My Imaginary Interview with Forrest Fenn Part Two…


Introduction: This is part 2 of my imaginary interview with Forrest Fenn. The words are all his, but I have selected and organized them in a manner that I feel best conveys the essence of his message. You can find my first imaginary interview on this page:
– David Thalheimer
My Imaginary Interview with Forrest Fenn, Part Two

I hid the treasure in a place that is not especially difficult to reach. There isn’t a human trail in very close proximity to where I hid the treasure. I made two trips from my car to the hiding place and it was done in one afternoon. I will say that I walked less than a few miles if that will help. People will be surprised when they find out where it is. Stop arm chairing that thing to death and get out in the trees where the box is, but before you go, look at the poem as if it were a map, because it is, and like any other map, it will show you where to go if you follow it’s directions. The clues will lead you to the treasure and, whether it’s buried or not, you can find it if you find the blaze as a result of starting with the first clue. That’s what you have to do.

I don’t know that anybody has told me the clues in the right order. I think part of the problem is, they don’t focus on the first clue. If you don’t know where the first clue is, you might as well stay at home because you’re not going to find the treasure chest. You can’t go out looking for the blaze and expect to find the treasure chest. There’s 10 billion blazes out there. Although many have tried, I doubt that anyone will find the blaze before they have figured out the first clue. So you have to start with the first clue and let it take you to the blaze. Google Earth cannot help with the last clue.

Searchers have routinely revealed where they think the treasure was hidden and walked me through the process that took them on that course. That’s how 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. Playing a hunch is not worth much in the search and those who start out by looking for the blaze, are wasting their time. Playing a hunch is nearly always fraught with disappointment, especially if the stakes are high. A searcher who guesses through life is destined to carry a thin wallet. And to many searchers I should also suggest that you take another look at your mistakes. The answers may not be nearly as complicated as you are making them.

I cannot tell you how many searchers have identified the first clue correctly, but certainly more than several. I cannot imagine anyone finding the treasure without first identifying the starting point, although many seem to be preoccupied with later clues. To me that’s just expensive folly. Searchers have come within about 200 feet. They figure the first two clues but they don’t get the third and the fourth and they go right past the treasure chest. I don’t know that anyone has been closer than 200 feet and I don’t think they have. No one is looking AT the right spot. You can’t have a ‘correct solve’ unless you can knowingly go to within several steps of the treasure chest. Otherwise you have a ‘general solve.’ A good solve is frequently lost in a poor execution.

What surprises me a little is that nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve. A hypothetical example of a “what if” might be, what if I was looking so far ahead that I neglected to notice what was beside me. It seems logical to me that a deep thinking treasure searcher could use logic to determine an important clue to the location of the treasure. Fresh eyes and new thinking might provoke a winning idea.

I think kids may have an advantage. Don’t expect me to explain that, but sure. Their eyes are better. They’re more agile, they have more energy. Children have the greatest imagination because their thoughts run free. Why should a kid take a back seat in the treasure hunt? Bloggers have quoted me as saying that a child could walk up to the treasure. I don’t think that’s an accurate quote because a three year old girl would have a problem without some help. Remember, I was about 80 when I hid the chest, and had to make two trips.

Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. 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 that poem. In each one of my books, I’ve made up words and I corrupt words. If everybody knows exactly what you’re saying, or what you mean, then who cares what the word is? And so that thought permeates, manifests itself in the poem. Well what does that word really mean? Does he mean what it says it means and so that adds, that puts a little dessert on top of the cake. But the poem is straightforward. There’s no tomfoolery in that poem. Try to simplify it if you can. That’s good advice. There is no substitute for thinking and planning and observing and looking at maps, unless it’s the desire to keep it simple.

