by E.C. Waters
Write or wrong, I am of the opinion that Fenn mixes and matches words and letters to fit his need of the moment. I am of the opinion that Fenn draws upon many different sources of information to make things work, and that he is consistent in giving out information in just about everything he says and writes. For example, when he uses the words “straight forward” in a verbal instruction about the poem, I believe this is a clue. When he uses the word “ambivalent” in answer to a reporter’s question of if he hopes someone finds it… sadly, I believe this is also a hint. I am of the opinion that he absolutely wants someone to figure this out, and as such, has been sprinkling hints everywhere. One treasure seeker here on this blog called the results of this kind of correlation-hunting process a nice fluffy cake. Yes, I am guilty of this. I’m a word-nerd, and I’m wordy. I am an unusual thinker, and so I apologize in advance to those who may be annoyed to read what follows.
First, here is a map of the area of Seven Falls, an attraction in Colorado Springs, CO.
I am of the opinion that Seven Falls is closely related to TTOTC, Scrapbook posts, and the poem based on word elements I have attempted to correlate, but also things I found while visiting this private property. The attraction is great, the people there were amazing, and the food and wine at the restaurant was worth the experience. I highly recommend going if you’ve never been, if not to discover correlations and maybe the treasure for yourself, then just to enjoy the environment. The Broadmoor and Mr. Anschutz have invested quite a bit of cash into this “clou” (point of interest) after the 2013 floods (“I know the treasure chest is wet”) where the property was damaged, changed hands from the Hill family, and re-opened in late 2015.
I have a bad habit of seeing correlations where they should not be. At the same time, I quickly pick up on correlations that might be. Decide for yourself whether the feature names in the map correlate to TTOTC stories. I found many, including the stairs (rusted fire escape), “Washington Profile” (facing left, doller), “Mexican Saddle” (Lightning pics), “Alligator’s Head” (don’t make the alligator mad), “Three Amigos” (Skippy, Forrest, June), “Trout Pond” (of course), “Aspen Grove Picnic Area” (take a sandwich, wood = grove, and it’s quickly down from my wise blaze), and “Pillars of Hercules” which, in my opinion, has several correlations including the clues being “strait forward” (Strait of Gibraltar), John Charles and green olives (Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, owns Gibraltar, Ceuta means “seven”), Cody being one of the 12 Labors, a blog post titled “1/Lt. Aide de Camp” where he describes one of his labors was flying about 12 different fighters and bombers, for a General who oversaw 9 bases.
But the most compelling correlation to me is Helen Hunt Jackson’s grave marker (but not her burial location), who wrote many poetic and literary works, but most notably “Century of Dishonor” and “Ramona”. These are two important works of the time about the mistreatment of Native Americans. One is factual, the other is fiction with many facts woven in. More on HHJ later.
Pirates and WWWH:
Lately I have been looking at homophones, words that sound alike but are maybe spelled a bit differently, or combinations of words that can mean something else. A fun example is “chair resign felt” = Jerry Seinfeld. In Scrapbook One-Hundred Seven, Fenn pretty much laid it out for us that this is how he wants us to think. He includes even a couple of big clues like this with “doller” and “knowlege”. For example, “a really big deal” might actually be a hint for a “dele”, or “deele”. For another example, in the poem, Fenn uses “hint” which also means “clue”. He says there nine clues, and that a few of us have found the first two without knowing it, but also went right on by the other seven (more on “seven” later). In TTOTC, he describes a stolen ball of string (a “clew”), a deep narrow stream (a “cluse”), and nails (“clous”) he used for clankers in his bells. In Scrapbook Forty-Nine, he asks why his wife has three bottles of cloves… or “clowe”, a split, like a cloven hoof. If these are to be thought of as hints, perhaps a homophone of WWWH could be one reason it is so elusive, the reason he has pretty much laid it out for us, and why we should solve that one first.
Also in TTOTC, Fenn talks about pirates in various ways. The obvious ones are Captain Kidd, Gardiner’s Island, and a hidden treasure. Most pirates didn’t bury their take. They spent it. Only a few are known for hiding their loot. Movies lie to us. In my opinion, I believe he also subtly refers to pirates when he talks about “square knots” in his “clew”. Sailors on ships used a “thief knot” as a potential indicator to know when someone had messed with their personal effects. Most people wouldn’t look or have time to check if a thief knot was used while raiding a bag tied like this, and would retie using a square knot, tipping the owner that someone dipped. A synonym for thief is pirate. Fenn’s clew turned up missing. A scrapbook post about a “Black-Crested Buzzard-Eagle” is about birds, including the buzzard-eagle, and a parrot named Sinbad. A parrot is typically seen in cartoons and Disney characters with pirates. The buzzard is actually the nickname of a real pirate, La Buse (French for buzzard, it sounds like “booze”, which I need right now while writing this). When Fenn uses “folly”, did you know that the name “Foley” is synonymous with pirate?
In Scrapbook Sixty-One, Fenn used the phrase “It’s not what they say on the blogs that may be significant, it’s what they whisper.” Whether what I’m doing is fluffy cake or not is arguable, but Errol Flynn is attributed with saying “It isn’t what they say about you, it’s what they whisper.” An Errol Flynn pirate movie, “Captain Blood”, featured Basil Rathbone playing La Buse, or Olivier Lavasseur.
Lavasseur was an interesting character about which I knew nothing, even with my love of Starz “Black Sails” and my hunger for Robert Louis Stevenson material. I still know only a very small amount, but I plan on having a deeper look in the future because his story is extremely curious. I don’t speak French and most of what is freely available is in French (or Malagasy). What’s available on Wikipedia is simple. Apparently, he tossed a necklace containing a pigpen cipher (a Freemason code at the time) out into the audience at his hanging and yelled (paraphrasing) “My treasure to the one who can understand it!” That theme sounds a little familiar to me. Two hundred years later, Rose Savy found some rock markings on land that is dubiously attributed as owned by “la Buse”. Fenn says in TTOTC he is a valedictorian of “Savvy 101”.
