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My Seventeen Cents on the Medium.com Article - Part One

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  • My Seventeen Cents on the Medium.com Article - Part One

    Hi Everyone,
    I reread the Medium.Com article again yesterday and it made me as mad as it did the first time I read it. So I started to write down what I thought were the errors in the article based on my interactions with Forrest. And then I added some snarky commentary to my error notes, which was even more satisfying. And the result is below. I gave up about halfway through the article figuring I had made my point at least to myself. And I only commented on what I thought were the important sections, but the sections and comments are in the same order as in the article. I know other people have gone through and picked out the errors (and likely done a better job than I have), but I felt that I wanted to take a pass through on my own and thought I might as well share ...
    Original Article Russ's Snarky Commentary
    I figured out the location where he wished to die (and thus, where his treasure was) back in 2018, but it took me many months to figure out the exact spot. Dal, Cynthia and myself have spent hundreds of hours with Forrest and none of us knew where he wanted to die, but the Finder could watch a couple of interviews and figure it out? That seems unlikely. This is the Finders quoted related to that: "he never made more than a couple of subtle slip-ups in front of all the dogged reporters who came to his house, and even those apparently haven’t been caught by anyone besides me."
    This treasure hunt was the most frustrating experience of my life. Were we searching for the same treasure? I thought the Chase was the most fun I have ever had.
    There were a few times when I, exhausted, covered in scratches and bites and sweat and pine pitch, and nearing the end of my day’s water supply, sat down on a downed tree and just cried alone in the woods in sheer frustration. I have done a lot of BOTGs in Montana and I never ended up covered in very much pine pitch. I suppose he throws that in to convince us that he was in a forest. And WY is full of fast running water so I don't understand how he could run out of water? Except for the pine pitch this sounds like the Southwest more than WY. At the end of every day on a BOTG I simply felt happy that I was outside in a beautiful place with the opportunity to look for a treasure.
    I spent about 25 full days of failure looking for the treasure at that location before getting it. Interesting that the Finder should chose one day more than the 24 lines in the poem. Sort of like God resting on the 7th day.
    When I got back to my rental car after the find, I put my hands on the steering wheel and bawled my eyes out. Good Lord, yet more crying. So we have pretty good dates around when he had the car (I assume out of Bozeman) and he would have driven it back to the East coast to return. I have also rented out of Bozeman and the fleet seemed pretty small to me. Good thing that out of 350,000 searchers there is no possibility of anyone working at Hertz. Yup - zero possibility of that. Why would the finder give this out as an identification marker?
    After living inside his head for two years, meeting him in person was sensory overload. This means the Finder started the Chase in early 2018. So he watched a couple of interviews in Spring 2018 and immediately figured out where Forrest wanted to die?
    I could now analyze his words and facial expressions and tone in real time, mere feet away from me. Wasn't COVID in full swing then? Given all the traveling the Finder had been doing, Forrest was comfortable having him that close? And later the Finder went Forrest's house. No one was concerned about Peggy's breathing issues given COVID?
    For weeks he had wanted to fly me back to Santa Fe to spend more time with him (he even tried to convince me to move there), but circumstances out of our control made it more practical for me to come later. I was once in Oregon when Forrest invited me to an event (he didn't know I was out of the state) and I drove 1,400 miles in two days to attend. And the Finder expects us to believe that over three months, he couldn't find a weekend to fly in?
    The treasure was just too hard to find. Obviously not too hard given the Finder figured it out after watching just a couple of interviews.
