​The hunt for Forrest Fenn's treasure

According to legend, the pirate Captain Kidd buried some of his treasure right on Long Island. But the search for hidden wealth stretches far and wide -- all to way out West. Our Cover Story is reported by Barry Petersen:

"Ever since I was a little kid," said Dal Neitzel, "I always wanted to go out and find treasure."

It is so much more than just a stroll in the Montana woods for Neitzel. "I read all those pirate magazines and comic books. And now I'm getting an opportunity to go out and look for one for real."

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Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, in an area stretching across four states, lies a hidden treasure.
CBS News

Like thousands of others in the Rocky Mountains this summer, he's here on a hunt for a treasure chest fit for a pirate -- filled with gold, precious metals, and ancient artifacts.

Its exact dollar value is not known. Some say a million, some say millions.

"I've been looking now for about five years," said Neitzel.

And is he getting discouraged by now? "No, there's nothing to get discouraged about!" he laughed.

This isn't some long-lost treasure. This is hidden treasure, placed somewhere in the Rockies by an eccentric millionaire five years ago. It's there for the taking if you can figure out the clues.

"I believe that his secret place is a place where there is some kind of running water," said Neitzel.

On this day the clues have taken him to a lake near Yellowstone National Park. The last clue is about a blaze -- maybe that's something on a rock -- and maybe Dal is just steps away from life-changing wealth.

Or, maybe not.

Nietzel had a long career as a professional treasure hunter, salvaging sunken ships, but this is his toughest quest yet. This trip was his 64th attempt.

"There's no guarantee it's going to be found even in our lifetime," said Petersen.

"That's right. But it doesn't stop me from looking for it. 'Cause it's fun to look for it. And there's always the chance. There's always the chance."

Which no one knows better than the man who hid it: 84-year-old Forrest Fenn, who made a career out of collecting treasures of his own, such as the pipe of Sitting Bull, the Indian chief who bested George Custer and his men at Little Big Horn.

"He had several pipes," said Fenn. "But this is the one that evidently he liked the best because most of the pictures are him holding this pipe."

Fenn grew up in Texas and as a youth he explored the American West. He learned a lot about life's value as a fighter pilot in Vietnam, where he was shot down twice.

He eventually moved to Santa Fe and made his millions as a successful art and antique dealer.

The idea of a treasure hunt started after he survived a bout with cancer: "I said, 'I've had so much fun collecting all of these things. Why not let somebody else have the same opportunity that I've had?'"