Fandango: The Key to the Wind

armchair treasure hunt fandango

UPDATED AUGUST 22nd, 2017:

Hidden somewhere on Mount Desert Island, Maine, a treasure worth over $10,000 waits to be rewarded to a person who solves the master riddle of Fandango. The treasure hunt was first introduced to the public on June 29th, 2007.  After more than 10 years, no one is known to have solved the riddle and found the lost key involved in the hunt.

The puzzle will continue to be active until someone has located this elusive prize or until the ‘end date’ of November 26th, 2020.  The prize, valued at over $10,000 dollars, will either go to the winner of the puzzle (the person who solves the master riddle and recovers the key) or will be given to charity if the key is not found before the end date.

Fandango is an armchair treasure hunt.   These are puzzles which usually take form of a book and contain hidden clues to a treasure.  The clues need solved in order to discover the location of the item hidden by the creators of the puzzle.  Because much of the clue solving can be completed in one’s own home, these hunts are called armchair treasure hunts.  They are a great way to challenge and expand one’s way of thinking.  Instead of doing a newspaper’s crossword or cryptogram to exercise the mind, a person could decide to spend time trying to solve an armchair treasure hunt.  If a person is the first to completely solve the puzzle of the hunt, like the one in Fandango, a financial reward could be gained.

The Fandango treasure hunt book involves a story of a clever fox (Fandango) who needs to deliver a Golden Key to the Goddess of the Wind.  The Sea King, Neptune, has fallen in love with the wind and gave the Golden Key to the fox to give to her as a token of his love.  However, Fandango lost the Key somewhere on Mount Desert Island before delivering it to the wind.  By solving clues, said to be both visual and verbal, a reader of Fandango can discover where the Key was lost and claim the prize himself.

It is known that both the story and images in the book contain hints for the locating of the Golden Key.  In a radio interview with Mr. Stockwell (author of the puzzle), different components supposedly feed into a master riddle.  By themselves, they do not reveal the location, but together they are said to lead to the solution.

fandango treasure hunt imageAlthough what these components are, or exactly how they would feed into forming the master riddle, is not certain.  There have been various small puzzles found, and solved within the pages of Fandango.  One such example is an image of a license plate on page 44 of the book.  The numbers on the plate are 131491.  Correlating these numbers to the alphabet reveal ACADIA.  (A is the first letter of the alphabet, C is the third, and so forth, for ACADIA=131491). Whether or not this is a component to the riddle, or just included as a fun puzzle of the book, is not known at this point.  Finding, and solving these small codes, does help encourage a person to continue in their quest for the missing Key.

Through a website, FollowTheFox, the Official rules can be read, or are contained in the back of the book.  A puzzler is informed he does not need to go to Mount Desert Island in order to solve the riddle of the hunt.  However, a puzzler does need to go to the Island in order to obtain the Key.  An actual physical ‘key’ is hidden, along with instructions on how to retrieve the $10,000 dollar prize.

The book contains 58 pages of written text and images.  Within these pages are multiple places for hidden clues, hints, and codes to be noticed.  If taking up the challenge, enjoy!

Plus, feel free to follow MysteriousWritings Facebook page or join the discussion on the MW Forum about Fandango.

This hunt needs solved before 2020!


Best of luck to all you seek and always treasure the adventure!


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20 Responses

  1. Hi Jenny,

    I’m new to this whole book and I was wondering if you could possibly do a brief summary of it for me?



    • Sixer/Jenny says:

      Hi Tia,

      I will try and summarize. The 58 page book contains a story with 16 images. From this (the images and text), clues are given which will lead a person to the finding of a Master Riddle. This then needs solved to find the location of the ‘Golden Key’ hidden somewhere on Mount Desert Island.

      Because the book has many similarities to the 1979 armchair treasure hunt of Masquerade, the following site offers some great ideas on how these clues could be given. Although the method in Fandango is sure to be unique, learning how others have been solved will help spark ideas for this hunt.

      I hope that helps.

      Best of luck and thanks for visiting,

  2. Paul Stewart says:

    I’ve been trying to purchase the Fox book…site’s link to Paypal doesn’t work for me, and it won’t accept any alternative payment methods. I’ve written to the publisher multiple times with no response. My spidey-sense would tell me this would indicate the treasure’s been found…but the likelihood seems remote. Would anyone be willing to either sell me their copy or order one for me and I’ll pay you? This is maddening!

  3. astree says:


    “Fandango” is possibly the most under-appreciated puzzle in recent years, although it is packed full of various sub-puzzles. The authors put a lot of effort into it. I’d be happy to try to order one for you.

    I am interested in your Beale cipher book, checked it out on Amazon, but am trying to avoid the shipping cost. I get into NoVA frequently, could we arrange a swap?


