One of the most controversial gold treasure tales in recent history has taken another sordid turn.

What Is Fenn's Treasure?

Forrest Fenn is an antiquities collector and writer who claims to have hidden over $1 million in gold and gems somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.

The actual Forrest Fenn treasure chest
Dal Neitzel

Fenn published a book about the treasure, providing a map and hiding clues in poetry.

The gold is supposedly contained within a heavy bronze chest that is itself valued at about $25,000.

Many people have—so far, unsuccessfully—attempted to find the treasure, which is believed to be relatively close to Santa Fe, New Mexico. (However, it may well be in Colorado, Montana, or Wyoming.) Mr. Fenn, 88, has always stressed that the treasure is not somewhere dangerous or difficult to access—he was about 80 years old when he hid it—yet several people have gotten injured or required rescue while hunting for the treasure, and a few have even died.

Resorting to Crime

The hazards encountered by people hunting for Fenn's treasure have stirred a great deal of controversy in Santa Fe. Newspaper editorials complained that losing lives and spending valuable state resources to rescue treasure hunters in danger are unnecessary, albeit unintended, consequences of the stunt.

Yet another of these unforeseen problems has now touched the residence of Forrest Fenn himself.

One of his followers took the hunt for Fenn's treasure much too far. The man broke into Fenn's home last week and attempted to steal a large chest that he assumed held the treasure. (It didn't.)

When Fenn and family members arrived back home to find the intruder, they were fortunately armed with handguns. They kept the would-be thief at bay until the police arrived and arrested him.

You can also find coverage of the story by the Miami Herald.

This adds another strange episode to the Fenn treasure saga and should serve as a clear lesson that theft doesn't pay.

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Everett Millman

Everett Millman

Managing Editor | Analyst, Commodities and Finance

Everett has been the head content writer and market analyst at Gainesville Coins since 2013. He has a background in History and is deeply interested in how gold and silver have historically fit into the financial system.

In addition to blogging, Everett's work has been featured in Reuters, CNN Business, Bloomberg Radio, TD Ameritrade Network, CoinWeek, and has been referenced by the Washington Post.