The Key Word…


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

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




173 thoughts on “The Key Word…

  1. @ Zaphod,
    I think you may have missed the context of the discussion. I did not mean to suggest that the poem needed to be translated to be deciphered. Ann and I were discussing ways to analyze word meanings to see if a keyword(s) would become apparent. I suggested, that since translation is a process of comparing word meanings across languages, perhaps multiple translations would reveal something interesting.

    And it does.

    • Lori & Zephod,

      My interrupted post was a reply to Zephod’s remarks.

      Indeed comparing languages was merely a way to ascertain a consensus on the potential meaning of the words actually used by FF as Lori has clarified. I think it additionally lends credence to the use of rearranged prepositional phrases for purposes of clarity, or at the very least a different perspective (in regards to what FF could have meant).

      In regards to “identical in every language” there is not a single word that id truly universal. The word “no” comes close. If you meant identical in meaning only then that certainly elevates the possibility. But there are none visually identical.

      That said, I still believe Brown to be the key word. Unless you consider my prior analysis of the prepositions to be accurate, in which case “where” was the most helpful word, because it’s location lead to the rearrangement process which lead to the new rendering of line 8, which if correct would be crucial to pinpointing any potential location, both directionally and geographically. Talk about your prepositional phrases!!!


      • Hi Ann: obviously thousands before you have considered that Brown might be Forrest’s keyword — it is the most obvious choice. But how do you square that with “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”? Surely Brown has not escaped the tight focus of anybody.

        • Zephod,

          I imagine few have considered Brown under the prepositional phrase analysis provided here. To be sure, such analysis certainly changes the focus of what is put in where.


  2. Zap…I think we agree that the word that is key is also the key word. Works both ways.

    In reply to your comment on now closed page…”Father on the Banco” would be an exception. I think many people had to look up/translate “banco” to understand what Forrest was trying to express in that story. I think the only “foreign language” we need to be able to comprehend is Forrest’s exceptional fluency in the English language.

    • Hi Sally: I agree that “word that is key” and “keyword” are 100% interchangeable as far as the Chase is concerned.

      As far as words Forrest uses in his books, Scrapbooks, etc., I say: look up or translate away as needed. I certainly was one that had to look up banco to confirm that it meant what I gathered it did from the context. But I think translating *poem* words into other languages, or digging for obscure, ancient, slang or obsolete meanings in an unabridged dictionary is an exercise in wool-gathering. Well … not quite wool-gathering; it isn’t without purpose. But it isn’t going to help anyone solve any clues IMO.

  3. Hey Lori,

    In case you missed it, I reposted my reveal about line 8 in the “Home of Brown” page. I further disclosed a potential solution to the HOB quandary using the preposition analysis you and I have discussed. That solution could be Miss Molly Brown. I thought I’d share it here as well since I believe the key word to be Brown.


    • I have seen quite a few discussions about Molly Brown.
      It doesn’t work for me because it leads into Colorado and I have seen nothing to indicate that any place in Colorado was special to FF.

      I do agree that solving the HoB will be key in solving the poem, I just don’t know if it is THE word that FF was talking about. It could be. I just don’t know… yet.

      • Lori,

        Yeah not sure Molly Brown is correct either. And you are right that Brown may not be the key word FF was referring to. But as Mikey said in The Goonies “What if?”

        That said, I understand the hesitation regarding making a connection to FF in terms of a special place for him. The desire to make such a connection could be rather daunting. If it were easy then all searchers would have to do is retrace every step the man ever took. I don’t think the task would be so simple. Additionally, even if one were able to retrace every step the man ever took, it’s not clear which places would be considered “special” to him. I have multiple locations that are near and dear to me. Many people know about each of them but none know quite which ones are “special.” That would require someone knowing why a particular place is considered to be special for someone else. The poem gives us nothing in regards to that, unless Brown or the elusive key word suggest it.

        It is not beyond the realm of possibility that at some point in the man’s life he came across a breathtaking place (“marvel gaze”), whether on vacation, or mid travel, or just in passing through somewhere, that did not become “special” enough to him to embark on this endeavor. Generally, if a place is special enough and we have the means and ability, we visit those places as often as possible. I can’t imagine FF hiding the chest in such a dear place as to not having visited the place since. I’d suffer too much not going back to such a special place. Anyways, I would not draw too many conclusions too quickly on thoughts posted here. I’m just throwing ideas out there as they come and seeing what sticks. IF enough of the right ones stick then maybe someone will find the chest.


        • Hi Ann: regarding “I can’t imagine FF hiding the chest in such a dear place as to not having visited the place since.” It may be hard to imagine, but apparently it’s the case:

 (2/10/2016): People: “Have you been back to the site since hiding the chest?”

          FF: “No, but I could go if I wanted to, even at 85. One of my clues is that it’s above 5,000 feet and below 10,200 feet. I said that because people were climbing up to the tops of mountains. The biggest clue of all is: Don’t look for the treasure any place where an 80-year-old man could not have taken it. That eliminates half the places where people are looking.”


          MW 6Q (2/4/2018) Q5: “People are valuing the Thrill of the Chase and all that it offers. Thank you for creating an adventure which can spark dreams and embolden lives to explore a life craved. It’s amazing to think how a poem of 24 lines, with reward at the end, can inspire so many different things in so many different people. Numerous searchers are convinced they know where the treasure is, and are close-minded to alternate options. Only one, if even one, of course, can be correct. It seems a bit sad for seemingly so many to be entrenched on a wrong path, even if treasures of a different type can be found there as well. From your perspective, what do you feel causes such blindness or stubbornness?”

          FF: “Stubbornness is sometimes confused with tenacity. There are many avid searchers looking for the treasure who are not blinded by its value. After I hid the treasure I never went back to that spot, and now I can’t.”

          And more recently:

          MW Six Questions (2/4/2019) Q3: “There are so many truly unique artifacts placed in the treasure chest. Each holds a beautiful story that keeps getting longer. As these treasures continue to endure the passing of time, what do you imagine they are experiencing? Do you feel the conditions have been harsh or kind?”

          FF: “I have not been back to the treasure chest since I hid it more than 8 years ago. Perhaps the artifacts are enjoying each other’s company as they patiently listen for the clomp of a boot.”

        • That is where the book TTOTC comes in handy. Within the stories, he refers to various places as special, dear, wonderful, etc.

          Even though it does not appear in the poem, I was beginning to think the word that is key is “aberration”. FF seems to like that word. He uses it in interviews (the website search lists four occurences) [].

      • Well, Lori – not to toot my own horn LOL but Forrest wanted Doug Preston to write TTOTC for him. Doug declined, but “took the story and changed it around some” , “took it to the Amazon jungle”, and called it The Codex (written in 2003). The heroine is named Sally Colorado. Crazy that Doug would name his personaje after me but what can I say? Lorraine Mills, 4/27/2013.

        You know Forrest and Doug are thick as thieves! You can’t go to a book signing or see a documentary clip without Doug being there. Didn’t Forrest just mention flying out of the Amazon jungle to minister to BIP a few scrapbooks ago? Hmmm.

        Anyhoo, Forrest also traveled thru Colorado twice a year with his family en route to Yellowstone from Texas. They camped along the way. The family may have even had their fishing rods with them for some of that Blue Ribbon water Colorado is famous for. It isn’t what he says, it’s what he whispers.

        • Hi Sally,
          I have considered that for sure. Reading between the lines is looking at the “nothing” or what is missing. I know that he has been through CO and has conducted business there. But, I believe that if there was a “special” place there that was dear to him, he would have told at least one story about it in TTOTC.

          I haven’t seen all of his interviews, obviously, but I don’t recall him mentioning doing anything in Colorado, certainly not anything special. I could be very wrong on that part.

          I would love to have some hints and clues pointing that direction, as I am from Northern CO and I have plenty of family in the area that would help me search. Or I could search while there visiting.

          Just that I am not seeing it yet.

