Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Nazi Commandos Recover the Ark of the Covenant? The Strange Tale of Otto Skorzeny and the Castle of Montségur
In 1991, a somewhat strange book appeared making some extraordinary claims about a treasure supposedly recovered by the Nazis from the south of France in 1944.
Written by Howard Buechner, a medical doctor and veteran of world war II, Emerald Cup - Ark of Gold states that a famous German commando, Otto Skorzeny, was sent to France to recover the treasure of the Cathars, supposedly smuggled out of the mountain fortress of Montségur a few days before its eventual fall to an army of crusaders in 1244.
Although Otto Skorzeny wrote several books detailing his war time exploits, he never mentions the alleged recovery of the Cathar treasure. However, his books do mention how he and his men fought in US military uniforms during the battle of the bulge to sow fear and confusion through the allied lines - a war crime that he could have been executed for. He was only cleared of these charges when Forest Frederick Edward Yeo-Thomas, a member of the Special Operations Executive, testified that allied troops had also fought in enemy uniforms.
It would seem that although Skorzeny was perfectly happy to write about his war crimes, he took the secret of the Cathar treasure to his grave.
Skorzeny died in 1975, either of cancer or from injuries sustained in a car accident (depending on source) having never mentioned the the Cathar treasure to anyone.
Why? Because in all probability he didn't know anything about the Cathar treasure, let alone been in charge of its recovery.
Scar faced Skorzeny has become one of recent history's universal bad guys, need someone to blame for anything odd, untoward or underhanded going on anywhere in the world from 1939 to 1975? Otto Skorzeny is your man. I have even heard that Scotland Yard seriously investigated claims that he was the mastermind behind the 1963 'Great Train Robbery.'
To call Buechner's story 'questionable' is probably being overly charitable.
Did Nazi Commandos Recover the Ark of the Covenant and/or the 'Germanic Grail' from Montségur in 1944? Probably not, but it is an entertaining story, and to a great many people that seems to be all that matters.
Emerald Cup - Ark of Gold by Howard Buechner, Thunderbird Press, paperback, 1991. ISBN 0913159077