He says he spent 15 years working on this poem.
He claims all you need is the map, then leaves more offline clues in interviews than on the map, e.g. above 5000 feet, near pine, near a road from which he could make two trips in an afternoon. That is sort of annoying - seems a treasure map /poem should be self-contained.
When you attempt to sell bits of it, dealers in e.g. gold coins might ask you the provenance, and then you say "It was the Fenn horde", and you probably show the photo you took on your camera phone because you're presumably smart enough to do that, and that's the end of that conundrum.
2) Hike out the hoard in several batches
3) If you are a particularly paranoid sort of person, unless the coins are worth significantly more by their rarity value, buy a $2000 furnace and crucible and melt them down into bars. Sell the bars at a slight loss below the value of 99.999% purity.
All of this isn't to say you couldn't "find a way" to get spendable money out of finding this stash, more so a question of staying on the right side of money laundering and taxation laws while doing so.
Do you have a source for this? My understanding is there is almost no tracking whatsoever of gold. Yes, if you brought in a new poured ingot, someone will want to confirm the purity, but there are no required identification stamps on gold that connect it with an owner (some gold dealer may add them voluntarily). Dealer will be happy to pay cash as long as they know they aren't get scammed.
My father in law buys gold coins all the time. They are all identical and there is no way to determine ownership. You can buy and sell in cash. No questions asked.
Now, if you went to gold dealer and tried to offload $1M worth of unmarked gold ingots, you're risking a call to the police who will ask you where it came from. But beyond that, it's a pretty unregulated market.
Edit: Google "gold scrap refining", it is not an uncommon thing.
You're thinking of the bank account deposit reporting threshold.
"Gold and silver jewelry, like bullion, is also considered a collectible. So if you sell your bullion jewelry for a profit, it is subject to the same maximum 28% capital gains rate for precious metals and must be reported on your income tax return. Current law does not require that dealers report jewelry sales, even when dealing with 22K or 24K bullion-grade pieces, or in quantities above the 25 ounce limits applied to bars and many coins."
If you pay a US person at least $600 in the year, you must report that to the IRS on a Form 1099, usually a 1099-MISC. You don't report individual transactions, you simply report all of the income paid to that person over the course of the tax year. (For foreign persons, the form is the 1042-S, and there is no minimum threshold.)
Like the comment I was replying to, you both are conflating the anti-laundering reporting rules with the IRS income tax reporting rules.
It would certainly be easier if Fenn is still alive. The last line of the poem says...If you are brave and in the wood, I give you title to the gold.
But you would need to if you want it for it's moneytary value. Even selling in piece by piece on a black market, which is quite hard to do, will require you to advertise it.
However my guess is that whoever is smart enough to find it is smart enough to solve this problem as well.
> He has also affirmed that hiding the treasure in the first place was largely about encouraging families to enjoy the outdoors. “I wanted to give the kids something to do,” he said. “They spend too much time in the game room or playing with their little hand-held texting machines. I hope parents will take their children camping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. I hope they will fish, look for fossils, turn rotten logs over to see what’s under them, and look for my treasure.”
We need more hidden treasures, I think.
I mean, the finder would probably think "best not tell people where I got this from" a la Counte of Monte Cristo.
Here is a fantastic podcast describing Fenn’s story:
Or the treasure is of the form "take this letter to the bank in order to get your reward".
Or maybe he is confident it is not found because it can't be found because it is a hoax.
This is explicitly declared in the fine article. It's one of the clues referred to in the title.
Instead of government grants, we should have government X prizes for solving various problems. Solar for under $x/watt, fuel efficient vehicles, etc etc.
For me it does raise a few questions: What happens to teams who lose a competition? If their only monetary incentive is the govt prize, are they then in the hole financially? Can non winning projects incentivized by govt xprizes always be repurposed to still have value? Will individuals burn out or be emotionally drained and forfeit future competitions?
This is not to say that the idea isn’t interesting; clearly x prizes are still ongoing and there’s never a shortage of interest to participate.
In a way, the startup scene is a type of X Prize contest for capitalism. How many millions would this chest potentially hold? With the amount of time and effort needed to find it, the endeavor arguably provides worse ROI than attempting to start your own business. The level of effort and probability of success might be better for entrepreneurship as well.
This feels a lot like Halliday's Easter Egg.
> And for some, the quest has proven fatal. At least four people are believed to have died in accidents while searching. This led some to call for Fenn to end the hunt. He hasn’t, but he has added a few additional clues on his blog to try to help people stay safe.
> “The treasure chest is not under water, nor is it near the Rio Grande River. It is not necessary to move large rocks or climb up or down a steep precipice,” he writes. “Please remember that I was about 80 when I made two trips from my vehicle to where I hid the treasure.”
> “The search is supposed to be fun,” he added.
It sounds like a lot of people in the world might consider the treasure to have been stolen. Who is searching for a treasure that doesn't seem to clearly belong to even the person who buried it?
People are dying for this treasure, which was created through "controversial" means while a 'self-taught' archeologist was digging around. It seems he clearly had no formal training in morals, may not have been accompanied by others, and very well may have stolen the entirety of the treasure from potentially rightful owners.
Seems like not a treasure worth dying for to own. Chances of becoming a millionaire by starting a business and working hard for many years? Somewhat reasonable, probably.
Chances of dying looking for stolen treasure? Not worth it.
A man died walking down the street in New York because a piece of fire escape fell off and hit him in the head. I wonder if he'd rather have died in the wilderness, if he were given the chance.
Contrast this with a lot of the "solves" you'll find on /r/FindingFennsGold or this poor guy who convinced himself 'Home of Brown' referred to a realtor's office. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URitxNODZ8w
Maybe word2vec on the poem mashed up against a place names database and cluster?