What’s Close Proximity? Featured Question with Forrest

ant-puddleDear Mr. Fenn,

You once wrote: “There isn’t a human trail in very close proximity to where I hid the treasure.”  You also once wrote: “And in close proximity were stone projectiles and crudely made hand axes that could have been 30,000 years old.”

Can you clarify for us your definitions of “close proximity” and “very close proximity?” (e.g. 10 feet, 50 feet, 100 feet, 500 feet, etc.?)

Thanks, Milan

It’s not that easy Milan. Are you asking me to carry a caliper in my pocket? Each “close proximity” is different, relative, and site-specific, as you pointed out. So I can’t answer your question. To an ant a mud puddle can be like an ocean. f


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55 Responses

  1. Forrest,
    What is the longest distance between clues?
    What is the shortest distance between clues?
    now those are two questions that would help out greatly…..

    Any how, has anyone come up with connections to Philadelphia with this chase like I have? Or am I just looking into that because I am from Philadelphia and want to see connections that are actually not there?

    • E.C. Waters says:

      @cluesfromPhilly – I propose the connection to Philadelphia is related to George Washington. His profile is found in Seven Falls, an attraction in Colorado Springs.

      I believe when Fenn refers to putting his thumb over Philadelphia, he is using a couple of allusions. First, Hercules in Greco-Roman mythology is referred to as the thumb of the Dactyls. There is a rock formation known as Pillars of Hercules at Seven Falls. There is also a rock formation called “The Fins” which is said to look like a left hand, of which Washington’s profile is at the thumb.

  2. Milan says:

    Thank you for answering my question. I’m excited to face those spring mud-puddle-oceans that are coming very soon.

  3. E* says:

    Milan – I think Forrest is hinting that we should look for an ant trail,…instead of a human trail. Or maybe an ant hill near the creek,…with a trail leading to it? 🙂

  4. Project Why says:

    “As for mortal man, his days are like those of grass; He blooms like a blossom of the field. But when a wind blows, it is no more, as though it was never there.” Psalms 103:15,16

    And the “proximity” of each of our lives is also different, relative. Just how long is each blade of grass? 70 or 80 years if we’re lucky? Not really much time at all to enjoy all the things we wish to, is it? So, although Forrest won’t answer that question, he does give us something to think about as “ants” in this “ocean” of where the chest is hidden. Maybe one day though, he can help us narrow it down to a “mud puddle” before the wind starts blowing too hard?

  5. Mark J says:

    I think the poem will get you where you need to be, but that is just my opinion.

  6. The Wolf says:

    I am really starting to feel a part of this chase!

  7. deb says:

    I would think close proximity would be within line of vision, yet close enough to be easily identified? If you cant make it out, thats not close.
    I dont think that was a trick statement, I hope. 🙂 Now Forrest, go easy on me if I said something dumb. lol

  8. Woody Bogg says:

    ”Close Proximity” (Very Close) An ant knows the puddle is not the Ocean!!!!!

  9. 42 says:

    I always get enjoy the manner in which Forrest answers questions.
    Proximity is just one letter but an ocean away from the first time he addressed the question. Trail definition may be in play as well.

  10. 23kachinas says:

    Close Proximity in the Chase = Close, but no cigar – just very fond memories which keep near your chest.

    • Eliza says:

      PROXIMITY >>> MITY PI ROX >>> Mighty Pi Rocks!

      By the way if you put SPICE on PORCUPINE and right justify them, you’ll see two PI together…

  11. djjmciv says:

    Sounds more like ducking the question. So why post this if it doesn’t offer no real value?
    Might as well what he had for breakfast this morning.

  12. Project Why says:

    I doubt he will ever clarify this any further and why should he? If someone does eventually find the chest, then they will know that ‘proximity’ won’t they. 🙂 They will know a lot of things he said I’m sure …..then. About the only way his statement will help is if one thought he hid it to a ‘human trail’, in which ‘close proximity’ would dictate most likely NOT the case, so, to me, it could help, but not much. 🙂 But that’s about all it’s going to, I believe.

    It is interesting to think about though. But that distance, like he said, is relative and site-specific to this and this alone and so is going to be a different distance than any other ‘close proximity’. But he did give us at least, in this case, a reference point from which to work – human trail. But just how close or should I say far away the chest is from that, well, …..like I said, we will most likely never know until it is found. I mean, heck, it could be just about any distance couldn’t it? Because he used the word “isn’t”, …..it could be that. And although he also used “very close proximity” and could possible mean it’s closer to a trail because of that, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is. When you look at the definition for ‘proximity’ and then take it into context with what he said, then he is saying it is NOT close, it is NOT near. So it really doesn’t help much at all does it. But I guess if you want to be logical about it, then who knows, …..could be anything FURTHER than, let’s say, ………….?? 🙂

    Nice try Milan in getting him to give a precise distance. 🙂 Now wouldn’t that have been great!! I would like to ask that same question, but a little differently:


    I don’t need an exact distance, but if you could guess, …..from where it is buried, how far would you think the chest is from a human trail?

