Scrapbook Two Hundred Two…

scrapbook

june, 2019

 

Gadi was one of the first searchers. As a reporter for NBC News in Albuquerque, he made a documentary about the treasure that won him an Emmy, and a promotion to Correspondent for NBC News in LA.

He remembered in my book, TTOTC, that Donnie and I took 2 Babe Ruth candy bars on our horseback quest up Red Canyon while Looking for Lewis and Clark. So Gadi decided to search the canyon himself, and for luck, he ate 2 Babe Ruth candy bars and nailed the wrappers to the Red Canyon sign that had been placed by the National Forest Service to mark the trailhead.

Well, not much later, Dal, while searching Red Canyon, saw the 2 wrappers on the ground under the sign, and placed them in the trash can. Dal should have given me the paper souvenirs so I could picture them in this Scrapbook. Maybe they could bring other searchers good luck. it is indeed a small world.

Gadi came to see me his week, on his way to Yellowstone on assignment about grizzly bears tearing up garbage cans. He told me the story about how he proposed to his girlfriend. It was on a deserted island and includes a treasure chest with a secret inside, It is right out of Treasure Island, You can’t make this stuff up. Maybe Gadi will write a Scrapbook and tell that story. Here is an email I received from him this morning. f

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From: Gadi Schwartz (Google him)
Sent: Friday, June 14, 2019 11:13 AM
To: Forrest Fenn
Subject: Almost found your treasure again…

Howdy Forrest!

You’ll be happy to know that there are legions of pterodactyl sized mosquitoes out guarding your treasure!

I finished my assignment a little early at the Grizzly Discovery center, so I headed up to the Firehole and spent the afternoon exploring as many little slots as I could. I thought I hit the jackpot about a quarter mile down from the falls when I found this little crack. I crawled in, did some interior decorating and checked the crevasses and cubbies until my work clothes were indistinguishable from a miner’s. After a bit I sat back in the dust and cleared my mind and tried to imagine you sitting in Mummy Joe’s cave.

cave movie

When I came out, I spotted a couple armed with binoculars who seemed a little out of place. No fishing gear, not particularly interested in taking photos and stopping at every pull off to scan the cliffsides. All told, I saw about 20-30 people that matched the description of treasure hunters around Yellowstone. (I didn’t stop and talk to any of them though, because I wouldn’t have been able to resist bragging about our lunch which would have wasted precious time)

After a graceful and wet mini tumble into an eddy, I headed upriver and put some eyes on that old grizzly cave. There are still bones from some sort of elk or deer bleaching away at it’s opening. My log bridge I crossed last time has washed a little downstream and I decided not to press my luck again.

I headed just past the falls pull out and checked on a couple more spots, one place I really love is this little ledge right above where the falls goes over the edge. It’s hidden from view but also nearly impossible to get to. One of those rocks gave me a gnarly little cut on my city hand that I can’t wait to get home and fuss over.

On my way back I spotted a big nest that had been destroyed by some kinda marmot. I finally decided to call it a day and head back to my car. As I got in, I heard a noise in some brush beside me. I turned to see a 3-400-pound grizzly lumbering toward me. I let out some sort girlish yelp that evidently conveyed I would taste very sour, so he went around and headed down toward the river where I had just been looking.

bear movie

Hope he has better luck in the search than I did. I finished the day pretty proud that I survived and decided to celebrate by buying a steak and frying pan from the grocery store next to The Dude.

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I found a nice spot overlooking Hebgen Lake to cook a romantic dinner for me and 7 million thirsty insects. I forgot seasoning, a knife and a can opener for my side of chili so my meal was small and over cooked. The mosquitoes ate me medium rare.

Sending you picture and videos.

Also, I love your new book, Once Upon a While.

“Took a long pull of Worcestershire Sauce to clear my head”

“While trying to avoid those who distract me from my self-esteem, I am always reminded of the heroic performances I committed on the football fields of my youth. “

“Fear they’d turn their vocabulary loose on me”

“… the candles died of old age”

“I mostly listened, not wanting to interrupt him with the weakness of my thoughts.”

