The Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt and Six Questions with Iron Will

treasure hunting thrill of the chase

Iron Will

Sixth in a series on Six Questions with searchers of the Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt. Questions are asked and then answered by those who are enjoying Forrest Fenn’s dare! (Read how you can participate


  • 1)When did you first hear and learn about the Treasure Hunt?

In September 2014 I was browsing YouTube for updated Beale Ciphers videos.  I felt something missing inside of me and wanted to give that code another shot.  Going after such a lofty goal is tantamount to chasing one’s dreams.  However, I did not get far in it upon noticing Terri Fenn’s video, Forrest Fenn’s Hidden Treasure.  I’d never heard of it and decided to give it a looksee.  And looking back, I am so glad I did.


  • 2)What inspired you to become involved and begin searching?

This world has become so negative.  In 47 years, I have watched it socially deconstruct.  People have become softer and weaker in many aspects, including the power of hope and self-conviction.  Instead of being honest (one of the true bastions of good morals), the world has turned to lying and alternative facts.  Today, when people do not succeed at something, rather than admit they were wrong and try to turn that failure around, they choose attack and bring down those who are holding onto those ideal virtues of Hope and Belief in an effort to bring them down to their level.  In reference to treasure hunting, it happened to Thomas J. Beale.  They made him out to be a hoax, destroying his legacy that could have been written another way had someone found his gold and silver pots.  If his gold is found, he will be vindicated by the few who care in that moment, but for the 190 + years he was a fraud and a hoax.  That’s over seven generations of life that lived and died, having him labelled a fraud.

After researching Forrest’s information available, I immediately recognized that those very people were trying to do the exact same thing to his legacy.  But for me it was personal.  At age 10, my mother started teaching me how to solve cryptic riddles or scavenger hunts due to my infatuation with the Riddler of Batman and Robin.  When I read Forrest’s poem that matched her style and noticing he was a combat veteran like myself, I knew that I could not let the world do that to him too.  Perhaps, I am uniquely qualified to solve his poem, perhaps not.  But I believe in myself and I believe in hope.  Together, they forge what drives me inside of my dreams, and because of that… I had to try and help.


  • 3)What is your most favorite part about the Treasure Hunt so far?

Meeting the searchers at Fennboree 2016.  They were all warm and inviting people. We had such a grand time during those two days.  Incredible food, people going out of their way to offer ideas on the Chase, or extend hospitality to anyone who showed.  Turns out as I was searching for Forrest’s treasure, during the meet and greet, he was searching to meet me.  I asked Dal, “Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around??”  I even camped out next door to a wonderful Aussie couple, Peter and his wife, who happened to be in Hyde Park.  I think I spent more time with them than searchers! They are around 0:34 in the following video:


  • 4)What is your least favorite part about the Treasure Hunt so far?

Sunday morning at Fennboree, when I awoke and realized that most were gone and the rest were leaving that morning.  I drove around depressed in Santa Fe the rest of that day.  To have that much friendly social interaction, and then gone, was like coming down off a drugged high, not that I know anything about that.


  • thrill of the chase treasure hunter story

    Cool Find

    5)What is the best or most unique thing you found while searching for Forrest Fenn’s treasure chest?

I found a 500 lb “Yellow Stone” at the area of my wrong solution in West Yellowstone.  It had a hairline crack all the way around the center of it.  This led me to believe that Forrest could have split it open, cored out a hole inside, inserted the chest and epoxied it back together.  As it sits there in two pieces, I believe you can see how determined I was to pursue all possibilities.  I hope one day, to see about replacing that rock for them.


  • 6) What more would you like to say? 

I’d like to thank Forrest for helping me find…me again… after all these years.  And if you’re still trying to find you, then I may post a motivational video on Dal’s in the coming week to help in your efforts.  It’s helped me to be a more determined person.


Keep the Stories coming!  Lots more yet to share!  Thanks all!

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26 Responses

  1. Jenny Kile says:

    Wow! Very nice Iron Will. I love your passion and enthusiasm for going after your dreams. That is admirable and an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your answers! Awesome!

