Douglas Preston’s Foreword to Forrest Fenn’s NEW Book: Once Upon a While

forrest fenn treasure chest armchair treasure huntForrest so generously shared the Foreword by Douglas Preston for his NEW Book, Once Upon a While.

He said I could post it if I wanted to.  I said, OF COURSE! 🙂

The Price for this new paperback book will be $24.95. It can be ordered NOW by contacting lou@brunoadvertising.com.  Once Upon a While is written by Forrest Fenn, but owned by Lou Bruno and Susan Caldwald, who designed Forrest’s last 6 books and helped make them all happen.

On November 2nd, at the Collected Works Bookstore will be the formal launch of the book.  Douglas Preston will be on stage with Forrest that night!   How exciting!  If able to attend, definitely do!  I’m sure it’s going to be an awesome time! Here is the Foreword:

Treasure of Another Kind

By Douglas Preston

I first met Forrest Fenn in the Dragon Room of the Pink Adobe in the late 1980s, where he habitually occupied a table in the corner, which featured a rotating cast of eclectic Santa Feans, including John Ehrlichman, Larry Hagman, Clifford Irving, Ali MacGraw, and Rosalea Murphy. I joined the table as a young, unknown, and struggling writer, wondering how the mistake had been made inviting me among all these famous people. But Forrest Fenn was an outstanding lunch companion, telling story after story that kept the table enthralled, and we instantly hit it off.

That was the beginning of my friendship with Forrest, who is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met. Here is a man who came from a small town in Texas, barely graduated from high school, spent 20 years in the Air Force as a fighter pilot, flew 328 combat missions in Vietnam over a period of 348 days, survived being shot down twice, and was awarded a raft of medals; he then retired, moved to Santa Fe, and built a world-famous gallery that put Santa Fe on the art-world map; he ran the gallery for 18 years with his wife Peggy and together they raised a wonderful family. Along the way he also published 10 books (this is the 11th), acquired and partially excavated a 5,000 room prehistoric Indian pueblo, and amassed a peerless collection of Native American antiquities and art.

I knew I was a friend of Forrest’s when, in the early 1990s, he invited me into his vault. This walk-in fortified room, hidden in the back of a closet, was filled with extraordinary treasures—Pre-Columbian gold artifacts, Indian peace medals, a Ghost Dance shirt, the greatest collection of Clovis points in existence, and (later) Sitting Bull’s celebrated peace pipe. Forrest had been a dealer in art and antiquities for years, with many superb objects passing through his hands. These were the things he had kept, the best of the best. Forrest liked artifacts that told stories, and each one had a rich and fabulous history.

In that first visit to the vault, Forrest wanted to show me something quite specific. He explained that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Although it was in remission, the prognosis was not good. He did not, he said, wish to linger in weakness and pain, and he especially did not want to put his family through a long and difficult ordeal as he wasted away from cancer. The honorable and dignified solution for all concerned, he told me, was to end it quickly and cleanly, by suicide.

But Forrest is a complicated human being, and with him nothing is simple. He had worked out a plan to end his life that would, he hoped, give something back to the world and encourage people to explore the outdoors he loved, while at the same time generating high interest, if not consternation. Forrest was never one to shy away from causing a stir.

On the right side of the vault, on a sturdy shelf, sat a bronze casket of ancient workmanship that he had recently acquired. Gene Thaw, the noted collector, had identified it as a rare Romanesque lock-box dating back to 1150 A.D. He opened the lid to reveal a dazzling heap of gold—monstrous nuggets, gold coins, Pre-Columbian gold objects—along with loose gemstones, carved necklaces, and a packet of thousand and five hundred dollar bills.

“Go ahead,” he said, “pick up a nugget.”

I reached in and picked up a massive raw nugget the size of a hen’s egg, cold and heavy. There is something atavistic about gold that thrills the imagination, and as I hefted it I felt my pulse quicken.

“That’s from the Yukon,” he said. “Nuggets that large are rare, worth three to four times their bullion value.”

He reached in and removed the bills.

“What are those? Funny money?”

“No. It’s legal United States tender”—not normally used in circulation, he said, but sometimes these large denomination notes were exchanged between banks to keep their accounts in balance. It wasn’t hard to obtain one; he simply called his bank and ordered it, and a week later it arrived. He tucked the packet back in the chest. The chest also included a vital piece of paper which he showed me: an IOU for $100,000 drawn on his bank, so that he would know the chest was found when the discoverer collected the IOU. He rummaged around in the chest and brought out a handful of gold coins—beautiful old St. Gaudens double eagle gold pieces, along with dazzling gemstones, a 17th century Spanish emerald, and a gold Inca frog.

 “Lift the chest. See how heavy it is.”

I grasped it by the sides and could lift it only with difficulty. The total weight of gold and chest was more than forty pounds.

Forrest then explained what it was all about. After his cancer diagnosis, he had begun thinking of his own mortality. The doctors told him there was an eighty percent chance the cancer would return and kill him. So he had worked out a plan: when the cancer came back, he would travel to a secret place he had identified and bring with him the treasure chest. In that place he would conceal himself and the treasure, and then and there end his life. He would leave behind a poem containing clues to where he was interred with the chest. Whoever was clever enough to figure out the poem and find his grave was welcome to rob it and take the treasure for themselves.

The final clue, he said, would be where they found his car: in the parking lot of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

He had worked out all the logistics but one: how he could pull this off by himself, without help. He did not feel he could entrust anyone else to assist him. “Two people can keep a secret,” he said, “only if one of them is dead.” He had already written the poem, and he now brought it out and read it to me. It was similar to the poem he later published in his book, The Thrill of the Chase, but not, if I recollect, exactly the same. He tweaked it many times over the years, making it harder.

I said that there were a lot of smart people out there and I feared the poem would be deciphered quickly and the treasure found in a week. But he assured me that the poem, while absolutely reliable if the nine clues were followed in order, was extremely difficult to interpret—so tricky that he wouldn’t be surprised if it took nine hundred years before someone cracked it.

