A Fourth Man Has Died Seeking the Buried Treasure of an Eccentric Millionaire

Screenshot: KULR 8
Screenshot: KULR 8

On Monday, Montana TV station KULR 8 reported that it had obtained a report written by Yellowstone Park officials indicating that 53-year-old Jeff Murphy, who disappeared on June 8 in the park and whose body was found the following day, accidentally fell to his death while seeking a treasure trove that millionaire Forrest Fenn says is buried somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.


The incident report states that “it appears [Murphy] stepped or hopped into the chute from the less steep slope above,” and goes on to make clear that his fatal fall was an accident.

In 2010, the 86-year-old antiques dealer Forrest Fenn (the perfect name for a terrainical millionaire) announced he’d hidden a bronze chest of treasure worth about $2 million, and left a poem with clues toward finding it.


Over the years he’s revealed a few more hints, the Washington Post reports, but mostly what’s happened is that thousands of people have spent time and resources looking for the treasure, and none are richer for it, and, above all, four men, including Murphy, have reportedly died searching for it.

To his critics, who say Fenn’s treasure hunt has ruined lives and is probably a hoax anyway, the “eccentric” millionaire has reportedly replied that all adventurous outdoor activities present an inherent danger. I cannot imagine anyone making that statement about this situation except from a velvet armchair (into which he’s deeply nestled) in a dark room laden with animal head trophies and fireplaces that are there purely to contemplate.

contributing writer, nights

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What good is a treasure hunt if fatal collateral damage isn’t part of it?