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White Knight,

I purchased your solution last night and spent some time studying it, and I wanted to pass along some thoughts and observations.

1. Congratulations. How you managed to figure that out is beyond my capabilities. I'm not very good with ciphers in the first place, and managing to decipher that just blows my mind.

2. You've articulated a general idea about the hunt that has plagued me since I first ran across the poem: Is this hunt 'one and done' or is there more to it?

My first impression was that it would be 'one and done'. By that, I'm referring to the natural beginning and ending of the most obvious set of instructions: 'Begin it where warm waters halt' and continue through 'Look quickly down your quest to cease'. A beginning, winding its way to its end. You follow the instructions once and you'd be in possession of the chest.

I don't think that's the case any more, and it stems from something you mentioned.

Let's follow a scenario: Mr. Fenn has a special place he wants to hide his chest. He looks at a map of the area, finds a body of water, a nearby canyon, a location he names a 'home of Brown' and works his way down using a creek and a waterfall to his hiding place.

That set of clues would be hard for searchers to solve because the randomness of the beginning clues describes anywhere in the Rocky Mountains.

But, it would make it exceedingly easy for the author to construct. It might take, what....3 hours at most?

It's my understanding this took FIFTEEN YEARS to make? Is that internet chatter, or is that fact? If it's fact, it pretty much precludes a one-and-done solution in my opinion.

3. I think what you've found is correct, but I believe you may have drawn the wrong conclusion. You discovered a set of directions, and quite naturally, you concluded this would take you to the location of the chest.

You've probably realized it by now. You know what you've done is correct, but the directions won't take the searcher to the chest. If they did, you would have already found it. Smile

So, what's going on here?

Let's consider what you found:

1. A series of animals starting with a Rattlesnake at the top and a Turtle at the bottom.

White Knight, you've found clues describing a TOTEM POLE.

It's relevant because totem poles are constructed from 'western red cedar trees'.

West = W
Red = R
Tree

It's our old friend 'W is E' and 'tree'.

We've been 'wise' and are looking for a blaze. The 'blaze' in this particular part is going to be 'marks on a tree', and you've already identified them as the three letters on the tree in the videos.

You've been 'wise' and found a 'blaze'. This lets you know you're doing something right. It's confirmed by the three letters on the tree of F, S, and Z. Ceasar shift those three letters +1 and you'll get the letters for TAG. You're getting clues to help find IT.

Does that compute thus far?
Hello Doc,

Yes you’re absolutely right about the 15 years part. This precludes it being a simple ‘literal’ point to point set of directions. As you say that would take 3 hrs

I’m confident the basis and method of what I’ve done is correct but obviously I’ve made a mistake somewhere at the tail end of the solution otherwise as you say I would have retrieved the chest myself.

When I was looking at ways that the answers to the clues could provide directions to the chest I considered Native American direction markers. Some tribes used animals and colours to mark directions for example an ‘eagle’ would mean north and the colour ‘black’ would also mean North. So the animal words within the answers could be giving directions.

I rejected this as a possibility because ‘mammoth’ is one of the animals within the answers. As I’ve said in my book I thought Historic Native Americans were unlikely to have used an extinct animal in their current language markers as they were interested in the spirit and depiction of animals relevant to their day-to-day lives. So I thought it unlikely they’d use a ‘mammoth’

I hadn’t considered your totem pole theory or you theory for the letters on the tree carving in the video. It’s thinking like this that will crack the whole thing – something will be obvious to someone else like yourself that I haven’t considered. And that's after just a day.

Having said that I think the fact that ‘mammoth’ is included in one of the answers makes the totem pole idea less likely for the same reasons I‘ve given above.

I’m confident my method of revealing the directions is correct and the bulk of the directions I’ve provided are correct. I think my mistake is likely somewhere at the tail end of the directions after the ‘lake’ comes into view.

I'm glad you've realised that 15 years = intricate puzzle and that you're thinking clearly with an open mind.
(11-11-2015, 01:19 PM)The White Knight Wrote: [ -> ]Hello Doc,

Yes you’re absolutely right about the 15 years part. This precludes it being a simple ‘literal’ point to point set of directions. As you say that would take 3 hrs

I’m confident the basis and method of what I’ve done is correct but obviously I’ve made a mistake somewhere at the tail end of the solution otherwise as you say I would have retrieved the chest myself.

When I was looking at ways that the answers to the clues could provide directions to the chest I considered Native American direction markers. Some tribes used animals and colours to mark directions for example an ‘eagle’ would mean north and the colour ‘black’ would also mean North. So the animal words within the answers could be giving directions.

