Featured Question and Early Weekly Words: The What Ifs?

thrill of the chase forrest fenn

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

A Complete list of Weekly Words can be found here: Weekly Words from Forrest Fenn

Featured Question and Weekly Words:

Forrest, in the 2015 answers to six questions, you answered in part,“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


Best of luck with The Thrill of the Chase and all that you seek!  Enjoy Life’s Treasures!

Other Links of Interest:

A Personal Reflection of Nicolai Fechin by Forrest Fenn

Six Questions with Forrest Fenn of 2016

One of the Rarest Coins: Story of the 1933 Double Eagle





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164 Responses

  1. WiseOne says:

    Oh! An unexpected surprise! 🙂

  2. JohnR says:

    Where are these what ifs on dal’s blog?

  3. Moonshadow says:

    I try to look at every word in the poem as a “what-if” …so many possibilities 🙂
    Thanks Jenny and Forrest

  4. Dick says:

    “analyzed one important possibility”

    Basically he’s talking about searching for something very tiny placed near a rock.

    His knowledge

    My knowledge

    Your knowledge

  5. Unityouu says:

    This is an odd statment and cannot mean what it seems to mean. He has said that 2 people have come within 200ft. That means they pretty much figured most of it out. They just needed to walk a little bit more in all directions. People have thought of every type of hiding place, rocks, water, dirt, trees.. He has said it is not in certain places lke on the side of cliff. This statement throws you off because I don’t think it means a ‘place’ that no one has considered.. And if not that, then what else? Very dumbfounding.

    • JL says:

      Is it your Destiny?

    • Basically people went searching and didn’t find it. Then they went sight seeing and wound up within 200ft. The what if’s are a video on utube where he and the reporter are talking about the legal rights to the treasure trove. Forrest states that he paid a lawyer a lot of money to figure it out. What if it’s on Federal land, what if it is on park land, what if its on Indian land what if it’s on private land and so on. Forrest ends by saying what if there is no issue. It is a clue to the location of the treasure. There is only one situation where FF could have hidden the treasure trove and you can retrieve it without fear of the law. There are many places but only one situation in law that would allow you to keep the treasure legally. These are the “what if’s”.

      This video is the “what if’s”

      • I quoted FF incorrectly. He stated ” What if there is no legal question” meaning he put it in a place where no one from the government can come and take it from you. I will however advise you to always use the words “treasure trove”. Those terms are VERY important legally.

    • Goldwatch says:

      Not necessarily. They could have the wrong meaning to the riddles but happened to be in the area. They could have walked past it anywhere along their way. Even, maybe on their way to their solve.
      Considering hiking trails and such.

  6. Mark J says:

    I think Forrrest would only know for certain if everyone told him exactly what they are doing.

  7. pdenver says:

    Thank you Jenny, sumbuddy and Mr. Fenn for this week’s Early Weekly Words. Gosh, this is an intriguing statement. It’ll be fun trying to figure this out.

  8. Kim says:

    We are all so blessed! We are alive! We have the free time to use our minds and not worry about our next meal or clean water. To be alive, living, breathing, thinking – this is the grandest adventure! And to connect with one another is a sublime treasure! Love to everyone!

  9. Crazyfamily says:

    Just because it hasn’t been expressed doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been considered.

  10. MartinS says:

    So many what ifs to consider.
    What if we consider the wrong what if?
    What if we don’t consider the correct what if?
    What if there are multiple what ifs that combine to make the correct singular what if?
    What if the correct what if has changed to another what if?
    What if we identify the correct what if, but incorrectly identify what the what if is?
    My head hurts.

  11. astree says:

    Hi, Forrest and Jenny. As usual, thank-you for this (early) weekly words. A good reminder, to see old, things in new ways.

  12. strawshadow says:

    Thank you Jenny, Mr. Fenn and somebody,
    The correct answer is YES. Or some may prefer MAYBE. And if you don’t then NO. Peace Yall, its like splitting hairs. I’m changing my answer and just agreeing with Kim, Why Not?

