Unlock …




“Many have given serious thought to the clues in the poem but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.” ff

“… a word that is (KEY)” That’s the quote! …

… Not the phrase, “A key word”, “The key word” or “That key word”.

If you don’t understand the logical thinking process of something so simple, then IMHO, you will never understand Mr. Fenn or find the TC called Indulgence.

I’m a part of this blog and I know that Dal has that page called “The Key Word” and that it’s a very popular and a controversial topic… But maybe Dal should re-name those pages (simply because it’s wrong) or possibly start another correct one. I truly understand that some will blast me for this story. I’m not worried about that.

Disclaimer or Claimer

( I’m just having a little fun with Dal here so y’all ease up… he knows it’s his blog and he can do what he wants. I’m also aware of that. )

This is written for discussion purposes… maybe a little enlightenment, maybe not that I’m RIGHT. I have an opinion and a guess just like everyone else. But who knows if this is right or wrong except Mr. Fenn. Maybe just maybe he will have a comment back or make another Scrapbook post with a subliminal message (again).

Let’s get to “IT”. (No!… this it is NOT the “it” in the poem just to clarify)

What’s one of the first Intriguing words you ever read when you get started on TTOTC?


Yep,  he tells us what we should be looking for (right off the get go). I personally have missed this simple fact until now, yesterday… November 27, 2017…  and I’ve been a part of this blog and chase from 2013 doing constant research and analyzing of TTOTC.

So what are we suppose to unlock? Mr. Fenn uses a definition of a word to describe the action of another definition of the same word.  He tells us to “unlock the clues in the book”… but it’s deeper than that. To “Un”-lock the lock on something that has a lock but is not locked? And what do we have in this chase that has a lock? The TC Indulgence. This seems backwards at the least. To unlock a lock that is already unlocked. That’s why he says to unlock “the clues”.  And the reason the box isn’t locked? Maybe you can guess but IMHO he’s solved that issue when he concealed Indulgence in her location.

Now let’s look at the lock mechanism. There’s a latch that you have to lift to get to the key hole to insert the key to unlock the box (if it was locked).  However we see the box, with the lid down or with the lid up, we know that “it’s unlocked and that the key is inside the box”. Mr. Fenn has told us so. Here’s another question to think about. Why would he tell us that?

But he instructs us to somehow unlock the clues. With a key, right? Keys maybe? Have we heard this before? In my piece called [Camouflage] I wrote, “Some of us understand that Forrest is very subtle and can sneak a clue right in front of your face by having a very generic conversation with you, as he did with Dal in one of his San Lazaro interviews. (If you can figure that one out… Then you’ll be a step ahead of the game and other _______ hints may come into focus for you. One has to remember that Forrest makes you believe one thing while he tells you another.” Let me explain these comments a little more.

During the San Lazaro – 02 video in the “Gone Fishing Interviews” page on the blog, Dal is interviewing Mr. Fenn at his home in a room with a gazillion items on the walls, shelves, counters and in the neatly lined drawers. He has all these things he could talk about but at one point he (Mr. Fenn) pulls a drawer out and starts talking about the old keys that are there in the drawer. There are 5 keys. FIVE “keys”. Hmmm 🤔 He talks so nonchalantly about it that the words seem to just flow by and the interview continues. Hey says, “But the interesting thing are theses 5 Keys… If I can find 5 Keys our there why can’t I find a wooden chest?”

Pay very close attention to what he says Pedro does with the chest.

The blank by the way in my statement previously is for the word “Key”, just to clarify.

Let’s move back to the lock on the TC. In the photos that are provided in TTOTC, the TC lid is up and we see CE5 written under the latch portion on the lid. Let’s remember now that there is at least one other  picture of the TC open that does NOT have this script (CE5) in that location. So when did this CE5 get written or applied to the chest? And what is the true reason why it was done? Some (maybe Mr. Fenn) say it’s a “Code for accounting purposes”. Well that could be true with the right interpretation policy in place. But I will state here as fact that he hasn’t shown us anything else that has such a code written on it. Not Minerva, not the Reliquary, not the Falcon, not any other artifact Mr. Fenn has put forward. Plus, there are numerous versions of reasonings out there as to this question also. I’m not saying it’s not a true fact… what I’m saying is there’s another reason. Something can have more than one purpose.  I want to say that Mr. Fenn is suggesting we look for 5 keys as described by CE.

