Featured Question with Forrest: First Clue

oneForrest, you have stated that several searchers correctly identified the first two clues in your poem. Could you tell us how many searchers to your knowledge have correctly identified the first clue correctly? Thanks. ~49 Dollars


No 49, I cannot tell you how many searchers have identified the first clue correctly, but certainly more than several. I cannot imagine anyone finding the treasure without first identifying the starting point, although many seem to be preoccupied with later clues. To me thatโ€™s just expensive folly. f



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70 Responses

  1. Iron Will says:

    but certainly more than several.

    Several: at least 2 but not many.
    More than several: At least 3 or more.


    • The Wolf says:

      True, more than three, but the use of the words “no I cannot tell you” (as if it is too high to count) and “certainly more than several” indicates to me that it is more than likely a lot more than many. 49 dollars, I can’t believe you managed to get him to confess this information, congrats!
      Now the question is, will searchers understand the significance of this or will we continue to search for easter decorations…

      • locolobo says:

        “Now the question is, will searchers understand the significance of this or will we continue to search for easter decorationsโ€ฆ”

        It would seem to be the logical expectation, Wolf, but I’m betting not! ๐Ÿ™‚
        (I expect there will be people who try to change letters and punctuation around though or even attempting to add/remove words)

      • JCM says:

        The Wolf – No searching for easter decorations here… but then, I’m not the “crafty” type.

        This answer seems to hold very little significance to people as the “discussions” on this question / answer are pretty much non-existent tonight across all the sites. I am good with that; reveals the depth of other searchers. Maybe in a day or two it might start to sink in for some.

        I hope you are treating that TFTW book with kindness.

        Thanks Jenny!!! Keep them coming!

    • puttputt says:

      Puttputtputtputtputtputtputtputtputt ….

  2. A very blurry statement perhaps intended to light a fire under someones @$$ but needs to be clarified to general drab boring calculated unrisky.

  3. Someone should ask him what the first clue is. Would be nice to know that.

    • Indy says:

      I’m pretty sure he has a few thousand requests in his in-box for that first clue, but it doesn’t hurt to keep trying. I think the secret will be to word it in such a way that we trick him into divulging the clue.

      Anyone have any ideas. Someone out there must be smarter than Fenn.

      • The Wolf says:

        “Trick him”??? That would take all the fun out of this quest. He has pretty much pointed out the first clue many, many times with out actually saying it. Yet many still feel there is a need to over complicate it. The clues are fairly straightforward. However the interpretation of the meaning has a trick to it (like all puzzles) but that trick I am sure is fair as well. IMO

        If searchers choose to ignore the obvious, why should Mr. Fenn level the playing field and disadvantage the thousands that have figured it out?

        Note – I refer to the first clue as the actual first clue, not the meaning or location of the first clue.

        • Jed says:

          Dal told someone the first clue was WWWH but sounds to me like many figure the first clue and very few get the starting point right.

        • Indy says:

          You do realize that I’m joking. The odds that we get the first clue from him are about the same odds as tricking him – Zero!

          • ACE says:

            Ahhh… but a fast talking, too much coffee drinking, radio wizard got him to say it’s not in a cave… or did he??? That is the wonders of the masterful Fenn!!!
            If he did slip then I’m sure he’s still tossing in his sleep over that one.
            I know I would be deep thinking can sometimes be a curse.
            Food for thought.

      • Mea says:

        Interesting idea Indy. It does make me pause to wonder if it is in fact the ‘smartest’ searchers who will best hurl the proverbial stone from its sling with such precision, as to crack the poem open.

    • Danny-boy says:

      Seems pretty self explanatory to me….

      “..I cannot tell you how many searchers have identified the first clue correctly…….I cannot imagine anyone finding the treasure without first identifying the starting point, although many seem to be preoccupied with later clues..”

      Don’t over complicate….. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • puttputt says:

      Begin at the begin ning.

  4. lia says:

    Dear Forrest, has anyone mailed you a map showing the land where the treasure resides because they have solved enough of the poem to draw an accurate map? At one time you said you would retrieve the treasure if someone knew its location but could not retrieve it. Will you still honor that?

