Modern Day Treasure Hunts Part 2 of 3
And so the saga continues! Yesterday’s blog post about Masquerade had lead to the enchanting story of a slightly eccentric, blue-eyed multimillionaire named Forrest Fenn.
Three years ago, he put two of his most beloved pieces of jewelry in the chest: a turquoise bracelet and a Tairona and Sinu Indian necklace adorned with lustrous jewels. At the bottom of the chest, in an olive jar, he placed a detailed autobiography, printed so small a reader will need a magnifying glass. After that, he says, he carted the chest of loot, now weighing more than 40 pounds, into the mountains somewhere north of Santa Fe…and left it there.
Fenn is a notorious Santa Fe antiquities dealer and adventurer at the spry young age of 82. He has, allegedly, left a trail of nine hints leading to a box chock full of loot. The clues are buried in a mysterious poem published in his autobiography.
A tenth clue was revealed sometime later stated that the treasure is hidden more than 5,000 feet above sea-level. Early in the new year, Fenn presented a new hint in the hunt for his elusive booty while appearing on the TODAY show. This wonder aficionado said that the eleventh clue was: ‘No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure.’
Though there are some nay-sayers who claim Fenn is out for attention, Fenn and others who know him disagree. Fenn himself says his main goal is to get people, particularly children, away from their texting devices and looking for adventure outdoors. This seems like a noble cause, but is it a noble cause worth 40 pounds of treasure?
People have guessed at the wealth of the treasure in question. ‘His net worth is much higher than what he put in the bounty,’ says Preston, guessing the treasure’s value is in the million-dollar range. ‘He is having way more than $1million worth of fun with this.’
From the outset, the book tells readers the recollections ‘are as true to history as one man can average out that truth, considering the fact that one of my natural instincts is to embellish.’ But what does it mean to “average out the truth”?. Does it mean embellish? Does it mean to tell a narrative or tall tale instead of a true account? Whatever the answer may be…he sure knows how to capture our attention.
Based on the more than 9,000 emails Fenn says he has received just in the past few months, he estimates thousands of treasure hunters will descend on northern New Mexico this spring.
Funny enough, Dana Ortega, director of sales and marketing at Santa Fe’s Inn and Spa at Loretto, said the hotel, which offers a special package starting at $300 that includes a copy of Fenn’s now hard-to-find book, has seen a huge spike in interest.
‘About 50 people came in on the package last year,’ she said. ‘Now our phones are ringing off the hook. … So many people have the book so they are not all doing the package, but they call and want to stay here’ says Ortega.
Stay tuned tomorrow when this magnate’s treasure hunt takes a tragic turn.