Iron Will’s (ETA TEST)

I’ve often wondered, how we could help each other to our utmost ability with our solutions, without giving anything away. I’m sure you’ve seen the attempts of others giving advice without revealing why. It just turns into arguments and insults. What if… we didn’t have to hear all of the answers, yet could get some guidance as to how effectively thought out, our solutions actually are. After much thought, I came to the conclusion that a CHECKLIST would be perfect to do such a thing!


There will be a first set of questions that are fact based about the poem, all from Forrest’s on words. They are affectionately referred to as the Nine Lives of your ETA. You must be able to answer YES to all nine questions and remain with “nine lives” to proceed to the subjective section. If you lose one or more of your lives by answering NO to any of them, then I am sorry to say that your solution and ETA has a strong possibility of not being valid.


After that comes X/10 rating system. They are 10 subjective/opinionated questions that you answer to apply a value to the accuracy of your ETA. For example if you answered YES to 8 of them and NO to the other two, then you have an 8/10 or 80% accurate ETA solution. I wanted to have about 20 questions for this section, but felt that anything over ten was beginning to teeter in the “out in left field” remarks. Perhaps this section can be evolved later on if more qualifier questions come to light.


Before you begin, I must say that this test is based on SELF HONESTY. Do not try to lie to yourself and others so you can have a cool score. The purpose here is to help you evaluate your “confidence” or “chances” by using the best information we have. In each question think honestly about it, and do not try to twist your thoughts like, “well it could be a YES if I looked at it like this or if that creek was once dry and now has water”. Remember, if you cannot keep all nine lives in the first section, then you should rethink your solution. With all of that said let’s begin….




1. Is your ETA located above 5,000 ft. and below 10,200 ft. and atleast 8.25 miles North of Santa Fe New Mexico (from its northern most tip) in any northerly direction?


2. Does your ETA satisfy all of the following?

a- Not in a graveyard

b- Not in an out house

c- Not in a mine tunnel or cave

d- Not on or about a structure


3. Is your ETA in one of the four states of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, or New Mexico?


4. Do you find that your WWWH is not a dam?


5. A few is defined as: more than one but indefinitely small in number

Forrest said the distance from his sedan to hide the treasure was less than a few miles. 

Is your ETA one mile or less from any road access point?


6. Can a 79-80 year old elderly man(not just Forrest) make two trips from his sedan to your ETA carrying 20 lbs each trip?


7. Do you feel your ETA was arrived at succesfully by following all of the nine clues, at least the ones you saw as the nine?


8. Human Trail: A track or indication marking the route for travel over land, especially a narrow, unpaved pathway, followed by people, such as the footsteps of hikers or joggers. Given that Forrest may have innocently misspelled “Proximaty”, and given strict definition of human trail by not being opinionated or subjective to your ideas… can you say that your ETA is not in near proximity to any human trail?


9. In your solution, can you find your blaze in the day time without a flashlight?

Ok, that wasn’t so bad. If you answered all YES then your solution is entirely plausible to be the correct solution. Now lets look at your accuracy using the following 10 questions:

A. Sometimes the end of a solution is just an end. A small waterfall or a big rock. Perhaps it’s just an area that has a possible logical outcome to the clues. Look at the landscape around you and ask… Can you see your ETA being special to Forrest(in more than a “look at that scenery!” way)?


B. Given the seriousness of Forrest’s legally advised opinion that if you find the treasure, you own it… Is your ETA on private property?


C. Given your complete understanding of your solution, do you understand why the little girl in India cannot get closer than the first two clues?

D. The Weekly Words at Mysterious Writings are bits of expert advice on finding the treasure, from the man who hid it. 

In one…he stated, “Success is an Omniscient Guru.” Does your solution and ETA make use of this statement?

E. Forrest stated in a radio interview, that there is an unintended clue within Too Far To Walk, and that it was important if you can find it. If one’s solution is the correct solution, they should be able to look through said book and recognize the clue he refers to (being that it is important). Do you recognize the important unintended clue and it’s value to your solution and ETA?


F. Given that there are hints(said by Forrest himself) in TTotC to help solve the clues, can you confidently say that you found 2 or more hints in the book that solve clues in your solution of the poem?


G. Can you see why Forrest would want to have his bones buried at your ETA?


H. When asked about the elements, Forrest (in relation to water) explained that it’s probably already wet. Given that it would have to have been hidden in a dry condition for him to apply “probably” to the wet condition, can you safely say that your ETA is not in a body of water?


I. Forrest has stated over and over that he is near dead certain (99%), that the chest is still there where he put it. Given that most GPS tracker batteries would only last around 3 years or less, this suggests that a deliberate electrical source would be needed to maintain tracking/surveillance on the chest. Does your ETA have any “landline” electrical sources within the vicinity?