    • Project Why says:

      What’s he need a map for? …..he already knows how far people have been from it.

      No one will figure out EXACTLY where it is, unless they find it themselves, hence no need for him to help. He knows that.

      1 is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do. Two can be as bad as one, It’s the loneliest number since the number one……….

      • lia says:

        Not necessarily true Project Why. If TC sits on private property which Fenn holds joint title to you Do need permission to search or you would be trespassing; and the treasure belongs to the property owner unless you have permission to take it. It’s a catch 22 for searchers but ff has never denied that it could be on private property or property held in trust with his name buried deeply. An intelligent wise searcher Looks at all scenarios. Fenn is a wily fox and may have decided to take it with him, and let people have fun chasing in the outdoors.

        • E* says:

          Lia – See the comment I just posted over on TTOTC.com about finding “Forrest’s rainbow” on a map. I can’t believe I just read your post about private property and “catch 22”. That made me giggle…


    • ACE says:

      Hahaha I got a map of the entire Rockies…will that do?
      If so I’ll meet you at your residence awaiting your return…haha

  5. astree says:

    “No 49”

    “no” for “nein”

    as i have gone alo nein three

    As well, the two “one” in that first sentence, and talking about clue # 1


    First letter of each sentence



  6. astree says:

    The “NIT” emplhasises the “folly” in his quote.

    Forrest previously used the word “several” as an example of a word, for which people should consult the ditionary.

  7. astree says:

    In this way, he is using the “49” as a range where “more than several” could begin… 4 – 9.

    In crafting his response, “but certainly more than several”, he leaves the possibility that the phrase is referring to the clue, not the number of searchers who have correctly identified the first clue.

  8. astree says:

    ” No 49, I cannot ”

    He empha sizes this by having a 9 and 1 opposing each other on the comma.


  9. astree says:

    .And now for something from left field:

    “Your saying it’s about The Thrill of the Chase, then”

    “Excuse me”


  10. Iron Will says:

    Hey Jenny…did you choose the number “1” clip art for that or did Forrest send that along with the question?

  11. decall says:

    could this be a hint at the 49th parallel?

  12. E* says:

    Forrest – On your “expensive folly” comment:

    โ€œI prefer the folly of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom.โ€

    – Anatole France
    (French Writer, member of the French Academy and Nobel Prize for Literature in 1921, 1844-1924)

  13. Project Why says:

    What’s it matter if someone identifies the first clue? I mean, how will they know it? Because, unless one can figure out the whole thing, …..it is useless. Until the chest is found, the first clue, the second clue, etc, …..means what? This whole thing about “identifying the starting point” or being “preoccupied with later clues”, means what?? Nothing. No one knows for sure what they have.

    “Expensive folly”? Believe me, I’d love to switch places with you Forrest, …..but just with your wisdom and monetarily of course. ๐Ÿ™‚ Like I said, how would we ever even know we have the FIRST CLUE correct unless it’s found? Much less any other. And perhaps “many” THOUGHT they had WWWH identified, thus the reason for being “preoccupied with later clues”? Huh? “Expensive folly.” ……..yeah. So, why don’t you tell everyone where that first clue is and maybe we can quit being so dang foolish and wasting our money?? Or, maybe just narrow it down to a few thousand square miles rather than a few million? ๐Ÿ™‚ “Expensive folly.” How convenient.

  14. Geydelkon says:

    Today, I had to really think about your answer sir. I have made a few comments about it on other blogs, I suppose it pays to be wrong sometimes. I am having a great time thinking my way.


  15. JohnR says:

    A part of the whole.

  16. puttputt says:

    My little ducks are all lined up.
    It was great to be home.

  17. Project Why says:

    That’s the big question now isn’t it:

    Can the ‘starting point’ be identified?

    Sure, one might come up with a theory or a solve, …..but can the [starting point] actually be known before moving forward? Because if it cannot be EXACTLY, then this statement from Forrest Fenn is nothing more than things he’s already said before and just telling us pretty much that we are wasting our money by not knowing the first clue and where to begin. Yeah, no s***!! ๐Ÿ™‚ But if that clue CANNOT be known for sure, without first finding the chest, then to me, I really don’t know why he would even say something like that, …..because then in the end it’s all just a guess.