          • What has he done that you know about in New Mexico above 8.25 mile N of Santa Fe? Or in Wyoming outside of Yellowstone Park? Or in Montana North of Bozeman? Do you eliminate all those also? Remember, he flew his own plane for years and landed all over these states. He speaks of landing in random airports, renting a car, and searching for arrowheads. That the details are not in TTOTC does not mean you should eliminate them.


        • Sally,

          Interesting information. Any specific names of locations in Colorado FF is known to have crossed paths with?


  4. IMO- the key word is actually two words.
    Water high
    If you take in the “canyon down” stream to the outside bend in a stream, “water high”, “below the home of brown”, look to the outside bank a large rusted piece of quarts rock “blaze”, you “look down your quest to cease”, don’t tarry long because the treasure is “worth the cold”. Cold water that is.
    Just IMO
    I’ve only had one BOTG. Looking forward to this coming spring.
    Also, IMO, many searchers are forgetting something F had said before about North of Santa Fe, and that north is not just straight up (paraphrased) but from 271 degrees west-northwest to 89 degrees east-northeast. Just something to think about.

  5. Ladies and Gentleman,

    I have attempted to discuss the possibilities of the key word with you further but have been met with some unforeseen resistance. I would like to redirect your attention for the time being to something we discussed in brief previously but never really answered. I inquired on the last Key Word page whether anyone had studied the map and compared the words contained therein to the words in the poem to see if any were the same. Has anyone found such a “Key” to the map?


      • Oz10,

        Discussion was made on the last page of this thread regarding the topic “Key Word.” I had made notice of the fact that FF may have selected the map he uses to illustrate the range of possible locations for a specific reason. In light of there being a “Key Word,” I wondered whether the key word sought in the poem wasn’t also affiliated with the general notion that maps tend to have “Keys” as well. Several double entendres, I realize, but would be very FF like. Btw, what is te full name of the canyon on the map? I haven’t looked lately. I’m hoping it’s not Grand! 🙂


          • Oz10,

            Thanks for clarifying.. I will take a gander at Black Canyon. I have the map. In lieu of the Canada remarks though, I am wondering if that search for matching words shouldn’t be expended further north. Does anyone have information, other than what’s on the map as shown, about the map? Such as when it was made, what does the complete map look like, etc. etc…..?


          • Oz10,

            Have you looked at Black Canyon? I just submitted a post in the Poem as Riddle thread proposing what I believe to be the riddle as well as an answer tot he riddle. That, along with my keyword point to a location littered with the nine clues! I’d almost be willing to bet on it! I have one or two more things to check. Just wanted to let you know.


      • Ann & Oz10 – I suppose you could also snag “Brown” out of Browning and “But” out of Butte (if breaking up words on the map is allowed)?

        • Blex,

          I would stray away from breaking up the words. I did notice Native American names on the map. Anyone translate those yet to see if they match words in the poem? And before you say anything Zephod about translating words, I am referring to words on the map not in the poem. So FF saying you shouldn’t have to look up any of the words (in the poem) would not be in accurate or in direct contrast to this inquiry.


  6. I am actually going through that now! LOL
    I started by going through TTOTC and writing down place names and other things I think might be clues (aberrations?). Now that I have the list, I am looking over the map.

    In TTOTC, the poem is on page 132. On page 133, is an out-of-focus picture of a map of NM.
    And “out-of-focus” fits a definition of “aberration”.

    • Lori,

      I see. I just meant a direct comparison of the names and places on the map next to the poem with the words on the poem. Let me know if you find anything. On a side note, I am trying to repost some replies of mine that apparently didn’t meet the muster of post-ability.


  7. I haven’t made the opportunity to review the previous pages in this thread subject but obviously the heightened interest as of late is due to the interview clips released by Kpro & Mike. Clearly now, most searchers realize the “key word” Forrest was referring to is in the poem so imagination contentment can be ruled out for this distinct case. I say all that to highlight the clarifying follow up comment made by Forrest, in that very same interview.

    “There is one word that will help you more than some of the others”
    “…In the poem…”
    “But you have to have all of them!”

    This basically is saying there are several if not many key words throughout the poem, but one of them is overlooked by most searchers and this particular word in the poem helps the searcher more than the other key words, which aren’t being overlooked…

    This IMO eliminates the usual suspects — the real question to ask is; In Forrest’s mind what is this key word helping the searcher to accomplish relative to she successful in finding the Treasure Chest, I.e. the starting point, the poem’s method of being figured out, the poem’s structure, understanding what “it” is, or the ending point?


    “But you have

    • GCG,

      Please do read over the previous Key Word pages, (especially the end of the last one). Looking forward to your continued thoughts. We have been discussing HOB and the first stanza mostly. And structure.


      • Ann there are two other subject threads for HOB and Architecture discussions. I try to stay on topic so my post don’t get censored…

        I at on time thought “It” was the word that was key. At another time I thought “canyon” was Forrest intended word which was key But I no longer believe either of those are the specific word he was referring to in this quote.

        As a play on words I thought he might have been referring to the word “title” as key – tight focus, title…But I no longer believe that either.

        If you pay attention to Forrest’s comments which directly follow the quotes I listed above, I’ll assert that there is a hint here, because something in Forrest’s mind links the two thoughts.

        Listen to the whole interview yourself and let me know what you think?


        • GCG,

          I would gladly listen to the whole interview and share my thoughts, if I knew which interview you were talking about and where to find it. 🙂 If you could kindly point me in the right direction I will gladly be on my way.


  8. It seems to me that anything related to archeology and old things would qualify as a special place to Mr. Fenn. There are such sites in all four states.

    • But Aaron: does IT qualify as *a* word that is key … in the poem? There are 5 of them in the poem … or 8 if you include “with” twice and “title”. And same argument as for Brown: only a “few” have been in tight focus with “IT”? I guess at least with Brown you can apply tight focus and break it down into B row N.

      • Zap, I believe the first stanza is key to helping us with WWWH, and other clues. We know IT is a pronoun, which could refer to something previously mentioned. I cannot speak for all of the IT’s in the poem, but if the IT’s within the clues refer to something that we can determine from the first stanza, then it meets requirements for using the first stanza to help us with the clues. IT would fit in with this being a riddle that we need to solve as well. If a riddle is involved would it make more sense for IT to be something we need to determine, or for us to just assume IT is referring to the path, or the chase?

      • Zap,
        As Aaron implied… why do all the IT{s} have to have the same usage of IT meaning.
        IT vs. IT’s have different usages, do they not? It along can be different with the meaning of the word, and words used with IT the word.

        The word “But” work the same… it can include something mentioned or used to indicate something other than being mentioned.
        Even though But is used in the line “BTSWMG”… don’t we need to consider both usages?
        So why use only one meaning of IT throughout the whole poem without truly analyzing the other possibilities?
        Technically; there are 4 IT – 1 IT’s or IT IS.
        Breaking down other words into letters as you’re doing with “With” and “Title” I can find~ trump is an idiot… or my first girl friend’s name… and last weeks winning lotto numbers… but I doubt those will help with a solve.
        The questions should be is; WHY fenn deliberately place IT where they are? Especially in the line we know to be the first clue. How does the two IT in stanza 2 work with each other? or do they work separate from each other?
        begin IT where warm waters halt vs. being where warm waters halt.
        Or I’m I just full of “tITle”

        • Hi Seeker: I’ll just come out and say “it”: I have never believed the keyword is a poem word — whether that word appears just once, or multiple times. With so many searchers, there just isn’t a single word in the poem that hasn’t been seized upon by hundreds and scrutinized with “tight focus.”

          If people want to assume that the simple pronoun “it” in and of itself will magically unlock the poem’s secrets, I wish them well. I do not deny that it’s important to figure out the identity of the antecedent of that simple little word, but focusing on that word itself will achieve nothing that I can see.

          • Zap, you are right that all words in the poem have been scrutinized with tight focus. The word IT though is a tough one to figure out for sure since it is a pronoun that could refer to something that is not so obvious. To be in “tight focus” with IT is to know what IT is referring to.

            If IT does take on the meaning of something described in the first stanza, and can be used to unlock clue locations once determined wouldn’t it be pretty key?

