A mystery surrounds the treasure of Forrest Fenn


More than a year after the discovery of one of Wyoming’s most legendary treasures in recent history, a group of disgruntled hunters are still not happy with the “resolution.”

They became even more suspicious last month after a confidant of Forrest Fenn, the enigmatic New Mexico antiquarian who buried the loot, revealed a series of emails suggesting that Fenn desperately wanted the search to proceed. finished.

Now, some in the tight-knit treasure-seeking community say he may have even implemented the discovery by helping the medical student who found it.

“We believe Fenn pulled the treasure and ended the hunt,” said Miriam De Fronzo, a massage therapist from St. Petersburg, Fla., Who spent four years searching for the bronze chest full of gold coins. and jewelry that Fenn hid in the Rocky Mountains in 2010. Treasure hunters were given clues to her location in a poem written by Fenn.

“Forrest wrapped it all too tightly with a bow,” De Fronzo added of the resolution, which took place a few months before Fenn’s death, at age 90, in September 2020. “So much has not happened. meaningless. “

Jack Steuf found Forrest Fenn's treasure
Jack Steuf found Forrest Fenn’s treasure.
Jack Stuef / medium.com

In emails, Written between December 2019 and March 2020, Fenn seemed exhausted by what the research – which he put in place to give families a reason to ‘get off their couch’ and head outside – had become.

In addition to receiving death threats and her granddaughter being stalked by a treasure hunter during the 10-year search for the cache, Fenn has also been facing prosecution on the location of the loot and worried that more people would die trying to find it. Four men had already died during the search, and the body of a fifth was reportedly discovered by Colorado rescuers on March 21, 2020.

“After consulting with several people, the decision was unanimous to stop the research,” Fenn said in an email to spokesperson Dal Neitzel on December 7, 2019.

“I will have the treasure chest photographed in situ, then recover it,” he wrote to Neitzel. “The photos will be posted on {Neitzel’s]website … From now on … the hunt is over.”

Fenn Forest
A recently published series of emails suggests that Fenn desperately wanted the research to end.

It officially ended six months later, although at the time, Fenn gave few details and did not reveal the finder. Last December, an article in “Outside” the magazine named the person Jack Stuef, a medical student from Michigan.

But even then, the details surrounding the “resolution” were vague, complained De Fronzo and other treasure hunters. They wondered why Stuef admitted to searching the same area for 25 days and then leaving the treasure hidden once he found it.

“It was possible that he [Stuef] was close and Forrest nudged him, ”De Fronzo said. “Do you think that after finding the treasure, he left it there overnight?” … So many things do not add up.

Stuef’s attorney, Christopher Grant Humphrey, declined to comment.

De Fronzo and others believe that Neitzel decided to publish his correspondence with Fenn now in order to alert the treasure hunting community that something was wrong.

“I posted these emails for no different reason than I made the others public,” Neitzel told The Post. “I think they’re interesting and illuminate Forrest’s state of mind at a particular point in the chase. These emails certainly confirm that Forrest has considered ending the lawsuit, once in December 2019 and again in March 2020, and the specific reasons he had for considering doing so, but these emails to them this alone does not prove that he actually ended the lawsuit. “


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