“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. I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot."
If you’ve been patiently waiting until the coronavirus shutdown is over to join in the hunt for the $2 million (or more) treasure hidden in the Rocky Mountains by Forrest Fenn, you’re too late. The eccentric millionaire has just revealed on his website that the chest of coins, jewels and other valuables has been found. Has anyone told that guy who’s in jail for looking for it? Now what? Is there a reward for finding Waldo?
“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. So the search is over. Look for more information and photos in the coming days.”
Let the celebrations and the lawsuits begin! In an interview with the Sante Fe New Mexican, Fenn would say only that the finder was a man from “back east” who did not want his name revealed, but who confirmed the find with a photograph … which Fenn has not released. While Fenn promised more information on the find (and hopefully the “other discoveries”), the New Mexican reports that the lawsuits are already here.
“He stole my solve. He followed and cheated me to get the chest.”
Barbara Andersen, a Chicago real estate attorney, filed an injunction against the unknown finder, saying she had solved the mystery but was hacked by him before she could get the chest for herself. She wants to stop him for selling the treasure and demands it be turned over to her. Really?
“He just got served with my lawsuit, and now we have this press release.”
Then there’s Brian Erskine of Prescott, Arizona, who also claims he “solved the quest” … although it doesn’t appear that he actually found the chest – just the alleged location. While the timing seems more than coincidental, the claim doesn’t seem to be too solid in this writer’s non-lawyer eyes.
Fenn estimates as many as 350,000 people searched in some way for the treasure he claimed to have hidden in 2010 with clues provided in a 24-line poem in his autobiography, "The Thrill of the Chase." That total includes at least five people whose relatives and friends claim have died trying to find it, and a man who was recently sentenced to jail for causing a massive rescue effort when he became stranded while searching for it.
“I don’t know, I feel halfway kind of glad, halfway kind of sad because the chase is over.”
So do we, Forrest, so do we. However, the 89-year-old mentioned “the promise of other discoveries.” What did he mean by that? When it comes to old, eccentric millionaires, it could be anything. Expect more lawsuits and hopefully more info on the finder and what the chest and the Fenn treasure actually look like.