I realize fact is a pretty strong word. Some people may not think it is fact Forrest Fenn has hidden a million dollar (or more) treasure. However, since I choose to believe Forrest Fenn is a person of integrity and not one to mislead, I believe what he says, and this, then, is how I am determining what is ‘fact’ or not.
The facts are:
The poem, if followed precisely (and understood correctly) will lead a person to the location of the hidden treasure. Nothing more is said to be required.
The treasure is ‘hidden somewhere north of Santa Fe’. This is written in the book. However, Forrest later said, ‘hidden in the Rocky Mountains’ specifically.
Also written in the book is the statement that there are subtle clues sprinkled in the stories of The Thrill of the Chase (TTOTC). In a radio interview (around 21:20) he said these help with the nine clues in the poem.
Forrest says when he wrote the poem he wasn’t playing any games. The poem is straightforward. He also said it took him 15 years to write it, and changed it many times. He felt like he was an architect writing the poem and each word is deliberate.
If a person reads the poem over and over again and deciphers the first few clues, he says they can find the treasure chest.
Only one person alive, Forrest Fenn, knows where the chest is hidden.
In Six Questions with Forrest Fenn, he says nothing about the finding of treasure will be accidental.
In Six Questions More with Forrest Fenn he says, “Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few on in tight focus with a word that is key.”
On February 4th, 2015 in Six Questions Yet Again with Forrest Fenn, Forrest said that, ‘nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve.’
The clues given on the Today Show are fact:
March 1st: “The treasure is hidden higher than 5000 feet above sea level.”
March 27th: “No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure.”
May 3rd: “The treasure is not in a graveyard.”
June 28th: “The treasure in not hidden in Idaho or Utah.”
Forrest Fenn is known to have said a few other things about the treasure:
It is not in Nevada.
It is more than 300 miles west of Toledo
It is at least 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe
It is also not in Canada according to the 9/17/2013 article: 5 Million Rocky Mountain Treasure Waiting to be Found. (that 5 million amount is a rumor/not fact) Plus the map, showing the search area in Too Far to Walk (published fall 2013), does not include Canada highlighted.
There is a clue in the newer book (Too Far to Walk) that Forrest says he didn’t know was in there until after it was printed. He says it is an important one if you can find it. (some believe it was the ‘not in Canada’ clue of the map)
The treasure is not on top of a mountain…… (but may be close to the top)
The treasure is hidden below 10,200 feet
Update 5/16/2014: On Dal’s site, scrapbook 68, is the following quote. It informs us that WWWH (where warm waters halt) of the poem does NOT relate to any dam.
“Many searchers have thought that warm waters halt at a dam because water being released through flues near the bottom of the dam is much colder than water on the surface of the lake. I have discussed around that subject with several people in the last few days and am concerned that not all searchers are aware of what has been said. So to level the playing field to give everyone an equal chance I will say now that WWWH is not related to any dam.” ff
This article has Forrest saying “There have been some who have been within 500 feet because they have told me where they have been. Others have figured the first two clues and went right past the treasure and didn’t know it.” The article also includes him saying how he prefers to say the treasure is hidden, instead of buried, because he does not want to give that as a clue.
(Update 12/31/2014- Forrest answered a question providing an end of 2014 summary for the hunt- He said again, “no one has given me the correct solve past the first two clues.”)
(Update 5/5/2014) The following two quotes are from Forrest. They were posted on Dal’s site in April 2014. They seem like great points to keep in mind when trying to discover the location of his treasure.
“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? It’s not what they say on the blogs that may be significant, it’s what they whisper. f”
“Some searchers overrate the complexity of the search. Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, acre feet, bible verses, Latin, cubic inches, icons, fonts, charts, graphs, formulas, curved lines, magnetic variation, codes, depth meters, riddles, drones or ciphers, will not assist anyone to the treasure location, although those things have been offered as positive solutions. Excellent research materials are TTOTC, Google Earth, and/or a good map.” f
The following thoughts may be more my opinion: so I preface it with ‘I think’ it is fact that the finding of the treasure should in no way include ‘dangerous’ territory or actions; as in doing something that risks your life or requires special skills or equipment (a flashlight is not ‘special equipment’ but, scuba gear is, (my opinion). I base this from Forrest saying to go only where a 79 or 80 year old man can go and that a child could pick it up (that is if he can lift 42 lbs.).
Although I think many may put the physical aspect to the 79 or 80 year old statement, I think it could also include the wisdom of a man of that age. Forrest hid the chest in a ‘safe’, but ‘Thrilling’ location.
What’s in the Chest?
The treasure consists of (written in the book) “gold coins, mostly old American eagles and double eagles, along with lots of placer nuggets from Alaska. Two weigh more than a pound each and there are hundreds of smaller ones. Also included are pre-Columbian gold animal figures and ancient Chinese human faces carved from jade. The different objects in the cache are too numerous to mention one by one, but among them are a Spanish 17th century gold ring with a large emerald that was found with a metal detector, and an antique ladies gold dragon coat bracelet that contains 254 rubies, six emeralds, two Ceylon sapphires, and numerous small diamonds.”
In the book he also mentions the chest contains; a Tairona and Sinu Indian necklace from Columbia that consists of thirty-nine fetishes carved from quartz crystal, carnelian, jadeite, and other exotic stones. Plus, two cast gold objects (jaguar claw and frog).
A small silver bracelet that has 22 turquoise disc beads is known to be in the chest, as well. It is this item Forrest would like to have back and is willing to pay the finder for it. I would think most would just give it to him, though.
These items (along with some others not mentioned) are contained in a Romanesque Lock Box (dated to around 1150 AD) made of Bronze. The treasure chest is 10x10x5 and weighs 42 lbs.
In Featured Question with Forrest, ‘A Secret in the Chest’, Forrest says, “Oops, I forgot, there is one thing in the chest that I have not talked about except to say I don’t want to talk about it. It is something saved especially for the person who solves the clues.”
Many more links concerning thoughts on the treasure: The Thrill of the Chase by Forrest Fenn.
Plus be sure to check out ‘Featured Questions with Forrest’. Here he answers questions from searchers and so there is lots of additional information to be found there.
Feel free to follow/friend me on Facebook, as I will be sharing my thoughts and ideas about this treasure hunt and also others.