The infamous Forest Fenn treasure hunt continues to deepen the conflict.
A dedicated scout who allegedly spent big bucks hunting down the chest of gold and jewelry Fenn hid in the Rocky Mountains in 2010 – sparking a years-long chase that left five people dead – claims her rep has been ruined by an author who described it as “bankrupt” in a book on treasure hunting.
Stephanie Thirtyacre is suing Daniel Barbarisi and Penguin Random House for the “Chasing the Thrill: Obsession, Death and Glory in America’s Most Extraordinary Treasure Hunt” tome.
Thirtyacre started a hunting blog called ChaseChat and wrote a book claiming that Fenn might be DB Cooper, the mysterious figure who hijacked a plane in 1971, demanded $200,000 in cash and disappeared in northwest Pacific after jumping from the plane.
Thirtyacre claims that she “expressly prohibits” Barbarisi from using her name.
“She would end up spending up to six figures on fruitless searches, go bankrupt and see her marriage crumble as a direct result of her involvement in the lawsuit,” Barbarisi wrote of Thirtyacre, who said in filings from Manhattan Supreme Court that she had not filed a complaint. bankruptcy.
A search of court records did not reveal any bankruptcy filings for Thirtyacre, who told the Post through his attorney that his financial situation was “very good.” I pay all my bills, have no debt and have never filed for bankruptcy.
The Florida woman insisted that Barbarisi had agreed to give her confidentiality and was unaware that he too was looking for Fenn’s treasure.
“I felt very comfortable sharing things with Dan, under this confidentiality and even sharing possible solutions [to the treasure hunt]. Until his book came out, I had no idea that he was also considered a researcher and not just under the umbrella of a journalist,” she said.
The author never promised Thirtyacre he wouldn’t use his name and used the term “bankruptcy” in a “colloquial” way, a lawyer for the publisher told him, according to a letter included in his filing. legal, seeking unspecified damages. .
Fenn’s treasure hunt ended in the summer of 2020, when a medical student claimed to have found it. Fenn died in September 2020 at age 90 after a fall at home.
Thirtyacre’s claim is “without merit,” an attorney for Penguin Random House and Barbarisi said, calling the book “thoroughly researched and responsibly reported.”
“Several sources, including Forrest Fenn himself, confirmed that Ms. Thirtyacre had exhausted her savings in pursuit of the treasure,” attorney Daniel Novack said in a statement.