A Hunt For Millions Now Concluded
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A Hunt For Millions Now Concluded

Unveiling the secrets of Forrest Fenn’s hidden fortune.

A Hunt For Millions Now Concluded
Francis Tapon 2020

What would you do if you heard the following statement: "We believe you have terminal cancer." Would you spend your days at home with family? Do you have a bucket list that you would begin to tick boxes off of one by one? Perhaps you would travel to that one place you've always wanted to go, or do that thing you've always wanted to do.

Well, if you're Forrest Fenn, a retired Air Force pilot and writer, you would hide a treasure worth millions and publish a book containing clues detailing its location. That's exactly what he did, which led one anonymous man to his newfound fortune in June 2020.

After joining the United States Air Force in 1950, Forrest Fenn spent his days off as a treasure hunter of sorts himself. Given the ability to travel to foreign and exotic places like Libya and the Sahara, he collected, sold and traded several ancient artifacts that he discovered in his travels. By 1973, Fenn had collected enough artifacts to establish Fenn Galleries with his wife in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Some of the items in his possession at the gallery included a mummified falcon from inside King Tut's tomb, and Sitting Bull's peace pipe.

In 1988, however, Fenn received news that he had what doctors believed would be terminal kidney cancer. Fenn ultimately beat the odds and following his triumph over cancer, Fenn is said to have wondered, "What can one person do that might impact life a thousand years from now?"

For Fenn, the answer to that pressing question was to create a treasure hunt open to all to participate in with a grand prize worth well over $1,000,000.

The artifacts that Fenn has claimed to be hidden inside the 42 pound treasure box include ancient figurines, a 17th century Spanish ring, American eagle gold coins, gold nuggets, a vial of gold dust, two gold discs, jewelry including rubies, sapphires and diamonds, a 2,000 year old fetish necklace, Fenn's autobiography and Fenn's favorite turquoise bead bracelet which he has requested to be returned to him upon discovery.

To date, over 65,000 people have gone searching for the lost treasure of Forrest Fenn, and until one week ago, all came back empty handed. The search for the treasure over the years has prompted questions from skeptics and critics over whether or not this hunt was worth it for explorers and treasure hunters or if there was actually any treasure hidden at all.

In recent days, however, these critics have been silenced following the confirmed finding of the treasure by an anonymous easterner with few connections to the Rocky Mountain area of Wyoming where the treasure was found. The only known information that has been disclosed regarding the identity of the finder of the treasure is that he is a male from the east coast. He has declined to comment thus far on his newfound riches or the treasure hunt as a whole.

All that is known of the treasure's location can be found in Fenn's book The Thrill of the Chase which he published as a personal memoir in 2010. Within the pages of the memoir lies the secret to unlocking Fenn's fortune. This key is referred to simply as "The Poem". The poem contains nine unspecified clues that Fenn has said will reveal the location of his hidden treasure and guide fellow treasure hunters to it.

While the exact location of the box of treasure has not yet been revealed to the public, it will be certain to correspond with the nine clues outlined in "The Poem". The poem can be read in full here. The second stanza of "The Poem" contains what is widely agreed to be the first of the nine clues:

"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."

The rest of the poem describes "heavy loads and water high", "a creek" and "a blaze" that hunters have relied upon as clues to try to pinpoint the exact location of the treasure.

While this hunt has been mystified in pop culture sparking interest in exploration of the great outdoors , it has not come without great cost to some who have participated. In total, five people have lost their lives while in search of Forrest Fenn's treasure, and several others have been arrested or cited with property damage as a result of their search for the treasure.

One man who unfortunately passed away while searching for the treasure was found just a few months ago on March 31, 2020 only five miles away from where he was rescued another time a month prior. Another man died after falling nearly 500 feet off a deep slope in Yellowstone National Park in 2017.

These among the other three deaths have led many to criticize Fenn for encouraging treasure hunters to engage in risky or otherwise dangerous behaviors based on nothing except for his word that a treasure has in fact been hidden.

Fenn has been vocal about his regret for these passings, but has also defended his hunt and continues to assert that the treasure is not hidden in any location that may require someone to engage in behavior or activities that put their life at risk. Fenn has been quoted as saying "No need to look for the treasure in a place where a 79 or 80 year old man couldn't go with a 42 pound chest full of gold and precious gems."

This response has been criticized by some as being inadequate in addressing the severity of the loss of life that has continued to define the search for the treasure over the past 10 years, however Fenn has continued to stand by his hunt and its safety for those who are able to correctly identify, solve, and follow the clues outlined in his poem.

With ties to archaeology and adventure reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie, it is no wonder why tens of thousands have gone out in search of Forrest Fenn's hidden treasure. Whether it's the prospect of getting rich quick or the spirit of adventure, people from around the world have come to the Rocky Mountain region to claim Fenn's treasure as their own.

Unfortunately for these explorers and treasure hunters, the hunt has come to a close. However, Fenn hopes that the spirit of hunting and his love for exploration will continue to inspire others to go out in search of other natural treasures and beauty. Fenn released a statement following his confirmation of the discovery of the treasure which in part read, "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."

It is without doubt that Forrest Fenn has inspired many to hunt for treasure, and in these times of social, political, and economic unrest, the discovery of a decades old treasure worth millions may just be the news that America needs to hear to reignite the spark of hope that drove so many to participate in Fenn's great hunt in the first place.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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