Forrest Fenn’s Hint of Riches New and Old

Can the poem line of ‘And hint of riches new and old’ be a hint towards Yellowstone?

Forrest Fenn’s The Thrill of the Chase Poem leads to a fantastic million dollar treasure hidden somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe. I feel so fortunate to be involved in the chase at this early time! When, if the treasure is not found, the future legend of Fenn’s treasure is just beginning.

In Forrest’s recent released book, Too Far to Walk, is a map illustrating the search area.  Showing the Rocky Mountains, it spans over four states, from New Mexico to the Canadian border.  It covers a huge area.  There isn’t any red X marking the spot of the treasure on the Benchmark’s sketch, and so one must decide to begin ‘somewhere’ within this vast range.

Obviously, the starting places are rich.  And even though we have been told to ‘Begin it where warm waters halt’, I often wonder if there isn’t a hint to where this is. Could there be a hint to where approximately a person begins?

There are many seekers which believe ‘warm waters’ of the poem refer to certain streams, lakes, and rivers of New Mexico because that particular term is used by fishing authorities in that state; and so they start scouting out places there. Then there are others who like warm waters to refer to hot springs in the more northern states and so they start in those places.  There are so many possibilities.  These are only two examples, and they lead a person in different directions.  And until the treasure is found, any one theory is as good as another.

While I believe the actual ground search does begin with ‘where warm waters halt’, I feel the first stanza just might ‘hint’ to where these ‘warm waters’ could be.

In a recent Q and A session with Forrest Fenn, he mentioned how words have various meanings. He says in the Moby Dickens Bookshop interview around the 48 mark; “I looked up the meaning of words.  We really don’t know what some of our words mean.  Like what does ‘several’ mean?”  Also in that interview he said he changed the poem many times and states, “it looks like simple words, but I guarantee you I worked on that thing..”

We know the words in the puzzle have been chosen carefully then, and I started to consider the last two lines of the first stanza.  They are:

“I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.”

I am sure ‘secret where’ catches everyone’s attention. And what are ‘riches new and old’. The whole first stanza is one sentence and seems like it could refer to the same ‘place’.  In stories of The Thrill of the Chase and Too Far to Walk, Forrest mentions how he has gone ‘alone’ into Yellowstone.  I know this has been discussed a bit. But what if ‘hint of riches new and old’ could also support ‘Yellowstone’?  What if it could be interpreted as, “I can keep my secret where(place) and hint of Yellowstone”.  I think it’s possible.

Riches can mean abundance, and not only wealth.  What is his chest most abundantly filled with?

The bronze chest that Forrest hid contains lots of gold items.  There are pre-Columbian gold animal figures, gold placer nuggets from Alaska, a Spanish 17th century gold ring (with large emerald), a gold dragon coat bracelet (containing rubies, emeralds, sapphires and small diamonds), and numerous gold coins.  There are other precious items as well, but gold is the most prominent.

This abundance of gold is both ‘new and old’.  His hidden treasure chest includes riches, or lots, of gold. Could Forrest have chosen to use the phrase ‘riches of new and old’ to mask the word gold?  And if this is the case, why?

Since the origin/meaning of the word gold does come from yellow, and Forrest likes researching the meaning of words, I don’t think it is too much of a stretch for the use of gold to suggest a somewhat ‘coded’ or additional meaning of ‘yellow stone’; especially since the stanza seems to be talking about a place.

Pure speculation, but maybe the poem even once used the line, ‘and hint of riches of gold’ to allude towards ‘yellow stone’; but Forrest thought that was too obvious and changed it.  Again total speculation.

So with the above as a thought, I sometimes interpret the first stanza as:

As I have gone alone in there (As I have gone alone to my secret place)
And with my treasures bold (and with the filled chest)
I can keep my secret where  (I can keep my secret hiding spot)
And hint of riches new and old (but hint of gold/Yellow Stone)


As always, only ideas.  I like the thought that Forrest might have provided a hint to a generalized search area, and the place to actually ‘begin where warm waters halt’ (maybe not the one suggested above, but possibly even another).


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11 Responses

  1. Eliza says:

    Hi Jenny-

    About a year ago, on one of the websites devoted to the deciphering of the poem, someone with the screen name Wvtrovergirl proposed a possible interpretation of the phrase “hint of riches” which rang true for me.

    Forrest’s best friend was an artist named Eric Sloane. His real name was Everard Jean Hinrichs. He died in 1985. Perhaps, as a tribute to his late friend, he hid his name in the poem: HINt of RICHeS.



    • sixer/jenny says:

      That is such a neat find. And even if Forrest didn’t purposely put it there (which he very well may have), I bet he loves the thought of it. (I’ll have to mention it to him the next time we chat, and see if he has anything to say about it).

  2. Seeker says:

    An interesting read. The first stanza maybe the most critical of all the stanzas. WHO is I?
    As stated FF worked hard on the poem, looking up words.” I” has had entire books, thesis and lectures on the subject. It basically means; Knowledge of self.
    Some may see the poem itself as directions to the trove. Maybe we should look at the poem as a journey of ” I ”
    in reference to, where did I come from, when did I get here, why did i come and how did I survive?

