Fishin’ Part 1……

SUBMITTED MAY 2018
by SPARROW

 

It’s been almost two years now and I still have no idea where Forrest Fenn hid his Treasure. I have decided that I will search no more, but I did want to share a few things that have intrigued me during my search, before I let go and return to reality (lol).  Often, when fishing, someone may ask you “Have you caught anything?” One answer that can be given to help assuage the feeling of being “skunked” is to say “No, but I have had a few nibbles” (or “bites”). 

So what I am sharing in the rest of this article are just “nibbles”, because the truth is I haven’t caught anything. I am not a very good writer, so I would ask that you bear with me as I share these little trinkets with you. I often visit the Blogs, so very early on in my search I began to see things in the writings of Forrest Fenn, especially in the “questions and answers” pieces that he has shared with us. Here are a few of the things I have seen that just might be “hints” from Forrest in regards to HOW we should be investigating his poem.  Hopefully one of these little discoveries might help another searcher along the way, and possibly lead them to the correct solution to this amazing treasure hunt.

Jesse, I am a fan of Georgia O’Keefe. But not her work, and my opinion was no mystery to her. She said I was a LOW BROW. I countered with a comment something like, “who says you have to be a SNOB to enjoy art?”—from “Featured Question with Forrest Fenn, Georgia O’Keefe,”(September 1, 2015), Mysterious Writings Blog.

When I first began the search at the end of July, 2016 I began to regularly visit the blogs. I began digging into some of the older articles on the Mysterious Writings blog (hosted by Jenny Kile), and the writings and Scrapbooks on blog hosted by Dal Neitzel.  When I read the above question/answer between a writer named Jesse and Forrest I immediately remembered something I had seen in the poem itself. Why was Forrest using the words “snob” and “lowbrow” in the discussion? Somehow I didn’t think the words themselves were hints, but possibly how they were arranged in the poem was a hint of importance.

When I recalled that the words were in the poem (see above) I wondered whether Forrest was hinting that part of the puzzle might be solved using acrostics, and not necessarily orthodox ones either. The word SNOB would be considered orthodox, as it is exactly (5) letters in from the right on all lines. But the word LOWBROW combined two types of acrostics: a diagonal one counting in 2-3-4-5 from the right, and then meeting with another acrostic, BROW, which is part of a word flowing from left to right. This acrostic was in an “L” shape which greatly intrigued me, as Forrest had mentioned “ells” in some of his stories. Was the “L” shape significant in some way? This put me on a path of looking for acrostics in the poem which I do believe is ONE aspect used to hide hints and clues in the poem. It did lead to seeing some interesting things. Unfortunately I can only consider these “nibbles” as the elusive fish (solution) remained aloof.

As I continued my search I found in the same sentences shown above another “L” shaped acrostic that also intrigued me due to what it ultimately spells. It involves aligning the 17th letter from the left on three lines meeting with three letters in a line flowing from left to right:

                                17th letter from left

Andtakeitinthecanyondown

    Notfarbuttoofartowalk

 Putinbelowthehomeofbrown

What makes this intriguing is that the N-O-E letters are all exactly on the 17th letter from the left and then down. When combined with the C-A, from the sentence flowing left to right we have an “L” shaped “CANOE”. And it is interesting that the word “canoe” appears right where the poem says “take it in the canyon down”. Could “canoe” be something we take in the canyon down? What do you think? Is it purely coincidental, or is it a hint? It certainly left me wondering.

In another “Featured Question with Forrest”, called ‘Early Morning Ideas” (October23, 2014), someone named “Thrill” asks a question of Forrest to which he replies: “Especially burned into my memory Thrill, was the idea to arrange a cultural exchange program with the Russian Government. A few art scholars jazzed me pretty good and I was the butt of some funny jokes, because it was 1975 and the Cold War was in full blast.

