April 9, 2013 at 4:01 PM
Emails offers GPS coordinates, warns treasure hunters of booby traps and "destroying the soul"
Fox in a Forest
Todd Eric Lovato is a Santa Fe native, the managing editor of SantaFe.com and an overfed, long-haired leaping gnome.
Update, Wednesday, April 10:
In email responses received shortley after I published this blog post, yesterday, I heard from both Forrest Fenn and Jack Ackam. Fenn wrote: "For the record, I have about 30 emails from guys who claim to have found the treasure but none will tell me where they found it. If these guys have fun pretending it's alright with me. The treasure is still where I hid it."
I have scheduled a follow-up interview with Fenn and will share when that happens, likely Thursday.
Jack Ackman also wrote back to me. I was nervous that he'd be mad at me, but he simply wrote: "You should publish both solutions of the poem as well as Fenn's relevant comments, so that the people can understand its interpretations." (I left Ackman's original interpretation of the poem out because it is quite long and detailed, but I have posted the full third email containing the interpretation here.)
Original Entry, April 9:
This is how rumors get started. On Tuesday afternoon, SantaFe.com received several emails from someone under the name Jack J. Ackam, proclaiming his knowledge of the exact whereabouts of a treasure chest said to contain millions of dollars worth of gold and jewels. Earlier this year, in an attempt to coax more people to get outdoors, Santa Fean and art collector Forrest Fenn, 82, made national headlines when he announced that he had hidden a treasure chest containing millions of dollars in gold and jewels in the wilderness.
That is, if Ackam, if that is his real name, is to be believed. He claims to have decoded Fenn's cryptic poem and to have discovered the treasure's coveted location. In his email, he wrote "(I) believe that I have solved the clues and know the exact location of the treasure box...If you want to be there to document the find, I will reveal it to you in two stages."
I emailed Ackman asking for a phone conversation but he declined, writing, "Sorry, can't do that. I like to stay out of it. You have all of the info. Exact GPS location. Use e-mail if you have to."
So here are some of the highlights from the email.
In the first email, Ackam wrote:
1. The first is to meet at 2:00 PM at the police station parking lot, by the Industrial Park Rd., Espanola, NM. This meeting site is within minutes of the treasures location.
2. Once there, you will need to e-mail me that you are there, include a photo of police building main entrance, so that I know that you are at the correct place. Only those reporters, that e-mail me the photo of the building by 2:15 PM, will receive the exact GPS coordinates of the treasure’s location. I'll email you back within minutes the detailed explanation of the clues, as well as pictures of the key elements in the solution - such as Blaze, Bear, overall aerial picture with the treasure's location, and the exact treasure spot with GPS coordinates and the directions.
There is no danger involved in getting to the treasure site, because it is easily accessible to everyone, but you might want to have a flashlight/light and a camera to document the event. If you have a GPS - it is also helpful, but not necessary at all. You must also have a vehicle, it is more than a walk - it is a short drive.
Ackam's second email took on an ominous turn, and warned that the treasure chest may be booby trapped:
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ask or call for a police officer from the Espanola PD tel# 505-747-600, to accompany you for everyone’s safety. I do not want the treasure to be touched or removed. I believe it is booby trapped - although in an unconventional way. It might sound crazy, but please consider, that if I am correct with the location, I am giving away a $1-$3 million treasure, which, I do not want to have anything to do with. Clearly, I am serious about this!
As you are all aware of from public articles, Forrest Fenn is in search of immortality, and my concern is that the one who opens the box is in danger of being affected. No one should touch or open the box if found - not even the police. The site should be secured by the police, and Forrest Fenn should be brought in to remove the treasure.
I believe that the treasure is located at Lat 36.136468 Long 106.104452
It is inside the culvert pipe, under the cross = representing “ go in peace “. It is a few feet in, most likely on the bottom of the pipe, possibly partially covered with brown, run off dirt. There might be a cut or washed out hole in the concrete, or it might be suspended. It should be on the left side of the road with the driveway, but it could also be near the other end of the pipe.
I want you to document the find, and let the police handle the rest, and please inform me by e-mail of any video or broadcast that could be view publicly - TV, Youtube, or online.
Here are the actual directions: http://binged.it/12E1HHaj
In the third email, Ackman offers up a very detailed examination and "solution" to Fenn's poem, which Fenn has said contains hints on the location of the buried treasure. Ackman also warns that "Whoever opens the treasure, will be possessed by the spirit that he stashed inside the box, by taking over the body and destroying the soul of the unsuspecting finder or their child. His continuity would be on your or your child's account. He [they] would like to attract unaware adults, accompanied by their children. That is why he emphasizes and asks that you bring your children with you."
By putting this treasure hunt together, I know Fenn wants people to get out and into nature, but please don't get lost and die of exposure in Espanola trying to find his treasure. Also, be careful where you dig. I've reached out to Fenn for a comment and will let you know if I hear back.
Ackman also included four images of the said treasure site.