Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Search Is Over: Hidden Treasure Chest Found In Rocky Mountains

NOEL KING, HOST:

A millionaire in New Mexico by the name of Forrest Fenn said 10 years ago that he'd buried a treasure chest in the Rocky Mountains. He suggested it could be worth up to $2 million. And thousands of treasure hunters tried to find it. Now it has been found - maybe. From the beginning, this whole situation has seemed a little cursed. Here's Grace Hood with Colorado Public Radio.

GRACE HOOD, BYLINE: Dal Neitzel runs a popular blog devoted to Forrest Fenn treasure hunters. Over the years, he's heard many people claim they've located the bronze chest with gold nuggets, rubies and sapphires.

DAL NEITZEL: The first thing that ran through my mind was, somebody else is trying it again. I'm so tired of this.

HOOD: But this message was from Forest Fenn himself.

NEITZEL: And he said, yes, it's been found. You know, yeah, that was a huge moment.

HOOD: Almost immediately, Neitzel saw a flood of comments on his blog, a tight-knit community of armchair explorers and outdoors people. Their obsession has prompted thousands to hunt for the treasure across the Rocky Mountains. At least four people have died. For a decade, their only clues have come from a cryptic poem in a map supplied by Fenn. He spoke to NPR in 2016.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

FORREST FENN: No one knows where that treasure chest is but me. They can go get it, but I'm not going to tell them where it is.

HOOD: Now he's not saying where it was found or who found it, turning up long-time skepticism that it's all a hoax. Fenn did not respond to interview requests. Treasure hunter Jamie Jourdan has always believed. She's gone on dozens of expeditions for the chest.

JAMIE JOURDAN: You know, people believe in God, but they can't see him. Why can't we believe Forrest Fenn hid a treasure just because we can't see that he did it?

HOOD: One thing she can see is a strong community that's developed around Fenn's treasure. In 2018, after she lost her home to a California wildfire, so-called chasers came to her aid.

JOURDAN: Six weeks into my evacuation, I had moved into a new home. Thank you to the chase community.

HOOD: Jourdan is working to organize one final annual gathering for her fellow hunters known as a Fennboree. And like many, she says she'll keep on exploring because you just never know what's out there. For NPR News, I'm Grace Hood. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.