On the night of 2 July 1944, the crew of the 251-foot airship K-14 failed to report in as scheduled while looking for a German sub off Mount Desert Rock, 20 miles offshore from Mount Desert Island. Just a handful of survivors from the crew were found clinging to wreckage the next day.
Although the Navy continues to insist there was no proof a sub was off MDI that July, investigators have found at least four other sightings in the Gulf of Maine over the three days following the incident. One of those was made by the crew of blimp K-15 sent to the K-14 crash scene.
While the U.S. Navy’s still-classified reports claim the crash was caused by pilot error, there are many airship experts who believe that there is ample evidence to prove the blimp was shot down and the truth hidden to prevent panicking the citizenry.
There is a lot of background on this incident published in numerous issues of the Naval Airship Association magazine, "The Noon Balloon". The "Mt. Desert Islander" in 2012 did a 3 part story that covered all the discrepancies in the official findings and there were many. Bear in mind that a month after the allies landed in France on D-Day and Roosevelt and Churchill were issuing daily press releases boosting morale that a German U-Boat shooting a US Navy Blimp out of the sky along the coast of Maine would not look good. Also consider that over the course of 6 or 7 months in 1944 the Germans investigated the area around Bar Harbor and Hancock Pt. for possible landing of spies. Oskar Mantel was captured in August on his way there and 2 spies were actually landed in November of that year.
Type XI B U-boat U-112 "Black Knight"
As detailed within the Kriegsmarine "K" Design Office, there were to be a total of four of these monstrous vessels laid down, with the possibility of constructing an additional four vessels should time and resources permit. However, it is known that only four keels were laid and that one was actually launched, the others eventually being scrapped prior to the end of the war before completion. The U-Boat Command intentions were to assign the numbers U-112 through U-115 to the first four vessels of the class. However, Kriegsmarine commissioning records reflect no such assignment of numbers and for all practical purposes the Type XI was never officially commissioned.
Very little is known about the Type XI-B U-Boat. All official histories state that the vessel type was never built and numerous publications indicate that the Type XI-B submarine design went only as far as a preliminary 'keel laying' at the building yards of Deschimag-A.G. Weser in
Amplified reports obtained from interviewed veterans of both the Allied and Axis intelligence services indicate very strongly that at some point during its existence, most probably in early 1944, the Type XI was berthed at the supposedly neutral ports of
Of primary importance in connection with this area of course are the German series of Special Operations known as "JOLLE", (translated as "Happy Boat") and "AKTION FEUERLAND", (meaning "Action Land-of-Fire", referring to the southern geographical area of
IV. C O N T R O L L E D P A N I C
As previously outlined within the 'Overview', the German Opposition groups were becoming increasingly bolder in their attempts at contacting the Western Allies through the various intelligence agencies. Those Opposition Group members associated with German Industrial concerns were the boldest, and possessed all the right connections to persue negotiations for an acceptable armistice. The sole motive for the German Industrialists was obvious. They wished to maintain their corporate identity AND their financial assets for the post-war period. There were also many American Industrial concerns who wished to see this as well since a large percentage of ownership in these German companies were held by large American corporations - a blatant violation of the 'Trading With The Enemy Act'.
The accessed research documents show that by June of 1944 there were no less than eight separate meetings between German Industrialists and agents of the Office of Strategic Services. The most active American in these efforts was Allen W. Dulles, the OSS Chief of Station head quartered in the neutral city of
The professional background of Allen Dulles and his brother, John Foster Dulles, are most interesting. It seems that both men were heavily involved in pre-war dealings between American and German Corporations through their law firm of 'Sullivan & Cromwell' in
While all of these manipulations were going on within the Allied camp,
Of particular note are the individual operations of German corporations. Firms such as I.G.Farben and Krupp Industries were known to have liquidated their stock holdings into either gold coin or bars by June of 1944 in anticipation of secreting these hard assets into the neutral countries of Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Portugal and, most importantly -
What helped to speed up both the safe guarding of German corporate assets and attempts at armistice negotiations were the decisions of the Breton Woods International Monetary Conference held at Breton Woods,
When one studies the known movements of wealth and the options then open to both the German Anti-Nazi diplomats and Industrialists, it becomes obvious that drastic measures are indeed being planned. In September of 1944 a much delayed Finnish Intelligence report surfaced referring to a "Hitler Escape Boat" being made available at the
The long trail of records show that this vessel departed the
A "Controlled Panic" caused the Industrial Opposition to deploy this vessel as quickly as possible for a two-fold mission: to negotiate an acceptable armistice directly with
V. C O D E N A M E: "O B S C U R E C I N C H"
The date of August 25, 1944 appeared to begin as any normal day along the Eastern Sea Frontier. But, the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence had been continuously briefed over the past few days by the British Admiralty "ULTRA" of an "Unknown" U-Boat heading their way. On 15 August Admiralty informed U.S. Navy "COMINCH", (meaning Commander-In-Chief), that a U-Boat they had designated as "LT" was heading across the Atlantic and that they suspected it was on a "SPECIAL MISSION" since it was observing radio silence and not reporting its daily position, as was the normal routine among U-Boat Commanders of the time.
