Peter Macdiarmid / Staff

$2 Million Treasure Hunt Has Turned Deadly

When we first read this story, it sounded like it should be a movie or at least a less dystopian sequel to "Ready Player One."

A self-taught archaeologist and millionaire is being asked to call off his treasure hunt after the event turned deadly. Forrest Fenn, the 86-year-old, hid approximately two million dollars of gold and gems somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.

Fenn announced in the adventure in his novel The Thrill of the Chase that he was going to set up this public trek. One poem in the novel acts as a major hint for the treasure hunt. So far, the general public knows that the prize is in the Rockies between the Santa Fe and Canadian border.

Toby Kinney on Twitter

@NPRWeekend #FennTreasure @ForrestFenn Seeking Adventure & Gold? Crack Poem & Head Outdoors https://t.co/PFgMstKbkE

The treasure is also 5,000 feet in elevation and, according to Thrillist, is “not in a mine, graveyard, or near a structure.” Fenn also made it clear that the prize is above ground. Even though these hints may reveal a little bit of information as to the treasure’s whereabouts, but it is not that simple. Recently, two people have passed away attempting to figure out the location of the $2 million prize. In a statement to ABC News, Pete Kassetas, the chief of the New Mexico State Police asked for “Mr. Fenn to retrieve the treasure or call off the hunt. It’s solely based in the interest of public safety.”

Even though the police are involved, Fenn is not giving up on his hunt that easily. He told the Wall Street Journal that he is considering the options of what to do to keep people safe.

Beyond Podcast on Twitter

Amateur archeologist Forrest Fenn has dug up lots of stuff, but he buried the best of it. What's in the #Fenntreasure ? Ep9 to find out ????

If you were to find the treasure, the winner would receive items that were hidden during the Great Recession. According to The New York Times, the contents include “265 gold coins, hundreds of gold nuggets, hundreds of rubies, eight emeralds, two Ceylon sapphires, many diamonds, two ancient Chinese jade carvings, pre-Columbian gold bracelets and fetishes, and more.”

Would you go hunt for such a prize? If you plan on it, be sure to take proper protocol and steps to stay safe. This one isn't for the faint-hearted.