Featured Question with Forrest Fenn and The Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt: Important Clue

forrest fenn armchair treasure hunt clueDear Forrest, In 2014 you said,

“It seems logical to me that a deep thinking treasure searcher could use logic to determine an important clue to the location of the treasure. Is someone doing that now and I don’t know it?”

Since saying that, has anyone to your knowlege used logic successfully to determine that important clue?

Thanks Eiseley


No one has said anything to me about it Eiseley. f


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110 Responses

  1. Jeremy P. says:

    Must be the connection between first and second clue as apparently that was gotten pretty quick!

  2. John says:

    Loren Eiseley?

  3. Farcus says:

    I sure would like to meet this “no one” guy!

  4. John says:


    “While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. There were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, “It makes a difference for this one.” I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.”
    ― Loren Eiseley

    • Jeremy P. says:

      That’s pretty good.

      • John says:

        Yes and what is the stick figure doing on the cover of Once Upon A While

        • Jeremy P. says:

          The Thrill of the Chase has this same message, in different words. Catcher in the Rye echos the theme as well.

          According to the Lou Bruno interview (elsewhere on this site) the cover design was the graphic artist’s idea (probably true). But maybe someone brought the Eiseley quote to Forrest’s attention after seeing the cover, and Forrest approves.

          Of course all of this assumes someone actually named Eiseley didn’t write to Forrest. That’s not a safe assumption because with past emails people have thought they weren’t real, but they turned out to be real emails.

          I think I’m going to read me some Loren Eiseley though. 🙂

          Thanks for the quote!

    • Farcus says:

      Take it a bit further, Starfish Prime https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish_Prime
      He always thought the treasure was a bomb -> Los Alamos

    • pdenver says:

      Hello John. This is beautiful. Thank you for posting this.

      • John says:

        Thankyou pdenver, I can find the link but I am unsure how to link the story to the poem.

          • pdenver says:

            I had hoped it would show the complete story, but it doesn’t look like it did. My apologies.

            • JC1117 says:

              Hello, John and Pdenver.

              Here’s a version I found. It claims to be edited. I don’t know how much it differs from Eiseley’s words.


              I like the quote at the bottom of the page…

              It is only with the heart that one can see rightly – what is essential is invisible to the eye…
              On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur – l’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux…
              The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

              • pdenver says:

                Hello JC1117. Thank you so much for the link. I enjoyed reading it. The bottom quote is really nice.

              • Joe says:

                Thanks for the link. I’ve saved the document for future reference. IMO, the story is extremely insightful and thought-provoking, and it’s something that requires, at least for me, periodic re-reading and reflection.

                The “heart” quote in the footer also has the same impact on me, and its profundity parallels many thoughts that have surfaced throughout my endeavors in The Chase. The quote reminds me of Mattie Culver’s epitaph: “The Pure in Heart shall see God.” I was fortunate to be alone when I read it for the first time at her gravesite. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=28203723


                • pdenver says:

                  Hello Joe. Thank you for the link. For the many times my family and I have visited Yellowstone, we have never seen this. Going to check it out next year.

        • Jeremy P. says:

          “I can find the link but I am unsure how to link the story to the poem.”

          If I may, John, this is actually where logic helps you out. The original book, The Thrill of the Chase, was written in 2010. The poem was written (according to Fenn) over many years prior. There was no mention in that book that there would be further books to come. All indications in that original book were that the book has everything you would need to find the treasure chest, the book and poem were complete, and there was nothing else that you would need. Over the years he has reinforced this idea, repeatedly stating that “all you need is the poem”. Later books are the result of mere happy circumstances that Forrest is still around to write them.

          If you apply logic, you’re on solid ground to conclude that this post has absolutely nothing to do with the new book or the Starfish story at all. You ought to conclude that there is no link to the poem. I mean, due diligence and all, see if there is even a mere hint at Loren Eiseley in the original material, but that’s the connection you would need — in the original book, not in the cover of a new book. Short of a mention of Eiseley in the original book, there’s little reason to connect the poem and this author.

          Again, logically, it is more likely that the name Eiseley shows up here in this post because someone made a connection between the cover of the new book and the Starfish story after-the-fact, and used that name when writing to Forrest. Or that Forrest is just messing with people — which always seems likely. 🙂

          Takeaway: If you’re looking for a link to the poem, it’d be in the original book, not in the cover of the new book.