If I told you now what I believe CE5 stands for 100 %, then I would be surely giving away the largest hint I have as to the true location of the TC (again IMHO). Interesting and Challenging enough is the fact that there are over 25,000 + words in the standard dictionaries that start with the letter “C” alone. I have my guess on what the 5 key unlocking clues are. They are spread individually throughout TTOTC book. Can you find them like I have?

Have fun on yall’s winter study and in the CHASE.

James (TZP) –



Hunting the Camouflaged…


Hunting the “Camouflaged” by James
(Has such a wide variety of meanings)


A discussion on exactly how hard it will be in finding
the Treasure Chest “Indulgence”

First order of business is to put on here “This is all IMHO…”

Camouflage – is the use of any combination of materials, coloration, or illumination for concealment, either by making animals or objects hard to see, this is called (crypsis), or by disguising them as something else, called (mimesis).

My personal opinion is MIMESIS ! ( the TC doesn’t look exactly like itself anymore. Same basic size and same basic shape though. )

Does anyone really think that solving any of this is simple? Forrest said his target market was any Redneck from Texas who was unemployed with a pick-up truck, wife and 12 kids. I have to say that statement is really perplexing. Most people presumably associate a “Redneck” with “not so smart”… But I consider myself “an educated Redneck from Texas, Born and Raised”.  And I’m getting pretty good at this stuff. Hahahahaha!

Stay with me through the end of this and maybe you will have a better understanding of why Forrest said, “sometimes it’s better for the fox to dress like the hound!”

As far as me, my solve and thought process behind “Camouflage”;

I have made only 2 trips and I have only one location that I give my efforts to. Each time with a little more emphasis and narrowing down the exact spot. It’s the very one I first started with.

Let me get very particular. Although I have figured out the correct way of finding and analyzing the clues and hints that Forrest has put out there for us… I will go ahead and take a step out to give you something to think about. (Maybe some have).  One has to seriously ask themselves… When Forrest decides to pick and choose things to talk about, why pick the ones he does? He has so many memories, artifacts and knowledge to make mention of… yet he selects particular ones for a reason? Or do you really think that his brain is randomly spitting these things out and just getting it done? Some people believe so but I do not.

1. A Ladies Sewing Kit ( Vignettes )
The sewing needle was made from a yucca leaf but was hidden/protected by putting it in a blob of mud.

2. Olmec Jadeite Mask ( Vignettes )
“Such mask were considered images of transformation.”

3. Prehistoric Thoughts ( Vignettes )
The 5-1/2 inch chert knife. ” I guessed it had been stored in the dead ashes to …”

Why 4. Reliquary and 5. Falcon Mummy? Transformation and Concealment ?

Ok, OK… A few more for y’all to think about.

6. Scrapbook #115
Does anyone remember the original post? There was a picture of the same Forrest on the left but the right picture was Forrest grinning showing his teeth (then changed to Brad Pitt grinning and no teeth). Why? Have you asked yourself that question? The answer is the same. (there’s another reason too but I’m not gonna tell.)

7. The word “Well” (multiple use in TTOTC) – I posted this on the blog and virtually got no responses. If you go back and listen to Forrest in ANY audio or video and listen, Forrest doesn’t talk like that. So why write it? For effect? As a normal written word that would be passed right over, however have a different meaning?

8. The word “Middle” – The MOST important word, snuck in. I will let you ponder on that one. But I will say everything is in the middle of something else (DUH!). (poem and book.)

So now your mind is thinking in a different way possibly. Forrest, remember, he’s a Master Foundryman. Although he will not admit to that, maybe, being as humble as he is. If you don’t know that fact then you are way behind in “The Chase”. And what does a guy like that do? He creates!!! Read the Scrapbooks on the subject of Bronze. Read all of them. What you’ll find when you read them and more is just how cunning Forrest really is.

He’s so good he can even make bronze jars that have screw on lids that are pretty much water tight. Now ask yourself, “why would he challenge himself to such a feat?” Ask yourself another question. “How much would the odds go up in NOT finding the TC if Forrest “camouflaged” it.  Maybe a 1000 or 10,000 yrs. Forrest has told us he has thought of everything. Hmmmm!  Was he counting on that?