    For the [starting point] to be identified EXACTLY, …..then the POEM must have that information contained within it. And if it doesn’t, then don’t tell me what “expensive folly” is. But he won’t answer that question will he?? Or whether he took the same route as is outlined in the poem, etc, etc,……….

    There are no mysteries, just some secrets that haven’t been told. He holds all the secrets about this and he doesn’t let very much be made known. Do I believe the chest can be found? Sure. …..but you’re going to have to get very lucky.

    • brad hartliep says:

      I believe it’s possible to locate wwh, but only after you locate (2) .. in other words, you start with a theory, based on your research that indicates this is (1) .. this is (2) .. this is three .. then you travel from (1) to (2) and you see if the theory holds .. does it still make sense .. does it match the poem and the other clues Forrest has provided .. then you do the same thing with three .. once you have (1) (2) and three figured out you go back to (1) and travel the route all the way to three reciting the poem and very I g the route still fits .. that’s the only way I see to follow the trail – back and verify that the prices are still fitting together .. QueBrada

      • brad hartliep says:

        I believe it’s possible to locate wwh, but only after you locate (2) .. in other words, you start with a theory, based on your research that indicates this is (1) .. this is (2) .. this is three .. then you travel from (1) to (2) and you see if the theory holds .. does it still make sense .. does it match the poem and the other clues Forrest has provided .. then you do the same thing with three .. once you have (1) (2) and three figured out you go back to (1) and travel the route all the way to three reciting the poem and verifying the route still fits .. that’s the only way I see to follow the trail – back up and verify that the pieces are still fitting together .. QueBrada

  18. Project Why says:

    Heck, he’s got plenty out of all of this hasn’t he? I mean, for a few hundred thousand or less, he had tens of thousands of people out searching for this thing over 6 states for almost 5yrs now. The book sales from everything besides TTOTC have I’m sure more than paid for it all, …..and if it didn’t then it probably came close. Not that he ever needs it or that had anything to do with it. Collected Works Bookstore has made more than the treasure is worth themselves, …..all given to them by the man. He’s going to be remembered. I think that’s a given. For how long? Well, that’s up to the future to decide. But hasn’t he already taken care of that with the Bells and Jars he buried?

    You tell me where you can get this much back for what he put into it? I just find it all very interesting what he did.

    All I’m saying is, he’s got quite a bit out of all of this hasn’t he? He should be very proud of his accomplishment. And believe it or not, I’m very grateful for the opportunity. Thank you sir!! But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to have an opinion about it or do what I can to narrow it down……….

    ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. new and old says:

    I wonder hmm new growth in an old growth forest?

  20. E* says:

    49 dollers – I think the new and old searcher above,…is alluding to the first stanza possibly containing the the first clue. I have also considered that,…as part of my Forrest’s Plan B solve. Anna and I have discussed what the s’s might be in The Poem (maybe SNAKES???!!!),…but being an afficianado of everything being about the fly fishing,…I mentioned my belief that those s’s might refer to the snakey s’s that a river or creek makes,…when they slow down (I showed topo map examples over at ttotc.com). So the “treasure(s) bold” in the second line, first stanza,…might refer to Forrest putting in,…”alone in there”,…in his waders,…bravely (because the Madison River is running at 1300 cfs,…which it was during my first trip there,…at the end of July 2013). He just didn’t put a comma after the “treasure(s)” (maybe meaning Rainbow and Brown trout?). That would tie in (pun intended) with the third line, “I can keep my secret where”, IMO,…because I think he is using a homonym there,…meaning,…secret WEIR,…meaning what I saw (at the end of August 2013, when the water was low),…to be an S-shaped fish barrier,…beneath the surface,…constructed using natural river rock,…at the confluence of Cabin Creek and the Madison River (which during Spring runoff is also “home of Brown” with a Capital “B”!). Gotta keep those precious Westslope Cutthroat trout away from those lowly (but treasured by Forrest) Rainbow trout,…so they don’t mingle to produce sterile CutBows! I am thinking this Cabin Creek Fish Barrier was completed in 2010,…based on this link:


    Cabin Creek
    This tributary of the Madison flows into the river below Hebgen Dam. It supports a population of native westslope cutthroat trout that is almost genetically pure. We have obtained a $5,000 grant from PPL Montana to begin to build a fish barrier in the creek.Less <

    "The barrier will block upstream migration of rainbow trout from the main stem of the Madison with the goal of rainbow trout from interbreeding with the remnant population of cutthroats. Engineering studies are being completed and the funding of the barrier construction is well underway."

