Six Questions More with Forrest Fenn

forrest fenn's bookForrest Fenn continues to challenge all those who seek adventure and excitement to a dare of a lifetime; the discovery of his million dollar treasure chest filled with gold and other valuable jewels.  Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, north of where he lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Forrest’s secreted location of this fantastic cache waits to be found.

Since the release of The Thrill of the Chase in the fall of 2010, people from all over the world have accepted his generous challenge and understand ‘if they can find it, they can keep it!’  A decorative map of the search area is included in Fenn’s most recent book, Too Far to Walk.  And although it doesn’t contain an exact X marking the spot of the bronze chest, I believe the quote at the beginning of the book conveys a bonus of what many are realizing by searching for it:

“Oh, tell me wise sir, Where are the treasures?  And the wise man replied, “Wherever you find them.”

Time is one of the most precious treasures any one has, and I thank Forrest for his giving of this to answer the following Six Questions for us.  I hope you enjoy!


  • 1Q) My previous 6 questions were asked shortly before last year’s February 27th segment of the Today Show. Reporting on your extraordinary treasure hunt, it resulted in an explosion of new seekers from all across the world. What are some of your thoughts about the flurry of activity over the past year?  Did the excitement towards the Chase surprise you in any way? Does it make you think the chest might be found earlier than first thought?

It is interesting to know that a great number of people are out there searching. Many are giving serious thought to the clues in my poem, but only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key. The treasure may be discovered sooner than I anticipated.


  • 2Q) Many incredible, loving, adventurous, and fun stories are being lived and shared because of The Thrill of the Chase. Even though these hopes were in your mind when writing the book and poem, what are you finding most rewarding about them?

One man said he and his brother dug for buried treasures when they were kids in North Carolina but had not spoken in 25 years. He said he read my book and called his brother. Now they are reunited and searching for my treasure. Children have the greatest imagination because their thoughts run free.


  • 3Q) From the first chapter, Toys are Forever, to the last, Mirror on My Wall, your most recent published book, Too Far to Walk, like The Thrill of the Chase, recounts touching stories about your life; tales that as Douglas Preston commented contain ‘million dollar advice and stories on how to lead a fulfilling life.’  Every time I read them, I get this sense of urgency or reminder to ‘ring the bell loudly’(thank-you).  Why was it important for you to write about your experiences and thoughts?  And would you encourage others to write about their own?

After my Thrill of the Chase book was published my Too Far to Walk book begged to be written. It was easy because I just told some stories and illustrated them with photos from my scrap books. I would encourage everyone to write their memoir. The hardest part is sitting down and getting started.


  • 4Q) I feel each person finds himself drawn to a different place; for me it is the beach.  I love the warmth of the sun mixed with a cooling breeze and the humbling feeling I get while looking endlessly out into the ocean and listening to the waves. You mention in The Thrill of the Chase it is the mountains which continue to beckon you, and that they always will.  What is it about the mountains that make them so special for you?  And when did you first realize it?

The mountains are full of activity that fills me with wonder.  One of my earliest recollections as a boy was to turn over a rotting log in the forest and watch as a hundred little critters scurried around trying to decide what to do. It’s nature in its rawest moment. I find solace in the solitude of the trees.


  • 5Q) The meticulous work documented and described in your book, The Secrets of San Lazaro Pueblo, certainly express an appreciation and respect for the past.  You mention, “Each artifact that is not recovered is a book that will not be read.”  What do you hope to yet learn or find there? And while discovering the past, do you feel our modern ways are missing out on earlier enjoyments?

Archaeologists today don’t like to excavate. Their motto is: “Save the Past for the Future.” I think that’s short sighted. For me the future is five minutes from now. We unearthed the only pre-historic kachina dance masks ever found in the Southwest. Archaeologists said they didn’t exist in prehistoric times. So we corrected some misinformation. The past should not have to wait for us any longer.


  • 6Q) With Spring around the corner, the planning and search for your treasure will actively pick up again.  I want to thank-you for sharing some of your favorite quotes during this cooler period of the hunt. I, and many others, have enjoyed them.  In many of your books, interviews, etc., you so often share beautiful words filled with timeless wisdom. Would you be willing to share a few more that hold special insights or thoughts you hold close?

