THE Theory…by Milwaukee Searcher

March 2020

By Milwaukee Searcher


I have had many, many theories over the past 7 and 1/2 years… but this is my most comprehensive to date. I arm chaired this theory, after many BOTG searches in NM…  for a year I studied this area, researched all i could, and drove all the way out to yellowstone- I was only able to search for 30 minutes… but that’s a whole ‘nother story… that trip will be 4 years ago this June… The more I look at this poem, the more confused I get… endless options… how to look at it, how to read it… but I’ve never been able to shake this theory-
I consider myself an architectural theorist, and have been to several spots in New Mexico, but only this location in Yellowstone.

this theory has “the” as “a word that is key”

(a key is something that turns to be unlocked)
“THE thrill of THE chase”
“some people over complicate THE complexity of THE search”
– “marry the poem to a map”
  “the poem is a map”
“imagination is greater than knowledge”   (this theory is imaginative).
poem as a map

Click on image to enlarge

close Joffe


1. “alone in there” = into Yellowstone, via 89 (the northern entrance/arch)   aloNE IN THEre= NE IN THE= (turn key)- Eht ni en= 89


2.  begin it where: warm… take it (warm) in the cAnyon, not far- but also fAr- put in below (below means, by definition “at a later place, or after)- so, put in below- put in after.
            warM waters halt = Mammoth
                cAnyon down
           too fAr to walk
     THE HOMe of brown
(turn key- the- eth- maamohthe=mammoth)
3.  from there it’s no place for “the”
From THEre it’s no place for the …
        THE end is…
     THEre’ll be no paddle…
        JusT HEavy loads
the home of Brown is created by #3-  an F forming (effort/F fort), representing some still standing buildings of the CCC (the old Glen Creek CCC, now the YCC)
    CCC boys were known as the “khaki kids”- khaki=brown.  more on CCC later- but keep in mind    mY SECret=ycc, quest to cease, all to see(k)
   ***in this theory, “the end” is referring to the cold, the wood, the gold
              I’ll get to this later
4. There’ll be-  aLL and listen good
                      wiLL BE worth…
           (trail to the end at southern end of lake?- this does seem to exist looking at google maps)


5. paddle up your creek-   I guess I took the liberty of paddling up the creek from “go”- resembling the shape of the actual Glen Creek- Go, marveL, quEst, fouNd, CREEK.  – but no “the” as a word that is key, and this might just be coincidence
6. if you’ve been wise and found the blaze- “the” blaze? the F?  look quickly down… to cease… the 3 c’s in quiCkly, sCant, and Chest- a path from the old CCC to the lake- this does exist, I believe.


7. I guess I also took the liberty of drawing Joffe Lake- following the sounds of the word- Just, Already,All, EFFort (EFFort), thE (pronounced “thee” answers), and lEave.         hey, Imagination is key, right? Sort of resembles the odd shape of the lake- and whY Chest sCant= YCC (look quickly down your quest to cease- two C’s) (see picture above)
8. “take the chest” to “leave my trove”-  the from    The chesT
                                                                                wHy is it tHat
                                                                            leavE my trovE
            – you can look at my notes here, on my drawn map… possible treasure at either at I (circled)- eastern point of lake, there was a tree there, and an open old stone gate i think leading to Glen Creek trail, or at southeastern part of lake- a small trail heading east to #9- see below.


9.  THE cold= loc eht=locate
           THE wood= w eht=weight
           THE gold= old geht= old gate?  =log eht= log 8?
                   – locate weight = 42 pounds…   something ff has been very specific about since the beginning.
   “the end is ever drawing nigh-  draw left-


so- yeah, there are definitely holes in this theory- but I went here- this was the place parents took their kids to learn how to fish in the 1940’s. It is not a tourist spot- you’d never know it was there, unless you just knew it was… It’s a very small lake.


other things to think about-


  • The clues did not exist when I was a kid but of most of the places the clues refer to did. I think they might still exist in 100 years.

-Joffe Lake used to be CCC Lake, and the YCC did not exist-(it was the        CCC)- so here are examples of places not existing when ff was a kid, but   the places the clues refer to did exist-


-here is a map from 1942 proving there was a CCC where the F (fort), or my home of Brown, existed.  1942 Glen Creek CCC


-on p.146 in TTOTC is the infamous drawing of a man with an axe, and all the cut down trees…  the CCC was also known as the “tree army,” and there are bronze sculptures all over the US of men with axes- CCC bronzes (Even if my theory is totally far off, these bronze statues must be significant?)


