From the lost city of Atlantis to movies like The Goonies, we love a good treasure hunt — real or fictional. But what if we told you that there is real buried treasure hidden in the Rocky Mountains? For years, people have been searching for a treasure chest allegedly hidden by millionaire Forrest Fenn, but nobody has discovered it.
Although the 87-year-old Fenn reportedly hid the chest in 2010, he has continued leave tantalizing hints about it over the past eight years. In an article published today, April 18th, the former art dealer and Vietnam fighter pilot told CNBC Make It that he thinks up to 350,000 people have embarked on the hunt for the treasure — but he’s not sure when, if ever, it will be uncovered.
“It could be found soon or 1,000 years from now,” he told CNBC.
Fenn has claimed that the loot contained in the chest is worth about $2 million. He has previously said that it includes gold coins, rubies, sapphires, diamonds, emeralds, and even “pre-Columbian gold bracelets.” Vox reported that Fenn amassed these riches through occasionally controversial means as he traversed the American Southwest.
Nobody knows for sure if the treasure is legitimate, and some have but Fenn claims to have hidden the clues in a 24-line poem that he printed in his self-published autobiography. He also shared the poem on Instagram in 2016.
In February, Fenn told Business Insider that those trying to find the treasure should use the poem in combination with a map of the Rocky Mountains.
Looks like it’s time to get out our detective hats.
Although Fenn reportedly hid the bounty so that others could have fun, at least four people have died on their quests. In a 2017 blog post, Fenn did clarify that the treasure is not hidden underwater, and he reminded his followers that he “was about 80” when he hid the treasure, urging them to be careful.
We may never know where Fenn’s treasure is buried. And while we may not be real-life explorers, we’ll be puzzling over every clue we can get. Good luck to all the treasure hunters out there!