          • Zap ~ *If people want to assume that the simple pronoun “it” in and of itself will magically unlock the poem’s secrets, I wish them well.*

            LOL I like the down play of; a simple pronoun.

            No matter what I say or explain doesn’t matter. But there’s an old comment with enough dust on it to choke a bull floating, around for years, that says it better than I can; In part….

            “When you read the poem, it looks like just simple words there. But I guarantee you I worked on that thing… I felt like an architect …”

            Just ‘take IT in’ for a moment…

          • The word *IT* in the poem has been a topic for discussion since the early days of this blog. As *it* garnered more interest, Dal made a separate page to discuss *it*. Whether *it* turns out to be a crucial element of the poem or not… *it* may be wise to not “discount” *it*. Just because there are only so many words in the poem, does not mean that the majority of readers have “scrutinized” anything/any of them correctly. Or not…

          • Hi Ken: I’m content that I know what the poem’s various “it”s refer to, and if I’m correct, the identities of each are to be discovered as a ~consequence~ of solving the clues, not as a means of doing so. But of course I could be wrong. Still, I feel I have to apply triage somewhere, otherwise the possibilities cascade to infinity.

          • Ken,

            Regardless of IT as a word… the question remains, like any other word in the poem, why did fenn choose this words?
            In stanza 2 we have something that should lead us to the last sentence of that stanza;
            “Put in below the home of Brown.”
            The question is how does that happen?

            Take IT in as a movement vs. take IT in as an observation needs to satisfy a method of operation… the first IT we have is in the prior line, seems to be that method we need to know about.

            Ok.. so the reason for the summary is this; Is there any law that precludes IT in the first line can’t be understood by the condition of the second IT?

            If folks want to dismiss it as a simple word, I’m ok with that… but I’m more curious as to why folks think something has to be known of or happen ‘prior’ in the poem to only understand something later?

            My whole point is; does IT reflect on how we discover hoB in the proper manner fenn sees hoB [ from memory], using line 2 in that stanza as one or the other options above?.. movement vs. observation.
            Sure, there is the hybrid idea… but even then, we still need to know when something changes.

            The exercise I’m presenting about movement vs. observing, relate to the action of a searcher at clues 3 & 4 [respectfully]… the clues that seem to stump all.

            There has been a lot of different reasoning for clues 3 and 4 to have fouled a solve… LOL would it be logical that searchers didn’t get something correct in the manner they proceeded [even with the first two clues deciphered to their references] vs. everyone is just not getting the mileage out of the family hatchback?

            The other problem is; How does either method reflect the action of a searcher when they read stanza 3, and how we perceive what hoB is for? I highly doubt the idea that hoB will be just a way point.

            Jennifer London of the Today Show asked Forrest ‘Who is Brown?’, he replied, “If I told you that you’d go straight to the treasure.”

            Last question for the day [ although I have asked before ] What are we looking for???
            “IF you’ve been wise and found the blaze”
            Look below?

          • Seeker that’s not quite what Forrest said in the Jennifer London interview. It’s the 10:40 mark of this video:


            Jennifer says, “In the poem, which you say has these nine clues, there are references to water, there’s references to Brown’s house. Who’s Brown?”

            FF: “There’s references to wood.”

            Jennifer says, “But you didn’t answer my question. Who’s Brown?”

            FF, smiling, “Well, that’s for you to find … if I told you that, you’d go right to the chest!”

            Forrest made the same sort of quip to Richard Eeds (5/29/2015) on a different subject:

            Eeds: “What kind of shoes? What kind of footprints did you leave? What kind of boots did you have on?”

            FF: “Well if I told you that, you’d go out and find it.”


          • Zaphod,

            Thanks for the link! I just checked out FF’s remarks regarding the question about who is Brown. The manner in which he responds makes me confident that Brown is indeed a person (IMO for those moderating). It certainly helps to know how someone says something in trying to figure out or understand what they mean in saying it at all. Thus, much is lost in texting because no one ever has context or the vocal cues that aid in understanding what is being communicated. And if indeed Brown referes to a specific person, then that would certainly narrow HOB down quite a bit.


          • Seeker… You know well the many discussions in reference to your questions posed above. Everything from punctuation to any number of other ideas have been flung around in respect to where the hang-up call occurs.
            Again… many folks have read the poem and have managed to get to the place where the first two clues are. For me, this equates to the idea that anyone should be able to read the poem and do likewise… period. I also have to keep in mind that Fenn has told everyone that figuring out the first clue is metaphorically equivalent to more than half way to the treasure. This brings up a question about how much further the second clue gets a searcher… metaphorically.
            As far as the ongoing problem of leaving the poem/walking by the treasure after that… it is anyone’s *guess* why that happens exactly. I certainly do not think that the word *it* is the problem in total… but more of an incorrect deciphering of the next clue as it appears in the words after the first two clues wording. I haven’t said *riddle* in a couple of days… so, there it is. All of the words are a part of it…. summarization complete.

          • I believe it to be talking about the same thing all three times he uses the word. And that the actions and phrases associated with IT actually correspond to specific geographic places on your map and when you connect the dots so to speak, you actually draw your own blaze on said map.

            The first three instances happen very quickly in the poem and the stanza after those instances fenn calls out what makes you wise. As we all know, that is finding the blaze. After you’ve been intelligent enough to have found the blaze, he no longer references the word IT.

            The first three stanzas describe how to create the blaze and then then you find it. I think this idea is foreign to some because they equate blaze to mean x marks the spot and now you’ve won, leaving the last 2 stanzas to just be filler and instructions on how the finder of the chest should proceed. Yeah, I don’t think so, I believe there to be 10 more lines to work through once you do find it. But that’s me.

        • All ITs are needed when using the poem as a map. Including the ITs in with and title. Connect the dots. Or ITs in this case.
          The ITs are the more obvious words to connect when using poem as a map.
          Other less obvious dots to connect are the wise.
          I strongly feel that infinity is the word that is key.

      • Zap – B row n…but, there is no paddle up your creek, on my ‘IT’ as the ‘Madison River’ on the Western edge of YNP. But a dingy with a rope attached to the belt on your fly fishing waders works.

        There’s that ‘IT’ again, in a Q/A quote from Forrest:

        ‘You’ll never find it that way. You need to start at the beginning. You need to figure out where warm waters halt.’

        My ‘IT’ begins at my WWWH. At Madison Junction.

        Giggles, Forrest!

        Are we doing the ‘listen good’ thing, when you communicate with us?

    • Aaron,

      An astute observation. “It” is indeed a word of interest, particularly in stanza 2. In line five “Begin it” refers to something began, I.e.-the Chase, a particular path, . . . and continues in line six “And take it,” implying that whatever you began in line five continues in line six, presumably downward into a canyon. And it should be noted that this “it” may be a line of sight and not require actual footsteps. One can follow, for instance, the horizon with the eyes without ever having taken a step.


      • Hi Ann: “It” can easily be key both to the reader’s foundational perspective and actual physical location of WWWH. If “It” is the Chase, or the Path, or the watercourse to follow, any further instance of its use in the poem most likely indicates geo-direction. But if “It” is something else, as suggested by @Seeker (if memory serves), it may merely be descriptive, and be static, devoid of agency.

        We are told by Fenn to use imagination, to build image, in a literal sense, so perhaps that is what we should do. So, instead of a prepositional consideration, try using a parenthetical consideration: “Begin (it) where warm waters halt and take (it) in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk.”
        By thus transferring agency from the seeker to the scene an image is formed.
        Now, oceans of data have been crossed on this notion, but if “It” is an image seen at WWWH then “It” is key to the entire geographic composition of the quest as well as the perceptual relationship between the seeker and the words of the poem.

        “It” needn’t even be explicitly used, but there it is, front-loaded with potential and presumption, and the choice one makes at the onset of the poem conditions the rest of the poem. IMO it is Fenn letting us lay a trap for ourselves. He doesn’t desire to mislead, but he certainly doesn’t prevent us from doing it to ourselves.

