Week Words 2016


Forrest Fenn 2016 

        • * You will ignore the poem at your own peril
        • * Shut your engine off until spring
        • * If you know precisely where it is you can probably retrieve it in any weather
        • * Complacency is the misuse of imagination
        • * Plan a warm place into which you can retreat. Merry Christmas
        • * Having a good plan is the best plan. Happy New Year
        • * When they tell you it isn’t real, remember,  it’s still real
        • * A good solve is frequently lost in a poor execution
        • * Don’t be impatient, the treasure chest isn’t
        • * It will be there for as long as time has to come, or until you find it
        • * Don’t let logic distract you from the poem
        • * Your destination is small, but its location is huge
        • * Sage says don’t try to carry it home in one trip
        • * After reading HOD I am prompted to ask, have you considered the “what ifs?” (I should note: these weekly words were sent to me recently to use for today)
        • * The chest weighs 42 pounds plus, best to have gloves
        • * Minding common sense in the mountains is good savvy

The following Featured Question will also be Friday’s Weekly Words for March 25th, 2016 (given a day early)

“What surprises me a little is that nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve.” Is this statement still accurate? ~ Thanks, sumbuddy

            • Yes sumbuddy, and that is why I recently suggested that searchers consider the what ifs. f

The following Featured Question will be for April 1st, 2016

Forrest, You said you were able to read the name of the French Fallen soldier along with the poem in English below the name, but you never reveal the name in the bookWhat was the name of this soldier? I been researching this and it might be impossible and may be no reverence to your poem. My thought is you would want this person remembered like you would want to be remembered. ~Shannon

          • Heck Shannon, you just widened one of my largest fault lines. In my haste to get back to the helicopter and leave that place, my effort was expended trying to remember the inscription, and I repeated it over and over. In that process the soldier’s name was not retained.All I remember is that his last name had an x in it. Is it strange that I would remember that? But there are no regrets because now he is my personal Unknown Soldier whose lack of identity stands as a metaphor for all men and women who fell in that ugly war and have now faded from our memory. f
          • * Urgency is not a good plan to fallow (spelling correct)
          • *** I believe this weeks to be the best yet! , so posting as a picture ***


  • * Snowy days are a searcher’s enemy

Mr. Fenn,
Which direction does the Blaze face? North, South, East or West? Curious. Foxy

  • I didn’t take a radial off of the blaze Foxy. I’m thinking it may not be any of those directions. f


Mr. Fenn, I know you said finding the treasure is out of your hands. But do you think you hid it in a place that it will be found someday? thank you ahead of time for answering my question or giving thoughts about it. ~ John.


  • John, That’s such a forlorn question. Someday is an indefinite and unpredictable time. I don’t dare try to guess when the treasure will be found. I don’t mean to be evasive, but I see I am.f

 Mr. Fenn: How far is the chest located from the blaze? ~ casey

  • Casey, I did not take the measurement, but logic tells me that if you don’t know where the blaze is it really doesn’t matter. If you can find the blaze though, the answer to your question will be obvious. Does that help?f

Forrest, if you were invited to one of the legendary costume parties thrown at El Delirio (the shared estate of Martha Root White and Amelia Elizabeth White in Santa Fe in the early 20th Century) – what characters or creations would you and Peggy show up as? ~Billy in Texas

  • Billy, When I was asked that question many years ago about going to a masquerade party I said I’d wear my best clothes and go as a bum. My wife didn’t like that answer so I should not mention it here and risk visiting her wrath again.

I built my home in the Amelia White Sub Division and she lived only two blocks from me. The School of Advanced Research is housed in her home today. She had a lot of animals and the pet cemetery she maintain on her property is landscaped beautifully and has a little fence around it.

There may be 100 graves, but I don’t know how many for sure. There were times when the stress of my business required that I get away for an hour, I would go sit in the speckled shade of a few pinon trees by that special little place and read the grave markers. I was quickly rejuvenated by that experience. Sorry Billy, I forgot what the question was.f

Hello Forrest, The ace of spades, the so-called “death card” is featured in many movies about the Vietnam War. I see this as a very strange event and was wondering if mavericks of the war actually practiced this and why. Is it true? ~Rhonda

  • Dear Rhonda, I am not aware of the dark things about which you speak. It was my experience that those in combat needed to maintain a positive attitude and stay focused. Sorry I can’t answer your question.f

Forrest, Your life has been so full and exciting. It has been such a treat living vicariously through your experiences. Your life and your treasure hunt has been the catalyst for so many of us to create our own adventures. While researching countless hours I’ve found myself drawn into the culture and era of our ancestors time after time. It makes me take pause and wonder what life would’ve been like with each subject I research.