La Buse’s last days of freedom were in Madagascar, where he was captured near Fort Dauphin. There are hot springs in Madagascar. One area is named specifically for this, called Ranomafana, Haute Matsiatra. Ranomafana is Malagasy for “warm waters”. Could this be a clever homophone for “Ramona Falls Halt”, and the fitting but unusual reason for the choice of the word “halt”? Ramona Falls is the first in the series of Seven Falls. Nearby Ranomafana is a district named “Ambalavao”.
There are lots of mentions of the word “seven” in TTOTC. Not including hyphenated numbers such as of his “seventy-nine” years (79 is Au, gold), the “fifty-seven” he’s been married, he tends to use “seven” (or the ordinal “seventh”) with enough frequency that it is significant to be a pattern. There is a photo of him starting “seventh” grade, where he was the Grand Marble Champion (Cris “I-hate-the-letter-H” Campion was an actor in a Pirates movie; his name was “Frog”). It was seventh grade Spanish when Fenn realized his name means bogwood… both “Morta” (death) and “Abonos” (fertile ground)… he claims he had a primeval moment… an Unripe Windfall… a critical Lord Byron winking if you will. Google that.
Fenn also found Cody “seven” miles west of town. Fenn graduated from pilot school in September (sept = 7, even though it’s the ninth month because there were 10 months prior to their being 12, similar to how there were 10 Labors before becoming 12 Labors). Fenn talks about the “seven” seconds needed to prepare to eject, and how Lt. Swisher was “seven” miles away when telling Fenn he was on fire. And Fenn received a note from a father of a “seven”-year-old girl. Fenn mentioned 7UP, but he called out Grapette and specifically mentioned the bottle, which came in seven ounces.
There are seven problems in the “Millienium” Prize Problems (of which the prize is $1M for each winning solution). In his poem, there are seven days in a “weak”.
In “Glimpses of California”, HHJ writes about an older woman in a chapter titled “Echoes in the City of Angels”. The woman is described as having a chest of her treasures, things she values, and is surrounded with printed ads on the walls, including an ad for “Toledo Swords”. Her pillowcase is filled with her hair that she has collected over the years. This is incidental.
More importantly, Ramona = wise, Helen = torch / light, Hunt = chase, Jackson = son of Jack, as in life is a game of poker… The Spanish word for “frog” is “rana”.
Fenn emphasizes a grave marker and waterfalls quite a bit. So much so that he had to come out with a new clue to say it’s not in a graveyard. Also, the falls used to be lit up in different colors, like a rainbow.
Other incidental clous at and around Seven Falls are as follows:
– An Indian statue is at a gift shop near elevator to Eagle’s Nest.
– A photo of Babe Ruth on a mule named “Rags” exists inside the cave to Eagle’s Nest.
– A photo of Time Magazine is underneath a “Ford Times” inside the cave to Eagle’s Nest.
– A sign near Inspiration Point (marvel gaze) that points to “Covered Wagon”, another feature, not sure if it’s on the land of Seven Falls, but the sign also uses words like “Far Ridge” and “Gateway to Heaven”.
– A 450+ year old Ponderosa tree… Fenn mentions ponderosa and aspen groves in Tea with Olga.
– Santa’s Workshop isn’t too far. Neither is the “workshop” school where Fenn mentions.
– There’s an Academy Road close by.
– There’s an actual AFB close by.
– There’s a Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Highway close by.
– There’s a road named “Old Stage Rd.” really close by, as in “all the world’s a stage”. I drove several miles along this dirt road. Exceptional views. Took it into a national park without knowing exactly where I was. Cell service was poor.
– Also not too far away is “Helen Hunt Falls” (the same HHJ), on public land, with a rock sign just outside (built into a rock retaining wall) that says “Bruin Inn” (home of Brown). I looked around here, but I couldn’t make the clues stick.
– Each of the fall names can feasibly fit into the clues with some creativity and imagination, like Bridal Veil (secret, pass this vail), Feather (canyon down), Hill (Capitol Hill in Denver), etc.
– HHJ responds to Einstein with this attributed quote: “When the solution is simple, God is answering.”
I didn’t find it where I was looking, but the path to the grave marker was closed until July or so. They’re installing more zip lines for recreation. Then you can take “it” in the canyons anywhere. No idea if “quickly down” leads to “High Trees” with George Washington forever staring nigh at it. Or if Midnight Trail is “nigh” and Fenn in the Middle. I did have a look around the Aspen Grove Picnic Area, near an old light, up a hill near a man-made rock retainer area that looked like it may have staged some equipment at one point. But I found no chest. I should have probably panned a bit to see if a Double Eagle would have turned up after the floods. But the exit looks like a rainbow and has the word “portal” on it, so maybe the Bifrost is supposed to land 42 degrees elsewhere.
Of course, there’s more (in my opinion) about architecture, frieze groups, Schoenflies notation (flutterby), Hans (like Eric?) Sloane and the British Museum, Poetic Edda (Edard?), Reynard the Fox, and other fun stuff, but once again I’ve worded readers to morta here.
One final thought…
I theorize “a really big deal” actually is a really big “dele”… like a backwards P… taking the path up and heading to the left, the path one would take to “High Trees” because George Washington is facing it (brave = to face), and (in the wood = High Trees). He’s right, no one will just stumble across that. They’ll have go right to it.
But there is that little problem that it’s on private property. Going in peace, well, not sure what CO law says about taking stuff off of someone else’s property.