Featured Question and The Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt: Nucleus of the Poem

I realize it has been a very short interval since you last addressed a question of mine. However it seems that some in the community feel like that question was just a waste of time. They whisper(complain) that I did not relate the question to the Poem and that it was not asked in a direct enough manner. I guess they’re scared to ask if they can fly that plane? 🙂

I will attempt to appease them in this matter.

In the past you have indicated that it is risky to discount any of the words in the Poem. Considering that, have you ever mentioned, even in a general sense, the words that form the nucleus of the Poem?

Hope this finds you in fine fettle today……loco


I read the poem again and couldn’t find the nucleus you referred to. Can you point it out to me please?f


Best of luck with all that you seek!  Always Treasure the Adventure!



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154 Responses

  1. Sorry, I can’t help it.
    But this just gets funnier and funnier..lol…

  2. nmc says:

    Sounds like loco and Mr. Fenn are enjoying a bit of word play 🙂

  3. nmc says:

    loco, next time ask what the nub of the poem is 🙂

  4. 23kachinas says:

    No comet.

  5. Squat Cobbler says:

    What’s a nub? Could you point it out to me please.

  6. Hear me all says:

    Epic answer Forrest! Nothing but the truth and the whole truth!

  7. passenger says:

    Maybe you should ask Forrest what his favorite James Baldwin novel is….

  8. JDA says:

    Let’s see – what are the words that form the nucleus of the poem? Six stanza’s. 24 lines, so the middle lines = ,
    “There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
    Just heavy loads and water high.
    If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
    Look quickly down, your quest to cease,”…
    so I guess that these lines are the nucleus

    I guess we could even break this down to:
    “Just heavy loads and water high.
    If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,”

    14 words = If you’ve = the center or nucleus. Since You’ve is a contraction of you have – the exact center or nucleus = YOU – – – YOU are the center or nucleus of the poem – Sounds perfect to me. Just having fun – JDA

    • Hear me all says:

      Hi JDA – I think you missed the point. You might want to read it again.

      • JDA says:

        Humor my friend – humor! JDA 🙂

        • Hear me all says:

          Just trying to help. Reading things correctly can make all the difference in The Chase.

          • JDA says:

            HMA – Since I missed the point, despite several others having interpreted it the same as I did, will you be so kind, as to help me – What IS the point? JDA

            • Hear me all says:

              Hi JDA – In order to see the point, you have to find the answers in the poem and then answers like the one above from Forrest will make sense. IMO you can’t find the answers in the poem by reading it as you have been. You have to radically adjust the way you read the poem and the meanings of words are not helpful. IMO the poem will lead you to such a very precise spot in the Rocky Mountains. In fact so precise that you would need a ruler and not a tape measure. I realize that you are not likely to change course on the way you interpret the poem at this point but do consider that the traditional approach has not worked for anyone to date. I fully believe that the winning solution requires many mental adjustments in order to see the point.

            • JDA says:

              HMA – Lots of words, with no apparent meaning. ” IMO you can’t find the answers in the poem by reading it as you have been. You have to radically adjust the way you read the poem and the meanings of words are not helpful.” Makes no sense HMA. Words have meanings, or they are jibberish. How do ytou know HOW I read the poem? Can you get inside of my brain? You just do not make ANY sense HMA. When are you gpoing to put BOTG and show us how right you are, and how wrong we are? Good luck my friend. JDA

              • Hear me all says:

                Hi JDA – I don’t expect you to understand and that’s okay.

                I did put BOTG last month at the spot. It was beyond wonderful! I had to make a very tough decision and walk away though. I don’t expect you to understand this either but it’s the truth and nothing but the truth. Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the treasure.

  9. passenger says:

    How about this question:

    “Forrest, In an increasingly partisan time, what is your view on what it takes to be right?”


  10. Dan says:

    Uncle’s Uncle!! LOL

  11. Sparrow says:

    I think this subject is from Green Grass.

  12. Buckeye Bob says:

    “Fine fettle”, it sounds like Loco is familiar with bronze casting.
    And that leads us to “nucleus”.

