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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Treasure Hunters

In 1988, Forrest Fenn was diagnosed with cancer.

Facing his grim prognosis, Fenn says he stuffed a 10-by-10-by-6-inch Romanesque chest with some of the finest treasures he’d acquired over the years — pre-Columbian jewelry, gold nuggets the size of chicken eggs, ancient jade carvings, emeralds, diamonds — plus a copy of his autobiography.

Fenn planned to drag this haul into the mountains and die beside it — but he beat the cancer, and for 20 years the chest sat swathed in a red bandana in his study.

Two decades later, around 2010, an aging Fenn decided it was time to cement his legacy:

He left his home, drove somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, and hid the chest. In a subsequent memoir, The Thrill of the Chase, he revealed the treasure to the public and offered a 24-line poem containing nine ambiguous clues leading to its precise location.

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