A Real Life Indiana Jones Wants You to Find His Buried Treasure

Eighty-seven-year-old Forrest Fenn hid a treasure worth millions in the Rocky Mountains. He has provided all the clues he can, and now you just need to break the code. Pay close attention to all this article has to say; it may provide you with a little help on your journey toward millions. There’s even a poem from Fenn at the end with nine clues in it to help you on your journey. All that being so, pursue this treasure at your own peril. Some people have perished on their journey to discover Fenn’s hidden fortune.

1. First off: Who is Forrest Fenn?

Forrest Fenn in his home in front of a wall full of antique knives.

Forrest Fenn in his home | Screenshot/ABC/Nightline

In 1988, Fenn was diagnosed with terminal cancer. During that time, he reflected on his life and came up with the idea of  a treasure hunt before he died. Miraculously, he was able to beat cancer. But, the idea of creating that treasure hunt never left him. So, this former Air Force-pilot-turned-antiquities dealer finally put together a chest full of riches, and gave nine clues as to where the buried treasure might be.

Next: Take a peek at what’s in the chest.

2. If you’ve ever imagined a treasure chest, this would be close to it

Treasure chest on wooden background

This not a picture of the actual chest, but you get the idea. | grafvision/Getty Images

Fenn’s treasure chest is made of cast bronze. It contains 265 gold coins, hundreds of gold nuggets, precious stones, quartz crystals, and cast gold pieces. The value of the chest is estimated to be anywhere from $1 million to $5 million. However, the consensus seems to be that it is around $2 million.

Next: There are a lot of people hunting for this treasure.

3. Hundreds of thousands of people are already looking

Two people finding a geocache in the forest

It’s a wonder that no one has found the treasure yet. | leaf/Getty Images

The prize has been around for eight years now, and no one has been able to find the buried gold. There are endless forums online to search through. Plenty of these would-be treasure hunters have shared notes on the clues they’ve gathered. Fenn estimates that there are somewhere around 350,000 people who are looking, or have looked, for the treasure. Some have come within hundreds of feet of the treasure and not known it, says Fenn. But, some have paid with their lives.

Next: This endeavor can be dangerous.

4. A few people have died or gone missing

A calm alpine lake with a small island

A calm alpine lake can be as dangerous as it is beautiful. | 51Systems/Getty Images

More than a year ago, 54-year-old Randy Bilyeu went missing while searching for Fenn’s treasure. His body wasn’t discovered until eight months after his initial disappearance. In June 2017, a pastor by the name of Paris Wallace died in the New Mexico wilderness looking for the treasure, as well. Another man, Eric Ashby, also went missing and is presumed dead.

The tragic deaths of these men have led the New Mexico state police chief, Pete Kassetas, to ask Fenn to call the treasure hunt off. Fenn has repeatedly reminded people that he was 80 years old when he hid his the chest. Suffice it to say, you’re not going to have to do anything extreme or dangerous to get to the treasure.

Next: After this long, could the whole thing be a hoax?

5. Is there really any hidden gold at all?

Gold bar and coins

Why would Fenn lie? | denisvrublevski/Getty Images

Forrest Fenn receives emails almost daily saying the entire thing is a hoax. Fenn was accused of making the whole treasure hunt up by the ex-wife of Randy Bilyeu. She wants him to call the whole thing off before more people get hurt. According to her, the hoax is just a way for Fenn to get attention.

Fenn stands by his claim that the treasure is still out there.

Next: If you think the treasure is real, here’s where to start.

6. The treasure is Rocky Mountain high

From the river shore, covered with stones, opens view on fantastic glacier and steep rocky mountains with green meadows, which are covered with snow.Happy lifestyle. Beautiful universe.

Will Fenn’s gold ever be found? | vik898/Getty Images

In Fenn’s book, The Thrill Of The Chasehe shares a poem that he has written himself. In that poem lies nine clues that lead to the bounty. There is also a map that shows the area in which the treasure lies. It’s the entire span of the Rocky Mountains, from Montana all the way down to New Mexico.

A lot of people have thought that the treasure is hidden somewhere in New Mexico, because Fenn lives in Sante Fe. But that could very well be a red herring meant to distract you.

Next: Want to take a stab at the poem and see if you can crack the code?

7. Fenn’s mysterious poem

A photo of photos mixed together showcasing a treasure chest, old man, and treasure map

Good luck to anyone who wants to take up the hunt! | Photo from Forrest Fenns Facebook page

On the Old Sante Fe Trading Company’s webpage, there is a whole host of useful clues concerning the treasure, and the poem that will allegedly lead you right to it. If you follow this link to the website, the poem will be on the right-hand side of the page and you’ll be able to get some useful tools to help you try and solve the mystery. Happy hunting, everyone!

Follow The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!