When first I heard his plan, I was astonished and amazed. I didn’t really believe it. But the more time I spent with Forrest, the more I realized he was dead serious—no pun intended. I also realized it would make a marvelous movie: the story of a wealthy man who did take it with him. I pitched the idea to Lynda Obst, a classmate of mine from Pomona College, who had become a hugely successful Hollywood producer (Flashdance, Contact, Sleepless in Seattle). She loved the idea and asked me to write a treatment. When I called Forrest to make sure this was okay and offered to share the proceeds, he gave me his blessing, generously and firmly refused to accept any money, and made me promise only to invite him to the premiere—and the Oscars, if it got that far. I wrote a treatment and sold it to Lynda Obst Productions and 20th Century Fox. While the movie was never made (option available!) I did write a novel based on the idea, called The Codex, which featured a wealthy Santa Fe art dealer and collector who is dying of cancer and decides to take his fortune with him. He buries himself and his fabulous wealth in a secret tomb at the farthest ends of the earth, and he issues a challenge to his three lazy, no-good sons: if they want their inheritance, they have to find his tomb—and rob it.

As the years went by, I visited Forrest many times and saw the treasure in his vault. He often took things out and put other things in; he removed the currency, fearing it might rot; and he swapped out some of the gems for more gold coins and ancient Chinese jade faces. He also took out the IOU, he said, “because I thought my bank might not still be there when the chest was found.” He had worked out a better way, he told me, to know when the treasure is discovered, but he has not shared that secret with me.

And then finally, one lovely summer day in August 2010, I visited him and he brought me into the vault. The chest was gone! “I finally hid it,” he said. He was about to turn eighty years old and still in excellent health with no sign of cancer, and he decided to stop waiting and hide the chest now. This way was better, because he would be around to appreciate and enjoy the ensuing hunt.

And that, as everyone knows, was the beginning of what has developed into possibly the greatest treasure hunt of the 21st century. As I write this, seven of those nine hundred years have passed, a hundred thousand people have looked for the treasure, and three have lost their lives in the search—and yet it still remains out there somewhere, secreted in a dark and wild place, waiting to be found.

This treasure story is emblematic of who Forrest is—a war hero, a man of great generosity, and a truly original human being who lives life to the fullest, does things his own way, and doesn’t worry too much about what others might think. Forrest is, above all, a creator and a teller of amazing stories. In this book he tells thirty nine of the best of those stories, all true, with a note of commentary at the end of each one. They run the gamut from the inspiring and philosophical to the amusing and fabulous. These stories are a treasure of another kind, and some of them—who knows?— may contain more clues to the location of the real treasure.

I have read these stories with enormous pleasure, interest and enlightenment, and I hope you will enjoy them too.

 

 

 

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189 Responses

  1. Iron Will says:

    The final clue, he said, would be where they found his car: in the parking lot of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

    I’m completely confused now. o.o

    • pdenver says:

      Perhaps not, Iron Will. I would imagine a surge in visitation to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science may be in order.

      • Iron Will says:

        He’s said once a few people have been within striking distance of the treasure. Look whats directly north of the museum parking lot.

        • pdenver says:

          Certainly doesn’t look like Putt-putt to me.

          • pdenver says:

            Sorry, Iron Will. It looks like I went just beyond the field. I see where you’re saying. Gosh, it’s been a few years since I’ve been in that area.

        • tighterfocus says:

          Please explain . . . I’m getting nothing from any of this. The museum building?
          A street? A park, with rectangles laid out on the grass . . . might this property be
          a relatively-new cemetery? If any of this seems significant to anyone, I’d like to know why/how.

          I think all of this might just lead down another “rabbit hole”, rather than helping
          in the search for the TC. And if anyone is in the mood for exploring more “rabbit holes”, here’s one for y’all . . . FF said to bring (or take) a sandwich. I have heard of a Denver sandwich. (That’s a tease, folks. I don’t think Denver, Colorado
          is within 500 miles of the TC.)

    • OH! says:

      To get to the parking lot you have to take 22nd street and the streets are sectioned off by numbers. This is just like his 22 sections in his turquoise bracelet. One of the clove bottles in his spice scrapbook is in the 22nd position. There are more 22’s. My solve is in section 22 this is why I stated this. ha-ha.

      • BW says:

        OH, don’t forget that Mr. Fenn shot the big cat with a 22. He knows how throw curves.

        • BW says:

          Hit enter too quickly……22, that’s a bullet (car?)

          • OH! says:

            Scrapbook 22 is Doug Preston. He was at the waterfall on the 22nd, His birthday is the 22nd. There are 20 students holding a rope and two teachers.
            22 years ago with Eric Sloane. 22 sections on the turquoise bracelet. That’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure there is more.

    • passenger says:

      Yes, As I recall, Doug Preston said that Forrest had planned to leave his car at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. The area he would have walked to then is called Doney Park, likely Turkey Hills Pueblo. Both of which are Fenn hints. If it’s there, then he truly did it tired.

      -C

    • Desertphile says:

      I see no way to add a new comment so I will reply to Iron Will’s, as he asked an excellent question.

      The entire Rocky Mountains can be accessed from a starting point of The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, with a staggeringly huge number of options for travel from that starting point. I know of several ways to acquire discrete and anonymous transportation in Denver using a dozen $100 bills, and have it all set up over the Internet— and it would still be 100% legal.

      It doesn’t help at all for another reason. Forrest could hide the treasure well before going to the museum to park and leave his car. It would then be a simple matter to collect his secondary transport and make his way to the hiding site. Forrest did not need to haul the heavy treasure around with him from his car at the museum.

  2. pdenver says:

    Gosh, this is truly great. Found myself fighting back a little bit of tears, and in awe of such beginnings. Beautifully stated, Mr. Preston.

  3. Jenny Kile says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us all, Forrest! So beautifully written by Douglas and a deserved honor!

