X Marks the Spot
The Fenn Treasure is a treasure reportedly worth $1m–$3m hidden by art dealer and author Forrest Fenn in the Rocky Mountains in 1985. According to Fenn, many people have claimed to have found the treasure, but no one has provided any evidence to him supporting their claim. As of 2015, Fenn has stated that to his knowledge it is still not found.
Forrest Fenn operated an art gallery with his wife, Peggy, after retiring from the Air Force. The gallery was located in Santa Fe, New Mexico and sold everything from artefacts to fine art and was quite successful. In 1988, Fenn was diagnosed with cancer and came up with the idea during this illness to create a bronze chest full of treasure for anyone to go find.
He filled the chest with "treasure" containing gold nuggets, rare coins, jewellery and gemstones, along with a jar holding his autobiography.
He intended to hide it and end his life nearby, with the treasure as a legacy. However, he survived his illness and waited until he was 79 or 80 to hide the treasure. At least two people have been reported missing while searching for the treasure. One individual who was later found went missing in 2013. The most recent in
January 2016 has still yet to be found.
Forrest’s poem with nine clues to a million dollar treasure:
As I have gone alone in there,
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.
Begin it where warm waters halt,
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.
So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.
So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort could be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood,
I give you title to the gold.
However, many more clues have been revealed during television interviews and through his book 'The Thrill of the Chase’. Be aware - Forrest himself is a master of the double entendre. He chooses his words very deliberately.
In March 2013, he revealed that the treasure was hidden in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe and more than 5,000 feet (1,500 m) above sea-level. In March 27, 2013, Forrest Fenn's 11th clue was revealed: "No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure." On May 3, 2013, Fenn was interviewed to reveal: "The treasure is not in a graveyard." This was in response to an arrest of a treasure seeker the previous month. In September 2013, Fenn announced the publication of a new book, Too Far to Walk, containing a pullout map of the area surrounding the treasure. In January 2015, Fenn revealed in a new interview: "I know the treasure chest is wet." In July 2015, Fenn revealed in a new interview: "The treasure is not hidden in a mine. A lotta these old mines are dangerous. I mean, they have snakes in 'em, they have black widow spiders!"
Anyone and everyone is invited to go out and look for Forrest’s treasure chest. Even his family, because no one knows where it’s hidden except Forrest. When you find it, Forrest says that “it’s yours to keep”.