A couple of interesting, and in my case, not heard before, revelations. Please take a moment to donate a little money to the podcast. He deserves it. Click on the image below to get there.
As the result of our visibility due to our investment in time and effort given to our Internet properties, including this one, we are often in receipt of emails from searchers who describe some or all of their solutions to us.
The most recent one included this sentence, “Forrest wrote 2 books, numerous scrapbooks, vignettes, etc. There are featured questions, weekly words, etc. He has given us a lot of information.”
Needless to say, that got our attention.
We respectfully disagree with the assertion, “He has given us a lot of information.” Amongst all that Fenn has provided, there is only one item of information that has provided any value to us.
This one – “I haven’t given a clue (that) I think was going to help anybody substantially.”
Those exact words were spoken by Fenn at the Collected Works Bookstore in October of 2013. I have (because I made) the video recording.
Thus, we do not believe Fenn has provided us even the most fundamental “actionable intelligence.”
If anything, he’s implemented a casual program of what we in the intelligence community would have referred to “tactical offensive counterintelligence, with intent.” That’s information promulgated intentionally to confuse an issue.
(It should be noted, though, he’s not doing it in an intentionally hurtful way – he’s doing it because he’s Forrest Fenn, he’s 86, he’s naturally mischievous, and he likes attention.)
Why does that make sense?
Because it is far easier for Fenn NOT to give us any information beyond what he’s written in The Poem.
Think about this: What, in terms of time and effort, would it take for Fenn to manage the process of providing an additional six years’ worth of “hints” or “clues,” enough to keep the effort going, but not enough to spoil his dream of being a topic of conversation a thousand years from now?
Remember what a big deal the “unintended clue” in TFTW turned out to be?
If you’ve managed to conclude (as a result of all that additional information he’s provided) that Fenn would like someone find the treasure before he dies, you’re wrong.
From Fenn’s perspective, there is no rational reason to provide any information beyond what he has in The Poem.
So, here’s a test.
Erase all your solutions from your mind.
Instead, start with this: You have The Poem, access to GMap4, and you know the treasure is hidden someplace north of Santa Fe in the Rocky Mountains. Bonus: You found the TFTW map online.
No books, no scrapbooks, no videos, no Fenn blog, no ChaseChat, no Dal Neitzel, no A Gypsy’s Kiss, no “Forrest gets emails.”
Now, answer this question: Where, exactly, do the warm waters mentioned in The Poem halt?
I was born in 1930, and have lived during times of great difficulty and great promise.
I am a man of the real world, and not an imaginary one.
I am a man of unshakeable commitment; to my life, to my work, to my service; but most especially, to my family.
I am a man of the outdoors, as was my father before me. From him, I learned to love and respect nature.
I am a man of the past and the future. The present is only a river-washed stepping-stone between them.
I am a man of words and letters. And, if I have to make up my own, I do.
I am a man of contrasts. Sometimes intentional, sometimes not.
I am a man of eclectic tastes and interests. Enough to fill more than a single lifetime.
I am a man of action and adventure, big and small, but, always with an objective.
I am a man of direction. I know where I am, where I’m going and how I will get there.
So…where would I hide a treasure if I had a treasure that wanted to be hidden?
I would hide it where the ancients and mountain men could appreciate and understand.
I would hide it in place that is magical in its simplicity.
I would hide it near my home, if my home were the mountains and along the river bottoms where dreams and fantasies alike go to play.
I would hide it in the past, and in the future. The present is only a river-washed stepping-stone between them.
I would hide it in The Place of Peace.
I am Forrest Fenn.
I spent the morning at the Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe meeting with Forrest and book store owner, Dorthy Massey. We spent some time planning for the “TTOTC Do Good Raffle” taking place at 2pm MST on Tuesday, January 7. After Fenn had chosen the backdrop (in front of the fireplace with the Elk antlers above), we made some adjustments to the lighting and worked out an agenda. The entire event should take less than 30 minutes. Fenn seemed to be in very good spirits, and was happy, and a bit proud, of the results of the effort. You can track the results here.
He said that as of this morning, “over” 760 raffle tickets had been sold, including those to one individual who had purchased $1,000.00 worth! On the day of the drawing, whomever pulls the winning raffle ticket will be able to read the winner’s name to the audience, as Fenn has handwritten the ticket buyer’s name on each one.
I write “whomever” because, unfortunately, while she will be in attendance, Suzanne Sommers will not take part in the drawing due to a contractual conflict of interest. We discussed alternatives, but, as of this writing, I don’t have a name certain to share with you.