  2. OH! says:

    Good story Iron Will. The Thrill Of The Chase has also inspired me to be a more determined person in life. The power of a positive mind can pull anybody out of life’s rut especially when you are out in nature searching the Fenn treasure which in turn gives time to collect oneself. I really enjoy stories like yours, OH………

  3. resa says:

    Nice story, Will. This is the first time I’ve seen the video, so it was really nice to put faces to names. Mr. Fenn looked like he really enjoyed himself, as did everyone else in attendance. Wish I could attend one of these events, but the distance and other commitments make that an impossible goal. I hope everyone has a great time this year, and that someone posts another video of the event.

  4. Sparrow says:

    Iron Will—-

    Thanks for sharing that—–and the video too. Love your positive attitude. 🙂

  5. Buckeye Bob says:

    I really enjoyed the video, IW. Lots of smiles all around.

  6. Indy says:

    Just fantastic IW… I sure hope I get to meet many of you at Fennboree this year. Such an incredible community.

  7. Jdiggins says:

    Will, you’re a great part of this Chase. Bill and I very much enjoyed your company at Fennboree. You and I are only 4 days apart in age. I’m older. 🙂 stay being you…and young! 🙂

  8. Bailey says:

    Thanks for the Q&A. Great Video!

  9. Iron Will says:

    Thanks all. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it! Well except those minutes with the flu recently lol. Those were not very enjoyable. 🙁

  10. Milan says:


    Your featured responses are awesome! I really hope to meet you someday.


  11. astree says:

    Thanks, IW. Really enjoyed your answers and insights.

  12. SL says:


    Thanks for sharing; appreciate your story. Keep those dreams alive!

    Enjoyed your video journey as well. Was that Mr. William Fenn with G.Grandchildren in the ‘Randeveous’ photo?

    Love lives on ~


  13. HappyThoth says:

    Your share was very honest and intimate and I salute you for that. Cheers to you Iron Will; I look forward to sharing in the hunt with you. Aloha

  14. Y. Mangum says:

    That was, indeed, profound. Very articulate. Every year, my company has an event at the same time as Fennboree that I am required to attend. I’d have to quit my job to go. Maybe the universe is telling me something.

    Great post. ~PhoenixForte

  15. Chesney says:

    Dear Iron Will,

    I found the Blaze in the video…. 🙂 Good Luck, Never Stop Searching!

  16. WyMustIGo says:

    Came up short, eh? I have to ask if you feel bad about insulting others and claiming you had a 100% solve.

    • Chesney says:

      Are you referring to myself or Iron Will? I suppose that regardless of whom you refer to, EVERYONE has for over 6 years…. Remember to be Humble and Kind, because you are not perfect and never know who you are speaking to.I am certain beyond any reasonable doubt that I have not once disrespected or insulted anyone, unless it was taken “out of context”! 🙁

    • oh says:

      WyMustIGo, I’ve been wondering the same as well…

  17. ace 340 says:

    This world has become so negative. I could not agree more. I heard what I think was a true story once. A man went into a comma for several years. When he came out of it, someone asked him “what is the most surprising thing that you have seen changed?” He said,” its the amount of complaining people do.” IMO, if you open your ears to it, it is nonstop. To the point that some are speaking only in complaint or an argumentative manner. Makes me feel nauseous sometimes. g

  18. Strawshadow says:

    Iron Will,
    K n I would like to thank you for stuffing our pie holes with great stuff. Your recipe was an honest mix of blended ingredients, a savory mingle of moments. Thanks to Jenny as well for posting this passionate series.

  19. Spallies says:

    Will it was so great to meet you at Fennboree last year!! I hope to see you again this year too! If you need a kitchen to make some pies you are welcome to use mine! FYI I just googled “Fenboree Forrest Fenn Playing cards” and your picture came up! lol

    • Iron Will says:

      I’ve been wondering about that for a while. My back was hurting most that weekend from the 8 hours I spent hunched over the stove off of 3 hours of sleep in 2 days. Not sure I want to feel that again. 😛

    • Iron Will says:

      Speaking of that Fennboree, it was fun meeting you. You remind me of my cousin. You have her friendly and forward personality. So many people are scared, or reserved, or too shy to effectively make others feel a part of the conversation. Seems you’ve mastered that 😛

  20. sally2fleming says:

    Iron Will You Rock, Love your honest beliefs,,

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