    I can’t wait to read the entire book! I’m sure I’ll read it all in one sitting! And then again, many more times.

    It will be a treasure!

    • Twingem says:

      Jenny, Forrest’s earlier post said book launch was 10/2. This says 11/2. Could you clarify the date of book launch at collected works? I may postpone some pesky medical stuff if it’s in November so I can go ☺.

      • Jenny Kile says:

        Hi Twingem, Yes it is NOVEMBER. (previous post has been edited and updated with the date change) . Hope you can go!

        • crimsonblazeblog says:

          I just checked Collected Works calendar of events and there is no mention of anything November 2nd. I guess that makes finding a cheap redneck hotel out of the question.

  4. KidUtah says:

    Looking forward to another great read. Sent Lou an email and hoping to hear back soon. I offered to pay$2 more if Forrest autographs it. Thanks Jenny!

  5. Jdiggins says:

    Absolutely fascinating. Thank you for sharing, Jenny!
    Wowzer!
    And thanks to Douglas and Forrest, for the teaser ..I’ll be placing an order directly. 🙂 will you both sign it for me please?
    🙂

  6. Y. Mangum says:

    Well, now I need to figure out how to get to New Mexico. Jenny, just to clarify…the book will be published Oct 2, but the launch is Nov 2 (as you stated above)?

    ~Y
    (PhoenixForte)

  7. an aha says:

    Great foreword.

  8. Lou Lee Belle says:

    OMG! I’m speechless! Forrest your amazing! Thank you:)

  9. WyMustIGo says:

    Well it looks like Forrest’s answer to my request for him to post the foreward was a big yes 🙂

    Thanks Forrest!

  10. Lou Lee Belle says:

    Headed out!

  11. JCM says:

    Well… a lot there to chew on and digest.

    I wonder if Doug could recall any of the poem as it was in the 1990’s before additional changes were made over time. But it doesn’t sound like it would be a whole lot easier as f seemed to think at the time that it would take a long time to ‘crack’ the poem in the state it was in then.

    And for those who are inclined with the idea that f intended this to be local only to Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico, it sounds like f had plans to draw media attention to a much larger audience with his disappearance. And I suspect that those who pursue the area around the Denver area will probably find disappointment; f is much too wise to park his car at or near his special place if he expected people to take possibly hundreds of years to find him and his chest.

    And the thoughts continue to churn in my head…

  12. Zaphod73491 says:

    Exciting new tidbits of information! Can’t wait to read the whole book. Very enjoyable Introduction, Doug!

  13. JDA says:

    WOW What a thrilling foreward to what will be a fascinating book.
    Thanks Preston, Jenny, and a special “Thanks” to Forrest. Will this man ever cease to amaze us? I doubt it. Sent with love and gratitude – JDA

  14. Strawshadow says:

    Thanks Jenny, Douglas and naturally Forrest,
    It’s simply BEAUTIFUL!

  15. SL says:

    Hopefully, this latest news will attract kids of all ages to visit the beautiful State of Colorado and one, fabulous Museum! Save me a seat !

    First stop: A Cosmic adventure and journey to the Solar system!

  16. Lou Lee Belle says:

    This came out and I booked a week in Colorado for the coming week! I booked it last week! I’m definitely going to the museum now. I’m not saying it’s in Colorado…….but do you think this is a hint or a clue? Anyone?

    • Jenny Kile says:

      Definitely something to wonder about, and I don’t know what to think either….

    • nmc says:

      I think it’s more along the lines of turning over a log to watch all the critters scramble. Maybe it is a clue, but if so, why tell us for the past 7 years that everything you needed to find the chest was hidden in the poem?

      Something to ponder, for sure.

  17. HeadedDown says:

    Used to be his car would be found in Arizona.

  18. Oops says:

    My question is this!? Mr. Fenn, or Mr. Preston, when the paper cuurency was in the chest, was the silver bracelet? And when the currency was absent, did the bracelet magically appear?

  19. Jeremy P. says:

    Hey! I finally read something by Douglas Preston. He’s pretty good 🙂

  20. Jenny Kile says:

    lol….He is….. I really enjoyed ‘lost city of the monkey god’ by him too. It’s an actual exploration for a lost city/civilization in Honduras. http://mysteriouswritings.com/the-lost-city-of-the-monkey-god-by-douglas-preston-a-book-review-of-found-treasure/

    • Lisa Cesari says:

      Jenny – I am really enjoying Doug’s book. Thank you again for the recommendation. Especially because I read this book last Winter, in which Stephens and Catherwood explore Central America in 1839:

      https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25817482-jungle-of-stone

      Doug mentions their expeditions near the beginning of his book.

      • Jenny Kile says:

        Oh that sounds great…..I recently finished reading The Lost City of Z (and then watched the movie) Awesome.

        I’ve order Jungle of Stone — thanks for that recommendation. Maybe after I read this one, I’ll do a post about these ‘lost cities’!

        Love them.

        Thanks again…. Lisa…..! (so many books to read!)

  21. Jenny Kile says:

    I asked this elsewhere, but would you park your car in the state where you hid the treasure? What if this is an actual final clue suggesting that the treasure is not hidden in Colorado?

    Just a thought…..

    • Strawshadow says:

      Hmmm, didn’t you hide a treasure in the state where you parked your car? Just sayin, and nice to see you adding thoughts

      • Jenny Kile says:

        My thought is he wouldn’t want to be found or wouldn’t want to offer any clues to where he hid his treasure, so I’m thinking he couldn’t park it anywhere near where he or his treasure would ultimately be……

        But then…..lol….. yes, still thinking…. always and loving the Chase…:)

        • Iron Will says:

          This is the most frequent you have posted in a long time Jenny 😀

        • Valerie says:

          Just conjecture – abductivly guessing that ff’s once stated interest in parking at the DMN&S has something to do with… 50,000 objects constitute the Anthropology Collection. As recently described in the book Crossroads of Culture, the collection is mainly comprised of archaeological and ethnological artifacts from North America. The department also curates collections from Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Additional holdings include the 800-piece Ethnological Art Collection and archival photographs and documents.

