Man Who Found Forrest Fenn’s Treasure May Have to Fight For it as 3 Others Claim They Solved Puzzle First

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Forrest Fenn, treasure, map
Forrest Fenn’s map and treasure.

The man who solved the puzzle and located Forrest Fenn’s buried treasure in the Rocky Mountains may have to wait, and fight, for his newly discovered fortune. At least three other people have begun lawsuits claiming that they solved the puzzle first and knew where the treasure was buried, with one lady even claiming that the man who found it ‘stole her solve’ and cheated his way to the chest.

Hundreds of thousands of people have attempted to find the treasure chest hidden in the Rocky Mountains a decade ago, and at least four have lost their lives in its pursuit. Fenn announced over the weekend that one lucky person located the chest and will claim its hidden treasure for themselves.


It was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains, and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago. I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot.

I congratulate the thousands of people who participated in the search and hope they will continue to be drawn by the promise of other discoveries.

So the search is over. Look for more information and photos in the coming days.

Forrest Fenn, June 6th 2020

Forrest Fenn

The guy who found it, who is from ‘back east’ according to Fenn and doesn’t want the publicity, has a fight on his hands to get hold of it. Barbara Andersen, a Chicago real estate attorney, said she is filing an injunction in federal District Court alleging she solved the puzzle first but was anonymously ‘hacked’ by someone else. Andersen will be representing herself and is seeking to prevent the man from selling the contents of the chest, and requesting that the chest be handed over to her.

“He stole my solve. He followed and cheated me to get the chest.”

— Barbara Andersen

Andersen’s is not the only lawsuit regarding the hidden treasure chest, either. In December 2019 a Colorado Springs resident sued Fenn for $1.5-million claiming he was deprived of the chest through fraudulent statements and misleading clues. The lawsuit was thrown out, but the man is now petitioning to get the case reopened.

Another man, from Arizona, has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court claiming that he was the one that ‘solved the quest’ first. He believes the chest was buried between the towns of Silverton and Ouray in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, accessible by US 550, also known as the “Million Dollar Highway.” He also claims that burying a chest in the wild, as Fenn did, means he isn’t able to ‘give title’ as Fenn wrote in his memoir.

million dollar highway
The Million Dollar Highway

All this started when art dealer and former air force pilot, Forrest Fenn, revealed in his self-published 2010 novel, “The Thrill of the Chase”, that he had buried a lockbox full of about 2 million dollars worth of gold, gems, and artifacts. The clues to the whereabouts of the treasure were hidden in a 24 verse poem that is included in the memoir. Many people have quit their jobs and spent their life savings in the quest to find the buried treasure.

Mr. Fenn stated that the Treasure was located in the 1,000-mile stretch of the Rocky Mountains from New Mexico to the Canadian border and at least 5,000 feet above sea level, in an area that an 80-year-old would not have trouble accessing. Fenn estimates that over 100,000 people have attempted the search for his treasure, and originally said that he hoped the hunt would push more people outside to enjoy the wilderness. Asked how he felt now that the treasure has been found, Fenn said: “I don’t know, I feel halfway kind of glad, halfway kind of sad because the chase is over.”

In March 2020, two Coloradan snowmobilers were searching for Forrest Fenn’s elusive treasure when they became stranded and one died in a Utah park. In June 2017, New Mexico authorities found the body of Paris Wallace, a Colorado Pastor who had joined the hunt. A year previous to that Randy Bilyeu disappeared while searching for the treasure, his remains were found in the Rio Grande seven months later.

treasure, Rocky Mountains, deadly
The map and clues left by Fenn. Credit: Instagram

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81 thoughts on “Man Who Found Forrest Fenn’s Treasure May Have to Fight For it as 3 Others Claim They Solved Puzzle First

  1. someone had time to go to yellowstone, not using clues in poem but had to know his background in yellowstone, Fenn was egomaniac hope his death was painful, feel bad for those he led astray.

  2. Not found, “retrieved” would be the applicable verb. If actually found by a legitimate searcher, I doubt Mr. Fenn would have had the opportunity to display the chest and its contents before he kicked the bucket. The finder would have kept their discovery to themselves, as per his instructions. Like many others, I found thinking the problem through to be a stimulating exercise although I never had the opportunity to actually get out and look for the chest. Given where I thought it was, too risky, particularly for a foreign national. But, it’s over now and the good thing about it is everybody gets to keep their theories as none of them were actually unproven.

