10,200 foot or 10,200 foot-lbs?
Forrest Fenn once gave an elevation range where the treasure chest is hidden of 5000 and 10,200 feet. What is odd about this range is the upper elevation of 10,200 feet is not rounded to the even 1000 foot level. Some may feel that if the treasure was hidden at the 10,200 foot altitude, but why not round it up? Why give the actual altitude since he has been so vague about everything else? I feel Mr. Fenn is crafty and has good reason to provide that number. I once speculated that the 10,200 feet indicated the height of the mountain while contains the treasure of one of the clues. Some feel it hints to Leadville, a town that is listed at an elevation of 10,200 feet.
I have always believe Mr Fenn is using the sleight of hand method of hinting. Meaning we should ignore the obvious 10,200 feet elevation and look for an intersecting hint that coincides with this number. 10,200 foot pounds of thrust is exactly the kind of play on words or riddle Mr. Fenn could incorporate into this treasure hunt to provide the necessary star power.
So what is important about 10,200 foot pounds of thrust that Mr. Fenn may have hinted at in another known source of hints, his memoir, The Thrill of the Chase?
Consider this quote from his memoir, “Then, with only a second's pause, the fun started as 16,000 pounds of thrust and fire exploded from our tailpipes through silver-plated titanium eyelids that quickly moved in and out, then settled on an optimum temperature that gave maximum power. At lift-off the predictable whisper of the afterburner was soothing and reassuring, and we soon outran the sound.”
Well, his F-100D Sabre jet is something he mentions a lot and he even prominently displays it on his desk. I know what you are thinking, “so what it has 16,000 pounds of thrust?” True, but that is afterburner thrust. The F-100C/D uses the Pratt & Whitney J57-P-21 engine which produces precisely 10,200 foot pounds of thrust, which is coincidentally linked to the 10,200 foot-level. So Mr. Fenn could have set up this hint with an elevation and disguised it with a hint to the F-100 Sabre Jet aircraft.
Supporting this hinting concept is Mr. Fenn’s now famous quote, “it’s what they whisper.” If Mr. Fenn’s suspicious words are also linked to hints in the book, then “whisper” from this quote could hint to “At lift-off the predictable whisper of the afterburner …”
So what does this all mean? Stay tuned…