Theory for When Forrest Hid Indulgence…

November 2017

by Rob


Forrest has been understandably secretive about when he hid the treasure chest. Scrapbook 163 discusses the fact-checking questions that were asked of Forrest prior to publication of Taylor Clark’s story “The Everlasting Forrest Fenn” in the California Sunday Magazine (which appears inside the L.A. Times and the San Francisco Examiner). That story, by the way, was my first exposure to Forrest Fenn and his treasure. A few of those questions dealt with when Forrest hid the treasure:

Fact-checker: “Even your wife didn’t know when you buried the treasure, correct?”

Forrest Fenn:I have never said I buried the treasure so please don’t say that. I hid the treasure, but that does not mean it is not buried. I just didn’t want to give that as a clue. My wife’s name is Peggy.”

F-C: “You hid it in 2010?”

FF: “I have never pinned it down that close. I just say I was 79 or 80 when I hid it.”

F-C: “So you were 80 then?

FF: “I was 79 or 80. I have a reason for not wanting to give an exact date.”

A year-and-a-half earlier during the Moby Dickens Bookshop Q&A in Taos, an anonymous fan posted a question to Forrest’s online fan base: “Was the car, you walked back to after hiding the treasure, rented?” Forrest replied, “You know, that’s the first time I’ve been asked that question. But, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about that. That’s why I’ve told people that I buried the treasure … that I hid the treasure chest when I was either 79 or 80 years old because I don’t want the exact date to be known because I’m afraid someone will go check the rental car records and how many miles did Mr. Fenn put on the truck or car, and so I don’t answer those kind of questions. But shoot that person that sent that email.”

So if that had been as precise as Forrest was willing to be, then it would mean he hid the chest some day between August 22, 2009 (when he turned 79) and August 21, 2011 (the last day he was 80) – a 730-day span. However, The Thrill of the Chase was released in the fall of 2010, so it is reasonable to assume the chest was already hidden by then. Any lingering doubts about that were removed by Douglas Preston’s forward to Forrest’s soon-to-be-released third memoir, Once Upon A While. If Doug’s account below is accurate, then we now know that Forrest was 79 when he hid Indulgence:

“And then finally, one lovely summer day in August 2010, I visited him and he brought me into the vault. The chest was gone! “I finally hid it,” he said. He was about to turn eighty years old and still in excellent health with no sign of cancer, and he decided to stop waiting and hide the chest now.”

So that cuts the window by more than half. Doug doesn’t give the exact day he visited Forrest in August, but it was no later than August 21st, which means the absolute latest Forrest could have hidden the chest was August 20th. But thanks to some middle school kids’ questions that Forrest responded to in February this year, we can say more than that:

Q: “Could you also tell was (sic) time of year you hid the treasure?”

A: “Yes, it was summer.

And later:

Q: “What time of year did you hid (sic) the treasure?

A: “Summer

There is some ambiguity as to what dates Forrest considers to fall under “summer,” but I doubt it’s a strict astronomical definition based on the summer solstice and autumnal equinox. Most likely, it’s just the three months that most school kids would consider summer in the U.S.: June, July and August. But to be safe, I retained September since technically fall doesn’t start until late September. So we’re left with two Indulgence-hiding windows: August 22, 2009 – September 30, 2009, and June 1, 2010 – August 20, 2010. So 40 days in 2009 and 81 days in 2010.

So why does any of this matter to anyone other than unscrupulous rental car agency employees? Because I wanted to show just how limited the possibilities are. I’ve winnowed down 730 possible days to just 121. And I’m about to knock that down to a single day because I think Forrest actually hid the date in the poem itself!

There are no years or months mentioned in the poem, and few words that could be construed as numbers to be used for dates, so how could he hide a date in the poem? One way would be to use letters to stand in for numbers, e.g. A=1, B=2, … Z=26. So today’s date (October 25, 2017) could be encoded as 10-25-2017 or J (10) – Y (25) – T (20) – Q (17), or alternatively as JBETQ if the 25 was split into individual digits.

