Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Nine…

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APRIL, 2019

 

Slush Cup Competition

According to the Santa Fe paper more than 280 inches of snow fell on our ski hill this winter. Now it’s melting all up and down the Rockies and the rivers are filling with run-off. Soon it will be time to start searching for the treasure, but not yet. 

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Sunday the 14th was the last day of skiing for this year and there were several hundred people on hand to watch the Slush Cup competition, or as some call it, the “The Annual Dunk.” Doug Preston, and his wife Christine, were there taking pictures. About 100 men, women and children registered to compete in the juried event.

Shiloh made it – no, wait. He almost made it.

Tradition suggests that competitors wear costumes, and many did. A mystery man wearing a banana suit with a cape drew the most laughs, especially when he splashed soon after he reached the 2 feet deep pond. Superman soon followed with the matching results. Many participants made multiple runs and they didn’t seem to mind getting soaked in the 32-degree weather.  Some were topless and others wore swim suits or skivvies. About 25 skiers and snow boarders made it safely across the 65-foot pond. Shiloh and his friend Nick (who is one of the geniuses at Los Alamos National Laboratory) made multiple runs during the 3-hour event, and both were able to skim across. They also crashed a couple of times.

Shiloh and the partially nude Nick.

Contestants were judged on style and results. Shiloh and Nick didn’t win anything, but they were smart enough to take a change of clothing. The top prize went to a 23-year-old woman who received tickets to the Ten Thousand Waves Spa, where the water is warmer. Maybe I’ll enter the competition next year, it looks like fun. f 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Eight…

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MARCH, 2019

 

Hey Forrest,

Here are some documents I dug up related to your 12/21/1968 rescue:
1) Handwritten log from the Joint Search and Rescue Center (JSARC). 
2) Mission Narrative Report 2-3-79 written by Lt. Eagan, USCG.

Also, I found some records related to the first time you were shot down on 8/24/1968
1) Handwritten log from the Joint Search and Rescue Center (JSARC).
2) Electronic records list the aircraft as F-100 D with serial # 563019.

Note, TACAN ch-89 is Nakhon Phanom and TACAN ch-115 is Binh Thuy. Positions in logs are often given as TACAN coordinates: heading / distance (NM) / TACAN channel. The heading is from the tower to the current position.

Some other notes:
– Your chute beeper never activated (phantom beeper picked up 35mi south of your position).
– Swisher ran a MISTY thru your flt path to figure out where to search for you.
– PJ King (high bird) was MIA/KIA 4 days later (on xmas, about 25mi NW of your pickup). He was awarded the AFC.

Best,
Chris L


Chris L.,
Thank you so much for finding those documents for me. I had not seen them before. They explain a few things that I had wondered about, especially that my parachute beeper had not worked. My chute is probably still hanging in the tree. Anything else you can find for me will be greatly appreciated. I received a Silver Star for that mission, But I have never seen the narrative that was written that convinced the brass in the Pentagon to give the medal to me. I would like to read that document. It must be somewhere in my personnel records. Where do you live Chris? If you are ever in Santa Fe I would like to show you my combat scrapbook. I have a photo of me being pulled up on the
Cable, taken by someone in the high chopper. f

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Seven…

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JANUARY 22nd, 2019

A More Human Side of the Chase

Normally I don’t read long emails, but these three came to me with the flavor of a different personality. Lee, who is from New York, was drawn to the chase by the desire for companionship with a friend who had no rigid expectations. This is their story. f

Dear Mr. Fenn;
I have written you before and I feel like you have become a great friend of mine even though I have not had the pleasure of meeting you.  I hope you won’t mind if, in the future, I address you as Dear Forrest – you have become very dear to me.

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Here is a picture of my best friend in all the world – Tyke.  Tyke and I took the train to search for your treasure in Colorado this summer, and (look at his face), we had the time of our lives.  After we got home, I learned that Tyke had terminal cancer.  As I write this, I’m about to lose my best friend, and I feel lost.  How can I ever thank you enough for getting us on that train and creating a wonderful memory that will last into eternity for us?  Words don’t suffice, but my heart is full.

Happy New Year, my dear Forrest.

Lee


Dear Forrest;
Thanks to you, we had four glorious “Fenn trips” – two were camping, in which we stopped at all sorts of fantastic places (Dodge City, the Daniel Boone National Forest, some reservations, we went to Pagosa Springs and camped out (with my father who is 3 months younger than you and a cancer survivor) in 38 degrees – and no, I did not think that Where Warm Waters Halt was Pagosa Springs!  We just wanted to see it.

I wish I knew you better because I think we have many shared interests.  I am around the same age as your daughters. My baby died on January 2nd.  Now I have to finish the story that we started together.