So, take the people in California a while back that were just walking a trail, the same trail they been walking for years on there property, and just happen to notice an old can (happened to have mucho $$$$$$ worth of gold coins). Hey it looked like a can, that’s why they noticed it, right?!?!  Now what if that (maybe) 49er (the one that squirrel-holed the gold) had the time and forethought to tuck those coins in a hollowed old brick that he made or packed a bunch of mud-plaster sunbake around that can… Let’s say.  I doubt those guys would be rich today and that gold stash would still be there in the same spot looking all natural. A guy at work and I were talking this same conversation and he said, “but it was the rain and wind that uncovered it.”  “It also was all rusty and falling apart!”, I told him. He was correct and exactly proved my point. It was eventually uncovered and was seen in its original form, a round flat edge.

Yes, yes I know the chest is bronze and that it will patina in one form of color or another but it is perfectly shaped. The odds of anything 100% NATURAL being perfectly shaped is what? Almost zilch!!!! So if Forrest camouflaged the chest to look like a rock or other… that “shaping” would make this hunt even more difficult wouldn’t it?  So now what you may ask is “Why?” He had to… To make it look natural by the way of Mimesis, to extend the odds of it being found. That’s one reason he says “it will not be stumbled upon!” How can he guarantee this without this being true? Everything (treasure) that has been “stumbled upon” really hasn’t been “hidden by mimesis” now has it.

And, here’s one of your biggest clues. Scrapbook 111. The picture of “Crayton next to a provocative treasure chest off the Salvador”. Hmmmm looks like a huge stone, not a wooden chest.  I believe if I got the story right, Forrest picked the pictures and Dal was asked to write about them and the project. So again, out of all the pictures that were available to Forrest, why pick this particular one?

How many of you guys and gals are on board?

Theses are just a few things that Forrest has put out there. I am just interpreting these things my way. I haven’t made up some kind of weird, off the wall story now have I?  We all better have more to go on than just hunches. I do anyway.

Now go out there and find your “Indulgence”!

James (TZP)

The Zacchaeus Project…

SUBMITTED February 2015
by James


He says, “It’s in the Rocky Mountains!”
North of Santa Fe…
Is it a quest too large to take on?
A simple quote from Forrest that keeps me on my heals… “Think about that!”

Thanks Forrest for the jumpstarting of my new journey.  It is as follows;

The Zacchaeus Project – Part One
by James

He says, “It’s in the Rocky Mountains!”
North of Santa Fe…
Is it a quest too large to take on?
A simple quote from Forrest that keeps me on my heals… “Think about that!”

Thanks Forrest for the jumpstarting of my new journey.  It is as follows;

Music to my ears!
I first heard about Forrest Fenn and his hidden treasure when my wife called from work and asked me if I saw the story on The Today Show?, it was early in the spring of 2013. What?!?! She knows I love this kind of stuff. So I got on the internet and searched out that day’s episode. Sure enough, there’s Forrest giving out his clue after a brief tangent of words in general about who he is and what he has done.

It happened to be my day off, so I started doing some internet searches on the subject to see what I could find out and if this was what I hoped it would be. The more I searched the more I found. The poem was everywhere, simple to find. Just type in “Forrest Fenn treasure poem” and bingo. I started reading some of the articles and blogs. Most were just generic in general and a repetitive story just by different people, but not Dal Neitzel’s. His is unique and is the most informative blog I can still find. (I just had a thought, Dal’s blog could be detrimental to the treasure location and Forrest might have to give him a good running through, But Nah!!! Forrest is deeper than that and knows that a man is better than his misdeeds.)
I figured I needed to hear from the horse’s mouth first,www.OldSantaFeTradingCo.com.  There I started reading about Forrest and got onto his blog link, reading post after post. Then, I would get an idea and move to searching for that idea and where it might lead.

Back and forth from here to there. Sometimes it went on the plus side, but most were on the negative side of nowhere.  I knew then that this was going to be tougher than I expected for sure. I was starting to feel like a one of the lost ants. The searches however led to places and images that brought good smiles and feelings.

Laughter and tears, but still all good
I was starting to remember my youth… when dad would take us on our infamously long two week vacation to New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming and Colorado. We made our round to Colorado because that’s where my grandparents lived. Images of Pikes Peak, White Sands, Mesa Verde and Old Faithful, camping in State Parks and National Parks, stops along the mountain regions, steams and canyons to take a picture. The adventures of the travels of numerous years brought back smiles, laughter and tears. We would all cram into that green 4 door Pontiac and later that old 1970’s red Ford pickup, stick on the column I remember… and with the camper top. White, like a sore thumb, sitting on top of the bed.