    • Ellen says:

      Yes, and maybe someone imagines a bigger picture…inside or even outside the box.

      “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” (Albert Einstein)

      Thinking “what if’s” is better than being blindsided like on the show ‘Survivor’

  13. Ramona says:

    Am I the only one who thinks there is a comma missing from Forrest’s answer? As it is written, doesn’t it mean that he is telling us yes somebody “has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve” I’m not a grammar expert though so here is one example:


    Rule 8. Use commas to set off the name, nickname, term of endearment, or title of a person directly addressed.

    Will you, Aisha, do that assignment for me?
    Yes, old friend, I will.
    Good day, Captain

    With the comma missing, doesn’t it changes the way the sentence is to be read? Does Forrest do it on purpose? Only the sh…. knows. LOL Anyway, since we all love to think Forrest is talking directly to us, let’s take a poll. Are you the Sumbuddy, or somebody.that Forrest says has analyzed one importanat possibility? Say Aye!

    P.S. Thank you Jenny, Forrest, and Sumbuddy. I love the early surprise posting. It’s energizing.

  14. Ramona says:

    Oh I forgot to ask, aren’t the “what if’s” too numerous to consider? I can’t even wrap my head around all the possibilities. How can it be narrowed down?

  15. seannm says:


    The “What ifs” could be in relationship to answers posed to hypothetical questions.


  16. Forrest Fenn says:

    A hypothetical example of a “what if” might be, what if I was looking so far ahead that I neglected to notice what was beside me.

    • Onuat says:

      Hush,Forrest. 🙂

    • JohnR says:

      Was this a real question from sumbuddy? Or maybe a crumb?

    • JL says:

      A “what if” of a “what if”. Every week the hole just gets darker and deeper.

    • Hi Forrest,
      Peggy has been beside you!
      Your Indian Doll has been beside you!
      Your Juniper Fire has been beside you!

      Oh Wait! You really didn’t mean beside You – or did You?

      Best Regards

    • Friend says:

      Oh for goodness sakes!
      Beside me! Right now all I have beside me is a tea and a lot more questions.
      I’ll make sure when I’m on TTOTC that I look beside me.
      Take care,

    • spallies says:

      Forrest, I can’t imagine that you would ever neglect to know Tice is beside you ohh wait What??? Thank you for the early treat today Jenny and Forrest…:)

    • 23kachinas says:

      I’m beside myself watching Particle Fever documentary. Are we not a small representation of the search for answers in the Universe? Of course we are Stardust.

    • JCM says:

      I am beginning to think f is indirectly telling us we need to use our imagination if we want to find the chest. f has read HOD and perhaps is saying that we are a bit inept in the imagination department, thus his recommendation to consider the “what ifs”.

      “I said in my book that the solution will be difficult but not impossible. If it was easy anyone could do it. Whoever finds the treasure will mostly earn it with their imagination.”

      Right now, most are using their logic and intelligence to try and solve the poem.


      And how about this line from the EIS radio interviews:

      (Referring to Forrest) “He likes to tell stories, he likes to confound people, he likes to put little things out there that has folks guessing.”

      It’s like he is out in nature rolling logs over and watching us — as our raw natures kick in and we react to his surprises. I think f is succeeding in doing what he likes. 🙂

    • mea says:

      Or, conversely, “what if I was looking beside me and neglected to notice what was far away.”

    • Seannm says:


      What if we are so focused on the future and what could be that we fail to notice those that are walking right beside us. Family and friends first, those are the real treasures, not the trove.


      • WiseOne says:

        I think you are right Seannm, This could be what forrest is talking about. Reminds me of Brooks Hatlan in Shawshank Redemption when he said… “The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry… I keep thinking Jake might just show up and say hello, but he never does.”
        There might be one other aspect forrest could be referring to… Our shadow.