Now, not all dates can be encoded this way. For instance, October 30, 2017 won’t work because we don’t have a letter to correspond to either 30 or 0. The year 2009 presents problems, too, because of the consecutive zeroes. The best one can do is encode that year as “TI” and assume the decoder will figure out that 20-9 means 2009 and not 209.

With the exception of the four days in our window that fall on the 30th of a month, every date can be expressed as either a 4-letter code or a 5-letter code, sometimes both. There are 456,976 possible 4-letter combinations, only 103 of which encode a date in our window, so the odds of a random 4-letter combination producing one of our dates is about one in 4437. The odds are even longer on a matching 5-letter combination: 1 in 162759. But there are a lot of ways to pull letters out of the poem: consecutive letters in a word, initial letters of consecutive words, final letters in consecutive words, first letters of poem lines, and so on. But if Forrest was really going to do this and expect it to be found, why bury it somewhere obscure? Why not stick it in plain sight by using only the capitalized letters that begin each poem line?

There are 24 lines in the poem, and therefore 21 different 4-letter codes that can be generated using consecutive lines (without wraparound from the bottom back to the top). The first is AAIA from the words As, And, I & And. That would work okay if Forrest had hidden the chest on January 1, 1991 (1-1-9-1) with the 1900 implied. But let’s cut to the chase. Despite the long odds, there is exactly one date in our 121-day chest-hiding window that can be found using this system:

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.

FTTJ = 6-20-20-10 = June 20, 2010. Not only does it encode the last two digits of the year, it encodes the full year. And the code is completely contained within one stanza. It also immediately follows the word Brown: the only capitalized noun in the poem. Arguably it is the second most prominent location to hide a four-letter code, exceeded only by using the first four lines. If Forrest really did secret the hiding date within his poem, that might explain one of his enigmatic puzzlers from Mysterious Writings Weekly Words a little over a year ago:

“I could have written the poem before I hid the treasure chest, but I didn’t.”

On a final note, Forrest wrote in TTOTC that two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead, so there has been speculation that perhaps one other person, now deceased, might have known where Forrest would hide the treasure. I think this date tells us that person’s identity. June 20th in 2010 fell on a Sunday. Father’s Day.


New Book Order Page…


As Cynthia has pointed out…to get a signed copy you MUST check the “signed copy” button on the order form.

You can also order by calling the bookstore 505 988-4226 and of course you can pick one up in person if you are at the book store.



We Have a Stick Man Contest Winner…

Pondering the submissions

The winner is below. If you click on it you can see it full size.

As you may have guessed, this was difficult for the judges. There were nearly 100 entries. The skills and genius of many of the entries are absolutely wonderful.

What made this image stand out is it’s outright stick figure simplicity while cunningly endowed with humor and joy.

The ducks, Tesuque, Forrest’s checked shirt, his belt buckle, the gleefulness these figures exhibit as they sneak to the hidey spot. It’s a great deal of fun but also exhibits specialized Fenn knowledge and even laughs at our own tireless pursuit of hints. (what’s that in Forrest’s hat band?)

Well done and congratulations to Jonsey1

We have a brand new, signed copy of Forrest’s latest book, Once Upon A While, for you.



You can view all the entries below:

Page One Entries

Page Two Entries

Page Three Entries

Page Four Entries

Page Five Entries

Page Six Entries

Page Seven Entries

Page Eight Entries

Page Nine Entries

Page Ten Entries

Page Eleven Entries


Book Review for Once Upon A While…

Submitted October 2017
By cynthia

A few days ago I had the opportunity to meet Forrest at the Collected Works Book Store in Santa Fe. He popped into the store occasionally, unannounced, this week so he could pre-sign all the new books before they were shipped out to the readers. I sat at the table quietly watching as Forrest signed book after book after book. It was a truly organized event between him and the guy who worked there. A carton of 20 books would be carried to the chair beside Forrest where the guy would open the box, set a stack of books on the table to Forrest’s rightside where he could easily slide them one at a time in front of him. Then the signed books would be placed neatly inside the same carton and moved to the back of the store to get ready to be shipped out. Before I knew it, Forrest looked at me and said he was done. I was impressed… he had signed 80 books in what seemed like just a few minutes.

