A multimillion-dollar treasure intentionally tucked away in an undisclosed, incredibly remote part of the Rocky Mountains has reportedly been found — and the story behind the loot is perhaps wilder than you can imagine.
Forrest Fenn, an eccentric 89-year-old author and artifacts dealer, claims he buried a treasure — estimated to be worth at least $1 million and up to $5 million — in a remote spot a decade ago. He said a cryptic 24-line poem in his memoir would lead searchers to the treasure.
In the last decade, a huge online and IRL community built up around finding the treasure. Some 350,000 people have tried to find it. As Money covered in detail last year, certain “searchers” have dedicated their lives to the treasure hunt. Some people quit their jobs. At least four people died trying to find it. Others think the whole thing was a hoax, as in, the treasure doesn’t exist.
Now, according to Fenn himself, the chase for the treasure is over. He confirmed to Money that it had been found in the past couple of days.
“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,” Fenn wrote on his website. “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.”
At least four people died searching for a chest filled with gold and jewels hidden a decade ago by Forrest Fenn
The treasure, worth over $1 million, has been found. #SundayMorning spoke to Fenn in 2015
But, and this is a pretty big but, we’ve still yet to see the treasure. And we don’t know the identity of the person who apparently found it.
“The guy who found it does not want his name mentioned. He’s from back East,” Fenn told the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Fenn told the paper the person sent him a picture of the treasure to confirm the find, but Fenn declined to send a copy of that photo to the paper. So… a lot of questions remain.
And yet things are even more complicated. Barbara Andersen, a Chicago real estate attorney, told the New Mexican she is filing an injunction in federal District Court against the person who allegedly found the chest, saying they hacked her and stole her solution. She wants to stop the person from selling the loot and have the court hand the chest over to her.
“He stole my solve,” she told the paper. “He followed and cheated me to get the chest.”
So, again, a lot of questions remain.