On the 17th of August British Admiralty appears to be reasonably sure that the mystery vessel was bound to the American coast, but inquire further from
By the 18th. British Admiralty admitted to
Then on 20 August the U-1229 was successfully sunk by U.S. Naval forces just east of the Grand Banks, as stated within the "ULTRA" radio-intercept transmission, as follows:
"TWO OFFICERS AND ONE PROPAGANDIST AMONG 41 P/S FROM LOVE EASY x C.O. LOST x YOUR 1279 PARA 4 x LOVE TARE HEADING BAFFLING BUT BEST GUESS IS HE IS APPROACHING ST JOHNS AREA x THIS CONSISTENT WITH AMERICA II..."
Again, on the 21st. U.S. "COMINCH" requested further information from the British Admiralty concerning the unknown U-Boat in question by stating:
"WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR FURTHER VIEWS AND WHEN CONVENIENT COMMENT ON QUERIES MY 386 AND 387 x".
After comparing all of the pertinent documents to the numerous other operational intelligence material is becomes obvious that the "ULTRA" staff are completely unaware of the actual mission of the Type XI-B U-Cruiser, whereas certain other intelligence operatives are totally aware of the facts. This is a typical example of "need to know" restrictions between intelligence departments.
By the early evening of the 25th. it becomes obvious that the Type XI was successful in evading the U.S. Naval Task Forces east of the
At this same time O.N.I. Telegrapher
O.N.I. Telegrapher Howley duly re-transmitted this message over his teletype to the U.S. Naval Cryptographic Center in
The following operations, which lasted over two days, are code named "OBSCURE CINCH" and "LADY BULL". According to the 'Official' record these "Special Searches" resulted in no activity and no confirmation of any subsequent action at the scene. The fact that these operations occurred at exactly the same location as the present location of the wreckage of the Type XI-B discovered in 1993, however, is extremely indicative. Veteran interviews have revealed that the subject U-Boat was actually sunk by the Naval Airship "K-25", with the small surface vessels conducting a 48 hour surface search for survivors and debris. The official records certainly tend to support the follow-up search for debris, often termed as a "Yankee Search".
Unfortunately, only a further declassification of existing"Operational" documents would provide additional insight into exactlywhat happened and how it happened.
VI. I N S E A R C H O F A G H O S T
The first hint of the existence of a U-Boat wreck off Cape Cod occurred in 1988, when now Trident President Edward Michaud heard for the first time the accepted stories of its demise off the Cape from a local tug-boat skipper named Warren LeGyte. Michaud had been running a sixty-one foot crew-boat out of
By June of 1993 Michaud had joined up with several dedicated professionals in an attempt to re-locate the legendary Cape Cod U-Boat and on the 5th. of that month the first hazy side scan sonar images of the wreckage were obtained. Equipment and financing, however, were slow in coming and it was 9 December of 1993 before any detailed sonar images of the wreck could be obtained.
Upon the initial discovery in June it was assumed by all involved in the project that the U-Boat located off
By November of 1994 the first detailed sonar imagery of the Type XI armored gun-mounts were obtained utilizing E.G.&G sonar equipment. This left little doubt as to the vessel's structural confirmation. The following month of December brought with it a dive to the confirmed wreck site by Michaud and fellow diver Mike Turner. Although underwatervisibility was at an all time low of one foot, a total of fifteen small artifacts were recovered from around the wreck's pressure-hull. It was noticed that the wreck overall was heavily encased in huge drifts of sand ledges, as is to be expected in the area. As an example, just several miles to the west the 325 foot long wreckage of the steam-freighter "Dixie Sword" is almost completely covered in the same pattern of sand disposition.
