By Richard McKeever
This was an extraordinary search. It had an amazing conclusion to it. Let’s start with Forrest and a few of his Scrap Books. One to start with for me was SB 214 and the sketch that was drawn in it of a leg.
I found it to be odd for some reason I cannot name, but there was something about it that made it stand out in my mind and why Forrest would comment on it. I think it was the added lines to show muscular shape reminded me of rail roads.
The second SB was 226 about Frankie and Johnny. In this story Forrest said something very strange, he mentions the word ” Pandoroma,”. I know there is no such word, but I remembered how Forrest said he sometimes creates words to express a thought. So I looked up the word Pando and found it was the name of a particular aspen that grows only in SW Colorado, and eastern Utah. I also looked up the word, ” Roma”, turns out that was a word used for an indian pueblo, small village or town. I looked this up on Google earth and found an old little ghost town in Colorado named Pando located on US 24 north of Leadville.
The first thing I noticed was the shape of the valley.
I also found an abandoned military base was there, Camp Hale where the 10th, Mountain Division was trained during WW2.
While researching Camp Hale I found out about a scandalous affair there between a WAC, and a German POW. That made me think more about the song Frankie and Johnny. I also discovered that there was a tie in to SB 217 there. There were warning signs of un exploded military ammo in the area, linking to his Verdun story.
It was here I decided to tie the poem to what I was seeing. First was WWWH, I thought about this and thought maybe Forrest was referring to the warm feelings of friendship stopping in a war, or at the end of a town or in this case a military base. Take it in the canyon down, head to the south end of the base. NFBTFTW, I equated with a short distance past the base.PIBTHOB I theorized could either mean it was an Army base as the soldiers wore Brown uniforms, or even the Nazi POW camp as they were known as Brown Shirts. The road leading south was into the wilderness, I took as FTINPFTM. The road continued on until it ended up further on that was my TEIEDN. Off to the side was a creek I believe it was the East Fork of the Eagle, which flowed from an uphill direction, NPUYC. In that direction was a Dam and a lake, HLAWH.
While traveling in a SE direction I noticed a rock out cropping on the North side of the canyon with what appeared to be 4 alcoves in it.
After taking out my binoculars I saw that above the alcoves were large black dots with a smaller white dot in the center. This struct me as a blaze so I investigated them. Three of the alcoves were very shallow and could not conceal the treasure chest. But the fourth hole was a small shallow cave. Large enough to conceal not only the treasure but Forrest too, if that was his choice for a tomb.
It was in this fourth cave I discovered a great find. In the corner I discovered a folded piece of paper. There was a note on it and it said, ” Congratulations You are the first person after me to search this cave after me. I did not find Forrest Fenns treasure here, but you have found mine. Good Luck and keep searching. July 7 2014.” No name on it but wrapped inside was a 2005 St Gaudens 1/4 ounce $10.00 Gold Piece.
Sorry the actual coin photo is blurry but best I could get, last picture is added for clarity from the internet.
This to date has been one of my most interesting BOTG’s.