Of all the real, modern day, Treasure Hunt's, Forrest Fenn's quest in the Rocky Mountains is perhaps the one that captures the imagination of all Treasure Hunters!
Forrest Fenn (August 22, 1930 - September 7, 2020)
In 2010, 85-year-old art dealer Forest Fenn announced in a book that he had hidden a chest of gold nuggets and jewels somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, enticing thousands to search for what experts estimate worth $5 million.
In his cryptic poem, The Thrill of the Chase, Fenn dropped clues as to the whereabouts of this hidden treasure and inspired adventurers and treasure-hunters to go searching. Sadly, some even died trying.
As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.
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.
From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.
So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.
So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.
In June of 2020, the treasure was finally found by Jack Stuef, 32, who initially chose not to be named (perhaps understandably, as he was suddenly $5 million richer!)
On his website, Fenn wrote, “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.”
Stuef was unable to stay silent and had to identify himself for a lawsuit demanding a piece of the prize. Chicago-based lawyer, Barbara Andersen, alleged that someone hacked her email and stole the solution to the treasure hunt.
Fenn died at the age of 90 in September 2020, but his grandson confirmed Stuef’s identity in a post on the treasure hunt’s website.
“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,” Fenn’s grandson, Shiloh Forrest Old, wrote in the post.