In March of 1995 Michaud and his group incorporated as Trident Research & Recovery, Inc. and by June the new company had filed for, and received, exclusive rights of salvage for the German Type XI-B U-Boat in the First Federal District Court in
Of special interest to the company was the exact disposition of the wreckage and how this information correlated with the known research facts.
An Archaeologist was added to the survey team to insure proper methodology in the project. Additional Archivists and Researchers were consulted and the process of discovery continued both in the Archival repositories and on the site of the wreck itself.
VII.T O D A Y
As of August, 1997 Trident Research & Recovery, Inc. and Sub-Sea Research, Inc. of
The new Joint Venture will concentrate on obtaining video-tape footage of the Type XI-B wreck site and is presently planning on follow-up recovery operations. All vessel artifacts so recovered are slated for preservation and ultimate public display at the
It should be noted that Trident has attempted on many occasions to open a dialogue with the respective offices of the U.S. Department of State, the Federal Republic of Germany and the U.S. Department of the Navy. All such requests for open discussion have gone ignored. It is hoped that in the near future this situation can be resolved. However, given the political revelations as described above, its really not very surprising that Government offices refuse to discuss this Project and its related investigations.
Several Senators and Congressmen have been notified by Trident in an attempt to both open such dialogues and assist in further investigations into the original 1944 incident. We at Trident and Sub-Sea believe that there will probably be more developments in this area as the Project moves forward. Apparently, the missing link was the Type XI.
VIII. R E C E N T R E S E A R C H
There has been some very interesting revelations in the Project's follow-up of research data. Due to the efforts of contributing researcher Mr. Eric Brothers U.S. State Department Protocol documents are now available to confirm one of this investigation's long-standing curiosities - the visit of members of the Dutch Royal Family to Chatham, Cape Cod during the very same time-frame in which the German Type XI-B U-Boat was known to have been operational off Cape Cod.
These documents consist of a series of notifications between the representatives of the Dutch Royal Family in exile and the Protocol Section of the Department of State. On the surface they do indeed appear to be routine in nature. It is only when viewed with the other known occurrences off
For example: One of the most obvious details that stand out is the sudden departure from Chatham of Princess Juliana and her royal attendants on the morning of the 26th of August, 1944, only hours after the known destruction of the Type XI fourteen miles to the southeast. This, combined with a published news report in the local Cape Cod Times for that date, quote the Princess as opening a short public statement upon her departure, stating: "I will not talk about anything political and cannot take questions". She goes on to say how the Royal Family enjoyed their stay at the Chatham Bars Inn, etc.
Within five minutes the impromptu interview is over and the Royal Family departs by car for Boston enroute to Canada. The fact that these State Department Protocol documents were only declassified at the time Mr. Brothers requested to view them in July of 1997 is possibly indicative - fifty four years after the fact.
To add to this new information Trident had conducted background research into the Dutch Royal Family due to its suspicions and has confirmed the following:
1) The Royal Consort, Prince Bernhardt, Husband of Juliana since 1937, was previous to their marriage an active card-carrying member of Hitler's black-shirted SS.
2) Prince Consort Bernhardt was employed prior to, during, and after the war by I.G.Farben's Industrial Espionage Unit "NW-7" which, needless to say, placed him under great suspicions by both the British and American intelligence communities. The mere fact of his employment as an "industrial spy" for Farben places him squarely within the sphere of the German Industrial community, links for which have already been established with the Type XI-B U-Boat.
There are many more details regarding the Dutch Royal Family, Prince Bernhardt, Princess Juliana and the German Industrialists which have not been included in this specific brief due to space considerations. However, the basic facts as listed above give very strong indications regarding the Dutch Royal visit to
The Type XI German U-Boot was designed in 1938 along the lines of a World War I U-Cruiser with long range and heavy armament, designed to win surface gun battles. The Type XI was designed to carry a float plane to scout ahead of the submarine much as the raiders did in the early parts of World War II. Kriegsmarine planners looked hard at the Type XI and determined that it was too big to be an effective submarine, and too small to be a surface warship, This type of submarine was quite successful in World War I with the conditions then prevailing, but in World War II with the highly advanced ASW capabilities of the Allies, the designers realized that this type of submarine and this kind of submarine warfare would not work in WW II. Specifications were: