NY Times- A modern day quest for buried riches has already led to the deaths of at least two treasure hunters. But the man who claims to have hidden a stash of about $2 million says that he has no plans to put an end to the search.
Forrest Fenn, an art dealer and a former Air Force fighter pilot, announced in a self-published 2010 memoir, “The Thrill of the Chase,” that he had buried a lockbox full of gold coins and nuggets, precious gems and ancient artifacts. He offered clues to its location, hidden in the 24 verses of a poem published in the memoir. Since then, he estimated, more than 65,000 people had joined the search.
On Sunday, the authorities in New Mexico found the body of one of them. Paris Wallace, a pastor from Colorado, was reported missing last week after his family said he went searching for the treasure.
Pete Kassetas, the chief of the New Mexico State Police, called on Mr. Fenn to end the hunt, saying that lives were being put at risk.
In an email, Mr. Fenn said he had no plans to call it off.
“It is always tragic when someone dies, and this latest loss hit me very hard,” he said Tuesday, in response to questions about Mr. Wallace’s death.
“Life is too short to wear both a belt and suspenders,” he said. “If someone drowns in the swimming pool we shouldn’t drain the pool, we should teach people to swim.”
Mr. Fenn has said that the treasure is somewhere in the Rocky Mountains and 5,000 feet above sea level, a suggestion that has tempted people into some of the more unsparing wilderness in the southwest. He recently specified that it is not located in an area that an 80-year-old would find difficult to access.
I love this old Forrest Fenn. I have no idea if he’s lying or not. Probably is, don’t care. If he’s sending morons into the unforgiving wilderness of the Rockies to search for his buried treasure, he’s a winner in my book. If they die, they die. I just picture him sitting on his porch in a rocking chair, drinking iced tea under a straw hat, giggling that old man giggle between his rotting teeth. “Hee hee! They think I buried treasure like a pirate! Hohoho.”
Of course, if he did actually bury the treasure, there’s nothing I want more than to join the hunt myself. I’m a pretty good hiker. 9th best sport for sure, especially when I’ve got enough water and peanut butter sandwiches.
His clues, by the way, are unbelievably vague. “It’s not someplace that an 80-year-old wolf would find difficult to access.” That rules out banks, doormen buildings, and the Caribbean. Maybe hunting stores and Starbucks bathrooms where you need to buy a scone to get the code. But it still leaves the wilderness. All of the wilderness.
But an 80-year-old wolf? Wolves only live up to 10 years, which means he must have converted to dog years, and even then, that’s only 70. So if an 80-year-old wolf isn’t a real thing, then is he telling us there’s no treasure? Argghhhhh!! This pirate has my head spinning and now I care deeply!
Here’s the pastor who died recently while hunting the treasure:
Hmm. Might be God’s way of saying “get out of my house.” Ripping around on a Harley and hunting buried treasure in the mountains doesn’t seem like typical Christian behavior. Shouldn’t he be building houses in Guatemala or something? Might be one of these new-age pastors. There’s a reason I quit the church.
Here’s one of the clues from Forrest’s poem:
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.
Beautiful. Where warm waters halt could be anything from a showerhead to the tip of a penis. Put in below the home of brown might be an inch beneath a butthole (there’s a reason I was routinely booted from 7th grade English class). The point is, no one is ever going to find this treasure. But for every person that dies searching, Forrest Fenn deserves another vote for the old man Hall of Fame.