"Nailed it!"

(picture of O-1 (L-19) "Bird Dog' forward air control aircraft used in Vietnam - callsign (Nail)

An abundant references to Mr. Fenn’s Vietnam rescue exit and now at a time when he is stepping back form the Chase, he took the time to bring our attention once again to this amazing event in Scrapbook 198. I have stated for a long time there are hints in his scrapbooks and this one supports something I have suspected but never wrote about until now.

Consider the Forrest quote I often cite, "If you don't have that one nailed down you might as well stay home and play Canasta.” I speculate that “play Canasta” is the music from the bad Canasta and that song is “Just a Star” (follow the star) and recently with the Name Forrest's Kitty (Sabre tooth Tiger) contest, the song “Shadowcat” is now a suspiciously linked to “word that is key.”

Now my attention is focused on the “nailed down” phrase, because the Forward Air Controller callsign who assisted in Forrest’s rescue, from the 23d Tactical Air Support Squadron, was “Nail 74.” Could this be the “nail” we need to focus on? There are a couple of reasons why I think there are more hints to this and one of them is the 23rd who’s original mission was called Operation Cricket. Forrest asks searchers to turn over a log and crickets are what reside in and under rotting logs and he specifically mentioned turning over a rotting log in this story when he told it in his second memoir. Cricket, the sport, is also connected to the poem’s words “in the wood” and the “paddle” as I have mentioned previously. The 23rd had Walt Disney create a logo for them featuring Jiminey Cricket, who sang “When You Wish Upon a Star” in the Wizard of Oz and that supports my reoccurring follow the star theory and an obvious connection to the Jiminey Cricket TV show “Once Upon a Time” and Forrest’s third memoir, “Once Upon a While.” Jiminey Cricket is also an euphemism for Jesus Christ, which is also appropriately linked to the 90 foot Virgin Mary statue. It is suspiciously coincidental that Chris or Christ-opher was the person who found these recent confidential documents for Forrest.

The 23rd Wing also contains the Flying Tiger Squadron which Mr. Fenn has a leather fling jacket, with a "secret object" in one of the pockets, hanging in his den which he frequently mentions as in Scrapbook 2. The Flying Tiger logo is coincidentally a Walt Disney creation. For many years I flew both the Labrador helicopter and C-130 with 424 Tiger Squadron (for you 424 lovers) in search and rescue, so I am intrigued by the Flying Tigers. Another interesting connection of late is another hint of "teeth" in the Mysterious Writings 6 Questions as he has done many times previously, but this latest one coincides with the Sabre Tooth Tiger (Name the Kitty contest), the "Flying Tiger" and the prominent sharks teeth on the Flying Tiger aircraft. There is an abundant of star hints (follow the star) in that blood chit on the back of the jacket and another star on the shoulder badge. The Flying Tigers also had the "FT" tail numbering and that to me is an interesting poem connection to the word "effort" as Forrest asks us to listen good and effort sounds like F or T.

The 23rd Nail callsign was originally “Gumbey.” I have long speculated popular media, movies or television programs during the time Mr Fenn was diagnosed with cancer may also play a role in the conception of the poem and are linked to his special spot. That year was 1988, when the movie Eight Men Out and a year later Field of Dreams popularized Shoeless Joe Jackson, but also the time when the cartoon Gumby was re-popularized and was a hit satire on SNL. Now you are probably thinking this is a stretch and you would be right except, Gumby had a dog named Nopey and all he ever barked was “Nope. Nope” which is also a direct and famous quote from Forrest Fenn from Mysterious Writings. The very first Gumby program was titled “Moon Trip” and others of interest during 1988 were “The Knight Mare,” “Funny Bathtub” (Olga’s 36” bathtub) and “Just Train Crazy” (Crazy Train at clue 1). The latter may be why we need to have this first clue nailed down because it links the “take a train” from the “crazy” hospital in Warm Springs, Mt. Chris also mentioned PJ King who was in the second Jolly Green Giant helicopter and subsequently died in action 4 days after his rescue on Christmas day, quite another coincidence eh Chris? Christ King of the Jews and the follow the star to the new born king also is symbolized by the rescue helicopter which is a Sea King variant.

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