A Vietnam war veteran turned millionaire art and valuables dealer just offered some pretty telling clues on the location of his millions-worth treasure chest he hid in the Rockies back in 2010.
In a lengthy 24-stanza poem he shared on Instagram, 87-year old Forrest Fenn encouraged treasure hunters to take out their maps and use their imagination to make sense of the 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,” reads one stanza.
“Read the clues in my poem over and over and study maps of the Rocky Mountains,” Fenn recently told Business Insider . “Try to marry the two. The treasure is out there waiting for the person who can make all the lines cross in the right spot.”
The poem is part of his memoir titled “The Thrill of the Chase.”
And some people have done nothing else but chase indeed.
According to a report on CNBC, there are a number of online forums where enthusiasts trade theories about the treasure’s location, and even an entire subreddit called r/FindingFennsGold that’s devoted to the cause.
Fenn says that gets 100 emails a day on the topic, with a few unwelcome ones too.
He reports that he’s had to call the police on a few occasions after unwelcome visitors showed up at his house or threatened him.
“This one guy called me,” Fenn told ABC News. “He said, ‘Tell me where the treasure is right now. I’m going to kill you.'”
He adds that possibly as many as 35,00 people have attempted to search for the treasure, which supposedly contains emeralds, rubies, gold coins and diamonds in a chest nearly a square foot in size; in the nearly 1,000 miles of wooded, rocky land between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Canadian border.
But just in case you’re thinking this is one of those insane urban myths perpetuated by rich, eccentric old men, there are witnesses who’ve confirmed to NPR that they saw it “filled to the brim” with valuables in Fenn’s walk-in vault in his home, at a time before he decided to hide the treasure and launch the hunt.
While he has since said the hunt was to get families out into nature again and to spark a sense of hope for people, his original purposes for amassing such wealth were a bit more selfish.
Fenn originally filled the chest after he was diagnosed with cancer in 1988, and planned to drag it into the mountains to die beside it. Not even his wife knows where it is.
But despite his reasons, Fenn adds that he knows about the deaths of at least four people who attempted to search for the treasure, and reminded treasure-seekers it’s not hidden in a place that will cost you life or limb.
“Please remember that I was about 80 when I made two trips from my vehicle to where I hid the treasure,” he said.
Some people have urged him to call it off due to the fatalities, but instead he wrote some pointers on his blog to remind treasure hunters to stay safe.
“The treasure chest is not under water, nor is it near the Rio Grande River. It is not necessary to move large rocks or climb up or down a steep precipice,” he writes, “The search is supposed to be fun.”