Man who found Forrest Fenn’s treasure hidden in the Rocky Mountains has been identified


Forrest Fenn

DENVER (KDVR) — The man who discovered a treasure chest hidden deep within the Rocky Mountains by a Santa Fe millionaire back in June has been identified.

Jonathan “Jack” Steuf has been named as the person who discovered Fenn’s treasure earlier this year.

And while the identity of the finder has been shared, we may never know where the treasure was located.

“My grandfather wanted to keep the chest’s location secret even after it had been found because he feared that, if the location became known, it could be ruined by the number of people who might attempt to go to the site.” shared Shiloh Forrest Old.

In a letter posted Monday on the website for the treasure, Forrest Fenn’s grandson shared:

On behalf of my family, I am writing to confirm the identity of the person who found, retrieved, and now owns the treasure chest that my late grandfather Forrest Fenn hid in the Rockies over 10 years ago. The finder’s name is Jonathan “Jack” Steuf. Jack found the treasure chest as a result of years of careful searching, without any help from my grandfather, myself, or any other member of our family.

My grandfather wanted to honor Jack’s desire to remain anonymous in an effort to protect him from potential harm and harassment like my grandfather and the rest of our family have experienced over the years since the treasure was hidden, and especially since it was found. He went to great lengths and personal expense trying to help Jack retain his anonymity, and my family has continued to do so to the best of our ability up to this point. We find ourselves currently in a position, however, where it is no longer possible to continue to carry out my grandfather’s wishes to keep Jack’s identity confidential.

As a result of a Federal Court order, we will be required by law to provide Jack’s name and contact information, to the extent that we have it. Given these circumstances, we wanted to let those in the search community hear it from us directly, before we are compelled to disclose it to someone who is abusing the court system on frivolous grounds for the apparent purpose of self-aggrandizement and greed.

My grandfather wanted to keep the chest’s location secret even after it had been found because he feared that, if the location became known, it could be ruined by the number of people who might attempt to go to the site. The location was very special to my grandfather, and the last thing he wanted was to see it destroyed, either innocently or through malicious intent.

We congratulate Jack on finding and retrieving the treasure chest, and we hope that this confirmation will help to dispel the conjecture, conspiratorial nonsense, and refusals to accept the truth.

My grandfather is gone, and the chest has been found. His death, and that of my grandmother Peggy, has left a void in our lives. I know I can speak not only for my family but also for our friends in the treasure hunting community when I say that we miss them greatly.

We want to sincerely thank all those in the treasure hunting community who have become our friends and allies over the years. I cannot express to you the joy that my grandfather had in seeing his treasure hunt positively touch the lives of so many, and the excitement in his eyes when he saw that chest again for the first time since hiding it in the wilds of Wyoming. We wish Jack the best of luck, and we hope that the searching community will treat him with the respect that he deserves.

Shiloh Forrest Old

Forrest Fenn died in September at 90.

According to his website and blog, Fenn and his wife built a gallery in Santa Fe in 1972 where they dealt high-value items such as paintings by Frederic Remington, Charlie Russell, as well as other sculptures and artifacts.

Since 2010, Fenn had drawn thousands of treasure hunters to New Mexico after including clues to a treasure chest hidden in the Rocky Mountains worth around $3 million in his self-published memoir, “The Thrill of the Chase.” At least five people died while searching for the treasure.

Many claimed the treasure to be a hoax with some even suing Fenn, alleging he led hunters astray with conflicting and misleading clues. Another lawsuit by a woman even claimed her solution to the treasure was stolen.

In July, Fenn confirmed that an unidentified hunter found the treasure, stating that he had hidden it in Wyoming.

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