Does Russian Shipwreck Contain Billions in Gold Bullion?
The 15 July discovery of a shipwreck from the Russo-Japanese War would be exciting news on any given day. But when the sunken vessel is reported to contain 200 tons of gold bullion, it becomes 133 billion times more exciting—133 billion dollars, that is.
Is this warship really the underwater-archaeology equivalent of a pot o’ gold? That’s what the discoverers purport—yet Russia already is throwing a wet blanket on any windfall hopes.
As reported in the Telegraph, an international consortium spearheaded by the Shinil Group, a South Korean salvage outfit, found the wreck of the 6,200-ton Russian Imperial Navy cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi off the island of Uelleungdo, 75 miles east of the Korean Peninsula.
Launched in 1883, the cruiser was scuttled on 29 May 1905 in the wake of the Battle of Tsushima. Some of the crew from the badly damaged ship had been successfully put ashore at Uelleungdo; the Japanese took the rest prisoner. For 113 years, the ship’s remains have lain dormant beneath 1,400 feet of water.