What would you do if you found out about a real buried treasure? Well, believe it or not, but there’s an actual buried treasure somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. It seems that an eccentric millionaire has placed his millions in the mountains and it has turned into a hobby of treasure-hunting for many. You won’t believe the lengths that people have gone to in order to find the treasure!
Forrest Fenn is an art dealer and author who has managed to cause quite a commotion. The 87-year-old is an eccentric millionaire who was also a former Vietnam fighter pilot. These days, he’s most famously known for the Fenn Treasure.
19. The Fenn Treasure
So what exactly is the Fenn Treasure you might ask? The Fenn Treasure is a treasure reportedly worth over a million dollars hidden somewhere deep in the Rocky Mountains. It seems that the millionaire art dealer was having some fun when he decided to follow through on this idea.
18. The Area
It has been estimated that the treasure is hidden somewhere in the roughly 1,000 miles between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Canadian border. Fenn alerted the public to the treasure and he currently estimates that around 350,000 people have gone hunting for it. However, no one has been successful yet.
17. No Way of Knowing
Fenn has also commented on the situation saying that there’s absolutely no way for him to know if any of them have even gotten close to the treasure yet. “It could be found soon or 1,000 years from now,” he explained. He also explained that no one but him knows where the treasure is…
16. No One Knows
“No one knows where that treasure chest is but me,” Fenn told NPR back in 2016. Even his own wife doesn’t know the location of the buried treasure. “If I die tomorrow, the knowledge of that location goes in the coffin with me.“
However, Fenn wasn’t cruel about hiding his treasure. He decided to leave the treasure hunters a clue that they could use to discover the hidden treasure. It happens to be a poem that is found in one of his published memoirs.
14. The Poem
Once again, Fenn has proven to be a master at hiding things in places that you would never expect. The eccentric millionaire devoted a 24-line poem from his self-published memoir, “The Thrill of the Chase” to treasure hunters hoping to score it big. Fenn has even shared excerpts of the poem on his Instagram account.
On his Instagram account, Fenn has shared parts of the poem for treasure hunters to use. “Begin it where warm waters halt / and take it in the canyon down. / Not far, but too far to walk. / Put in below the home of Brown,” one part of the poem says.
12. Read The Clues
“Read the clues in my poem over and over and study maps of the Rocky Mountains,” Fenn recently told Business Insider. “Try to marry the two. The treasure is out there waiting for the person who can make all the lines cross in the right spot.”
11. Treasure Chest
So what exactly did Fenn hide up in the mountains? Well, it seems that he actually took the time out to hide a bronze treasure chest that is filled with gold and precious gems. The Romanesque box is 10-by-10 inches and weighs about 40 pounds.
As a self-taught archaeologist, the contents of the chest all happen to be actual artifacts. He managed to amass all of the treasure during his exhibitions out in the Southwest. Fenn was, however, criticized for excavating the San Lazaro Pueblo Indian site he bought back in the 1990s.
9. FBI Investigation
Fenn was also investigated by the FBI back in 2009. They were looking into a sale he made of artifacts looted from the Four Corners area. However, no actual charges were filed against him in this case.
8. Filling The Chest
Fenn originally filled up the treasure chest with artifacts when he was diagnosed with cancer back in 1988. His original plan was to drag the chest up into the mountains and die beside it. However, when he beat the cancer his plans changed.
Once he realized that he wasn’t going to die, Fenn began to have different plans for the treasure chest. In fact, many friends and acquaintances that came over the house noted seeing it in Fenn’s home. They also noted that it was filled up to the top with valuables.
6. Launching The Hunt
After The Great Recession hit, Fenn got the wild idea of hiding the chest and launching a hunt for it. “Lots of people [were] losing their job, despair was written all over the headlines, and I just wanted to give some people hope,” he told ABC News.
5. Obsessive Hunters
Many of the treasure hunters that have undertaken the challenge have become almost obsessive with it! “Most of my 12 hours every night I’m on Google or something looking up clues,” Ricky Idlett, a steamboat operator in Mississippi revealed. “Every night. Every night I’m looking.”
4. Online Forums
There are also many online forums that are dedicated to working together to help others solve the mystery. Fenn has also revealed that he gets hundreds of emails each day! “This one guy called me,” Fenn told ABC News. “He said, ‘Tell me where the treasure is right now. I’m going to kill you.‘”
3. Fatal Obsession
Still for some the obsession with the Fenn Treasure has proven to be a fatal one. At least four people have been believed to have died from an accident involving searching for the treasure. This has made some people speak out and tell Fenn to call off the search.
2. Another Clue
“The treasure chest is not under water, nor is it near the Rio Grande River. It is not necessary to move large rocks or climb up or down a steep precipice,” Fenn wrote. “Please remember that I was about 80 when I made two trips from my vehicle to where I hid the treasure.“
1. Fun Search
“The search is supposed to be fun,” Fenn explained. “I wanted to give the kids something to do.They spend too much time in the game room or playing with their little handheld texting machines. I hope parents will take their children camping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains – I hope they will fish, look for fossils, turn rotten logs over to see what’s under them, and look for my treasure.”