CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SEVENTY-FIVE
Monday morning — 9:35 a.m.
Sitting in the back of a passenger van, Alex Hargreaves reviewed the people in front of her. Each soldier had been hand selected by her, trained by her, and proudly worked at her side for years. Today, they were competent, hardworking, and ready to get this done.
They’d agreed to enter and secure an old family owned salt mine.
According to the journal that Sandy Delgado-Norsen had purchased from an elderly Jewish man, the owner of the mine had sealed it off only moments before the Nazi’s took her to Belzec where she was murdered.
The journal’s author had been an award winning novelist. The original question had been whether or not she’d left her second, and possibly third, novel behind in this mine. The second had been optioned for publication and was said to be done. It had never been found. These novels alone would be worth millions.
The boys, Nash and Teddy, as well as Raz and herself, had researched the situation. They’d discovered that numerous great works of art had disappeared around the same time in this area of the world. While it had always been assumed that the Nazi’s took them, the Nazi’s had left the area in a hurry.
None of these important works of art were found when the Nazi’s retreated.
Not one of these important works of art had been found since that time.
The journal hinted that these works of art might have been hidden in this mine before it was sealed up in the 1940s. Sandy had spent a small fortune making sure that she had the exact and direct property rights to the farm, the mine, and the land that had lain fallow since the Nazis.
The final judicial pronouncement, obtained just a few days ago, was that Sandy owned the land and all that was on it or in it.
They had been so excited to take this trip.
It was the ultimate adventure. They could play Indiana Jones and the lost salt mine or whatever. She’d heard more than one person talk about returning art to the families of the original owners or discovering something cool or simply having the experience of being able to set a few things right.
Now there was this threat of the Nazi nuclear detonator.
When everyone else had gone back to bed, Alex had stayed up reading classified reports about the Nazi nuclear program. Just ahead of Allied forces, the Nazi nuclear scientists moved their uranium cubes, hot water, as well as the reactor to some caverns under the church in the small southern German town of Haigerloch — more than 500 miles south and east of this salt mine. That was February 1945.
In the move, the detonator as well as some of the uranium cubes disappeared. Allied forces formed the Alsos Mission as part of the Manhattan project. The chief objective of the Alsos Mission was to monitor the Nazi’s nuclear program. Allied soldiers found the reactor and heavy water under the church in Haigerloch, Germany. They were able to find and dig up the uranium cubes in a field just outside of town.
The detonator was never found.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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