Treasure Hunters at it Again on the North Fork…

This from the Cody Enterprise On July 19th, 2016
The Cody Enterprise was founded by Buffalo Bill Cody in 1899


Virginia Treasure Hunters at it Again on the North Fork

Park County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) was activated for a reported overdue hiker at the Jim Mountain trail head on Monday, July 18 at 12:14 p.m.

A local resident reported that sometime on Friday, July 15, he observed a black female exit a 2001 dark green Dodge sport utility vehicle and head up the Jim Mountain Trail. He said she appeared to be ill equipped for the back country, having been observed wearing sweat pants and a light jacket, and carrying a small knapsack. The resident further advised that the vehicle was still at the trail head and to the best of his knowledge, hadn’t moved in three days.
Upon checking ownership of the vehicle through the national database, the owner was determined to be Madilina L. Taylor, 41, of Lynchburg, Va. Taylor has a history with the Park County Sheriff’s Office and in particular the Search and Rescue Unit.

On June 26, 2013, Taylor and her boyfriend Frank Eugene Rose Jr., 40, also of Lynchburg had to be rescued from the Big Creek area of the Star Hill Ranch after being lost in the forest for four days. They were suffering from exposure and unable to cross Big Creek due to the high water level. SAR was able to evacuate both victims to an awaiting ambulance.
Then on June 14, 2015, Taylor had to be airlifted from the same area after falling and breaking her ankle. It was during this incident that Rose and Taylor admitted they were in the area both times looking for the lost “Fenn Treasure.”

The Fenn Treasure is reportedly worth $1 to $3 million dollars, and was hidden by art dealer and author Forrest Fenn. Fenn claimed to have hidden the treasure somewhere in the Rocky Mountains and wrote two books detailing clues as to its whereabouts.
Despite being warned last year not return to this area without proper training in environmental survival skills and that they would be arrested for trespassing if caught on private property in the future, it appeared Taylor had returned.

In response to the latest report of Taylor being overdue, SAR immediately began an aerial search of the Jim Mountain trails as well as the areas that Taylor and Rose had previously been found. After nearly two hours in the air without spotting Taylor the search was called off. There was no way to determine which direction Taylor went or if she was even still in the back country.
Later that night, at approximately 10 p.m., Taylor emerged from the back country in the area of the Grizzly Ranch. She was unhurt.

She commented that she had seen the search plane but because she didn’t consider herself to be lost, she never signaled it. She did however admit to having three separate encounters with grizzly bears during her time in the forest and that she “had had enough.”
She was headed back east with no intentions of ever returning. She was given a ride by the ranch owners back to her vehicle. Although not seen, it is suspected that Rose had also accompanied Taylor this time as well.

34 thoughts on “Treasure Hunters at it Again on the North Fork…

  1. I love this story. Fenn people are nothing if not persistent. Well, maybe we’re also nutters. And fools. And what’s that word for doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result? I’ve quit more times than I can count. We’ll see more of Taylor and Junior, no doubt.

  2. This is why I have the 500 foot rule. (IMO) FF drove to a spot near the location of the chest. People have been within 200-500 feet of the chest, but went right past it.
    IMO this may mean that they went around a curve or place where they could have pulled over….anyway, don’t go anywhere or any farther than an 80 year old man could go with a load of treasure, twice. 500 feet.

  3. Alot of people seem to be researching their search areas. Because of Forrests comment about people walking right past the treasure. I know I have and plan on researching aother area after considering his statement. How about you? Have some others gone back to areas?

    • @Lou
      My wife and I are going back to our site around the end of Sept., that’s when she is truly retired. But yes, I have been thinking and I do not believe that we have done any type of a thorough going over. I might try to dis assemble my metal detector and only use the meter and the base wand. Easier to hide.
      Good luck on your search and be safe.

      • Thank you Timothy. Not sure of the date Forrest said that. But it was awhile ago. Anyone who told Forrest where they were. Before this statement, should indeed consider researching their area! Right? Also it may have been shared as a story here. Anyone have that statement date?

  4. So she spent three days in the wilderness with sweat pants, light jacket and a small knapsack. She must have taken a few lessons with Les Stroud and got into shape.

