Who is I, Where is There? by Mike

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.

Question 1:  Who is ”I”?

Knowing Fenn’s penchant for misdirection, it is important to consider the less obvious answers, which I have: Fenn’s dad, Skippy, Native Americans as a whole, Chief Joseph, Sacagawea, etc..  I have not been able to make any of these fit the poem or the hints in the books. Since the poem is admittedly about Fenn’s treasure, I am going to lean towards Fenn being the “I” spoken of here.  This is the hypothesis I have been testing recently, testing it to the rest of the poem, the books, and Fenn’s own statements.

Question 2:  Where is “there”?

Wherever “there” is, the very nature of it is why he can keep his secret:

Because I have gone alone in there…. I can keep my secret”

Here I have paraphrased lines one and three to make a clear and concise statement. Beginning the poem with the word “As” is awkward, and perhaps the only reason he did it was because the word “Because” (which is the only sensible use of the word “As” in this context) would make the poem more difficult to crack.  So, he can keep his secret BECAUSE he went in there alone.

What has Fenn said in his books, interviews or scrapbooks that would shed light on to where this place might be?  He mentions where a person can truly keep a secret in his book The Thrill of the Chase:

“Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.”- Forrest Fenn, The Thrill of the Chase, page 133.

Now this is a corruption of the original quote by Ben Franklin: “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”  Why would Fenn change it?  Well, he states in the chapter Gold and More of TTOTC that he is the only one with the secret. To emphasize this point, he changes the “two” to a “one” inferring that the dead guy is the only one 100% capable of keeping a secret. Since Fenn is the only one with the secret, Fenn must be the dead guy (this logic doesn’t work with the Ben Franklin quote, where the one left standing is the living guy, who is perfectly capable of blabbing).  So where is “there” then?  Well, it could be death, or the grave, I am not sure if it matters which. This brings us to his statement to his friend Ralph Lauren who quipped, “You can’t take it with you”, to which Fenn replied, “Then I’m not going.”-United Hemispheres magazine, January 2012 issue, page 68.  Let’s reverse that- Fenn knows he will die, but is determined to take the treasure with him, the secret of the treasure’s location locked forever in his casket.  All that will be left after his passing are hints, and from his grave and through his books he will, “hint of riches new and old”, until the treasure is found.

So how does this help us find the treasure? I don’t know yet. There is no indication that anything in the first stanza leads to the treasure. Fenn himself has proclaimed that the first clue is “where warm waters halt” which is in the second stanza.  Perhaps this is a big jig saw puzzle, where we figure out one piece at a time until a picture begins to appear.  Perhaps this is the first piece.  At the very least, if this interpretation is correct, it may keep us out of caves, mines, museums (just kidding, Bob), or other dangerous “in there” places.

25 thoughts on “Who is I, Where is There? by Mike

  1. The riddle of the 5 “I”s. One is over a mile long.
    “As I” is the biggest.
    “I give you title” is the smallest and bares my name Chief, as I look into the place of peace.

    My Initials rest in Scrapbook 32 as water high. 32 is my magic number. I’ve already spoken of its placement, but look quickly down, and you will see my Chief, from HB book 32 and it is “i” you seek.

    home of Brown is 8.25 miles from the state line.
    Mindy is correct on 270. Do a 180 from my house. 80up100right.



    • Hello, Bob…and Forrest (?)…again!

      Wow. I know the jury might still be kinda out as to whether that’s really you, Forrest. Over at Dal’s they think you’re an imposter.

      Personally…I don’t know definitively…so I will refrain from throwing jabs…which isn’t really my style anyway. I’m more of an uppercut kinda guy. LOL! Just kidding.

      I’d hate to be unkind or say something derogatory only to discover later that it really was Forrest. YouknowhatImean, Bob?

      I don’t know much about country music…but I like some of it. This one seems pertinent…


      So…Thank You, Forrest…for the additional riddles…within riddles… :/


      i appreciate It…i reckon.


      • hello JC…yes that really is forrest. theres lots of fellas named forrest in the world. is it fenn? i dont know and dont care. just like everyone else who comments on a blog they may or may not use their real name. who cares? i respond to the comment with no regard as to who may have written it. this is a blog after all not a social gathering where distinctions are made according to class. no red carpet. no 5,000$ a plate lunches. its just talk and talk is cheap. might as well have fun with it.


      • Hello, WoodyBogg.

        Igneous, my dear Watson…Igneous.

        Oops! i mean…

        Sedimentary, my dear Watson…sedimentary.

        Definitely layered. Definitely.

        I am an excellent driver.

        No. You can’t see my driving record. 🙂


  2. Hi Mike, guess its just you and me on this topic. i feel the questions you raise are very important ones. your analysis of the first stanza can also be applied to the fifth stanza:
    “so why is it that I must go” again…who is I?
    “and leave my trove…”
    and again where is this trove similar to stanza one…leave my trove where?

    my thinking is the “I” person is Forrest, same as stanza one and the where is the same place as stanza one. the difference between the two is that stanza one is past tense and stanza five is future tense.
    stanza five does point to a death in..”why is it that i must go” (die)

    who else could the “I” person be other than Forrest? in addition to the names you already suggested i’ll add a couple more who have died and left troves to seek.
    king tut
    jacob waltz, the lost dutchman

    but nothing Forrest has written points to these two individuals, and besides neither of them wanted to have their trove discovered.