My favorite chapter the bridge jump. My least favorite was the forward by Douglas. I was terrified he gave too much away! But that was before I headed back out to explore and was once again reassured by Yellowstone himself at how insanely large the woods are and how enigmatic the blaze remains. Here’s to hoping the treasure is never found!

Gadi

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook Two Hundred One…

scrapbook

MAY, 2019

 

maryI will try to keep this short. I have emailed a few times already but for me, this is the most precious one. I went on my first search this weekend and cannot thank you enough.  I am an out of shape, stay at home mom of 5 kids. I rarely, rarely ever leave my kids. Me, my husband and his buddy went out this weekend to search. It was so amazing having an entire, kid free day to ourselves. I conquered a couple fears in the process too! The gift of going out and feeling a part of my younger, fear free life was amazing. I used to be much more adventurous and I was the one talking my friends into adventures but once I became a mom I acquired a fear I never knew was possible.  I’m so worried I will go out and somehow die and leave my children momless. I know it may sound crazy but there is a voice in my head telling me they need me more then I need to be out doing things that could take me away from them. I had such a good time and felt truly alive for the first time in over 13 years. Thank you for reminding me I am more then just a mom, but that I am a person who needs some adventure to keep me happy and alive. I found a greater treasure just in that day away then the treasure itself could have given me. I have tears in my eyes writing this because I had completely lost my adventurous side until yesterday. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Warmest reguards,
Mary


This email from Mary came in last night just as I was closing down for the evening. I asked for her permission to post it on Dal’s blog as a come-along for other latent adventurers. This is what she said:

“You can absolutely post it. No need to change my name, I’m a pretty open book. Thanks for the reply.😊”

 

I slept with a smile on my face. f

 

 

 

Scrapbook Two Hundred…

scrapbook

APRIL, 2019

 

Today I read a most wonderful book. It’s called My Childhood in Montana, by Irene Estella Stephens (1920-2015). It is published in paperback, on demand, and can be purchased on AbeBooks.com for under $10. It was compiled by Pamela Gehn Stephens, and copiously illustrated by William Shumway.coverThe book came to me in the mail from Brent, with a note that said, “Forrest, I hope you enjoy my grandma-in-law’s stories. She was a great storyteller and really would have liked to have read your memoir I’m sure.” 

On the back cover of the book are these words, “Irene was my mother-in-law until her passing at age 95 in 2015. She was an exceptional person of many talents, and I especially loved reading her straight-forward vivid description of growing up on a remote dryland wheat farm on the central plains of Montana during the Great Depression. This memoir evokes her close family and neighbors, and the constant hard work to survive in this harsh environment where the winters were long and bitter, and the growing season was, at most, four months.” Pamela G. Stephens

Chapter 13 is titled Teacherage

“In late fall, when the Montana winters dug in, it became too difficult to ride our horses to school, so our folks would take us to the schoolhouse Monday morning, and we would live there with the teacher until Friday afternoon. The school building was heated with a coal furnace in the basement, and the teacher had to shovel coal into the furnace or see that it was done by one of the older boys. She also had to cook our meals and get us to bed at night. Before school started in fall, the parents would bring a load of coal out from Roy, along with school supplies and food staples. Of course, the toilet was an outhouse, same as at our house.

“One year our teacher was Mrs. Stephens, and I remember giggling with the other girls when we saw her son Webb wearing his long red nightgown. That boy grew up and became my husband. We were married for 55 years.” (A cutout from Chapter 6. “There were at most 14 students, and sometimes as few as 9 or 10, from 4 or 5 families in grades 1-8, all taught by 1 teacher).

The 40, one-page chapters were drawn to a time, just 10 years before mine, when the promise of an easy life seemed distant. But they held sway so potent that I longed to harken back and live it all again with them. Tough times make memories stronger, and longer lasting. I love Irene and her sister, and their father with his rigid expectations. Please read this book and tell me what you think. f

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Nine…

scrapbook

APRIL, 2019

 

Slush Cup Competition

According to the Santa Fe paper more than 280 inches of snow fell on our ski hill this winter. Now it’s melting all up and down the Rockies and the rivers are filling with run-off. Soon it will be time to start searching for the treasure, but not yet. 

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Sunday the 14th was the last day of skiing for this year and there were several hundred people on hand to watch the Slush Cup competition, or as some call it, the “The Annual Dunk.” Doug Preston, and his wife Christine, were there taking pictures. About 100 men, women and children registered to compete in the juried event.