Again, when I read this I immediately thought of the poem and something I had seen in it. Because not only had I looked for acrostics, I had experimented in other ways also, such as typing the poems sentences with no spaces between the words. One sentence in particular caused me to laugh, as crude as the humor was, because the words “butt” and “fart” were in the same sentence.

“NOTFARBUTTOFARTOWALK”

Again, as crude as this is it does appear to match the story’s words of “butt” and “full blast”. As I laughed under my breath I remembered another possible explanation which used another “L” shaped acrostic, this time appearing on exactly the 12th letter from the left combined with a word in a sentence flowing from left to right.  This time also the word read upwards and to the right.

                            12th letter from left

NOTFARBUTTOOFARTOWALK

PUTINBELOWTHEHOMEOFBROWN

 FROMTHEREITSNOPLACEFORTHEMEEK

The S-H-O is exactly 12 letters from the left—again very intriguing.  But why “Shofar” you ask? Well, first, if you read the answer from Forrest above he says that the art scholars “jazzed” him. When I think of jazz I think of horns.  Incidentally, in the first stanza of the poem are two different acrostics which both spell HORN.  And here, with the word “shofar” is another HORN.

If you google the word Shofar you will see it defined as having a “blasting” sound. They use the word frequently when describing the shofar with long “blasts” or short “blasts”. In Forrest’s answer he states that the Cold War was in FULL BLAST, which is an interesting choice of words. Another interesting thing about the sentence itself is the fact that Forrest said that he was the “butt” of Art Scholars jokes.

NORFARBUTTOOF ARTOWALK      The sentence seems to confirm this.

Now, I realize some of you may be calling me “nuts” by now or deluded, and actually that’s fine with me. I realize that stating that “full blast” may refer to a shofar or a fart is a bit silly, but the placing of the words in the poem seems to be a bit more than coincidence in my opinion.  What do you think?  The shape of the acrostic as an “L” for both CANOE and SHOFAR on the exact letters that they fall on is quite interesting to say the least.  But then again, above in the sentences we can see the words FORT BROWN quite clearly too. I thought this might be a hint, but Forrest has since stated that HOB is not a man-made structure. Fort Washakie in Wyoming was called Fort Brown first. So it is obvious that coincidences can happen.

One other interesting acrostic found in the poem is the word GAIT (“Gone Alone In There”). This word has been hinted at many times by Forrest. Even in SB146, when he mentions the duck named ‘Tail End Charlie”, he states that it was born with a strange “gait”. Near the very end of the poem there is another acrostic, BAIT (Brave And In The wood). I had noticed these two acrostics right away as I read the poem, along with WAFT (Wise And Found The blaze) and the two examples of HORN in the first stanza also. However, I did also realize that these acrostics, being only (4) letters long per word, could easily have happened by chance also. But the more I read the more I felt that at least GAIT was a real hint.

One thing that confirmed this a bit for me was another exchange in a question/answer between Forrest and Carolyn. This is found in another “Featured Question with Forrest” titled “Inside Indulgence” dated 12-14-14.  Carolyn asks: “Are there any bronze animals in the chest, indulgence, or anything bronze?” To which Forrest answers: “Nothing bronze at all Carolyn, or even silver. I wanted more expensive metals in Indulgence. That’s why I chose gold. There is a gold frog that’s very old”.

I found the question and the answer both to be very odd. Forrest is asks whether there are any bronze animals in the chest?  Why bronze animals? Why? It just appeared to be a strange question.  And then Forrest answers with a couple of strange replies also.  He states there is nothing bronze in the chest, or silver also. But we all know that Forrest wants the SILVER BRACELET back if anyone finds the chest. So why does he say there is nothing silver in it?  Then he ends his answer with: “There is a gold frog that’s very old”. What I noticed is that the question and answer both begin and end with same acrostics that are in the poem—except they are reversed:

Are there any Bronze Animals In The chest  (BAIT)

There Is A Gold frog…” (TIAG = GAIT)

Again, this may be entirely coincidental. But the number of hints I have seen mentioned regarding the word “gait” leads me to believe otherwise. Because the poem begins and ends with these acrostics, is Forrest purposefully beginning and ending the question/answer with these two acrostics to hint to us that they are important?  I really have no idea. I am just fishing, and getting “nibbles”. I haven’t really caught any fish. By that I am basically saying that I see these things, but don’t really know how to apply them in order to get the big fish.

