For a decade a $2-million treasure chest sat undiscovered in the Rocky Mountains, with the only man who knew where it was leaving clues to its whereabouts promising whoever found it could keep it. At least four died in its pursuit and many sacrificed jobs and their livelihoods. Finally, last week some lucky sleuth found it. But that didn’t stop the disbelievers.
As is the case with many mysteries, there were plenty of people calling it a hoax, claiming conspiracy theories and disbelieving it even existed. But Forrest Fenn, the man behind the quest, put those theories to rest yesterday by releasing pictures of the discovered treasure.
The 89-year-old art and antiquities collector posted three pictures of the treasure on dalneitzel.com, a fan blog dedicated to the treasure hunt. While some remained skeptical, most of the comments on the site congratulated the finder and thanked Fenn for the experience.
It all 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.
THE TREASURE HAS BEEN FOUND
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
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.”
- Related: Police Warn of ‘Deadly Pursuit’ as 2 Have Died in 2 Years Searching for Buried Treasure in Rocky Mountains
Within days of the treasure being found, three separate lawsuits were filed by people claiming they solved the puzzle first, with one lady claiming that the man who got to it first, “stole her solve”.
- Related: Man Who Found Forrest Fenn’s Treasure May Have to Fight For it as 3 Others Claim They Solved Puzzle First
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.