It is fun to arrange words in such a way that you have to smile at the end of a sentence.

Autobiographers always lean toward the subject.

It is important that I drink a martini at least once a year so I can continue to remember why I don’t like them.

All that I could remember was that I was not supposed to forget something.

He was so busy talking he didn’t hear what I was saying.




As with the previous six questions, your answers are as beautiful as before. They share a peaceful and subtle wisdom of which is fortune in itself.  And I thank you again for the thrill of the chase.  I believe there has been an awakening of hearts wanting to take part in a legendary quest, and your book is the extraordinary gift which has given it to us all.


Other Six Questions:

Six Questions with Forrest Fenn (posted Feb. 4th, 2013)

Six Questions Yet Again with Forrest Fenn (posted Feb. 4th, 2015)

Six Questions with Forrest Fenn: Over Five Years of The Thrill of the Chase (posted Feb. 4th, 2016)


Forrest Fenn’s Website

Forrest Fenn’s books:  The Thrill of the Chase and Too Far to Walk



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37 Responses

  1. Domino says:

    Thank you Jenny and Forrest! I hope everyone is enjoying the adventure afforded by The Thrill as well as other hunts. Seek and Explore! And remember – “…adventure is what happens when a plan takes a detour…” (Willie Weir) – embrace it.

  2. Desertphile says:

    A very fine interview. It still some times surprises me at just how often people tell me, when we discuss the clues in Mr. Fenn’s poem, astonishing “solutions” they have come up with.

  3. radcrad says:

    I talked with Forrest at the drawing a couple of weeks ago here in Santa Fe and was impressed with how he reminds me of Mark Twain. Intelligent with a folksy persona. It is my opinion that when he speaks of a discovery of the chest in a thousand years he is not talking about sleuthing the poem but rather happening on it like discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls et al by chance. For this reason the “key word” in the poem my well be “Brown” and it can indeed a generational hint. This is my bucket endeavor and wish success in finding the real treasure to all.

  4. Nate Beck says:

    It’s always nice to see that some treasure hunts and quests still continue to be enjoyed and full of life.

    It’s also nice for an author/writer to be willing to do interviews more than once with the same person, and a person like Jenny is definitely worth the time to talk with. I feel she always gives as much as she receives in these interviews and would very much like to see more second rounds such as this, with the other authors that have been kind enough to contribute to this site.

    I have a new found respect for Forrest Fenn, although I’m not one of the many good souls who have taken up his exciting challenge. I do hope some lucky and deserving soul finds this reward eventually.

    However, I shudder at his words “Each artefact that is not recovered is a book that will not be read.” A sad and sobering truth.

  5. musstag says:

    In the last week I have come to think that there may be a key or some kind of cipher that would expand my knowledge of the poems meaning, but I always would think back to what FF said, the poem is all you need, That meant, to me, if there was a key word or cipher, it had to be IN THE POEM itself….. so now we know.

  6. I like the questions and answers that you asked and get, it brings F.F. out even if he doesn’t tell us where the treasure is hidden. I think Forest is enjoying all the craze about his Treasure Chase whether pro,or negative responses is keeping him alive. And it keeps some of us from going Crazy. Good luck Forest Finn ( Thank You and be well ) and all that are having a Thrill of The Chase, ( my plan is to find it…)

  7. billy says:

    i myself found myself with a life altering health issue , that has stripped my health an life as i once knew it . if i never get a chance to go look for this treasure,an meet ff the excitement of reading the clues an dreaming of the hunt,has made an gave me a spark of hope .

    • Jenny Kile says:

      Thanks for your comment Billy. Sorry to hear of your health issues and prayers for the best being given.

      It sounds like you have realized the ultimate treasure involved in Fenn’s hunt already. Wonderful.

  8. holl0wallet says:

    Much ado about nothing; What do you think?

    P. S. No bells unearthed, nor…

  9. Eliza says:

    On one of the other blogs I recently suggested that pinching off the beginnings and ends of nearby words might be a way to generate clues. I think there were more hints in this direction in this posting from 2/4/14.