He asked me if I’d like to chat over cups of hot chocolate… yes, I said. From there we drove to Downtown Subscription where they serve the best mugs of hot chocolate in Santa Fe. It was crowded but we found a small empty table in the midst of the mob. During the course of our conversation Forrest suggested I write a review of his new book and send it to Dal to post. I was flattered he asked me and I agreed to do it.

Remember this story, originally titled “Eunice, LA” and posted on Dal’s blog as Scrapbook One Hundred Sixty Nine in March 2017? Many of us know it as the Bingo story. Like many other stories in this new book, slight changes have been made between the original scrapbooks posted on the blog and the revised stories in Once Upon A While. This one really caught my eye…

If you notice, the text / title on this page says RAINY NIGHT BLESSINGS but the chapter title at the top of each page of this chapter says RAINY DAY BLESSINGS. Is this difference in words (between NIGHT and DAY) an accidental mistake or an intentional hint to us searchers? Is this why Forrest told me to mention this picture? I don’t know…

I am not the naturally gifted writer that Forrest is, or Douglas Preston, or Jenny Kile, or Dal. My review of this book is the way I talk… fragmented thoughts along the line of Fenn treasure searchers, not like the prose of the literary masters. There are 184 scrapbooks, 27 Vignettes, and 3 Passages written by Forrest and posted on Dal’s blog. 39 of these were included in this new book Once Upon A While. Even if you’ve read and memorized most of these, I highly recommend you buy or borrow a copy of this book and revisit each of these 39 stories. Forrest added “MY TWO SENSE” at the end of each chapter (with a post mark stamp), often punctuating the story with his wit, humor, and anecdotes, as well as a few updates.

One of those updates is on page 171 in The Bullet Comes Home. I don’t want to spoil the ending so won’t reveal the additional text included in this chapter. But it made me sad… I had the privilege of sitting in The Bullet a couple years ago while Forrest sat in the driver’s seat and explained the details of the mechanics of the car, or lack of mechanics, I should say. Now it’s just a bittersweet moment in my memory. As Forrest so wisely puts it “Once you leave home you can never move back.”

If I still haven’t piqued your interest in this new book, I gotta mention the drawings… all by Forrest and mostly stick figures. He thinks he’s not a good artist.. I think he’s exceptional and each drawing adds to the stories. Notice his turquoise belt buckle on each of the stick figures that are him throughout the book. I thought that alone was clever..

And lastly, in my opinion, this book is visually stunning. I love color… color pictures, color stick drawings, and color backgrounds with the bleeds to the edges. Just leafing through the pages should make a person want to look at each page and eventually read the text. And whoever came up with the idea of putting the page numbers in large font in the center of the margins? For any of you who have ever written a book, or magazine, or maybe a yearbook years ago, you have to appreciate the creative style Susan, Lou, and Forrest captured here. This is one of his best!

cynthia meachum

IMPORTANT NEW Info on November 2nd Book Signing…

Please, for the moment and until we get through this book event just put the following information on your blog.. Do not have any other information about book sales up, please.
Thanks for understanding! Lou
Just this for the time being, please..


Anyone wanting a seat at the event must send a request for ticket/s either by:

  • Email to with your name and phone number, requests will be processed in the order received and confirmed by return telephone call.
  • Or you may call the store at (505) 988-4226 and talk to Dorothy or Darrell between 9am-5pm daily. If not available, they will return your call promptly.

A New Contest…



Thanks for your understanding.

Please feel free to peruse the entries.

Forrest’s new book is nearly upon us…

We have a new contest to help celebrate the occasion!


If Forrest can do it so can we. Make a stick figure drawing that depicts “Forrest Hiding Indulgence”. Make it simple. Make it black ink on white paper.

