A Nazi U-boat full of looted gold could “have been smuggled out of Europe” after World War 2, a treasure hunter claimed.
Adolf Hitler is believed to have ordered his devastating submarines to smuggle plundered gold and art, and possibly even the bodies of Nazi officers, out of Germany.
American explorer Roger Miklos said in 1981 that he once found one of the specially modified fleet of wartime U-boats which had been packed with gold, Express.co.uk writes.
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The renowned treasure hunter who died in 2018, never revealed the exact location of his find but said it was one of nine cargo subs in the Turks and Caicos islands, according to History Channel UK.
The U-boats – an abbreviation of ‘unterseeboot’ (undersea boat) – wreaked havoc during the Battle of the Atlantic until Germany was defeated in 1945.
The German subs plagued the Atlantic Ocean, sinking merchant ships with torpedoes as they crossed from the US to Great Britain and the Soviet Union.
Mr Miklos’ documents were handed over to diver and explorer Mike Fletcher, who searches for the U-boat in the History Channel US documentary, ‘History’s Greatest Mysteries’, released in September.
Speaking in the show, Mr Fletcher said: “We do know that there are billions of dollars in looted personal possessions.
“Gold, all sorts of valuable material that went missing during the war.
“It certainly made sense that some of this could have been loaded on the U-boats to smuggle them out of Europe and into a safe haven.”
Mr Fletcher, who has 40 years’ experience as a shipwreck explorer, leads a small team in the search for the U-boat.
The group piece together the clues left by Mr Miklos after his death, including sketches and codes.
The evidence is all cryptic due to the late treasure hunter’s fears that one of his rivals would swoop in and steal his find.
Mr Miklos became renowned as a leading treasure hunter after a string of high-profile discoveries.
One of his most impressive finds was the ship, Atocha, lost 1622, which was carrying tens of millions of dollars worth of treasure.
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His announcement 40 years ago that he had discovered one of Hitler’s lost U-boats sent the treasure hunting world into a frenzy.
At the time, Mr Miklos had been in the Turks and Caicos looking for the Pinta, a ship used by Columbus to travel to the ‘New World’ in 1492.
After his crew’s magnetometer picked up a reading, Mr Miklos dived down to scan the ocean floor.