It makes me wonder if there was a culture or era in particular that you wish you could have experienced. I’m sure you would have been a Maverick no matter where you might have landed in time! ~Dusty Rose Treasury

  • Dear Dusty Rose Treasury,

Looking back on my life, with the advantage of 85 years of hindsight, I can understand how you would arrive at that conclusion. But, like the batter standing at the plate, it was not possible for me to know what will happen in the next few minutes.

To answer your question in full would take more space that Jenny allows here, but I will say that I would like to have been with the first human that stepped into North America, and I would like to have been with the Indians at the Custer fight. And probably a lot of events in-between.f

  • *Don’t be influenced by those who say they know, but don’t.f
Dear Forrest, may I ask what type of car you used to go into the mountains to hide the Treasure Chest. ~ Bill
  • Yes Bill, it was a sedan. f

Forrest, I’m interested to know what was the reaction of both your parents, in detail, when you announced you were off with your buddy into the mountains for the adventure? Cheers. James
  • Generally speaking, my parents were wrought up with frontier spirit and encouraged me to run free if my pursuit appeared wholesome. There were no soccer moms when I was a teenager and my parents never worried for my safety.f

Dear Forrest,

You have said in the cold months to wait for the snow to melt and the mud to dry. Considering much of the Rockies are subject to random and frequent bouts of precipitation, when is the mud ever dry? ~Thanks, I’m Inohury

  • Ha, elementary question my dear Inohury. A friend’s six year-old daughter told me that mud can never dry because if it did it wouldn’t be mud anymore. Please don’t ask me to argue the point. f


Mr. Fenn,

I am not even close to solving your riddle. I’ve tried for months and nothing works. I am not asking for a clue to the treasure, I’m asking for a clue to the clues. Please help me.  ~Mary.

  • Dear Mz. Mary,

The solve is difficult for many searchers because their minds think the clues are tougher to decrypt than they really are.

Some say they are trying to think outside the box, as if the solution lies somewhere out there.

Until now I have resisted telling them to get back in the box where their thoughts are comfortable and flow more easily.

The blueprint is challenging so the treasure may be located by the one who can best adjust. To illustrate my point go to YouTube – Smarter Every Day. f

Mr. Fenn, you said that the chest is in a safe location. Is there cellular phone reception at that location? – because to me a safe location would be one where you would be able to call for help if needed! ~J

  • J,

I don’t remember saying that the treasure is in a safe location. “Safe” is an absolute word, meaning there is no possibility for harm. So don’t you think your last sentence is oxymoronish? If you are safe, why would there be a need for a phone? Look around the world and tell me of a place that is truly safe. f

Mr. Forest,
I was just wondering. If I can find the blase, why should I worry about where warm waters halt? All I need to do is look “quickly down” like the poem says, and there is the treasure, right? ~ Philadelphia Franklin

  • That’s correct Philly, but that’s not a plausible scenario. If you can find a fish already on your hook you needn’t go fishing, right?

Don’t force those kinds of aberrational thoughts on yourself or you’ll likely walk back to your car with a very light back pack. f

  • *Be mindful of nature and your health, but not in that order. f
  • A polite-like email from Kristie, who admits to being a desk person, prompts me to say that if you are walking long distances in search of the treasure, you’re walking too far. 

Mr Fenn,

A blog is making a big deal about you liking to be alone. Your poem says, “As I have gone alone in there.” The final chapters in several books say something like “…alone with only my thoughts…”

I recently read that you frequently sit in the shade alone for hours and water your trees. Is being alone some kind of weird thing with you Mr fenn, or what? Sally McIntosh

  • That practice does not suffer a sinister side Sally, It’s just that I enjoy the solitude and the company. f
Forrest, when you started your gallery in Sante Fe, did you have a backup plan as to what you would do if it did not take off? Or did you avoid having thoughts like those? ~Thanks Mark J
  • Mark J,

I was never organized enough to have a back-up plan. Initially, our art future traveled on very hard days. We just lumbered along feeling our way, replete with mistakes. Eventually, our efforts began to take on a more polite expression and the last fifteen or so years we were able to coast. f

Mr. Fenn
In your interview with New Mexico True Stories, you mentioned that you know that the treasure is wet. I checked out the date of that interview and it looks like you said that in a February, which could mean that you knew that it had snowed or rained at the site of the treasure chest, or simply because of higher water. Now we are in mid-summer, and if we assume that no storms have passed through recently, would you know that the treasure is wet now? ~Thanks, B
  • Yes B, physics tells me the treasure is wet. f

Lots of rain in New Mexico. Some mountain roads are washing downhill. Please be mud aware. f


Mr. Fenn,Assuming standard day at both KSAF and the atmosphere immediately above (within 500’ AGL) the bronze chest, 110 IAS, no wind, and uncorrected for magnetic variation, what heading would I turn to after departure from KSAF, how long shall I fly on that heading, and what MSL altitude shall I climb (or descend) to as to offer the bronze chest a fly-by at 100’ AGL?