          Note: Forrest’s collections and interests mirror the above including photographs, which are rarely discussed.

          We know Texas A&M Anthropology Dept now stewards the Fenn Cache Clovis collection. I wonder if at some point in the future with collegiant research completed, the Fenn Cache will be put on permanent
          Display at a Fenn Museum or at DMN&S for all to enjoy.

      • Strawshadow says:

        Mr. Preston mentions the big nuggets were from the Yukon? I thought Mr. Fenn said Alaska, makes no difference really, since the two are connected.

    • The Count says:

      Well what ever it means with Preston you would think one good clue will lead to another 😉

  22. Ramona says:

    Very exciting. Thank you Forrest, Douglas, and Jenny. Maybe at the time he was thinking that if he left his car in Denver, it would steer folks away from his home and his loved ones. Personally, I would not leave my car in the state where I hid a treasure.

  23. Carolyn says:

    I can’t wait to get my book! Thanks so much Douglas and Forrest for your writing this and Jenny for posting this and Lou and Susan for helping!

  24. Jake Faulker says:

    Worth cutting down a few trees for.
    Wish I could say that for the daily news papers.
    Something tells me this will be the final memoir…

    • Martha says:

      Jake dearest,
      So glad you commented, I was afraid I ran you off.
      I do have a tendency to do that with men, I truely believe it’s my forward personality!
      I have really tried to change and be polite and kind!
      I disagree with this being Mr. Fenn final memoir, remember the 20,000 word memoir in Indulgence , the bronze chest, 1125 AD Bible chest.
      Jake, I know you do and not to change subjects but I think Mr. Preston spoke out of line when he referred to Eric the 3rd man died looking for Mr. Fenn’s treasure chest, the police are still investigating and I haven’t read anything to the contrary, have you Jake?
      Jenny thank you for the post, Mr. Preston, and especially you Mr. Fenn!🌠⏳🔔♥️🏁
      I can’t wait to read your book Mr. Fenn!

  25. DWRock says:

    Just one anonymous bus ride from the museum to Union Station in Denver. Walking distance from public transit stops in the Rockies might be a validating element in a solve.

  26. Confused says:

    Wish I had known about this last weekend. I was just at the Museum and Zoo Saturday. Maybe since he didn’t leave his car there with the last clue…….. He just left the last clue there!

  27. DWRock says:

    Those that believed Forrest hid it NM vs further north because of convenience must rethink.

  28. BW says:

    Oh my, Mr. Preston you get to see The clovis point? Did you see Big Red? If so, would you mind describing it and what was your first thought. I’m sure you still remember, that experience would be unforgettable.

    Mr. Preston, you need to teach Mr. Fenn how to spell; he makes too many mistakes! 😉

  29. wildwestwendyjo says:

    Jenny, that is generous of Forrest! The forward written by Douglas Preston sounds very enticing, and has me biting at the bit, to devour Forrest’s new book!

  30. Doug says:

    Where/ what is this 5000 room native American ruin he owned and excavated?

  31. Lou Lee Belle says:

    Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains! Lol

  32. Valerie says:

    Sooo excited…
    Warmest congrats to you Forrest! I look forward to reading your 3rd memoir.

  33. Valerie says:

    It’s also very cool that the Denver Museum of Science & Nature hosts an in-house scavenger/treasure hunt of our National Parks👍😄

    http://www.dmns.org/plan-your-visit/floor-maps-and-scavenger-hunts/national-parks-scavenger-hunt/

  34. crimsonblazeblog says:

    So many questions,
    Such a forward thinking person such as Preston you think would know, that instead of a treatment he should have written the cure. And that by rubbing some divining rods together would rain prosperity.

  35. Iron Will says:

    Almost three years ago, I entered the Chase with hopes of fulfilling a Mother’s long since deceased hopes that one of her children would understand that which she struggled to teach them. I tore through Forrest’s poem like a demon obsessed. There were moments when I felt that it laid, at my feet, completely deciphered. There have been many things in my life that I was dead sure to be true…and I was right. Recently, one of those instances arose in the culmination of Bubba’s poem. “Circumstances” kept me from validating it, which I felt was cast upon me at the cost of human life. I cannot forgive myself for that or forget what it meant within the bigger picture.

    While biding my time to strategically recover the chest when there was no one around, I was introduced to a new twist within the storyline. A foreword written by Doug Preston. In its text, he quoted one line that Forrest had told him, “The final clue, he said, would be where they found his car: in the parking lot of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.” It is times like this in a person’s life, when they must objectively ask themselves, “What if I never had a clue about this Chase??” To be completely in the wrong State, and to not even think about a parking lot or museum, MUST, at some point, cast incredible doubt upon any searcher’s faculty.

    I’ve heard many say, “Well don’t take what that says verbatim.” I realize that they are just trying to false rationalize to stay in the game…just a little bit longer. However, I’m not willing to “fool” myself. Once I accepted that, I was able to realize just how little of an effect, I was putting on the Chase. I simply “blah blah blah” ‘d my way through three years. I made friends but also made enemies. Why do there always have to be two sides? My “redneck” mentality was showing through, and I didn’t see it. I should’ve though. I’ve never met Forrest one on one. Of over a dozen featured questions asked… all of them were turned down. There had to come a point when reality collided with me and said, “this is just not for you.”

    Well, that came today with the foreword of his new book and that one line. Fate finally told me, “You’re just not good enough,” and now… I hear it. I am not getting any younger, and if I want to truly find some sort of greatness, I have to let go of what my heart is on. So I am going to end my Chase for this treasure and focus on Alone (History Channel), and attempts to get in the competition. Since it’s season 1 first episode, I have felt like I needed to be there. I don’t know why. If I could encourage people in the pursuit of their dreams, I would tell you to give it everything your soul has to offer, BUT to understand that there comes a point, when logic will try to prove you wrong. Listen to that logic in order to save yourself undue misery.

