Forrest Fenn confirms $1m treasure chest found in Rocky Mountains after decade-long hunt

Peter Stubley
Art dealer Forrest Fenn hid the treasure in the wilderness a decade ago: AP
Art dealer Forrest Fenn hid the treasure in the wilderness a decade ago: AP

The decade-long hunt for a treasure chest containing $1m (£790,000) in gold and jewels has ended with its discovery in the Rocky Mountains.

Art dealer Forrest Fenn sparked the search for the loot after publishing clues pointing to its location in his 2010 autobiography “The Thrill of the Chase.”

At least four people died looking for the bronze chest across remote corners of the American West.

Hundreds of thousands of people took part in the hunt, with many quitting their jobs to do so while others depleted their life savings.

On Sunday Mr Fenn confirmed that the chest had been found a few days ago – without revealing exactly where it had been hidden.

“The guy who found it does not want his name mentioned,” he said. “He’s from back East.”

Mr Fenn said that the find was confirmed by a photograph sent to him by the hunter.

The antiquities collector, who lives in Sante Fe, said he hid his treasure as a way to tempt people to get into the wilderness and give them a chance to take part in an old-fashioned adventure and expedition for riches.

He packed the chest with hundreds of gold coins and nuggets, pre-Columbian animal figures, prehistoric “mirrors” of hammered gold, ancient Chinese faces carved from jade and antique jewelry with rubies and emeralds.

In 2017 he told The New Mexican the chest itself weighed 20 pounds (9kg) and its contents weighed another 22 pounds (10kg).

Asked how he felt now that the treasure has been found, Fenn said: “I don’t know, I feel halfway kind of glad, halfway kind of sad because the chase is over.”

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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