A while ago my husband heard about this interesting story of how a 80-year-old Santa Fe art dealer/collector named Forrest Fenn has hidden an actual no-shit treasure chest for the public to try and find. Now, in order to understand what happened next, you have to realize that JB is really, REALLY into searching out difficult-to-find objects—for instance, a few years ago it was his obsessive investigation that helped locate a WWII-era war plane that crashed in Lake Washington in 1942.

It’s kind of ironic because this is the same guy who can stare directly at a jar of Jif while simultaneously bellowing, “HONEY DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE PEANUT BUTTER IS,” but JB is a hell of a researcher, and has the confidence to test out his theories first-hand—so really, it wasn’t much of a surprise when he told me he was thinking of traveling to New Mexico.

So that’s where he went last weekend, to a spot he’d been zeroing in on for a couple weeks. After countless evenings of watching him pore over maps and publications, while helping him brainstorm the meaning behind Fenn’s poem (in particular, the reference to “Brown” has become a lively topic of debate in our household), I was thrilled he had the chance to follow this through. I know it all sounds a little mid-life-crisisy, but really, how many shots do we have at an adventure like that? In the midst of our daily grind of work and mortgage payments, well, what the hell—why not take a break to fly across the country on a solo hunt for buried treasure?

I’m sort of sorry to report he didn’t find it, but in a sense I’m also not sorry, because the trip itself sounds like it was amazing. He got to see a beautiful area he’d never been to before, he had the satisfaction of exploring in person the research he’d done from afar, and now he can think about where he might want to look next time.

For as much as he is a dependable, responsible man, JB also has a wildly optimistic streak that I deeply envy. He has an adventurer’s soul, and a balls-out passion for the things he’s interested in. I love that he’s willing to get up and chase after a dream.

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Alexa
10 years ago

MAKE JB SOLVE THIS: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2011/08/the-body-on-somerton-beach/

(I’m sorry, I’m obsessed. I’ve been procrastinating by reading about that case all morning now.)

PinkieBling
PinkieBling
10 years ago

That is so cool! JB is a badass.

aimee @ smilingmama
10 years ago

Oh my gosh! That is so freaking cool!

duchessbelle
10 years ago

That is awesome.

perl
perl
10 years ago

Are Crayton and Forrest any relation? Because that’s kind of a freaky coincidence. Maybe it means that JB is destined to find that treasure!!;]

Marci
Marci
10 years ago

Wow, that is amazing. (Hmmm, the diver who went with him to find the wreckage & the Santa Fe art dealer have the last name?)

Hope he finds it!

Jen
Jen
10 years ago

This is seriously awesome. I love that he went and tried to find it!

Junni
Junni
10 years ago

Go find it JB!!!

Kate
10 years ago

this is just awesome! Even just thinking about it is fun. I read a thing for newly weds that said once a year buy a lotto ticket and talk about what you would do if you win – same type of brain exercise but 100X more cool.

Forrest Fenn
10 years ago

There is a quote in a book about Joe Duveen that says, “They never knew that it was the chase they sought, and not so much the quarry.” Lots of people are out looking for the treasure and most of them tell me the same thing as JB. It’s the thrill of the chase so one should never stop searching, never, never.
Forrest Fenn

Artemisia
10 years ago

He is most definitely someone my dad would call, “good people.”

Kristen
Kristen
10 years ago

Neat…good for him. I saw a commercial the other day that there are three dodge journeys hidden in the US and if you find it – you get to keep it. GO JB!

Cara
10 years ago

Very cool that JB would take up the hunt, and just as cool that you would think it was awesome and something he should do. You two are a good team.

Fairydogmother
10 years ago

That is so awesome! I mean, really, couldn’t we all use that kind of escape & adventure right about now?

And I kind of love that he didn’t find the treasure this time around. Keeps the thrill of hope and adventure alive…

meanliving
10 years ago

That sounds like so much fun! The research/hunt really is the fun part. But I can say that, because my hunting has never netted me a profit. How did he start the research on the plane recovery?