    I even wondered if Forrest had anything to do with building it around that time. What a good cover,…if he wanted to make a couple trips to hide the Bronze Chest at a low water period (like around his 80th birthday at the end of August)! And he did say something about The Poem leading us "to the end of Forrest's rainbow and the treasure",…didn't he? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Note to Forrest – My Grizz has been known to cross the Madison River RIGHT THERE,…in the middle of the day,…so even though kids might enjoy wading around the rocks of that fish barrier,…it might REALLY be a "dangerous place". Beware everyone. :-O

    • E* says:

      49 dollers – And in my Forrest’s Plan B solve,…ALL NINE clues are in the same vicinity,…so I can understand why Forrest might have said that a searcher found the first two clues,…but walked by the other seven. Some of those clues would only be accessible by venturing into the “no place for the meek” (who inherit the EARTH) and “your effort will be worth the cold” (and sometimes DEEP)aquatic parts. And did I mention that one definition of a ‘slick’,…in fly fishing,…is a hidey hole around a boulder for TROUT??? I don’t think anyone would “stumble upon” the Bronze Chest in the Hidey Hole I have in mind for this solve. And Forrest could easily go to this spot in Winter,…I checked,…and also posted photos previously to illustrate that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • anna says:

      E* always appreciate your research pertaining to the Madison River basin. Perhaps this will further assist you. http://www.montanaafs.org/science/species-of-concern/. By the way tell your grizz he’s in good company with cousins along tributaries of the Madison. I can’t decide whether to look down for rattlers or up for Grizzly’s. I call that a dangerous combo – especially since Forrest so nonchalantly commented,..there might be snakes. Don’t get bitten. And Bronze (metal) absorbs heat like rocks would, where snakes like to warm up. My research shows snakes, water and rocky areas, south facing ridges on sage praries are rattler habitat

      • E* says:

        anna – I believe that knowledge is power. And that researching information to counteract your fears is the best thing you could do. It looks like you are doing just that. Good! I have been trying to help you,…by providing info.,…albeit in my own twisted and sometimes humorous way (well, humorous to me, anyway). And I believe also in not being stupid,…as in going “alone in there”,…where there is a known presence of Grizzes and/or Rattlesnakes (like at certain times of the day, ie. dawn and dusk, for the Grizz,…or when it’s hot out for the Rattlesnakes,…who slither around seeking shady spots). Know thine enemy. And waylay a Forrest Ranger to get all the info. you can. That’s part of their job. Or,…you coud try to turn thine enemy into a friend,…by becoming buddies with distant relatives,…like Bart the Bear II,…who may have some influence with thine enemy. My barista has a Red Tail Boa you might like to meet…

        • E* says:

          anna – I remembered I had a dream about a month ago,…about a snake chasing me around a very nice hotel room,…with a Southwestern feel. I climbed on top of a tall armoire to get away from it. I asked that barista what kind of snake it might be,…giving him a detailed description. Then I found the picture of it later. It was an Arizona Mountain Kingsnake,…and it EATS RATTLERS!!!:


          It’s good to have experienced search buddies. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • E* says:

          anna – Correction: the Grizz meanders around,…lazy and slow,…seeking a shady spot (ie. in the tall grass under a tree),…when it’s hot,…while the Rattler LIKES to bask in the sun, ie. on rocks then. Wouldn’t it be great if Bart the Bear II could teach the other Grizzes to EAT the Rattlesnakes??? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. Lupe says:

    Hi Jenny,

    I was wondering if you could ask Forrest for an update as to how many clues have been identified correctly. Last I heard was 4 but that was a while back and I’m wondering if anyone has gotten any closer with all the talk about “a dark horse” early this season.

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

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