Enlarge /. Do you dream of finding buried treasures? Someone has just solved a ten-year treasure hunt.
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Ten years ago, an antique dealer named Forrest Fenn buried a treasure chest filled with gold, rubies, emeralds, and diamonds somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. He hid the references to his position in a poem that is part of his 2010 memoir The Thrill of the Chase. Over 350,000 people have tried and not found it in the past decade, and now one of them has finally succeeded. The man who found the treasure – a cache valued at over $ 1 million – sent Fenn confirmation of his discovery with a photo of the chest.
"It was under a starry sky in the lush, wooded vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and hadn't moved away from where I had hidden it more than ten years ago," wrote Fenn on his website. "I don't know the person who found it, but the poem in my book put him in the right place." He told the Santa Mex New Mexican that the man who found the treasure refused to be named publicly, but was from "Back East".
Fenn claimed that he started hunting to inspire people to explore nature by giving them a "good old-fashioned adventure". It was also an opportunity to give hope to those who were deeply affected by the major recession that followed the property market collapse in 2008.
He described the chest as an ornate Romanesque box decorated with scenes of knights and ladies, containing gold nuggets, rare gold coins, and various types of gemstones. The breast weighed about 20 pounds and its contents weighed another 20 pounds. (Apparently it took him two trips to hide it.) The stories in his memoirs indicated the location, and a poem in the "Gold and More" chapter contained nine clues leading to the site (see sidebar).
Of course, some people got carried away a little, even quit their jobs and spent their savings on hunting for the breast. And "exploring nature" can be dangerous for those who are not used to dealing with the great outdoors. This region has bears and snakes and it is easy to fall down a steep slope or drown in the river. And if you get lost or seriously injured, the cell phone service is practically nil. At least five people were killed in their search.
In 2017, the New Mexico State Police chief asked Fenn to stop the search for public security reasons. And Montana's law enforcement agencies last year warned potential treasure hunters citing two deaths near Yellowstone National Park, a handful of law violations, and a man who was injured but refused to tell his wife exactly where he was Afraid to give a tip to one of his competitors, which made his rescue considerably more difficult.
"We encourage everyone to vigorously pursue their outdoor passions, but think like a local," Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin told CNN last year. "Before pursuing the treasure, you should consider your skills, your preparation, and your knowledge of the area."
Fenn has survived allegations of fraud from frustrated treasure hunters who were convinced that there was never a buried treasure – including the ex-wife of one of the men who died searching. (In his announcement of the discovery, Fenn promised that photos and other details would appear shortly, so we'll see.) Then there are the complaints. A lawsuit was filed by a man in Colorado Springs late last year, although a judge dismissed the case in February for procedural reasons. The plaintiff, David Harold Hanson, has asked the court for permission to bring the lawsuit again.
A Chicago real estate lawyer named Barbara Andersen informed the Santa Mex New Mexican that she was planning to file a federal injunction and claimed that she had solved the puzzle, but her solution was stolen by an unnamed accused who "followed me and cheated me to get the chest ". An Arizona man named Brian Erskine, who also claims to have solved the puzzle, also believes that Fenn's timing was "suspicious" when he announced the discovery.
Fenn himself seems to put up with everything. "I congratulate the thousands of people who participated in the search and hope that they will continue to be drawn to the promise of other discoveries," he wrote in his announcement. And he admitted to the Guardian: "I'm half happy, half sad because the hunt is over."