Collected Works Video: Selected Quotes, Notes & Commentary (to gain access go to

This document is protected by password. If you want access to this document, please go to our Vimeo on Demand page at:

captureThe following includes quotes transcribed directly from the video, “Forrest Fenn at Collected Works in Santa Fe,” along with my commentary and some notes that I made. My material in italics.

“If you read the preface to my book, you’ll understand why I titled it ‘Too Far to Walk.'” (Especially the last 3 paragraphs of the preface.)

“When I write, I can say anything I want to, because I don’t have any rules.”

“In each of my books, I’ve made up words.”

“There’s one clue in this book (TFTW) that’s not in ‘The Thrill of the Chase,’ and I didn’t know the clue was in this book until it was printed. (It’s not the map. He knew that map was going to be in the book. That leaves us with, 1. it’s in the book someplace else, or 2. it’s on the map and the clue made it through whatever editing was done on the map. I think it’s in the book, in the last few paragraphs of the preface. I’ll explain why in another post entitled “The Unintended Clue in TFTW.”)

“If I don’t have an answer to a question, I just make up one. Because a person asks a question, needs an answer.” (In his books. I’ve seen him refuse to answer a question in public.)

“I’ve said before the treasure chest is heavy. And it…I made two trips to hide it where I wanted it to be. But I’ve told people: don’t look for the treasure chest in a place where a 79 or 80 year old guy can’t take it.”

“People tell me their climbing on top of the mountain. When these guys are making a mistake I don’t want to interrupt them.”

“The treasure is hidden below 20,000 feet.” (Yet another in a long list of unhelpful clues. All the Rockies are under 20,000 feet in height.)

“I haven’t given a clue (that) I think was going to help anybody substantially.” (This, to me, was the most informative statement of the night. It simply means we can ignore all the post-publication clues he’s spoken. As he is fond of saying, “It’s in the poem.”)

“Well, you know…let me put this in perspective. So many people have decided they’re going to take a picnic lunch out on Sunday and look for the treasure…or something to do over spring break. I’m lookin’ at a hundred years down the road…a thousand years, maybe ten thousand years down the road. It took me 15 years to write the poem. I’ve changed it so many times and I’ve said before that I didn’t write that poem…it was written by an architect…each word is deliberate.” (No an architect did not write the poem. Fenn wrote the poem in the same way he would architect a building. Noted: he is neither a trained writer or a trained architect. He’s a been a ‘seat of the pants’ kind of guy his entire life.)

“People tell me where they are…they’re very precise in their descriptions of where they are…where they’ve been and I can tell that some of them have been pretty close.”

“A metal detector will help you if you’re exactly in the right spot.”

“I’ll tell you that it’s not on a top of any mountain. That’s a big clue ’cause there’s lots of mountains out there…it may be close to the top…”

“If a person reads the poem over and over…and are able to decipher the first few clues in the poem, they can find the treasure chest. It may not be easy, but it certainly isn’t impo…I could go right straight to it.”

“I’ve said some things in my books… I’ve made some deliberate errors, just to see if anybody would find them and they don’t and they haven’t.”

“When I wrote that poem, I wasn’t playing any games. It’s straightforward.”

(How many clues has someone cracked?) They’ve cracked the first two, and went right past the treasure chest. Several people have done that.