    In closing, I’d like to thank Dal, Stephanie, and Jenny for all of their hard work in keeping this Chase blazing over the last 7 years. You’ve all been impartial and kind to me, and I appreciate it. And to the master fisherman, Forrest Fenn, I’d like to thank you for giving this lowly blue collar worker some semblance of hope and inspiration. If not for discovering your poem three years ago, I don’t know where my level of confidence would’ve led me. I am in debt to you sir. And to be quite honest… I hope you find your bracelet one day.

    Godspeed,

    Iron Will

    • pdenver says:

      All the best to you, Iron Will.

    • Strawshadow says:

      Good luck with all your future endeavors Iron Will. It was a pleasure meeting you and I truly hope someday that our paths cross again. In the mean time don’t ever feel you weren’t good enough, my friend, we all are.

    • Jeremy P. says:

      Surely all the people who gather at Fennboree each year aren’t there solely because they think that they, themselves will find the treasure chest. There must be other reasons for why they go. Those reasons wouldn’t change depending on what new clues come out and what old ideas are squashed. Reasons for going to Fennboree aren’t dependent on the weather of the Chase. If you would eat a hotdog at Fennboree knowing that you absolutely would never find the treasure chest, you should stick around. Put another way, you should only try out for that TV show you mentioned if it’s a show you’d watch even if you weren’t on it.

    • Jenny Kile says:

      Follow your heart, Iron Will, but I hope some day it brings you back to the Chase. Sooner than later….

      And please come back and visit in the meantime 🙂

      I know there is Treasure waiting for you somewhere…. and believe you will find it! Best to you and Always Treasure the Adventure!

    • BW says:

      Iron Will, for your audition tape you should video yourself picking “wild” apples, grind the wheat, making fire, and cooking your famous apple pies on a rock…….sneak in a little cinnamon sugar….should be hit! Good luck on your new adventure. I hope you are selected.

    • WyMustIGo says:

      Don’t feel bad Will, I honestly do not think it will be found in our lifetime. It needs new eyes, the eyes over the past 7 years have failed.

      Its funny though, Forrest sometimes makes it sound easy (show it to a kid, straight forward, etc), and then he tells Doug that “he wouldn’t be surprised if it took nine hundred years before someone cracked it.”

      What I have done is:
      1) Find a partner on site
      2) Ignore all the junk on the forums (assume nobody knows more than anyone else, especially the frequent posters who have failed for years).
      3) Use the poem and the book
      4) Work on it when you feel like it, you will not solve it in a year or two.

      One thing that is true, stopping blog/forum activity or keeping it minimal leads to a lot of productivity.

      IMO, nobody is close and nobody told him more than two clues in the right order. Those who were close to the chest had zero clues correct, they just happened to be in the area and did not know it.

      Since most people never leave their armchair and have not been out even once, it is easy to explain why nobody found it yet. It will take time and money, you will not nail this at home and simply stroll to the chest over a weekend.

    • Y. Mangum says:

      Sir Iron Will, I know the feeling. However, my advice would be that if you ever hear a voice that tells you “You’re just not good enough”, that would be the time to become hard of hearing. If you think “fate” said that, visualize yourself punching “fate” in the face, stepping over the mangled remains, and persisting. This does not mean to be obsessed, but to simply continue putting one foot in front of the other. You are IRON WILL, are you not?!

      The bell tolls for you…and all of us together. The Thrill of the Chase would be diminished without you.

      All IMHO, of course. With respect and love.

      ~Y
      (PhoenixForte)

    • Clee says:

      I have to say I really didn’t think so many people would take this line seriously. Sometimes Mr. Fenn likes to shower with his pants on. Or maybe this time it is his friend that is showering with his pants on. In either case I just got a laugh out of it and if anything smell a harmless ploy to get kids into museums which seems a lot like Mr Fenn, and perhaps he felt this wouldn’t fool many people. Hate to see you go Iron. Loved reading your posts my friend.

    • BillyinTX says:

      Iron Will. I need this one last blurb response to reach you……or anyone who can reach Iron Will:

      write a single message to wonderstrike@gmail dot com

      subject line: IW

      That’s it.

    • Jake says:

      Iron Will, one would not simply leave the last piece of evidence somewhere that gives any kind of clue to the location of the end point… don’t give up, why he did it all…

    • Wildbirder says:

      May your future be your dreams. One thing I taught my son is only you can make yourself happy. Whatever you decide to do make sure it makes you happy. Best Wish to You

    • Diggin gypsy says:

      I quit several times to Will I understand where your coming from then I have a Rainey day and think of a great solve and dam he hooked me again with that dazzling shiney fenn hook Happy trails iron Will

    • Jake says:

      Iron will, if you’d like to join me in finding it please reach out. I will put some wind back in your sails if you can help with retrieval yet this year. I will not waste your time with my theory I promise. It comes from BOTG and a lot of thinking. jacobpeetz82@gmail.com. I only ask because I’ve read many of your posts on different sites and you seem determined and honest. Let me know if you’d like and we can discuss it more.

    • Ron Ricker says:

      Concur iron will. My solve leads me to the “ravine”, as does many others’. However, considering the what ifs (which i believe are the lnes in the poem beginning ‘if’), alternately, what if all the clues are present in a particular putt putt golf course, gooney golf. Or what if where warm waters halt is: www. The beginning of a web address. A period or in modern lingo ‘dot’ is a halt of sorts.
      anyhow, be well and good luck with walking away
      many of us, i imagine, wish it was a switch that we could simply turn off

  36. WoodyBogg says:

    Catch 22 ”That’s some catch That catch 22”

  37. MartinS says:

    “The final clue, he said, would be where they found his car: in the parking lot of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.”

    There’s a lot of park area around the museum…plenty of places to stash a treasure.
    But a body?

    I think this would be a red herring and a diversionary tactic.