        • SBH,

          Well said! I like your explanation of the parenthetical analysis. It is certainly more appealing to the ear to use such a method. One point of concern, naturally, would be that such a method renders the word “it” superfluous. And as FF has so eloquently pointed out, all the words have there purpose and are needed (I believe his remarks which I am paraphrasing here were made in reference to the “Key Word”). Other than that I really like the idea and would be interested in a completed overhaul of the poem in that context.


          • SBH,

            I took a second look at your parenthetical description, or description of the parenthetical and realized that doing so nullifies my suggestion that both of the “it”s in lines five and six refer to same thing. In the parenthetical they couldn’t possibly mean the same thing. I think too much is eliminated at that rate.


          • Patrick,

            Self correction. They could mean the same thing in the parenthetical but it would be a stretch (perhaps of the imagination as you suggest FF would want us to do!)


        • Nice post SBH. I like your choice of words when you say ” “It” needn’t even be explicitly used, but there it is, front-loaded with potential and presumption, and the choice one makes at the onset of the poem conditions the rest of the poem.”

          A searcher has to make a choice on how they want to use IT, and yes that choice can affect the rest of the poem. It is my opinion that this IT is the word that precipitates the use of imagination that FF likes to speak of. Unlike you, I don’t feel like it is a trap. I feel like it needs to be explored.

        • SBH,

          IT, as you explained well can be one or the other as to; what is expected of a searcher, AND as others have stated; a combination of both.
          We have choices…

          You said; ~ IMO it is Fenn *letting us lay a trap for ourselves.* He doesn’t desire to mislead, but he certainly doesn’t prevent us from doing it to ourselves.

          I have use the term; The illusion we [readers] create, and it may all fall to a precondition notion of how we expect the poem’s clue to play out [a more traditional or common treasure hunt style]… rather than… how fenn may have wanted the to play out… possibly in a more unconventional manner.

          IMO, there are two basic principles at work;
          1. literally and physically following clues ~ point to point [ or what I call the stomping method ].
          2. to actually use the clue’s references in a manner that they are needed to pin point the desired ending.
          #1 is being used by just about everyone who has ever posted. # 2 is sometimes used by some in combination with #1.
          My suggest is; fenn telling us he followed his own created clues from the poem to complete (completed?) the task, says to me # 2 is a more likely candidate.
          Even then… there are slightly different processes that can be done with #2
          Examples; a triangulation method of land features? {for example}
          What I like mostly is; an planned / time search that we need know, to observe the poem unfold before us with the correct deciphering of the clues as seen by fenn at ground level.

          But we do have options….

          • Hi Seeker:
            All of what you say is why I suggested making “It” parenthetical and thereby sub-visualizing it such that, at the risk of messing with the text, we imagine the following: “Begin where warms waters halt and take in the canyon down.” Now ponder: why “It” is there at all; why is it there twice; is it used as two differing agential references; what nexus of perceptions does it condition?

            IMO if one seeks to make difficult a task, not through deception but through concealment/camouflage, the sleight of text needs to come early in context. It goes a long way toward describing how the correct WWWH obviates the immediately next step taken by those successful seekers: they assume an agency unmeant for them.

    • Yes, this. If you don’t know what “it” is, you don’t have wwwh. It links wwwh to the rest of the “solve”, and points right at HoB. Here’s the poem “unfolded” as sentences:

      Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk.

      Put in below the home of Brown.

      From there it’s no place for the meek, the end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, just heavy loads and water high.

      This follows the punctuation in the poem, therefore I think it’s a legit way to unroll the blueprint, if you will.


      1.) It1 = path from wwwh down the canyon (whatever that means)

      2.) put in below the home of Brown

      3.) It2 = “it’s”, in the sentence “from there it’s no place for the meek…”.

      What’s interesting to me is at this point, there are no more “it”s:

      If you were wise and found the blaze look quickly down, your quest to cease, but tarry scant with marvel gaze, just take the chest and go in peace.

      • Hi srch12345:

        You said: “3.) It2 = “it’s”, in the sentence “from there it’s no place for the meek…”.”

        IMO in this phrase “it’s” is again in question, if only because of the preceding preposition “From”. Is “it’s” self-referential or is it descriptively contrastive? In my mind that question determines whether “no place for the meek” conditions where you are going or where you already are.

        If it’s self-referential then Fenn is speaking about where one would subsequently go from there, namely, further onward is “no place for the meek”.

        But if it’s a descriptive contrast then Fenn is using “it” yet again in stasis. “From there it’s no place…” takes on a parenthetical sub-text, as in: (away) From there it’s no place…” For example, if I were to say “North from there it’s Oklahoma; West from there it’s New Mexico; East from there it’s Louisiana, then “there” is a little place called Texas (apologies to Willis Alan Ramsey).

        • I think people over complicate things.
          IT = your journey.

          Begin your journey WWWH…
          Take your journey in the canyon down…
          From there your journey is no place for the meek…

          etc etc etc…


          • Hi Lori:

            That certainly is suitable. But two elements come to mind that frustrate that explanation.
            1. 15 years imbeded in the work product implies a careful undertaking of great difficulty. 15 years to build riddles in which to hide something before then hiding the thing in the vast particularity of the natural world which in turn must be faithfully represented by the work itself.

            2. 10 years of thousands of people having committed countless inward moments of devotion to something not fractionally solvable yielding at best some isolated minimal positive feedback from the originator.

            If the poem were simple; if its theme is typical to an aged human need; if its architecture is simple as well, then the chest is likely in Montana, perhaps outside the borders of YNP, the complexity of its concealment is the natural world. That would be enough, I agree.

            Somehow I don’t think that in itself would be enough for Fenn. But what do I know?

          • I think people also misunderstand what FF meant when he said it took 15 years to write the poem. It took 15 years until he was satisfied with how the poem was written. I don’t believe he spent every waking hour of that 15 years pondering word meanings and revising what was written.

            In TTOTC, page 131, FF writes “Indecision is the key to flexibility and it’s why I waited so long to secret my cache… And like Eric Sloane, at age almost-eighty, I figured it was time to act. So I wrote a poem …”


    • I believe you’ll Have Lost IT… Shouldn’t you be focused on WWWH , if you don’t know where to begin than IT is just a football. IMO you all talk in circles.

  9. I don’t have a solution to offer up, but I’ve thought about the above quote from Forrest with some duration. My thought is that if one is a member of the “literal interpretation” camp then the word that is key would perhaps be “canyon”. IF canyon means canyon in the poem, then there are only so many canyons within the search area. How many canyons reside within the requisite altitude parameters? Canyons aren’t typically found at high altitudes, so does canyon actually mean canyon? Just some random musings. Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Ann: No sweat, threads run together. The thing about Fenn’s secondary representations of the poem is that in its totality it is both necessary and sufficient, but nowhere does he stipulate that it is as such severally. Zaphop has a discipline of thought that holds to a steganographic devotion of some portion of the text as meant to camouflage other information. As such, that portion serves specific purpose but is folded into the body of text. Similarly, disguising the logistics of perception and spatial construct by thus using “It” in the way I suggest by no means renders the word superfluous. On the contrary, it gives it pivotal importance.

      To your second point (and I hope this doesn’t sound like question-begging) I don’t think the poem sustains itself in uniform mode so as to be “overhauled” as you ask. Fenn is a trickster. He doesn’t follow a serial temporal path within the body of the text: he begins with a recapitulation of events that embraces more than one mode of time, and then establishes, uses, and then shifts to other various modes of time. In short, I don’t have a one dimensional overhaul that satisfies your request because I think the text is meant to frustrate that.

      The poem is not fractionally solvable, and IMO it changes as it progresses. There is a perceptual trap at the beginning, indeed with the very words “Begin it”. But further on there is no expectation that Fenn will persist in such posture. He has said we will have to adjust.

      • SBH,

        Thank you for the eloquent words. I am glad you are not providing an overhaul of the complete poem as I don’t think doing so would advance what is already before us. Indeed, I do not believe n chopping the poem up and solving it fractionally either. I believe most of my posts reflect the need to examine the words in the poem and their relation to one another.