All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. If a person reads the poem over and over and are able to decipher the first few clues in the poem, they can find the treasure chest. It may not be easy, but it certainly isn’t impossible. I could go right straight to it. All that will be needed are the clues, some resolve, a little imagination. You just have to think the right things. Imagination isn’t a technique, it’s a key. Emblazoned upon some of the bronze bells I’ve buried are the words, “Imagination is more important than knowlege.” If I had spelled that last word correctly it would not have had the profundity of meaning I wanted. To misspell the word emphasized my point that having knowledge is, in fact, not as important as being resourceful.

I said in my book that the solution will be difficult but not impossible. If it was easy anyone could do it. I feel fortunate that my poem said exactly what I wanted it to say. Hiding that treasure chest full of gold and jewels was fundamental to how I feel about living life to its stretched best, and it emphasizes my aversion to seeing anyone be a spectator to today’s opportunities. It was a special time of fulfillment for me and I can still sense now, the elation I felt then. It’s the only time I recall laughing out loud at myself. I have done only a few things in my life that were truly planned. Hiding the treasure chest is one of them. Whoever finds the treasure will mostly earn it with their imagination. And at the end, the one who finds the gold will not feel lucky, but instead, will ask himself, “what took me so long?”




31 thoughts on “My Imaginary Interview with Forrest Fenn Part Two…

  1. A beautiful compilation of so many of Forrest’s quotes in a free-flowing tale. Thank you for all of your hard work, and for posting it for us to share – JDA

  2. David Thalheimer,

    Thanks for organizing all these quotes. I think these “Interviews” will be useful to many.


  3. Well written and a great consolidation of the years. I wonder again if this is still all true that no one has put all the clues together and handed them to Forrest yet? Could we get Forrest to proof this? Again, I only say that because of all the fast and furious posting that has gone up on here recently. I get Dal is retired officially now and has a bit more time to post and catch up on things but really is that all it is? Has someone “Dangerous” declared to Forrest that they are going out in the last few weekends of this season BOTG and this may be it? All I can say is, get out there and get that thing already.

  4. I was never a great student of knowledge. I always had a vivid imagination. In grade school, I spent more time looking out the windows of classrooms and letting my imagination be drawn to that wilderness we call life than in studying facts by rote. I can empathize with Forrest Fenn, who used his imagination, logic and intuition in his personal quest for truth.

    Everything Forrest says here makes good sense to me and it pretty much confirms how I have been observing his poem. If the first two or three clues gets one to the general area, then it’s logical, even if still hard to figure, that one will eventually find all the solves needed to decode the location of that “box.”

    But what seems most significant isn’t whether or not one finds that box, but whether or not one dares to look deeply enough into self and life to gain the most enjoyment out of that wonderful bounty in life called truth and beauty – the eternal timelessness of it. So, in effect it matters not what journey one takes, what solves one uses, in the end, if we “are truly brave and in the wood,” then the world is at our feet.

      • I agree. Nicely said. I just wonder how brave is brave enough? My pansy factor is shrinking so that’s good. Is their anything better than conquering fear and saying to yourself “you did it!” I say that every time I leave those mountains…even if my fingers are empty.

    • Are you suggesting that “the” important truths and rewards in life could “come” from something simple, such as planting “something” to grow? What if something is already “grown” before it is planted?

  5. Important stuff here. “earn it with their imagination” and “i make up words and I corrupt words” and “that thought permeates, manifests itself in the poem”. This all flies in the face of the “if it quacks like a duck then it’s a duck” and the “keep it simple” line of thinking. But no ridiculous math and converting words to numbers. Find those corrupted words and figure out what Forrest MEANS. Pay no attention to what he says. Keep it complicated!

  6. I’m going to make sure my foot can reach my bottom, so I can kick myself. That’s one of my goals to learn how to do that. Ha ha ha
    I need a V-8

  7. Mr Thalheimer:

    You have created a smooth compilation which should allow most anyone to better absorb the info within the various clues and descriptions over these last 9 years. BRAVO!

