“The Lure” is a feature length documentary about some of the men and women enchanted by Forrest Fenn and the treasure he’s hidden “…someplace in the mountains North of Santa Fe.”
The interview was conducted in a classroom very kindly provided by the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, which sits adjacent to the Santa Fe Center for Contemporary Arts, where the film was screened to a full house on the evening of Thursday, May 18, 2017.
Mr. Fenn, several of his family members, and at least three of the searchers in the film were present.
Shelley and I give the film a hearty “thumbs up,” as Leach navigates his way, equally adeptly, through the various wilderness areas to which he’s taken, and the strongly felt (and expressed) emotions of the searchers. He seems to have found a healthy balance between the two.
Leach’s cinematography was subtle and thoughtful, and the audio was enviable, as it was as good, if not better, as I have heard on any film of this genre (and budget). The film was well edited with only a couple of scenes that could have used a little extra cutting but moves along smoothly, and at a consistent pace. In all, it was a very engaging story, well told, in a technically astute manner. Our compliments to Mr. Leach.
In conclusion, should you get the opportunity, see the film. If you’re not searching for the treasure before, we’ll bet you’ll be after.
Click here for more information on Tomas Leach and his film.
First: I have, and perhaps not for the last time, come to a conclusion that the nine clues in the poem are exactly in the following order, and that each complete sentence represents a single clue, i.e., “Begin it where ware waters halt and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk.” is one clue, not three. To wit:
Second: The first clue in the poem indicates that Fenn hid the treasure in New Mexico.
Third: The poem is not a map.
Shelley and I will explain it further in our next vlog, due on April 26, 2017. I’ll add the link to the video on this page, once the vlog is published.
Follow our hunt for the Fenn Treasure:
To see Fenn at Moby Dickens, and get bonus materials, click here:
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 spent five years in the United States Army from 1969 to 1974. Two of those years were spent in Viet Nam assigned to a firebase near the (then) town of Ca Mau, but I traveled all over the Mekong Delta in IV Corps. I volunteered for, and was assigned, to the U. S. Army Security Agency (ASA), a branch of the National Security Agency (NSA), and I held a Top Secret Crypto clearance. My primary Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was 98C – Traffic Analyst. I say primary, because I went through far more training in other courses and schools before going overseas. The traffic I analyzed and acted upon had nothing to do with cars or trucks. I wrote that so you know I have a good sense of what I’m about to suggest to you.
Intelligence is a process. It includes targeting, collecting, collating, analyzing, formulating, reporting, planning and action.
The most often heard phrase in that community is “actionable intelligence.” That means “intelligence in which the confidence in its accuracy is so high, that you’re willing to put American lives at risk.”
As an analyst, that concept significantly affects the way you work.
It means that you put each one of the above steps in context. But, eventually, there comes a point in the process where you have to decide whether or not you have to present your findings, conclusions and recommendations to the people who make decisions.
I have lost sleep over those matters. In times when expediency counted, I spent hours worth of self-reflection and in discussions with other analysts on whether to present my work. Being wrong, or not presenting a well-thought-out case, is not something you want to do. At best, it costs credibility. At worst, it costs lives.
But, this is just a treasure hunt, isn’t it? No lives at risk. No big price to be paid for a mistake in analysis and judgement.
So, what’s my point?
As a result of our vlog, we have received “intelligence” on where we should consider conducting searches for the treasure. Nothing really firm, mind you – mostly strings of random ideas and attempts to weave them together into coherency. Certainly, in my opinion, not actionable.
That’s my point.
We look at every one of our solutions we devise from the perspective of “would it pass the actionable intelligence” test? Could I present this solution to a group of people who have my best interest at heart, and expect them to, not only agree with my assessment, but, then, to take action on it?
Next time you find yourself in the midst of a “Beautiful Mind” attempt at determining where and how to finds Fenn’s treasure, stop.
Ask yourself, “Is this good enough to present it to a group of people whose decisions based on my analysis will put lives at risk?”
I know. There are no American lives at risk. It’s just a treasure hunt.
But, here’s a fun way to look at it: let’s say the treasure is a small nuclear device, and your job is to find it, and disarm it before it blows up part of the Rocky Mountains. How good would your solution to the nine clues be then?
In your opinion, how does this landmark fit in to the hunt for Fenn’s treasure? You can hear our opinion in our next vlog, released on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.