        Many speak about nine distinct clues. I only see a poem with lines and words in it. Let’s face it FF was not known for his linguistic expertise. An interview provided to me yesterday made me fully aware of that. While he may have enjoyed playing with words and perhaps even the rules underlying them, I believe FF is a simple man when it comes to words.

        Sometimes things can be overthought or thought too much into. And in doing so we tend to make more of what is actually there. I do not mean to oversimplify here either. Is it genius to hide a treasure and craft a poem that could lead someone to it? Perhaps. But any one of us is capable of doing the same (if we could afford the treasure to be hidden!) I myself have written a riddle or two (none of which lead to any treasure, at least not yet), but how many people do I realistically expect to understand my thought process in order to be able to come up with the answer I intend? It’s hard to say.

        I hope for FF’s sake that in 1,000 years words and languages have not changed sooo much that FF’s poem will be as foreign to the living then as Greek is to most today. (Should it take that long for the chest to be found.)

        It would be interesting to run vocal analysis on his reading of the poem to see if there is any notable change when he passes over any potential “key word.” And, as I have not studied any of his work, written or otherwise, I am very limited in the depth and breadth of contributing to his intent.

        I have only examined the poem for a short time, and so any analysis given has been strictly from a writer’s standpoint. I would venture to say that FF did not intend for the poem to be so elaborate that only the well versed could find the chest. And it’s likely not even about grasping the individual words or what the poem could mean. It ought to be about what FF mean’s when he says……

        We all have ideas about what the words could mean to us as indicated by our experiences with such words over the course of our lives. But we should really be asking what do the words mean to FF. Maybe that’s where the books come in handy, maybe not. I imagine reading them gives the reader greater insight into FF’s word usage and mannerisms. But I will leave that to those who have read or wish to read to decide.

        The key then, would be understanding the words as FF does.


        • I would certainly argue that Forrest wasn’t known for his linguistic expertise. Forrest uses a plethora of words old, new and slang alike and to me the man knows the English language through and through better than most if not all of us. We tend to pigeonhole definitions to their most probable meanings, yet reading Forrest is an expedition on the many various definitions a word has.

          Perhaps punctuation not so much but even that I think is by design and probably why he directs us to disregard punctuation so often in his secondary comments and interviews.

          A slight change in emphasis can change things dramatically.

          Put in below the home of brown.
          (Oh, so a specific thing is put in someplace south of or below the home of brown)

          Put in, below the home of brown
          ( emphasis on put in directs us to potential boat launch, located south or downstream from home of brown.)

          Put in below, the home of brown
          (The action of the placement of the home of brown, south of or downstream from current location.)

          • Sorry, That’s argue that he was an expert on linguistics, not that he wasn’t. I think my premise clearly says that but the wording of my first line may lead some to hear the opposite of what I’m saying.

          • Double a,

            My prepositional analysis shared a couple days ago discussed in detail the conundrum of the phrases. I focused in on line 8 as it is a stand alone sentence. It does beg the question, which arrangement best matches FF’s intent. But, as I of late have stumbled upon a potential “solve” I have shifted my focus to tying up loose ends there. So far:
            1. I believe I can answer the riddle.
            2. I believe I have the keyword, which also bodes well with my answer to the riddle.
            3. My proposed location meets the 9 clue criteria, with the obvious exception FF mentions you won’t know until you get there.
            4. And the details are eerily in lune with all three.

            That said, I will leave linguistic analysis to the linguists!


          • Thanks for that reminder Lori. It’s a bit late but I would like to say that I hope all of you enjoyed your Christmas, turkeys.

        • Hi Ann:

          As a writer Fenn’s products are diverse, but ultimately he is practical unto his projects and himself. He can be precise (FF land surveyor), humorous (many examples), strident (in memoria). But it is never art for him, indeed even art is simply a commodity for him. I think he is best when he stays within himself and speaks with the voice of his generation couched in its obstinate irreverence for schools of formal understanding not gained through direct experience. This general disdain for rules in behavior and punctuation (up until a moment rules happen to suit him) is useful in many aspects of the Chase and in his manipulation of text. Veterans call it Fennspeak. A perfect textual example is the poem’s first stanza: its uses of “and” dissolves continuity within portions of the sentence and ill-defines whether certain words are verb or noun. ….”I can keep my secret where and hint of riches new and old.” It’s a strange use of “where” and “and” that then calls into question the use of “hint” as a verb, further clouding the object modified by “new and old.” And it all starts right out of the gate.

          “The poem is straightforward.” Yes, but it is not meant to represent anything other than itself, and for a highly singular purpose.

          • The poem is straight forward;
            the puzzles within are anything but straightforward. IMO.

            For instance, one of ff’s clever hidden riddles about blacksmith
            tools… bellows = windbag

            Applying “Windbag” to one geographical location is more like a “trick”. I know of a place, but it’s location doesn’t meet ff’s minimum 5000 ft elevation where chest is hidden.

  10. Fisher of men? Searching for the correct solution to the end of Mr Fenn’s Rainbow? Rainbow is the word that should point you to the “Key” word. Right Mr Fenn. Up I’ve said too much lol

    • An idea I had worked with is to identify all the colors in the poem as a start:

      everd (verde, green)

      maybe more

    • How is a rainbow achieved?
      Does the Coriolis affect have anything to do with it?
      Sure, sure gravity plays a roll [Coriolis affect]… blah blah blah, but is the main causes for both? Because two thing are needed.

      Hint; One word start with a turn, the other, is only for the brightness amount us.

    • mdc,

      Thank you for the link. I have only seen quotes of this interview. Now I have some semblance of the context too. And in light of that, there is clearly one word in the poem more helpful than all the others. His reluctance to answer the question and his slight of hand in not answering it directly with a yes or no is a sure give that the answer is yes.

      That said, I am wondering now if he was joking about the last clue being the most important one, because as he noted you would obviously have the treasure at that point. Or, was he serious about it being the most important clue and covering up it’s seriousness by joking about it? I suppose I should take a look at the last clue!


      • It sounds literal to me. Why would we need clues beyond locating the treasure? I don’t even buy that the last clue is anything other than in the last sentence, because again why would we need more? Of course the last clue is more than a little important.

        Quote from interview, posted on Jenny’s site 10/16/19

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

        Another from 7/4/2014
        Forrest, What’s the minimum number of clues that we need to solve to find the treasure, assuming that we follow the clues in order? Serge Teteblanche Just one Serge, the last one. f

  11. The word that is key is “Brown”- capitalized. It’s not what it says which is important but rather a cllue on how to interpret all the clues.

  12. The word that is key is “Brown”- capitalized. It’s not what it says which is important but rather a cllue on how to interpret all the clue

  13. Aside from the poem, I believe the word “dedication” is key. FF has shown us this dedication himself by having spent nearly 30 years from the start of the Chase until the present. Exceeding his 15 year limit of remaining at the same job, Fenn’s dedication, benevolence, and tenacity is beyond admirable, it is Fenntaculous (yes, a new dictionary word – take note Webster). But if he has devoted this amount of effort, wouldn’t he expect the same from us?

    Time is limited, so my time to further post will also be limited. No harm was meant to anyone and I apologize if offense has been taken. Although much of what I have said has been deleted, my intent was to prove a point. That point is to listen and discern what that truth is.


    • Sorry, one more thing…

      The real treasure is life.

      Friends, love, happiness, and fond memories all make up this treasure. So how is it possible that a physical treasure can be a substitute for those irreplaceable things?

      Answer: Though a thousand million years will pass and money will never buy love, a gift from another should always be considered a noble act toward that goal in friendship.

      Whether received or not, it is up to each of us to accept its terms of offership.

  14. Drawing is a curious word…
    I’m not saying this word is the one fenn implied in his comment; a word that is key, { I think that basically relates to the first couple of clues} However, it seems to me to be a word of importance… not unlike many words in the poem.
    Drawing in one aspect relates to something that is happening, coming near.
    ~ (something) pull or move in a specified direction. {Note; no specific one action for how this occurs}.
    ~ move in a slow steady way. {drawing ‘ever’ -steadily and always- near?}
    ~ come to or arrive at a point in time or a specified point in a process. {Ha! there’s ‘time’ again, not unlike ‘place’; a place in time or situation}
    ~ to reveal or do something.
    ~ reach (a conclusion) by deduction or inference from a set of circumstances. { set of circumstances… that always is drawn to by ‘time’?}

    Drawing is a curious word when looking at it with its multiple meanings and in combination with other words neighboring the same usages… ‘time’ involvement is just one of those same usages.