          Disclaimer: It’s a treasure hunt! Logic may not apply.

          • while there are little hints in the book,isn’t the poem all we need.forrest said something like make the clues fit a place on the map.

          • John says:

            Thanks Jeremy, maybe I am trying to overthink it and find a connection where none exists.

            • The Lone Aspen says:

              Thanks Jeremy, Eiseley, and John!
              Hmmm……. we do overthink it and what it needs to be ABOUT!!!
              See the hidden meanings and directions for a bright and distinctive search for Life which is a treasure!
              Life is confusing for me at times and needs to be rethought.

          • Pen Ghost says:

            Jeremy, I think there is a link to the new book – which was not probably planned in the original 1st memoir. I don’t think it is a hint to the treasure, though. I think the focus of the 3rd book is different than the first 2 and that it might be ff’s experience from the other side of the treasure hunt. IMO just a thought given the 2 sense parts.

            • Pen Ghost says:

              Forgot – the other thing that causes me pause and the possible difference between the first 2 and the 3rd is the …Abel…news article. Check it out – For the first time in news I see a smile like no other – his face beams and I recall him saying something about save you best smile for last – I assume this is his last memoir on the subject IMO. I haven’t ordered the book – no space – I keep telling Indulgence to move over some – Just kidding! But I have an issue with money and space at the time – so hoping to hear more reviews from the fortunate searchers.

  5. pdenver says:

    While reading, I missed it the first time, but going back, I noticed.

  6. Pen Ghost says:

    Quite beautiful but what is more beautiful is it was done without fanfare and cameras and all the media attention which only draws attention to the person and not to the starfish. I need to go to the beach and toss a starfish back to the ocean. I was just talking about starfish this morning and again in the afternoon. After coincidences with two horses — one totally black and one totally white and now talk about starfish, I am really creeped out! I guess I should look into a starfish, beats the everyday blues and the climate change from hell which is roasting me to irritation – luckily I have coffee or it would get ugly and hot. The ocean is a way away 🙂 Cute story – I never heard it before.

  7. Lou Lee Belle says:

    Hi Everyone! Can’t wait to get my book. I’m still searching. I wish I could go to Santa Fe. For the Signing. Life is busy!

  8. Zaphod73491 says:

    No, no. It’s a clue for Mos Eisley. “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

    • Eiseley says:

      I asked that question just for you since you believe so strongly that you’ve solved the first few clues.

      Just so you know, “home of Brown” is definitive. If your solve is correct their is no doubt about it…

      And yes, Eiseley is homage to the late Great and very deep thinking Loren Eiseley.
      I believe most of you would be fans – enjoy the chase!!!

  9. resa says:

    Nobody has considered an important possibility related to a winning solve OR used logic to determine an important clue to the tc’s location. Long winter ahead.

  10. Lifesablaze says:

    Thank you, Eiseley. Ms Loren has become my new mentor. Her words say everything to me. I feel that logic is only one half of the equation. There is also an emotional intelligence that is held within the body. By paying attention to bodily process and the changes that feelings produce one may be able to access information that doesn’t “compute” for the strictly logical mind. There is another heart in the belly. To follow one’s heart comes more from this area of the body. The practice is to balance the two. The logical mind is loud and blaring and wants all of the attention. The wisdom it seeks will be found in the subtleties that only the emotional intelligence can teach. Without it one remains in purgatory and the treasure forever out of reach.


  11. Wig Reeves says:

    We can not assume that it is ” StarFish” should we also look at other possibilities such as ” Fishing for A Star” .

  12. Five-leaf blaze says:

    Interesting, because I sent him something undeniable.

    • Eiseley says:

      Five-leaf don’t worry the answer to my question is non-specific.

      It refers to “it” and uses the word “said” which implies actual speaking not emails…

      In the question (unfortunately) IT refers to his NOT knowing.