  3. I suspect the Los Alamos National Laboratory has come to an agreement with Mr. Fenn on possession of his treasure and he now has regained custody of it, as would be indicated by the photos he released.

    1. Ridiculous. I do not believe it has been found. Go ahead- prove me wrong. Seriously, if I had found it I am pretty sure I could have handed it over to settle this potential legal issue that I doubt exists.. and make more on news stories and telling the story than the “contents” were worth.

  4. Mr. Fenn was clever I’ll bet he made millions and millions selling books. I believe Amazon had his books and they were selling for around $350.00 each, WOW nice job Mr. Fenn but this wise owl didn’t take the bait, why do you have the box in your possession? who pays the taxes on the found gift, or does the State claim it as treasure and take it. Call Mel Fisher he knows. Something fisher here, oh well I’m going fishing.

  5. Fenn should at least say what state. Maybe he’s staying mum cause he’s gonna write another book.

  6. To solve the puzzle is finding the gold that was the point. Not knowing where it was. If they all knew where it was then in my opinion they left it there for someone to find just as fann did…Period… Don’t hate just because a 80 year old man beat everyone to the punch. That’s the reality of it DEAL WITH IT END OF STORY!!!.

  7. Where warm waters halt – Los Alamos ice rink.
    Take it in the canyon down – east, as Los Alamos canyon descends.
    Not far, too far to walk – drive to the end of Omega road.
    Put in below the home of Brown – under DP Mesa, where Franklin Brown lived in his step-grandmother’s cabin after his original home was sold by his father to the boy’s school.
    No place for the meek – middle of a nuclear research property.
    End is ever drawing nigh – Omega reactor site.
    No paddle up your creek – Non-navigable creek in Los Alamos canyon.
    Heavy loads – Very high voltage power lines crossing the canyon.
    Waters deep – Los Alamos reservoir.
    Find the blaze – Unfortunately, never had the opportunity as all this was in a restricted area.

    1. warm waters halt . waters last name of two babies. google abandoned or lost cemeteries Colorado. use the USGen sight. Love cemetery. No place for the meek , Meeker park. The blaze a water fall just like in the book. If you’ve been wise and found the blaze. The water fall is the blaze. what water fall? what animal is associated wise , not potato chips , an Owl. Google in Owl Falls Colorado , you get Ouzel Falls on Ouzel creek Colorado. Now every one can go get them selves a treasure.

      1. fenn’s complete solve. Art dealer Def. Warm= color Red & Yellow. Waters, with “S” British Dictionary = Sea or Ocean. Use Sea like “C” Red & Yellow “C”. Colorado Flag. warm waters halt= a live body dies he’s cold. Love cemetery= Loveland Co. canyon Big Thompson, Hwy. 34 to Estes canyon down go south Hwy 7 , Home of Brown, check Brown home remains standing at Homestead Meadows, Hwy 36. Draw line west to #7. Put in= turn in at Rocky Mountain national park. The blaze waterfall “WISE” Owl, spelled Ouzel Falls , Ouzel Creek, Treasure at base of Falls. where warm waters halt, was about two WATERS babies forgotten, like the Spanish soldier in cemetery. Fenn used the Falls to find the cemetery, his Blaze. I bet you’ll never the two Waters babies until you halt, that’s a TWO MILLION DOLLAR lesson. Thanks Joe

  8. I’d like to know the area in which it was found. Any other treasure hunters who would like to partner up on an expedition to the 4-corners area, I know of some buried items worth quite a bit.

  9. In case you are wondering. Here IS the location. Go and see for yourself.
    Clue one. Lines 1-4. The Chapel of Light in Montezuma NM. Associated with the School.

    Lines 4-8 has 4 clues. Where warm waters halt is across the creek from the School. There is a hot spring. The path leading to the spot descends, opposite of the river itself. The whole area is less than a 1/4 mile worth of walking. Home of Brown refers to the Outlaw Brown from Dodge City, At the Hot Springs is an old jail cell.

    Lines 9-12. Across the old bridge is a forest. You are about 100 yards or so away. The heavy loads and water high refer to the loch or small little damns in the creek.

    Lines 13-16, The Blaze is a fire pit. It’s got a stack of Rocks. I went to dig up the pit. I got about 18 in when I broke the shovel and left it in an X. I knew it might be in the rocks but couldn’t bring myself to tear it all down. That and I had a real bad feeling about that necklace.

    Lines 17-20. Tired and weak. Building the fire pit.

