicken symbolism. On her stone is a book with the title “Echoes”. It was her book of poetry.
        – If you look around the same cemetery, you will find a lot of “Whiles” to once upon.

        All this to say a fricative V is a B sound.

        • By the way, nattily-dressed, queen, dandy from Yankee Doodle, each connote the word “camp”.

        • Wow, that is all so interesting and deep. Did you listen to him read the poem in the voa interview? Do you think he said, ” marble” instead of “marvel” ? I wish more searchers would listen to it and give their opinion about it. I think it really means something.

  39. Sure Sounds like Marble… Not sure what it means though in our search for the quarry… 🙂 lol hmmm marble quarry….??? Maybe if we figure out what “Just take the chest and go in peace means”? it will make more sense….

  40. Marble quarry….so funny..there might be something to that! Thanks for listening and giving your opinion.

  41. I think you would need to get marble from the written poem for it to be of any relevance. He said to read the poem, not listen to him read it years later. Just my opinion.

    • Hi Aaron: almost certainly not relevant, but a B is the mirror image of a V in Morse Code (-… vs. …-). You can never forget the code for V: first four notes of Beethoven’s 5th (Roman V).

      • Good point Zap, though I hope it doesn’t cause Hazel to continue digging deeper into this rabbit hole.

        • Seems to me the rabbit hole isn’t a rabbit hole and those are just negative emotion words you choose when you don’t like or disagree with what’s being suggested. Words are very important. Always choose them wisely.

          Marvel to marble isn’t a leap when trying to understand why there are any words spent on “marble” in the book. He mentions it in the context of a Spanish class, where it is natural to change a V to B sound.

          But instead, if you prefer geographic coordinate systems and maps, have a look at the character β (beta, fricative v) used as notation for “latitude”. The same symbol is re-emphasized with an Eszett, “a window pane in Mississippi” (a clever allusion to a German minced oath of “scheibe” instead of “scheiße”), and Yellow Hair hand-drawn cartoons on SB221. Her dress is a lambda. The red head is either a dram or “capital 3” for an octothorpe, or a “graticule”. It looks a bit like the running man tree carving, no? It should. A gridiron (football field) is a similar symbol. The dudes’ heads are phis, admittedly with some artistic liberty. You’ll see the other coordinate notation symbols there, too. The whole SB221 seems to be there to teach us how to convert hints to coordinates.

          I wouldn’t underestimate with “almost certainly not relevant” since none of us know anything with any certainty at all. There is no way to confirm our progress. But that’s just me.

  42. I don’t think this is a rabbit hole. He was reading the poem from his book in the interview. I think he said “marble” on purpose and I think it should be taken seriously. Doesn’t he state, “Hear me all and listen good”?? I really believe there is something to this.

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