I might add though: In a recent post on Dal’s blog a gentleman mentioned a game he put together for his wife. He hid envelopes around the house for her to find. He actually went into quite some detail—and even added a bit more after Forrest responded to him

However, Forrest gave only this short reply: “That Is A Good story.f’  (TIAG = GAIT). He added nothing more.

Of course there are many coincidental things that we can find in the poem. Here are a couple of examples. In the past someone shared how they believed the sub-conscious mind might have something to do with the poem. They mentioned ID and EGO. Naturally I had to check it out, and here is what I found almost immediately (lol):

As I havegone alone in there

AnD with my treasures bold

And another person mentioned an esoteric meaning being part of the solution. They mentioned TAROT cards—especially the WANDS cards.  Surprisingly, if you arrange the poem in an up and down manner the following appears  and there are many other coincidental things that appear just like this. Or are they coincidental?

HBHDHDW

TSWNSNO

NETAROT

 IREWEYR

It’s kind of strange how WAND appears all on 4 letters in from the left. Just coincidence I guess.

END OF PART 1.

-Sparrow

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Spawning a Solution……

SUBMITTED NOVEMBER 2017
by The Geezer Team

 

We (the Geezer Team) believe that the best way to find the treasure is to take Forrest Fenn’s poem at face value and temper that with information provided by Fenn since the poem’s publication. Our approach will also include establishing segments such as A-B wherein A is WWWH and B is the HOB, the HOB and the blaze make up segment B-C, and the blaze and the treasure is segment C-D. We don’t know if our approach is any bettter than other approaches, we just like it.

The first stanza, we believe, is an introduction wherein Fenn is telling us the treasure is hidden in some kind of rock shelter at least as big as himself plus the treasure box, “As I have gone alone in there,”. We’re guessing to get in there, he may have walked in upright, stuped, crawled, or wiggled in. He is also telling us that knowledge of the hiding spot is his alone and safe. Fenn said when he decided to hide a treasure he knew exactly where to do it but how would he know about such a location? We believe it was discovered during approximately 12 summer trips to and from Yellowstone when he was a youth. If you study a highway map from the 1930s you’ll see a major route from Texas to Denver. That route passes right along three of the four major river systems for that part of the Rockies. The three river systems are the Rio Grande, the Arkansas, and the Platte. (Fenn has ruled out the Rio Grande, however). On those long trips away from and back to their Texas home, we believe the Fenn family stopped along the rivers to rest, to camp over night, and to fish for trout. And, there was probably enough leisure time for two exuberant boys to explore, discover, collect artifacts, etc.

In the second stanza, we got started right away on segment A-B. We believe that “Begin it where warm waters halt” is a tributary water way, which flows into a river, and that we have found that tributary. Finding A, of course, is the key to the whole enchilada. The tributary has numerous hot springs making it a warm water source. Then we have: “And take it in the canyon down,” which means the searcher is in a water craft of some kind (canoe, kayak, raft) going with the current and into a canyon. We believe the use of a water craft is confirmed by “put in” (2nd stanza, 4th line) which is a nautical term meaning to land, esp. put in to a port. Alternatively, a 4-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance might be able to be used when this river’s water is low, typically, early spring and late autum. But we don’t know if that’s legal. Now, what about “Not far, but too far to walk.”? How can a destination be both “not far” but also “too far” at the same time? Since the searcher has to go down through a canyon he/she might think why not just walk up on top the river bank. We believe Fenn is telling us (and we observed) that the canyon has sides that are riddled with deep gulches making that kind of endeavour a long hike – up and down, up and down, up and down, etc. thus adding many more miles, and tough ones at that.