Winner gets a signed, first edition copy of Forrest’s newest memoir, Once Upon A While.

One entry per person
Must be submitted via email
Must be on the topic of “Forrest Hiding Indulgence”
Must be black figures on white background
Entries can be drawn digitally and submitted
Drawn manually on paper and scanned or photographed and submitted
Entries must be emailed to:
With the subject line “Contest”
Include your blog name so we can credit it properly for all to see
Entries must be received by dal before the contest closes
Contest closes 11pm (Santa Fe time), Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Entries will be posted on a page linked at the bottom of this page.
Entries will be judged based on originality, imagination and fun factor.
Judges will be selected by the time judges are needed.
Judging will occur as soon as practical after the contest ends.



Please feel free to peruse the entries

Page One Entries

Page Two Entries

Page Three Entries

Page Four Entries

Page Five Entries

Page Six Entries

Page Seven Entries

Page Eight Entries

Page Nine Entries

Page Ten Entries

Page Eleven Entries


Once Upon a While Musings…



We will use this page to post pics and pages from the new book that Lou and Susan send over…
Forrest came down today to see the book being printed.

Lou Bruno, book designer, and Forrest

Jessica Jenkins, editor, and Forrest

Danny Trujillo, printing rep, and Forrest

Scott, pressman, examining a run.

Forrest and Danny looking over a vintage platen press

 What To Do If YOU Find The Treasure?…

by Kyle



Greetings Fellow Searchers!Stop me if you have heard this one before.

Each of us believes we may be the one to find the chest. However, only one (or a small group) can succeed. With that in mind, I would like to offer my two cents on what could be done if you plan on divulging your discovery.

We have some advice from Forrest: vault, wait thirty days. But… then what?

I have two hunches on HOW Forrest will know when the chest is found. First (less likely,) in order to receive clear “title” to something, you need to give valuable consideration. Be it $1 or the sale of a bracelet, there needs to be consideration if “title” relates to a contractual term. Second (more likely,) I have a strong feeling that Forrest has included a personal request to the finder to one day return all or part of his ashes to this location (Tea with Olga.) I find it almost impossible to believe a searcher would deny him this request after the thrill he has brought to so many lives.

So, what to do? Please consider a brief consignment/rental period with a museum(s) near the Rockies. This will continue to draw people outdoors to discover this magnificent landscape. I’m sure Forrest knows a thing or two about how to set this up, insurance, etc. I for one would love to see the real thing after all the time spent on the chase. Also, perhaps Dal would consider helping with an interactive display at the Museum(s). We could view the chest and read the many stories from his website along with the best-of-the-best solves. This brings me to my last suggestion…

PLEASE consider keeping the location a secrete for at least a short time. Perhaps Dal can set a deadline for us to submit our greatest solves to him once Forrest confirms the chest has indeed been found. Wouldn’t you LOVE/HATE to know you were mere feet away or maybe a thousand miles away…. what a rush! It will be easy to make these claims in hindsight, once the finder discloses the location. For those of us who have enjoyed, invested, and even sacrificed so much, an honorable mention in Dal’s Hall Of Fame Solves would be a great consolation prize. Then, we will forever remain part of the legend of The Thrill of the Chase.

Your friend in spirit,


PS: If you find the chest soon, please ask Spielberg to be an extra in the next Indiana Jones movie. What a great easter egg it would be!

Making Your Failed Solve a Winner…

by FMC


You’ve spent hours upon hours thinking about the poem, scouring Google Earth, and doing your research. You’ve likely spent hundreds (or thousands) of dollars and time away from work and/or family to put BOTG in your search area. And now you’re back from your 1st or 2nd (or 15th) trip and you’ve decided that your solve is a bust. Now what?

Complete solves (those where each clue has a reasonable interpretation and where the clues work together to take you to a relatively small search area) are inherently personal given the time, money, and effort that go into them. And admitting to the world that yours was wrong can be hard for anyone. No one likes to admit failure. But I challenge you to change your way of thinking about these failed solves. Don’t think of it in terms of having to admit failure. Think of it as an opportunity to share the brilliance, creativity, and hard work that led you to put BOTG in the first place. Focus on the journey, not the destination. And this guide will (hopefully) help you get the most out of that journey and make your big reveal the best it can be.