    Forrest Fenn was born in 1930 in Temple, Texas. A poor student who disappointed his educator father, he grew into a life of adventure — a decorated Air Force pilot who was shot down in the Vietnam War and survived the Laos jungle, a rakish and prominent art dealer who courted the rich and famous, and, in his third and final act, a compulsive memoirist who wrote a poem that launched a treasure hunt in the Rocky Mountains that inspired many thousands of regular folks the world over. The Finder the only person I can find who has called Forrest "rakish" - no one else who interviewed him has done that. That seems odd given the Finder would not have known him during that period.
    The first line of his New York Times obituary calls him “eccentric.” “I’ve been called ‘eccentric’ and I’m flattered by that,” Forrest once said, “because the difference between an eccentric and a kook is an eccentric has money.” 2013 Collected Works Interview. Not sure what to make of the inclusion of this quote - it is not something a regular searcher would know - why would the Finder remember it?
    Forrest Fenn was the kind of man to drink buttermilk out of the bottle. He kept alligators in the garden of his art gallery. He collected run-over soda cans as pieces of found art. He loved books and language and held onto words like “crean” that apparently nobody but he still used. He went into business with former Texas Governor John Connally, the Johnson and Nixon confidante who was wounded by the “Magic Bullet” in the Kennedy assassination, to sell Elmyr de Hory’s famed fraudulent masterpieces as fraudulent masterpieces. Forrest once shot a mountain lion and leapt down into a canyon, grabbed hold of the top of a tree, climbed down it, and tied the carcass to a rope so he could lift it out and get a $50 bounty from the Cattleman’s Association. Weird selection of SB entries. It seems strange that a millennial from the East Coast would know so much about John Connally. Aren't they spending all their time playing video games?
    In the few years before I had heard of Forrest Fenn, my confidence in myself had been totally destroyed. I like to think it aided me in finding the treasure — without any self-confidence in my abilities, I had to stick to the evidence and not stray into hunches and speculation not strictly supported by the facts, and into their close cousin, confirmation bias. The lack of self-confidence idea mimics what Forrest says in the TTOTC. I don't see how guessing Forrest's secret spot based on a couple of interviews is "strictly supported by the facts."
    ..
    In the outpouring of love Forrest received from his fans after his death, it was clear he knew just what to say to make people feel special. So the Finder is reading the blogs?
    For me, it was soon after I told him I found the treasure, when he let me know, completely unprompted, that he thought I was a genius. At least someone (but not me) thinks the Finder is a genius and unprompted even!
    For a man who expressed anxiety about getting Alzheimer’s, he seemed to have found the perfect deterrent to cognitive decline — talking frequently and in guarded detail about a huge, closely-held secret to a cache of gold, yet never divulging it to the thousands of interested people inquiring. In a decade, he never made more than a couple of subtle slip-ups in front of all the dogged reporters who came to his house, and even those apparently haven’t been caught by anyone besides me. Only Alzheimer's reference is from a magazine article in 2015 - again, weird thing for the Finder to remember. And, yes, it is amazing that all of us who knew Forrest really well would miss something so easily picked up by a stranger from the East Coast. Go figure.
    In the summer of 2018, the only time I had talked to Forrest on the phone before finding the treasure, I called to tell him in desperation I had found a “blaze” — the mark that the poem says points to the treasure — that seemed after some effort by me to have been faked by a cruel fellow searcher even though it had evidently been there for years. I couldn’t believe the chances. I told him exactly where I had been searching, but the call only lasted about 20 seconds, and he gave no impression he found my discovery at all interesting. So now I doubt the "Finder" is even a searcher. One of the canons of the Chase is "it is not impossible to remove the blaze, but it isn't feasible to try." So if the Blaze can't really be destroyed, then it also can't be created. A fake blaze is not possible. So the Finder thinks the blaze is a mark on a tree? A stack of rocks? We now have this timeline: Finder joins Chase in Spring(?) 2018, watches interviews to determine special spot, immediately flies from East Coast sometime that same summer to the search area, finds a fake blaze, and goes back home to call Forrest. Hmmmm.
    That fake blaze was less than 1,000 feet from where I eventually found the treasure. And that’s not even the half of that story. I find it hard to believe that it took 25 days to move away from the "fake" blaze to a spot just 1,000 feet away.

