There’s no doubt that people love searching for treasure. Pirates fascinate us (even though they mostly didn’t bury their treasures), metal detectors can always be found on beaches around the world, children love to go on treasure hunts…
So it’s no surprise that, in the decade since writer and artifact’s dealer Forrest Fenn hid a treasure in the Rocky Mountains, people have been poring over his book that contains the poem he promised would lead them to the metaphorical ‘X’ over the spot.
The cryptic, 24-line poem was published in Fenn’s memoir, The Thrill of the Chase. It alluded to a canyon and “home of the Brown,” and included a warning that there will “be no paddle up your creek…just heavy loads and water high.”
An estimated 350,000 people have gone out to the Rocky Mountains with the express purpose of hunting the treasure, according to The Washington Post, and their searches have not been without controversy. At least five people have lost their lives in pursuit, and others have been charged with damaging the environment or cultural artifacts accidentally.
The deaths, along with a lengthy list of safety concerns, led New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas to ask the treasure be retrieved by its owner in 2017.
“He’s putting lives at risk,” he said in a statement to The Associated Press at the time.
When Fenn hid the treasure, it took two separate trips, seeing as it weighs an estimated 42 pounds. Now, he’s reporting that it’s been found on June 6th by a man from “back East” who prefers to remain anonymous for the time being.
He’s also not confirming quite yet the location of the treasure, saying only that “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.”
Fenn says he confirmed the discovery was legitimate using pictures sent by the man, though no outside source has seen them, the treasure, or officially confirmed.
Still, it seems the search is over – for this treasure, anyway.
“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.”
And remember, the beauty of nature is there to be explored all of the time, and it contains treasures that you don’t have to dig up, or get in trouble, to find.