Shiloh made it – no, wait. He almost made it.

Tradition suggests that competitors wear costumes, and many did. A mystery man wearing a banana suit with a cape drew the most laughs, especially when he splashed soon after he reached the 2 feet deep pond. Superman soon followed with the matching results. Many participants made multiple runs and they didn’t seem to mind getting soaked in the 32-degree weather.  Some were topless and others wore swim suits or skivvies. About 25 skiers and snow boarders made it safely across the 65-foot pond. Shiloh and his friend Nick (who is one of the geniuses at Los Alamos National Laboratory) made multiple runs during the 3-hour event, and both were able to skim across. They also crashed a couple of times.

Shiloh and the partially nude Nick.

Contestants were judged on style and results. Shiloh and Nick didn’t win anything, but they were smart enough to take a change of clothing. The top prize went to a 23-year-old woman who received tickets to the Ten Thousand Waves Spa, where the water is warmer. Maybe I’ll enter the competition next year, it looks like fun. f 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Eight…

scrapbook

MARCH, 2019

 

Hey Forrest,

Here are some documents I dug up related to your 12/21/1968 rescue:
1) Handwritten log from the Joint Search and Rescue Center (JSARC). 
2) Mission Narrative Report 2-3-79 written by Lt. Eagan, USCG.

Also, I found some records related to the first time you were shot down on 8/24/1968
1) Handwritten log from the Joint Search and Rescue Center (JSARC).
2) Electronic records list the aircraft as F-100 D with serial # 563019.

Note, TACAN ch-89 is Nakhon Phanom and TACAN ch-115 is Binh Thuy. Positions in logs are often given as TACAN coordinates: heading / distance (NM) / TACAN channel. The heading is from the tower to the current position.

Some other notes:
– Your chute beeper never activated (phantom beeper picked up 35mi south of your position).
– Swisher ran a MISTY thru your flt path to figure out where to search for you.
– PJ King (high bird) was MIA/KIA 4 days later (on xmas, about 25mi NW of your pickup). He was awarded the AFC.

Best,
Chris L


Chris L.,
Thank you so much for finding those documents for me. I had not seen them before. They explain a few things that I had wondered about, especially that my parachute beeper had not worked. My chute is probably still hanging in the tree. Anything else you can find for me will be greatly appreciated. I received a Silver Star for that mission, But I have never seen the narrative that was written that convinced the brass in the Pentagon to give the medal to me. I would like to read that document. It must be somewhere in my personnel records. Where do you live Chris? If you are ever in Santa Fe I would like to show you my combat scrapbook. I have a photo of me being pulled up on the
Cable, taken by someone in the high chopper. f

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Seven…

scrapbook

JANUARY 22nd, 2019

A More Human Side of the Chase

Normally I don’t read long emails, but these three came to me with the flavor of a different personality. Lee, who is from New York, was drawn to the chase by the desire for companionship with a friend who had no rigid expectations. This is their story. f

Dear Mr. Fenn;
I have written you before and I feel like you have become a great friend of mine even though I have not had the pleasure of meeting you.  I hope you won’t mind if, in the future, I address you as Dear Forrest – you have become very dear to me.

IMG 20180827 121256

Here is a picture of my best friend in all the world – Tyke.  Tyke and I took the train to search for your treasure in Colorado this summer, and (look at his face), we had the time of our lives.  After we got home, I learned that Tyke had terminal cancer.  As I write this, I’m about to lose my best friend, and I feel lost.  How can I ever thank you enough for getting us on that train and creating a wonderful memory that will last into eternity for us?  Words don’t suffice, but my heart is full.

Happy New Year, my dear Forrest.

Lee


Dear Forrest;
Thanks to you, we had four glorious “Fenn trips” – two were camping, in which we stopped at all sorts of fantastic places (Dodge City, the Daniel Boone National Forest, some reservations, we went to Pagosa Springs and camped out (with my father who is 3 months younger than you and a cancer survivor) in 38 degrees – and no, I did not think that Where Warm Waters Halt was Pagosa Springs!  We just wanted to see it.