  • #2
    You should be upset. It's the normal healthy reaction to something as manipulative as this article.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you Russ, for voicing what many of are thinking. That article is Grade A Bologna. A very well thought out and presented analysis On something that has left a very bad taste lingering on the palate of many searchers.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, many of us have of our own snarky comments we'd like to add. The way the Finder describes it, he somehow figured out where Forrest wanted to die, flew in and rented a car to drive to an area of some undisclosed size, and just started canvassing for nearly a month. Did he even solve a single clue in the poem?

        Comment


        • #5
          Since the family seemingly endorsed it by putting it on their website the only logical conclusion is that Forrest wrote it and requested it to be published after his death.

          Comment


          • #6
            I find it hard to believe that it took 25 days to move away from the "fake" blaze to a spot just 1,000 feet away.
            [/QUOTE]

            RussDana
            haha, that’s genius ain’t it. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Goldilocks View Post
              Since the family seemingly endorsed it by putting it on their website the only logical conclusion is that Forrest wrote it and requested it to be published after his death.
              I really think you are correct on this.

              I had the same visceral reaction on my first read "This was not written by a searcher!" RussDana's summary of inconsistencies is terrific and I'm sure he could add many more. One summation of all that inconsistency does point directly to Goldilock's conclusion.

              But I don't think he just pulled it and said "I'm too old, game over." I think there's something else to the story and that's why he was so quiet in the face of so many doubters in the last weeks of his life. He could be quiet knowing that all doubts would be nuked when the true story finally came out and he would be fully redeemed.

              And I think its likely that there is someone out there who solved all the clues.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Goldilocks View Post
                Since the family seemingly endorsed it by putting it on their website the only logical conclusion is that Forrest wrote it and requested it to be published after his death.
                As illogical as that may seem, my intuition agrees wholeheartedly . That was my thought ( that FF wrote it) as I was reading it and first thought after I read it the first time. Much like some of his SB's ( not all) , it's full of FF stylized specific codings.,IMO . It's such a BS story that it's very much done so purposefully in order to notice , lol.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Little r
                  I agree. I think there is a nuclear bomb ticking away.
                  A lost nuclear bomb

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There is a finder, I do not doubt that. Who else was Forrest keeping an eye out for at the Finale, otherwise?
                    I just don’t think the real finder was the author of this article.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A fake blaze is what's makes me chuckle. Just what the hell does that even mean ?
                      fake blaze . . .
                      fake = false
                      blaze = flag

                      Fake finder is more aligned with my thoughts.
                      Last edited by ROLL TIDE; 10-28-2020, 10:33 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by artislurker View Post

                        And I think its likely that there is someone out there who solved all the clues.
                        I'd bet good money on that. And I don't think that "someone" is who retrieved the chest.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's more like a Hydrogen Bomb.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Eccentric
                            what could be hidden in a word?
                            Easy center i see.. or..
                            Easy cent, t.r. ick! ...T.R. probably frowned on easy money.
                            So, who presides upon the cent?

                            Click image for larger version  Name:	20201028_225943.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.65 MB ID:	217997

                            Whittled that guy out of a piece of 1/4 round.. Once knew a Teddy bear of an old folk named Wick, who I worked with at times installing windows. Riding back from a job one day, 4 of us in an old suburban, I took my utility knife out and cut him a Lincoln out of a carpenter's pencil. He was amazed and wouldn't stop talking about it the rest of the way back. Think something about got in his eye when I gave it to the sob..
                            Couple of weeks after that, he got a little busted up in a ladder fall. That forced him into early retirement. We stopped by to see him recovering one afternoon.. He had that damn pencil carving propped up on a shelf in his living room. Practically had a spotlight on it. My level of satisfaction rose in that bit of therapy, to me I was passing the time on a long drive.. there's probably still wood shavings in the floorboard of that vehicle. Anyway, reminds me to pay attention to the little things sometimes and don't hesitate to randomly share with good people. Small acts can have big impacts.

                            I would go listen to some good breakup songs, but hopefully we won't need them anymore. So maybe I'll go find an old book to curl up with for now, to keep my spirits up.
                            Thanks for the good thread Russ..
                            Last edited by Castellaw1685; 10-29-2020, 12:11 AM.
                            Toodle-oo!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Castellaw1685 View Post
                              Eccentric
                              what could be hidden in a word?
                              Easy center i see.. or..
                              Easy cent, t.r. ick! ...T.R. probably frowned on easy money.
                              So, who presides upon the cent?

                              Click image for larger version Name:	20201028_225943.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.65 MB ID:	217997

                              Whittled that guy out of a piece of 1/4 round.. Once knew a Teddy bear of an old folk named Wick, who I worked with at times installing windows. Riding back from a job one day, 4 of us in an old suburban, I took my utility knife out and cut him a Lincoln out of a carpenter's pencil. He was amazed and wouldn't stop talking about it the rest of the way back. Think something about got in his eye when I gave it to the sob..
                              Couple of weeks after that, he got a little busted up in a ladder fall. That forced him into early retirement. We stopped by to see him recovering one afternoon.. He had that damn pencil carving propped up on a shelf in his living room. Practically had a spotlight on it. My level of satisfaction rose in that bit of therapy, to me I was passing the time on a long drive.. there's probably still wood shavings in the floorboard of that vehicle. Anyway, reminds me to pay attention to the little things sometimes and don't hesitate to randomly share with good people. Small acts can have big impacts.

                              I would go listen to some good breakup songs, but hopefully we won't need them anymore. So maybe I'll go find an old book to curl up with for now, to keep my spirits up.
                              Thanks for the good thread Russ..
                              I'd pick up that penny.....

                              Comment

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