Has the Lost Treasure of
the Tsars Been Found?

Search: The Mir-2 mini-submarine is lowered into the waters of Lake Baikal. It may have found billions
of pounds worth of lost Tsarist gold on the floor of the world's oldest and deepest freshwater lake in Siberia

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Lost Tsarist gold worth billions of pounds may have been discovered at the bottom of the world's deepest freshwater lake.

In the past few days the crew of a mini submarine carrying out a mapping exercise in Lake Baikal spotted some 'shiny metal objects' some 1,200ft down in the murky depths.

Legend has it that 1,600 tons of gold was lost when White Army commander Admiral Alexander Kolchak’s train derailed and plunged into the Siberian lake. Another version has it that troops retreating on foot and horsecarriage across Baikal’s icy surface froze to death as temperatures hit -60C (minus 76F) in the winter of 1919-20.

When the spring thaw arrived, they and the sacks of Imperial gold sank to the bottom of the massive lake.

Admiral Kolchak was a hero during First World War but was executed by
the Bolsheviks for leading the White Army during the Russian Civil War

Last year remnants of a train and ammunition boxes were found in the lake but in recent days the Mir-2 submersible made this new discovery 1,200 feet below the surface at Cape Tolstoy.

'Deep-sea vehicles found rectangular blocks with a metallic gleam, like gold, 400 metres below the surface,' said one source.

Moscow News reported the story with the headline ‘Lost gold of the Whites found in Baikal’.

Explorers attempted to grab hold of the shiny objects with the mini-sub’s manipulator arm but failed due to the loose gravel on the lake’s floor.

Sources say that the submariners know the exact spot and are planning a new mission to determine if they have found the gold, and if so to bring a sample to the surface.

Last year, Inna Kyrlova, the deputy director of the Fund for the Protection of Lake Baikal, one of the bodies funding the research, acknowledged that the submarines were exploring locations reputed to be linked to Kolchak’s gold.

But she added: 'Our expedition’s primary interest is the flora, fauna and geology of Baikal and monitoring current conditions in the lake.'

Doomed: Tsar Nicholas II and his family were slain by Bolshevik troops on July 16, 1918
but much of their wealth was spirited away by loyalist forces

Kolchak was a hero in the First World War who later led the pro-Tsarist White Army against the Bolsheviks after the 1917 October Revolution. He had a few early successes but was eventually arrested by Lenin’s henchmen and executed by firing squad in January 1920.

The Russians reneged on a promise to hand him over to the British military mission in Irkutsk.

His body was hidden by revolutionaries under the ice of the Angara River which flows out of Baikal.

Had he escaped, it is likely he would have sought exile in London - bringing the gold with him.

Lake Baikal is the world's oldest and deepest lake

Lake Baikal is the world's oldest and deepest lake. It has an average depth of 2,442ft
and contains about 20 per cent of the world's surface fresh water

If the alleged treasure has been found, it could spark an ugly scramble between the Russian state, descendants of the last Tsar Nicholas the Second, and countries - possibly including Britain - that could argue they are owed outstanding debts by the fallen Romanov regime.

In 2008, historian Sean McMeekin outlined how the Bolsheviks seized the Tsar's gold bullion - which was Europe's largest strategic gold reserve - then sold it off to help pay for the revolution.

In his book History's Greatest Heist, McMeekin claimed Lenin's henchmen secretly auctioned off the treasure abroad.

The mini-sub team - currently conducting a mapping exercise in the lake - have not said when they will return to the scene.

The vast Lake Baikal contains 20 per cent of the world’s fresh water.

Source:The Daily Mail
1 September, 2010