Texas Woman Rescued After Botched Treasure Hunt

By ABC News

Mar 11, 2013 10:21am

ABC News’ Mosheh Gains and Benjamin Krolowitz report:

A Texas woman in search of buried treasure in the mountains of New Mexico was found alive Saturday after going missing in below-freezing temperatures.

Chanon Thompson, 33, of Carrollton, Texas, traveled to New Mexico’s Santa Fe National Forest Thursday in pursuit of buried treasure promised by Forrest Fenn, an 82-year-old author and antiquities dealer, police say.

Nearly seven miles into the forest, Thompson lost her way, according to police.  When her boyfriend did not hear from her the next day, Friday, he called authorities to report her missing.

Using a team of search dogs, technical rescue experts and three aircraft, police found Thompson around 11 on Saturday morning, according to Chief Robert Shilling of the New Mexico State Police.

Thompson, who was not seriously injured and is now resting at home, is just one of the many pulled to the Rio Grande in a modern-day gold rush sparked by Fenn’s announcement that, three years ago, he buried a chest full of “emeralds, diamonds and rubies and sapphires,” in the mountains.

In his 2010 book, “The Thrill of the Chase,” Fenn penned a poem as a cryptic treasure map to where he had hidden the treasure.

“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,” the poem read in part.

Nearly 5,000 copies of Fenn’s book have been sold in just the last three months, says the author, who was inspired to leave a legacy, in the form of the hidden treasure, after a diagnosis of cancer.

“I guarantee you, when someone finds that chest, they’re gonna be shocked,” Fenn said.

Fenn says the purpose of his book and his hidden treasure is not to make money but to inspire people to get outside and feel the thrill of the treasure chase.

To those who take the challenge, he has one piece of advice.

“Don’t look any place where a 79- or 80-year-old man could not carry a 42-pound box,” he said.

 

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