Join Plus+ and get exclusive shows and extensions! Subscribe Today!

What’s Better Than Gold? A Mysterious Cargo and A Sunken Nazi Ship

Aside from being a scourge on the human race and serving as a warning for future generations, the Nazis left behind a wealth of mysteries and conspiracy theories in their wake. While most of these are based on scant pieces of evidence or rumors, there have been several recent discoveries which corroborate some of the more long-standing legends about the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

Aside from uncorroborated theories, it’s known that the Nazis were famous hoarders of treasures and fortunes captured during their conquests of Europe and Northern Africa. Much of this treasure, however, has been lost due to the ravages of war and the fog of history. Last year, a British salvage company detected a wreck on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean just of the southern coast of Iceland. The wreck was soon identified as the SS Minden, a German cargo vessel which was intercepted by British cruisers HMS Calypso and HMS Dunedin in 1939. The captain of the SS Minden sank his vessel according to his orders, leaving a reported $113 million worth of gold (according to inflation) on the floor of the ocean.

A German salt mine full of Nazi gold and other treasures.

The salvage operation to recover that rumored gold has been underway for nearly a year. Now, however, Iceland Magazine is reporting that the hunt is about to be called off. To add mystery to the story, the magazine reports that the true prize aboard the SS Minden might not be the gold at all. What’s more valuable than $113 million dollars worth of gold (aside from $113 million and one dollars worth of gold)? Ultimately, according to Iceland Magazine, that remains a mystery.

The Seabed Constructor

The ship conducting the search, the Seabed Constructor, is no stranger to maritime mysteries. The vessel is reported to cost over $100,000 a day to operate, so whatever is down there must be pretty valuable:

Rumor has it that the gold is not ultimate or real objective of the mission. Other unidentified treasures are said to be onboard the ship, SS Minden. […] The sources of the local newspaper Fréttablaðið onboard the Seabed Constructor claim that recovering the gold is not real objective of the mission, as the wreck of the SS Minden is said to hide some other unidentified valuables. According to these sources the real objective of the search is known by only a handful of people onboard the research vessel.

What kind of mysterious Nazi treasure might be below the frigid waters of the North Atlantic? We might never find out, as the Seabed Constructor only has until midnight tonight to recover whatever might lie aboard before their permit expires. Will we ever fully know the extent of the Nazi’s secret treasures?

Hopefully not. Some mysteries are worth keeping.