    “: the peak of sonority in the utterance of a syllable”

    There ya go, wymustigo.
    But I wonder how much FF is playin’ with us here. lol

    • Buckeye Bob says:

      I just figured out both the syllables and the words.
      The middle word using contractions as 2 words is “the”, and that doesn’t do anything.
      The middle words using contractions as 1 word, and the middle syllables, BOTH come up with “wise and”.
      Wise end.
      “Wizened : to become dry, shrunken, and wrinkled often as a result of aging or of failing vitality.”

      Reminds me of pickle juice.

      • WyMustIGo says:

        Thanks Bob.

        If people claim the poem is the most important thing we have, I agree 100%.

        And you had better look at that poem closely. Know the grammar. Know why words were chosen. Figure out why he broke the metre of the poem on only 3 lines (lines 2, 3, and 7) that are the only lines without 8 syllables.

        The poem is like music. Each line of the poem should have 8 beats (syllables), are we supposed to break it up into 4 beats per bar and use those beats to determine something?

        Groups of syllables in poetry are broken into “feet”. One “foot” usually contains two syllables, one of them is stressed and the other is normal. This is like accented notes in music.

        The reason why lines 2, 3 and 7 do not have 8 syllables is either because they hide/cloak something, or to change the emotion of the poem to draw attention. This is how Shakesphere controlled his writing, using various patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables.

        TLDR: The poem syllable structure forms a beat. This beat, like music, can hide things like numbers, letters, or simple morse code like stuff. Or, it can be as simple as saying “HEAR ME ALL”, listen to these few lines, something key might be there.

        • Buckeye Bob says:

          I forgot to divide the 4 missing syllables by 2. That makes the middle syllables “you’ve been”.
          But the middle words are still “wise and”.
          So that would make a combination of the two “you’ve been wise and”,
          or “you’ve been wizened”.
          This makes this a little weaker, in my opinion, since there’s not 2 ways to come to the same answer.
          Sorry about that.
          Still something though. And it can become very strong again if we find more such things in the poem.

        • Point Foot says:

          That is a fascinating observation.

  13. Mindy says:

    Forrest, if you can’t point out a nucleus, can you tell us the poem’s maxim?

  14. Alsetenash says:

    Haha. Sounds like a “key word” trick question and FF played coyote.

  15. The Count says:

    That question was worse than your last loco, just joken. There are no bad questions, as long as someone gets something out of the answer!

  16. Ramona says:

    Oh, you can’t find the middle? I put in 8.25 miles north or too far to walk. Thank you Jenny, Forrest, & Loco.

  17. Jonsey1 says:

    “I couldn’t find “the nucleus” you referred to. Could you point “it” out to me”

    Well you couldn’t point exactly to “it” INSIDE the poem because there is more than one to point to…you’d need to point “them” out…which would lose it on double entendre ‘it’ fun. Now outside of the poem “it” could be a single thing (conceptually).

    Doubt that’s what F meant, or that anyone might understand what I’m poorly trying to express, but I like to to imagine ways his statements could make alternative sense while staying in context for fun.

    • The Lofty Caribou says:

      I hear you Jonsey. “It” could litterally mean search. So search “them” nine out logically. Not nine clues but nine of “them” as you said, like sets containing nine.

      The key word for me has always been “and”. The key word read forward adds meaning. Read backwards it defines that meaning. The key word defines ones roots and purpose. The keyword also anagrams to (dan) which means a marker. It also anagrams to (nad) like go… If you want to begin logically the evidence is in the nine statements with “and” and nine without “and” in the poem. Then it’s your call. Decide what to do when you look quickly down below the blaze.

      I hope searchers keep their families to their hearts in their chests. And if you don’t, you can always go.. and..find them and try. Even if you don’t share the same dna. But it is always tough to find the time and motivation to ever call even on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

    • The Lofty Caribou says:

      It seems there could be more than nine clues. But we don’t know when starting out if there are more than nine clues. We have never been told the total clues it could be nine or greater than nine. For example if :x=total clues, y=stated clues.
      (x>y then y can be defined as a sequence… y=(x-1)… y=(x-2)….y=(x-x+1)=1. and specifically if x>9, then y contains all real numbers less than any x. So nine clues does not make more possible clues unconditionally false, it makes it unconditionally true. Since any quanity of (x) contains smaller quantities of (y). Except when x=y it is undefined at point (0). So we need to find (x) figuritively and literally. Sound familiar like the idea of a key or an X on a map.