  13. Iceman says:

    Important clue => permutation

  14. Beef stew says:

    The last two featured questions have been quite telling. For years Mr. Fenn has been very pointed in the fact that clues were not being solved. Recently the questions have allowed for an answer that dances around the intent of the question. The loophole being in the specifics at the beginning of the questions. The paradigm has shifted, and I believe someone has solved or pretty close to solving all of the clues. I believe it was MartinS on the October 16 comment thread which made assertions to how that person would go about informing Mr. Fenn, the reasons for it, and also the deniability it allows Mr. Fenn even in answering a direct question. Either way, something has changed, and I believe someone has solved the poem or is pretty close to doing so.

    Beef Stew

    • Pen Ghost says:

      The progress of interpretation on this thread is rather interesting. To go from something of saving or fishing for some star to a rainbow with someone not understood and that someone being alone in endless work no matter what. I don’t know the “MartinS’ quote. I imagine if one figures out the clues etc that that person will also figure out the how to inform and the reasons. The problems with Q&A is wondering which A went with which Q and it is not always evident because language alone can misrepresent meanings as we all see the double and there some meanings for 24 lines of alphabet soup.

    • Valerie says:

      Wow, I checked out sick for a few days and missed the fun, Mr. Fenn is back. Thanks Eiseley. I look forward to receiving my copy of Once Upon A While. Sending my warmest wishes to Forrest for a successful book launch on November 2. Wish I could be there to celebrate with you.

      • Eiseley says:

        I have my copy already and tickets for the Nov. 2nd signing are sold out. The “waiting list” is also extreme- the expected line for the book signing is out the store and down the block…..

        • crimsonblazeblog says:

          WOW thast amazing considering there’s only a handful of searchers

          • Pen Ghost says:

            What do you mean ‘there’s only a handful of searchers’ are most attendees not searchers? I thought most of the tickets went to searchers.

            • crimsonblazeblog says:

              How many searchers have you run into in the woods? Sure everyone knows where it’s at and talk a good story but there is very few who commit to more than just a nice vacation or even leave the house in search of the treasure. Most attendees are just Fenn fan characters.

  15. Strawshadow says:

    Thank you Jenny, Eiseley and Forrest,
    “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” Thank you Mr. Eiseley. How could no one not say anything about it to Mr. Fenn is beyond me.

  16. NA says:

    So, do you prefer the view from the Top of the Rock or the ESB?

  17. Iceman says:

    The important clue f mentions was not given to him, rather it was posted for all to see, I think.

    • Snider says:

      Maverick is up and ready on alert five, sir.
      One last dogfight, let’s see if we can ring some bells ?
      Let the countdown begin, 7-6-5-4-3-2 -1 TAKEOFF

    • Point Foot says:

      There are so many clues out there for all to see I sometimes feel I just get lost in the sticks. There have also been moments where something clicks for me and I wish I could have seen things a lot sooner. But then I realize all things come in their due time. I tell my wife I’m a dreamer so let me chase my rainbows to the end and maybe one day I’ll catch one. That’s how I feel about the chase.

      • HappyThoth says:

        Well said.. I can relate.. it’s all about the honing.. I’m sure that was his tepee..i mean his in tent

        “Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her”

  18. Buckeye Bob says:

    I hope Forrest enjoyed his retirement.

  19. ace 340 says:

    His words paint a telling picture. g

  20. Eiseley says:

    Just a thought, on a way of viewing the idea of “deep thinking.” It implies pondering of possible meanings but not Esoterica. It means applying logic & creativity perhaps even a “likely story” or imagining but not traveling so far afield that you aren’t still solidly or fully inside of the poem.

    As a thought experiment I like to place myself at the edge of consciousness prior to sleeping and attempt to channel Forrest Fenn, not in a literal sense but by utilizing the subconscious mind ability to aggregate data and make creative leaps which may not be apparent to the conscious logical mind.

    Try it and let us know what happens…

    • JC1117 says:

      Hello, Eiseley.

      I try to do that…on occasion. It’s one reason I like to wander in remote places.

      “It does not matter what they call you. It’s deeds that make the man.”


    • Passenger says:

      Hi Eiseley, Are ya new to the Chase? If not, what was your prior handle? You picked a good name.


      • Eiseley says:

        Thx Passenger – Loren Eiseley & Forrest Fenn are both champions of humanity and their stories will ride with us out into the stars, so we can remember the essence of what it means to be fully human and fully alive.

        I’ve been in the Chase since August 15th and have no previous alias.

        Boots on the Ground by Sept. 4
        2 more times since then…

        High adventure I’ll tell you and great fun!

