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Modern Mysteries

Famed treasure hunt creator dies, aged 90

By T.K. Randall
September 9, 2020 · Comment icon 26 comments

The hunt for the treasure claimed several lives. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Daniel Mayer
Forrest Fenn, who famously hid a cache of valuables in the Rocky Mountains, died on Monday at his home.
A former United States Air Force pilot who recovered from a terminal cancer diagnosis later in life, Fenn was best known for setting up a famous treasure hunt that would endure for ten years.

It began with a book published in 2010 - The Thrill of the Chase: A Memoir - which contained a set of clues allegedly pointing to the treasure's location "in the mountains somewhere north of Santa Fe."

The treasure itself reportedly consisted of gold coins, jewels and other riches worth over $3 million.

As time went on and word of the treasure got around, dozens of hopeful treasure seekers ventured out into the mountains to locate it. Sadly however, the treacherous weather and terrain of the region proved too much for some to handle and several people lost their lives during the attempt.
Ultimately though, just a few months before Fenn himself passed away, the treasure was 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," he said.

The man who found it reportedly did not want his identity revealed but had proved to Fenn that he had indeed claimed the prize by sending him a photograph of the treasure.

"I don't know, I feel halfway kind of glad, halfway kind of sad because the chase is over," said Fenn.

Source: | Comments (26)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by Desertrat56 4 years ago
I agree since the article said he claimed he didn't know the person who found the treasure.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Still Waters 4 years ago
Forrest Fenn has died.  
Comment icon #19 Posted by moonman 4 years ago
He dies three months after it's "found". No, that isn't suspicious in the least. Most likely scenario is he knew he was about to die so he retrieved it himself (or had it retrieved, or never hid it at all).
Comment icon #20 Posted by Eldorado 4 years ago
"Police in Santa Fe, New Mexico, have confirmed that ninety-year-old author Forrest Fenn died at his home there on September 7, reportedly of natural causes. "His passing comes mere months after Fenn announced that the object of a treasure hunt he launched a decade ago — a chest filled with gold coins and jewels said to be worth $2 million — had been found. "But while the details Fenn provided, including some photos of him looking at artifacts, excited his many fans, they failed to persuade critics who've long held that the whole thing was a hoax." Full report at WestWord dot com: https://... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by Silver_Raven 4 years ago
The fact that more people are focusing on the debate of "is it a hoax," rather on what the article was really about, the death of Forrest Fenn, just reaffirms my lack of faith in humanity. Whether it was a hoax or not, he gave people a reason to explore and encouraged the adventurous spirit that led to humanity's greatest achievements, minus the genocide/slavery aspect that came with those accomplishments. Most people don't have the chance to go on any real adventure in their lifetime, and the few unexplored regions of the earth are either very inhospitable, or inaccessible to the vast major... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by ChrLzs 4 years ago
What a load. If you were to genuinely do this, surely you'd use a safe with contact details on it so the finder had to identify themselves and ask for the combination...
Comment icon #23 Posted by Myles 4 years ago
I don't think this was a hoax at all.   Sad that the guy passed away as I wish more people would do stuff like this.
Comment icon #24 Posted by tortugabob 4 years ago
This is what I think has happened.  Forrest Fenn knew he was nearing the end of his life.  He also knew that several people had been killed looking for the treasure. I think that Fenn felt somewhat responsible.  I believe he wanted the search to stop because he didn't want to feel like he was responsible for any more deaths.  Therefore 1) Either he removed the treasure himself claiming someone had found it or 2) It's still out there.  By claiming someone had found it people would stop looking for it. Unless someone comes out and shows us the swag it's still out there waiting.   Don't, S... [More]
Comment icon #25 Posted by Bed of chaos 4 years ago
  There's a big difference between hiking (adventurous spirit) and looking for money. Completely different. Most don't take the same safety precautions.  Fantasizing about millions buried close by.  Fenn announces this right before death? Huge red flag. No names, location, pictures, proof. Nothing but vague statement. I haven't lost faith in humanity, just him. Look up his background. For one, he was raided by the feds. 
Comment icon #26 Posted by Still Waters 4 years ago
We have a new thread about this.  

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