  18. Iceman says:

    It will take me two days to decipher this one, but here is a gem I see now …
    nucleus => nu clues => new clues!
    … whatever that means? Maybe the release of new clues is making someone nervous?
    loco => cool => ice
    Welcome back from your vacation Mr. Fenn.

  19. WyMustIGo says:

    Forrest, Can you answer this one simple question?

    If Kit Carson or Jim Bridger were alive today, and you handed them a copy of “The Thrill of the Chase”, do you think they would be able to find the chest without using technology from today?

    • JC1117 says:

      Great question, WyMustIGo.

      And speaking of technology…if there’s no nucleus in The Poem…then The Poem likely doesn’t describe Forrest’s favorite fission spot. :/


      I look at it this way…if there’s no new-cleus…then maybe we need to find an old-cleus. :/

      Thanks, Forrest and Jenny and Loco…again.

      • WyMustIGo says:

        There’s no nucleus because the whole poem is important. But, remember Forrest also said without the correct starting point you have nothing. So if there was a nucleus, it would be one or more clues that lead to where to start.

        As far as him mentioning them anywhere outside the context, he did, but not directly. If people need help finding or solving the clues, they should do what Fenn said here at Moby Dickens:

        “There are nine clues in the poem, and the clues are in consecutive order. If you want to find the treasure chest – you have my book there – I’ll tell you how to do it. Read the book just normally … the poem and the rest of the book, and then go back and read the poem 6, 8, 10 times – study every line, every word. Then after you do that, read the book again, slowly, with the idea of looking for clues or hints, that are in the book that will help you follow the clues. You can find the chest with just the clues, but there are hints in the book that will help you with the clues. f”

        He tells you right there how to locate a possible nucleus, and where to get hints to help find the starting place. Why people don’t follow his adivice and instead try to argue about poem purity is beyond me. Just do what the man says.

        • WyMustIGo says:

          Plus lets not forget what he says in the book where the poem was officially published:

          “So I wrote a poem containing nine clues that if followed precisely, will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure. There are also other subtle clues sprinkled in the stories. f”

          Basically, everything you need is in the the TTOTC book, which of course includes the poem. The poem is the map that contains the clues which take you to the chest, the book is the research item that can be used to get help with the clues.

          Seems pretty straight forward to me.

  20. locolobo says:

    Unbelievable! Thank you Jenny for accepting the question and forwarding to Forrest.

    And Forrest, Forrest, you never cease to amaze. Thank you ever so much for considering my words…..In the question, the nucleus was referring to the words that the Poem is constructed around, the words which cannot be ignored. (but I think you knew that 🙂 ) Well played sir, well played indeed!! Thanks again.

    Thanks to everybody for coming out, next show is at ????? 🙂

    • JCM says:

      Hi Loco – that one went over well! 🙂 I can’t wait for your next show!!!

    • OH! says:

      Ha-ha, The next show? Keep them coming Loco.

    • Seeker says:

      I read the poem again and couldn’t find the nucleus you referred to.”

      Seems to me the question might have been answered in full… “couldn’t find the nucleus…”
      So, there is none. No, the central and most important part, forming the basis for its activity…

      If the author couldn’t find it, it might not be there at all.
      Then again, if there is no reference to what the ‘nucleus’ is, there’s no way for fenn to know exactly what is meant by ‘your’ thought… Later stated as; “the words which cannot be ignored”

      This reminds me of other comments concerning ~All the Ingredients… No one part should be taken as a central theme, point, theory, need etc.

      Synergy; the whole is greater than its parts.

  21. Iceman says:

    Every stanza, every sentence, every word, every syllable, every letter in the poem is important, even the (sometimes incorrect) punctuation. Just pointing that out.

  22. Twingem says:

    Love it!

  23. JL says:

    well, I guess that means he walked away

  24. Chesney says:

    How deep is a hole? 😀 Thank you loco, Ms. Kile, and most importantly… Mr. Fenn!

    • Point Foot says:

      Deep. Thank you Forrest, Jenny and loco.