I took the opportunity to test the book store’s wireless internet to determine its live video streaming capability, and it passed with semi-flying colors. There was enough bandwidth to broadcast, but with a 17 second delay. My technical team was viewing from their workstations in Albuquerque, and simultaneously communicating with me via cell phone. They told me the moving image and audio were perfectly clear, which surprised me. I was shooting with my Android tablet with the LiveStream Android app for the test, rather than the high-end equipment I’ll be using on the day of the event.
The event is posted at LiveStream.com
The event URL is: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/6520967/events/2625624 Use this URL to login to the event on the day of the raffle.
To save yourself some time and frustration on the day of the event, I’m going to highly recommend that you pre-register as a viewer at LiveStream.com. Registration is free, and required in order to view the event stream. You can share the above link with anyone you’d like, again, recommending that they register before the day of the event.
If you’re unable to view the live event, don’t fret. I’ll be posting the event video on my YouTube channel soon after I return to my facility in Albuquerque.
While at the bookstore, I purchased two books: former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s novel entitled, “Blowback,” written with Sarah Lovette and a handy, highly-detailed, and waterproof field guide entitled “The Rio Grande – A River Guide to the Geology and Landscapes of Northern New Mexico.” Hoping for some treasure hunting feedback, I showed the book to Fenn. He looked at it, then without any feedback, changed the subject.
The one item of additional intel (sort of) I collected at the meeting: Fenn told me he flew his own aircraft the last time in 2008, at age 78, meaning he was still able to pass his medical. He said that the events of 9/11 had put a lot of pressure on the general aviation community, including requiring him (with over 7400 hours in a variety of types) to attend an annual two-week-long refresher course in Vero Beach, Florida. He sold the aircraft shortly after his decision to quit flying. (He taught his grandson, Shiloh to fly before he could drive, although he (Shiloh) does not own an aircraft.)
Fenn writes like he thinks.
And, he thinks in compact, self-contained packages (CSCPs*), the current one connected to the previous one as much as it is to the following one. Then, as he moves through his line of thought, he builds cross connections. Eventually, each CSCP is virtually connected to all the other CSCPs. As they age, some of them float out to the edge of his cranial universe, far away enough from the center of mental gravity that they escape, never to return. Some hang on near the edge and are modified by it. They become memory anomalies, or as he calls them, “aberrations.”
Sooner or later, when he needs them, he pulls some of the related CSCPs together to form a new, complete thought.
Then, he writes.
The Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung gave the process a name. He called it synchronicity.
Synchronicity is what leaves Fenn’s audiences with a sense of a mind that’s in constant motion. Eclectic, yet organized. Artistic, yet logical. Organic, yet mechanical. Cunning, yet caring. Twisted, yet aligned.
To me, the synchronous manner in which he thinks, then writes, is what leads to what I refer to as “The Fenn Segue.”
(Segue: pronounced seg-way. Definition: to make a transition without interruption from one activity, topic, scene, or part to another.)
I noticed it the first time in my reading of the chapter entitled “First Grade,” subtitled “Lanier School,” beginning on pg 16 of “The Thrill of the Chase.”
It begins, “My father was a teacher at Lanier School…” There’s a photo of his father captioned, “Mr. Fenn, Principal” on the opposite page.
One could assume that this chapter was going to be about his father. And, for the most part, it is.
It is, except for the SEGUE about John Charles whatever, who would sometimes “…bring a little jar of green olives to school and wave that thing…” in Fenn’s face. Description of the jar of olives follows. The first time I read the chapter, I was so distracted by the olive jar segue, that I had trouble concentrating while reading the rest of the chapter. Instead of following my eyes reading, my mind was asking itself the same question Fenn asked the readers, “What was that all about anyway?”
Why would you segue out of a perfectly good story, to tell a completely unrelated one?
Synchronicity. It was not unrelated. It was connected. The olive jar, a CSCP that had traversed some distance out into the universe in his mind, was snapped back into his current CSCP of thought. Lanier School? Probably.
(As I am writing this, I recalled a CSCP of A****** Garcia, the overweight, abused bully two grades ahead of me at St. Anne’s Elementary School in Santa Fe, who would seek me out on the playground and beat the crap out of me. On one of my leaves from the service, I was informed he had killed himself in a car accident on I-25 between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. He was drunk. He killed his girlfriend in the process, and left his wife and daughters with almost nothing, except unpleasant memories.)
By the way, the previous paragraph was a classic example of a segue.
I’ll bet some of you had the olive jar kid in your lives too. I’ll bet just reading this elicits the memory of your olive jar kid. Don’t have that kind of memory? Then you were probably the olive jar kid.
