On August 2, 2018, Mark Lantis, an oilfield worker in his 40s, set out in Yellowstone National Park on a treasure hunt. He was searching for the famed treasure of Forest Fenn who, according to legend, had stashed $2 million of valuables in a chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.
According to a report from the Mercury News, Lantis was ill-prepared for the endeavor. He didn’t have the appropriate supplies or apparel for such a mission. Lantis reportedly saw a bear scat on the trail and left the marked trail in hopes of circumventing any grizzly bears in the area. The man got lost and spent a night in the wilderness. The following day, he made contact with the ranger’s office. Given his location, he was rescued by a helicopter. Yes, this sounds expensive.
Last week, a judge stated that Lantis acted recklessly and disregarded the known risks of going off-trail. He is being ordered to pay for the $2,880 for his helicopter rescue. In addition, the man is banned from Yellowstone for five years and is now on probation.
There have been four deaths in the search for Forest Fenn’s treasure. In 2020, the treasure was reportedly found by a Michigan medical student.