    She didn’t have to outrun the Grizz, she just had to outrun her boyfriend. 🙂

    • John-
      This is a reference to the North Fork of the Shoshone River and the North Fork Hwy also known as Hwy 14 that runs between Cody and the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. I read that Teddy Roosevelt once called that 50 miles of River Valley “The most scenic land in America.”

  5. ha, had my one and only bear ‘encounter’ (truly wild, on foot, not ready for it) on the north fork, just north of pahaska. My cousin lives in Cody (maybe I should put him onto you folks and rent out his barn!), was getting married and the family all stayed at pahaska a few years back. Having 2 days to explore (one day we went into the park), my dad, cousin and I ventured that the fishing should be pretty good up the north fork since was mostly traffic’d by the tourists wanting to ride horses/donkeys instead of walking. We fished that stream hard for most of the morning, made a couple miles in and after not a single bite, decided to head back and get to the beer. On the way out the horse guides made sure to point out the grizzlies were active in the area…of course we were stupid and had no bear spray, but there were 3 of us…logic..uh…(note if you go into grizzly country you are entering the food chain…be prepared!). So of course we had nearly hiked all the way back and my cousin and I were on opposite side of the river from my dad and all were ‘heads down’, tired from walking too far, as we rounded a bend we realized we’d need to cross the river one last time and get back on the trail for the last half mile back to civilization. Funny thing happened…as I stepped into the water my eye was caught by a bright emerald green stone in the water, unlike any I had ever seen in Wyoming, I had to see what it was! As I pulled what turned out to be a shale soapstone (slimy to the touch) from the water my dad hollered a ‘hoot’ from about 100 yards away, as we turned to look up a young griz was full speed running at us. We both absolutely froze, luckily the noise caught the bears attention and he stopped about 150 yds out, reared up, realized what we were and boogied off over the next hill. The next day on our trip to the park, after a few slack jawed ogles of the lower falls we were on our way up the hill over to mammoth and on the way found a long line of vehicles…of course as we drove by, we witnessed the shameful display of ignorance that continues to claim Darwin awards year in, year out…several tourists were out of their vehicles running around trying to get a photo of the very young, very skinny grizzly…I saw 2 people jump into the bed of a pickup as the bear rushed by trying to avoid the crowd…yeah that will work! Fact: bears are scavengers…don’t give yourself up into the food chain. Anyway, seems many are loving TTOTC, but don’t be stupid…make noise, carry spray, don’t get eaten, good luck.

    • Yep be Wise….I Love Bear stories. I have a few of my own! Thanks for sharing! Lou Lee belle…..chased by bears in jellystone park and lived to tell the tale.

  6. I know what you guys are thinking….

    “Holy @)#T! Iron Will is from Virginia! ”

    Relax… I solemnly swear not to be like my geographical brethren! 🙂

  7. I am a little surprised that no one has pointed out that these choices and actions are not something to be lauded or emulated. SAR in WY is largely populated by volunteers who commit their time, well-being, and often personal resources to aiding those in critical situations. The fact that someone would be selfish and near-sighted enough to engage them on multiple occassions is very unfortunate.
    In all your seraches, do your research and take ownership of your own safety. Getting lost for days and being rescued may sound like a good story, but it means that you put others at risk for your own personal goals. I don’t think that’s what this hunt is about.

    • It’s an old conversation Lindsay. They were publicly scolded on the blog the first two times they got into trouble.I think many are plainly tired of their foolishness.

      • Thanks. New to the search, and still acclimitizing to the culture(s) surrounding it. Appreciate your blog and admin skills, though.

    • I was lost once, so it can happen to anyway. But I now carry a personal locator beacon. This allows texting to rescue personal and gives my exact location so there is no searching involved. It cost me $299 for the unit (some are as cheap as $149) and I can activate for any month I go searching for basically $50 for that month (total cost of activation and charges). It’s worth the money in case I get hurt.

      • I’ve never been lost Indy, but I have been a little confused for a week or so. I just tell folks I took the scenic route.

        I second your advice about a tracking device. I use a Delorme InReach. It allows for satellite texting and will send your location to anyone you want on a regular basis besides being a great gps with waypoint tracking. It uses the iridium satellite constellation which is much better than the old system.

        It’s the longest leash my wife has ever had. 🙂

        On a side note; you wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve run into in a jam and they had some decent equipment with them, but had no idea how to use it.

    • Yes and I really dislike the ones were you have to take a questionnaire before you can read the contents!

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