Recent study revealed I’ll be above 5000 MSL, and greater than 8.25 miles (statute?…nautical?) from Santa Fe proper.  Thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Thrill of the Chase’.

Respectfully, J.T., LtCol, USAF (retired), Fighter Pilot, School Teacher, Wannabe Treasure Hunter, Cedar Park, Texas

  • I would do a 180, land at KSAF, drink lots of coffee, and don’t let the flight surgeon find you. Good luck sir. f

If in 500 years all a person has is the poem, and no back story: they don’t know “in the rocky mountains north of santa fe” or that there are 9 clues etc. Could a person reasonably just use the words in the poem and find your treasure chest?

Thank you ~Nope

  • Thank you Nope. Nope. f


  • “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”  ~Mark Twain


Mr. Fenn, you’ve undoubtedly met countless numbers of us searchers (via email), is there anyone who stands out in your mind, and if so, why? ~ Doug

  • Many stick out in my mind Doug, but especially the fictitious little girl from India who Jenny invented.f

Mr. Fenn, you have been quoted as saying the treasure chest is hidden in “A very special place.” If a searcher should be fortunate enough to solve the poem, will he/she see the location as special place (by your definition) also, or will your reasoning be forever known only to you? ~Thanks BW

  • I don’t know how to answer your question BW. People are so different. A writer from Manhattan came to see me. It was her first time out of the city. When I asked how she liked New Mexico she said, “There’s a sky,” and she wasn’t kidding. At home she never thought to look up. She was thrilled when I showed her a cow. f


  • Don’t force the poem to fit your spot. Thank you Mark. f
Dear Forrest Fenn,
If you could only see one of these two things before you pass on what would it be, your special place where you secreted your treasure chest or the chest and it’s contents? I hope my question is not to bold. ~The Count

  • The Count,

Both the treasure and its hidden location are so vivid in my mind that I don’t need to see them with my eyes again. f


  • *Don’t allow your journey to be at odds with reality. f
  • *If you think I could not have put it there, you are probably right. f
  • *Don’t let your ego take you beyond your limit. f
  • *If you find the treasure many of your worries will doze off into the sunset. f
  • *You will like the top two treasures in the chest.fb
  • *If you have a searching partner, best to have them wait in the car. f
  • *If you don’t find it, then who? f
  • *I could have written the poem before I hid the treasure chest, but I didn’t. f
  • Congrats Jenny.  Most of the searchers are very bright and make intelligent comments, either by email or on the blogs, but there seems to be more attention paid to the blaze than to the first clue. Perhaps that’s why the treasure hasn’t been found. f
  • *Victory will always justify the effort. f
  • *Tempting nature is a losing percentage. f
  • *Me wearing the bracelet is your best revenge. f
  • *Success is an omniscient guru. f
  • *You will find no mildew in the treasure chest. f
  • *Don’t ever let desire for the treasure lure you into a dangerous situation. f
  • *A plan is better than a hunch. f
  • *Hopefully, finding the treasure will offset many days of disappointment. f
  • *If you find the treasure please keep it in a vault for thirty days while you think. f

Forrest Fenn: Roundup for the Year

Dear Forrest, with the year closing can you give us a roundup of search activities from your unique vantage point? Thanks so much, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!     ~jenny

Thanks Jenny, I’ll try.

Even as snow smothers most of the Rocky Mountains and icy roads strongly suggest that drivers stay home by the fire, a few intrepid searchers are not listening. Yesterday, another excited woman contacted me saying her ex was lost and incommunicado in Montana. We ganged his answering machine and inbox with messages. Fortunately, today he turned up safe and confused in Missoula.

There are webcams all over the country these days. They give you live weather reports in living color. I just checked the one at Old Faithful and found it snowing with vis about 400.’ Still, there were about 15 people walking around. The park is closed to all but snowmobiles.

I like to check the Yellowstone Giant Screen webcam because off in the distance I see an orange railcar that is parked adjacent to the building where I sometime showered as a kid. I didn’t do it very often because it cost 50 cents. Bathing in the Madison and Firehole Rivers was free.

Many searchers told me the general area in which they are looking. I didn’t read the long emails, but in most of the short ones I looked for key words that would get my attention. Several did this year and I hope my lack of an email response was not taken as a clue.

It is hard to know how many individuals were treasure hunting this summer, but my guess is between 40 and 50,000, most in New Mexico and least in Colorado. Of course I read the many short emails from families who told me and sent photos of their great adventures in the mountains. Thanks to those people.

Hunting reports have slowed to a crawl now that the search areas are mostly shut down for the winter.


Merry Christmas everyone and please be safe. f

  • *If you wear a smile to the right spot you will wear a grin going home. f

Credit for weekly words go to Jenny Kile at http://mysteriouswritings.com