Nov 11, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

A U-Boat Found in Argentine Waters is Claimed by Some to be Hitler's Escape Sub

There were times during World War I and World War II when the German Unterseeboot or U-boat was the most feared submarine in the world. Blockading ports and attacking military, cargo and even passenger ships, the Nazi U-boats of WWII were terrifying by reputation as well as by actually deadly confrontations. The development of radar and sonar and the cracking of Nazi secret codes with the Enigma machine finally ended the reign of the U-boats, but there have been rumors since the end of World War II of a few being used for nefarious purposes – to smuggle war loot and Nazi leaders out of the country to South America. One such rumor has Adolf Hitler himself escaping in U-boat to Argentina – despite the general consensus that he killed himself on April 30, 1945, in the Führerbunker in Berlin. That rumor is back in the news this week with the announcement that wreckage found recently off the coast of Argentia is definitely a U-boat. Is it THE U-boat?

A World War I U-boat crew surrendering to the British

“Confirmed: Submarine found off coast in Necochea, Argentina, belonged to Nazis”

Headlines like this one in the Buenos Aires Times blared across South American media sites as the Italian Eslabón Perdido (Missing Link) group of Nazi submarine hunters announced that wreckage found four km (2.5 miles) off the coast of the Costa Bonita and Arenas Verdes beaches near the port city of Quequén in the Buenos Aires province of central Argentina. The 262 ft-long wreck lies at a depth of 92 feet (28 meters) and debris is scattered across an area of 262 feet (80 meters) by 32 feet (10 meters). The wreckage was found early in 2022 but it has taken until now for the volunteer researchers of Eslabón Perdido to obtain the proper permissions to commission Argentina's Coast Guard to examine the wreckage with both a remote-controlled vehicle and tactical divers. The photos and reports were then shared with Eslabón Perdido for analysis. (Photos can be seen here.)

“After an investigation, naval experts have determined that the wreckage is compatible with that of a submarine and not a conventional ship."

Historian and researcher Abel Basti, a member of Eslabón Perdido, was brought in to identify the wreckage. That diagnosis was confirmed by naval submarine expert Fabio Bisciotti, who said “It was deliberately sunk" by the crew. That much was easy to determine by the shape of the sub and its condition. However, it was more difficult to confirm this was indeed a Nazi U-boat. Bisciotti points out to The Daily Mail that the wreck had a yellow plate, marked with two S-like characters in a font that is “very similar to the German alphabet used during the war.” While the submarine is extensively damaged, other photos show what look like a periscope,  hatches and a conning tower – the deck or ‘sail’ where the communications equipment and operators were located, along with a deck for the ship’s captain. Bisciotti confirmed the conning tower was of a German design and looked nothing like a British or U.S. submarine conning tower. One of the divers gave another reason why this is most likely a Nazi U-boat.

“If we are talking about a submarine, yes, it could be German. Because this area was avoided by American or British warships, including submarines. So at the end of the war, May '45, if we are talking about submarines, it's German.”

The question of why this U-boat was at this port in 1945 and deliberately sunk goes to Abel Basti, who specializes in locating and identifying sunken U-boats. He tells Cuarto Vientos that South American newspapers in 1945 mention the arrival of high-raking Nazi leaders without mentioning any names. He also says that Nazis needed special security and secrecy generally traveled in U-boats. He notes that a report in the winter of 1945 shows that the commissioner of Necochea went to this beach after hearing of a U-boat sightings and found “footprints coming from the sea. And tire tracks." In Basti’s mind, all of this adds up to one thing … this particular U-boat carried the most secret cargo of all.

“There is no doubt that Hitler escaped and arrived in Argentina, there is a lack of evidence of suicide. I shouldn't say it, but it's the submarine in which, in my opinion, Hitler came. That's why he was chasing him."

Basti is well aware that eyewitnesses on April 30, 1945, claim that Adolf Hitler was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head and Eva Braun was found dead from cyanide poisoning. He knows the witnesses claim that they followed orders – they removed the bodies from the Führerbunker’s emergency exit, took them to the Reich Chancellery garden, doused them in gasoline, and burned them. He probably also knows that dental remains were found in the and were later confirmed to be Hitler's. He, like so many others, simply doesn’t believe this. The stories of Hitler escaping were started almost immediately by Soviet army officials who also contradicted the gunshot suicide and claimed Hitler also took cyanide.

“Mr Basti believes that the submarine was blown up to cover Hitler's tracks, before the fallen dictator was taken to a Nazi-owned ranch at Moromar, 24 miles north of Quequén.”

Sunday World details the arguments Basti and others give to support the idea that this U-boat was Hitler’s escape ship. It notes that the cliffs around Quequén were perfect for signally small boas transporting passengers from offshore U-boats. It also says that the “Nazi-owned ranch” was built by Ludwig Freude and Thilo Martens who were known to the U.S. government as German agents. An often-told local legend involves a policeman named Luis Mariotti who in 1945 went to investigate reports of submarines landing at the beach. He allegedly followed truck tracks from the beach to Moromar, where he was threatened by men with machine guns and told to forget everything he saw. Finally, it references a declassified FBI document which reported Hitler reaching the Valdes Peninsula by U-boat – that location is 400 miles south of where this U-boat lies.

Would anyone have waved goodbye to Adolf?

Is this U-boat what Basti says it is … Adolf Hitler’s escape vehicle?

"Only if I go on the shipwreck can I be 100% sure.”

Like many other skeptics, Fabio Bisciotti isn’t sure and wants more evidence … much more. Will the Argentine government allow any more inspections of this U-boat? It so far has no comment. Nor does the Argentine Naval Prefecture (PNA), which has dived to the wreck. While the confirmation of Hitler’s escape – as unlikely as it may be – would be the ultimate “this changes everything” discovery, it would also be a huge black mark on the history of Argentina. Why would leaders who have bigger problems to deal with open that can of Nazi worms? Wouldn’t it be safer just to keep the wreckage a secret and forget about it?

There is no doubt more evidence is necessary before drawing any such conclusions. While we're waiting, ponder this question. Does this sound like the same strategy other world leaders may be using for UFO wreckage and alien bodies?

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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