I rejected this as a possibility because ‘mammoth’ is one of the animals within the answers. As I’ve said in my book I thought Historic Native Americans were unlikely to have used an extinct animal in their current language markers as they were interested in the spirit and depiction of animals relevant to their day-to-day lives. So I thought it unlikely they’d use a ‘mammoth’

I hadn’t considered your totem pole theory or you theory for the letters on the tree carving in the video. It’s thinking like this that will crack the whole thing – something will be obvious to someone else like yourself that I haven’t considered. And that's after just a day.

Having said that I think the fact that ‘mammoth’ is included in one of the answers makes the totem pole idea less likely for the same reasons I‘ve given above.

I’m confident my method of revealing the directions is correct and the bulk of the directions I’ve provided are correct. I think my mistake is likely somewhere at the tail end of the directions after the ‘lake’ comes into view.

I'm glad you've realised that 15 years = intricate puzzle and that you're thinking clearly with an open mind.

Doc and you agree that ff couldn't have constructed a point to point path to the tc because of the randomness of the beginning clues where the natural beginning is the most obvious set of instructions- begin it where warm waters halt. So the beginning clues are so random that it couldn't have taken 15 years to construct the poem.

Do you see how bad that looks and how jumping to horrible conclusions from the very beginning of your search can throw you completely off the right path. All I have to do is show one other possibility that shows the first beginning clues appear random but aren't and your logic and conclusions based on that fall flat.

The natural beginning of the most obvious set of instructions BIWWWH seem vague because in this other theory that's not the beginning of the secret. Doc and you never mentioned the first stanza of the poem. Maybe that's where one finds the beginning area. Or as ff puts it, you've got to find the beginning (paraprasing). The secret lies in the first stanza and that's why your conclusions based on that omission are tripping you up and not the tail end of your directions, IMO.
It's sounds like you two are finding "eureka" matching points in your work, just be careful, If you believe Fenn, believe he clearly stated , " no specialized knowledge needed" so try and limit your source material to common knowledge, and he further added that common knowledge of a Redneck not a historian of native studies. Also using tree blazes on actual physical trees is not wise, if that tree was hit by lightning tomorrow the whole concept fails. Fenn knows this.
Just my thoughts. Good luck
true north,

The caution is warranted. It's easy to get derailed. The blaze I'm describing isn't the one that's going to be used to locate the treasure--it's unique to White Knight's clue set.

fundamental design,

If what I'm thinking is correct, both the first stanza and the final ten lines of the poem will be utilized before it's said and done, just not at once and not at the first. Everything appears to have its time and place. As the map and clues progress, different parts get called into use. The final ten lines have a lot of 'compound clues' that are absent in the ten lines from WWWH to 'quest to cease'.

For instance,

1. But tarry scant + marvel gaze
2. Just take the chest + go in peace
3. So why it I must go + leave my trove for all to seek
4. I've done it tired + now I'm weak
5. So hear me all + listen good
6. If you are brave + in the wood

It's a clue structure that's different than the other lines. In other words, there's a LOT going on here that again seems to preclude a one-and-done puzzle structure.

White Knight,

I don't think you've missed a thing. I believe what you did was brilliant, and it's not something I could duplicate. What I believe has happened is just a natural error of human nature: you found directions, and you both desire and expect them to lead you to the treasure chest.

The directions won't locate the treasure chest. You're plenty intelligent enough to have figured out if there was some geographical location at the end of the directions.

Mr. Fenn has stated we don't use ciphers to locate his chest. Let's take him at his word. In no form or fashion does that mean there are no ciphers to be found, however....

White Knight, there's a bigger picture forming up when you consider what you found in conjunction with what some others have located as well:

1. You found clues that suggest a TOTEM POLE and a set of DIRECTIONS. The totem pole isn't literal--that's why the presence of the mammoth doesn't matter. Consider it to be a Forrest Fenn totem pole. Smile It's just a clue, and it's a clue for WISE and a BLAZE as previously mentioned, and it's to let the searcher know that particular step is correct, and you have further to go.

2. djjmcv used PUNCTUATION MARKS to discover a MORSE CODE.

X 'MARKS' the spot. It's another form of a 'blaze'.
'W IS E' is opposites--Morse code is a code of OPPOSITES. It's binary--dots and dashes.

3. Wild Goose found a skip cipher and a grid of letters using the concept of TWO CIRCLES. That's descriptive of a figure '8'. The EIGHT KEY on your keyboard is the STAR KEY.

Three WISE MEN following the STAR to the east.

We have 'wise' and a 'blaze' again.

The first step on all three of these ciphers is to realize they each are a version of 'wise' and 'blaze' and are informing the questor that you've found something valid.

NONE of these are going to give you the treasure, any more than the clues in the book. Once solved, however, they will yield hints about what to expect along the way towards actually solving the poem.

