Review of Facts on Forrest Fenn’s The Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt

forrest fenn treasure hunting

Searching for Forrest’s Treasure

The last few weeks, I have seen the treasure hunt community experience a flurry of activity.  Much of this stir was the result of those involved in The Thrill of the Chase being chased itself by media concerning the accident (and death) of Paris Wallace.  This heartbreaking incident happened while Mr. Wallace was searching for Forrest Fenn’s hidden chest of treasures along the Rio Grande river in New Mexico.

The tragedy gained wide attention and spurred questions as to whether the hunt for Forrest Fenn’s treasure should end or continue.  There were a few who felt Forrest Fenn’s treasure hunt was to blame for the death of Wallace, and so called on Forrest to end the Chase by retrieving the chest himself.  However, an over exceedingly amount of people deeply considered the issues, and came to the conclusion the treasure hunt itself is not responsible for accidents which occur during the Chase, so the search for Forrest Fenn’s treasure should persist. It is the belief by many that the Thrill of the Chase is inspirational and beneficial.

An unofficial survey, which was conducted and shared on the Facebook page of New Mexico Search and Rescue, a group with some members who actually feel the Treasure Hunt should be called off, provided support for the above stated feeling that the Treasure Hunt should continue. The results might have surprised the SAR because of the overwhelming support shown to Forrest Fenn and his Treasure Hunt.  The numbers revealed almost 90% of the 475 voters felt the hunt should go on because the Treasure Hunt wasn’t felt at fault for lost life.  A few were unsure. While only another few felt it should end.

I stated my personal opinion which was quoted in a New York Times article:

“Jenny Kile, who runs one, Mysterious Writings, sends her “heart and prayers” to Mr. Wallace’s loved ones, but fiercely defends the merits of the mystery.

“There are tragedies and risks in everything we do,” she said. “And although authorities and other disparaging people want to point the finger, ‘The Thrill of the Chase’ is in no way the blame for loss of life or accidents which happen during the chase. Most people understand this.

“I believe the greater tragedy of life is not living it,” she said. “It is more harmful NOT to encourage people to chase dreams and not to encourage them to go live an extraordinary life filled with adventure and fun.”

I feel to say the Thrill of the Chase is responsible for such tragedies is simply not factual.

This opinion, of not just my own, has many going back to ask ‘what are the facts’ of the Treasure Hunt, and how can we all be more careful. It seems the best safeguard for any future accidents happening during the Chase is to not only review the facts given to us by Forrest Fenn himself, but to hunt with preparedness and safety- which too has always been part of the hunt.   While accidents may still occur, as in any and all things we do, it is never wrong to go over certain known measures to decrease potential mishaps.

For a list of safety and hunting preparedness guidelines (specific for Forrest Fenn treasure hunt), please read the Safety Guide on Finding Forrest Fenn blog by ‘Wolf’.  This guide is created by a person with over 28 years of experience in SAR, and he offers a definite must read.

Basically, though, if where you plan to search is in any way considered abnormally dangerous, you should seriously rethink your location and don’t go.

Forrest Fenn offered the following Safety Tips within this post here on site which is a must read as well: Featured Question with Forrest Fenn and The Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt: Know your Limits.

not here

Rio Grande Gorge (treasure not here!)

Recently on another site (Dal’s blog), Forrest added a few more ‘Facts’ about the hunt.  They are as follows:

The treasure chest is not under water, nor is it near the Rio Grande River. It is not necessary to move large rocks or climb up or down a steep precipice, and it is not under a man-made object.

Please remember that I was about 80 when I made two trips from my vehicle to where I hid the treasure.

Please be cautious and don’t take risks.

I think, considering Forrest has stated ‘I made two trips from my car in one afternoon’ in questions with Forrest (6/19/14), and from multiple other comments he has made about not being in a treacherous area, that it is a fact to say,

*If you know where the Treasure Chest is hidden (by correctly following and understanding the Poem), you should be able to safely retrieve the treasure within one afternoon. There is no need for taking extraordinary risks.

From a collection of facts on a previous page here on this website, Forrest Fenn Treasure Facts, here is a quick rundown of some other known facts:

*Searchers should not go where an 80-year-old man, with a heavy gold laden treasure chest, wouldn’t go.

*The treasure is not in a dangerous place.

*The Treasure is not in a mine, cave, or tunnel.

*The treasure is hidden in either New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, or Wyoming.

*The treasure is at least 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe.

*The treasure is hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains between 5000 and 10,200 feet sea level.

*The treasure is not hidden in a grave yard.