J. An Excerpt from MW: “Imagining that we haven’t seen the rest of the poem, and all we have to go on is:

a. “begin it where warm waters halt” and

b. “somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe”

Do you think that we can confidently determine the starting place for your treasure trail?” ~ Steve

No, if all you have to go on are those two clues you cannot proceed with confidence. F


This Q&A seems to suggest that WWWH is not the starting place in the poem, which points to the starting place being described before it. Does your solution use some or all elements of the first stanza to solve the first clue?

There! All Done! How did you do? Did you keep your 9 lives? If so then congrats, your solution could possibly be the right one! When determining your X/10 accuracy rating, please understand that some of these are subjective, but I tried to bend them to be as accurate as possible to everything Forrest has said. I hope you got some benefit out of this tool, and thanks for your time. Feel free to post your results or ask questions or even offer ways we could evolve this checklist.


23 thoughts on “Iron Will’s (ETA TEST)

  1. This ETA check sheet is excellent. But with the release of Isaac Cole’s podcast which I posted the link to on hOD today, you could add “Have you used all the nouns in the poem to solve the riddle in the poem?”


  2. Nouns are fairly simple, seems best not to ignore one or two. Last trip was a lot like yours, I’m always in a hurry because of life’s commitments and squeezing a little adventure into it all, I would some day just like to get where I can slow down and smell the roses. I got there and it was like 5 steps bakards and one step forward, and then the noun thing came out when I was halfway home, which made me realize that maybe I hadn’t applied myself properly.

    Glad your feeling better, that duct tape is a good idea till you decide it needs to come off, super glue works better in my opinion because it wears off after everything is kinda stuck together.


  3. Good checklist! But I am having trouble scoring myself on it. I got 9/9 for the first part, and then my answers are:
    A – yes
    B – no
    C – yes, but only because the Little Girl in India was supposed to have only a map (not Google Map, or the Internet)
    D – ?? I think this FF quote means that if you actually find it, that you know all there is to know about the puzzle. Haven’t found it yet, but will be BotG again soon. 4th time, all in the same place.
    E, F, G, H – yes
    I – no, definitely not
    J – yes, but not at the start. “alone in there” and “secret where” make sense in the context of the “ETA”.

    So, what’s my score?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Q. 5. “Is your ETA one mile or less from any road access point?”
    Fenn never said this condition.
    Many say he implies this based on the 2 trips. Example: Less than a few = 0 to 2.9 miles (likely between 1-3 miles), but he never said if that means from car to chest OR the miles divided by trip. Sure the answer could be 3 div by 4 or 3 div by 2 or 1 div by 4 etc. Keep it simple formula = less than 3 miles to the chest.
    Q. I. “Forrest has stated over and over that he is near dead certain (99%), that the chest is still there where he put it. Given that most GPS tracker batteries would only last around 3 years or less, this suggests that a deliberate electrical source would be needed to maintain tracking/surveillance on the chest. Does your ETA have any “landline” electrical sources within the vicinity?”
    This is silly.
    There are plenty of ways FF would find out the tc was found. Fenn could have a safe deposit box key, or an IOU (too good to ignore), or a marked object or coin easily spotted on the market…. etc.


    • Hey Decall, I understand your dilemma on this. But you have to stop thinking what other people want to direct you to think. You have to stop thinking what YOU want to think. The only thing that matters is that he said in response to this EXPLICIT question…

      I was wondering if you would be so bold as to give an estimate of how far you walked to hide the treasure after leaving your car?

      “But I will say that I walked less than a few miles if that will help”. F

      This says, under the question and answer, that Forrest traveled 1 mile or less from the Sedan to hide the treasure. Anything else others or you wish to “insert” is completely opinionated. I’m working off facts, not possibilities.


    • Getting to your Question I. , no it is not silly. Forrest has a camera posted on the chest site, with a direct hard wire connection. You reply with an IOU or Safe Deposit Box key or a coin spotted on the market. Tell me this… (and I’m just inserting fictional dates to counter your argument because I don’t know the recording date off hand)… If I found the chest on May 1st, and held the IOU, or key, or coin…so that I could write my book for 3 months… the hell could Forrest on May 15th say, “I’m 99% certain the chest is still where I put it?”

      You’re excuses offer up ATLEAST 50% uncertainty at any given time.


  5. The little girl in India could not get any further because home of Brown is not on a map. I don’t think Fenn has a camera on the chest to remote to power one. They didn’t have solar powered cameras in 2009 2010 when he hid the chest besides CCTV were large and didn’t live stream.


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