Treasure hunter’s ‘extraordinary’ Nazi U-boat find ‘beneath island’ in 1981: ‘Holy cow!’

Underwater camera explores sunken German U-boat

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Towards the end of World War 2 it was reported that Adolf Hitler had a secret fleet of nine submarines at his disposal. As Germany began to lose the war, the Führer is said to have used the U-boats to send gold, art and even Nazi officers to Argentina. The U-boats, which take their name from “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat), were more commonly used for combat operations.

The vessels were a menace for the allied forces, as they attacked ships travelling between Europe and North America.

The specially modified U-boats had their torpedo hatches removed, as they were repurposed to transport the spoils of war.

One of the boats was allegedly found sunken on the seafloor in the waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1981 by successful US treasure hunter Roger Miklos, who died in 2018.

The apparent discovery of the sub stunned experts at the time and added to the flamboyant explorer’s mystique.

Footage of the last interview Roger gave before his death is used in the recent History Channel US series, “History’s Greatest Mysteries”.

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Speaking about the moment of his discovery, the treasure hunter said: “I swam down 45 feet.

“I saw the two back propellor blades, highly polished from going up and down in the sand.

“There are these enormous zeppelin fins on this damn thing and I go, ‘what?’

“And I realise ‘holy cow’ this thing goes and goes, it’s under an island.”

The documentary, which was released in September 2021, is presented and executive produced by Laurence Fishburne.

In his voiceover, the actor and director said Roger knew his under-sea find was “extraordinary”.

In the programme, the treasure hunter then continued with his description of when he found the sunken submarine.

He said: “I got to the top of the conning tower and then I notice a glint, a goldy glint colour.

“They put a commission plaque on the starboard side by the conning tower.

“I rubbed the grass off of it and there it is, ‘Blohm+Voss, Hamburg, 1944’ with a German eagle and swastika on the damn thing, now I know it’s German. This is a U-boat.”

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When Mr Miklos made his discovery, he and a 20-person team were searching for the shipwreck of the Pinta.

The lost vessel is one of three that was used by Columbus and his crew to sail to the ‘New World’ in 1492.

Despite making the find of his already-illustrious career with the U-boat, Mr Milkos kept quiet about what he had discovered and instead made notes about its location.

The treasure-hunting world is notoriously cutthroat, which left the American worried that one of his rivals would get to the U-boat before he could.

Amid the intense rivalries with his peers, Mr Miklos created a secret code detailing the location of the sunken sub.

In the documentary, the clues, along with drawings and other documents left by the late explorer, are pored over by a team of experts who rely on modern technologies as they seek to track down the lost sub.

“History’s Greatest Mysteries” is available on the History Channel US.

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