    What kind of clue would they have found when they found his car?
    A car with New Mexico license plates. 🙂

  38. crimsonblazeblog says:

    What are the odds of them switching the date at the book store to coincide with my wedding anniversary? I would go but convincing my wife will be very hard because she thinks it’s a fraud.

  39. Jonsey1 says:

    Warning Spoiler Alert 🙂

    ROW 4/BLOCK 23
    -exists in book as grave marker “hint” ie no help without other info
    -end drawing nigh
    -no place for meek

    Row= no paddle

    Row 4= where one may park car at museum in Denver, school in Arizona or anywhere else.

    Maybe just biased towards my own solve but this 4word to 4rest made me smile at Row4. Cant wait to see the book finally on the shelves after all the hard work and time so many went out of their way to put into it.

    Well written Preston! And as always thanks for sharing and being you Jenny.

    • Jenny Kile says:

      Are you back? How was your trip across the ocean!!? Sure it was an awesome time. My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy, maybe other places, next fall for our 30 year wedding anniversary. I might want to chat with you about any traveling tips you have!

      • Jonsey1 says:

        Hey Jenny! And yes I’m back…AT@T lost service around Atlas Mountain in Morocco and I managed to then lose my phone altogether on a flight out of Casablanca so I fell off the grid a little. Best weeks of my life to date….I’m home now though I don’t feel like I’m back on earth yet. Still feel a little like Alice in Wonderland. Hard to believe it was real..just WOW. And thanks so much to your husband for the lovely suggestions and trading pics on FB as well! Id love to chat anytime! Thinking about doing falconry in Scotland next (have a friend heading there now and so envious!!) Ill make you a deal- Ill hide you in my suitcase for that if you hide me in you guys’ for Italy. Shoot me a text anytime…well make little India proud 🙂

    • Ken says:

      I would be surprised if finding this treasure doesn’t include climbing up a hill, but on the funny side the Denver Museum of Science and Nature is on 23RD Street.

  40. sparrow says:

    When I first began the chase (July 2016) I remember posting that “As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold” could refer to Forrest entering a museum. Now, I’m beginning to wonder. lol 🙂

  41. Lou Lee Belle says:

    So the Treasure is not associated with a structure. He said you can see trees and wildlife! It’s in a place he would want his bones to be.
    So I don’t think it’s in a zoo or a museum! But maybe there is a clue in the museum! I love Museums. I have never been to this Denver one! So excited! For me, learning is key.
    I can’t imagine that he would put the Treasure anywhere near a city. Right?
    I have a great solve for Colorado. It won’t be my first search there. So excited. Best Wishes everyone. Thank you Jenny. Forrest………..Hope to see you soon.

  42. JC1117 says:

    Hello, All.

    Man…oh man! I need to quit working so much. There’s so much that happens on the blogs when customers are telling me what do and how fast they want it done. :/

    One day. I swear! (…too much…in fact.)

    Nice Foreword, Douglas Preston…Sir. It sounds like you and Forrest have a Wonderful Friendship…and I can’t wait to read the new Memoir.

    I could almost feel that gold nugget you hefted with my own hands. Sorry if I drooled on it a little bit. Oh wait! …that was just in my mind. Nothing to worry about. Besides…I dried the nugget off on my shirt before I put it back anyway…so nobody needs to be grossed out. 🙂

    I’m still hoping to get out searching one more time this year. The Treasure is still in New Mexico…IMO…no matter what diversonary tactics Forrest might employ. Denver?!

    (Note to self: Research Denver…quickly! …but don’t tell anyone. Whatever you do…do NOT type this out loud.)

    Doh!

    Thank Y’all again, Jenny…Forrest…Douglas…Et Al.

  43. The Wolf says:

    I am having great difficulty buying into parts of this story. Doug says he saw the IOU when Mr. Fenn was initially planning suicide: “The chest also included a vital piece of paper which he showed me: an IOU for $100,000 drawn on his bank, so that he would know the chest was found when the discoverer collected the IOU. ”

    But then he goes onto say, “So he had worked out a plan: when the cancer came back, he would travel to a secret place he had identified and bring with him the treasure chest. In that place he would conceal himself and the treasure, and then and there end his life. ”

    Why would Forrest Fenn want to know if the treasure is found if the only reason he hid it was to end his life? Did he think he was going to receive bank statements while sitting on a cloud with his father? That IOU story was only believable when Forrest Fenn survived cancer and then decided to hide many years later, to give people the thrill of the chase, not when it was the original plan.
    The Wolf

  44. Awingit says:

    I enjoyed that. Thank you Forrest, Douglas and Jenny for sharing. It gives us some things to ponder. I know I didn’t need any more motivation… but I can’t help think what’s better than 100K cash? I’d tell my wife but that might just fan the “you must be crazy if you think you can find it” talk… lol.

    • Awingit says:

      I though about this some more. A final clue? Hmm Is this necessary to find the trove? I don’t believe that is the case. Maybe there are some hints in it similar to the stories and book if you can see them. He needed to pick somewhere to start his final journey so a central transportation hub makes sense. That means people would start there instead of his home which is a good idea for a lot of reasons. So if it’s not a necessary clue what is it? Maybe it’s a clue about what he would like to happen to the chest. In the improbable case where someone finds it and Forrest retires from the chase I think he would like the trove to end up at a museum. Perhaps this museum. That sounds like a good idea to me.

  45. SL says:

    Might someone know the origin of the land that the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is built upon; and/or the history of the area in general?

  46. SL says:

    nme,

    The link you’ve provided is much appreciated and informative as well. Thanks!
    Denver, however, is not in the Rocky Mountains. It’s located in the” High Plains”

    SL

    • nmc says:

      Exactly, and you can barely see the Rockies from the museum parking lot, thanks to the Denver skyline. I noted elsewhere you mentioned that the museum was part of the “Golden Triangle” (Dal’s blog) and checked that out last night. Wiki might be wrong (it frequently is), but it lists Broadway as the eastern-most border of the triangle, and unfortunately, the museum sits outside that border. Did you have another source?

