Phoenix man explains how he survived 4 days in freezing cold forest while searching for treasure

Jan 3, 2024, 4:25 AM

PHOENIX — An Arizona man who journeyed into the Californian wilderness in search of treasure went missing for four days last month.

Brent Lendriet, who is from Phoenix, traveled to the Los Padres National Forest, which is around an hour and a half north of Los Angeles, on Dec. 23.

He told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Tuesday he was searching for 10,000 pounds of gold worth around $300 million.

“I’ve had the lineage and descriptions going back to the 1930s and lots of evidence and lots of other things,” Lendriet said. “It was hidden by a Franciscan monk in the 1880s.”

Lendriet has made five trips to the area so far this year. He said he and his girlfriend have been analyzing all the evidence and are closing in on the treasure’s hiding place.

He didn’t mean to stay for four days, but his monster truck became stuck while driving through four feet of water.

“I jumped out, up to my waist and chest, in freezing cold water, pulled the winch out of the front of my truck, tie it around a tree and pull myself out,” he said.

Survival shows taught him to get rid of clothing drenched in freezing cold water, so he peeled off all his layers and threw them into the back of the truck. In the meantime, he and his dog huddled together and shivered all night.

By the following morning, his discarded clothes were solid like ice cubes.

While searching for treasure, he fought for his life

The following days were unbearable. He couldn’t start a fire because it rained every day. Lendriet survived off of frozen White Castle sliders along with frozen cans of soup that went between his legs when he slept so they’d be thawed by the morning.

Due to the low bandwidth in the area, he couldn’t call for help. However, he texted his girlfriend, who contacted a nearby sheriff’s department.

“The sheriff actually comes out there, and I hear him and I have a strobe-type flash light, I’m signaling him from a half mile away and he sees me and he basically rescues me,” Lendriet said. “I told him, ‘I’ve never been so happy to be picked up by a sheriff in my life!'”

Despite the close call, Lendriet won’t stop searching for the treasure. However, he plans to resume the search in May. That’s when the weather will warm up and the roads will reopen.

“I’m not used to the cold,” he said. “The cold kicked my ass!”

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Phoenix man explains how he survived 4 days in freezing cold forest while searching for treasure