        I work hard not to succumb to confirmation bias.

        On my solve I’ve utilized independent reviews by people I trust and that have no knowledge or bias relative to the chase.

        Most “treasure hunts” are a fools errand since usually they are cloaked in the vagaries of history but Forrest Fenn is contemporary and credible with strong motive means and opportunity…

        This is the real deal and I believe 2018 will be a Landmark year!!!

      • Eiseley says:

        Also Passenger I like your username as well.

        As to my solve, I virtually began with a blank piece of paper and the Poem –
        Later on I found out about the map in “too far to walk.”

        I initially followed all of Forrest advice and made sure to marry my solve to a specific place on the map when I had a huge breakthrough/discovery. It was at that point which I became over confident and failed to take every word in the poem seriously. However that over confidence drove me out into the field and that reconnoiter has served me well. Additionally it continues the spirit of the chase.

        Forrest said if the 9 clues in the poem were followed precisely, they would lead a searcher to the treasure chest – this made me believe that in the poem there must be hidden precision which only makes sense given we are looking for an object of approximately 500 square inches or a 2 gallon container in the Rocky Mountains – therefore without precision it would be an effort in futility and foolish.

        Secondly Forrest tells us that they are sequential so this means the precision comes one step at a time and he says the place to start is “where warm waters halt.”

        Thirdly, on face level the poem is NOT precise (i.e what creek?) therefore as Forrest said there are clues (in some manner) – each line or lines or Stanzas or the Entire poem, has to have alternative meanings beyond the literal e.g. metaphors, similes, idioms, riddles etc.

        Therefore the precision lays in what I call the “figurative” interpretation of the poem whereas the literal reading provides context or landmarks if you will.

        Next Forrest said dismiss a single word in the poem at your own peril – this meant to me that a “Clue” might be entirely inside a single word or at the very least a comprehensive understanding of each word would be required to accurately find the clues…

        It’s with those basic assumptions I worked from and that your map location must be accessible to a healthy stout 80 year old guy in basically an afternoon.

        Feedbacks welcome

        • Point Foot says:

          Well that all makes a heck of a lot of sense. Your experiences sounds oddly familiar. Perhaps it’s what many of us seekers go through as we experience the chase. We start as a child and rush out to find new riches and then as we enter each new season we slowly start to become a little wiser.

    • Pen Ghost says:

      Sleep on it – has meaning when it comes to the poem. For me, I figure out things in my sleep and after writing about them, I discover the hints somewhere in the book or blogs. The hints only became confirmations rather than guides. I will incorporate the word that is taken at your peril concept. I even looked at the poem as a contract; but it did not hold up to all the elements of a contract because of the one word. There is no contract and the message of ‘enter at your own risk’ seriously applies when considering obsession and damaged relationships, loss of hard-earned finances, and for some loss of life. I agree 2018 is landmark.

    • NearIndianaJones says:

      I tried doing that, then I realized it would take a Quantum Leap, so I rolled over, scratched my butt and went to sleep. 😏

    • ron ricker says:

      utilizing the subconscious mind, astral projection, clairvoyant readings, psychic ability, supernatural forces, in addition to many other phenomena will yield no result. the treasure chest lies in a place that protects it from the likes of the above mentioned.
      figure out what kind of lands provide such protection and the security device becomes a giveaway.

  21. Eiseley says:

    Oh and two more pit falls of logical deduction:

    1) all forms of logic are circular and require some initial assumption which most likely isn’t an absolute fact (Decarte understood this an attempted to circumvent this axiom by finding some absolute “truth” thus his famous statement, “I think therefore I am!” A pretty good and certainly responsible place to begin but unfortunately also not an absolute truth as neuroscience is revealing to us…)

    2) You can’t logic your way into understanding something that didn’t utilize logic as the foundation of its construction (our feelings are this way and so often is our imagination).

    Lastly never forget the two great axioms of Sherlock Holmes:

    1) It is of the highest importance in the art of deduction to be able to recognize, out of a number of facts, which are incidental and which are vital.

    2) It’s easier to know than to explain why I know.

    • Passenger says:

      “It is of the highest importance in the art of deduction to be able to recognize, out of a number of facts, which are incidental and which are vital.”