  47. Lou Lee Belle says:

    Forrest is kinda a prankster, However a Lovable one, still…………. What will he say next? Remember……..He said……we will be surprised where we find it…..
    So Unconventional thinking………

  48. SL says:

    There appears to be another factor involving a possible connection to TTOTC and the DMNS which could be considered a conflict of interest.

    Not going there.

    SL

  49. Jonsey1 says:

    For anyone that may be interested (I won’t repeat about the Row as I wrote above) but the Museum is also on the 23rd block. I consider it more of a hint than as clue as it doesnt provide direction without the right map….but, hey…who am I to judge Mr. Preston…or how these things appear in Sections. Ill excuse myself from further elaboration on this point now.

    Can’t wait to read the book!
    DONE.

    • WyMustIGo says:

      Finally some good discussion that is not tied to old places such as Yellowstone, Cody and Kirwin where no good or new info is at all on any blogs. I think we got a rush of newbies who are rehashing old solves.

      I found two other huge things in this hint, both are tied to Colorado (but nowhere near the museum). They are on my backburner though because I don’t search CO yet.

  50. BillyinTX says:

    f, one word: cistern.b

  51. Buckeye Bob says:

    More talk of the contents in “indulgence”. I’ve felt from the beginning of my discovery of this quest that the items have meaning. Hints or verification of hints or clue solves…I can’t say for sure.
    And more talk of two people knowing a secret and one of them being dead.
    Are these just parts of the story, or more significant?

  52. Peter Pappas says:

    Jenny kile thanks so much for your blog and time. I find your blog to be excellent and we’ll maintained.
    My comment is the tattletail car problem. If Iwere driving to get to my own grave I would not drive that far from my house. I think I might be too sick for a seven hour drive plus the hike that would await me. My guess is he would fly from there to a field close to the put in. That is possible as the area I like has a landing field less than a half mile to my put in. Possibly a story about staying at the Brown home would throw off the hired pilot plus an ailious. Rented car in Denver then museum in Denver. From there cab to private airport. Land and drop off about a mile to treasure spot. I know of a spot just like the one he might go to but I am sure there are many such places.
    Another thought I entertain is a special trust setup with a museum for the acquisition of the chest. This would double the cost of the chest first given and then repurchased but it is intended to somehow be taken with him. Could he keep it in a museum for a million dollars?

  53. Twingem says:

    Final clue = ending clue = indulgence?

    • JC1117 says:

      Hello, Twingem.

      There has to be something in that ending clue.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Yellow_Taxi

      Worth a look.

    • tighterfocus says:

      Twingem, that’s a good observation . . . but I don’t see how it would help anyone solve the poem
      correctly. I think FF is allowing Preston’s words to mislead people, after FF has said that he
      himself won’t provide any more “something”. I don’t know whether he said “clues” or “hints”.

      My solve, which leads to a place far away from Denver, is very strong (in my opinion). I plan
      to return to the same neck of the woods for another search hike as soon as it’s practical. The
      place I recently searched was so gorgeous it brought tears to my eyes. (That should make FF
      nervous, if he reads it.)
      yet? You should be.)

      • Spallies says:

        I think he said clues… How many more hints do you think he’s given since then??? Lol Something tells me I don’t think the flyer ever gets nervous…:)

  54. Hal says:

    Best explanation I have seen regarding Doug’s Forward and previous Fenn comments…

    https://bloggedinthewoods.wordpress.com/2017/09/11/the-forward-state-location-solved/

  55. Lou Lee Belle says:

    Right! Wy I must go! Heavy Loads and water High……Rocky Mountain “High” in Colorado………and a small hint years ago from Forrest. Hang on to your Hats friends…..The end is ever drawing Nye!

  56. Wildbirder says:

    Why do I read these things? i now have a headache and debating tearing up several years of hard work. lol Not to mention a permanent dent in my forehead from banging my head against the wall. lol I am not sure what to now because we now live in an apt and i am doing some considerable damage to the walls and neighbors are complaining about the noise. LOL good luck to all searchers.

    • ace 340 says:

      Remember, It never played out like that. He did not leave his car there, and did not die with indulgence. IMO this info is both a clue and a hint for how and where and should not put anyone searching the rocky mountains out of range. All solves should be as strong as they ever were. Oh, and take it easy on the walls. Maintenance people don’t like patching holes. Its not the effort or the drywall work, but getting the paint to match perfectly sometimes is difficult. . g

      • wildbirder says:

        My walls are partially BRICK! lol
        i posted higher up that i can not find the Arizona quote except here. not sure what i am doing wrong. i just cannot figure what this means except that the licence plate will say NM
        which is good thats where i search.

  57. Iceman says:

    The treasure is not in Denver … yet.

  58. Plato ll says:

    It’s time to give away a couple more books , but this time 10 ebooks. Give it a try. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/a26cd8daca3e252f
    Thanks

  59. HeadedDown says:

    Is Doug saying that forrest needed someone’s help?

    “He had worked out all the logistics but one: how he could pull this off by himself, without help. ”

    He did pull it off… Doug, did you help Forrest pull it off?

  60. wildbirder says:

    I finally found the comment it was made by a reporter not Doug Preston. i found another site that has an very interesting take on the preface comment and the the one made by a reporter.
    https://bloggedinthewoods.wordpress.com/

    i not sure i LOVE the idea because my ideas are still safe or if makes sense. lol

  61. Five-leaf blaze says:

    Colorado, where leaves are legal*

  62. SL says:

    The ‘half way’ point would seem logical. I’m also drawn to a quote made by The Flyer at the Mobey Dickens Book Store on November 22, 2013:

    “When I hid it and was walking back to my car, I started laughing out loud and I said ‘Forrest Fenn….did you really do that?” (Have to wonder where was it he was walkingback to the car…from). ” Was it a place “not far but too far to walk?”

    Back to Fairplay for me!

  63. Carolyn says:

    Jenny, I’m working on projects this weekend and I asked you before what your favorite color is, but I lost where I put it and can’t remember it, can you please tell me again?