-the CCC slogan was “We can take it.”
(And take it in the canyon down…)


-there was a man- an author- by the name of Datus C Proper who also grew up in Yellowstone. He was 4 years younger than ff. He died as Skippy did, in a scuba diving accident. It was only in researching my Joffe Lake area that I came across this man… one of his books was What the Trout Said I have not read it- however, he was an avid fisherman, so growing up in Yellowstone, he probably knew at least some of the spots ff did. (I did reach out and ask ff if he knew Datus Proper- he did not reply). I mention him for 3 more reasons- (besides growing up in Yellowstone, being about ff’s age, his name itself, and his death).


    1. I found this article- “Managing Eden”- Field and Stream (By Datus C Proper, 1993)—    It’s very important you start on P.57, then continue to P.94-   by the end of the 2nd paragraph on p. 94, you can see why finding this AFTER I had my spot… I got excited…   youth, bikes, secret fishing… he even mentions “high water” in the third paragraph.


    2. the quote-  there are a couple of good hints and there are a couple of aberrations that live out on the edge.” (Moby Dickens Book Shop 34:41 mark) is it possible this is why a bunch of dates are wrong/obviously changed in the postmark stamps? say his name- Datus Proper-  sounds like Date us proper-   is this like ff?


   3.”What is wrong with me just riding my bike out there and throwing it in the water high when I am through with it?” (HOD Forrest Gets Mail 10/03/2012
-the little girl in India could not get further than the first 2 clues with the poem and a map of the Rockies, because a map of the Rockies only has highway 89 and Mammoth Hot Springs… the rest is more detailed. 
“Your destination is small but it’s location is huge”- yellowstone is huge? Joffe Lake area small in comparison?


without me drawing on joffe lake and glen creek, and YCC(C) and my notes- just look at the “the’s”- here is a picture of that… this could be something?    please note, “the” blaze resembles an F, and “the” end resembles an upside down F…    and i don’t think it’s an accident that “the chest” goes to “my trove”…







28 thoughts on “THE Theory…by Milwaukee Searcher

    • good work just goes to show how much the mind can spin like a yo-yo thanks for the good read

        • The slower you read it, the more you can focus on what it says.
          Sticks with you longer.

  1. Hmmm. I think this might keep me in a treasure hole for a week. Fortunately I have absolutely nothing to do with it being winter defcon lock down.

  2. Well that’s definitely an imaginative theory, Milwaukee Searcher! So since you tested out during your BOTG trip 4 years ago, are you done thinking about this spot, or still trying to work something out in this area?

    I found that Field & Stream Article to be an interesting read. I wouldn’t have guessed that Joffe Lake was artificial, and am not sure what side of the debate of removing it versus leaving it I would fall on in that debate. The stone gate that you mentioned possibly leading to the Glen Creek Trail looks like it might be hooking up with the Bunsen Peak Road/Trail instead. I guess like the old route that went over Snow Pass to the west, this may have been a regular route before the Golden/Silver Gate stretch of the loop road was constructed? I wonder if those could be a reference to treasures new and old?

    Anyways, lots of cool tidbits in this area of the park that I never paid much attention to before.

    • i just know my life will not take me back there- for years to come. and if someone is in the area- they might as well look… although now the park is closed… due to these unprecedented events. I just needed it off my chest.

      – the stone gate is next to Glen Creek trail- on the wide part, east of the lake… we parked there for a few minutes. remember the couple that started at Mammoth, took the trail and got engaged at the waterfall? – it was the early years. maybe they were the ones who “never know they got so close.” prob not, but i just think anything is possible. thanks for reading.

      • I think the engaged couple must have been before I started getting interested in the Chase, but who knows? Did their engagement video line up about the same time that Forrest released his 200 ft & 500 ft comments?

        And yeah, Rocky Mountain National Park and Mesa Verde are both closed down here in Colorado right now. But Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon of the Gunnison are still open, so I guess National Parks are managing themselves on an individual basis. I can’t see them closing for too long, but if this virus situation stretches out too long, I won’t be surprised if they reopen and impose limitations on number of visitors admitted or something like that. Anyways, thanks for sharing!

  3. Milwaukee—-

    Thanks for sharing. I did find those “F” shapes to be very interesting.

    • i mean… interesting… for sure- prob not architectural, the map he put out later is aligned to the left… this theory is based on alignment. like i said… just one of a million ways to look at the same thing.

  4. I have been in the chase about as long as you. I can appreciate that you have had many theories but this one sticks in you mind. For years I had looked over the area near Mammoth, via google earth. Rainbow Lakes was my target area.
    I like that “THE” could be a key word. But I am not smart enough to figure out cyphes or codes…

    As for Joffe lake, I found an article that said that it is “a great option for children or beginners”. That could children an advantage in finding the treasure, even if they may not be able to lift it.

