Video transcript from NBC Today Show interview with Forrest Fenn
JANET SHAMLIAN: How is it that you hatched this plan to hide this treasure somewhere?
FORREST FENN: In 1988 I was diagnosed with what everybody thought was terminal cancer. I lost a kidney, and my doctor told me I had a 20% chance of living three years. You go through all the emotions first: disbelief, shock. After all I went through in Vietnam, and flying fighters for all these years, finally they’re going to catch up with me.
SHAMLIAN: You decided to put gold in a chest and hide it. Why?
FENN: Because I wanted everybody to go look for it. I wanted a man and his wife and their three or five kids to get off of the couch and out of the game room and go look for it. It’s the thrill of the chase. I said, if I’ve got to go, why don’t I just let somebody else have as much fun with this as I’ve had. So I wrote a poem that’s in my book. It has nine clues in it. If you can read the poem and decipher the clues, the clues will take you to where I hid that chest. When I closed that lid to that beautiful chest for the last time, something, part of me was in that chest also and I believe that.
MARK HOWARD: We’re basically in the heart of the Jemez Mountain Range. We’re below the Valles Caldera west of Los Alamos.
SHAMLIAN: You’ve made close to something like two dozen treks to look for the treasure. There’s got to be something more than the monetary value that’s brought you out here so many times.
HOWARD: Absolutely, the beauty of New Mexico is one of the reasons I’m out here, you know? Then there’s the fact that I’m a goldsmith and it’s gold. I mean, what would a goldsmith want but free reign with gold.
SHAMLIAN: It’s not all about the solo pursuit of gold.
HOWARD: No. That’s right, it’s not. It’s - there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s, it’s seeing America in a different light. It’s traveling places you haven’t been before. It’s the hot springs that I’ve taken my clothes off and thrown myself into. It’s bald eagles flying overhead and bighorn sheep on the side of a mountain. There’s all those things.