After a decade-long search, one lucky man has found the million-dollar chest.
Some time between 2009 and 2010, renowned antique and art collector Forrest Fenn hid a treasure chest containing gold coins, jewels, and other assorted valuables somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico. The combined value of the chest’s contents could range anywhere from $1 million to $2 million, which is why hunters from around the world have been hiking the Rockies for the past decade. Around the time he hid the treasure, Fenn wrote a biography titled “The Thrill of the Chase,” which contained a 24-line poem with hints to the treasure’s whereabouts. All these years later, someone has finally cracked the code and claimed the prize.
Fenn announced on his personal website that the treasure had been discovered by an explorer. According to Fenn, the explorer wished to remain anonymous, but to prove the authenticity of his discovery, he sent Fenn a picture of the spot where the chest was discovered.
“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,” Fenn said in his announcement. “I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot.” Fenn made a point of neither posting the picture nor divulging the actual location of the treasure.
When the Santa Fe New Mexican asked for his feelings about the hunt being over, Fenn said “I don’t know, I feel halfway kind of glad, halfway kind of sad because the chase is over.” He went on to say, “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.”
The hunt has attracted an untold number of hikers and hunters to the Rockies, which was Fenn’s original intent, as he wanted to share the natural beauty of the area with others. There have, however, been numerous deaths in pursuit of the treasure, to the point that, in 2017, New Mexico formally discouraged explorers from pursuing the treasure. The most recent death was this past March.