  4. Paul Stewart says:

    I love the idea of a swap and I live near Fredericksburg, VA (so almost NoVa). I could also send you a copy if you like (and vice-versa)- no charge to you provided you don’t like in Antartica.

    My book has gotten some very positive reviews. For example, on a website dedicated solely to Beale research:

    “Since its inception, this website has maintained a policy of not promoting books and other Beale-related materials for sale. Now, a powerful new study compels me to make an exception. Many pundits have suggested that freemasons were the authors of The Beale Papers but the secretive nature of this organization has made research into this claim near impossible. Following years of perseverance this author has achieved a convincing and detailed exposure. Most theories on Beale fall into one of two categories. The first is based on a list of coincidental similarities in dates, events, and personalities between real history and the Beale story; the second consists of attempts to solve the ciphers without any, or little, historical correlation. It is a rare jewel indeed which presents a plausible solution to the ciphers supported by specific and elaborate historical events. This book is just such a gem.”

  5. astree says:


    At Amazon, I am able to proceed to checkout. I didn’t proceed all the way to purchase it, so you could give it a try. If you are unable to checkout, let me know, I can order it, and have it drop-shipped to your address.


    ( astreeturover at yahoo dot com )

  6. Paul Stewart says:

    I would love it….and let me respond in kind? I’d like to either send you a copy of my book (to be honest, mine sells for a bit less than the Fandango book) or simply get the funds to you- whatever works for you.

    So, how do we go about sharing particulars? You can reach me at


  7. Paul Stewart says:

    Let me try the Amazon link though…see if it works first? Going directly to the Fandango site is a lost cause.


  8. Kedar's Mom says:

    Does anyone know if the Golden Key has been retrieved yet?

  9. Jenny Kile says:

    The Golden Key is still there to be found……. if no one finds it before November 2020, the 10,000 cash is supposed to be donated to a charity….. best of luck…. I’ve been there a few times and it is a beautiful place to relax, have lobster, and search for treasure! 🙂

    • Kedar's Mom says:

      Thanks for your reply Jenny. I took a look at the available info online and a few things immediately stood out to me. : )

  10. Pisces says:

    If anyone out there has patience enough to tackle this nightmare of a hunt, I’ll give you a clue as to how to start….The poem deals with certain areas in each sequence….It goes from Islands to the Sea to Land….Using Google Earth draw lines from each Island/sea/land area described in the poem as you read it…you’ll see pictures form which i believe coincide with other clues in the pictures. The starting point is North Haven (or what used to be called Fox Island….no Fox is an Island…) from there you’ll see how the other Islands fit descriptions of what the poem says. Then when Neptune shows, you’re dealing with sea areas….then switches to land…etc…Once you see it you’ll know. I’ve tried, but I DO NOT have the patience (especially when my lines erase and i have to start over grrr). I wish anyone luck with this….and if you get it finished let me know. 🙂

  11. Pisces says:

    Also…I think….but I’m not sure….The number of keys in each picture may coincide with how many Islands/Sea or Land destinations are involved. Don’t hold me to it though….I could be wrong. 🙂

  12. Omar Montalvo says:

    I am working on Fandango just few monts and I am using notes from diferent sites to update on the serch. I found this site more helpfull thant any other. Ths is why I will shere my ideas and dont forget to shere my cut on the 10,000.

    I am trying to use “I” like eyes ( he said I will help to open your eyes)

    and line them with the nose on the carter. Becuse it said ” fallow my nose”

    so on the front page I get Knew
    I be qorking with this and I will keep updated my progres

  1. March 28, 2013

    […] in the treasure hunt book of Fandango are two number squares and one square containing letters.  All are in a 4×4 grid.  They are […]

  2. March 28, 2013

    […] Fandango relates a similar story. The Sea King falls in love with the Wind.  The Sea King’s gift to the Wind is lost by ‘Fandango’(a fox), who was supposed to deliver the Golden Key to her.  Like Masquerade, clues are hidden in the book (both visual and verbal) that lead to the treasure.  Whoever discovers the location of the lost Golden Key can be the keeper or learns how to retrieve $10,000 in cash. […]

  3. July 2, 2013

    […] Golden Key of the Fandango treasure hunt remains to be found.  This key is valued at 10,000 dollars and is hidden somewhere on Mount Desert […]

  4. July 9, 2013

    […] Fandango: The Key to the Wind This book includes clues to a Master Riddle to solve for a 10,000 prize hidden on Mount Desert Island, Maine. […]

  5. August 14, 2013

    […] of the first things noticed on page 44 of the Fandango puzzle book is the road sign.  From the top to the bottom of the page are wooden arrows with town names and the […]

  6. November 10, 2015

    […] discern the location of the chest. Of course not.  It, along with others, like Maranatha, Beale, Fandango, Kryptos, etc., are constantly passing through my mind and I’m not sure I will ever be able to […]

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