SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A frustrated treasure hunter is now suing Santa Fe millionaire Forrest Fenn, who supposedly hid millions in treasure nearly a decade ago. Thousands have searched but all have come up short. Some have even died trying to find it.
A Colorado Springs man says it’s time for Fenn to pay for leading hunters astray with conflicting and misleading clues. The Santa Fe author has drawn thousands of treasure hunters to New Mexico since 2011. Fenn includes clues to a treasure chest supposedly worth $3 million in his self-published memoir, “The Thrill of the Chase.”
“If I was standing where the treasure chest is, I’d see trees, I’d see mountains, I’d see animals, I’d see pine needles or pinon nuts, sagebrush, and I know the treasure chest is wet,” Fenn said in a 2015 interview.
This week, David Harold Hanson filed a lawsuit in federal court against Fenn. He says he followed clues from the book and arrived at the area where he believes treasure was hidden but says additional clues from Fenn threw him off. He calls them conflicting with the original clues, and he ultimately was unable to find the treasure.
Back in 2015, Fenn said the search is about more than treasure. “I think there are a lot of people out looking for the treasure, and when they get home they find out they have something better than finding the treasure,” Fenn said.
Hanson is suing for $1.5 million, half of what the chest is believed to be worth. He says the money will go helping autistic children and their families.
KRQE News 13 reached out to Hanson and he declined to comment further on his lawsuit. News 13 reached out to Fenn as well, but did not hear back.