    ‘Time’ doesn’t always mean of seconds, minutes and hours.
    Time; progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.
    { something / event that is ‘ever’ {always} drawing { come to or arrive at a point in time} nigh {near}.

    Now, some might say, ‘time’ is not a word in the poem. Yep, it’s not… but many words that are, do.

    • Drawing can also mean “to take out” as in “drawing a name out of a hat”.
      I think that would make it an antonym of “Put in”, the same way that “bold” is opposite “meek”. In my opinion, there may be others.


      • Lori,
        Opposite ideas for wording in the poem makes me nervous… For two reasons;
        Straight forward
        Plain English
        However, I do see what you’re saying. In the case of antonym usage, how do we know which are meant to be opposite?
        Does beginning point imply our ending point as well?

        • Seeker,

          I wasn’t talking about coded messages.

          Jake got what I meant. If you ‘put in’ to a river, at some point you need to get out.

          and LaCubana, LOL!


          • Maybe some time you will elaborate on your comment.
            I don’t see anything in your comment that helps in any way to contribute to the chase or this conversation…lol

    • Comments on Words-

      To an etymologist, every word is curious, as you posit, so be glad you’re not an etymologist!

      In terms of the title of this thread…..

      Look, FF never explicitly says: “Yeah, sure. There is a ‘key’ word in the poem.” He really just says one word will help more than the others. So, picking apart each and every word in the poem is rather extreme and also daunting from an etymological standpoint. Perhaps in trying to figure out what FF meant by this, we ought to ask ourselves which word is likely to be more helpful than the others and why? I imagine if we knew either of those things we would also know what FF meant.

      That said, if anyone insists on associating this “word” with the notion of “key,” it would be helpful to determine what is meant by “key.” What are some possibilities?

      1. Key can mean principle (as in lead or first).
      2. Key(s) unlock things.
      3. Certain objects have a key.
      4. There are key(s) to cities (this one is more figurative).
      5. Key(s) are generally placed in holes.
      6. Turning a key is usually the action taken to do the unlocking.
      7. Key(s) (at least the kind that unlock something) need something to unlock.
      8. Key(s) on maps help the onlooker be able to read the map. (I like this one!)
      9. Key(s) on maps tell us what the rest of the things on the map mean. (And this one.)

      And perhaps it should also be pondered:

      10. Where are key(s) usually kept?

      Not that any of this will help find the chest, but a thought process nonetheless.

      Side Note: Has FF ever been asked what his favorite word is?
      This question could be asked in the general sense or in terms of the poem. Just curious.


    • As Seeker noted, “drawing” is a curious word to use. Ever drawing is a curious phrase as well. Ever, to me, seems to indicate whatever the end is, it is always drawing nigh. So, what is always drawing nigh? Death comes to mind. Death is the end of life and it is always getting closer as each moment passes. But this seems a little too easy to be the answer to the clue, though still possible (what do I know).

      Another way to interpret this line in the poem could be that the end of something is always pointing or directing left. With a little imagination, one could envision their compass arrow always pointing left (north) as they travel east. The line says the end is ever drawing nigh. The end could be the end of the arrow on the compass, the arrowhead, that is always drawing nigh as you travel east. So, east? Arrowhead east? Arrow head east?

      I feel silly now about to propose the obvious, but what if the poem once all of the clues are solved, tells of us a few locations and directions to/from them to the TC? I know what you’re thinking.. DL, you’re a genius. Thank you. But I digress. What I mean is what if the words/names/phrases in the poem that are interpreted from the clues give the name or description of a specific location when they’re all put together from the first clue to the last? Then perhaps the clues would need to be re-solved differently. For example, for the big picture maybe “the end is ever drawing nigh” means “arrowhead east”, part of a location or description of one. But once the big picture location is known, “the end is ever drawing nigh”, could simply mean the end of the chase is getting ever closer from wherever you are at HOB or NPFTM. Maybe “death”, as I noted earlier, is actually the answer and somehow death relates to where you go next.

      I haven’t gotten this thought out too thoroughly but I did find it interesting. A poem that is written to be solved in layers would certainly make me feel like an architect and without looking at the big picture to identify your initial location, WWWH just seems to be a guess.

      Food for thought I suppose.

      • The poem is layered, that’s what makes it so difficult. IMO, you have the poem at face value, you have the solve for the “x” on a map, (the poem solve), and you will have some of the clue references found on the path to the chest. The clues that could not be solved. All will mesh together nicely.

        Now I don’t know what you mean death has something to do with it, I don’t think those that have passed have an advantage, and I’m sure f would never consider having “death” come into play for whatever reason within the chase, so that idea, IMO, is ridiculous.
        Also, no matter what, in the end, there will not be any guessing. If someone policing their solve, sees that they guessed anywhere, then most likely, they are wrong.
        But as far as the layers, who really knows how many. Most likely more then 2.

        • What I meant is, maybe death is part of a theme for the poem. After all, being face to face with death is one of the big inspirations for f creating all of this so I don’t feel that it is ridiculous to consider death to have some sort of relation to the clues in the poem.

    • Seeker

      Many words in that sentence are curious. End, ever, drawing and nigh all have relation to time. They are hard to decipher ff’s meaning. IMO

      • Sam,
        Yep, Many words in the poem are also… not just that line.
        One of my points was, with the word “drawing” there is a usage / meaning of; *come to or arrive at a point in time or a specified point in a process*
        This meaning always have something to do with movement, and more about a situation one might need to consider… “In a process”

        Now, if we also consider the multiple meanings of any or all the words in the poem; such as “place” to be of a situation one can be in… the next question in this line of thinking would be… what is NPFTM all about, if it might be something else other than a physical place?

        The difficult part of understanding what we read is, to understand how the words can be used in different manners… My major example is how; “Take It In” can be of an observation vs. a movement.
        So, words like drawing don’t always have to be of a physical movement; for example; water flow. The idea is to see how every word / phrasing of words can be utilized to fit and explanation of how the poem can be read as.

        I think PosionIvy might be saying that by the “layer Idea” posted above.

        Distant Logic, also sees how words can relate to the idea to death… I can see many words in the poem that have this meaning attached to them. So, can death be a type of theme to consider when attempting to solve what a clue represents? Sure, why not? I have posted about just that idea many times in the past.

        The idea of Multiple Meanings and Usages of words and phrases simply gives a different perspective of what the poem could be relaying, and that includes points on GE [ which in of itself is a map ]. However, IF all we do is read the poem as all being points on a map [GE]… being 9 points… what happens to direction and/or instruction being possible clues?

        For example; If reading the poem as an observational style solution; “Take It In” creates the idea of “down” just might be a direction of *looking south* on a GE and botg [ that is an instruction, rather than, a direction of movement ] because of how the poem is read as observing from the staring point.

        So lets play with stanza 2 for a moment. What do we have? Words that mean observing, look, studying something that is in a certain direction to view something else… having using directions and instructions to do so… and we could have the idea of a word of importance {key?}… IT… as: *Begin observing [IT as what to do] where warm waters halt.*
        And like I have said… if all a reader does is read the poem as only points to stomp to, then they will never see how this idea can form stanza 3 as possible instruction, rather than, movement of the search. It just a different perspective.

        Death can bring on a different interpretation as well. Unfortunately, my reading of the poem in this manner lead me to the idea of a type of graveyard or cemetery [not always a human graveyard. Maybe *Distant Logic* has other thoughts… but at least he’s adjusting his thoughts for a different reading words and phrase in the poem, other-than, a traditional style reading of a precondition notion 9 different points is a must, and possible spread out over miles of land and water.

        But, IMO, you hit the nail on the head. In just that line alone we have many words that mean many different things [ usages ] and many that mean the same to each other. I guess it all falls down to, thinking the right thoughts.
        Difficult but not impossible?

