Treasure hunters reckon they are on the brink of finding the world’s most valuable stash of gold, jewels and ancient artefacts worth £15billion.
There’s only one issue – no-one knows for a fact this hoard exists.
They are trusting the word of an eccentric mystic. He claimed to have knowledge of secrets of human history, and had some strange teachings about sex.
The group of amateurs have spent more than 34 years looking for the Lemminkäinen Hoard at a cave system near Helsinki in Finland.
As we reported earlier in the week, they now believe that they will be able to enter the temple once digging resumes in May.
It is believed to contain more than 50,000 gemstones, several statues in 18-carat Gold and approximately 1,000 artifacts dating back thousands years.
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The existence of this treasure was only discovered in 1984 by Ior Bock, a landowner who claimed that his family had secretly kept the knowledge for centuries.
The so-called Bock Saga covered the origin of man in Finland 50million years ago, how the Ice Age caused people to scatter and establish the first civilisations around the world and the mysteries of the country’s gods.
Bock was also a tour guide and actor, and his stranger “revelations” included the idea that early man learned how to pleasure themselves orally and drink their own semen – which was dubbed “water of wisdom”. According to Bock, the chamber on his large estate was sealed up with huge stone slabs in the 10th century to protect vast treasures owned by the ancient royal family from invading armies.
The childless Bock said he was revealing the temple’s existence so it would not die with him.
He recruited 24 of his followers to form an excavation team in 1987.
None of the members had any experience in archaeology. The group removed many of the large granite slabs at the cave entrance and excavated approximately 400 tonnes of sediment beneath it.
Bock, who was 68 years old, died in 2010. Carl Borgen, a Carl Borgen expert, said: “We’re entering the end game and the treasures to be found there will be unimaginable.”
It isn’t the only mythical treasure to have sparked mystery. Here are five other fabled stashes…
Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine
Arizona’s Jakob Waltz is the name of the mine. He is believed to have discovered the mine in the 19th Century, extracted the gold, and kept it secret.
Until his death in 1891, he described the location of the mine to only one person – his neighbour, who looked after him in his final days. Every year, people try to find the mine. Some have even died while searching, sparking rumors of a curse.
The Knights Templar have the richest of all
The Knights Templar, a famous religious military order in Europe, was founded in 1119 in protection of Christians.
It gained great influence and wealth over the years. In 1307, the French king Philip IV – who was threatened by their power – arrested the knights and smashed their treasury. It turned out that it was empty.
The mystery of the Templar treasure and its location remains.
In 1519, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés arrived in the Aztec Empire and was greeted by Emperor Montezuma II, who offered him gold and silver to leave in peace.
But after the greedy Spaniards attempted to ransack the city, there was a rebellion and Cortés was forced to flee, dumping the treasure in Lake Texcoco in Mexico.
According to legend, the riches lie on the bottom of the lake – and many have attempted to find them, without success.
Ivan the Terrible’s library stolen
Also known as The Lost Library of the Moscow Tsars. This library is believed to have been built by Ivan, the Great in the 16th Century and to contain rare ancient texts.
It was historically under the Kremlin.
Ivan the Terrible is said to have managed to hide the priceless texts – although there are also claims he cursed the library, causing blindness to anyone who looked for it, and used the books to learn about black magic.
The Ark of the Covenant
Indiana Jones famously tracked this gold chest containing the tablets with the 10 commandments God gave Moses.
It was originally kept in Jerusalem’s sacred Jewish temple. But it was destroyed in Babylonian war 587 BC.
There’s even a theory that it was brought to Earth by ancient aliens, who later took it back with them.