Excitement about your solve prior to putting BOTG is a wonderful thing.  Specific details are almost always closely guarded, but a searcher’s confidence tends to make itself known.  Which leads me to my favorite Chinese proverb:

You were confident in your solve and for whatever reason, your solve didn’t pan out. Own that pre-BOTG confidence and commit to sharing your solve.  It may take some time to find the right pictures and write it up, but your solve deserves to be shared.

Sample Structure

The outline of your solve is up to you, but if you’re struggling with where to start or what to include, the following are a couple things to consider.

Your backstory with the Chase – How did you first hear about the Chase? Is this your first BOTG?  How many times have you read the books?  Do you consider yourself a hardcore searcher or is the Chase something you do while you’re also travelling to fish or hike?

Your initial thought process – What led you to your solve?  Was there a Eureka moment where something clicked reading the poem?  Was there something that immediately jumped in your head when you first heard about the Chase in terms of a specific clue?  Did something in the books resonate with you?

Solve walk through – This is the crux of your solve write-up.  I suggest going through each clue line by line with your reasoning/interpretation below each, along with any visual aids/extras that make your solve easier to understand, whether that’s maps, quotes from your internet research, etc.

Your BOTG trip – Where did you go and what did you do?  Did your solve plan play out as you expected it to or did you encounter any unexpected challenges?  Were you able to get to your search area and what is your takeaway from your BOTG trip (i.e. solve is eliminated because you searched everywhere and didn’t find it, solve is eliminated because it’s too impossible to get to your search area, the terrain made you question whether FF could have made two trips to the search area, etc.)

Making it Interesting

Have a good title – Why should a newcomer to the site click on your solve instead of any of the others posted here?  Reference where you went or your methodology (but in an unusual way) or make a joke… anything to stand out from the pack. Some examples of (IMO) good titles from the Others Adventures page:

Not Another Rio Grande Solve!

A (partial) knowledge of Geometry…

The Trouble with Confidence

Pictures – Everyone knows the old saying that a picture is worth 1,000 words… so use pictures.  Even the best of us at describing the dirt trail above the river, surrounded by pine tree covered rolling hills won’t have the same impact as this will:

Maps and Google Earth images (with or without MSPaint illustrations) are also good ways to complement your written descriptions your solve/clue interpretations.

Add in some non-Chase content – While most people are going to primarily be interested in your solve, the overall entertainment value of your write-up can be enhanced by adding in other interesting things from your BOTG trip.  Did you try your first rattlesnake jerky?  Did you go on a whitewater rafting trip?  Did you catch the biggest fish of your life?  Did you see a moose?  Do you have anything that those of us reading your solve in our cubicles or in line at the grocery store or anywhere else not very exciting will read and think “That sounds awesome – I’m jealous of this person’s adventure”?  Put it in.

So maybe you had a solve and put BOTG earlier this year… any chance I’ve inspired you to write-it up and send it to Dal?  If so, great.  If not, that’s okay too (I guess).  While I encourage everyone to write up their failed solves and BOTG trips, part of the fun (at least for me) in the downtime between trips is thinking about how I’ll share the next one with those on this site and what the reaction will be.  Keep this post in mind if you do the same.

by FMC-

Meet Up With Forrest on November 2nd….

September 2017



Forrest will shortly have a new book out. It’s titled “Once Upon a While”. It will be a paperback and sell for $24.95.

