Scrapbook Fifty Eight…



APRIL 2014

Dear Forrest Fenn,


Terry Campbell

I know you will most likely never read this email but feel compelled to tell you about a gold hunt I created in 2012.  I was in a residence art program called Redline in Denver Colorado.  Each artist was given 2.5 grams of gold and asked to create a piece of art.  I’m a painter but didn’t want to use the gold to create a painting.

When I was a child my mother invented a game called captain.  She would make me pirate hats out of newspaper and draw pictures of places in the house.  I would go from clue to clue eventually finding a prize.

I wanted to recreate this experience for other people.  I used my gold to create a gold hunt where people would go from clue to clue in the hopes of being the first to find my gold.  When I created this adventure I thought the experience would inspire me to create a piece of art.  The gold hunt didn’t happen the way I thought it would.  What I thought would be a fun adventure that I casually mentioned on Facebook got out of hand right away.  The gold was only worth about 150 dollars at the time but many of the participants had no scruples in double-crossing one another and tricking me into giving information.  I don’t know why I thought there wouldn’t be cheating but there was a lot of it.  No one wanted the game to end so the finder of the gold bought more gold and created new clues to keep the hunt going.  I was then able to look for the finders gold and became a hunter.  The hunt become even stranger and took on a new life.  No one seemed to know where it was headed.  I had to complete strange challenges involving rolling craps and speed hammering to get me to the gold.  Things got even further complicated when a token that could have been turned in for gold was broken into 4 pieces each possessed by a different person.  The game eventually ended and I didn’t get the gold.

The gold hunt became a piece of art.  The legend was better than any documentation of the experiences.  The stakes were so low but some people wanted to win at all cost.

Many of the participants and I wondered what would have happened if there was more gold involved.  I’m recreating the gold hunt again and pulling out all the stops.  There will be nine thousand dollars in gold this time.  I‘m creating clues that will make it harder for people to cheat.  I am also looking forward to seeing how people figure out how to cheat.  I have been working on promoting the gold hunt by telling people the story of the first gold hunt one person at a time.  I’m raising money to buy gold and will have a new gold hunt in July.  There will be 20 clues this time.  Each participant will have to work much harder. Participants will have to be able to research and problem solve.

If you end up reading this email thank you for your time.

Thank you,

Terry Campbell

Terry Campbell - The Choices Made

Terry Campbell – The Choices Made

You can see Terry’s work, watch interviews and hear more about his treasure hunt at the links below





29 thoughts on “Scrapbook Fifty Eight…

  1. I’m first…wow! This is really cool! All because of FF. Watch and see if a whole lot more treasure hunts pop up in the future, like geocaching did! Thanks Terry, this may be a lot of fun, and I won’t cheat!

  2. Nice!!
    So I guess Terry got his wish and FF did read his letter- 🙂 yay!
    Very curious what FF wrote back …?

    Terry/Donna: my plan is like-minded : to make ten new (smaller) hunts IF I turn out to be lucky enough to find the Chest.
    looking forward to checking yours out, Terry !

  3. I have thought long and hard on this one. At first I was all gung ho to give Fenn his bracelet back and sponsor a hunt or two in the future. As time ticks by, those feelings of grandeur have turned to the stone cold(in this case cold gold and bronze) reality that the chest will likely remain right where it is for quite some time. Yeah, it would be nice, but… I will ponder the puzzle when it creeps in, and certainly in the future I will venture forth and scratch the itch.

  4. Terry, It was interesting reading about your project and the different characteristics of the searchers. I always marvel at the ethics of those that would cheat at something that should be fun to figure out on ones own or with friends, and for so little reward! I wonder what will happen with your new project? 🙂

    Good luck with your new hunt Terry – sounds like fun!

  5. Terry, interesting study in human nature and morals of our society. I’ve was surprised at all the over emotional folks involved in the chase.

    Let us know how your next hunt turns out.

    • Wouldn’t it be funny if Forrest were a Billy Jack fan, and wanted us to learn a great lesson from the song “One Tin Soldier”: . . . “turned the stone and looked beneath it . . . Peace on Earth was all it said ” That would indeed cause a marvel gaze, as you turned and went in peace.

      Just strange thoughts that this whole chase causes in my head.

  6. Sorry that you couldn’t reach the site on April 16th. Our hosting service, Bluehost was down for about 20 hours. Lots of angry clients over there. I am glad I am not in their customer service department today….

    • Ha!…if I found it, I would at the very least post pics and tell the story…but much more likely that if I found it I would have a heart attack and now there would be a dead body resting with the hidden chest in the mountains north of Santa Fe…

      • Many people have talked about what they would do if they found the chest and I actually would let f know and let him post that it had been found with pictures of the chest but, because of the possibility of some state or federal entity wanting to confiscate it, I’m not sure I would reveal exactly where it was found.

      • That would be terrible if you had a heart attack like that. You should leave us the coordinates of where you’re going, then you wouldn’t have anything to worry about. 🙂

  7. In My Travels Treasure hunting. On trails and paths. I leave little treasures as I go. Mostly for a child to see and grab. Like a Easter egg hunt. Others are doing this too. It started for me with Treasure Trove hunt. I added quarters and little Gem Stones along my path of hunting in 5 states. Look up! Something will be hanging from a tree. In a area where most will be hunting this summer. Keep having fun and carry Bear mace!

  8. Lou lee! I too, am going to leave little treasures for families looking for the treasure! I bought #18 gold glittered easter eggs and will put a copy of the poem in each one and a gold foil choc covered candy coin in each one! Maybe Dal will find one! Lol! ¥Peace¥

    • Donna, great idea to leave a gift, but the chocolates will be soup and drippy by spring. Warm chocolate won’t halt.

  9. Hi Donna, thats so cool! The Choc. will melt in heat. I have tumbled rocks and crystals, coins and hanging things. I find little things at yard sales too. Small things that kids will like. Mostly natural rocks and stuff. I have left some very nice geodes and rocks for 10 years now. On my Treasure Trove hunt. I hid things in small caves and under tree’s. I found some really cool stuff left by other people too.
    This is going to be a fun spring, hunting. Happy Treasure Hunting Donna, and Blessings!
    Please do post if you find anything on your path! I really like the idea of the Poem !

  10. Lou Lee, ok, now I get to eat the chocolate and will leave something else, thanks!
    ***IMPORTANT TO ALL*** This month’s Backpacker magazine has an article on Mr. Fenn’s treasure, by Brian Mockenhaupt. It’s a good one. Teaser: he didn’t find it! Yay! ¥Peace¥

  11. I wonder how closely Terry Campbell’s story of unsuspected happenings in his gold hunt are to Mr. Fenn’s thoughts of the events in TTOTC?

    Made me think the chest will probably be broken up when it is eventually found too.

    Good art and gave more to think about.

    • And another scrape book article that reminds me of Treasure Island.
      Captain/pirate/gold/double cross and art. (JF page 99 TTOTC)

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