    We have been told to start at the beginning… Not sure who actually stated “begin it where warm waters halt”
    Most think it came from FF, I’m not sure. I believe he just stated… ‘that’s a good place to start.’ maybe I’m wrong on that.

    For this reason, I believe WWWH and “I” are related and the starting point is with “As I have gone…

    So WHO is I?

    Again, always an interesting read on the topics you have on your blog. Thanks

  3. Djjmciv says:

    It’s not in Yellowstone. This is the unattended clue he wrote in Too Far To Walk.
    In the preface he mentions his trip to Yellowstone “years ago” and then ends by saying he hasn’t been since it is “too far to walk”

  4. Djjmciv says:

    If you need help with how the line is interpreted Ill help. For one, it isn’t correct English. Nobody ever said Forrest was a good writer, and reading his books support this. But this is how the first stanza helps with the clues in the next.

    I keep my secret where
    And hints of riches new and old

    I keep my secret and riches, new and old, where

    Now for the second stanza
    Begin it WWWH
    And take it to the canyon down

    Begin it where warm waters halt and gets taken down the canyon.

    This means look where your halted warm water flows down a canyon.
    If your search area doesn’t have water flowing down your canyon you are at the wrong place

  5. Musstag says:

    I do NOT agree with the interpretation of this >>>>In the preface he mentions his trip to Yellowstone “years ago” and then ends by saying he hasn’t been since it is “too far to walk”<<< to mean the Chest in NOT in YS

    To Me, Regardless of where the Chest is, IMO, He is writing of a 10 miles 3 day fishing trip. He Has Been BACK to YS MANY times since then, Just has not repeated that wonderful 10 mile 3 day trip.

  6. Jenny/sixer says:

    I agree Musstag, he has been back to YS. He says he has in other chapters of TFTW. So why couldn’t he have hidden it there? He certainly could have. Of course he could have hidden it anywhere in Rocky Mountains and I wouldn’t rule any one place out for certain.

  7. Cyrus says:

    The poem gives directions to the treasure, but did FF use a more direct and easier route when
    he hid the treasure?

  8. The Wolf says:

    When I initially read the poem’s words: “Hint of riches new and old” I assumed the new and old treasures are contained within the chest – nothing more. There are nine clues in the poem and most of the other words likely help us with understanding the clues. He said there are hints in his memoir, The Thrill of the Chase but right in the poem he also hints at something. Most searchers may gravitate to the concept that “new and old” hint to New Mexico and maybe Mexico.

    But what if the hint is riches as in “Riches” the name? Richard Weatherill was incorrectly spelled as “Weatherell” by Forrest in his memoir. I wrote about these misspellings in my book Finding Forrest Fenn as sources of aberrations and this one could be hinting about one of the “riches” or Richard Weatherill. Mr. Fenn continually hints of how special his bracelet is in the treasure chest and the bracelet had 22 turquoise beads found at Mesa Verde which were set in silver. There may be a hint in which he said on the Mysterious Writings blog that there was no silver in the chest but what about that important bracelet, it is made of silver? Surely he could not have forgotten about the one thing he wants back. Maybe he doesn’t really want the bracelet back but rather he wants to bring out attention to it or the founder of those beads.

    One other consideration is maybe the word “weather” that is the connection to this Rich.

    Recently on scrapbook 145 he mentioned Dr. Richard Blake and I speculate he is the new Rich. Richard Blake is an expert on the sun. The magnetic poles on the sun swap every 22 years and in that same post he said earlier that gas cost 11 cents. Previously on Mysterious Writings he commented on movies costing 11 cents and he also said movies lie to us but more on that later. It is well know that the sun spot activity on the sun peaks on a 11 year cycle. Could Mr. Fenn’s special spot be related to the sun? The sun is a star as in Dancing with the Stars. The sun creates rainbows at exactly 42 degrees and what about those sun dog type rainbows for those that found all those dog hints interesting.

    One other Rich worth looking at is Baron Von Richthofen. Rich -tho- Fen or the Red Baron has some interesting connections which I will discuss later.

  9. The Count says:

    Very good read Jenny, I always enjoy reading others perspectives on anything chase related. One question that I’ve asked myself all along is if the chest isn’t found for hundreds of years how will the finder look at “riches new and old”? By then everything in the chest could be older than anyone alive. This makes me think he’s not hinting to the treasure but the area it is hidden in.

    • LR says:

      You may be right Count. When I was a child, I watched an episode of The Magic School Bus where they investigated a rotting log. Forrest has mentioned a couple of times to turn over a log and see what’s there. In the episode the log is rotting, but it provides an ecosystem that is rich for many organisms. Certain bugs lay waste to the log, and others eat the waste. This isn’t a solution to a clue, but rather an observation that what is ‘new’ may only be a perception to the person receiving it, old could be viewed in the same way.

      Another example of this could be the term ‘fresh water’. The term fresh hints at something being new, but we all know that Evian is nothing more than prehistoric dinosaur spit.

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