Medical student discovers real buried treasure worth millions

Almost 10 years ago, an eccentric art and antique dealer named Forrest Fenn hid a chest of gold, precious jewelry and other treasures somewhere in the mountain forests of the Western States. -United. This sparked a lawsuit that sparked the interest of millions around the world, many of whom have died searching for her. Now the hunt is over. The Treasure Chest Finder: A student at the Pennsylvania Medical School.

The student, Jonathan “Jack” Stuef, 32, naturally wanted to remain anonymous after finding the treasure hidden in the Wyoming wilderness last June. However, a judge ruled that a federal lawsuit brought by another treasure hunter required disclosure of his name. Stuef agreed to have his name published in an article Monday to Outside. He simultaneously published an essay on the site Way, identifying himself. Stuef did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

Daniel Barbarisi, the author of Outside article and a forthcoming book on the treasure hunt entitled In pursuit of the thrill, said some of those looking for the treasure threatened Stuef, legally and physically. Stuef says he even moved to a more secure house to protect himself.

In a twist that will be understandable to most medical professionals, Stuef told Barbarisi he has no plans to keep the treasure. “The treasure is now in a safe place in New Mexico, but Stuef plans to sell it,” Barbarisi wrote. “He says he has medical school loans to pay back.”

How the quest began

In 2010, Fenn hid a chest of unknown riches. The Santa Fe art collector never had the contents appraised, but the treasure was estimated to be in the millions. After hiding it, Fenn wrote a poem containing nine clues to its location. Even though he occasionally spoke or corresponded with hunters – and wrote a number of books himself – he never disclosed contact details.

“Forrest’s whole concern was that people were spending too much time indoors, and he had such a great time in the mountains, fishing, hiking and biking, which he wanted to share. that, “said documentary filmmaker Dal Neitzel. Medscape Medical News. “And so, he hid this treasure somewhere in the woods, hoping that the children would get up off the couch and go get it, that the families would make it part of their vacation.” Neitzel himself was a treasure hunter, researching sunken ships and making films about them. Neitzel ran Fenn’s blog and he was the one who asked Fenn to tell the world, via the website, that the treasure was found in June.

According to most accounts, the idea was successful. The Albuquerque Journal valued that 350,000 people had searched for the treasure in the past 10 years. In February 2020, a researcher from the University of North Dakota wrote an article which was published in the newspaper Human arenas in which he analyzed how Fenn’s treasure hunt mimicked the kind of individual pursuit of goals that can consume human beings. This study estimated that as many as two million American adults were involved in the hunt for Fenn at some level, with around 433,000 people conducting competitive research.

At least five people lost their lives in search of the treasure. Neitzel said he knew a woman who went bankrupt flying from her home in the Midwest to the Rockies every weekend to search. Stuef found the treasure somewhere in Wyoming, pulled it out of the woods, and brought it back to Fenn’s house. The current location has not been disclosed and it will not be. Neitzel said he and Fenn agreed the location should be kept a secret to protect him.

Stuef not only finished a match, he ended an obsession. “We have people who have been working on this puzzle for 8, 9 years, and now the puzzle has been solved, and they don’t know the solution,” Neitzel said. “It was terrible for a lot of people.”

Medical student finds gold, inspires lawsuits

Netizel says that when Stuef found the treasure, he left the chest in the woods and called Fenn, both to let him know and to ask permission to remove it. Stuef wrote in his essay that he had known the approximate location since 2018. He found it after 25 consecutive days of searching. Once he did, he returned to his car, put his hands on the wheel and cried.

“The moment this happened wasn’t the triumphant Hollywood ending that some had surely envisioned; I just felt like I had just survived something and was lucky enough to get out of it. other side, “wrote Stuef.

Neitzel said he exchanged emails with Stuef and expressed surprise at leaving the trunk in the woods for another night before driving it to Fenn’s home in New Mexico. “He said he thought there was something about the whole way the scavenger hunt was organized that he felt was important that he get permission from Forrest to move it from his secret location,” he said. said Neitzel.

Shortly after Stuef found the treasure, a Chicago woman took legal action against Fenn and the then anonymous researcher, alleging that the emails she sent to Fenn had been hacked and that the researcher had used his information to locate the treasure. She claims the treasure was found in New Mexico; Fenn and Stuef say it was in Wyoming.

Fenn died in September at the age of 90, but the trial continued. Barbarisi had been corresponding with Stuef for several months without knowing his name. Last week, Stuef emailed Barbarisi to tell him the lawsuit had taken a turn and his name was likely to be made public in these court proceedings. Stuef told Barbarisi his name and gave the green light to reveal it.

As it is not known how the trial will unfold, Stuef has indicated that he has no plans to return to medical school. If he uses the proceeds to pay off his student debt, it wouldn’t be the first time Fenn’s funds have been tied to medical training. At one point, Fenn had agreed to pay for medical school for one of his grandchildren, Neitzel said, on condition that the grandchild would practice for 5 years in an underserved area of ​​the country. The grandchild did not end up pursuing a career in medicine.

Even though none of Fenn’s wealth goes towards a medical career, Neitzel says he wouldn’t be upset. “Who am I to be disappointed with everything Jack does?” He asked. “I think a lot of treasure hunters have felt disappointed by this decision, not to go back to med school, when it would have meant so much to Forrest as to do so. But of course, there is a lot, a lot of other people. for whom it makes no difference. That’s Jack’s life. “

Laura Arenschield is an award-winning Columbus, Ohio-based reporter for MDedge who has written on science and health for over a decade.

For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.

About Larry Noble

Check Also

BNI Europa boss leaves for Duff & Phelps

BNI Europa CEO and President Pedro Pinto Coelho has reportedly left the challenger bank. His …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.