    Nora Kelly

    • Jdiggins says:

      Hi nora. Good question. But you know what he’s going to say don’t you? 200 ft. That’s the last human close to it, right?
      Or, maybe he won’t. It was just a thought. 🙂

  13. Project Why says:

    You see, we are caught up in a dilemma here, we are stuck between a rock and a chest. 🙂 Some believe, — because of his statements, that the poem is all one needs and that it and it alone will lead them to the exact spot where the chest lays in wait, whether that be from coordinates or some hidden info within the poem, …..and so we really don’t need anything further from him. But it is funny that they still hang on every word he says. 🙂 Others think that yes, the poem can lead one to the chest, but, …..eventually, …..because it’s all about having to figure it out over a course of expeditions and searches. A true Thrill of the Chase!! That it was never meant to be truly answered from home first. He wanted for us to be frustrated over it first and wants us to sweat and spend a whole lotta time physically looking for it, …..before we are able to truly understand just what he was saying and discovering where it is. Hard work. …..but making wonderful discoveries along the way!!

    But it is also why he doesn’t clarify that either, …..because he sees EVERYONE enjoying searching for it, no matter how we go about it or whether it’s from home or in the field. We’re all still having fun, right? I mean, not everyone can go actually look for it too. And plus, he gets to tell stories and involve himself in it this way as well. And his original intentions are still being accomplished by the majority. It works!! Isn’t that what he wanted? 🙂

    Just thoughts……….

  14. Jdiggins says:

    First of all, the ants truly do tell a lot of secrets!!! I love anthills now! 🙂
    Second, the original answer from Forrest which Milan quoted; I’m sorry Milan, but you mis-quoted. The “correct” spelling of a word from Forrest’s original answer: proximaty.
    So, do we get another answer Forrest???

  15. Spallies says:

    So if you take out the Proxi you are left with Maty. Is Forrest trying to talk like a pirate? I think he likes Pirates…:)

    • Jdiggins says:

      I had a curious thought about that spallies. Forrest and Crayton both have recovery vessels, and Dal’s part of the crew too. So who’s proxy and who’s matey? 🙂 wild thoughts I know…just thinking out loud. 🙂

  16. Jdiggins says:

    But do you get another answer? That is the Q? Or..is that the answer? I’m confused… 😉

  17. Lou Lee says:

    So, A animal trail? Or a horse trail? Would a bike trail be a human trail? I would think so. Maybe its worth the cold because the only way to go up or down the creek is walking in the cold water. Well it would be worth it…Right?
    Lou Lee, Chased by Bears in Jellystone Park. And lived to tell.

  18. Project Why says:

    I’ll tell you what though:

    I’m not ever going to stop asking Forrest questions and hoping he will give us something useful in solving the clues in the poem, …..until either it is found or he is gone. Because although there has been searchers who have figured out the first two clues, which for me includes WWWH, …..and he said that the clues would fall into place after that or become progressively easier, …..and the fact that STILL even after those people figured out those clues, that they weren’t able to find it or get any further than that and the fact that no one to his knowledge has gotten any further than the first two after 4+ years, …..shows me that something is either way off in all of this or we’re going to need for him to give us something more than he’s been giving us or we’re not ever going to find it.

    I mean, I’m not asking him to tell us exactly where it is, but having 4 states in play and millions of acres to search and him NOT at least answering some questions that aren’t going to lead us specifically right to it, seems to me to be a little ridiculous. He obviously wants to be a part of it all, which he should be …..and tell us stories and I’m sure he’s happy with all the books that have been sold, which have included the ones written long ago that have now an interest greater than they probably ever had and I’m sure have sold a ton of now, …..and they are good books too, I’ve read several of them, but, …..he wants to be involved in all of this, yet he won’t give us any real info that will help us even in the slightest amount. I just find that very………. I guess he knows something we don’t though……….

    • puttputt says:

      He’s already given us everything we need within the poem. Everything else is just backup. Gotta think. Take notes. Reread those notes, the backup and listen good. It’s all there.
      But you’d better hurry, time is running out!