There's a final part of this concerning NINE CLUES in conjunction with your ciphers that tells me the three of you nailed the discovery of these cipher clues.

And this questor is extremely grateful for your sharing these sorts of finds, even if you don't believe in them yourselves.

Because I DO believe in what you found. Smile

Doc
Hello Doc,

You’re right to think about all of the information I’ve provided and check you’re happy with each part in your own mind.

But I think the directions I’ve given DO lead to the chest. It’s just that part of the directions that would have been obvious to Forrest because he wrote them are very unclear to someone who reads them without the benefit of prior knowledge.

To solve the riddle a Searcher had to identify all nine clues in the poem, then identify the answers to the clues and from those answers find the directions. I realised the answers were text that had been constructed to hide the directions beneath. And I found the method of unlocking the text to reveal the directions.

Even after revealing the directions there were two extra layers of ‘security’ to get through. The starting co-ordinates were described cryptically within the text of the first two lines (Northerly and Westerly respectively) of the revealed directions.

Also Forrest had chopped out part of the directions and replaced it with a reference to a ‘video’ where a Searcher could find this missing part

I’m confident I’ve got all of this right but I believe my mistake is likely to be in the interpretation of the missing part given in the video or in interpretation of the final part of the revealed directions. So, I believe Searchers ought to concentrate on those two areas.

It’s good that folk are looking at this with fresh eyes as you’ve already proved in a short time that everyone’s mind works differently and others will see things I wouldn’t have considered. It may be that my mind was good for solving the bulk of the riddle but no good for the bit that ‘kicks it over the line’.

Below are the stages of the riddle I’ve described:

- Identify clues.
- Identify answers to clues.
- Realise answers are text used to hide the directions.
- Identify keywords from hints by Forrest, to unlock the directions.
- Find the starting co-ordinates from the cryptic references in the revealed directions.
- Interpret the part that’s in the video.

These steps were difficult enough to navigate and are of ample magnitude to take Forrest (working in reverse to the above) 15 years to create. I don’t believe the riddle has more complexity outside of this structure.

I also believe that the phrase 'begin it where warm waters halt' is an instruction from Forrest of where to 'begin it' so the first stanza in my view is redundant in regard to the solution.
White Knight,

I don't recall the 'northerly' and 'westerly' derivation. Did you discuss that in your solution?

There's some information I want you to consider in conjunction with the ciphers you, djjmcv, and Wild Goose discovered: NINE CLUES.

1. NINE = I. Ninth letter of the alphabet
2. NINE = IX. Roman numeral. Place the I atop the X and you have created an ASTERISK. ASTER IS K, or STAR IS II.
3. C LUE: C = 3, and L, U, and E are left, up, and east. C LUE = 3 DIRECTIONS. The word NINE can be separated such that it's N IN E. This makes NINE also 3 DIRECTIONS.

As you can see, it's a 1-2-3 progression:

1. I
2. ASTER IS K/STAR IS II
3. 3 Directions

Consider the three ciphers that folks have found in conjunction with this sequence involving 'nine clues':

1. The 1 key of the keyboard consists of a dot and dash: the morse code.
2. The asterisk key, the 'star' key is the 8 key of the keyboard--the two circles and its skip code.
3. Directions

Your three ciphers together represent NINE CLUES.

Early this morning, I realized the significance of what the three of you have found.

White Knight, I'm one hundred percent positive what you've found is correct all the way down to the baseball cards and totem pole. I'm supremely grateful to you, djjmcv, and Wild Goose for posting your findings.

The three of you put me in mind of the three wise men bearing gifts: djjmcv brought us a fish, Wild Goose brought us a book, and you brought us a map.

The three are interconnected and each are exquisitely important.

Just not yet.

You see, the three of you found these things WAY before they were meant to be discovered. In fact, nobody was meant to discover these ciphers until AFTER the Forrest Fenn chest had been located.

Your set of directions, the morse code, and the skip cipher aren't going to help find the Forrest Fenn chest. Realizing this, I'm fired up about working through the poem some more.

White Knight, if you still want to work on your set of directions, which I'm sure you do, try to NOT force them to fit into a preconceived notion that they must lead you to the treasure chest.

Let the clues tell you what to do. Approach each sentence as its own puzzle with a 3-part answer.

For example:

1. 'Go west' is part of an idiom. YOUNG MAN/OLD MAN/NEW MAN. You might recognize NEW as being three directions and MAN is equivalent to XY--it's a reference to a coordinate pair and is equivalent to a LOCATION. Your set of directions is going to yield '3 directions and 3 locations'.

