Iceland Mag

13 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Hunt for mysterious Nazi treasure in Icelandic waters must be called off by midnight

By Staff

  • SS Porta One of four sister ships of SS Minden. The SS Minden was returning from Brazil when it was attacked and sunk by the Royal Navy. Photo/Wikimedia commons

  • 120 Nautical Miles SW of Iceland On September 24 1939, just three weeks after the war broke out the German vessel was attacked by HMS Calypso of the Royal Navy. Photo/Google Maps

  • Seabed Worker The research vessel has been rented by a UK based company to mount a salvage operation onboard the wreck of SS Minden. Photo/Óskar P. Friðriksson

Treasure hunters who are trying to recover valuables from the wreck of a German vessel, which was sunk off the coast of South Iceland during WWII, have until tonight to wrap up their mission.  The official objective of the treasure hunt is a safe which is believed to contain gold bars. The safe could contain as much as 113 million USD (96 million EUR) worth of gold. However, rumor has it that the gold is not ultimate or real objective of the mission. Other unidentified treasures are said to be onboard the ship, SS Minden.

Read more: Mysterious research vessel will not be allowed to continue its secret research S.W. of Iceland

In the spring of 2017 the Icelandic Coast Guard boarded a research vessel, Seabed Constructor, off the south coast of Iceland. The research vessel, which had been rented by a UK company called Advanced Marine Services, was engaged in unothorized seabed exploration. The crew told local authorities it was attempting to salvage valuables from the wreck of a German merchant vessel SS Minden which was sunk in the early days of WWII. SS Minden was returning from South America to Germany when it was sunk by the Royal Navy.

According to the official ship manifest of the SS Minden the vessel was carrying resin from Brazil intended for industrial use. The ship is not known to have carried any minerals or valuables. The crew of the Seabed Constructor told the Coast Guard that they were attempting to recover a safe from the ship, believed to contain gold bars.

The value of the treasure onboard the SS Minden must be significant, as it costs at least 100,000 USD per day to rent a research vessel like the Seabed Constructor.

A mysterious treasure
The sources of the local newspaper Fréttablaðið onboard the Seabed Constructer claim that recovering the gold is not real objective of the mission, as the wreck of the SS Minden is said to hide some other unidentified valuables. According to these sources the real objective of the search is known by only a handful of people onboard the research vessel.

After the Seabed Constructor was brought to harbor in the spring of 2017 the company Advanced Marine Services was notified that the ship could not be allowed to continue its search of the wreck without a permit. The company then applied for a permit to explore the wreck of the SS Minden, with the stated purpose of recovering a safe containing the gold bars. 

Read more: Police investigating suspicious researchers: Claim to be searching for German WWII wreck

A 72 hour permit was granted for exploration in the fall of 2017, but due to poor weather and extremely difficult conditions the treasure hunters were unable to use the permit, but were granted permission to continue their search this year. The treasure hunters returned to the wreck of the SS Minden last week on the research vessel Seabed Worker to continue the hunt for the mysterious treasure. The permit expires at midnight tonight.


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