  64. tighterfocus says:

    Regarding the talk about FF’s car being found in the parking lot of the museum . . .
    Even if the comments (by Douglas Preston) in the foreword were made a long time ago, they have the
    same validity as his purported comment about the University of Arizona. Still worth consideration, but
    only a small amount. This is because either of those two places to leave FF’s car are nowhere near the
    hidey spot. Neither of those cities are in the Rockies. Get it?

    The two places, however, provide some visuals that support a good solve. But only if the solve has
    been completed. So there’s no real gain to be had even if you know what Preston or Fenn were teasing
    us with, in those speculative comments about leaving his car outside the Rockies. Carry on.

    The above is my opinion, which continues to get more and more “educated”. FF should be getting
    quite nervous now. But I won’t cry for him. He should understand my meaning in my teasing him
    . . . if he reads this.

    • pdenver says:

      Hello tighterfocus. I have thought about the Foreword, and wondered if there was anything to be understood. There are times when I have doubt, while other times I think there might be something there. I believe we each have become more educated and may find ourselves with a Master’s degree by the time we’re through.

  65. Pen Ghost says:

    Confusions throughout:

    ASU = Arizona State University near Phoenix
    U of A = University of Arizona near Tucson
    NAU = Northern Arizona University near Flagstaff

    At one time all were under one board of regents. Not sure now but the universities are in drastically different locations. I do not know back ‘whenever’ which one ff used since all three are mingled in blogs throughout. Please clarify . . .

    • Jonsey1 says:

      Id go with NAU….maybe he missed his Arizona days and was randomly visiting the Charlie Dryden collection. Just a stab in the dark. F?

    • SL says:

      ASU – The Sun Devils.

        • Valerie says:

          @Pdenver, the Doukopoli interview was an early one, and in my opinion is one of the most helpful in eliminating Montana/Yellowstone. MT is the treasure state but according to Fenn’s statements and logic, it does not hold his box of golden treasures – unless he lied as he says he does 15/85 percent of the time.

          In choosing the location, Fenn himself told me (Tony Doukopuli) Fenn was thinking “10,000 years down the road … I considered mudslides, forest fires, earthquakes, and floods.” And yet he maintains that the treasure is readily accessible to him, even today. “I could go right there.”

          Ask yourself:
          Where is the safest place to conceal a treasure for 10,000 years?
          1. Where is the oldest inhabited Capitol city?
          Answer: Santa Fe, NM
          2. Where is the oldest house standing in the USA:
          Answer: Santa Fe, NM
          3. Where is the oldest Church standing in the USA:
          Answer: San Miguel in Santa Fe, NM
          4. Where is the oldest seat of gov’t. Building:
          Answer: Palace of Governors, Santa Fe, NM
          5. Oldest pueblos still standing?
          New Mexico

          The fact is FF emphatically stated he considered “mudslides, forest fires, earthquakes, and floods” to place the treasure in a SAFE place to withstand the wiles of nature and populations for 10,000 years.

          He has also stated the Yellowstone super volcano would not affect the treasure chest. After carefully and logically considering his logical statements, the safest place that FF could “go right to, even today.” would be near Santa Fe, NM.

  66. Tire_d says:

    Hi all!

    I think the museum contains a hint or clue, not sure if it is really a clue. The other museum in Denver contains a most excellent visual though. If my thinking is right. Is nickle the right metal to make statuary art?

  67. Lifesablaze says:

    I believe it is true that one must be in the Denver Museum of Nature and Science parking lot in order to understand the final clue. Tarry scant though there’s a book signing to attend. Migrants Heaven.

  68. Crimsonblaze says:

    Does anyone consider the possibility of a spirited Faberge Egg in the chest?

  69. Crimsonblaze says:

    Is that like “get outta here”?

  70. Crimsonblaze says:

    Oh
    Well it just a small theory. Mr Fenn is ruthless and liked to keep the pressure on as much as possiable. He mentions hens eggs in the chest which happens to be one of the Faberge Eggs, there are also some still unaccounted for and they are now rare and valuable. Sounds just like something he would be interested in. That’s the pattern, now let’s apply some numbers. A few hundred thoudsand dollars of contents in the chest amounts to about 50k a year for your effort. Now an average man could earn that without leaving home or taking any risks at treasure hunting.
    By constantly mentioning the hens egg Mr Fenn ruthlessly applies pressure to the serious treasure hunters while the information flies right over the hobbyist’s head. I’m just a hobbyist myself but I have lots of time to think while I’m flipping burgers.

  71. C.M.R. says:

    I don’t think ruthless is the correct word, how about unrelenting?

  72. crimsonblazeblog says:

    I say tomatoe you say tamato,
    Taking my logic from above one can apply it to the parking lot clue. The hint is not so much where the car was parked other than the museum. But what is mentioned again is the hens egg and the statement of being found in the Yukon to bring attention to it, now comes in the museum and Faberge are mostly contained within their own museum and I am sure said museum would pay a large sum to gain one of those unaccounted for eggs. Like I said just a small theory on how unrelenting Mr. Fenn can be.
    We should also take into consideration the change in date from Oct. 2 to Nov. 2 which is one month or 30 days and coincides with another aspect of the chase that says to please keep the chest in a vault for thirty days to consider your options or some such nonsensical advice, which you can find right here on MW. Has someone discovered the chest? Is Mr. Fenn unrelentingly applying pressure to get what he wants? Is Mr. Fenn not used to not getting what he wants? You can read more of my crazy ramblings over at my blog site, I put them there because they seem to offend a lot of searchers.

    • Pen Ghost says:

      Just the mention of the Yukon makes me envious of someone right about now. He is there for one to two months! Perhaps next September I might go there. 30 days is interesting, but again it is no different than the advice given to people who find a sudden windfall in their laps – consider options before any public display. 30 days is a short time; maybe 2 years?

  73. Lifesablaze says:

    The Yukon River is a borderline. It offers access.

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