One of the biggest trending topics this weekend was the recent discovery of a “secret” Nazi base in Alexandra Land. But as one astute observer on Facebook noticed, this “secret” base has well-known to its inhabitants and pretty much everyone on the internet for years, courtesy of the Alexandra Land Wikipedia page.
User Abdul Jay re-posted the story via The Independent that went viral Friday, with the caption that read, “Secret? It’s all on the Alexandra Land Wikipedia page…Whoops! Did i just reveal some secret information from a public page!”
And indeed if you travel to the Wikipedia site you’ll notice that there is a line that reads, “During World War II the Germans established an ill-fated meteorological station on the island, called Schatzgräber. Most of the members were stricken with trichinosis after eating raw polar bear meat. The survivors were removed and the project abandoned.”
The citation refers to a 2003 book published by author Dege, Wilhelm called War North of 80: The Last German Arctic Weather Station of World War II. And in fact, the “discovery” of this weather station mentions all of these facts as if they haven’t been made known to the public before Friday.
So what gives? Did the internet simply stumble across this click-bait enticing information and decide to make it something trend-worthy, much like it did a fake Matrix movie sequel story involving Keanu Reeves? In that instance, a 5-year-old article about the possibility of a fourth and fifth Matrix film starring Keanu Reeves suddenly became big news in 2016, as reported by the Inquisitr. But many astute observers realized that not only was the article 5-years-old, but the information contained within about Keanu having signed on for the sequels was already debunked. Still, it didn’t stop hordes of social media users from commenting on the “breaking news” resulting in it becoming one of the top trending Facebook stories at the time.
Luckily, in this case, the secret Nazi base story does have legs. While the base itself was widely known and wasn’t necessarily a “secret” any longer, it seems scientists did discover a wealth of artifacts last August, as reported by Ancient Code, that has reignited interest in the weather station known as “Treasure Hunter” and validated the trending value of the topic.
“More specifically, the finding was made last August —as local media reveals—in Alexandra, an island located more than 1,000 kilometers from the North Pole…While people were cautious when the discovery was made a couple of months ago due to the lack of images and conclusive evidence, the news has gone viral as the team has posted a video where we can see a number of artifacts and the base completely in ruins.”
— SGTreport (@SGTreport) October 24, 2016
An expeditionary team from the Russian Arctic National Park discovered these artifacts along with bunkers used that suggest “the ‘Schatzgraber’ base may have been part of a much larger mission that was put in place when the Nazi’s searched for ancient artifacts.”
According to reports, these experts have recovered around 500 objects from the site. Preserved by the temperatures of the Arctic, the base and many of the artifacts discovered, including petrol canisters, paper documents, bullets, and more, are all in good condition. The base was abandoned after the former occupants of the weather station were poisoned from eating raw polar bear meat, according to the Daily Mail. A U-boat was sent to rescue the scientists posted there after infection ravaged their base.
The site was also “strategically important in WWII because of the weather reports it produced – helping military operations and transport in the far north.”
You can check out the video of the site below: