Want to get rich quickly? Start looking for hidden treasure

Ever since Forrest Fenn revealed that he had hidden a treasure chest worth an estimated $2 million in the mountains north of Sante Fe, much of America's southwest has been in a frenzy. In fact, thousands of people have descended on the area, all of them hoping to strike it rich. If you watch the news, you may have heard about the eccentric millionaire who came up with the idea and sacrificed his own gold, collectibles and artifacts to bring his treasure hunt dream to fruition. You even may have heard about the best-selling memoir, The Thrill of the Chase, detailing his adventures and giving clues to the location of the treasure. Sound too good to be true? The modern-day Indiana Jones remains adamant that his story of hidden riches is 100 percent the real deal.

So, why would anyone give away millions of dollars of their hard-earned wealth? And beyond that, why would they hide it for someone else to find? The answers are as complex as the quirky millionaire himself. Funny, sarcastic, and always joking, Forrest Fenn has an overabundance of explanations as to why he did what he did.

Who is Forrest Fenn?

According to his memoir, Forrest was raised poor in Temple, Texas. Although his family never had much money, they spent their summers chasing adventures in Yellowstone National Park. Forrest never went to college. Instead, he married his high school sweetheart, Peggy Jean Proctor. According to his book, Forrest soon joined the Air Force where he encountered the greatest adventures of his lifetime. During his stint as a fighter pilot the war in southeast Asia, his plane was shot down twice — once in Vietnam and once in Laos. His military records tell the story of a decorated war hero who earned a Silver Star, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Bronze Star, 16 Air Medals, and a Purple Heart.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1970, Forrest Fenn moved to Sante Fe, N.M., hoping to start a new life. With little experience, he started an art gallery with Peggy and sold the finest antiques and artifacts to famous stars like Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Michael Douglas. Since he had been always been interested in history and the outdoors, Fenn acquired lands surrounding Sante Fe where he digs for artifacts and excavates Native American historical sites to this day. Forrest Fenn has lived a life jam-packed with adventure, and he wants you to enjoy the same thrill and excitement that he has experienced throughout his life. According to Fenn, that's one of the reasons he hid the treasure in the first place.

Why?

“We have a problem in this country with our youth; obesity, drive-by shootings, disrespect and much more,” says Fenn. “I would like get those kids out of the game room, off the couch and out where they can smell the sunshine.” Mr. Fenn's goal is certainly being realized as thousands of people, families included, have headed to the area looking for some good old-fashioned adventure — and riches.

According to the Huffington Post, Fenn may have also been influenced by a cancer diagnosis he received over 20 years ago. After being forced to accept the possibility of his own death, could he have hidden the treasure as a final act of defiance against his own mortality? It's more than possible. However, only he knows the entirety of his intentions. Of course, Forrest Fenn didn't die and is very much alive and well. However, at 82 years old, Fenn says that he no longer sees death as the big deal he once thought it was. In fact, the decorated veteran now describes it as “the ultimate adventure.”

Is the Treasure Really Out There?

When I asked for his thoughts on those who doubt his story, Fenn says that he doesn't try hard to convince anyone. “It's in their genes.”

“I have received more than 18,000 emails and only three doubt that my treasure story is real, and each of them went to a place where they KNEW the treasure was, and it wasn't. They blamed me for it not being there for them.” Fenn remains adamant that his treasure will stay hidden until someone figures out the clues in his book and finds it. “It is not easy to find but it certainly is not impossible,” says Fenn. Although he doesn't give away any more clues than necessary, Fenn says that the treasure is hidden in a place that “is dear to him.”

Strike it Rich

Although thousands of treasure hunters have descended on the area, no one has been able to locate the treasure so far. However, Forrest Fenn hopes that it's found by someone who works hard to decipher the clues that he lovingly prepared for them. “The person who finds the treasure will be the one who solved the clues in my poem and walked to it,” he says. “No one will happen onto it. My hope is that whoever deserves it through his efforts will be the finder.”

Until then, treasure seekers still wanting to give it a shot should focus on solving the clues he's provided in his memoir. Additionally, Forrest plans on revealing a new clue on the Today show every month, although he doesn't know when that will end.

When asked for tips, Fenn suggested that treasure seekers study his book and the his poem, “Where the Treasure Lies,” which was written to provide clues. “Here is what I would do,” says Forrest. “Read my book in a normal manner. Then read the poem over and over and over, slowly, thinking. Then read my book again, this time looking for subtle hints that will help solve the clues.”

Where the Treasure Lies By Forrest Fenn

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 will be worth the cold.

If you are brave and in the wood

I give you title to the gold.

 
More about...Travel

Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others

Subscribe to the GRS Insider (FREE) and we’ll give you a copy of the Money Boss Manifesto (also FREE)

Yes! Sign up and get your free gift
Become A Money Boss And Join 15,000 Others
guest
28 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Michael @ The Student Loan Sherpa
Michael @ The Student Loan Sherpa
7 years ago

I have never heard of this guy, but this is really cool. What a neat idea.

David Hunter
David Hunter
7 years ago

Darn! I was just about to start searching for it. 😉

monsterzero
monsterzero
7 years ago

Found it. Y’all can stop looking now.

MB
MB
7 years ago

Jackie O and Michael Douglas aren’t infamous. They are famous.

