A $2-million treasure chest remained buried in the Rocky Mountains for ten years, and only one man knew its whereabouts. But he wanted people to find it. So he wrote a poem, a riddle, with clues on how to find it.
Many people tried to find it. Many paid for it with their jobs, families, and/or life savings. Some even paid for it with their lives.
Many conspiracy theories abound.
Earlier this year, some lucky soul solved the riddle and dug up the chest, claiming the $2-million fortune as their own. The person wished to remain anonymous. A new mystery was born.
Many conspiracy theories abound.
Forrest Fenn sadly passed away in September.
Yesterday, the identity of the man was revealed. He himself posted on the popular blog site Medium (although the post’s date is Sept 23rd – queue conspiracy theories).
Forrest Fenn’s Grandson also posted online yesterday, unveiling the sudden millionaire as Jonathan ‘Jack’ Stuef, a 30ish-year-old journalist who has returned to school to study medicine. See the full post below:
On behalf of my family, I am writing to confirm the identity of the person who found, retrieved, and now owns the treasure chest that my late grandfather Forrest Fenn hid in the Rockies over 10 years ago. The finder’s name is Jonathan “Jack” Stuef. Jack found the treasure chest as a result of years of careful searching, without any help from my grandfather, myself, or any other member of our family.
My grandfather wanted to honor Jack’s desire to remain anonymous in an effort to protect him from potential harm and harassment like my grandfather and the rest of our family have experienced over the years since the treasure was hidden, and especially since it was found. He went to great lengths and personal expense, trying to help Jack retain his anonymity, and my family has continued to do so to the best of our ability up to this point. We find ourselves currently in a position, however, where it is no longer possible to continue to carry out my grandfather’s wishes to keep Jack’s identity confidential.
As a result of a Federal Court order, we will be required by law to provide Jack’s name and contact information, to the extent that we have it. Given these circumstances, we wanted to let those in the search community hear it from us directly before we are compelled to disclose it to someone who is abusing the court system on frivolous grounds for the apparent purpose of self-aggrandizement and greed.
My grandfather wanted to keep the chest’s location secret even after it had been found because he feared that, if the location became known, it could be ruined by the number of people who might attempt to go to the site. The location was very special to my grandfather, and the last thing he wanted was to see it destroyed, either innocently or through malicious intent.
We congratulate Jack on finding and retrieving the treasure chest, and we hope that this confirmation will help to dispel the conjecture, conspiratorial nonsense, and refusals to accept the truth.
My grandfather is gone, and the chest has been found. His death, and that of my grandmother Peggy, has left a void in our lives. I know I can speak not only for my family but also for our friends in the treasure hunting community when I say that we miss them greatly.
We want to sincerely thank all those in the treasure hunting community who have become our friends and allies over the years. I cannot express to you the joy that my grandfather had in seeing his treasure hunt positively touch the lives of so many and the excitement in his eyes when he saw that chest again for the first time since hiding it in the wilds of Wyoming. We wish Jack the best of luck, and we hope that the searching community will treat him with the respect that he deserves.
Shiloh Forrest Old