Six Questions with Forrest Fenn: Over Five Years of The Thrill of the Chase
I’m so appreciative for this opportunity to ask Forrest Fenn another set of Six Questions. It comes at a time when an intense compassion, heartfelt effort, and strong determination has been clearly demonstrated by those involved in the Chase. This genuine pulling together and out-pour of emotion radiates a force being felt, by not just searchers, but others across the country. I feel a genuine sense of honor to be part of such an passionate community.
The Thrill of the Chase by Forrest Fenn has challenged readers since its release in the fall of 2010. It offers the choice, an adventurous dare, for anyone to find a million-dollar chest of gold hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Numerous searchers, who have taken up his dare have realized, however, treasure is found in many more ways than just one.
I think the following Six Questions and Answers provide a chance to reflect, realize a higher respect, and give a perspective on what The Thrill of the Chase truly is. Enjoy!
- 1Q) Our hearts and prayers go out to all those connected to the recent disappearance of a fellow searcher while out on the hunt. The overwhelming support of ‘Fenners’ to bring him home reveals the altruism this group embraces. A powerful, loyal, and admirable community, not only in this time of trial, but at other times too, has been created and realized. Did you ever expect the Thrill of the Chase to develop and bring together such an honorable bunch?
Yes Jenny, because that’s who we are as a people. When times get tough we gather together and help each other. Before Pearl Harbor, when a senior Japanese general was asked what he thought about invading America. He advised against it. He said, “…because there will be a bullet behind every blade of grass.”
- 2Q) Your memoir, The Thrill of the Chase, was released in the fall of 2010, and so it has been over five years since you first offered the choice to get out, explore, enjoy, and find your million-dollar treasure. Numerous people have taken you up on that dare and have experienced adventures of a lifetime. They might not have found your chest of gold, but they have discovered treasures of a different kind. How does knowing this affect you? Is the Chase living up to your original wish for it?
The value of the treasure seems to change with everyone who writes about it, but that doesn’t matter. I feel personally rewarded by knowing that maybe 65,000 people have ventured into the Rocky Mountains looking for the gold and jewels. Nearly all who write me say that the thrills and adventures are more than worth their effort, and many plan to return again.
- 3Q) It seems I ask it every year during these Six Questions, but it is such a curiosity that I have to do so again. Do you feel anyone is getting closer? Do you feel you will get to congratulate the finder of your treasure within the next few years, or do you have a sense it will remain hidden for many more? Can you say?
Searchers speak to me about their search places only in generalities. I don’t know that anyone has been closer to the treasure than about 200’.
- 4Q) You have commented many times your chest of gold is hidden somewhere special to you. That the moment you thought about hiding the chest, you knew right where you were going to conceal it. I’m sure you have other places you consider special. Would you be willing to share some of these, and why you find them so?
No other hiding place was ever seriously considered Jenny. There are places near where I grew up that are dear to me, just like everyone else. If I had it all to do over again the results would be the same, and I can’t think of anything I would change. I feel fortunate that my poem said exactly what I wanted it to say.
- 5Q) Your treasure hunt has inspired people worldwide to discover history, culture and nature, but many people, (even in the US) might be deterred because they don’t live near the Rockies or can’t afford to travel. Should they be deterred? Can a little girl in India, who speaks good English, but only has your poem and a map of the US Rocky Mountains, work out where the treasure is? And would she be confident as she solves each clue, or only confident when she has solved them all?
I wish I had another treasure to hide in the Appalachians. The little girl in India cannot get closer than the first two clues. There are many disabled people who are deeply into maps and geography, and they are having a lot of fun.
- 6Q) The Thrill of the Chase has become part of many people’s lives. People from across the world are searching for your treasure and are determined to not stop searching until it is found. They are fully enjoying the Thrill of the Chase and are in for the long term, if need be. What thoughts, advice, reminders, etc. would you like to most offer them?
I applaud those who are staying in the search, and enjoying what nature has to offer. I will reiterate that the story is real, the chest is where I left it, and it is not in a dangerous place. At age 85 I could go back and get it. But any place can become dangerous for anyone who violates the common sense rules of the chase. Stay out of the mountains in the winter time when it is cold and snow covers the ground.f
Another intriguing and special set of answers, Forrest. Thank you so much for taking time to provide them. Thank you, also, for the extraordinary opportunity to search for such an incredible and remarkable treasure! It is so fascinating to imagine a chest filled with over a million dollars of Gold waits to be found.
It truly is a Thrilling Chase and Adventure for any who dare themselves to be the one who finds it!
Other Six Questions with Forrest Fenn:
Posted Feb 4th, 2015: Six Questions Yet Again with Forrest Fenn
Posted Feb 4th, 2014: Six Questions More with Forrest Fenn
Posted Feb 4th, 2013: Six Questions with Forrest Fenn
Other Links to more conversations with Forrest can be found here: The Thrill of the Chase
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