Archaeology: Treasure hunter claimed to have found Nazi U-boat packed with gold

The American explorer made the claim he had unearthed a World War 2-era German submarine more than 40 years ago. Known as U-boats, the German vesse

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The American explorer made the claim he had unearthed a World War 2-era German submarine more than 40 years ago. Known as U-boats, the German vessels terrorised the Atlantic Ocean throughout the war, sinking numerous cargo ships as they travelled between Europe and America. However, the tide turned against the Nazis, and by the end of the war the Allied Forces had sunk more than 600 German subs.

While the U-boats were a deadly weapon at the disposal of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, they were also said to have been used in smuggling operations.

Throughout the war, a secret fleet of U-boats was said to have been modified to store precious cargo.

With their weapons removed, the submarines were rumoured to have been used to smuggle art and gold looted by the Nazis out of Germany.

The secret missions in the remaining days of Hitler’s premiership apparently saw the subs head for Argentina.

Mr Miklos’ bombshell claim in 1981 that he had found one of one of the U-boats is analysed in the documentary series “History’s Greatest Mysteries”.

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The History Channel US programme is presented, and executive produced by Laurence Fishburne.

It features diver and explorer Mike Fletcher, who, with 40 years’ experience in the field, leads the search for the missing U-boat.

He said: “We do know that there is 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.”

Archive footage of the late treasure hunter speaking about the moment of his discovery is included in the documentary.

He said: “I swam down 45 feet, I saw the two back propeller blades, highly polished from going up and down in the sand.

“There’s 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.

“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.”

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