Shipwreck may hold $3 billion, seaman says

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A Maine shipwreck hunter claims to have discovered a $3 billion treasure of platinum ingots inside a torpedoed World War II merchant vessel.

Greg Brooks, co-founder of Maine-based Sub Sea Research, says his salvage firm has located and identified “the world’s richest shipwreck” — the British-flagged freighter Port Nicholson — in waters off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. That’s where the vessel is known to have gone down after being attacked by a German U-boat in June 1942 during a voyage from Britain to New York City via Halifax.

Brooks claims the 528-foot British ship, under escort by the Canadian corvette HMCS Nanaimo and other warships, was carrying more than 1.7 million ounces in platinum bars, as well as significant amounts of gold and copper, at the time of the sinking — a secret cargo representing a massive payment by the Soviet Union to the U.S. for American-made war materiel that previously had been shipped to Europe under the Lend-Lease Agreement.

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