Featured Question with Forrest Fenn and The Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt: It’s a Map

thrill of the chase treasure huntHi Fenn,

I’ve read your wonderful books and they didn’t help me one iota. The poem with your precious 9 clues is ambiguous, which means absolutely worthless in my opinion. I don’t think the bronze box can be found using the information that is currently available. I have arm chaired this thing to death. Why don’t you give me something I can chew on?

Thanks for nothing, Outta Here


Well Mr. Outta There, I will give you something to chomp on.

Stop arm chairing that thing to death and get out in the trees where the “box” is, but before you go, look at the poem as if it were a map, because it is, and like any other map, it will show you where to go if you follow its directions. f



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



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124 Responses

  1. Sparrow says:

    Thanks Forrest–and thanks Jenny. Thanks so much for writing your “absolutely worthless” and “ambiguous” poem. 🙂

  2. Wow it’s hammertime that left me no choice

  3. Snyder says:

    WHY WHY WHY?????
    I thought you were done with your soap box???

  4. The Count says:

    I posted this awhile ago as a interpretation of the poem and it feels a little more valid today then when I posted it:

    If I asked a native American directions how to get somewhere a 1000 years ago he would explain using the natural features around, which may very well be valid today and a thousand years from now.

  5. JC1117 says:

    “…get out in THE TREES where the ‘box’ is…”

    I knew it. See? I knew if I hung around long enough I’d see the Ol’ Slugger slip up and reveal something substantial.



    Now to find where those trees are…

    Thanks? Yes…Truly… Forrest and Jenny…and Outta There.

  6. Mindy says:

    Lol…I love this thing a whole bunch of iotas. 🙂

  7. LMN says:

    Mr. Mapsmith,

    If you repeat yourself enough times, maybe more than -one person- will actually follow your advice.

  8. 23kachinas says:


    Always charming us along…like a pickup line but it’s always a circle instead of a line. Very clever!

  9. cynthia says:

    Is this a real question from a frustrated searcher? Hmmm, or is Forrest throwing out a couple hints here? I sent him my solve to the poem, and I believe it is, indeed, solvable. And I thought all along it described a pathway using geologic formations but like he has said a million times, you have to find the correct “where warm waters halt.” And I think I finally found it…I mean boots-on-the-ground found it…tomorrow I will find out one way or the other if it is the correct one. And I definitely will be “in the trees.”

  10. My next stop might have to be Joplin lol…

  11. litterateone says:


    That sound you hear, beyond that of bubbles popping, are the cries of a thousand searchers looking “outside the box”.


    • locolobo says:

      LOL!! Why, Sean??

      It appears that he is just giving common sense advice:

      ….Look at the map and plot the course to your destination, before leaving….sounds like good advice to me!…..

      “before you go, look at the poem as if it were a map, because it is, and like any other map, it will show you where to go if you follow its directions.”

      Good Luck to Ya, Litterateone 🙂

      • litterateone says:


        It was never about luck, but thanks anyways. 🙂


        • Hear me all says:

          litterateone/Litter81/Seannm – If you burn F’s book and expect to be the kind of positive searcher that finds the chest, it seems like a stretch. With that kind of behavior it’s unlikely that all the luck in the world would lead you to the chest. All IMO.

          • LitterateOne says:

            Hear me all,

            Sorry, but burning a book, being a positive person or dame fortune herself will have absolutely no relevance on who is capable of solving and recovering indulgence, and to think otherwise is not just a stretch, but a pure fallacy.

            It will however, take a lot of mettle, and that I have plenty of.

            So good luck to you, my friend.


            • Hear me all says:

              LitterateOne – I’m going to have to disagree with you. I think you will be shocked when you find out how much you didn’t know.

              The answers I already know.

              • nmc says:

                A lot of folks will be shocked to learn they didn’t know as much as they thought they did.

              • LitterateOne says:


              • Seannm says:

                Hear me all,

                If you already know the answers and have that proof, then I’m sure a lot of us all will be shocked.


                • Hear me all says:

                  Seannm – Instead of prancing around and stirring the pots on the various forums, you would be better off working on the poem. So many think they have worked on the poem but they haven’t even begun.

                  The poem is the only way to the treasure chest yet so many spend most of their time chatting on the forums as if the box was in there.

    • LitterateOne says:


      Still don’t believe me, lol. Get back in the box and keep it simple, simplify, if you can.


  12. Mindy says:

    How can you go to the trees “where the box is,” if you don’t know where you’re going?

    He just told us the poem is the map that will tell you where the treasure is…if you follow the instructions.

    You can have the right and good map before you even get up from your “arm chair.” 🙂


    Oh and “iota” = “I outta” 🙂

  13. JDA says:

    Thanks so much for the post Forrest. Seems pretty direct to me…Follow the map, which is the poem. Look “in the wood” – in the trees. JDA

  14. Jake Faulker says:

    “if you follow its directions”

    So, what are the directions?
    Do we start where it says to begin?
    Do we stop the quest when it says to cease?

    I certainly think so & follow the directions & path in between.

    Thanks for the obvious…

    • Thomas says:

      Hey Jake, I was going on a bus to Bozeman, from Missouri to Bozeman on the 9th , but not enough money to get around. You should email me so I could email you back, I may not be able to go, and you may want to hear what I may know, or not, don’t lose focus, but again email me at thomasconrad75@yahoo. com

  15. Bailey says:

    Are maps any good at playing poker? . . . . Nope, they always fold!

    What country do pirates always have a map of? . . . . ARRRRgentina!

    Thanks folks, I’ll be here all week. Try the veal, and don’t forget to tip your waiter.

  16. C.M.R. says:

    Hey f, one question we all need to know, is it buried? y

    • tighterfocus says:

      I don’t need to know. But I speak only for myself. I never claimed to speak for all of us.
      C.M.R., are you listening?

      By the way, I don’t believe the TC is buried. I think it’s covered — at least partly — with one
      or more rocks, which one could lift with (leather-) gloved hands. I think the rocks have some
      sharp edges.

  17. Jdiggins says:

    It takes me more time than most to get the gist of things, but this seems pretty straightforward. Still, I will reserve assumption and simply say,

  18. randawg says:

    Mr Fenn is a pre-digital era Renaissance man living in the 21st century. Though he uses technology like the internet out of necessity, he would not create a treasure puzzle that could be solved entirely at home by using the internet. Wouldn’t that be contrary to his plan of getting people off their couches and out into the fresh air and sunshine? I think I have learned a little about Mr Fenn’s philosophies during my time researching the Chase and I can only assure you of one indisputable fact:
    The one who finds the chest will have to visit the Rocky Mountains. Period.


  19. Spallies says:

    Jenny did you realize that map is in I think Russian??? Did you perhaps think Forrest thinks someone is Russian things lol 🙂

    • 23kachinas says:

      Tuva or Bust! It’s a Richard Feynman thing.

      • JC1117 says:

        I like to sing in the shower.

        A little while back my wife got really angry when she thought that I wasn’t alone in the shower.

        She was surprised to learn that I was alone in there…the shower I mean.

        I was just practicing my Tuvan throat singing.

  20. Iron Will says:

    I have a big feeling that the binocular guy is going to be watching the end of the golf tournament next Thursday afternoon

  21. lifesablaze says:

    Dearly Beloved, we are are gathered here today to join these words in holy matrimony.

    One of the precious nine.
    The crescent mined and married
    By the tantalizing vine.

    The infant will be guarded
    From Time’s gnawing tear.
    Sparkle drops decanted
    Three nines fine. – DA

  22. Friend says:

    Mashed potatoes, gravy on the side. 😀

  23. 23kachinas says:

    Is the poem is distracting you? Yes.

  24. Chesney says:

    I love this one! 🙂 Thank You Ms. Kile and Mr. Fenn, for all that you do!

  25. astree says:

    This one’s a beaut for a chompion.

    Years ago, Forrest said that the poem is your map, and more recently told us to read the poem like you’re trying to put an X on it. Seems very consistent and relevant to any seeking the trove.