Kelsey
10 years ago

I always admire anyone who is able to find ways to follow some of their dreams – I too often get bogged down in logistics.

Livi
Livi
10 years ago

How fun is this?!?

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

damn. (checking Folsom and Raton, NM off the list)

JB
JB
10 years ago

It is lovely, Linda, to listen to you speak of JP with admiration. I find it hard after 11 years sometimes to remember to do that.

Especially when the qualities I admire in my husband result in “alone” time for him and, like you in this case, I have to pick up the parenting slack!

Susie
Susie
10 years ago

This is the coolest thing ever.

jonniker
10 years ago

I’m welling up reading this, and I can’t put my finger on why, but I am. I just find the whole thing so touching and magical and that JB got caught up in it and did it has pretty much made my day.

Thank you for sharing this, and thanks, JB, for doing it. How marvelously wondrous in this day and age.

jonniker
10 years ago

Oh GOD, now I read Forrest Fenn’s comment and I’m fully weeping. I find this so TOUCHING.

Jessica
10 years ago

I love that Forrest Fenn read and commented!

That plane thing is really cool. I saw you tweet the buried treasure story last weekend and thought just a little bit you might be announcing you and JB are millionaires now…maybe next time!

Shannon C.
Shannon C.
10 years ago

This is so cool! Reminds me of that book that came out in 1979, “Masquerade,” in which the author buried a jeweled treasure somewhere in Britain and left clues in each of the illustrated pages. My sisters and I tried to work out the mystery for many many months, to no avail. It was finally solved.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masquerade_%28book%29

Angella
10 years ago

I made Matthew sit down and read this — he is wired much like JB — and he declared it awesome.

(As do I.)

Shannon Lell
10 years ago

If wasn’t the sole responsible adult for my 2 year old daughter and the sole responsible boobs for my 6 week old son… I would do this. I would SO do this.

Sarah
Sarah
10 years ago

I think this sounds amazing! If I had half a brain, I’d sit and try and figure it out!

Lawyerish
10 years ago

I love absolutely everything about this.

Marci
Marci
10 years ago

I guess if the nephew knew, then there wouldn’t be a hunt. I totally expect to hear someday that JB found it. : )

agirlandaboy
10 years ago

That’s really super cool. I like that guy.

Jennifer
10 years ago

What everyone else said… love this story.

And I’ll be in Santa Fe on Sunday. I wonder how many treasure-seekers I’ll see there.

tanya
tanya
10 years ago

how fabulous that your guy has a true adventurer’s heart. good for the both of you

Life of a Doctor's Wife

This made me fall a little bit in love with your husband. (You know, in a totally non-creepy Internet-friend sort of way.) What a lovely adventure. I hope his next trip is successful!

Clare
Clare
10 years ago

I just got back to the Midwest after spending the last 4 months in the Raton/Cimarron area. Raton had some really bad fires while we were there. I hope he was able to look past the fire damage and see the incredible beauty of the area! Amazing adventure.

Sadie
10 years ago

My god. I am from New Mexico, but have lived in Arkansas for the last 5 years. Those pictures just brought out in me the kind of homesickness I haven’t felt in a long time.

CC
CC
10 years ago

The thrill of the chase is what keeps us alive. Thank you for always having a bit of hidden treasure when I open your blog for a read. And I’m also from NM. Those of us who are know inherently about her beauty and love it when others discover it too.

Trucker Sue
10 years ago

Great to hear that your husband went looking for it. It’s great that he has your support. Please don’t anyone get mad at me when I find it. lol.. I’m going on the hunt early next year. I’m also training my dog to sniff out treasure (lol..) She’s a mini Australian Shepherd with blue eyes. She loves adventure. I bury treasure in the yard & send her to find it. lol.. I’ll try just about anything!! lol..

