Kicker – Rocky Mountain treasure found

NICK EICHER, HOST: Somewhere “under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains” lay a treasure chest. 

For a decade, hundreds of thousands of people hunted in vain for the bronze box said to be filled with riches. 

But until now only one man knew where it was hidden and what secrets it contained.

FENN: Well, I made it hard deliberately. If it was easy anyone could do it.

That man is Forrest Fenn, a wealthy antiques collector who hid the chest somewhere north of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

At least five people died trying to find it. But Fenn, who is now 89, repeatedly declared the location was not dangerous.

FENN: I have said don’t search anyplace where a 79 or 80-year-old man couldn’t hide that treasure chest.

The treasure map was a poem in Fenn’s 2010 autobiography called The Thrill of the Chase. He invented the modern treasure hunt as a way to draw more people outside to enjoy God’s creation.

And one treasure hunter, Michigan mom Chloe Harp, said it worked.

HARP: It’s brought us together out in nature, out in sunshine. I mean, I think that’s what Forrest wanted. And it gave us a perspective of the world that our children will never forget.

It was filled with gold coins, jewelry and other valuables worth about a million dollars.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

(Luis Sanchez Saturno/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP) In this July 4, 2014 photo, Forrest Fenn poses at his Santa Fe, N.M., home. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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