Before we begin, don’t think of this as a news article.
Think of this as a treasure hunting resource page, brought to you by a reporter who may have spent a little too much time trying to figure out where Forrest Fenn’s treasure is hidden.
And keep in mind, by proceeding any further you are agreeing to try and match your wits against a very sharp 81-year old art collector who is always a couple steps ahead.
The first thing you are going to need is a treasure map, which in this case is a poem with clues. We’ve put that at the bottom of the page and you might want to scroll down and read it so you know what you are getting into. The author says there are nine clues contained in the text so look close.
Secondly – you need to know what’s inside the ancient, bronze, Romanesque lockbox.
This is a list of just some of what is inside the lockbox that alone cost over $20,000. Fenn says there is over 20 troy pounds of gold, a 17th century Spanish ring with a large emerald, a bracelet with 254 rubies, six emeralds, two sapphires, and a bunch of small diamonds, a historic bracelet with round turquoise beads, a 2,000 year old necklace from Columbia and a 20,000 word autobiography by Forrest Fenn wax sealed in an olive jar.
Third, you need proof that this isn’t a scam, so consider this. Fenn says all his books have been donated to Collected Works in Santa Fe which is the only bookstore that sells them. He says he doesn’t make a “penny off the deal.” Fenn also says 10 percent of all the proceeds go to help fight cancer.
Now that you have seen the clues, and know exactly what you are looking for, and are getting past the whole “it’s too good to be true” phase….let’s talk about the man behind the bronze chest filled with all that gold.
Well before Forrest Fenn stashed around $2 million in gold and jewelry in the “mountains north of Santa Fe,” he was already a legend in the Santa Fe art world.
Fenn has been collecting things all of his life and made his fortune establishing the well known Fenn Gallery near the Old Santa Fe Trail.
The way he tells the story, the idea of stashing the opulent treasure came after a doctor told him he had cancer.
Fenn says his original plan consisted of filling up the chest with treasure and walking out into the desert to die instead of facing the prospect of his life ending on a medical bed. That way someone, someday would stumble upon his bones and the treasure at the same time.
But then Fenn will tell you, “I got cured, and messed the whole story up.”
After his fight with cancer, Fenn who has authored several books, wrote his memoirs entitled “The Thrill of the Chase” and decided to share the hunt for his treasure with everyone else.
“I had so much fun over 60 years collecting things,” Fenn told me as we sat in a study filled with ancient artifacts. “I thought why don’t I let those behind me, have some of the fun that I have had over the years and a little mystery and adventure.”
Now Fenn’s favorite collection consist of the emails that flood his inbox from treasure hunters pumping him for hints and sharing their adventures as they try to find his gold.
One of his favorite emails came from a woman who told him she had figured out where the treasure was hidden, but was unable to get it because she was handicapped.
“She said, 'I think its Nevada but I’m in a wheelchair, so could you go get it for me?'” Fenn recounts.
Fenn says when he told her it wasn’t in Nevada, he promised her that if she did figure it out he would personally go get it for her.
“Every time the phone rings I shudder thinking that it’s her,” Fenn says with a chuckle.
There is one piece of consistent advice Fenn seems to offer all treasure hunters. Fenn says if you get his book, read the poem first, then read the book, then read the poem again, and use the book to unlock the clues.
Fortunately for those who have stumbled across this resource page, I think I have found a lot more clues than just the nine contained in the poem and I am not in the business of keeping secrets. (My wife literally just called me after my live shot and told me I had given too much away.)
But in the spirit of full disclosure… and under the condition that anyone reading this that goes on to find the treasure, owes me lunch... and maybe that turquoise bracelet, I will share those clues with you in this little checklist that I made for my wife and I while we treasure hunt in our spare time.
Trust me, this stuff is helpful when you start trying to narrow down locations.
What Gadi knows about Forrest Clues in the Poem A place for you to fill in
So far, I have found two blogs that are also helpful.
The first is Fenn's blog at http://www.oldsantafetradingoco.com/blog/
The second is written by a treasure hunter named Dal Neitzel that I tagged along with on a hunt in Red River. http://lummifilm.wordpress.com/
And most importantly the book "Thrill of the Chase" by Forrest Fenn can be found at Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe. http://www.collectedbookstore.com/
Last, but not least, the poem by Forrest Fenn.
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.