    I think it’s how you view those words that dictates where you will direct your efforts in this hunt.

  26. pdenver says:

    Thank you for the “Featured Question,” Jenny, Outta Here, and Mr. Fenn.

  27. Brad Hartliep says:

    Well, to be honest, when there’s only one native speaker of Texas Hill Country Bubbarylic, sometimes you have to take a detour or 17 down a few dead end FM’s to figure out the next corner that you just flew passed. So .. maybe his or her map was accidently printed in archaic Creole and there’s some translatin’ that ain’t quite made it across the Sabine Pass and all the way into Bijou La Batre ..


  28. Alsetenash says:

    Makes sense. It is the only way to actually find it.

  29. Nate Beck says:


    Well, that is a very snippety and harsh kind of “question”! You truly have alot of grace Mr. Fenn!

    • Strawshadow says:

      That he does Mr. Beck, just remember when a soldier is staring off in the distance, look away. Don’t know why that is always in the back of my mind.

  30. Buckeye Bob says:

    As soon as I make sure my elderly mom is back on her meds and doin’ good, I’m outta here. Every once in a while she gets it in her head that she doesn’t need them anymore, and then some issues pop up. Like falling down, and her necklace doesn’t register a fall sometimes because she’s able to partly catch herself and not have the jarring fall.

    So understand, Forrest, that sometimes we might be arm chairing it only because we can’t get away.

    I’m hopeful for leaving on Saturday.

    Here’s an old riddle:
    “How far can you walk into the woods?”
    The answer is to the middle, from where you begin to walk outta the woods.

    For anyone who’s going to rush out there for BOTG, be careful. The treasure is not anywhere an 80 year old couldn’t get. I’m sure it’s in a pretty safe place to get to. But take your bear spray or fly swatters, whatever the case may be.

  31. JC1117 says:

    I was just thinking… :/

    In honor of Star Wars Day…which is today…May…the 4th.

    “May the fourth be with you.” Get it? (chuckle chuckle…snort)

    Somebody who has Photoshop skills should do a little meme with Admiral Ackbar and his famous…”It’s a TRAP!” scene.


    Except Admiral Ackbar is now holding a copy of Forrest Fenn’s Poem and saying…”It’s a MAP!”


    I’d do it myself…but I’m lacking in Photoshop skills.

    However…my light saber/bo staff skills are not lacking. As you can clearly see…


  32. Strawshadow says:

    Thanks Jenny, Outta Here There and Mr. Fenn,
    A good map and don’t miss the exit lest you may be snake-bitten.

  33. Snyder says:

    Thank you Jenny and forests.
    When I get nervous I chew on my fingernails.
    Other than that, ” I am chomping at the bit.”
    Life is going way to fast. But time is like a sloth on race day.
    Now that I know how to read your map, it should not take long???
    Sending good wishes to all searchers. Be safe, good luck to all.
    And one thing I have to keep reminding myself.

  34. the answer is history,the past,its so very important,it gives us the knowledge to pass on to the next generation,lest we forget.to touch and see,hear the stories passed down,gives us vision ,wisdom,to learn and to think what it would of been like back then,if you walked in their shoes,we each think different,so we need to walk in that other persons shoes to understand.

  35. Mindy says:

    An iota comes from the word “jot,” which with “tittle” is often used in the Bible. Jots and tittles are the dots over i’s and the cross on a small t. Jots and tittles meant “the least of anything.”

    Now what has Forrest said about knowing things not worth knowing? And knowing a little isn’t an excuse for not learning more? And the least is better than nothing?

    It didn’t help Mr. Outta one iota. Then F replies that there are 9 clues.

    Maybe 9 iotas. Nine jots. Nine periods. Nine stops. Nine dots. Nine points.