Charles Manson and Mussolini are infamous. 🙂

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/infamous

Anne
Anne
7 years ago
Reply to  MB

Can you even call Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis a “famous star”? Don’t you have to be an actor to be a star?

And does anybody give a &%$# who bought his antiques? I certainly don’t base my taste on what well known people have purchased before me.

Dan
Dan
7 years ago

Based on this poem, the treasure is clearly under his home toilet.

lmoot
lmoot
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Best.comment.ever. Hilarious.

Yeah, it definitely brings a different view to the words “As I have gone alone in there”, “heavy loads and water high”, “below the home of brown”, “no place for the meek” “take it in the canyon down”.

Whelp, I think you’ve solved the mystery. And now you’ve got hoards of people gone to look for this guy’s septic tank.

bill
bill
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan

I thought the same thing. That or a sewerage plant 🙂

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Turning crap into gold (e.g., selling “antiques”) is ancient and powerful alchemy!

lmoot
lmoot
7 years ago

I love this. Growing up I’ve always loved “treasure-hunt” themes in books and movies.

EMH
EMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Holly Johnson

Now I want a Baby Ruth!

UCSB Student
UCSB Student
7 years ago

How fascinating! I will definitely be keeping up with this story. Thank you for bringing it to our attentions.

Jake @ Common Cents Wealth
Jake @ Common Cents Wealth
7 years ago

What an interesting story and adventure! I would love to devote some time to go check it out and see if I can find it, but I think I’ll wait to read the story of the person who actually does find it. I’ll stick to getting rich slowly.

Jim
Jim
7 years ago

While this may be mildly interesting to read about on a novelty news website, this garbage isn’t the kind of thing for GRS. I guess it was only a matter of time before the site jumped the shark.

Karen
Karen
7 years ago
Reply to  Jim

This site jumped the shark when J.D. left. I still read it because every now and then, there is an article which is helpful and intelligent.

J. Ryan
J. Ryan
7 years ago
Reply to  Jim

Yup, I actually came into this to see if anyone else was commenting on the junk this is. It’s funny that GRS still only posts one story a day. With a lot of the crap they put it on now I’m pretty sure they could turn this into an aggregate website with multiple stories a day. While it would be a clear case of quantity over quality, I’d probably check in more just to see if anything was worthwhile. As it is now, if I see a pointless article like this GRS usually loses my views if not only for… Read more »

grrlpup
grrlpup
7 years ago

“…where he digs for artifacts and excavates Native American historical sites to this day.” Is he working with tribal governments in this? Someone profiting from Native American artifacts, then encouraging thousands of people to traipse all over public land not for recreation but in search of money– that isn’t someone I look up to.

lmoot
lmoot
7 years ago
Reply to  grrlpup

Although I agree that if he finds something of cultural importance that it be brought to the attention of the group which the item came from, he should be able to do what he wants on his own property and merely excavating items I don’t think is so taboo. Are archeologists only allowed to search for items within their ancestory? Now if it were burial grounds… As for getting people to traipse through public places…they.are.public.places..and made for traipsing. What does the reasoning behind it matter? Besides, I doubt hoardes of people will be ascending (many people didn’t even know about… Read more »

Heather
Heather
7 years ago
Reply to  lmoot

Forrest Fenn actually was under investigation by the federal government a couple of years ago concerning his “treasure-hunting” activities (http://www.abqjournal.com/north/112332138329north06-11-09.htm). He is rumored to have artifacts of questionable provenance. I’m not sure if the investigators made it to his toilet…that’s actually a really good suggestion.

krantcents
krantcents
7 years ago

I know there are lottery winners and other people who get rich quick, bu they are the minority. Often they never keep it anyway. There is only one way to become rich which is hard work.

Derek @ Moneyahoy.com
Derek @ Moneyahoy.com
7 years ago
Reply to  krantcents

Agree,

This sounds like good fun and exciting, but it probably is a waste of most folks time and energy.

stellamarina
stellamarina
7 years ago

If you are into treasure hunting you are better off buying a metal detector. Look up whiteselectronics.com and read the wonderful treasure hunting stories there. My husband has one that he uses at the beach. He will always find coins and gold rings are icing on the cake….especially if they have a diamond on them! Great way to get extra income in retirement but during a time that he had no job it brought in extra income as well. Several months ago, when silver price was higher, we sent in a whole lot of beach find silver rings and chains… Read more »

rokku
rokku
7 years ago

This article does not belong on GRS.

No tangible financial ideas present in this article. This was published earlier this year in Kiplingers magazine. Barely entertaining but still not useful for improving your finances or financial knowledge.

bemoneyaware
bemoneyaware
7 years ago

Wow an interesting article which presents both sides . 18,000 mails..people really want to take shortcut to riches!

Matt Sullivan
Matt Sullivan
7 years ago

I am already rich. I have an amazing family that adores me and I love working hard on my online business.

Thanks for the article – it reminds me all over again of the constant struggle I face.

Matt Sullivan

Andrew
Andrew
6 years ago

I have read many books on what kind of person you have to become to become wealthy. Mostly they shared advice about being an honest and disciplined person with integrity. I agree that this is how it should be. However when I see wealthy people around, I know this is usually far from the truth. Most of quickly made millionaires grew their wealth so fast because they used their opportunity to bribe government personnel or top managers in large companies. Best option for a young wannabe millionaire is to have an uncle in the top management of a bank and… Read more »

shares