    so we can see how similar stanza one and five are. i believe stanza five is a clue to the grave of Forrest. because in the chapter Gold and More just before the poem he writes….”will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure.” being greedy humans we have preoccupied ourselves with trying to find the treasure with total disregard to the end of his rainbow.

    clues to his grave may be in the chapter Tea with Olga. all colors of the rainbow are mentioned in this chapter either directly or indirectly but all seven colors are there. and of course there is mention of death because of Olga. but I dont think Forrest will have his ashes scattered on top of a mountain, near the bronze box, no. i think the clue is in the fact that Olga wouldnt sell her space to Forrest so he could expand his gallery until she was dead. similarly, Forrest will purchase space next to an existing museum to house his artifacts, his mummified dead body, and the bronze box. all on display. this is where he will go and leave his trove for all to seek.

    but tarry scant (stay short) and marvel gaze (look with wonder)
    just take (a photo) the chest (trove) and go in peace.


    • Yes, I have seen that stanza 5 is similar to stanza 1, and may hint at Fenn’s death. He is again playing with words and using misdirection, assuming that we will understand “go” to mean go hide the treasure, but it may be about his death. I am beginning to believe that his death plays into the solution some how.


      • plays in some how? it’s half the battle man!
        “will lead to the end of my rainbow and the treasure”
        end of rainbow is listed first! it is of utmost importance…find the end of his rainbow and you got the treasure.

        i think.


        • Bob – I am not chiming in on this discussion, because it is such a perfect one, with such great comments. Believe it or not, I know how to listen good. But I just wanted to say I agree with your last comment; that finding Forrest’s rainbow is key. And then I think that a tight focus on that word, rainbow, is the key. But I just happen to have the outline of a Rainbow trout surrounding my search area on my topo map…


          • bob – And then there is the 360-degree rainbow in Cabin Creek, where it meets Forest Creek, in the form of what looks like a circumpunct, which is the symbol for gold. And then there is the fact that the end of Forrest’s Rainbow has been reached, because Cabin Creek no longer accommodates Rainbow trout. A fish barrier has been built, so the Westslope Cutthroat can take over. That effort has been in the works since at least 2012, if not before. Just ask Craig Matthews…he will tell you.


      • “I’ve never been willing to stand idly by and be part of a forgotten history when I may be able to impact future events.” f

        f has devised a way to impact the Chase, in spirit, after he’s gone.


      • Ok Shoot, I just told Bob I would not be commenting here Mike but…

        Why is it that I must go
        Separate thought
        And leave my trove

        Many blend that to one thought.
        Why is it that I must go and leave my trove

        We actually do that throughout the poem. We join thoughts together that were not necessarily meant to be joined. As well we separate thoughts in a way that is not conveyed in the poem.

        Another example is:
        The poem reads Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down.
        That’s one thought one description.
        We separate that into;
        Begin it where warm waters halt
        Take it in the canyon down

        The AND tells you they are meant to be joined and yet we separate them. (Even though in the prior example it tells us the opposite) We do so to count clues, right? Trying to reach our 9 by the blaze. We choose to make Canyon a clue. Doesn’t mean that it is.

        Let me add that MAYBE any of this is true. Who knows?

        I’m certain you don’t want to hear any of this, I will head back to HoD.

        Lugnutz out


    • Bob, regarding property adjacent a current museum… where’s your best guess?
      My thoughts regarding forrests plans for a “fenn museum” run similar to your as I’ve mentioned previously.
      I’ve been able to map the poem at both Buffalo Bill museum and museum hill/Santa Fe across the street from ff and Peggy’s home of brown. The Santa Fe nay Sayers will quote 8.25 miles north of SF – which is likely the case. However, in Forrest’s original quote he goes on with…I said that – because I didn’t want people digging in my neighbors yard. So what is true and what is misdirection??
      He started building his current home in 1988 when he was planning for his death, placement for his collection, etc. I don’t believe his grandkids are interested in running a museum or in preservation of his collection. I once asked him such and he responded. It would be a shame for his life’s work/collection to be broken up. I would bet my bottom dollar he has insured all will stay together.
      Perhaps a fenn wing is planned at the museum and Cody, or at his Santa Fe house.

      Forrest, if you’re looking for someone to run the museum for you and take kids on tours – LOOKING NO FURTHER I’m your gal!!!


  3. Chris Yates – Mindstreaming now….

    Effort > F fort > I can Keep my secret where.

    Castle keeps > the Queen of Hearts > playing card suits > the quote on inside the front cover of his book…

    And then there is that design on the bronze chest that looks very much like someone storming a castle to me climbing up a ladder going over the wall.


  4. when he said autobiographers always lean toward the subject, imo he’s letting us know that understanding he, ff, is the subject of the poem is important

    in a normal reading of the poem, there is only one place where 2 f’s are together, in the word effort

    if we look at the poem as a crossword, letters only, there is one other place, the only other one, if we are looking for any f’s next to each other.

    either up, down, or diagonal. shown here


    notice also that this seems to be a secondary place the word effort was hidden in the poem

    imo, the only time effort is mentioned outside the poem in the book, is going to be an important subtle hint somehow as well

    “And because I’m so easily pleased, a lot of things are effortless for me”


    • Hi Chris, I’ve enjoyed your comments and effortless memory skills the past 4 years. Just wanted to say thanks while you were on line. (I rarely participate in the discussions since no longer searching). Best wishes. Anna


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