A fabulous gold treasure lies on the bottom of the Black Sea, which has for more than a century now remained lost, despite the numerous expeditions sent in search of it.
The chests filled with gold were loaded on the HMS Black Prince, which was part of the British fleet and was given the mission of transporting the wages of the soldiers in the British Army.
Back in 1853, the Crimean War erupted between Russia and Turkey. The Russian Empire faced off not just against the Ottoman Empire but also its allies - France, the British Empire, the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Duchy of Nassau.
To beat the Russians, the British hired over 200 merchant ships, which they mainly used as transport for various goods, weapons and more to the theater of war - the Black Sea.
Among the hired vessels was the motor-sailing frigate the HMS Prince. But everyone called her the Black Prince because her hull was painted a saturated black color.
Toward the end of 1854, the Black Prince arrived at the Balaklava Harbor near Sevastopol. The frigate carried on board a real gold treasure - the wages of the army, which came out to several million pounds of sterling.
Just a few hours after docking near the Crimean Peninsula, a raging hurricane was unleashed, sinking most of the docked ships there.
The storm sent more than 60 British, French and Turkish vessels, including the Black Prince and all of her gold, to the sea bottom.
2 years later the anti-Russian coalition won the war. But the memory of the Black Prince's gold refused to give anyone peace and in 1957 the French organized the 1st expedition to search for and find it.
Despite the aid of the rubber diving suits that had just been invented, divers were unable to find even a fragment of the frigate.
The divers had searched the entire sea bottom all around Balaklava and found dozens of ships but not the Prince itself. Then came time for expeditions by Norwegian, Spanish, American and German treasure hunters, who also eventually went home empty-handed.
In 1923, the Soviet government sent its own teams to search for it, hoping to use the gold to deal with the famine which had been devastating a large part of the population, but all in vain.
And then, 3 years later, a Japanese diving company offered Russia to find the treasure in exchange for 40% of its value. After months of successful treasure hunting, the divers went home with 4 gold coins - their share of what they had found.
But the failures of all expeditions until that point did not discourage Bulgarian oceanographers, who believed that they were not searching for the Black Prince in the right spot. According to them, the shipwreck lay at the bottom of the Black Sea but in the Bulgarian part of it.
They issued the hypothesis that the storm had ripped the anchor off the frigate and the sea currents had carried it all the way to Bulgarian shores, where it later sunk. The press even published a sonar photograph of a sunken ship whose contours reminded of those of the Black Prince.
Bulgarian treasure hunters also had no success in finding the legendary ship, just like Ukrainian archaeologists, who in 2010 boldly stated that they knew where the treasure was located.
However, the only remnant of the Black Prince to ever be recovered from the Black Sea was a fragment of the captain's mess, with the logo of the ship.See more