That, of course, is not the only Fenn segue in the book. The “horseshoe” segue in “Dancing With the Millennium” on pg 135 is a good example. There are several others. Even the “Treasure” chapter beginning on pg 127 entitled “Gold and More,” subtitled “Somewhere North of Santa Fe,” contains a couple, including the dream about Captain Kidd and Gardiner’s Island. He also, in the same chapter, writes that he placed his 20,000 word autobiography in a glass jar, sealed with wax, into the treasure chest.
I felt like there was something important about the Fenn segues. Upon completing my first reading of the book, I returned to its beginning and made notes of each of the Fenn segues. I especially noted the mention of the olive jar at the beginning of the book and his mention of the jar containing his autobiography near the end.
Focused on finding the treasure, I didn’t think much about it. In the grand scheme of value…well – his autobiography wasn’t an egg-sized gold nugget. Was it?
I didn’t think much about the jar until one day I heard him talking about his autobiography in the jar.
A jar he sealed with wax.
And, a jar he put in the treasure chest before he hid it.
An olive jar.
Yes. He said it was an olive jar.
They key, I believe, to understanding the Fenn Segue is in the olive jar.
* You won’t find Compact Self Contained Packages (CSCPs) in the literature. I made up the phrase to describe how I think Fenn thinks.
Click here to get the latest information on the raffle. (12/31/2013) Fenn has added some new details about the prize on Dal Neitzel’s Blog. Read about it in “Scrapbook Fifty Four.” 01/01/2014). Get the final information on the event live stream here.
About Renelle Jacobson
Renelle Jacobson, whose photo you see here is one of the army of searchers looking for Fenn’s hidden treasure. She’s 41, single, and suffers from a rare form of of bone cancer called osteosarchoma. Five years of chemo and several surgeries didn’t kill the disease. So, in 2011, doctors amputated her left leg above the knee. She has a prosthetic leg, but the cancer changes the shape of her limb, making it difficult for her to use the prosthetic.
After searching in Yellowstone several times over the summer, she traveled to Santa Fe to visit with Fenn. Of their first encounter, he wrote,
“When Renelle Jacobson stepped out of her car in my driveway, and walked toward me, I was charmed at first sight. Her smile telegraphed a timeless message: ‘Look out world, because here I come.’
“Renelle Jacobson inspires me in a singular way; her spirit holds me in thrall. Each day she tests the extremes in ways I can’t even imagine. To know her even a little bit, as I do, is to love her a lot.”
Cancer treatments are incredibly expensive, and although Renelle has insurance, it doesn’t cover all the costs. So, never one not to do something, Fenn put together a plan for a raffle on Renelle’s behalf. Every dollar raised will go directly to Renelle to help her pay the costs of her treatment.
You can read more about Renelle from Fenn’s perspective on Dal Neitzel’s blog, here.
As he described in the chapter entitled “Dancing with the Millennium” in “The Thrill of the Chase,” Fenn hand forms bells and jars made from wax, then has them cast in bronze at Shidoni Foundry North of Santa Fe. He’s made over 30 of them, his handiwork embedded with his fingerprints transferred to the wax and then to the bronze. He’s buried many of them in the mountains and deserts of the Southwest in holes so deep they could not be found with a metal detector. He imagines they will be found thousands of years from now.
And, now you can buy a ticket to own one of these unique and priceless treasures: a brass jar, hand made by Forrest Fenn.
But, as they say on TV, that’s not all.
Fenn has packed the jar with a few prehistoric and early historic objects from his own collection. The artifacts are full of history that would fill a hundred books if they could speak. Many of the objects came from his excavation at San Lazaro Pueblo. And, others have come from other locations. Note the example of the Clovis Point in the upper right hand corner of the photo above, rarely seen outside a glass case of a museum’s archeology exhibit. Yours to keep!
Wait, I’m not done. There’s more.
Fenn has promised that if whoever wins the raffle brings the jar to him, he will tell them what he knows about each of the items. Independent of Fenn’s offer, I will offer to document the meeting between Fenn and the winner of the prize in still and moving images, theirs to keep.
Tickets are $25 each, or 5 for $100. You can purchase them by clicking on the image below, which redirects you to Dal Neitzel’s Blog. Neitzel is a Fenn’s very good and trusted friend. After your purchase using PayPal, you’ll receive an email from Neitzel containing your ticket numbers.
I can’t imagine a better way to spend $25 or more during this holiday season. This is a unique opportunity to help someone in need and to potentially win the only example of Fenn’s bronze jars and bells that will remain unburied.
Please purchase one or more raffle tickets today.