*There is no need to dig up old outhouses. The treasure is not associated with any structure.

*Only Forrest Fenn knows where the treasure chest is hidden.

*Each word in the poem is deliberate.  Forrest has said it took him 15 years to write it and he felt like an architect when doing so.

*The Poem alone acts like a map to direct you to where the treasure is hidden, however, there are ‘hints’ sprinkled in the stories of The Thrill of the Chase to help you understand the poem.

*Forrest has said a person should read the poem over and over again, and if that person deciphers the first few clues, Forrest says he could find the treasure chest.   Nothing about finding the treasure chest will be accidental.

*Forrest has said, Where Warm Waters Halt is not a dam.  It means something else.

*Excellent research materials to decipher the Poem are the book (The Thrill of the Chase, Google Earth and/or a good Map

There are a multitude of other things stated by Forrest Fenn available here on this website which can guide a searcher to realize the hunt for the treasure is to be an safe, fun, and adventure of a lifetime.

Those and other interesting Links about The Thrill of the Chase can be found in the dropdown menu above or here.


forrest fenn jenny kile

Sitting with Forrest Fenn

Below is a video on Forrest Fenn Facts:



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23 Responses

  1. Spallies says:

    Thank you Jenny!

  2. Jeremy P. says:

    This is excellent, Jenny. Thank you for posting it!

  3. Jennifer Kile says:

    Thanks….it is long overdue….but I’ve only now had time to write something up…..

  4. Thomas says:

    Thank you Jennifer for all you do to keep this going.

  5. Jdiggins says:

    Thanks Jenny, I don’t know where you find the time! 🙂

  6. pdenver says:

    Thank you for putting this together, Jenny. I greatly appreciate it.

  7. larry says:

    has forrest been back to the site to see anyone has found the treasure?

  8. Freddie says:

    Thanks Jenny for all you do–you’re awesome.
    Hopefully folks listen

  9. JC1117 says:

    An excellent compelation, Jenny…

    …and Forrest’s new safety rules should keep a lot of folks safer…and drier. (Dryer?)

    Thanks a lot!

  10. Desertphile says:

    A fine article; thank you.

  11. Seannm says:


    As always, well done!


  12. JDA says:

    Thanks Jenny – Clear, concise, to the point and accurate – Thanks again JDA

  13. Lori says:

    If it took 15 years to write the poem that means he knew where he was going to hide the treasure long before he hid it in 2010. That means he knew in 1995 that he was going to hide a treasure and write a poem to tell where it was hid

    • GEYDELKON says:

      Lori, I was going over my notes the other day. You are right about the timeline. Actually, it all began in 1998. So lets say if I stashed away a treasure in 2013 but I wrote the directions of where it is hidden in 2017, then the answer to when I hid it would be 2017.

  14. Strawshadow says:

    Thanks Jennifer,
    As always straight to the point with a colorful flair.

  15. Five-leaf blaze says:

    Let me just say… QUOTED IN THE NYT! That is amazing! And quite the Fenner of the faith I might add. Good job, Jen

    • JC1117 says:

      New York Times!!!

      Eloquently stated, Jenny…again.

      Thank you for your Wonderful and Mysterious Website. 🙂

  16. Pen Ghost says:

    Thanks, be safe, be legal.

  17. Pen Ghost says:

    Where can I find information about ff revered bracelet?

    • Buckeye Bob says:

      That’s spread out quite a bit, Pen Ghost.
      Here’s a searchable database of things FF has said that’s very helpful.

      Maybe you’ll have better luck than me.
      I seem to be stuck in some muck.
      Like a duck to be plucked.
      Maybe I just suck.
      lol, no one ever called me a poet. 🙂

  18. GBM says:

    Does anybody know when Fenn worked for the Dept. of Forestry, which state did he worked, for how long, or any other information would be helpful.

  19. C says:

    I agree with your position pertaining to causality. We live in a country that protects liberty via the Constitution. In my opinion, anyone who is willing to ignore that one pivotal right loses any footing when complaining about other rights being violated. If they don’t want him dead, then go with him. However…. I am a bit bothered when you proclaim Forrest’s responses as fact when nobody has verified it in 7 years… I sent him a clear cut solve that still appears flawless and he told me to come back in the Summer. That isn’t what he told you not is it what he told others. That cuts my confidence in him way down. And he has not responded since. Is the treasure there? Can you provide a reasonable argument that can prove without a doubt that he is telling the truth about this treasure? I will keep trying him, but if this thing continues without acknowledging my concern, I’ll simply post all of my discovery so that nobody else wastes their time. At least tell people that winter is off limits.

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