  36. Jdiggins says:

    How bout that Rosetta Stone? Fascinating in and of itself, but the interesting tie in is the fight from the church during its somewhat lengthy encryption. “No!” They say, “…so it is written…” History is what it is. Well, no, it is not, for there is always learning to be done. Fascinating, Holmes, quite fascinating a tale if I don’t say…

    • Jdiggins says:

      Also makes sense why last was “walk away” . Almost worked, but not when there is so much passion and belief. Giving up is the easy way. 🙂

      • Alsetenash says:

        Perhaps when you’re going to win either way, peaceful is the choice best suited. Sometimes the appearance of losing is how the situation is won. Sometimes people can’t see the forest for the trees. Ignorance is only problematic with the egos causal of being ignorant to one another. Just my poetic view of it ,perhaps notwithstanding:)

      • “Take heed lest passion sway Thy judgement to do aught, which else free will Would not admit”

  37. Point Foot says:

    Definition of chomp- fret impatiently.

    Who among us isn’t anxiously waiting impatiently? Who among us hasn’t gotten it wrong before?

    No one in my family believes I can solve it anymore. I tell them their expectations were too high before and faith too little now. And finding it really isn’t the point. It is the adventure, the chance, living on the edge all while enjoying the wilderness.

    This year I’ve planned one solo trip as a birthday gift to myself. If I plan any more this year to the same exact place people start to think I don’t have any marbles left and start planning interventions.

    It will be my 9th trip to see if I figured out the 9 clues. I wait anxiously and patiently for the snow to melt. I want my one trip of the season to count.

    Blessings to all!

  38. SL says:

    Curious….when attempting to interpret the Poem, if one should begin reading from the bottom…..up.

    • pdenver says:

      I have tried doing such, as well as, reading from right to left, bottom up. I’m curious if anyone feels this would be messing with the poem.

      • Alsetenash says:

        pdenver. In my opinion I don’t think what you say is messing with the poem. Would you watch a new movie in slow rewind from the end to the start and understand the movie? Would you understand the totality of the movie if you started watching the movie from at the last 10 minutes first? Could you draw a fully complete understandable map of a country by walking from one end of a foreign country to the other end and around? I think what he means by not messing with the poem is such these examples, well sort of. Messing ourselves up more so than the poem itself. He wrote it as a map writing it from left to write as if he is walking from point A to Z-it is a map itself. No ciphers, codes ect ect. I think messing with the poem other than reading it from left to right in contiguous order would just confuse us. I think that is what he means. The poem itself is what it is; we could just mess ourselves up otherwise. Just my thoughts on this.

        • pdenver says:

          Thank you, Alsetenash. I greatly appreciate it.

          • Alsetenash says:

            I myself have looked at it all the ways you said too. My solve didn’t seem right until when I read it all the way to the end; then did I realize the potential of the start justified. The end justifies the start but I wouldn’t have thought so until at the end I realized it. I didn’t conclude the start until the end and the end until it showed the flow from the start. Weird! LOL . IMO .I hope to search soon.

      • Twingem says:

        I don’t think so pdenver. I believe the first stanza, and two of the four lines in the first stanza = the ending location. Then again, I’m a bit cray-cray by some folks estimation. 🙂

  39. SL says:


    Were you able to read my theory about the Red Desert over at Dal’s awhile back? I don’t understand The Flyer changing a location for his final resting place he first spoke about:

    ” I would walk out into the desert.”

    • pdenver says:

      Hello SL. Gosh, I’m trying to remember. I believe I may have, but, unfortunately, I’m having a hard time remembering what I read. I seemed to have misunderstood the poem once more.

    • Andrew Jef says:

      He didn’t change the location for his final resting place. It’s (still) in a desert.
      Look up the word “desert”.

  40. lifesablaze says:

    I am trying to imagine What it would be like to forgive on a universal scale and How might we find that path? Maybe When our tears stop we will find Where the path begins….Asif…:)


  41. DDC says:

    “A fool thinks something hard is easy – a wise man thinks something easy is hard” by John Churchton Collins. For all the haters – breathe in, breathe out….repeat. Just a thought for where you should start. For everyone else…cudos!!! Onward! It’s fun to read your blogs. Always remember to be kind to the Earth & fellow searchers along the way. Being destructive wasn’t the intent of the chase….so I doubt that it will help you. Plus, it’s just wrong.