2. A 'short hour' is a MINUTE. It's a small part of an hour, and 'minute' has a second definition of being tiny or 'small'. You can play around with the rest of the sentence.

3. The letters F, S, and Z on the tree can be Caesar shifted +1 to form the letters for the word TAG, but to complete their clue, you need to know their numbers are 06, 19, 26.

4. A GREY 'F' SIGN = GAY FINGERS. (DIGITS/NUMBERS/NOS is the second part of it).

I'll reiterate that I'm very much of the belief your set of directions won't lead you to the treasure, but I'm positive what you found is correct.

Thank you so much,

Doc

PS--If you decide you want to understand more about what the three of you have found--and I recommend just working on the poem for the time being--I would direct you towards 'The World's Greatest Treasure Hunt' and its companion book.




3.
Doc,

If you hadn’t realised I provided Northerly and Westerly starting co-ordinates in my solution then you haven’t read through the book. The solution in the book also explains the Blaze - It’s nothing to do with the video.

I think the associations you’ve come up with are tenuous at least.

I have provided the bulk of the solution to the riddle. So I recommend Searchers try to finish this off within the bounds of what I’ve done. The logical steps are clearly explained in the book. It isn’t necessary to look for additional cryptic references based on the information I’ve provided or identify other cryptic hurdles to cross.

What’s required is the right interpretation of a couple of pieces of information that I’ve already decrypted.
Doc how can all 3 ciphers be correct and also NOT lead to the chest?
(11-12-2015, 10:02 AM)Doc Wrote: [ -> ]White Knight,

I don't recall the 'northerly' and 'westerly' derivation. Did you discuss that in your solution?

There's some information I want you to consider in conjunction with the ciphers you, djjmcv, and Wild Goose discovered: NINE CLUES.

1. NINE = I. Ninth letter of the alphabet
2. NINE = IX. Roman numeral. Place the I atop the X and you have created an ASTERISK. ASTER IS K, or STAR IS II.
3. C LUE: C = 3, and L, U, and E are left, up, and east. C LUE = 3 DIRECTIONS. The word NINE can be separated such that it's N IN E. This makes NINE also 3 DIRECTIONS.

As you can see, it's a 1-2-3 progression:

1. I
2. ASTER IS K/STAR IS II
3. 3 Directions

Consider the three ciphers that folks have found in conjunction with this sequence involving 'nine clues':

1. The 1 key of the keyboard consists of a dot and dash: the morse code.
2. The asterisk key, the 'star' key is the 8 key of the keyboard--the two circles and its skip code.
3. Directions

Your three ciphers together represent NINE CLUES.

Early this morning, I realized the significance of what the three of you have found.

White Knight, I'm one hundred percent positive what you've found is correct all the way down to the baseball cards and totem pole. I'm supremely grateful to you, djjmcv, and Wild Goose for posting your findings.

The three of you put me in mind of the three wise men bearing gifts: djjmcv brought us a fish, Wild Goose brought us a book, and you brought us a map.

The three are interconnected and each are exquisitely important.

Just not yet.

You see, the three of you found these things WAY before they were meant to be discovered. In fact, nobody was meant to discover these ciphers until AFTER the Forrest Fenn chest had been located.

Your set of directions, the morse code, and the skip cipher aren't going to help find the Forrest Fenn chest. Realizing this, I'm fired up about working through the poem some more.

White Knight, if you still want to work on your set of directions, which I'm sure you do, try to NOT force them to fit into a preconceived notion that they must lead you to the treasure chest.

Let the clues tell you what to do. Approach each sentence as its own puzzle with a 3-part answer.

For example:

1. 'Go west' is part of an idiom. YOUNG MAN/OLD MAN/NEW MAN. You might recognize NEW as being three directions and MAN is equivalent to XY--it's a reference to a coordinate pair and is equivalent to a LOCATION. Your set of directions is going to yield '3 directions and 3 locations'.

2. A 'short hour' is a MINUTE. It's a small part of an hour, and 'minute' has a second definition of being tiny or 'small'. You can play around with the rest of the sentence.

3. The letters F, S, and Z on the tree can be Caesar shifted +1 to form the letters for the word TAG, but to complete their clue, you need to know their numbers are 06, 19, 26.

4. A GREY 'F' SIGN = GAY FINGERS. (DIGITS/NUMBERS/NOS is the second part of it).

I'll reiterate that I'm very much of the belief your set of directions won't lead you to the treasure, but I'm positive what you found is correct.

Thank you so much,

Doc

PS--If you decide you want to understand more about what the three of you have found--and I recommend just working on the poem for the time being--I would direct you towards 'The World's Greatest Treasure Hunt' and its companion book.




3.

Probably a lot of people would like you to go to that hunt.
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