When a treasure hunter wandered into Yellowstone National Park to dig up a famous bounty, he lost his way. Now he’ll pay for it.
On Aug. 2, 2018, the man’s mother dropped him off at the Mount Holmes trailhead to hike through the park with a shovel in hand, according to U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit documents. The man, who is in his 40s, planned to dig up the famous Forrest Fenn bounty somewhere in the park.
Along the way, however, he came across bear poop and fur, the court said. He wandered from the trail, thinking it would be safer and easier to take a different route.
The treasure hunter didn’t make it out of the park before it got dark, and he spent the night “night wet, cold, [and] scared,” according to the court documents.
The man talked with park rangers to try to find his own way out, but he was at a high elevation in “extremely rugged country seldom visited by park personnel,” the court said.
After hours of trying to communicate with the man, park rangers organized a helicopter rescue to get him out of the park. The man was cited for disorderly conduct.
He was ordered to pay the National Park Service $2,880 for the cost of his rescue and was banned from Yellowstone for five years, according to court documents.
For years, people have risked their lives looking through mountains, canyons and all across the West to find hidden treasure.
The coveted Forrest Fenn treasure has been sought by treasure hunters since 2010 when Forrest Fenn of New Mexico reported he hid a chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.
People have been caught digging in historic cemeteries and risking their lives to find the stash of gold, rubies, emeralds and diamonds.
In December, a treasure hunter named Jack Stuef said he found the Forrest Fenn treasure after two years of searching.
Another treasure hunter filed a lawsuit in June seeking $10 million in New Mexico U.S. District Court after he said he found Fenn’s coveted treasure in Colorado. But Fenn had announced publicly that someone else had discovered the treasure in a different location.