    Start with that puzzling phrase “only a few are in tight focus with a word that is key.” It’s certainly not very helpful by itself, but the fact that the language is, well, odd, suggests that something other than a literal reading of the phrase might be at play here. Forrest’s subsequent answer(s) to 6Q may shed some light.

    Start with “Autobiographers always lean toward the subject.” Since “autobiographers” is plural, the subject is “us.” So they lean “to us.”
    Glue the two words together and you get “tous,” which isn’t a word itself, but if you say it out loud, assuming it rhymes with “house,” you get “Taos.”

    Now look at the third quote: at leAST Once a year…

    or the last quote. …SO busy TAlking…

    I’ll let you do the others.

    So this brings us back to the original phrase. I suspect that we are to pick out a few LETTERS in “tight focus” to find our hidden treasure. And lo and behold, there they are, and in the correct order: tighT fOcUS.

    Is this really a short tutorial from Forrest on how to create clues from the poem, or just my vivid imagination? You can decide for yourself. On the one hand, it is understandable to view this approach as opening up too many combinations of letters, but remember: the puzzle was designed to be extremely hard, but not impossible.

    One last thought. I still think that too much has been read into Forrest’s comments in Scrapbook 62, in which he ruled out, among other things, the use of codes, ciphers, and riddles. At the end of the day, we still have to extract nine specific clues from the poem. Any way you look at it, that makes solving the poem a word puzzle, so there will need to be some kind of decoding strategy to do this. I still thing it involves the kinds of tricks I described above: wordplay (similar to what you might use in British-style cryptic puzzles), and in particular, homonyms, anagrams, and of course, pinching letters off the ends of words.

    Down the road, I’ll give some examples of what I think are some of the nine clues. One interesting feature: each one seems to have a “twin” elsewhere in the poem that leads to the same phrase.



  10. football says:

    Stick by your team through thick and thin, despite the wins and losses.

    It is Tennessee’s Rocky Top, Florida’s Old Ball Coach, and of course the Gator Chomp and the mighty Tim Tebow.

    Ole Miss and Mississippi State moving the Egg Bowl away from Jackson, Miss.

  11. Just starting the Forrest Fenn “Treasure Hunt” that has effected so many lives in so many wonderful ways. Seems this quest is impossible due to the hunt beginning in 2010 with thousands involved in the search. I must say “Well done” Forrest! So we are looking at 9 clues with new clues of 1 each month on the Today Show. Is there 13 or 14 clues now given to date being January 18, 2015. Forrest has proved to be very intrigued with the old timers Mountain Men and Native Americans of long ago. Since the age of 9 years old. Forrest goes back in time to his childhood when he found his first Indian arrowhead. Forrest refers his mom and dad a lot, so he must have had an amazing happy childhood, so many of us wish we had shared. We have visited Santa Fe, Taos, El Pueblo and surrounding areas due to doing genealogy. My ggg-grandfather was John Brown who lived with his wife Luisa Sandoval at Fort El Pueblo. John and his wife married in Santa Fe NM. luisa was from the Taos Pueblo being from a large family. We became very surprised when I one day decided to look up Treasure Hunts in the U.S.A on my phone and Ta Da
    I happened to pick Forrest Fenn not realizing the hunt is in the Santa Fe area. This just could not happen in a trillion years! We were planning a trip back to Santa Fe and Taos because we love the area and certainly feel connected. Wow, how wonderful is this to now have Mr Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Hunt still taking place. I have done genealogy for the past 30 years which involves most all the areas in and surrounding Santa Fe being my GGG-Grandparents were Pioneers and Rocky Mountain Trappers who later became famous. Thank you so very much Mr Forrest Fenn and hopefully some day we will meet! Bless you

  12. you must think I don’t know that I just gave you so much imajination and your literary mind just went spinning with ambition and you just had to get it out, your body acked to get it out, so you wrote “to Far to walk” I enjoyed it in Spanish too, I got the Spanish edition from Pueblo Augustis, but I had to pull a gun and threaten to kill his wife so gived up the book, now we are good friends, we write each other and we talk about the treasurers where abouts, he says enemys once, but frinds now, he forgives me he is so wonderful, I don’t kill people anymore on my 2 trips, out and back , on patrol, I go out the gate and look around some more. I struggles without food, rug all gone as whites pulled the rug out from under us and we starved to death. do you believe rug was buffalo on the rose line, he was a royal buffalo with royal buffalo blood, he was king in buffalo world.