Lee


Dear Forrest;
I wanted to send you two more pictures of Tyke, to show you what a handsome fellow he was, and what a sweet soul.  He made friends wherever he went because he was so full of love and enthusiasm, and he thought that everyone was his friend.

On our last two trips, we took the train, and he made friends with people in the station, other people in the sleeping car, the conductor!  One girl I met on the train took pictures of Tyke and has them on her refrigerator!

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Lee

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Six…

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December 20, 2018

f100ss

At 1755 this evening I will salute an anniversary that is noteworthy only to me. It will mark the exact time my parachute and I floated down into a dark, dank, and dense Laotian jungle after we ejected from my crippled F-100. It was during the Vietnam War, and little did I know at the time that the incident would indirectly lead to me writing The Thrill of the Chase, a memoir. I told that story to Nelika and here is an email I received from her this afternoon. Thank you Nelika. f

Subject: 50 years ago

Hi Forrest,
Just thinking of you on this day and wanted to send you a lil poem I wrote just for you:

Today, half a century ago,
You rose up from below;
Shot down from the sky,
Yet once again, you did fly.

Those moments a memory,
Embedded for eternity;
In a mind thinking a thousand thoughts,
Collecting them all, like snapshots.

You soared through life,
Alongside your wife;
A maverick each day,
Living it your way.

Thank you for being you!!

Your friend,
Nelika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Five…

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December 5, 2018

 

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Suzanne and Barry Manilow made this video privately.
She is fed up with what she sees around the world and wants to make a political statement. It has been sent to a very visible political commentator hoping that person will play it nationally. She has been very close to Barry for many years and they have great chemistry. She joked that the “Movement” may have her arrested. f

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Four…

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OCTOBER 15, 2018

 

I woke up to snow on the ground this morning in Santa Fe, and a temp. below freezing. I went out to get the paper and about froze. Hopefully all searchers will stay by the fire drinking hot Ovaltine til about May or June. To me, being cold is a lot worse than being hot. All of the Rockies north of SF are now unsearchable to my way of thinking. f-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Three…

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OCTOBER 2018

 

Well, here’s Rooster,
One of the more famous searchers who probably has to look on a map to find out where she’s standing. Fun comes to her easier than it does for most of us. She said dal could post her email if I blocked out her very secret search area, so I placed ???? in its place (rolling eyes). Thanks Mz Cogburn, and please don’t ask me to be your search partner. f

Subject: ScaredyCat

Dear Forrest Fenn,

I finally ran away from home, for 25-hours. 25-hours of sheer hell. Hell of my very own making. I did see a moose and found a tin can sculpture, so I can probably subtract 15-minutes from my hell.

Attached is a map and a sculpture.

I made it through the private community of ????. As I was trespassing on private property, I was tracked down by two old biddies, I guess they are the sherriffs in the place, making sure they keep the riffraff out. Actually, they were very nice, after I let them know that I was trespassing because I was chasing a wily fox (which is technically true), the old biddies bid me good-day, reminding me to wear my orange when hiking around. Because of course, it’s hunting season. Crap, I forgot my orange. After I was busted by the biddies, I tried to make my way up a bit North to where I think there is a gaze connecting my tary, but a hunter chased me away. It occurs to me constantly that I am the very worst searcher, ever. I am truly a doofass. I haven’t given up, but I gave up this time. I did make my way to Laramie and seen the UofWyo, it was dark. I slept at a rest area, I was scared, and then I came home. In the gray areas of my narrative, there are only dark dumb scary things that I do all the time, like driving with my lights out, getting lost ALL the time, being weird and not knowing North from South, taking i80 east instead of i80 west, more than twice. Almost driving up a “Do Not EnterWrong Way, Not bringing bright orange, and babbling like a criminal to the two old biddie sherriff’s. I might not ever find your treasure, but I’ll keep trying and crying.

I hope you and yours are well, Forrest Fenn.

Hugs from Utah,

RoosterCogburn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Two…

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OCTOBER 2018

 

Today I received a wonderful email from Jeff Olsen and he gave me permission to post his P.S. I always had good excuses not to spend more time with my parents. And now, at age 88, I regret everyone of them. If anyone is listening please post a comment on this blog. f

“P.S. – I want you to know also that The Thrill of the Chase has already had an immeasurable impact on my life. Especially in regards to the relationship I now have with my dad (he is 82 and has recently just completed his memoirs as a partial result of me giving your book to him for christmas a few years ago), and in the adventures that I am able to take my kids on now and in the true spirit of your gift to the world…” Jeff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety One…

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SEPTEMBER 2018

 

George and Me

George Montgomery was born in 1916, which made him 14 years my senior, but we didn’t care about that. We were really good friends who collected western art and Indian artifacts together. He was a movie star and an artist. Our gallery sold his bronzes. We both loved Montana where I spent many summers. He was born in Brady, MT, and half of his ashes are buried there.