        • Seannm says:


          Again I believe Forrest is following in his Father’s footsteps “He Who Teaches a Child Labors with God in his Workshop” Forrest ever the teacher is trying to convey his message to us all, he has done it tired and now wishes to pass on the thrill. But what is the Thrill?

          “They never knew it was the chase and not the quarry that they sought” – Blaise Pascal.


          • seannm says:


            Another interpretation:

            “A hypothetical example of a “what if” might be, what if I was looking so far ahead that I neglected to notice what was beside me.” f

            beside oneself, almost out of one’s senses from a strong emotion, as from joy, delight, anger, fear, or grief:

            Could be that Forrest is saying that one shouldn’t be so excited in their solve that they abandon all reason. Stay safe out there and be prepared.


          • WiseOne says:

            What is The Thrill you ask? IMO, I would say it’s life itself. Get out, explore, learn and take it all in because before you know it, it’ll be Too Far To Walk.

    • JL says:

      you are really stirring that brown gravy pot lately, you have the big “D” worked into a frenzy over at HOD.
      I have to ask myself if your comments will get deleted as mine did, you being the star player? I say probably not. Hope you’re having a good day.

    • Kathryn says:

      Are you wanting us to respond within the time frame? Is that why you mention this twice? I’m not sure how to begin a response.

    • Kim says:

      It’s a jungle out there, kiddos!

    • Carolyn says:

      So Forrest, instead of looking at the beautiful waterfall we see up ahead, we should be looking down on the ground instead.

  17. Onuat says:

    What if I find it,Forrest.
    The bracelet for the keep of Indulgence until I figure out the “how can” after considering the”what if,s”. 🙂

  18. Muset says:

    Rats.. I don’t know what I need to know.

    I’ll guess that the one possibility not analyzed might be associated with what is the blaze. So now I’ll think about that a bit more…

  19. Ernest says:

    Who holds the the deed to the treasure?

  20. sumbuddy says:

    A big thank you, Jenny, for forwarding my question, and a Texas size thank Mr. Forrest for answering my question.
    There were many possibilities I had analyzed you might answer, if even you would.
    There are “what ifs” everywhere in this addictive adventure, we the “junkies” just can’t get enough.
    what if, I didn’t use a comma? what if, i forgot the rules of capitalization? What if, it’s in the stars? What if it isn’t?
    Wuddif, waddiff, watt tif? I Don’t no butt does shyly or lewka?
    sumbuddy nose sumtheeng. But will they be at fennboree? 😉

  21. Bailey says:

    I look foward to these each week . Thanks Miss Jenny and Mr. Fenn. Just when we think we have it all figured out and have planned our spring trip, something like this pops up to drive us bonkers. I love it. Makes me think of the time when Odysseus told the Cyclops “I am Nobody”.

  22. WOW! All I can think is what if?

  23. Mark J says:

    What I find interesting is that not too long ago, Forrest stated that he thought someone might have solved 4 clues, but he was not sure. Or something like that if I remember correctly. So if someone said something to Forrest that might have him thinking that, does that mean that someone is starting to understand the poem? And if someone is starting to understand it, then why give out information that might spoil that persons hard work? Or has that person said something else that contradicted their previous ideas?
    Just thinking outloud.

  24. Forrest this next trip will be 89 or 90, has been a long winter and is nice not to be searching in the snow now.

  25. Geoff Idaho says:

    With respect to today’s comment, perhaps (IMO) a searcher who has been searching “outside the box” should instead be searching inside the dodecagon.
    “Have flashlight and gloves, will travel”

    • JC1117 says:

      Hello, Geoff. What if a searcher needs to stop looking outside the box and start looking back inside the box for a while. What ifs will remain what ifs up until the moment they’re not. Searchers can’t rule anything out. I’ll just enjoy some hot tea and wait a little while until it stops snowing.

  26. what if it’s CBI(confusion beyond imagination).