      • Project Why says:

        Yeah, how’s that working out for you? 🙂 Been doing that for almost 3yrs now. All I’m saying is that, either everyone is way the heck off, – even those that have been close OR …..the poem is not as ‘straightforward’, ‘progressively easier’ as he said it is. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t live in a fairytale. I live here in the real world, where you have to go on a hundred searches and use many different theories and push the envelope and ask the right questions to get the CORRECT answers sometimes. Wake up!! And don’t be so dang naive.

        But you are right!! Time is running out, …..but not in it being found.

        • puttputt says:

          Ooh u r a grouchy one! 🙂 My apologies! I do not post IMO. A hundred searches? Really? Why are you wasting your time on a silly gold box if your’e that loaded? I do live in a fairy tale, and it’s really quite nice. Oughta try it sometime. Have a nice day! 🙂

  19. Project Why says:

    Don’t be so sensitive. 🙂 It wouldn’t matter if you said IMO, I would still say something.

    Never said I went on a hundred searches. Gotta use it in context with what I said. ‘Sometimes’. 🙂

    Not grouchy, just realistic. I’m having fun. 🙂 But that doesn’t mean I don’t like getting answers. Gotta ask questions to get answers though. And it seems with Mr. Fenn, we really have to push the envelope or he probably is just going to tell us something that is of no help. And hey, he may not ever give us anything real useful, but what’s it hurt to try?

    Good day to you also puttputt!! And keep keeping on……….

    • puttputt says:

      You too project why. I get your point. 🙂

      • puttputt says:

        But the FACT remains, he HAS given us all we need. Just THINK!

        • Project Why says:

          HAS he? UNTIL someone finds it, …..that we will never know, nor can it ever truly be said.

          He never did anything like this before, so there was really no way for him gauge just how difficult it could be, right? Right. 🙂 It could very well be impossible for all we know and really, …..for all he knows. He had to make it as difficult as possible, …..to begin with though, because something impossible can always be made possible, but not the other way around. Do you catch my drift? 🙂

          • Project Why says:

            Well, there was one way for him to gauge it or to test it, …..and here we are. 🙂 Hundreds of thousands of searchers across 4 states and almost 5yrs later and no one(that we know of) has got passed the first two clues!! What do you think? How are we doing? How difficult is it?

            I hear he is fixing to do another reprint of both books? 🙂

  20. Woody Bogg says:

    Time doesn’t run out . ” We do” No help ?? What do you expect from Forrest .” A stampede”

  21. Magic words says:

    Little Jack Horner


    Little Jack Horner
    Sat in the corner,
    Eating a Christmas pie;
    He put in his thumb,
    And pulled out a plum,
    And said, “What a good boy am I!”

  22. Project Why says:

    When I went visit Forrest Fenn at his house once, …..I’ll tell ya’, when I was in his study, I also felt like an ant in an ocean of artifacts. Heck, some of those indulgences were probably worth more than the treasure itself. 🙂 I know some of those paintings were. He’s probably sitting there right now reading this. What a collection!! It really was incredible. …..And he didn’t even seem like it was nothing. But I guess that’s what you do when you already have everything, …..you write books and you do something like this so everyone knows about it and it gives you something to keep you occupied or at least entertained?

    • JC1117 says:

      He’s an amazing man, Project Why. You’re very lucky to have had the opportunity to see that. Whatever Forrest is doing I hope he and Peggy are happy and healthy. I hope he has the opportunity to finish all the books he has in the works…and that he’s having a lot of fun doing it. I hope he still finds time to watch the stars in childlike awe and wonder.

      • Project Why says:

        You’re amazing too and don’t ever forget it!! 🙂 And when you realize that, you’ll also feel very lucky. …..Because you don’t need to be a Forrest Fenn to be special. There are lots of unique people out there, …..and who have come and gone, …..and some are people I knew/know very well. In the end though, we’re all just people, …..just people, …..nothing more.

  23. William says:

    Statement by Fenn
    Pickles doesn’t want them in his close proximity. f
    Once again Pickles is a prime target!

  24. Iron Will says:

    William….I think its time for Operation: PICKLE PROXIMITY We must deal with the pickle! (get it? deal…pickle?)

  25. astree says:

    Caps of Forrest’s response


  26. GEYDELKON says:

    Since this subject a little dusty. I feel IMO that I know what this is.
    “There isn’t a human trail in very close proximity to where I hid the treasure.”

    The statement is a action by a piece of art. Do your research and you will find this really means. Thousands of people drive in circles each year and cant find it. Just saying.

  27. VGBOSS says:

    Here are some words, by Mr. Fenn, that I have kept in mind:

    “I had covered a few million people with my thumb and it took me to another dimension in my mind, a place where I would not visit again until the grave marker entered into my life. Years later I would meld these thoughts into one, the sum of which would change my life”


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