Why the Treasure Chest is Hidden in New Mexico

1. In the book Fenn writes “It’s in the mountains somewhere North of Santa Fe.” That sentence was written before Fenn and the Treasure were popularized in the media. If I were to say to you I’m headed up to the mountains somewhere North of Santa Fe, I wouldn’t be referring to Wyoming, nor would you think I was.

All the other “clues,” i.e., “…in the Rocky Mountains,” “…above 7 thou…5 thousand feet,” etc. were provided after Fenn realized he had underestimated the popular interest in the treasure. In addition, Fenn, more than once has said the clues he’s released since the publication of the book would not help anyone find the treasure, e.g., “The treasure is not hidden in Utah, Nevada or Idaho,” really offers nothing to help find the treasure. To me, that’s like saying “We’re at war with the Chinese, so you don’t have to bomb India.”
2. Fenn and his family arrived in New Mexico in 1972 with $20,000 in savings. In the next 17-18 years he acquired much of his wealth, fame and infamy while in New Mexico. He suffered his bout with cancer and survived it. He is a staple, and a bit of a hero/antihero in the highly competitive and worldwide recognized Santa Fe art scene. No other place he’s resided can come close to competing with the grandeur of his home in Santa Fe, the one whose design was influenced so much by him. While I’m sure he has many pleasant childhood memories about other locations, New Mexico has been very good to him and his family. Seems to me he may want to pay some of that back. Since the sale of Gallery in 1988, he could have afforded to live anyplace else in the world, but he stayed in Santa Fe. His roots are deep, and his family tree is New Mexican. He has spent most of the remainder of his “retirement” excavating San Lazaro Ancient Pueblo South of Santa Fe. That is truly a work of love, and you can see it in the book he published on the project. New Mexico is practically in his blood. Seems to me, in a karmic way, he may want to pay some of that back.

3. I don’t have the sense that Fenn is a complex man. I think he is broad thinker rather than deep thinker…an Occam’s razor kind of guy (as most fighter pilot’s are). To him, simple solutions to the problem are best. The simplest solution would be to place it near his adopted home. (And, another reason I quit analyzing the possible codices and ciphers in TTOTC.)

4. If you combine the intelligence from several interviews…he drove to the site, made two trips from his car to the hiding spot, returned to his car, thought about what he had just done, and laughed out loud. That doesn’t seem to me as a multi-day trip to Wyoming. It sounds like his Sunday afternoon vehicular constitutional.

5. Fenn claims he was “79 or 80” when he hid the treasure. At sprightly as he seems, that’s old. Some of the recons I’ve made, I’ve scratched off my list before the morning was done. I keep asking myself, “…could an 80 year old man, alone, with a pair of 20 pound loads, taken this risk or made this journey?”

6. Finally, the phrase “warm waters (plural)” is a phrase unique to New Mexico. (Google it. It’s easy to find.)

7. It has to be near enough for him to have access to it (sooner or later), without creating a “scene.” In the event at Moby Dickens he said that he was still planning to throw himself upon the treasure chest with hist last breath. If he had been visiting Yellowstone every year for “vacation,” I might feel differently.

8. In my opinion, it would be difficult to make as strong a case for any other Rocky Mountain state. Short of “he spent his happy childhood days in or near Yellowstone,” no other Rocky Mountain state can elicit the same level of confidence.

17 thoughts on “Why the Treasure Chest is Hidden in New Mexico

  1. I have always beei intrigued by the “old”
    Title of the poem.
    “Where The Treasure Lies” by Forrest Fenn
    I have looked at it as if it is a question and answer. Where the treasure lies? By Forrest Fenn.
    Another intriguing thought is the line that says I give you “title” to the gold. Is this title a clue? Any thoughts?

    • Miss Zelda,

      I don’t recall ever seeing a copy of the poem on which had been included a title. Which, in and of itself, was always curious to me. Thus, I never quite connected it to the word “title” in the last line of the poem. On the other hand, I’m a firm believer that the nine clues are the 9 contiguous lines beginning with “Begin it where warm waters halt,” and that the lines preceding and following are the equivalent of a frame. When Fenn gives title to the gold, I believe he’s covering a legal matter. With that simple phrase, he prevents the possibility that he could ask for any of the treasure to be returned. Which may or may not conflict with his later request for the silver bracelet. It might be his only way to determine whether or not the treasure had been discovered…without him actually checking on it regularly, I mean.


  2. You are a man of high esteem in this chase of ours. I know. I have watched your posts here and there, and I hold you in high regard. Thank you. More of you are needed in this world.

    • Mark…thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate what you’ve said. I know you’re as serious as I am, so please feel free to contribute to the conversation whenever you get the chance.

  3. Hello there Toby, just found your blog.
    Alot of the trail cams today will send out a pic to your mobile phone every time its triggered.
    It would be pretty easy to just set one of those up with a solar panel and let her go.Then have someone check it for you every now and then.

  4. Toby,thanks for your hard work! I def. agree that a very strong case can be made to just search in NM. I wonder if he does check on it? My 4 searches have been to the same site in NM.My interests lay elsewhere now.(still NM !)

    • Ken…whenever he’s asked, he’s very confident that it hasn’t been found. That means he has to have a way to know. I don’t see how he could visit it regularly without it being noticed. I’ve considered a number of options including a SPOT-like device embedded in the box to there being a not attached to the infamous turquoise bracelet offering some kind of immediate cash reward for its return. I think I’m going to write a post on it to see what other people think. Thanks for checking in with the new blog.

      • Marine salvage companies and fishermen use a device that is put on location and is dormant until pinged when back in area again to locate.

  5. Thanks for the video. We were at the previous book signing, but missed this one, so we appreciate it. You do have some points for the treasure being in New Mexico. We are still voting for Yellowstone.

  6. Pingback: Why the Treasure Chest is Hidden in New Mexico | op2myst

  7. He can boost the economy in NM and still hide it in another state. There are other states that are much more well known for the Rocky Mountains. If you want that bronze box then, “begin it WWWH.”

  8. Hi Toby, Thanks for the work you’ve done, I agree with your thoughts. Also consider that the hiding place /crypt, had to be accessible year round.

  9. Well said. These reasons are precisely why I will never search north of southern Colorado and why so far my search is been focused in one small section of northern New Mexico. We don’t agree on point 7. I don’t think he’s revisited the site or intends to but that’s a mere quibble.

    • John…it’s interesting you mention Southern Colorado, I have one odd search solution that begins in Southern Colorado, crosses the border and finishes in New Mexico.

      • Good job on the blog. Very well done. Like I said when you first started posting, I like the way you think. Yeah, I also have several solutions that exist up there in that area. It’s amazing how much the brave river changes from The San Luis Valley to the gorge.

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