Author, and Forrest’s friend, Doug Preston wrote the following Forward for the new book. (republished here with permission from Forrest and Doug)


Treasure of Another Kind
By Douglas Preston

I first met Forrest Fenn in the Dragon Room of the Pink Adobe in the late 1980s, where he habitually occupied a table in the corner, which featured a rotating cast of eclectic Santa Feans, including John Ehrlichman, Larry Hagman, Clifford Irving, Ali MacGraw, and Rosalea Murphy. I joined the table as a young, unknown, and struggling writer, wondering how the mistake had been made inviting me among all these famous people. But Forrest Fenn was an outstanding lunch companion, telling story after story that kept the table enthralled, and we instantly hit it off. That was the beginning of my friendship with Forrest, who is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met. Here is a man who came from a small town in Texas, barely graduated from high school, spent 20 years in the Air Force as a fighter pilot, flew 328 combat missions in Vietnam over a period of 348 days, survived being shot down twice, and was awarded a raft of medals; he then retired, moved to Santa Fe, and built a world-famous gallery that put Santa Fe on the art-world map; he ran the gallery for 18 years with his wife Peggy and together they raised a wonderful family. Along the way he also published 10 books (this is the 11th), acquired and partially excavated a 5,000 room prehistoric Indian pueblo, and amassed a peerless collection of Native American antiquities and art.

I knew I was a friend of Forrest’s when, in the early 1990s, he invited me into his vault. This walk-in fortified room, hidden in the back of a closet, was filled with extraordinary treasures—Pre-Columbian gold artifacts, Indian peace medals, a Ghost Dance shirt, the greatest collection of Clovis points in existence, and (later) Sitting Bull’s celebrated peace pipe. Forrest had been a dealer in art and antiquities for years, with many superb objects passing through his hands. These were the things he had kept, the best of the best. Forrest liked artifacts that told stories, and each one had a rich and fabulous history.

In that first visit to the vault, Forrest wanted to show me something quite specific. He explained that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Although it was in remission, the prognosis was not good. He did not, he said, wish to linger in weakness and pain, and he especially did not want to put his family through a long and difficult ordeal as he wasted away from cancer. The honorable and dignified solution for all concerned, he told me, was to end it quickly and cleanly, by suicide.

But Forrest is a complicated human being, and with him nothing is simple. He had worked out a plan to end his life that would, he hoped, give something back to the world and encourage people to explore the outdoors he loved, while at the same time generating high interest, if not consternation. Forrest was never one to shy away from causing a stir.

On the right side of the vault, on a sturdy shelf, sat a bronze casket of ancient workmanship that he had recently acquired. Gene Thaw, the noted collector, had identified it as a rare Romanesque lock-box dating back to 1150 A.D. He opened the lid to reveal a dazzling heap of gold—monstrous nuggets, gold coins, Pre-Columbian gold objects—along with loose gemstones, carved necklaces, and a packet of thousand and five hundred dollar bills.

“Go ahead,” he said, “pick up a nugget.”

I reached in and picked up a massive raw nugget the size of a hen’s egg, cold and heavy. There is something atavistic about gold that thrills the imagination, and as I hefted it I felt my pulse quicken.

“That’s from the Yukon,” he said. “Nuggets that large are rare, worth three to four times their bullion value.”

He reached in and removed the bills.

“What are those? Funny money?”

“No. It’s legal United States tender”—not normally used in circulation, he said, but sometimes these large denomination notes were exchanged between banks to keep their accounts in balance. It wasn’t hard to obtain one; he simply called his bank and ordered it, and a week later it arrived. He tucked the packet back in the chest. The chest also included a vital piece of paper which he showed me: an IOU for $100,000 drawn on his bank, so that he would know the chest was found when the discoverer collected the IOU. He rummaged around in the chest and brought out a handful of gold coins—beautiful old St. Gaudens double eagle gold pieces, along with dazzling gemstones, a 17th century Spanish emerald, and a gold Inca frog.

“Lift the chest. See how heavy it is.”

I grasped it by the sides and could lift it only with difficulty. The total weight of gold and chest was more than forty pounds.