But our similarities started slowing down really fast after that. He was a genuine cowboy who worked on his family ranch. That was nothing I wanted because they had to get up too early, work outside when the ground was frozen, and dig fence post holes in the blazing summer sun.

Other dissimilarities: George was 6’3”, strikingly handsome, possessed the gift of glib in a good way, and made 105 movies. Some with John Wayne.

And he was haunted by a fear of flying the likes of which may be noted in the broad annals of aviation history. One time we were having Frito Pie at the Santa Fe Five and Dime on the plaza. Our spellbinding stories to each other occupied too much time in the telling, but we loved them anyway.

Suddenly George looked at his watch and cried, “Oh God, I’m going to miss my plane.” He had an important meeting in LA that absolutely could not be missed. I thought he might collapse, and the airport in Albuquerque was 65 miles away. “George,” I shrieked, “You can make it if I fly you to ABQ, what do you think?” He looked horrified. “Ok”, he whimpered.

Twenty-five minutes later we were in my little propeller driven airplane heading south. Albuquerque Center handed us off to Approach Control, who turned us over to the tower. They cleared us to enter a right base leg for runway 27 and we were number 2 in the pattern. An aircraft on a half-mile final approach was cleared to land ahead of us.

Well, the small airplane ahead of us crashed on the runway and started to smoke. Two people crawled out of the wreckage and fled. Suddenly there was a lot of commotion on the radio.

George looked straight ahead and didn’t say anything.

The excited tower operator reported that runway 27 was now closed and advised us to enter a right base leg for the north/south runway. We touched down over a mile away from the accident and didn’t interfere with the copious emergency vehicles that raced down a taxiway.

George looked straight ahead and didn’t say anything.

After some back-and-forth discourse with Ground Control, we were cleared to taxi to the gate where his jumbo jet was loading passengers through an up-ramp.

When I stopped, George quickly got out of my plane, jumped off the wing and boarded the airliner just as the door was about to close.

I don’t remember if I yelled goodbye. f

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety…

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SEPTEMBER 2018

 

A recent conversation with a friend about Eric Sloane prompted me to go through his papers in my file cabinet. The first item I found was the following story that I wrote many years ago, and never published. I remember with great fondness that interesting event with my friend Eric.

Today I look around at me,
And rue so many things I see.
Maybe it will help if we
Recall the way they used to be.

 

The Sheet Episode

One winter morning about 1980, while gathering some sun near the pond behind my gallery, I told Eric a funny Taos story about an Indian who had been invited to dinner at the home of Louise and Joseph Henry Sharp. During the meal, the host and his wife retreated briefly to the kitchen. When they returned they found that their guest had departed along with Louise’s prized white linen table cloth that had adorned the table. The dishes were askew and Louise was aghast. The next day Sharp witnessed the Indian walking near the plaza wearing his new wrap-around table cloth.

My story reminded Eric that in 1925, when he visited Taos Pueblo, most of the Indian men wore white sheets as an outer garment. He recalled that many years earlier, some of the men wore nothing at all in the summer time, except maybe an eagle feather hair decoration.

During the Army presence at the pueblo after the revolt of 1847, some of the wives complained that the feathers didn’t cover up enough. Kit Carson took the matter up with the Governor of the Pueblo, and after some deliberation, the Indians agreed to wear clothing, but only if the Army supplied the garments.

A simple solution was effected with the issue of regulation army sheets for the Indians to wear, thus starting a long and colorful tradition at Taos Pueblo. Everyone was happy, especially the female tourists.

Standing Deer by Joseph Sharp – Forrest Fenn collection

Unfortunately, over time the Army disappeared from Taos Pueblo, and so did the white sheets.

So, Eric and I decided to re-supply sheets to the Indians, expecting them to be thrilled, and we could wallow in the realization that an interesting episode in Taos Pueblo history had been rekindled. The next day, with a gross of J.C. Penny sheets in my car, we struck for Taos where we spoke with the Governor of the pueblo. After telling him the Kit Carson story, we suggested that he take our gifts and issue them to what we were sure would be a delighted group of natives.

We departed the pueblo with the gratification that belongs only to those who have made great cultural contributions on a magnificent scale. Our friends held us in thrall until the next day when a friend of Eric’s in Taos phoned him to report that the governor and two of his friends were successful in wholesaling large quantities of sheets on the plaza.

Eric and I had a good laugh at our own expense but were somewhat pleased to know that at least we had added, in some small way, to the economic growth of the pueblo. f