I really envy the people that can get out of the house & actually get over there to hunt for it. I can’t find it if I don’t get out there. I’m itching to get out there & find it.

Thanks for sharing, and HH (happy hunting).
Trucker Sue & my dog Kelly

Liz
Liz
10 years ago

Linda–Did he check out Folsom Falls? That’s where I was zeroing in on — I’m thinking the same line of reasoning led JB there too. Darn.

Willa
Willa
10 years ago

Reading the news story about the WWII plane and your post, I have to say this sounds like about the coolest hobby ever! I mean, they have their own treasure hunting organization with special equipment and diving missions and shit? That is awesome.

I want to hear more details about his treasure hunt, but then I guess maybe he wants to keep his secrets to himself!

mark dreyer
mark dreyer
10 years ago

Interested in the name of the “ghost town” where the second photo is taken. My interpretation of the treasure also involves a ghost town. Very curious to see if it’s the same one. I can provide mine first via email if you wish. I don’t intend to search, but would LOVE to be able to guide someone to it.

Ronald Planesi
9 years ago

All my comments of Forrest Fenn’s blog were deleted. Was it a system crash because of the Newsweek article? Does Forrest not like me for some reason? Or am a just a “little too close for comfort” on his clues and maP? Allow me to be a minor egotist for a moment or two and believe I’m spot on! It is a thrill!

YSREBOB
YSREBOB
9 years ago

What clues led JB to Folsum and Raton?

james
9 years ago

i am a long time fan of treasure hunting,my wife brought this to my attention two days ago…very very skeptical at first.two days later…lol…planned a trip!we are going,if i have my way…we will stay indefinatly,untill we or someone else finds it.i hope mr.fenn understands the tenacity of some folks.we are allready dirt poor,so we got nothin to lose!at the worst we will fullfill our need for a real treasure hunt.happy huntin! we will see u all on the mountain!

james
9 years ago

also..remember people..there is only so much time in the year,weather permitting..to search. good luck to all!

mark
mark
9 years ago

JB was right on it….i think he is one of the people fenn said was within 500 ft. i have many reasons but wil keep them to myself…sure would like to meet U and ten people there in a week or two and share the treasure or the experience and make new friends…let me know…quietly i guess or there might b a crowd.

Eric S
9 years ago

WE FOUND THE BLAZE! But didn’t find the treasure. Maybe it’s been found already. . .

The blaze shows a box, it appears to show some running men, and the letters I and D. I posted a picture here:
http://www.huntinggpsmaps.com/blog/forrestfenntreasuremaps/

Does this look like a blaze that Forrest would make? It seems to be similar to the ones in his back yard in NM that are posted on this blog. Any ideas? Looking quickly down didn’t work so well. I guess I was looking for an F or FF blaze.

wanda
wanda
9 years ago

i live on the NC coast where the
warm waters halt. its the gulf stream its called the
NORTH WALL .now check out these.
the new mint NM quater ,the old north wall ‘Frijoles Canyon post card
and yellowstone, just for a few . you owe me a gold coin

joy
joy
9 years ago

We are about to finish a week of treasure hunting outside of Santa fe. To say the least it was interesting. My husband reviewed books, articles, maps, whatever he could get his hands on. He gave the chase, a gallant effort. We will leave Santa fe with many fond memories….hikes, hunts, museums, arts, and adventures of driving into snow filled canyons and almost getting seriously lost. Be careful friends. If you don’t know what your doing you could be seriously lost or hurt. I hope forest goes and gets the treasure and donates it to charity. It could become a problem for those who are ignorant about the forests and mountains.

Future Adventurer
Future Adventurer
9 years ago

Sounds like a worthy challenge. The few people I tell about this treasure think it is a scam due to how much Forrest’s book is selling for, maybe I can show them otherwise. Or have the treasure hunting time of my life and come home empty handed. Looks like you cant lose if you go…