Wednesday, February 22nd 06:24 PM IST

Yamashita's gold treasure remains an unsolved mystery

# Yamashita  # gold treasure  # Rhine-gold  # Reichsbank  

Sixty five years after his death, his alleged gold-treasure igniting the fantasy of treasure-seekers on the Philippines and gives rise to mysterious treasure-hunting activities again and again.

Yamashita treasure routes

NEW DELHI(BullionStreet) : The fairy tale about General Yamashita's gold treasure continued to haunt gold hunters acros the globe particularly in southeast asia.

Sixty five years after his death, his alleged gold-treasure igniting the fantasy of treasure-seekers on the Philippines and gives rise to mysterious treasure-hunting activities again and again.

It is like the search for the lost Rhine-gold or reminds to Hitler's alleged treasures of the Reichsbank in the Toplitzsee.

The story of Yamashita's gold treasure spread fast after his death in 1946. Yamashita, a Japanese General conquered much of southeast asia during the second world war

Yamashita ordered a well-directed looting spree and an estimated 4000 - 6000 tons of gold as well as precious metals, gems, coins, bills, works of art and antiques are confiscated or robbed.

The value of the treasures robbed from twelve Asian countries is supposed to represent a sum of over $100 billion dollars . A part of the booty is shipped on direct way to Japan.

The war-luck begins however to turn and the ship-passage to Japan becomes more and more dangerous by American submarines. The Japanese government decides on hiding the robbery-properties on the Philippines, still hoping that the Philippines remain after end of war in the Japanese dominion.

However, as the Pacific War progressed, Allied submarines and aircraft took a heavy toll on Japan's shipping. The Japanese then took the treasure and hid it in caves and underground complexes throughout the Philippines, hoping to recover it after the war was over.

However, many of those who knew of the locations of the loot were either executed or incarcerated for war crimes, including Yamashita. Thus, the whereabouts of the treasure were lost.

Many years later, Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos claimed to have discovered the location of the treasure, and to have deposited it in secret bank accounts. These hoards are known collectively as the 'Marcos gold'. There is, however, a counter-allegation that Marcos invented the story, as a cover for his thefts from the Filipino national treasury.

There are some experts, who doubt fundamentally the existence of the treasure. They said there was no reason for the Japanese in 1943 to bury the treasures in the Philippines.

What happened to the treasures after the war? Sterling and Peggy Seagrave claim in their book "Gold Warriors ", that the driver of general Yamashita was tortured by the Americans and that he betrayed more than twelve hiding places. The Americans would have lifted the findings in cloak-and-dagger operations and transferred them to America.

President Truman - so this theory - declared the findings as a state-secret "in order to exclude rights for compensation of other states and private-persons.

Another book about Japans „Yamato dynasty ", which is classified as less credible, develops the thesis, that the Japanese would have succeeded in transferring bigger parts of the treasure. With help of the treasure they would have financed their economic miracle in the post-war era.

Whatever be the case, the mystery surrounding Yamashita's gold still fascinate gold hunters and historians.

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