      Watch the weather out there searchers. There is still a lot of snow in places.

  25. lifesablaze says:

    The heart of the matter is lit by an exotic thought. I know. Let’s ask Dr. Strangelove.


  26. LitterateOne says:


    I too read the poem again, and couldn’t find the nu-cleus you were referring to either.

    Drum and a cymbal fall off a cliff….


  27. Five-leaf blaze says:

    Hmmm, nucleus… I may have a few protons and electrons I can let go of. And at least half a membrane. But the core of the matter is that there is about two feet of snow still on the ground in *the spot*.

  28. The Wolf says:

    Ok Loco – first you mention anagrams and now we have nucleus. Didn’t Mr. Fenn mention recently he works a theme in his books? Everyone knows I am not an anagram fan, but I do like to have fun.

    For instance Nucleus anagrams to “sun clue” since I am entertained by this, I guess it is not Tomfoolery, which by the way anagrams to “motley roof”(Motley Crue :Paranoid) and “Romeo Lofty” (Shakespeare), well you get the idea. Hey Iron Will you are an anagrammer, what am I to do with all this entertainment?

  29. Iceman says:

    An “ice”nucleus is a particle which acts as the nucleus for the formation of an “ice” crystal in the atmosphere (Wikipedia). -ice

  30. HappyThoth says:

    The end is ever drawing KnighT
    “I didn’t really know what ‘canned’ meant but guessed it must be something good because he was such a nice guy”

  31. Fenngshui says:

    The nucleus of the nuclear family is the father.

  32. HappyThoth says:

    wikipedia- From today’s featured article: “Here We Go Again”.. from the 1967 album Ray Charles Invites You to Listen.. Steagall says that the song “came about in a very unusual manner and very QUICKLY”

  33. JL says:

    My interpretation which is most often wrong is that the poem will lead you to the spot but it’s up to you to find the nucleus.

  34. The Lofty Caribou says:

    Forrest, if your listening!

    Wow pretty obvious asking loco can you point it out, what would Eric say? See I reply. I know I’m not loco lol;) but I’ll speak briefly since you asked. It appears the point out of this post, the nucleus relates to the key word “and”, I suspect, and asks to take notice of what’s in a nucleus like dna. Sounds like your close to the showdown do you have a good poker hand? A wheel maybe, or broadway, trips, or a set, perhaps a bluff? I could call or raise as a pokertoy would do. But I never seem to have the time to play poker on the scheduled Tuesday or Wednesday nights after my dinner meal.


  35. Iceman says:

    Today I hunted down the unassuming word “me” in the post above. And last week I answered a question directed to f. Turns out that “me” from my research led to this … “I am me”. You are not. … End of story.” Ouch. When you really dig deep into f’s words you never know what you are gonna find. 🙂

  36. Iceman says:

    Nucleus Poem => Opulence Nucleus Poem => Uncouples

  37. Iceman says:

    Opulence Uncouples

    • Iceman says:

      It’s a profound statement and not likely a coincidence … a valuable warning for the one who finds the treasure.

  38. Iceman says:

    Nucleus – a Poem by James Stephens

    • Iceman says:

      Is this the nucleus you were looking for?

      • Buckeye Bob says:

        I don’t think so, IMan, but I think you’re on a trail none the less.
        The twin ivory towers from this poem is interesting. My question to you is do you have both? I don’t think you do because I think I know the real answer to this.
        I mean, there is, but it’s not the total answer because Fenn has multiple meanings in so much of his riddle. And there’s a bigger one that you have to extend from this to see.

        By the way, I just found this because of looking into your post. It didn’t help me because I already have this point, but it added a uniquely cool verification (much like some other stuff).

        And remember, these things are HINTS. They are not to be taken as a paint-by-numbers solution without added imagination.
        But I think you know that, by the things you say.

        • Buckeye Bob says:

          “Two gates the silent house of Sleep adorn;
          Of polish’d ivory this, that of transparent horn:
          True visions thro’ transparent horn arise;
          Thro’ polish’d ivory pass deluding lies.
          Of various things discoursing as he pass’d,
          Anchises hither bends his steps at last.
          Then, thro’ the gate of iv’ry, he dismiss’d
          His valiant offspring and divining guest.”