    • Dahlia says:

      I knew everything about eye sight yor wasting your time my stigmata is bad butt correctable knew that way back when the doc xplained it to me my mental state is sharp and I knew that so what I won be buffaloed period I know the truth my ace is talking now

  13. I got my new ford 150 today and celibrsted here now at mcdonalds weight loss menue restaurant, travelers paid me 56 thousand on the 25 I totaled and that truck saved my life as it kept me high above the steel road guard I crashed into, just ripped it out the ground for 30 yards, I never saw it, have no idea what happened, GOd wanted me to WAKE UP!!!!! get my mind off that NEW TRUCK and back on JESUS, I hadn’t talked to Jesus since I got that New Truck, only had it 10 days and Jesus was gellous and threw me in the DITCH and took that truck away from me without a scratch I got and I thanked Jesus, now he gave me another truck and I have put abibble on the front bumper where Forrest PUT THE SLUG I got a bible. Some of use don’t forget to talk to Jesus, remember those coin changers in the church, he turned the tables and he turned my truck, but he forgave me and I thanks him.

  14. What news paper carried the OK Corral gunfight was there ever a (Toy stage set with little chest pieces like Wyatt Earp and Doc. and all the Clantons,ETC ) a replica toy set of the OK Fight so one kid could be the Clantons and another would be Wyatt and his brothers, etc. Did Ronald Ragon own one of these games, if it existed?

    • Phil says:

      Instead of monkeying around here with xcess chatter someon should GO do this unusually good weather now im gunna get this

      • JC1117 says:

        True, Phil. I noticed it’s much warmer in New Mexico…where the Treasure is…than the rest of the Rocky Mountains. The greatest snow on Earth is already covering the mountain tops here in Salt Lake City. Now quit monkeying around and go grab all those bananas before they freeze!

  15. I think folk have been sending Forrest fan pix of there solve in hope of getting closest too his treasure. he was interview Monday and sad no one has come closer than 200ft, fan is honest man we can trust this no one is any close. Thx

    • Cat Cut says:

      I think its pretty clear what he said….if you’ve sent him information recently, its pretty safe to assume your not any closer. ‘I am not aware of anyone being closer’ loose paraphrase. I suspect your right about people sending there info in to get updates on distance.

  16. In the poem, “The end is ever drawing nigh”, could mean, SOON GRAVITY WANT MATTER TO US, also you want be paddling up the creek no more NEITHER, <<>> Heavy loads and Water high want matter either. BUT if you have found the blaze, jsut ttake itt and burp.

  17. i am afraid i am hinting at a spot that no one can get to by even dirt road and people can certainly see me using a metal detector, although i might look around for a small area where you could have ducked out of sight, i will certainly look for a tree and bud light cans on the ground or a neon sign that says, show me your nipples.

  18. yes i do know about the separation duck and it has eaten at me from time to time. And so has not having 10 lives to live so i can give 1/10th or one of those lives to service, not 1/10th of one life only, i don’t buy that, sorry.

  19. The Wolf says:

    I thought I would add another post to my blog to celebrate Jenny’s award of blog of the year. Enjoy my out this world look at the “Word that is Kea”

  20. Jdiggins says:

    “Archaeologists today don’t like to excavate. Their motto is: “Save the Past for the Future.” I think that’s short sighted. For me the future is five minutes from now. We unearthed the only pre-historic kachina dance masks ever found in the Southwest. Archaeologists said they didn’t exist in prehistoric times. So we corrected some misinformation. The past should not have to wait for us any longer.”

    And these: ” ”

    It is fun to arrange words in such a way that you have to smile at the end of a sentence.

    All that I could remember was that I was not supposed to forget something.

    He was so busy talking he didn’t hear what I was saying.

    🙂 my faves here. 🙂

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