        In the media section there is this interview;
        ***A Columbus, OH radio Station aired this interview with Forrest on December 3rd, 2015. It’s HERE.
        {I think this is the correct interview… it may have been a SF pod cast which I can’t locate at this time}
        Unfortunately the above link it keeps saying ‘permission denied’ but it use to work. It might work for you… I have might have my security system set up somehow that it won’t allow access.
        Part of the conversation was about; how he worked on the poem for 15 years and many draft he went through ~ “I looked up words and definitions of words and change them, went back and rebooted, It {the poem} turned out exactly like I wanted… the results are what I wanted.”
        I wrote down that conversation for my ‘own’ reviewing from the audio… the quote is word for word… But it was not the whole conversation.

        MY point: if that is what he did… I’m doing the same.

        • Seeker,
          I am just curious if you have your own BOTG solve posted anywhere that I could read?

          I would be interested to see how you worked through a solve from your perspective. Obviously, it would be a failed attempt, but I am more interested in the process you use.




            Lori, this is my most recent theory [if this is what your looking for]… there are a couple more different theories / perspectives on how I can read the poem, also posted on this site.
            Just type in ‘Seeker’ in the search bar and you can find them there.
            But, warning… they are not for the meek, lol, or the diehard point to point stomper.
            No BOTG solve for me as of yet, IF you meant, an actually ‘field excursion.’

          • Seeker,

            Thank you for that. I will peruse them later, but I was curious if you had made any attempts to actually search, or if all of this is just conjecture.

            That doesn’t sound the way I mean it. I am not trying to demean what you are doing in any way. I am open to any perspective that might help us put our hands on Indulgence. I was looking for a “transaltion(?)” from theory-craft to real world investigation.

            No offense intended.


          • Lori,

            Anything called a theory/solve/general solve, needs testing.
            I personally don’t believe we will find all the answers on a map and just hop, skip and jump our way to the hide.
            My question has always been; can solving of the clues be known beforehand, or in the field?
            My idea is both… yet… not completely.

            I think we need to finalize things in the field that we just can’t do at home. Or at least would be extremely difficult to do “precisely”

            The simple version / explanation is;
            The “planning and observing” part of the task.
            Yep, we should be able to figure out what is needed to be done, beforehand, but not totally finished, just by knowing what it is we should do… we need to complete the poem as it unfolds in the field.
            Call that the confidence idea, if ya like.

            In theory…. of course. But we need to have certainty of the location..first and foremost.. before the path [the clues] is direct, line of thinking.

            To stay on topic: I think… the word of importance here is; observe. Which indicates what “begin IT” may refer to when we read “take it in” as well, and all revolving around WWsH reference.
            LOL even IF we have the right location… we need to know what WWsH is and WHY we need it.

            The hassle for this theory… like any theory and/or method attempted… is we need to know where we have to be at to get the ball rolling. Location Location Location… then have the understanding of how the clues leads one to the blaze and the chest.
            I just see that ‘process’ differently than most.

          • Seeker,

            I get what you are saying, and I do agree.
            Once I pieced together my general solve, I began looking at ATFs to see if there was anything that would refute my solution to the clues. So far, I have not found anything that does, and quite a bit to reinforce it. But I must be on the ground to find the blaze, which leads to finding the chest.

            What I also realized is exactly what FF meant when he said to start with WWWH and solve each clue in consecutive order, that you cannot start in the middle.

            A good example is looking for HoB. There are so many possible HoBs, that if you start there and then try to find a WWH that is connected via canyon down, you will find many, many locations… none of which is correct.

            BUT, if you focus on solving WWWH, then follow the clues in order, you will know if you are on track because you will find the correct HoB. If you can’t find HoB, then obviously WWWH is wrong and it’s time to start over.

            So, yes, I agree that MUCH research and preparation is needed before going out to look. Unless you have unlimited time and money and can spend every waking hour walking all over the Rockies. Not recommended, even if FF said you can find the chest in any weather (paraphrasing).


  15. I think the key word is – it – the i is the creek with the dot on top is hob. The t is the road that goes up and the line across is the road that goes north and south and that is it

    • Actually, there is a part of the poem that says “that I must go”. So, maybe it’s not “it” but just the “t”. Maybe a searcher is looking for a “t”.
      Fighter pilots “cross the ‘t'” so to speak when an enemy is in their crosshairs. Maybe the “t” is something you cross. Who knows, right? Of course, would still need to know where, lol.

      • Here is a little experiment I did with letters, and counting letters. Not helpful in the less I’m sure, but interesting nonetheless:

        X is the 24th letter of the alphabet
        Treasures is the longest and only 9 letter word in the poem
        I is the 9th letter of the alphabet – I have gone alone in there (alone in the poem?)
        there are 9 clues in the poem
        the last line of the poem is 24
        9 letters into the last line is t – following this letter are the letters i and t
        t is the 20th letter of the alphabet
        the 20th line, 9th letter is t and the letter previous to it is i. The two letters after it are t and i
        The two letters after the 9th letter in the 9th line are i t
        ‘To the gold’ is 9 letters

        And take it in the canyon down – 9th letter T, 8th and 10th letter is I
        I give you title to the gold. – 9th letter T, 10th letter I, 11th letter T
        So why is it that I must go – 9th letter t, 8th letter I, tenth letter T
        I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak. – 9th letter T, 10th letter I, 11th letter
        In what might be the 9th clue (If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,) the 24th letter is T
        Look quickly down, your quest to cease, – 24th letter is T

        • Aaron,

          Quite fun and interesting. Agree that it likely isn’t helpful, but it makes you wonder if FF was aware of IT!!!!!! (Now I’m laughing!)


        • Strange. Wasn’t “IT” an Addam’s Family character… Cousin “IT”, I believe.

          If I’m not mistaken, that would make “IT” a Mary Lou or Billy Bob…

          HhhhHmmm… you take your pick.


  16. If you go back to where Forrest Fenn said that you will find FF said words not word. now how can we find a word that will help more than the rest? if we don’t know all the words. we know A and The is important words but not a key word. Drawing post talks about Drawing as time. and can be a key word and i think it’s right but that is A key word but not The key word. that word only helps one thing at what point in time are you nigh (near). The key word that will help the most has to help with all the clues not just one or two ? then you have the nouns important words but not all as a key word. nigh; is a key word the ; states as a filler to a different word. poem is designed to rhyme and states the words have been changed to rhyme so what is the word that don’t rhyme is that a key word. then you have FF interview no secret and ff said a secret; is just a story that has not been told or a untold stories. secret is a key word but is it the key word can that help with all the clues. then you have new and old, past and present mirrored to new and old to make it rhyme ? then you have water high mirrored which should be high water which is a big fishing term possible a key word but not the key word. Now The key word that will help the most and helps with all clues and hints is “riches” can you find what FF said and how it works.

    • maybe it’s not the actual word itself. Maybe it’s the placement of that word that is the take-away. I highly doubt one word will help solve all clues. But we will need to solve the last clue, and the placement of a word might just help with that, as a number.
      There must be some kind of number system used somewhere. A number has to pop up somewhere in a solve, or we couldn’t pin-point the chest. If the word that is key is a word in the poem, and that word is, let’s say, the 97th word, then maybe the 97 becomes the take-away. Maybe that coincides to f’s age in the Summer of ’97, or 66. The 6th letter in the alphabet is “F”. Maybe it’s about that number, “66”, and two other numbers in f’s life that are important, 80 and 57. Added together may be the 9th clue, or 203. 203′ is around 200′, who knows, I don’t think so, but my point is the placement of such a word that may be what searchers are missing.

          • this only proves the point ff said if you don’t have WWWH you have nothing. so how do you find WWWH well that’s easy “key words” and how do you find the key words in the poem. well ff said that too. read the poem over and over till you under stand it. so the question is do you under stand the poem. lets start with the first key word it tell you how the poem works to unlock new key words. which unlock the mystery of WWWH none as my secret. with that i will leave you with “the answers i already know” ? is this what you think. is it the answers ff already know or if you got the first key word right you would know now ; works I; is it you? the answers you already know. is this ff saying the poem is backwards. did ff give us the answers and not the questions in the form of a question we are all looking for the answers to but to find the question to.

