A treasure hunter from Maine has claimed to have found a vessel that is thought to contain platinum and other valuables that are estimated to be worth around $3 billion today.
Greg Brooks of Sub Sea Research in Gorham claimed that he discovered the sunken vessel in 2008 about 50 miles of the coast of Massachusetts, as reported by Reuters.
Using an underwater camera Brooks verified the hull number on the ship with the hull number on record and identified the ship to be the British freighter Port Nicholson.
The ship is currently on the sea floor 700 feet under the waves. The vessel had been bound for New York from Nova Scotia in Canada with the precious cargo when it was sunk by a German U-boat in June of 1942.
"If all the cargo is brought up, it will be the richest shipwreck in the world," Brooks said. "I'm going to get it, one way or another, even if I have to lift the ship out of the water."
But he may have to contend with other countries looking to make a claim on the lost treasure. The ship was carrying payment from the Russians for war supplies when it was attacked, according to the New Haven Register.
Britain will reportedly wait to decide on filing a claim on the cargo until the salvage operation begins according to Timothy Shusta, an attorney in Florida who represents the British government. He said it is unclear if the ship was even carrying any platinum, as reported by AP.
"We're still researching what was on the vessel," he said. "Our initial research indicated it was mostly machinery and military stores."
But Brooks is already certain that he knows what the ship contains. He feels "99.9 percent sure" the platinum was on board additionally he said the site showed no signs of any previous salvage work.
"As time went on, it was forgotten about, because it was a secret cargo," Brooks said.