I wish I knew you better because I think we have many shared interests.  I am around the same age as your daughters. My baby died on January 2nd.  Now I have to finish the story that we started together.

Lee


Dear Forrest;
I wanted to send you two more pictures of Tyke, to show you what a handsome fellow he was, and what a sweet soul.  He made friends wherever he went because he was so full of love and enthusiasm, and he thought that everyone was his friend.

On our last two trips, we took the train, and he made friends with people in the station, other people in the sleeping car, the conductor!  One girl I met on the train took pictures of Tyke and has them on her refrigerator!

IMG 20170913 164224 kindlephoto 528891

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Lee

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Six…

scrapbook

December 20, 2018

f100ss

At 1755 this evening I will salute an anniversary that is noteworthy only to me. It will mark the exact time my parachute and I floated down into a dark, dank, and dense Laotian jungle after we ejected from my crippled F-100. It was during the Vietnam War, and little did I know at the time that the incident would indirectly lead to me writing The Thrill of the Chase, a memoir. I told that story to Nelika and here is an email I received from her this afternoon. Thank you Nelika. f

Subject: 50 years ago

Hi Forrest,
Just thinking of you on this day and wanted to send you a lil poem I wrote just for you:

Today, half a century ago,
You rose up from below;
Shot down from the sky,
Yet once again, you did fly.

Those moments a memory,
Embedded for eternity;
In a mind thinking a thousand thoughts,
Collecting them all, like snapshots.

You soared through life,
Alongside your wife;
A maverick each day,
Living it your way.

Thank you for being you!!

Your friend,
Nelika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Five…

scrapbook

December 5, 2018

 

hh

Suzanne and Barry Manilow made this video privately.
She is fed up with what she sees around the world and wants to make a political statement. It has been sent to a very visible political commentator hoping that person will play it nationally. She has been very close to Barry for many years and they have great chemistry. She joked that the “Movement” may have her arrested. f

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Four…

scrapbook

OCTOBER 15, 2018

 

I woke up to snow on the ground this morning in Santa Fe, and a temp. below freezing. I went out to get the paper and about froze. Hopefully all searchers will stay by the fire drinking hot Ovaltine til about May or June. To me, being cold is a lot worse than being hot. All of the Rockies north of SF are now unsearchable to my way of thinking. f-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook One Hundred Ninety Three…

scrapbook

OCTOBER 2018

 

Well, here’s Rooster,
One of the more famous searchers who probably has to look on a map to find out where she’s standing. Fun comes to her easier than it does for most of us. She said dal could post her email if I blocked out her very secret search area, so I placed ???? in its place (rolling eyes). Thanks Mz Cogburn, and please don’t ask me to be your search partner. f

Subject: ScaredyCat

Dear Forrest Fenn,

I finally ran away from home, for 25-hours. 25-hours of sheer hell. Hell of my very own making. I did see a moose and found a tin can sculpture, so I can probably subtract 15-minutes from my hell.

Attached is a map and a sculpture.

I made it through the private community of ????. As I was trespassing on private property, I was tracked down by two old biddies, I guess they are the sherriffs in the place, making sure they keep the riffraff out. Actually, they were very nice, after I let them know that I was trespassing because I was chasing a wily fox (which is technically true), the old biddies bid me good-day, reminding me to wear my orange when hiking around. Because of course, it’s hunting season. Crap, I forgot my orange. After I was busted by the biddies, I tried to make my way up a bit North to where I think there is a gaze connecting my tary, but a hunter chased me away. It occurs to me constantly that I am the very worst searcher, ever. I am truly a doofass. I haven’t given up, but I gave up this time. I did make my way to Laramie and seen the UofWyo, it was dark. I slept at a rest area, I was scared, and then I came home. In the gray areas of my narrative, there are only dark dumb scary things that I do all the time, like driving with my lights out, getting lost ALL the time, being weird and not knowing North from South, taking i80 east instead of i80 west, more than twice. Almost driving up a “Do Not EnterWrong Way, Not bringing bright orange, and babbling like a criminal to the two old biddie sherriff’s. I might not ever find your treasure, but I’ll keep trying and crying.

I hope you and yours are well, Forrest Fenn.

Hugs from Utah,

RoosterCogburn