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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The chance to find $2 million in gold and treasure has inspired tens of thousands of people to search remote corners of the Rocky Mountains.
That mystery was made by Forrest Fenn, a New Mexico antiquities dealer who announced the hidden treasure years ago in a bid to lure people into the great outdoors.
Fenn wrote in his memoir "The Thrill of the Chase," self-published in 2010, that somewhere high in the Rocky Mountains, he had hidden a small bronze treasure chest containing nearly $2 million in gold coins, jewelry and precious artifacts. Since then, tens of thousands of people have tried in vain to find the bounty, following clues he dropped in a poem as part of the memoir.
In these excerpts, he told treasure hunters where to start looking:
"... Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
From there it's no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There'll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.
If you've been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace ..."
But now a treasure hunter has gone missing, and Fenn is on an increasingly desperate mission to find him. Randy Bilyeu disappeared more than three frigid weeks ago along the upper Rio Grande. Fellow treasure hunters are keeping up the search, long after the New Mexico Search and Rescue team suspended its efforts.
Fenn tells The Associated Press that he and his treasure hunters are not going to give up.
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