  8. I love how you put Forrest words into such a compilation. This version like the first provide a unique perspective. Thank you David for sharing and thank you Dal for putting it out on your site for all of us to see. One day someone will cross the finish line. Based on what I’ve gone through and what many have experienced I’m sure any eventual finder will have paid their dues with hard work, lots of sweat and some tears too.

    • For those who live for anagrams, “tears” could be an anagram for “stare”.

      But wait . . . there’s more!

      Also, “rates”.

      Hold on, and don’t bite off all your fingernails just yet. After exercising much doo diligence, I have also thought of “taser”.

      It’ll be a long off-season (too snowy for searching), so I don’t have to gift you with all the others just yet. Dew ya feel lucky? *Well*, dew ya? All IMO.

      • Tall Andrew – It was 60 degrees and sunny, the morning after I slept in my car in the parking lot of the Branding Iron Inn on November 11-12 of 2017. This year I found out the employees of that inn sleep in what used to be the FennHaven Cabins. I planned to finally hike out Cabin Creek to my hidey spot, but was warned by one of the inn’s employees that the park was closed, and that USFS and area Sheriff’s employees were all gone for the season. And there were only a few businesses still open in West Yellowstone. That didn’t feel like a well calculated risk for me to go alone in there. There was no snow on the trails, then, though.

  9. One you missed, which stands out in my mind, was Forrest’s quote, “I tend to use some words that aren’t in the dictionary, and others that are, I bend a little.” (Fenn) Of course, you may have intended to leave it out.

    Fenn, Forrest, et al. The Thrill of the Chase: a Memoir. One Horse Land & Cattle Co., 2010.

    Sorry, I just drank a glass of APA style Koolaid. Cheers.

    • Amber-I’m on my second glass of wine watching the Seahawks. Don’t beat yourself up.

  10. I loved the write up. I must admit that I’ve Ben on the fence about this. Well, parts anyway. Parts that can be used to fence is what I mean. You decide what kind of fence to work your imagination a little. What would you pick? A fence made of wood to keep neighbors at bay or something forged in fire to use in defence to keep said neighbors at bay? Use your imagination. Speaking of fire, sometimes standing upon a stove top to see what is on a shelf may not be the best option. I’ve got to keep that in mind next time. Many of you know that I work with pipe. It is my trade. Pipe for some reason holds my interest. It’s not always easy to work with. What with all of the joining techniques and all. The gluing, brazing, welding, threading, compressing, hose clamps… It could become convoluted, the whole thing (project). Everyone underestimates the plumber I suppose. I’m not exactly a plumber per se, but a pipe fighter (slang for pipe fitter), yes! I believe the problem solving skills require a bit of imagination to get a job done. The way I think is a bit different than most. When I hear the word “trap” several things come to mind. Same goes for words like fence, trailer, digs, threads, ECT. The list goes on and on. I wrote the word list just now in that previous entence and I quickly thought about ships. I try to keep my imagination in check just to maintain my sanity! I hate when I ramble. I had better get back to focusing on my job before they fire me. Hi everyone .

  11. That is a skillfully sequenced compilation. The context flowed well and gave dimension to what Forrest has said. I’m sure I’ll read it again, and use it to introduce others to the ATF’s.
    Thanks for creating that!!


  12. Very nicely done, David! You’ve collected and condensed so many of the scattered pieces of information, and placed these tidbits into a nicely thought out ‘imaginary interview’.

  13. This is all well and good. I applaud the time and effort it took to put this together. However, in my opinion, you have cherry picked the statements that match your idea of how to solve the clues, which is guess where to start and then wander around looking for the blaze. For example, FB said “you have to learn where the first clue is”. Also he said read the book normally, then read and study the poem over and over. Then go back and read the book slowly, looking for hints that will help you with the clues. He also said, “the places in the book are not put there to help the searcher. They are not hints and certaintly not clues.”

    But good luck to all.

  14. I enjoyed reading your “Imaginary Interview-Part 2,” David. Thank you for taking the time in putting this together. Nice to refresh the memory.

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