“Put in below the home of Brown.” tells us where to stop, where to “Put in”, thus determining segment A-B. It seems like there are two ways to interpret “… home of Brown.”, both require Brown to be capitalized, but for different reasons. The first is that Brown is a proper name wherein the searcher must find a person, place or thing named Brown along the river, in the river, or on top of a bank overlooking the river, etc. We call this the “proper name” scenario The second interpretation is that Brown refers to an animal species; e.g., Brown Bear, Brown Trout. I can hear many folks screaming right now; ” … but, but, but, but the rules of capitalzation …”! And, early on in our quest, we would have been screaming right along with you. However, the capitalization of common species names is now becoming a regular practice. But, this is also a special case allowing Brown to be capitalized to distinguish a common species name from a feature like color. For example, we are saying these are not just trout that are colored brown but are a species with many distiguishing features. We call this the “Brown Trout” scenario, which we will pursue if the “proper name” scenario does not produce the treasure. More discussion on this later.

In searching for point B of segement A-B, we actually found a location with an interesting proper name. The proper name we found is Brownsville! But don’t try to find it on a map because it hasn’t existed for a long time. The town of Brownsville was a ghost town when the Fenn’s visited the area and there is now a different name for that location! That Fenn sure is a sly old fox, but don’t try to baffle the old Geezer Team, buddy boy! Actually, we stumbled into that information, serendipitiously, and went to the old Brownsville cemetary but couldn’t find “any body” named Brown (ha, ha, ha). We discovered later that the Brown in question is in a different cemetary. The old Brownsville town wasn’t quite on the river, but the slope of the land from the town down to the river canyon was sufficient for us to believe that that part of the river is “below the home of Brown.” Further, if a searcher “puts in” on the opposite river bank there is a gulch that kind of fits the next part of the poem.

For segment B-C, Fenn cautions that the going will be tough (“From there it’s no place for the meek,”) and searchers will be in a non-navigable creek (“there’ll be no paddle up your creek,”). We are puzzled, however, by the words “your creek”, why not just say “the creek”. One reason we could think of was that maybe we should be looking for a creek with a name like “Treasure Creek” or “Gold Creek” or “Searchers Creek”, etc. But there are no creeks with names that fit that category in our search area. We are more puzzled by the next line, however: “Just heavy loads and water high.”! Some searchers say the heavy loads could be big boulders and rocks but I hope no one is trying to carry them around! Some searchers say the heavy loads are the treasure box contents, but it hasn’t been found yet since we’re following the poem sequently, as Fenn suggests. Does “water high” mean there’s water further up the gulch, does it mean the water found will be deep, or is it a water feature like a water fall? We know for a fact that this gulch has a wet lands seven miles up from the river and has some small springs along the way but for the most part the gulch is seasonal – intermittent wet and dry. Like a tree that’s been cut down, we’re stumped, so we will move on to the next stanza.

Discovering point C requires finding the blaze, a major element to finding the treasure. Fenn offers little help in the poem simply saying “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,” which tells us nothing because we already know that the Geezer Team is wise! He has told us, however, that the treasure is not in close proximity to a human trail and that searchers have been within 500 feet! So at .5 miles we got out of the gulch and went 500 feet left and right. Some searchers believe “nigh” means left, so why not just do the left side? Well, we’re having a hard time finding that definition. No matter, if you go one side and don’t find the treasure, you’ll be wise and go on the other side, or go home empty handed. But, when a searcher leaves the gulch what should he/she be looking for as a location? Look for a place that satisfies Fenn’s sensory experience as if he were standing near the treasure hiding spot. Fenn wants to able to see his beloved Rocky Mountains, a river valley, the river, pine trees, and indiginous animals (deer, elk, prong horn, big horn sheep). He wants to smell sage brush, pines, and most of all Pinon Pine, especially when the sap runs thick! To date, we have searched an area approximately .5 mile from the river and 1 mile up, on both sides of the gulch, with no results. Winter is coming on so we will wait until spring 2018 to do the next mile up.

