A 10-year-old treasure hunt has finally been solved with the winner taking home a treasure chest holding gold nuggets and precious gems worth $2 million. The box was hidden by millionaire art dealer Forrest Fenn at 5,000 feet above sea level in the Rocky Mountains in North America.
Fenn, a New Mexico framed art and antiquities collector, created the treasure hunt in 2010 after learning he had kidney cancer. Fenn hid the bronze chest filled with gold nuggets, coins, diamonds, pre-columbian artefacts and other items. His only clues included a map and a poem that appeared in a self-published memoir called “The Thrill of the Chase”. According to the New York Times, the treasure’s location was embedded in a 24-verses cryptic poem.
But after countless quests, the search is over, said Fenn. "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," Fenn said. "I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot," Fenn said in a recently released statement. The successful seeker, however, has chosen to remain anonymous.
"The guy who found it does not want his name mentioned. He's from back East," Fenn told The New Mexican in Santa Fe. The find was confirmed by a photograph, he added.
According to The Guardian, the treasure chest weights 9 kg and its content weighs another 10 kg.
Ever since Fenn hid the treasure about 10 years ago, tens of thousands of people were lured into it, trying to decipher the clues and embark on what they hoped would be a life-altering hike in the wilderness. Fenn believes that at least 250,000 people have looked for the stash.
According to NPR, at least four people have died in the process of looking for the trove. However, Fenn tried to dissuade people from taking perilous risks, saying in a statement to NPR, "The treasure is not hidden in a dangerous place. I hid it when I was about 80 years old."
Asked how he felt about the treasure being found, Fenn told the media: "I don't know, I feel halfway kind of glad, halfway kind of sad because the chase is over."