The photo of Forrest Fenn looking over the contents of the found treasure chest shows, in my opinion, silty sand around the rim of the open box. Like what you’d expect if it had sat in a river bed for ten years or so.
A line from the poem includes “There’ll be no paddle up your creek, just heavy loads and water high.” I’ve used Water High as my screen name, I chose it quickly when setting up this (my first) web site.
After that, during my endless investigations while trying to solve the clues in the poem, I learned that navigable waters are public property, even when they flow through private property. Definitions of such are subjects of interminable legal battles, such as the recently-overturned claim by the EPA that if a rainstorm leaves a puddle, it falls under their jurisdiction as a waters of the USA, blah, blah, blah.
What piqued my interest was how the edge of the river is determined. The river is deemed “public” land, up to the “high water mark.” Relevant, yes?
A beach with water lines
I imagine the chest was in a river bed, somewhere below the high water mark, making it legally on public land.
Verification? May be never, may be soon.
From another poem, once carved in stone in Wisconsin:
It may be never, it may be soon,
But I hope that it will be one afternoon.
I’ll hear a step on the creaking stair.
I’ll open the door, and you’ll be there.