It was always there but no one knew where exactly during the World War II and the much of the Cold War period that followed.
Seventy years after it was abandoned, the top secret Nazi military outpost and weather station in the frigid Arctic has been discovered by the Russians.
Scientists found the ‘Treasure Hunter’ or ‘Schatzgraber’ as the Nazis called it on Alexandra Land, a remote island belonging to Russian Federation located over 960 km from the North Pole.
The outpost was built by the Nazis to help their vast fleet in their Northern naval operations sometime in 1942.
It was technically a weather station, where reports were prepared for the Nazis to study the harsh climate of the northern Russian region and prepare accordingly the movement of troops.
By 1942, the Nazi Germany was facing a belligerent Soviet Union counterattack in the wake of the failed Operation Barbarossa. Perhaps for this reason, Hitler thought it was best to have a base to assist his forces.
But why did they name it ‘Treasure Hunter’? A theory is that the Nazis were looking for ancient artefacts in the region.
Following the end of the war, Allied reports suggested that the Nazis were indeed looking for lost treasures, which later became a popular theme for Hollywood.
But if the Russian scientists who discovered the lost base had any hopes of finding The Holy Grail, they were thoroughly disappointed because all they found were rusting shells and old military uniforms among other things used by the inhabitants of the station.
They also discovered some documents, a study of which will certainly shed light on what the Nazis did at the base.
The search for Treasure Hunter commenced in August this year and ended with the discovery of around 500 artefacts from the World War II era. Of course, this in itself is a treasure.
“Before it was only known from written sources, but now we also have real proof,” Evgeny Ermolov, a senior researcher at the National Park, said.
The base was occupied by Nazi soldiers till 1944, when all of the inhabitants fell ill after eating contaminated polar bear meat. Those who survived were evacuated and the base abandoned, perhaps because the end of the war was near and Nazis were losing it.
What now? According to reports in the western media, Russia is planning to build a military base on the Alexandra Land for doing on Europe what Nazis once did to them.
Tensions between the West and Russia are at an all-time low with US, in particular, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to create conflict in Europe. Even the British press often pumps up every Russian military manoeuvre as a perceptive threat to Europe.
But Russia already has a military base on Franz Josef Land, of which Alexandra Land is a part.