Forrest then explained what it was all about. After his cancer diagnosis, he had begun thinking of his own mortality. The doctors told him there was an eighty percent chance the cancer would return and kill him. So he had worked out a plan: when the cancer came back, he would travel to a secret place he had identified and bring with him the treasure chest. In that place he would conceal himself and the treasure, and then and there end his life. He would leave behind a poem containing clues to where he was interred with the chest. Whoever was clever enough to figure out the poem and find his grave was welcome to rob it and take the treasure for themselves.

The final clue, he said, would be where they found his car: in the parking lot of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

He had worked out all the logistics but one: how he could pull this off by himself, without help. He did not feel he could entrust anyone else to assist him. “Two people can keep a secret,” he said, “only if one of them is dead.” He had already written the poem, and he now brought it out and read it to me. It was similar to the poem he later published in his book, The Thrill of the Chase, but not, if I recollect, exactly the same. He tweaked it many times over the years, making it harder.

I said that there were a lot of smart people out there and I feared the poem would be deciphered quickly and the treasure found in a week. But he assured me that the poem, while absolutely reliable if the nine clues were followed in order, was extremely difficult to interpret—so tricky that he wouldn’t be surprised if it took nine hundred years before someone cracked it.

When first I heard his plan, I was astonished and amazed. I didn’t really believe it. But the more time I spent with Forrest, the more I realized he was dead serious—no pun intended. I also realized it would make a marvelous movie: the story of a wealthy man who did take it with him. I pitched the idea to Lynda Obst, a classmate of mine from Pomona College, who had become a hugely successful Hollywood producer (Flashdance, Contact, Sleepless in Seattle). She loved the idea and asked me to write a treatment. When I called Forrest to make sure this was okay and offered to share the proceeds, he gave me his blessing, generously and firmly refused to accept any money, and made me promise only to invite him to the premiere—and the Oscars, if it got that far. I wrote a treatment and sold it to Lynda Obst Productions and 20th Century Fox. While the movie was never made (option available!) I did write a novel based on the idea, called The Codex, which featured a wealthy Santa Fe art dealer and collector who is dying of cancer and decides to take his fortune with him. He buries himself and his fabulous wealth in a secret tomb at the farthest ends of the earth, and he issues a challenge to his three lazy, no-good sons: if they want their inheritance, they have to find his tomb—and rob it.

As the years went by, I visited Forrest many times and saw the treasure in his vault. He often took things out and put other things in; he removed the currency, fearing it might rot; and he swapped out some of the gems for more gold coins and ancient Chinese jade faces. He also took out the IOU, he said, “because I thought my bank might not still be there when the chest was found.” He had worked out a better way, he told me, to know when the treasure is discovered, but he has not shared that secret with me.

And then finally, one lovely summer day in August 2010, I visited him and he brought me into the vault. The chest was gone! “I finally hid it,” he said. He was about to turn eighty years old and still in excellent health with no sign of cancer, and he decided to stop waiting and hide the chest now. This way was better, because he would be around to appreciate and enjoy the ensuing hunt.

And that, as everyone knows, was the beginning of what has developed into possibly the greatest treasure hunt of the 21st century. As I write this, seven of those nine hundred years have passed, a hundred thousand people have looked for the treasure, and three have lost their lives in the search—and yet it still remains out there somewhere, secreted in a dark and wild place, waiting to be found.

This treasure story is emblematic of who Forrest is—a war hero, a man of great generosity, and a truly original human being who lives life to the fullest, does things his own way, and doesn’t worry too much about what others might think. Forrest is, above all, a creator and a teller of amazing stories. In this book he tells thirty nine of the best of those stories, all true, with a note of commentary at the end of each one. They run the gamut from the inspiring and philosophical to the amusing and fabulous. These stories are a treasure of another kind, and some of them—who knows?— may contain more clues to the location of the real treasure.

I have read these stories with enormous pleasure, interest and enlightenment, and I hope you will enjoy them too.

On November 2nd Forrest and Doug will have a book signing at Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe.

Lou Bruno and Susan Caldwell who designed Forrest’s last 6 books, and made them happen are the owners and designers of the new book.

I expect there will be an ordering page soon…but in the meantime the book can be ordered from