More than a dozen U-boats and their crew from the German Navy during World War Two disappeared and their whereabouts were never determined. Now one appears to have been found in Canada, and in an unlikely place.
What is believed to be a U-boat was found over 100 kilometers (62 miles) up the Churchill River in Labrador, the northern region of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Brian Corbin was one of the searchers who, in May of 2010, were looking for 3 missing men who'd gone over Muskrat Falls (they're presumed drowned) and instead stumbled upon the sonar scan images of a boat under water and buried in sand. He told the story to CBC News last week.
Corbin told CBC that they certainly weren't expecting to find a U-boat, or any boat, especially so far inland. "We were looking for something completely different, not a submarine, not a U-boat," he said. "I mean, no one would ever believe that was possible. It was a great feeling when we found it."
U-boat story: fact or fiction
They cannot be certain it is a U-boat but there was activity from U-boats in and around Labrador during the war. Corbin said they filed their find with Receivership and Wrecks and indications are that they will be confirming that the likelihood is that it is a U-boat. The German government has been contacted and they, too, believe it likely the sonar images are of a W.W. II U-boat.
In what may be no more than a odd coincidence, there had been rumors a German crew ditched their U-boat in the area during the war and defected, fading into North American life. That story became the basis of a novel in the 90s. There is nothing in fact to suggest the story was ever based upon a real event.
Corbin said that the government is now in charge of verifying it is indeed a submarine down there and is hopeful he'll be part of the team to go again to the Churchill River and do so. If, as he expects will happen, it's confirmed, the ship will likely be left in its resting place.