  27. Bell says:

    So close yet so far?

  28. Teehee says:

    Here fishy fishy fishy…

  29. JAS says:

    I 4 1 am looking forward to “Fennobree” & I am bring-ing my FAMILY!
    1 4 all & all 4 1
    up up & awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy………………..

  30. Mindy says:

    Cynthia’s “what ifs” on part 3 of her most recent story on Dal’s.

    Why are people looking so far ahead when the answer is right beside them? In the illustrations in TTOTC, the illustrations of life that we are to seek on our own and not get a guided tour of (by people like myself or Diggin’ posting them for everyone).

  31. Spallies says:

    Hi Jenny! Where did you find that picture of the rollercoaster track up into the wood on your Sunday quote? TGIF:) Thanks for all you do 🙂

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Spallies! That image is one of my own. One of my kids is there at the top in front of me. It is from one we rode near Mount Washington in New Hampshire……and thank you too….the site is made greater by all who visit…

  32. Oz10 says:

    Hello Mr. Fenn, does that mean that from the blogs around nobody is on the right path still? Is not looking good for 2016? I thought I had half the blaze already figured out but I will start over just in case…

  33. Mindy says:

    Hi Jenny,

    I love your site.

    My question is : Did Sumbuddy use a tilde (~) when they signed their email like displayed in this week’s question?

    Or maybe Sumbuddy could answer that?

    Thank you!

  34. Woody says:

    Mr Fenn, provides a statement..and looked what followed his comments..he even came back and said “Hush” please show some respect to him..u know he doesnt need to provide u anymore clues he gave u the poem.

  35. Lyndsay says:

    Interesting interview with Dal Nietzel on KPLU, always good to hear Dal he’s a great guy.

  36. nmc says:

    “What if’s” indeed. What if you took a tumble and had to cut your search short? Now that would be a bummer.

  37. Yiga says:


    That would be a bummer, indeed. That spoil the whole intent of FF.

    Stay safe, be smart, have fun, come home for all.


  38. Hi says:


  39. WOPR says:

    \\ \\////$$$$$——*&@#

  40. Shoot says:

    Help! I put my head in a box now I can’t get it out because I said so. I was too busy building my legacy and now I realize that after I’m gone I won’t be able to remember my legacy. I should have been living while I was alive. Spending money on things that mattered. shoot- oh well – it’s too late now – oh well – water under the bridge.

  41. Puck says:

    “If we shadows have offended,
    Think but this, and all is mended,
    That you have but slumbered here
    While these visions did appear.
    And this weak and idle theme,
    No more yielding but a dream,
    Gentles, do not reprehend:
    If you pardon, we will mend:
    And, as I am an honest Puck,
    If we have unearned luck
    Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
    We will make amends ere long;
    Else the Puck a liar call;
    So, good night unto you all.
    Give me your hands, if we be friends,
    And Robin shall restore amends.”

  42. astree says:

    But O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes.

    Action is eloquence.

    The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.

  43. Rich guy says:

    Most of us think a headstone is just another word for grave marker but “what if” headstone is talking about a stone with a head on it? Oh!


    • Rich guy says:

      If a person will ‘think’ they can find the chest, …..but the secret is to think and analyze, …..they can find the chest.

      We think with our mind and brain but it’s all in our head.

  44. ivy says:

    I think sumbuddy knows sumthing.

  45. Theo says:

    “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

    “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

    • Casey says:

      Fear not, we are of the nature of the lion, and cannot descend to the destruction of mice and such small beasts. Elizabeth I

    • Ellen says:

      Hi Theo….ah, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) and ‘Horton Hears a Who!”

      Not the pot of “Beezle-Nut” oil for the planet of Whoville! Interesting reading the essence (the importance of the individual) as coming from Dr. Seuss’s visit to Japan after WW ll.

      Horton’s being ridiculed and harassed by the other animals in the jungle…speaks to the “What If’s” perhaps.

