Where is the lost treasure of Lake Toplitz, Austria?
Located about sixty miles north of Salzburg, Austria is
Lake Toplitz. Deep within the Austrian Alps, this lake lies in the center of
many mountains and there is almost no space along its border that does not have
a rocky boundary. The lake is covered in ice for half the year and once you
reach below twenty feet down, there is no oxygen. It is because of this that
anything that falls into the lake remains in its original state and has very
little decay. While this is an interesting fact, it makes diving in the lake
quite risky as trees have fallen into the water and still remain as solid as
when they stood erect on the ground.
During World War II the Nazi Luftwaffe Commander
had a cottage nearby the lake. It was a good location as the Nazis used the area
to test the weapons that they wanted to keep quiet from their opponents and
spies. This piece of history still remains here as the holes from the testing
are still visible along the walls. You can see them by first walking a
treacherous mile-long hike. Because the Nazi Army was regularly on the move, the
gold and documents that they retrieved would often be tossed into the Austrian
Alps because it was believed that they could always return for them. Forged
currency and confidential documents regarding property owned by the Nazis were
among the most popular items to be thrown in, especially nearing the end when
the Nazis were looking to get rid of any evidence of their doings during the
war. It’s thought that these items, including the gold, still remain somewhere
in the lake today although a few items have been retrieved.
There are also tales that the Nazis used these
holes to bury gold in. It’s thought that once the hole was made, gold would be
placed inside and dirt was used to cover it back up. Although not everyone
believes the gold was ever placed there, those that do also speak of maps that
have been lost along the way that detail the exact locations of the different
hiding places. Five divers have been killed trying to search the dangerous
waters for any treasure that may be left over from decades ago and for this
reason, diving is no longer permitted at the lake.
However, due to the research that has been done in
and around the lake, it’s believed that something of great value is to be found
there. The best technology is being called in by The Simon Wiesenthal Center,
who is also working with Oceaneering Technologies to recover any crates that may
contain valuable documents from that time. Oceaneering Technologies is the same
company that was used to recover artifacts from the Titanic and also searched
the plane that John F. Kennedy Jr. was killed in. The technology they are using
is called “the wasp” and will allow a diver to remain underwater for several
days, giving them much more exploring capacity.