        • i done see any thing that would stand out to that effect. the numbers not line up to any thing i have. the letters don’t make cense to the words or the words changed to. your more than happy to go that way if you think there is something there let me know.

      • Like saying a word that is key.

        What makes you think THAT is key?

        Which actually it is. THAT is in tight focus with FEW.
        (And, it’s not so much the word, but the placement of the word).

        Can’t believe the answer to why is in the medicine wheel, and a few ATF’s, along with the book. Dude is sneaky. You know he’s having a few laughs with just this one comment. Probably hasn’t stopped laughing since he was walking back to his car.

  17. SC 179 “How can I say a line better and keep it in the same flavor as the others? Is this sentence too predictable? Do I want to misspell a word to make the reader stop and look it up, and maybe feel a need to respond? It’s okay if the reader wants to work with me.f”
    SC 164 “THIS MYSTERIOUS VESTIGE OF A SAILING PAST, SHAPPEND BY MYRIAD WINDS AND WAVES, OCCUPIES MY HAND AT LAST, SUBJECT TO WHATEVER WHIM MY MIND, IN ITS WANDERINGS, CRAVES. f” Placed on blog just before 01/12/17, I show it here to illustrate how Forrest will use a misspelled words, like the word KNOWLEGE which he cast in bronze on bells and jars to imphasise a point, note my (mispelled) point in this case. I think ff’s point is, and I aellege its a “LEdGE”, as in where something might be hidden in the Rockies, as in our poem “Look quickly down” at this place from the blaze and your quest to cease; your poem travel is in tarry scant mode and you see a marvel gaze when you look down. If in fact there is a LEDGE, tarry scant at that place.

    None of those Winter Thoughts above is the word that is key, because it is IMO and has no meaning with out the other words, it is Where Warm Waters Halt, not just the key word halt, but where it halts and drains, cause from there, its just, too far to walk, but it may also be the home of Brown, where we need to paddle up from, Ardi? Can a beavers home be just the mud and sticks it uses to build it’s house or is it really the creek where Mr Brown makes his home? Does a beaver have a paddle, does it make a home somewhere? These words just creek along, but they keep flowing somewhere..


    • So what if I could show you a place that Little Indy might find easily on Google Earth and it could easily be the spot Where Warm Waters Halt?

      So simple a child who speaks English or Spanish can find it?


      • What if those Warm Waters halt at someones home? Lets call it Browns house, after all it could burn down, it could wash away, but Mr Browns real home it Where? A Creek Ardi.


  18. Oz10,

    In thanks for your help regarding the notion of “key word” as our exchanges have suggested, and in light of the potential “solve” they have led to, I wanted to share with you a similar “key word” albeit slightly different. I will give you an indirect reference to it first, to see whether you connected with my previous method.

    The “key word” I am thinking of is a spin off of a word in the poem, and marks an x on the map.

    If this peaks your interest and you have figured out what I mean, then I suggest you look around and see what’s left if I am right. At this point I have to brag about how cleverly the previous sentence is worded. I think FF would be proud and to anyone who figures out what it and the indirect reference mean then you will appreciate it as well.


    • if “I” think your saying is right that is a key word but not the key word that well help the most but on the right path to tread throw the willie’s of nature and circumstances. hears a hint to the key word: it will confirm all.

      • Richard,

        Since I do not know to which word you are referring I cannot say what I think about it. The “key word” I allude to so craftily above does not lead to some mystery location I haven’t already shared. The word is “tired” and it led me to the same location I had previously been led to by other means. For Oz10 who knows how he helped me identify a different “key word” I assume he knows what to do with the word tired. It literally puts an x on the map. For everyone else, you can just as easily discover the location by following other posts I have made.

        As for your “hint” and the rest of your remarks, the sentence structure and wording are a bit garbled, whether due to typos or for some other reason, and therefore don’t make much sense, at least not to me.

        It is no secret I am willing to share whatever ideas I may have about all of this. But to those who respond seriously I have been inclined to try and share with before the rest. So when I post a cryptic post it’s usually for a specific person who should be able to decipher it. Plus it’s a fun way to share information. I’m sure FF would agree.

        If you have a different “key word” Richard, I would certainly be interested to hear which word that might be and why. Otherwise, I really have no idea what you are talking about!

        And all remarks here are IMO.


        • Ann – I am curious about your focus on “tired”. How can a word put an “X” on the map? You suggest your key word is not in the poem, which goes beyond FF’s statement that all we need is the poem.

          • KTR,

            Not sure how much you’ve read in terms of my posts (which have only been in existence for a few days now), but I will try to clarify.

            So I had posited a question previously regarding the poem and the map both used by FF. Oz10 helped me pinpoint a “key word,” for lack of a better term. Key, referring to a map key. So you can look back through my previous posts for a better resolve on that.

            With that in mind, there is an alternate “key word” using the same methodology except that in this case that word is “tired.” And while the former keyword Oz10 and I discussed is more literal, this one requires a “spin off” (pun intended) in order to be used to locate the literal x present on the map. So, without giving this fun riddle away completely (although following my posts will surely give you the answer), I would just recommend thinking of an alternate/related word for the term “tired.” The alternate/related word can be found literally on the map. And as an additional help, my craftily created sentence I brag about above will make much more sense once you have the right word and have located it on the map. If you wish to know which map I am referring to, it is simply the map FF uses to indicate the search area. If this doesn’t help, I can always spell it out for you, but what fun would that be!


          • PS-

            The “key word” is indeed in the poem (IMO). I agree all we need is the poem. If I suggested the key word is not in the poem it was a slip up in intent. “Tired” is the key word I was referring to. In order for it to be used in the method previously discussed it only refers to a different word literally on the map, whereas the “key word” postulated by my discussion with Oz10 was quite literally on the map. Hope that helps clear things up a bit.

            All IMO of course.


    • Ann,
      You have said you won’t be doing a BOTG search.
      I will be going to a family reunion in northern CO the last week of May, and the plan is to head to Yellowstone through WY after that. If I can be of service, let me know. It’s too early to make promises about when/where I am going, but that is the plan so far.


      • Lori,

        You’ve got mail! I would very much be interested in working with you in general. I won’t say too much here but I look forward to corresponding and sharing ideas. I would say information but let’s face it, we are all just throwing around a bunch of idea. Hopefully someone’s ideas will stick one of these days! I look forward to finding out.


    • Ann, let me think about that. I’m working on two other difficult riddles but I’d like to find out what you mean. I’ll get back to you soon.

  19. To All,

    I would like to add this suggestion to all commentary. FF wrote this poem as a means of leading someone to a chest he placed somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. He did so knowing that the entire world would read it. He did so prior to any interviews, emails, or other correspondence regarding further information about the poem, the chest, or anything else related to the “Chase.” And he did so knowing that not everyone would have access to any other materials other than the poem perhaps. So the idea that a girl from India could make any headway but only so much is important. It means indeed that there is a way to get a location directly from the poem without more information. While this is all IMO of course I urge others not to make more of the “Chase” than it would be for someone without access to anything other than the poem. If, the poem cannot get you there standing alone, then I would posit that either FF’s bias in knowing the answer oversimplifies the difficulty in lining things up, or more likely the meaning of the words as FF sees them has still alluded those trying to figure it all out. In either case, we should all keep FF’s intent in mind when trying to make any reasonable deductions, predictions or guesses. And we should not discredit others for their thoughts because we find fault in their ideas when they rub up against something said here or a quote there, or for any other reason not directly attributable to the poem. I could go on but I think I will pause there. Just wanted to share some general thoughts and my personal opinion on this entire ordeal.


  20. I carry 2 cannisters of bear spray, the large size. Keep them easily accessible, know how to properly discharge, and practice your quick draw. Advice based on personal experience. A charging grizz when in the field is terrifying. Practice your tree climbing skills with a 42 pound pack lol!!

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