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Arts & Culture

Book Focuses On The Thrill Of The Forrest Fenn Treasure Hunt

Penguin Random House

Last summer, a modern day treasure hunt came to an end. New Mexico Art Dealer Forrest Fenn's chest of jewels, gold and pre-Columbian artifacts were found somewhere in Wyoming.

Journalist Dan Barbarisi broke the news of the identity of the finder, while writing a book about the treasure hunt. He said Jack Steuf didn't feel joy or glory, but relief when he found the chest.

"He went back to his car and he cried," said Barbarisi. "He just felt so relieved that he wouldn't spend the rest of his life absolutely sure that he knew where the treasure was and not be able to find it."

Barbarisi's book, Chasing the Thrill: Obsession, Death, and Glory in America's Most Extraordinary Treasure Hunt, covers how over the last decade, searchers have not only created community, but also controversy. Fenn hid the treasure in the Rocky Mountains in 2010 when he was told he was going to die from cancer. Barbarisi said hunters got really invested and it became an obsession.

"It's something that I think certainly could have been in play with a lot of the fatalities in this case," he said, "where, you know, you run into a lot of situations where you just want to go a little more, you just want to explore a little further. And that might not be the smartest idea."

At least five hunters died while looking for the treasure. Barbarisi's book is available on Amazon.

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