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A Maine-based treasure hunter says he and his crew have discovered a sunken World War II-era ship carrying a trove of valuable platinum, gold and diamonds worth as much as $3 billion. The British government isn't so sure.
The BBC reports that Greg Brooks and his Sub Sea Research crew say that they discovered the wreckage of the SS Port Nicholson back in 2008, but that new underwater footage showing a platinum bar and 30 boxes -- believed to hold platinum ingots -- confirms that the valuable metals are aboard and prime to be recovered. The wreckage is about 50 miles off the Massachusetts coast.
The merchant ship was sunk by a German U-boat back in 1942, but the British government says that it's not so sure that it actually contained the treasure -- thought to be part of a lend-lease payment from the Soviet Union to the United States -- that Brooks and his crew believe it did. "We're still researching what was on the vessel," a government lawyer said. "Our initial research indicated it was mostly machinery and military stores."
Brooks, however has already been granted salvage rights from a federal court judge and is ready to push forward with his recovery attempt. "I'm going to get it, one way or another, even if I have to lift the ship out of the water," he told CBS News.