So I was wrong. Last summer I thought I’d solved the mystery of Forest Fenn’s buried treasure. So did a couple of young film-makers from Washington DC, who went on to make this lovely-looking film.
They did actually look around the natural cave at Clear Creek, to no avail. So I was wrong, but they didnt keep any dialogue open with me & moved on to another location. But if they’d have contacted me from Wyoming, I would have said, well guys, if its not in the natural cave, it really does have to be in a nearby wood. I would have also said ‘I must admit there was one clue which i left out, that the chest was’exposed’ to rain and snow, and could be scorched in a forest fire, which didnt quite fit into clear creek cave – sorry about that – but i just ignored it cos i was so excited about all the other clues – i was imagining flames licking into the cave for example to scorch the chest- but he does say in the wood, so..
The wood is described on a web page. which reads, ‘about a half mile from the Slide Creek junction, our trail cuts across the northwest edge of the meadow through an open grassy area filled with wildflowers. You can find blue harebells, cinquefoil, yarrow, subalpine daisy and a variety of other colorful flowers. Beyond here, the trail enters the charred burns of an old lightning burn from 1988. These old snags provide wildlife habitat for many wildlife species including a variety of woodpeckers and cavity-nesting birds.’ So. I was too obsessed with the natural cave, the chest being wet & the fact you had to go in it really blinded me. However, a chest hidden in or by Clear Creek in the charred burny bit of the woods now fits all of the clues entirely. I also love the fact that it was in 1988 that Fenn was struck by kidney caner (which he eventually beat).
There’s also this turned up recently which negates the pinion pine clue. Fenn wrote, ‘I just watched that New Mexico Tourism video again and must say that I didn’t say what I was thinking. You cannot smell a pinon nut, but those who pick them know that in doing so you get pine pitch all over your hands, and pine pitch smells about the same no matter what kind of pine tree you are talking about. Looking back I think I wanted to say I could smell pine needles, not pinon nuts. Sorry I kicked a hornet’s nest with that comment. There is no clue there. Incidentally, when I get pine pitch on my hands I rub butter on the spots and that solves the problem. Of course then I have trouble getting the butter off.’ Some have thought the treasure cant be in Wyoming as Pinion Pines don’t grow that far north – but we can now see that info is not relevant.