Jan 26, 2009 News
…may contain10 tons of gold bullion, 70 tons of platinum, 11/2 tons of
industrial diamonds and 16 million carats of gem-quality diamonds
A United States-based marine research and recovery firm, Sub Sea Research, has claimed that it has located the wreck of a merchant ship under some 800 feet of water approximately 40 miles off the coast of Guyana.
In efforts to protect its find, Sub Sea Research will not divulge the exact location of the wreck until the ship’s cargo has been brought to the surface. The name of the ship is also not being released, but in the meantime, the ship has been dubbed the ‘Blue Baron.’
According to the founder of Sub Sea Research, Greg Brooks, “This British freighter had an extremely valuable cargo, and we decided there wasn’t a lot of point in leaving it at the bottom of the sea. This will definitely be the richest wreck ever.”
According to the US-based company, the Blue Baron was crewed largely by British nationals, and had just left a European port, bearing goods for the United States Treasury. It is expected that the sheer scale of the treasure trove that is thought to be aboard the wreck will let loose a number of rival claims from interested parties.
Since laws concerning salvaging items from the ocean floor can be quite complex, experts think that it could be years of legal disputes before ownership of the wreck is attributed to any party.
It is believed that the Blue Baron first sailed, sometime during World War II, to a location somewhere in South America, before heading in convoy towards New York. Before reaching New York, Sub Sea Research is claiming, the convoy was intercepted by a German submarine.
The submarine is said to have sunk the Blue Baron with two torpedoes in June 1942. According to Sub Sea Research, the cargo aboard the Blue Baron may include at least ten tons of gold bullion, 70 tons of platinum, one and one-half tons of industrial diamonds and 16 million carats of gem-quality diamonds.
Added to this, the company is reporting that there may have been several thousands tons of tin and a few thousand tons of copper ingots. Even though the tin and copper may have been devalued after spending decades on the ocean bed, Sub Sea Research is estimating the total haul to be worth approximately US$3,532,375,151.
Presently, a salvage vessel is being equipped to sail to the wreck site and recover the cargo, which lies in international waters. Sub Sea Research has refused to divulge which Government may have been sending the valuables to the United States aboard the Blue Baron, or which country was the Blue Baron’s last port of call in Europe. Speculation surrounds the idea that much of the treasure could be both Russian and British.
Sub Sea Research had to make its discovery public when it filed a claim on the treasure in a US Federal Admiralty Court. So far, no counter claims have yet been filed. “No one has stepped forward to make a claim yet, probably because the Government that lost it does not realise. We are trying to keep it as quiet as possible, until we have it in our possession,” said Brooks.
He added that they believe that the cargo of the ship may belong to more than one country.
At the time when it is believed the ship was sunk, both Britain and Russia shipped large amounts of valuable cargo to the United States, noted an expert in Salvage Law at Wolverhampton University, Mike Williams.
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