    Lines 21-24. In the Woods. Literally. In the cold? Without a fire.

    If you look at the Map, the outline looks just like how an archaeologists hole would look if you dug it out. Montezuma is in the little spot at the bottom of the hole. Just below where you’d think it would be.

      1. Guess you could say, Forrest’ intent, has not been recognized nor justified. As the location is nowhere close to the outcome he has been given. Mankind deserves what it is. And I think I’ve proved that now.

  10. Fenn coulda just donated it. Woulda been easier. I’m gonna Sue everyone who likes Fenn, just cause he put lives in danger and people died. By the way… I’ll bet the treasure is all gumballs and cheap costume jewelry. I’m also suing the gumball and costume jewelry companies, and all of their relatives, and friends.

  11. These sorry ass cry babies need to grow up. He found it, it’s his now, get over it. Especially the dumbass saying he solved it first but.. really? Them why don’t you have it? Because you didn’t solve shit jerk.

  12. These sorry ass cry babies need to grow up. He found it, it’s his now, get over it. Especially the dumbass saying he solved it first but.. really? Them why don’t you have it? Because you didn’t solve shit jerk.

  13. Now if the lady can prove it that she helped him she should get a percent but the other people they didn’t help him he got the first but if the lady want working with him then sorry about your luck if people posted things online it’s fair game

  14. These people who are sueing lost and are whiners. The person who found it won. As the old saying goes FINDERS KEEPERS. If the others had solved the poem then they would have the treasure, but they didn’t. I mean fuck, it was hind by Forest when in his 80s and dying of cancer. People are sore losers and fucking fools

  15. You are all idiots because you are actually believing that there was a “treasure” to begin with and some “anonymous” person found it!?

    If Fenn wants to keep his integrity in tact, he will decipher the riddle and tell you exactly where it was.

    He’ll never do that though, because all of you idiots who went looking for it will realize that you went to that exact spot and it wasn’t there!

    I’m sure he’s laughed all the way to the bank!

  16. To bad the loot wasn’t hidden in Seattle’s cop free zone. What a hoot that would have been.

  17. I’m filing a law suit because I didn’t even hear about it. I decided I deserve the treasure because I probably would have found it, had I known about it.

  18. This is pathetic I solved it first but thought I should wait to get it. B.S they should take these parasites and their lawyers and string them up trying to steal from the person that dug it up

  19. My guess is the treasure existed and was found by an employee of or contractor for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He placed it near Los Alamos canyon trail, east of the old Omega reactor site, in 2010 and this area was closed permanently to the general public after nearby forest fires in 2011. So, unless the multitude of treasure seekers were willing to sneak into a US government restricted area, they weren’t going to find it. Sorry Americans, your government wins again.

  20. Im filing a suit because i was “forced to read these comments”. I laughed so hard I peed my pants and caused me humiliation and mental strain.

  21. Sadly this world we live in. I was never told about this treasure hunt maybe I should sue for not being given the chance to play I can be like the rest of the dumb shitz feeling entitled to shìt is not mine

    1. The thrill of the chase isn’t over. Like many things stated by Forest Fin not all that is said is true. The poem and the stories that have been told are as they were once told by old hunters and travelers “stretched out”. Having token the dumb choices some had taken looking for this treasure brought the law, ungreat law suits, harassment, and a headache to the man who wanted nothing more than to bring families and friends together. I believe the treasure has yet to be found. Mr. Fen called the hunt off to free himself of all the sorrows this ungrateful world placed upon a man trying to do nothin more than give back.

  22. I have buried a new treasure in the Arctic which can only be found when it is -60 degrees and you must be wearing shorts and a tank top. So for all you complaining HAPPY HUNTING !!!

  23. I love the Chicago woman. Had to be a lawyer. What a great country we live in. Sue anyone for anything. She might even sue me for inferring she’s an a——-.

  24. First ive heard of this, how do I get in on the lawsuit, I could have solved it first if it was a pop up book.

  25. Like Kujo said, if you knew where it was go get it, keep your mouth shut as Saida said, stole my find, What a bunch of greedy crybabies. Just be thankful that there was a man KIND enough to make this possible, and get people off their asses and out into this beautiful wilderness! Thank you Mr. FENN, for the opportunity to be a part of your wonderful Thrill of the chase

    1. When one’s greed blinds him to the dangers of the act that he is committing, how, exactly, is the hider of the treasure responsible? Especially when he has repeatedly urged cautions with respect to both terrain and weather.

