News & Opinion | July 7, 2018 9:00 am

At Least Four People Have Died Searching for $2 Million Bounty in the Rockies

Eccentric millionaire Forrest Fenn says he hid a box full of gems, gold, and cash in the Rocky Mountains.

rocky mountains
The Rocky Mountains as seen from Los Alamos, New Mexico. (Getty Images)
Getty Images

Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, there is rumored treasure worth upwards of $2 million. Eccentric millionaire Forrest Fenn says he hid the 10-by-10 inch box of gems, gold, cash and precious antiques somewhere in the Rocky Mountains in 2009. To find it, you have to solve the clues in a cryptic poem written by Fenn. The literary treasure hunt has inspired thousands of people to take the search the countryside, but the trip has proven to be dangerous, even deadly. At least four people, some say five, has perished while searching for Fenn’s treasure. The wife of a man named Randy Bilyeu, who went missing in 2016 while searching in northern New Mexico, blames Fenn for all the deaths.

“You created a monster,” Linda Bilyeu wrote in an email to Fenn, according to The Guardian. She went on to say the treasure is a dangerous hoax. But the allure of the treasure appears to be irresistible, as people like Sacha Johnston keep heading to the Rockies to look for it, despite the danger. Johnston began searching in 2015 and has gone on over 125 trips.

“Lots of life is complicated and messy,” Johnston, a single mother of two, said to The Guardian. “This is the one thing I do for me.”