  42. Kedar's Mom says:

    Hey sweet f, can you tell us something we don’t already know, like how close someone may have been in real numbers, c’mon you did it for the 200/500 people, maybe someone could convince their group to go retrieve It sooner rather than waiting. : )

  43. Belle says:

    Head scratcher!!

  44. Jeremy P. says:

    Maybe Forrest watches Toby Younis and Shelley Carney’s vlog, and had a comment on this one in particular from May 3rd (day before this).

    Titled: “Fenn, the Pilot. Fenn, the Architect. His Treasure Poem is Not a Map.”

    • Jeremy P. says:

      In Toby’s defense, he was simply making the point that the poem probably describes a three-dimensional space, and that Forrest probably thinks in three-dimensions like fighter pilots and architects do, and that maps are two-dimensional.

      Toby, if you read this, I love your videos, sir. Are you and Shelley an item? There’s some chemistry there for sure 🙂

      I’m sorry to say, though, that there are lots of examples of maps that are three-dimensional. Even in paper form, maps that show elevation or topography are three-dimensional representations.

      • BradHartliep says:

        Forrest’s map isn’t three dimensional, but a 3 dimensional thinking person can look at a topo map and see the space 3 dimensionally. An artist can take a flat piece of paper and create a drawing of a mountain that looks 3 dimensional and tricks the brain into seeing it 3 dimensionally, even we know it isn’t ..


  45. OH! says:

    The poem being a map to find the bronze box, this I understand but the rest is like Heinz Ketchup and it’s 57 varieties. To many options to chose from when it comes to maps makes for confusion.

  46. Jake says:

    Hey everyone… I need your help, or at least one person’s maybe. Lol. I have come up with a really really good solve. Double meanings and I know I can share something that nobody on the blogs talks about that I have figured out. My problem is with ff stating on Dal’s blog that it is not “under water”… this is what my blaze was. I found a stone pyramid built beneath the surface of a small mountain lake, I believe this was part of the blaze, each clue has a double meaning or “backup plan”… remember he wanted it to last a long time so if one landmark somehow went away, he would have a backup. I am stuck on look quickly down… my thought before was the shoreline, but now I need another head to overthink it with me. I have nobody I can talk it over with to really discuss in detail. I know most searchers hold onto their solves for dear life, but I want to find indulgence to get fenn the credit he deserves. And I promise, I’m not wasting anyone’s time or trying to get their solve. Mine is legit and IMO is very very close to the correct solve… I know JDA and others are onto it a little but most don’t see what I do. Let me know. I mean, how fun would it be to have it found so Forrest can laugh and tell Peggy when he snuck away to hide it. I bet that conversation would be a funny one! 🙂 God Bless!!

    • Chesney says:

      When and where did he say it isn’t “under water”?

    • pdenver says:

      Hi Jake. I would believe in what Mr. Fenn has stated in “Safely First.”

    • Ramona says:

      Jake, since you’re asking and I also really, really want the tc found, I’m just going to say it. You’re solve is not correct. Indulgence is not under water and the blaze is exactly what a blaze is, a trail marker. I know you have a good solve. There are so many but only one is correct. Give the poem some more thought and good luck to you.

  47. Chesney says:

    Then I must be way off! Thank You.

  48. Jake says:

    I know what you’re saying Ramona, but you don’t know for sure. Nobody does except ff… So why separate under and water? Why not just say it’s not underwater? Why cause more people to speculate and take risks unless… But alas, idk for sure. But I will be safe and travel in a group with bear spray, that I do know. Looking tomorrow. God bless all! 🙂

  49. Feathers-n-Glue says:

    No one will ever know how much it all hurt.

  50. Chesney says:

    It’s not under water…. it’s in water! If I am correct in my place!

  51. Jdiggins says:

    By golly, I just reviewed OLD notes and discovered I had my path mapped out, so to speak. It’s all there, been there, in front of me the whole time while I’ve been lumbering about feeding on scraps…glad I did all that work…hope it pays off. I am going to map the poem, then wait…
    ..that sucks. 🙂

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