All the boys in the back of the truck and my sister up front with mom and dad. I don’t know how he (dad) did it, I mean us guys (just boys being boys and mostly messing around) in the back and dad stuck with the women. Maybe that’s why he got so irritated every time we would write some etching on the little chalk board and tap on the window (so someone would have to turn and read it). That was how we mostly communicated while on the road. No air in the back except the tilted camper windows and the camper cover door opened all the way to catch the breeze. It was the late 60’s and early 70’s. We could get away with things like that.

Even though I am the youngest, I remember my favorites, like; being all together in one room at the Old Faithful Inn (That’s where I busted my brothers mouth because I was a “toss and turn” guy. Man did he get mad.), climbing the ladders at Mesa Verde and peering over the wall of a room and scouting around (Mom’s voice telling me not to go too far back), and being at the top of Pikes Peak to get my first moccasins.

Heck, we even ended up with some nick-names for each other. I’m the youngest of the bunch and I always, I mean always had to pee. So they called me “On the hour every hour”. My brother right above me was “professor” because he is so smart and always knew things we didn’t because he read more than we did I presume. My uncle (who was more like a brother because of the age difference between him and mom… He is my sister’s age) well, we called him “garbage disposal”. Yep, he ate everything no one wanted or could finish.

Both Mom and Dad are gone now as well as all my Grandparents. Their work on earth is finished. I miss them. I cry sometimes. But those are not bad things, for their sufferings are over and they are perfect again.

In-Depth research begins
For days, I read all of Forrest’s blog stories, and now have most of them printed out. The majority I guess. Most of them (I figured) at some point in time, well, something in them was going to help give either a deeper understanding to Forrest himself or to his poem, which will lead me to his treasure.  As a lot of people have said already, I was hooked. I continue to read blog comments, listen to interviews and do research almost every day… So like most people I think I can solve this thing. What are my chances? That’s a very good question to keep open.

Note to self: Even though most people stare at you with a look of uncertainty of your reality, when they ask what you’re working on and you tell them… Keep moving forward!

I remember one night I was reading the poem over and over, a certain phrase just kept jumping out at me. (I was listening to Bing Crosby, my Great-Grandmother Leona also loved him for some reason). So I switched apps and started searching. I asked my wife what she thought. She agreed. Sounded plausible. My Internet search was on the (key) word that I thought the phrase was talking about. What I was looking for… Could I find such a thing?  There it was. It led me to Wyoming. Night after night for a couple of weeks I kept searching… And all of a sudden, I saw what I was looking for, the second part of my thought. It scratched my brain just a little and gave me some goose bumps. I had found what was to be my starting point. Notice that I said, “my starting point”… I did not say Forrest’s starting point. Or in reality maybe it was if I am correct in this venture.

I felt confident, but could this really be the place? There is such a vast amount of the Rocky Mountains. I kept reading.  I kept my research going. A lot of what I read told me that there were basically two things to really consider,,, “the home of Brown” and “where warm waters halt”. Should I really believe in most things that are printed?  I started with “Brown” anyway. I started thinking about Forrest. Where he lives and what he likes to do, even what he does currently. More research… I mean a lot more research was coming my way fast.
So for months I spent most of my spare time, and I should use the term “spare” lightly because I really neglected a few things, doing nothing but research. Days off, nights sitting on the couch under the lamp, at the island in the kitchen before I had to go to work. Every small chance I got, I used it. Heck, even have gotten up in the middle of the night when I had a particular brain-storm. It’s still that way today. That was all before I received “The Thrill of the Chase” for my 50th birthday.

Oh boy, I have come to my own conclusion that my starting point for solving the poem can come from anywhere in the poem… if the starting point to finding the treasure starts with WWWH. Maybe ?!?! What I mean is that I believe that there are certain physical steps that you have to take to get to the treasure location. The poem and TTOTC both themselves I believe, have many other hints about how to find the location. But hey, it’s all just a theory at the moment.

You may read this and say, “so what, this isn’t about his treasure hunting!” I would say to you, “Read it again. If you’ve missed my hints, then I’m almost getting as good as Mr. Fenn in writing.” LOL, IMHO

Born and raised in Austin, Texas 1963, we live in South Carolina now.  Our trip was this past summer, the boys were able to work their scheduled life to mine and we had father/sons time for a week or so.  They saw some of the things I saw when I was a kid and we had new exciting experiences together. We climbed to the top of a mountain… To the wilderness… 3 days of tent camping… along the way to The Thrill of the Chase.  We are happy with what we found.

Thanks Mr. Fenn! If it wasn’t for TTOTC I probable wouldn’t have fulfilled a 45 year old promise.