A British diver has claimed that Hitler’s lost £100million gold hoard is lying in a shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
The Nazis stole millions of pounds worth of art and gold during the Second World War but much of it has never been found.
Adolf Hitler was said to have accumulated a stash worth to be around £100million and treasure hunters have spent years trying to track down where it is stored.
And now diver Phil Sayer believes the gold may have been on board the German ship the MV Wilhelm Gustloff which lies 450metres at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
The vessel was sunk by a Soviet torpedo off the coast of Poland in January 1945, which also killed 9,500 people on board.
And Mr Sayers, from Essex, claims that Rudi Lange, a survivor who was a radio controller on board the vessel that day, told him he saw crates believed to be carrying the gold, loaded on to the ship.
He told the Daily Star: ‘We know from first hand accounts a whole load of lorries turned up alongside and transferred a cargo of high security on board on the ship.
‘Rudi Lange went down onto the quayside to have a smoke and just happened to be there when the gold bullion transport arrived.
‘He did not know what was being taken on at first, but it was not until 1972 when he met up with another survivor – who was one of the guards who had been tasked with looking after the gold and he revealed what was in those huge cases.’
Mr Sayers also explained how he explored the vessel on a diving expedition in 1988, where he saw the vessel had been broken up, which would have left the crates below.
He added that he also saw bars across some of the windows, suggesting that there could have been a strong room on board.
The wreck of the Wilhelm Gustloff, lies of the northern coast of Poland, which belonged to Germany at the time of the Second World War
There has long been a search for the missing art and treasures stolen by the Nazis with one hunt focusing on Walbrzych in southeastern Poland.
Local legend says the Nazis hid a train laden with gold and jewels in a secret tunnel somewhere in the region as they fled the advancing Soviet army at the end of the Second World War.
But earlier this year, treasure hunters’ hopes were dashed after they failed to find the fabled Nazi gold train.
Andreas Richter, a German, and Piotr Koper, a Pole – moved in with heavy equipment and dug deep at a site near rail tracks in Walbrzych.
The pair said last year that they were confident a train was at the site after carrying out scans using earth-penetrating radar.
But the explorers’ spokesman, Andrzej Gaik, admitted that ‘no train, no tunnel’ were found after digging out three pits at a cost of £28,000.
Legend holds that an armed train loaded with treasure disappeared after entering a complex of tunnels under the Owl Mountains, a secret project known as ‘Riese’ – or Giant – which the Nazis never finished.
The area was controlled by Germany at the time, but has been part of Poland since the borders were moved in the postwar settlement.