Forrest Fenn’s Wyoming

 

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If I was standing where the treasure chest is, I’d see trees, I’d see mountains, I’d see animals. I’d smell wonderful smells of pine needles, or pinyon nuts, sagebrush—and I know the treasure chest is wet.

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So the famous treasure hidden by Forrest Fenn has been found -‘ under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago.’ The twist is the ‘finder’ & Fenn have gone mute on the subject, to protect the finder’s anonymity, apparently. Then a bit back Fenn announced one thing, that the treasure was found in Wyoming, which of course, is where I placed the treasure. I also placed it in a wood by Clear Creek, which makes it placed under the aforequoted ‘canopy of stars.’ Another twist to the tale is a woman called Andersen is convinced the finder hacked her computer & stole her solve & is currently preparing subpoenas to gain info on the finder – so the truth migth come out soon! Til then, here’s where I believe the treasure was found…

A few years ago, a certain octogenarian, Forrest Fenn, hid a treasure chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of America. Since then, many a puzzle-solver has attempted to crack the poem which contains clues to the treasure’s location. It reads;

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.

From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.

The poem is contained in an autobiographical sketch called the Thrill of the Chase, of which Fenn says, ‘ The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search.’

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A couple of days ago, the UK press ran a story about a guy in the US suing Forrest Fenn for misleading him with clues that point to Arizona. Absolute craziness, especially when the clues clearly point to Wyoming. In a case of x marks the spot, there are two crosses on the treasure map – one should be a decoy & one help to hone in on the treasure. The peak marked with a cross in Wyoming is Garret Peak, its the most central cross, so on a hunch we’ll begin our search there.

Fenn announced the treasure in 2010, & a few months earlier, in the September of 2009, he attending the Black Bow Tie event in Cody, Wyoming, in his capacity as a board member of the Buffalo Bill Society. He was definitely in the right area at the right time.

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Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down

This is a reference to fishing on the Green River, which flows through a canyon & becomes too warm for the fish in the summer. In Fenn’s book his love of fishing, especially fly-fishing, is everywhere.

Put in below the home of Brown

‘Put in’ is a term for launching a small boat – this is a reference to sailing on Green River Lake, which sits underneath Osborn Mountain.  Henry Fairfield Osborn was the man who assisted Barnum Brown’s search for dinosaurs in Wyoming – the first Tyrannosaurus was found by them – & the bones were displayed in the American Natural History Museum Paleolithic section founded by Osborn – thus Osborn is the home of Barnum Brown’s finds. In Fenn’s book, his love of artifact-hunting & deep history permeates everywhere.

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At the south east corner of the lake, Clear Creek begins. There is a trail to follow which leads to Clear Creek Falls, as described in Fenn’s third stanza;

From there it’s no place for the meek 

… The meek inherit the earth, thus we need to follow water…

The end is ever drawing nigh

… A line evocative of a waterfall’s edge & the eternal movement of the water as it approaches the drop…

There’ll be no paddle up your creek

… You cant paddle a waterfall & the movement is, of course, upwards…

Just heavy loads and water high.

Water high is pretty obvious, thus this stanza is basically saying follow Clear Creek beyond its Waterfall.

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If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

This is a fun stanza. In 1988 – the same year Fenn was diagnosed with cancer (not so fun) – the forest around Clear Creek beyond the waterfall was charred by a blaze caused by lightning (Hiking Wyoming’s Wind River Range).

Tarry scant with marvel is an allusion to Hemingway sending a copy of a short story (tarry scant) to Mcleish who wrote a poem to Andrew Marvell in the style of His Coy Mistress. In a letter to Mcleish, Hemingway calls Mcleish ‘Andy Marvell’ (Selected Letters 1917-1961, p.326) & in the Thrill of the Chase there is a glaring error made by Fenn concerning Hemingway, which I believe was one of the subtle clues made to draw one’s attention to Hemingway.

The short story was called ‘Wine of Wyoming’ in which we read; 

‘Labour day we all went to Clear Creek.. Madame said. 
The wood struck by lightning is at the bottom centre of the photo
The wood struck by lightning is at the bottom centre of the photo
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 colourful 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.’
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The treasure is somewhere here...
The treasure is somewhere here…

When Fenn declares,’ ‘If I was standing where the treasure chest is, I’d see trees, I’d see mountains and I know the treasure chest is wet,’ the treasure should be somewhere in the wood, in or by Clear Creek. I think it will be hidden under a log because of these two Fennean passages;

I hope parents will take their children camping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. I hope they will fish, look for fossils, turn rotten logs over to see what’s under them, and look for my treasure

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.

It is significant that the creek is within 200 feet of the trail, which connects with Fenn saying that a few participants in the hunt unwittingly ventured within 200 feet (61 meters) of the chest.

Some have thought the treasure cant be in Wyoming as Pinion Pines don’t grow that far north – but Fenn himself revealed the info is not relevant, stating, ‘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.’ 

The other hints Fenn has given us can check off one by one;

There’s no need digging in the old outhouses, the treasures’ not associated with any structure. CHECK

It is in Wyoming. CHECK

The treasure is not in a grave yard. CHECK

The treasure is higher than 5,000 feet above sea level. CHECK

If you had the coordinates, you would be able to find the treasure. CHECK 

The treasure is not hidden in Idaho or Utah. CHECK

The treasure is not in a mine. CHECK

It is at least 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe. CHECK

The treasure is hidden below 10,200 feet. CHECK 

It is more than 300 miles west of Toledo. CHECK

I never said it was buried, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t. CHECK

It is not possible to find chest without leaving computer & google earth – CHECK

There isn’t a human trail in very close proximity to where I hid the treasure.”  CHECK

Not associated with a structure……CHECK

I would like to know if the blaze can be found during the day without a flashlight. “I would say yes. – CHECK

I made two trips from my car to the hiding place and it was done in one afternoon.”CHECK

Under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains CHECK

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