Since the blaze must last 10,000 plus years it can’t be a tree notch, a carving, a cairn, or any thing like that. It can’t rot, rust, or be prone to erosion or being moved in any way. So we are left with something like a natural rock formation or discoloration. But we don’t buy that either. As mentined earlier, Fenn said he knew exactly where to hide the treasure. It is highly improbable, though, that a natural blaze would be in exactly the right place too. We’re guessing that the blaze is something he made, brought in and placed himself. Something meaningful to show the way. Something like, like … Well, figure it out yourself, we can’t have all the fun. The meaning of “If you’ve been wise and found the blaze.” is that since the blaze is man-made, you will know it when you see it, else you are not wise! So now we have a way ahead for segment B-C.

Segment C-D is from the blaze to the treasure and Fenn gives searchers instructions. He says “Look quickly down, your quest to cease.” We believe he means, when a searcher sees the blaze, stop! Moving forward toward the blaze (a natural tendency) will put the searcher out of position to see the chest! Looking down has several interpretations such as look down at your feet, or look south, or look down the trail, or if the blaze is high, just bring your gaze down. We believe it doesn’t matter at this point. When we find the blaze we’ll try anything and everything to find the treasure, even bring in bull dozers, back hoes, construction cranes, jack hammers, etc.!

In the final stanza first line, Fenn urges searchers to listen up with: “So hear me all and listen good,” then: “Your effort will be worth the cold.” and “If you are brave and in the wood”. We believe that the “cold” means that the hiding place is on the north side of some feature, a cliff, rock out-cropping, boulder pile, etc., where the sun never shines. And/or the river and creek waters are always cold! The last sentence of the poem is puzzling. Why does one have to be brave, unless its just a general trait expected of searchers? For “in the wood” we’re guessing Fenn means in the chest, which is lined with Lebanon cedar! For the rest of that sentence and the last line of the poem, “I give you title to the gold.” Fenn has gone weird on us. If we have the chest and its contents we don’t need title from him or anyone else. Unless, unless, … unless all the intended treasure is not in the chest and we have to collect the rest from him or his estate!

A bit about the “Broun Trout” scenario, which we believe is actually a “Brown Trout spawning” scenario. First we have to find a new WWWH for segment A-B, either on this river or another. Next we go down a canyon as before but this time we’re looking for a Brown Trout spawning tributary to begin segment B-C. Once we find the tributary, we are “… below the home of Brown.” and can head up that creek and then explore 500 feet on either side to find the blaze. The phrase “… no place for the meek.” now takes on a new meaning as it refers to the trout swimming up stream to spawn! Females carry approximately 10,000 – 20,000 eggs (Just heavy loads …) which are laid and fertilized in the autum but don’t hatch until the spring when the waters start warming up. The hatch becomes thosands of fry and those that survive become fingerlings which stay in the creek at least a year. Thus, although still non-navigable, the creek must have water all year and be deep enough for spawning (… water high.).

We imagined spawning to go something like this: After swimming up stream, a male trout approaches a female and she says “Wow, you look buff, what’s up big boy!” He says “Yeah, been working out for the spawn. I’m wondering if you’d be interested in a little romance?.” ”I am! I just laid a few thousand eggs over by those rocks in a nest I made. Go knock yourself out, then come back for a cigy-pooh! (Jack Kerouac beatnik slang for cigarette). After which I’ll cover the fertilized eggs with sand and gravel, then we’ll get back to the river. You won’t tell any body about this, will you? I mean, we just met and now we’re having all these kids! A girl has to worry about her reputation.” “Nah, what happens in this creek, stays in this creek.”

The Geezer Team-