The art collector who triggered a modern-day gold rush by burying a multimillion-dollar treasure chest revealed a new clue Wednesday to where the prize is hidden.
“No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure,” Forrest Fenn announced on TODAY.
The eleventh clue is the latest hint to where the 82-year-old New Mexican buried the trove of antiques, gold coins and various jewels.
Fenn’s first appearance on TODAY last month generated so much interest from treasure seekers that his website crashed within hours. It also led to overwhelming demand for a book he wrote that offers a map to the treasure in the form of a poem with nine clues. The self-published memoir, “Thrill of the Chase,” is sold by only one shop, an independent bookstore in Santa Fe, N.M., where copies flew off the shelf for weeks.
Fenn appeared days later to reveal another clue to the bounty.
“The treasure is hidden higher than 5,000 feet above sea level,” he said on March 1.
That failed to narrow the possibilities much since the average elevation in mountainous New Mexico, where the treasure is presumably buried, is 5,700 feet.
The hunt for treasure has been a boon to the state, especially Santa Fe, where the visitor’s bureau and hotels have been inundated with requests for information and bookings.
“Our phones are ringing off the hook,” said Dana Ortega, marketing director of the Inn and Spa at Loretto. The recent attention also led to “about 2,000 more visitors to our website.”
Fenn said one of the reasons why he buried the treasure is to encourage Americans to become more active.
"Get your kids out in the countryside, take them fishing and get them away from their little hand-held machines," he said last month on TODAY.