    • there were no cyphers or codes- just playing with “the” and surrounding words… thank you for reading. best.

    • Lunacy? I think he’s using imagination, which Forrest said was needed. So kudos for imagination!

    • from Latin luna ‘moon’ (from the belief that changes of the moon caused intermittent insanity)

      Moonshot. Dove nest on the moon. Mirror experiment on the moon. Alice through the looking glass. “Forrest Fenn did you really just do that?”. The chest is on the moon.

      • That’s a very serendipitous post (for me) Wherewolf!
        Believe it or not, I actually have a wolf in my small pack named Luna! And she happens to be a little crazy.
        I’d post a pic if it were possible. Strange coincidence!

  5. Fenn said he was like an architect drawing the poem. It may very well take a arciteck theorist to solve the poem. Treasure hunting is complicated enough, let alone the whole poem with nine lines, clues, stanzas, noums, verbs, and meanings.

  6. Milwaukee Searcher,
    Thanks for sharing your solve (something I have yet to do), but boy oh boy… our minds sure spin in different directions and I was lost as to where and how you came up with your start point.
    My very first solve was in the Taos area, but a year or so later when FF said the chest is nowhere near the Rio Grande, that sent me in other directions.
    Like others, I looked pretty deep into the same area you came up with, over one or two winters compliments of google earth. To eliminate my selection bias once I found a place, I would mark it and I would tell myself, okay, what if it is not there (fortunately, I never answered myself). I would then work the puzzle until I had another possible spot. After many months on online searching, I had dozens of flags posted in that search area before I left it completely… by continually talking to myself.
    I did put BOTG in that area on September 2018, just because I was traveling nearby. After looking over the area and my start points for less than an hour, I was glad I had given up on it. IMO, FF was not heading in there at his age.
    I did come away with some very memorable moments, or mental treasures if you will. Like watching a moose stroll through the town of Gardner and actually use the crosswalks! (got pic’s to prove it) or 4-5 large female elk grazing on fresh cut grass near the Albright visitors center, with a massive bull elk layin down in the shade of a tree watching them from 40 yards away. Watchin Park Rangers chase away (gotta use Forrest’s new word) retarded tourists who were trying to get closer for a selfie, was pretty funny as well. Anyway, I’ve digressed…
    Milwaulkee, I have actually typed up my solve, from beginning to end and just can’t bring myself to posting it. After putting boots on the ground, I feel like I just missed it, because I do not know what the confounded blaze is and I’m gunna go back and although it is quite selfish, I don’t want anyone else getting there first because of my solve.

    Much love to all!

    • i simply got to my starting point (my millionth starting point) by looking at that first sentence- As I have gone alone in there… in where, exactly? and focused in on the “the” in “there”… saw the eight nine (phonetically) and saw it repeated at – the (ca)nyon-
      the (turn key)- eht nyon- 89- canyon road. went with it, tried stuff… he said starting point was most difficult… so, i just tried to crapshoot, basically, studied, researched, went BOTG… thank you for reading.

    • it was a difficult choice, david, to post it… mostly because of the “lunacy” type comments… and really this is just a reminder that i’m totally alone in my thoughts, and totally not… i’m open to thinkers, that’s what we do as creative people… think. analyze, create… i mean is there really any harm in sharing ideas? i’ve done it for years creatively… anyway, i just know i won’t be back… so if you go back, you can check this area, and i’ll never know it. Im back on the NM train… i think, at least this month. thanks for reading.

  7. I think we’re starting to churn for ad clicks. 2020 Pre-season ideas:
    – Study the inside cover Scrapbook. What do you see? Pay attention to all details. Nothing is there by chance.
    – Forrest’s life story reveals a dual timeline.
    – If you were to hide a treasure somewhere out there, how would you turn the location into a puzzle? North-South, East-West, tick-tock.
    – Have you found the 0,0 mark? Sit with your father by the fireplace and think.
    – Every day we get one foot closer to the treasure. Do you understand?
    – People, places, mail, scrapbooks, what to make of it all?

  8. Hey Ol Milwaukee, that’s a great post and info. When you were north of SF, did your ever find yourself killing time in Taos or some of the great burger joints near Sedona? I’m headed there in Sept and need to know where the good grazin is…maybe that depends on what the definition of is is. Love a good patty melt, especially a pineapple teriyaki melt with extra onions.

    • turns out i’m a vegetarian. good luck- and remember, “porcupine meant tastes like kerosene.” p. 63 TTOTC

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