Discussion: Treasure Hunter Disappears While Searching For $2M In Gold

Discussion for article #245313

I am running out of patience with the common clay of the New West.

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“One of my motives was to get the kids off the couch and away from the game machine.”

Kids? Really? You want kids out there in the middle of swollen creeks, rugged mountains, and who knows what? If so, why not just open a camp or something where there’s guaranteed supervision?

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He gets his kicks seeing people put themselves in harm’s way just to get their hands on one of his toys. He doesn’t care if people die trying. To him, it’s only a game and the people particpating in this are pawns.

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Many have perished over the centuries searching for treasure. It’s nothing new, but we don’t see as many treasure-related fatalities these days.

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“Treasure hunter disappears while searching for gold” is the oldest story in the book. Money digging was a bit of a cottage industry in early America. Joseph Smith convinced a man that he could divine the location of treasure for pay and ended up being sued for fraud.

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I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “I bet that old man buried his money somewhere.”

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For some reason I’m reminded of the squirrels in my vicinity, burying their acorns and forgetting them until they search high and low for food during the winter…no treasure map, apparently. The TV show, Myth Hunters did a series of treasure hunting stories–most end in tragedy–but a few have made huge finds. Mel Fisher is one of the rare treasure seekers who found what he was looking for, and more.

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‘Treasure seeker finds himself’ is the plot to tons of books and movies.

eta: I dabbled in geo-caching for awhile. It’s fun but I just like the hike.

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Although I care enough to have read this story and to comment, I’d like to say that I don’t care. Chalk it up to “shit happens”.

We all die. Better this than getting crushed by a car with a drunk behind the wheel.

Not good. No one leaves their dog behind especially in a place where they would be prey.

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Yeah, except this time the old man put the money out there, and told people… but didn’t bury it.

Can’t really say as I blame Fenn, either - the people involved in this are adults, they’re presumably able to make rational decisions. Sometimes those decisions involve risk. Sometimes those risks get people hurt or killed.

If Bilyeu didn’t regret his choices, then his death would be a man going out doing what he enjoyed. Either way, it’s a tragedy for his survivors, and Fenn’s clearly distraught over it all… but I don’t really see a ‘villain’ in this hidden treasure story. Just a cautionary tale about the wilds in winter… when people weren’t supposed to be out looking for the damned thing anyway. So make that a cautionary tale about obsession, and the wilds in winter.

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I just want to know if the dog survived. Afraid it didn’t.

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Back in the day, I spent a 3-day weekend searching for this:

Treasure hunts have gone on in America and elsewhere since Greek mythological times (no doubt before that, as well). And nature is not quite safe (yet), but it does people a lot of good to expose themselves to it.

-edit- I should have quoted the pertinent part of that link, so here it is:

"From the back of the box:

"$10,000.00 cash for you…

A 31-ounce solid sterling silver dragon is hidden in the United States. Information needed to find the silver dragon is in this programmed fantasy adventure. The person who actually finds the silver dragon gets to keep it and claim a $10,000.00 cash prize from Metagaming. If it has not been found by September 1, 1985, a drawing will be held from cards in this adventure that have been mailed to Metagaming. Any of you might win.

Metagaming brings you a real live treasure hunt! This isn’t just reading and playing about treasures. Perhaps you will be the first to decipher the clues and go get the silver dragon and win $10,000.00. It’s all up to you. You may be the one to hold that dragon in your hands knowing you beat thousands to it."

I thought about trying this out until I realized that a lot of the morons out searching for the treasure are probably armed.

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Greed kills.
Get Rich Quick schemes are a sucker’s bet.
etc.

The man was leaving his homeland. In search of a better life. He had heard the rumors of America and freedom and yearned to find a way to help his relatives.

So he sold all that he possessed and with his gold coin, headed to the ports. He bartered his passage to the new world as a deck hand.

Seven days out, they encountered a storm and the ship began to take on water. Try as they might, they could not save it so the word went out to abandon it.

The man took all that he had in the world and tied it around his waist tightly. He was one of the crew who managed to get into a life raft but the storm was also too much for it and over the side he went.

As he was sinking into the depths, pulled by the extra weight of his treasure–

 Did the man have his gold -- or -- did the gold have him?

yes, they found the dog and the boat but not the guy.