      Greed encourages people to get the bit in their jaws and to plunge headlong into disaster despite any and all warnings. Nature is a remorseless killer. Ignore this at your own peril.

      Such deaths are tragic, but are beyond the hider’s control.

      1. Wow. I would’ve simply replied, “Darwinism, in full effect.” But I like your response a heck of a lot more. It has a nice poetic flow to it. Very fitting to the related topic.

    2. People lose their lives in the wilderness every year. It’s a risk every outdoorsman is aware of, proper planning and packing is key. Those people chose to risk their lives for treasure. If u want to blame someone, blame nature…… (or Darwin)

    3. Yes really!
      They all chose to go on the treasure hunt…nobody forced them!
      We lost 3 good astronauts on the pad in Florida….should their families have sued because their husbands chose to go into space?
      People choose to go surfing with great white sharks all around….do the get to sue afterward when a shark bites their stupid asses? No! Because it was their choice!
      Grow up people! Take responsibility for ALL your choices – good and bad – and have the balls to say it was your choice when it doesn’t work out for you!
      Life doesn’t hand you “participation trophies!!” (contrary to current educational philosophies).
      You EARN both your successes and your failures based SOLELY on YOUR effort! Nobody else.

  26. These are the idiots that blew everything trying to find it like the idiots that they are and now don’t have a pot to piss in and now they want someone to pay for their stupidity..I can’t say I am amazed anymore by how idiotic people actually are..the guy trying to say he can’t give claim to someone really takes the cake that guy probably never even looked just waited for someone else to do the work and now he wants to just steal it from him sounds like a corporate asshole..SORE LOSERS just give them a participation trophy and call it a day..

  27. The one found it ..found it, thats all,is not his fault be more smart , and faster, in this case you learn to keep secrets and mouth shut up,.

  28. Seriously Greedy people. Even if they did “solve” the clues, the person who found it got off his/her ass and did the legwork to find it. That person deserves it. Some people are just too greedy.

    1. It’s so simple…I can CLEARLY not choose the glass in front of me. Do I get to claim it for claiming to be smart in hindsight? Inconceivable!

  29. I’ve been digging in the sand on Florida’s East cost and I feel entitled. No one gave me a trophy do I should be entitled to the treasure.

    1. My thoughts are whoever found it and brought it back is the winner have fun with your money

  30. I have it pinpointed in montana accessible near a boat launch as it was too far to walk. I aint suing the treasure finder bc he got it first. If he works for the NSA i would have issues with his intelligence gathering. But if you have google maps and the poem its not hard to solve

  31. It was Red Mountain #3, wasn’t it?!!! I’m going to file a lawsuit against the people filing the lawsuits. And anyone else who considers filing a lawsuit from this moment forward will also be named in my lawsuit. It’s like a reversed class action suit with an anticipatory clause.

  32. It doesn’t matter who solved it first, it’s a “finders keepers” type of situation, whoever finds it first gets to keep it. This is pretty dumb.

      1. First one to show up, dig it up, gets it. The End. Who would be stupid enough to tell someone their clues and have it available to see by anyone? No, first to get there is rightful winner.

    1. Absolute idiots! They’re just trying to get a consolation prize for participating.
      Bleeping Idjits!

  33. Who ever picked up the chest, took it home keeps it! Not i solved the puzzle too, yeah but did you find the prize? Finders Keepers!!!


      1. Kind of my view. Whoever finds & takes the treasure home is the winner. If solved then puzzle, you can only prove it by going in there &
        Taking the treasure home.

    2. Kind of my view. Whoever finds & takes the treasure home is the winner. If solved then puzzle, you can only prove it by going in there &
      Taking the treasure home.

  34. These idiots are bats**t crazy.

    All filing the same suit for 3 different and wrong locations.

  35. Well DAMN
    I lounged on my chaise while listening to the TV.
    Can I put a claim in just for the hell of it

  36. I thought fur shur that all of the clues led you to the woods outside of Santa’s workshop in Cascade Colorado.
    I’m a baaaaad treasure hunting elf.
    Christmas Present Paul

    1. struef is a puppet , someone else is behind all this!!! the treasure was found by calling fenn and telling him where the tarry scant was and the marvel gaze was they were both locations,this was the title to the gold!!2500 feet was as far as google camera could see!!and any one no matter how old could access google earth!!i was robbed !! to prove this i have both locations!!!

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