As the story goes, after discovering a U-boat in Lake Ontario in late January, amateur scuba divers contacted the authorities. Archaeologists with Niagara University and U.S. Coast Guard divers were contacted in order to determine just what it was they had discovered.
Bizarrely enough, what the divers had found was an old German submarine that had sank at some point during World War II.
Coast Guard divers set-up a wreck recovery operation with the help of a recovery vessel of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society and brought the Nazi submarine to the surface. It took 30 hours to bring the sub to the surface.
The submarine is planned to become a museum exhibit. The restoration could take two years, but is expected to become a major attraction.
Officials identified the sub as a UX-791, an experimental German submarine, which had been reported missing in 1943, last seen near the Canadian coast.
It’s believed the U-boat traveled up the Saint Lawrence River and into the Great Lakes, with intentions to make attacks on American vessels.
“We have known for a long time that the Nazis had sent some of their U-boats in the St-Lawrence River, but this is the first proof that they actually reached the Great Lakes,” Professor Mark Carpenter, lead archaeologist, told reporters. “This could explain the mysterious ship disappearances that took place in the region in 1943, and the reported “Battle of Niagara Falls” which had always been dismissed as a collective hallucination caused by fear.”
A February report from 1943 reveals the ship may have destroyed three cargo ships, two fishing vessels and damaged an aircraft carrier the US Navy used for training. It was eventually sunk by a Canadian frigate.
Despite seeming somewhat believable. their has never been any confirmed submarine activity in the Great Lakes by the US Navy. The submarine pictured is actually a K-159 Nuclear Submarine – the UX-791 isn’t even a real ship – and not Nazi submarine.
The submarine actually sank on its way to a Murmansk shipyard in August 2003.
Sadly, their won’t be any new Nazi exhibits going on display o boost tourism at any museums in the Great Lakes area.