SANTA FE, N.M. (KDVR) — A treasure chest hidden deep within the Rocky Mountains by a Santa Fe millionaire has finally been found.
Sunday, Forrest Fenn confirmed to FOX31’s Ashley Michels by phone that someone found his hidden treasure.
“I am a little sad but also happy,” he told FOX31, adding that he is overwhelmed by emails and media attention following the news.
Fenn is a well-known art dealer and collector. In an interview with FOX31 in 2015, he explained that he has had so much fun throughout his life collecting trinkets, treasures and wealth that he wanted to give others the same opportunity.
In 2010, he filled a brass treasure chest with 265 gold coins, hundreds of gold nuggets, two of which are as large as a hen’s egg, about 250 rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds as well as artifacts and jewelry from his personal collection.
He hid the chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming or Montana then wrote a poem to serve as a treasure map.
“The person that finds that treasure chest is gonna say good lord what took me so long?” Fenn said back in 2015.
We now know it took about half a million treasure hunters and 10 years to find.
“When he finds that treasure chest and puts it on his lap and lifts that lid, he’s either going to laugh or faint. One of the two,” Fenn said during the 2015 interview.
We don’t know which reaction the person who found the treasure had. According to Fenn, the person who solved his riddle wishes to remain anonymous.
Fenn also says the person does not want to publicly divulge the location where he found the treasure. That will remain a secret. Although, Fenn said during the phone call Sunday that he may say at a later date which of the four states it was hidden in.
The original post from Fenn confirming someone found the treasure can be seen below:
“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. 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.”
“It broke my heart. It just kind of makes you feel sad, I guess,” treasure hunter Amy Sweitzer told FOX31.
Back in 2015, FOX31 joined Sweitzer on a treasure hunting mission in the Colorado mountains near Minturn.
She has come from Texas to search Colorado nearly 25 times over the past eight years and has spent countless hours researching clues from the poems and books Fenn wrote about his treasure. Now, her hobby is suddenly gone.
“There won’t be any closure,” she said.
Over the last decade, several people have died while searching for Fenn’s treasure.
“The greatest loss isn’t a monetary value but the loss of lives from people who were not safe and ended up perishing because of the chase,” treasure hunter Ruben Sanchez said.
Sanchez is from New Mexico and has been searching for Fenn’s treasure in Colorado’s mountains since 2013.
“I couldn’t believe that it was over,” he told FOX31. “I know I definitely shed a tear over it. It was emotional, especially when you’re so involved with it.”
He says it is bittersweet that it has now come to an end.
“I thought this day would come but I thought I’d be the one finding the treasure,” he said.
It turns out, he did. The treasure just wasn’t the riches he was after.
“There’s no way, no way without this chase that I would have ever done the stuff I have done,” he said. “You can’t take away those adventures and experiences that we had.”
That is exactly why Fenn always called the hunt for his treasure the “Thrill of the Chase”.
“My motive was to get people up off the couch into the sunshine and smell the fresh air,” he said back in 2015.
Now that it is all over, he said Sunday, he thinks his hidden treasure was a success.
“The whole thrill of the chase was a good one,” Sanchez said.