          • JC1117 says:

            Nice One, Bob.

            Two gates…

            Two roads…in a yellow wood.

            The Road Not Taken

            Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
            And sorry I could not travel both
            And be one traveler, long I stood
            And looked down one as far as I could
            To where it bent in the undergrowth;

            Then took the other, as just as fair,
            And having perhaps the better claim,
            Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
            Though as for that the passing there
            Had worn them really about the same,

            And both that morning equally lay
            In leaves no step had trodden black.
            Oh, I kept the first for another day!
            Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
            I doubted if I should ever come back.

            I shall be telling this with a sigh
            Somewhere ages and ages hence:
            Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
            I took the one less traveled by,
            And that has made all the difference.

            – Robert Frost

            • Buckeye Bob says:

              Nice one, JC.
              The quote I posted and you’re replying to comes from Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’.
              But what it is is a “literary image”, a tool used in literature, called
              “The Gates Of Horn And Ivory”.
              “The gates of horn and ivory are a literary image used to distinguish true dreams (corresponding to factual occurrences) from false.”

              “Virgil borrowed the image of the two gates in lines 893-898 of Book 6 of his Aeneid, describing that of horn as the passageway for true shadows[7] and that of ivory as that through which the Manes in the underworld send false dreams up to the living.[8] Through the latter gate Virgil makes his hero Aeneas, accompanied by the Cumaean Sibyl, return from his visit to the underworld, where he has met, among others, his dead father Anchises.”

              • Buckeye Bob says:

                And, by the way, this is about the “false treasure room” that I’ve been saying is built into Fenn’s treasure hunt.

              • Buckeye Bob says:

                And by the way II, I never heard of this “gates of horn and ivory” before the other day when I was kickstarted by Iceman’s “Nucleus” post and got curious.

                Thanks, Iceman.
                And thank you, Forrest Fenn, for the journey.

              • JC1117 says:

                Very interesting, Bob.

                Thank you for sharing all of that. You’re very kind.

                If only distinguishing between true and false was an easy task.

                • HappyThoth says:

                  I enjoy the old art that depicts the cherubs holding masks

                • Buckeye Bob says:

                  That’s especially true here, JC.
                  This alone doesn’t do it. There’s other literary stuff needed to lead to the treasure.
                  And there’s other stuff from other fields that help too. For example, there’s a very interesting astrological “sign” that says you’re in the right place, and even helps for the treasure location in general.
                  But none of this is actually needed if a person wants to just follow the clues from the poem.
                  This stuff is “story”, and confirmation.

                • Buckeye Bob says:

                  HappyThoth, where have you seen masks in literature? And in Fenn’s stuff?
                  See? It’s all connected. I can draw lines from point to point on the map that lead to the same location that I come up with without using any of this stuff, just the poem.
                  That seems to me to be extraordinary confirmation.

                • HT says:

                  Zorro gets to the point.. L ONE RANGER does 2

  39. Chesney says:

    My biggest question is this; if Indulgence is unlocked, could the finder spill the contents trying to obtain her? He said he considered everything when hiding her. Is she in a waxed ammo container? 🙂

  40. HappyThoth says:

    Knochen knochen knochen

    I’m just a knucklehead

  41. Chesney says:

    Well pdenver,
    If I am in t he correct location, which I strongly believe, it is definitely “no place for the meek”. A person who was handicapped or a small child could never get to it. If not for an obstruction, wouldnot be so bad to get to!

  42. HappyThoth says:

    Wiki indicates agreement today… C arena

  43. HappyThoth says:

    Beautiful indeed JC.. I’ll have to meet you there one day

  44. HappyThoth says:

    Wait a minute.. who’s listening to who hear?? Lol

  45. Jake says:

    My next search postponed until end of June… 🙁 I can’t wait to put my theory to the test. Best of luck all!

  46. HT says:

    Begin it; full stop

    The ti that binds..

    Leads to Cody..

    From there, it’s easy to find how we’re all in It’s house..

    • HappyThoth says:

      5/23 dictionary wotd: Memoriter
      1: by heart; by memory.

      at the end of the chase.. look quickly down

      it’s a brand new day

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