      I agree with this 😉 Although I imagine the word “random” may be more fitting, understanding this sentence may take you far.

      good luck,

    • Jeremy P. says:

      I don’t think the first 1) is correct.

      I think the second 2) was just a plot device by Arthur Conan Doyle so that he could skip over things he didn’t feel he had to cover.

      Watson: “Holmes, how could you possibly know that?”
      Holmes: “Pfft. Reasons, obviously.”

      • Eiseley says:

        Jeremy P.
        The 2) quote is actually a joke based on the 1)

        Since obviously knowing what evidence is relevant and which is extraneous is the whole trick…

        • Jeremy P. says:

          I meant the first 1), the statement that “all forms of logic are circular”. I disagree.

          For reasons, obviously 🙂

          • Pen Ghost says:

            Interesting, very interesting. Which are searchers using deductive reasoning or inductive reasoning. Sounds more inductive given they try to fit clues to a particular solve. Deductive requires knowing what is true first and that leads to the Plan B – quote for Twain – which if you look up the history of the quote you will find the why for the misspellings in the 1st memoir. Something to seriously consider and a foundation of my current solve.

  22. Eiseley says:

    Thx passenger – good luck to you as well

  23. Eiseley says:

    It was late in the evening when I composed my responses.
    There is a correction and 3 additions to make.

    1st the correction: Treasure Chest “Indulgence” is ~500 cubic inches not square inches.

    Then there are 3 other key things Forrest has said which have guided me and informed my discovery of the clues:

    1) Is his quote regarding his belief that the person who will find the treasure will have studied the poem over and over, analyzed it and will GO in confidence (you know the one).
    2) “If you wear a smile to the right spot you will wear a grin going home.“
    3) “If I were standing on the place [spot] where the treasure is I’d see etc etc etc.

    The first statement speaks to a clue or clues that once discovered has a searcher go in confidence where as the second suggest further clues which allows the searcher to go directly or precisely to the treasure with confidence.

    And the last one actually reveals a vision of that final specific location.

    That’s it

  24. Passenger says:

    Those are all pretty standard. The most important thing you could discover is why your name is relevant. Use the books. As you may infer, going in confidence means detailed information. Despite what Fenn alludes to, the Poem is a cipher, however unconventional. Get all C-grades and wear a smile going home.


    • Eiseley says:

      Passenger, what do you mean by, “why your name is relevant.”

      Forrest almost always refers to the person who asked the question, by name?

      Is it the general belief of the searchers on this website, that he works the name into a hint?

      • Pen Ghost says:

        Possibly. At times, someone claims the question and at other times there is no claim. Your name has a purpose and I doubt it was random. After 4 years and getting a chance to look back, I think there are more hints that non-hints in just about everything. I also think the hints are meaningless in a forward look than in the good ole 20-20 hind sight. Passenger, he says something about “C” but I find he is too picky to consider anything other than “A”. Every day of life should carry a smile. IMO

  25. Jake says:

    He doesn’t say “carry” a smile, or they will “have” a smile or grin… he chooses his words carefully. He said “wears” to play with us all in the open. It will make sense when it’s revealed

  26. Madesquare says:

    I like the essay where Eiseley (not you, Eiseley) thinks some poor girl is a Neanderthal-

  27. Iceman says:

    To find the treasure you must make a series of conjectures and validate/invalidate them as you move through each clue. There is no other way to find the treasure short of dumb luck.

    • Buckeye Bob says:

      That’s a good way to put it.
      I strongly suggest reading the books, the Scrapbooks (at Dal’s), and the “Words” (found here at Jenny’s).
      That’s where I think the foundation for our conjectures can be more useful to us.
      And don’t forget imagination.

    • Jdiggins says:

      Much like combing through the greatest unsolved mysteries/theories of the 20th century…

  28. Jdiggins says:

    No one

    ….in the earlier days of 1900’s, when referring to a someone, or a somebody, they would say
    A body…

  29. C says:

    I believe I’ve solved the poem. But what if someone else has solved it and retrieved the treasure chest? Don’t want to give my solve away just yet but I will say if your solve doesn’t lead you to a place where all your clues are obvious then you should rethink it. C

  30. Sparrow says:

    I just love the Eiseley Brothers. That song “You make a great pot roast so logically I love you” is one of their best ever.

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