hi Forrest, ran across an old article, about the death of
Lt. Col. John H.I. Morse Sr., the article mentioned
your call sign, was that chosen by you or the
military and what was it for
( Article is HERE )
Mary, thanks for the email about L/C John Morse and Litter 81. To answer your question:
Litter was the call sign of the 308th Fighter Squadron at Tuy Hoa, South Vietnam. The 8 indicated that it was the 8th combat mission of the day for that squadron. The 1 meant that I was leading the flight of F-100s. My wingmen were Litter 82, 3, and 4. Anyone hearing those call signs on the radio knew where the planes were from and could easily find out who was flying them.
The aircraft I ejected from on that day (20 Dec, 1968) was an F-100D, #647. The maintenance crew called it the “Hanger Queen,” because it was nearly always broken.
Thanks for the info about L/C Morse. I met him just that one time when his helicopter hoisted me out of the jungle in Laos. You don’t forget guys like that. it would be nice to know where Charlie Morse is now. I would like to talk with him. f
My students have a question for you. Since you have spent much time in the west around Yellowstone, do you have any personal experiences with cattle ranching and cattle drives?
Many years ago, my good friend J. Evetts Haley (the writer), invited me to help him brand calves on his ranch in the panhandle of Texas. It was 103 degrees in August and they built a big fire to heat the branding irons. There was no cooling breeze. After the cowboys roped a calf, it was my job to run up and throw the poor thing on its side. I think every one of those critters kicked me in the nose. After the branding, the calf jumped up and ran off, and I had to do it all over again. That day was so hot and sweaty I lost 6 pounds. All of my aspirations for being a rancher were used up that day and I never wanted to see a branding iron again. Please tell your students to study hard so they don’t have to grow up to be a cowboy. f
I am writing you tonight wanting to thank you. I have just recently discovered your story about the hidden treasure and it brings me a sense of adventure and motivation. I love everything about it. The best thing though is its bringing together a once torn apart relationship with me and my mother back together again . So thank you for that .
We recently had a birthday celebration for my nephew and she attended for the first time in a long time . We hadn’t talked very much over the years due to decisions and choices she choose to take when I was in my youth. Grudges and bad feeling and really just being stubborn I never made any attempt to reach out and make our relationship better. So sitting around the party I brought up your story and I promise for the next four hours we talked about what it would be like taking a trip and searching and the things we would see along the way and how much our lives would be so different if we were to ever find the treasure.
In those brief hours talking about it for a moment I had forgotten all the bad things she had done the bad things I had said and it was just us again mom and son no worries in the world . We talked about it throughout the night and even into the next morning when she called me . I feel your story has gave us a starting over point in life with our relationship and I just want to thank you for that Mr. Fenn.
Even if we never get to take a chance to search for your treasure you have helped me find mine again so thank you again.
I have seen in recent articles that you are getting a lot of pressure to end the search for your hidden treasure. I would be lying if I said that this email is not an attempt to dissuade you from ending the treasure hunt. I will keep it short, but I would like to tell you how your treasure hunt saved my life.
To make a long story very short, due to a failed marriage and some other life events I was on the verge of committing suicide. To put it simply the thrill of the chase saved my life. I learned of the treasure, and searching for it gave me a reason to keep on going. Thank you. I haven’t found it, and probably never will, but I have something to strive for at least.
Full disclosure, as I stated above the purpose of this email is to weigh in on whether the Chase should continue. Not that my opinion matters but since I’m writing this anyway I might as well share it.
You have stated very clearly multiple times not to look for the treasure anywhere a 80 year old man could not go, or where a 87 year old man could not go back to. You have also said not to go alone. Some people for whatever reason choose to disregard both of these. That is 199% their own fault, and the only reason I can think of to go alone is because a person is greedy and does not want to share. There are more than enough people in the community of searchers that it is easy to get online and find a group to go searching with( as I have done multiple times).
Just my two cents.
I just want to let you know what your chase has done for my son. He is almost 9 years old and has autism. He has never shown any real interest in doing things until he sound out about you treasure. He now loves to look for it where ever we are.
It is one of the reason he has come out of his shell. He loves the idea of being a treasure hunter. We have made a few “real” trips out west to look for it, but whenever we go camping even here in Michigan, he wants to see if he can find it.
We went to Iceland for a camping trip on spring break this year and had to spend some time looking for your box there. That trip would not have been possible if he had not learned how to camp to find the treasure (we did not find it in Iceland).
The quest has help him see the natural world and enjoy the outdoors, and we are trying to encourage it build on that foundation.
I have wanted to sent this for awhile, but have not gotten around to it.
Thank you for helping my son and me,
I wanted to just say thank you for the weight loss. I am preparing for my
4th treasure hunting expedition and in preparation decided I needed to lose
some weight. I set a goal of 35 pounds for my trip in August. I started in
February and have lost 29 pounds. I have 6 more pounds to go to reach my
My wife said even if I don’t find the treasure she thanks you for the
motivation to get into better shape and lose weight!
Just wanted to let you know you took part in my engagement last year!
Recently, my girlfriend and I took a train from Boston out to New Mexico and then up to Wyoming to treasure hunt in northern Wyoming over the last week. We were heading up towards Jackson, but due to the forest fire, we stuck around in Pinedale, WY.
So under the guise that we were looking for your treasure (I wish we had found that also) I buried a box of my own right along Fremont Lake, WY.
She found it the next day, and in the bottom of the box was an engagement ring. She loved it, and the adventure as well. So thanks for helping in setting it up!
I have an 11 year old son named River. Last year sometime he said to me, “I wish there were still treasures left to find”. I found this to be a telling part of his personality. He wasn’t taking about money. He was talking about the adventure, the purpose, something bigger than himself. I agreed with him. I always wished I were Indiana Jones when I was little and that there were still mysteries to solve and adventures to be had, by normal people. That you didn’t have to be someone special or have special education to be able to go do this amazing thing. I had never heard of your treasure until today and I’ve spent all morning reading about it.
Here is River, age two, teaching my brother to fly
I’m home schooling my son this next year and your poem just became part of his curriculum. I believe this treasure is out there, but for me in just excited to have something for my mind to ruminate over. How fun. I don’t know about you or your life, but now I want my son and I to read your book together- to show him there are still treasures to be found and adventures to be had. Thank you for the chance you’ve given so many people for that. Is it true you can figure all of this out remotely by looking on a map?? I wish I were more familiar with the terrain as I was born and raised in Alaska 🙂
Anyhow, I hope this finds you in good health. I hope reading of others odyssey’s has brought you as much satisfaction as searching for it has brought them.
I plan on studying your puzzle. Feel free to update me on any new clues haha! Maybe someday we will go rescue your box from its watery grave. Until then, thanks again for the adventure.