  46. sumbuddy says:

    Once there was a treasure named happiness…

    Then there was ……

    If you are…
    If you’ve been…

    Two ifs to ponder
    It won’t be long now…just have to wait till the snow melts and the ice melts.

  47. jl says:


    Our song’s whole burden ” Happiness/’ ” What mortal’s destin’d to possess? Grant men of business, and of books, Each other view with scornful looks. If by presumption we’re to measure Success; no doubt the man of pleasure Is he who has found out the treasure Nam’d Happiness; no ” by the good Alone this word is understood; And he may pity that call’d bliss. By th’ highest in each rank who miss Attaining Happiness like his.

    Then there was ……Indulgence

    If you are…Brave
    If you’ve been…Wise

    • astree says:

      Another way to look at it, is to use the “WHAT” as a (four-letter) variable preceding IF. In which case

      HIGH … If you’ve been

      CO LD .. If you are ..

      • JL says:

        Another way to look at it, is to use the “WHAT” as a (four-letter) variable preceding IF. In which case

        HIGH … If you’ve been………wise

        CO LD .. If you are ……..brave

        Amazingly that does make a sort of sense to me but don’t ask me to explain why, don’t think I can. I’m going to have to drink on it.

        • astree says:

          What if “What if” is a shift that contains the letters for “fur time”, or “fruit me” – that could be a drink.

          Or, shift WHAT letters forward by 4 and get AL-EX …

    • astree says:

      I…mportant Literature
      F..urst Grade

  48. Jacob says:

    This entire search and Forrest’s overall attitude about life makes me think the song “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw should be the official Chase song. Lol. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

  49. Kathryn says:

    After reading HOD, I see two ‘what ifs’. One ‘what if’ doesn’t matter other than creating more of a ‘historical’ endeavor for future searchers. The other ‘what if’ well…..that is a problem if the ‘what if’ becomes a definite no-no. Perhaps the ‘what ifs’ could put the TTOTC on hold – and for how long – certainly not permanently. HOD cautions careful research and care in execution.

  50. knowbawdy says:

    Sumbuddy, imsunbuddynow, eh towel;
    This an Epic poem by ff. There are ab her rations in and around, and when they fennally say “peak ah boo” you say, “….
    Oh knee ya!
    Comma look….soon to fall oh.
    Really, fate or coincidence? A purse on has a berthdai Orders sumbuddy eltz?
    Treasures bold, riches new and old, in the wood and worth the cold. Rags to ri ches. Until agin. ..

  51. ivy says:

    Het vertrouwen niveau hoog.
    ei arvailua.
    Céad faoin gcéad

  52. JL says:

    Gotcha > 100

  53. AM says:

    Hello everyone,

    An idea to help with the solve…..
    I was so confident with my solve that I wrote a poem for my idea of the location.
    I used subtle hints & clues, trying to make it difficult but not impossible.
    Doing this helped me think differently than before, the only problem is I do not know how to think like FF & I do not know him well enough to use his thought process.
    If you know FF & how he thinks by reading his books, you may be able to put together some of the pieces.
    For example, the line “I’ve done it tired & now I’m weak” I think simply describes the two trips he made to hide the box.
    Point is, try taking the path FF has taken by writing your own poem to your location & try to do it the way FF thinks from what you have learned by reading his books & understanding his thought process.
    This will take you to a new level……IMO
    Here is my poem, which I know is wrong but I will keep trying.

