US treasure hunter claims $3 billion strike

A Maine treasure hunter said Wednesday he has discovered the wreck of a British merchant ship torpedoed off the Massachusetts coast by a German U-boat while carrying what he claims was one of the richest cargos ever.

Greg Brooks of Sub Sea Research in Gorham, Maine, said he has found the British steamer Port Nicholson, sunk in 1942 and now sitting in 700 feet of water 50 miles off the US coast.

Brooks claims the vessel, hit by two torpedoes from the U-87, carried a load of platinum bars now worth more than $3 billion.

However, an attorney for the British government expressed doubt the vessel was carrying platinum. And if it was, in fact, laden with precious metals, who owns the hoard could become a matter of international dispute, according to ABC News.

The Port Nicholson was reportedly carrying more than 70 tons in platinum bars, payment to the US from the Soviets for the war effort, according to the New York Daily News.

Platinum is currently selling for around $1,600 an ounce.

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Does Groundhog Day hold key to SC’s future?

It’s unclear how much credence to give talk that certain well-connected South Carolina lobbyists with ties to the groundhog industry have convinced a powerful state Senator to push forward with a bill that would give the Palmetto State its very own Punxsutawney Phil.

Under the rumored proposal, a massive 12,500-acre groundhog preserve would be set up in the Pee Dee region of the state – home of said state Senator – and each Feb. 2 South Carolina would hold a ceremony of its own in which a groundhog would emerge from its home and predict the coming of spring.

Discussions have already progressed to the point that a name has been devised for the South Carolina groundhog, with the moniker “Carbuncle Cal” being bandied about, and it’s said preliminary plans have been drawn up for the preserve, which would hold up to 1,500 groundhogs.

These groundhogs would not only be available to take Carbuncle Cal’s place should he die, but would be bred and the offspring distributed to communities throughout the state, enabling towns across South Carolina to hold separate Groundhog Days of their own, with the potential to turn Feb. 2 into the state’s most lucrative holiday.

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