    First cold then warm to hot
    We’re heading down the deep path
    Could be wrong but hope not
    14 km, I’ve done the math

    East we go to parched brook
    Heading below the B&B
    Excited to search & look
    Just paid the entrance fee

    Making our way towards the sky
    Stopping to admire the flows
    Boy I wish I could fly
    How lovely the sage scent grows

    Reaching the point of the joker
    Knowing we need to be above
    Seeking weak using my poker
    I’m glad I brought a glove

    The blaze shall reveal itself soon
    As we have been searching long
    Looking down with peace from the moon
    Soon we shall whistle our favorite song

    Will pay respect to the fallen in every case
    And be very happy to return your best
    We learned the true meaning of TTOTC
    Thank you, thank you for this marvelous chest

    If anyone would like the answer or better yet has the answer please let me know.
    Hint: My location is in New Mexico

  54. Direct Frank says:

    A synonym of cease is to “break off” “up” now remove the e from cease and you have case or break off the case. Thrill of the (c)h(ase)

    Has some done this already? Is it possible that our boy Fenn thinks he knows what he doesn’t?

  55. JL says:

    I have looked into better than a few pairs of eyes and that doorman looks like his polarity might have been reversed……what kind of game you talkin about..

  56. twingem says:

    What if the end is near? What would we all do after?

  57. jdiggins says:

    From the poem, line 10 and 12… a couple of ifs, not phonetically speaking, of course.

  58. what if he owns his own land in the rocky mountains? he have the money to buy land and if you find it he will give you the title !!

    so is it possible to check somewhere if he bought land there??

  59. astree says:

    You’re a man haunted by the two most terrible words: ….“What if”

    (Uber-Morlock to Alexander, in “The Time Machine”)

  60. GEYDELKON says:


    It took me awhile to understand your Q&A. Then I started to look into it a little deeper. This is what I am seeing. A deep thinker I might be but I do have a real name.

    (If you’ve been),
    (If you are)

  61. Inohury says:

    Fenns Flies fool Fish.
    Difficult but not impossible.
    Look quickly down,
    Best smile…best shot…
    Go back to the poem.
    As fate would have it, I’m leaning.
    Almost there…

    • JL says:

      Do you mind if I use your quote to open a fly fishing store with, “Fenns Flies fool Fish”?

      • Inohury says:

        The quote, JL, is not my own, it was Fenns’ Fathers’, you can read it in a Scrapbook at HOD.
        Savvy, comprendo. Gracias.
        We shall see in the coming month(s) what the stars have in store.

        • JL says:

          Now that u mention it I believe I have read that one already, I guess I will have to ask Mr. Fenn himself. Gracias, you can never go too wrong with dont you think? Dar las gracias, i should have paid more attention in Spanish class. I wish I could understand the stars better, but the great Architect did not put that in his plan therefore I gaze upon them in gratitude and always as a reminder, dar las gracias. Yes we will see, the wonders of the world tests us in many ways. Have a good day my compadre.

          • Inohury says:

            Good day to you as well.
            I am going to peruse old photos today. They are said to be worth a thousand words. That’s a lot of words. I guess I’ll start at the beginning.

            No wishing on the fallen…

            • JL says:

              No wishing on the fallen… I am now in agreement. I like to learn from pictures myself but one word can contain a lot of meaning also.

  62. mbk says:

    Hard to wish on falling stars…

  63. Ramona says:

    Fall colors all around, The air grows cooler and crisper. Beautiful colors, beautiful sky in the RM’s north of Santa Fe today. That I understand and appreciate. “Fenn’s Flies fool Fish” that’s one of my favorite quotes ever. Forrest’s poem not so much fools us, but sure makes us think and learn a lot about a lot. Have a great day everyone.

  64. Brad Hartliep says:

    Gaily bedight,
    A gallant knight,
    In sunshine and in shadow,
    Had journeyed long,
    Without a song,
    In search of Eldorado.

    But he grew old –
    This knight so bold –
    And o’er his heart a shadow.

    And, as his strength
    Failed him at length,
    He met a pilgrim shadow –
    “Shadow,” said he,
    “Where can it be –
    This land called Eldorado?”

    “O’er the mountains
    Of the Moon,
    Down the Valley of the Shadow,
    Ride, bol’ly ride,”
    The shade replied –
    “In search of Eldorado!”

    Brad and Edgar

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