The Discovery of the U-1226
On 5 June 1993 commercial diver Edward Michaud allegedly discovered the wreck of a World War II German Submarine in 41 feet of water, 4 miles off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He had identified the wreck as that of the U-1226; the problem was history had stated that the U-1226 was sunk thousands of miles away in the middle of the North Atlantic. As readers of this blog have seen, it is not uncommon for shipwrecks to be found far away from where history states they are supposed to be. The famous wreck of the German Submarine, U-869 is a prime example of this, it was reportedly lost near Gibraltar when in reality is was discovered sunk off of New Jersey and neither US or German records had placed it there. German U-boats hold a certain type of mystique amongst shipwrecks, due to their deadliness and infamy. The covert missions these vessels undertook such as dropping off spies on US soil, has led to wild stories and fanciful speculation including the discovery of an alleged German U-boat wreck in Lake Erie, the “UX-791“. As we have seen with the “UX-791” these stories are just that, stories. What follows is another tale regarding a fake sunken German U-boat with enough truth to make it interesting or plausible enough to interest investors into supporting the alleged wreck’s salvage. This blog is going to be divided into two parts because as with much pseudoarchaeology, the following story of Edward Michaud and his alleged discovery of a Type XI-B U-boat is a complex and convoluted story with many moving parts. The first part is going to relay “Operation CA-35” in full, with a look at the historical submarine he discovered along with an actual WW2 mystery he attached his narrative to. Part II is going to about another wreck Michaud helped discover with an allegedly valuable cargo that cements Ed Michaud and Operation CA-35 as a fraud. This is an old story from 1993 but has largely continued unchallenged to this day.
When Ed Michaud initially discovered the wreck, he never stated the evidence he had that confirmed the identity of the submarine wreck as the U-1226. It is entirely plausible that a World War II German submarine could be sunk off of Cape Cod; there are several sunken U-boats off the East Coast of the United States. However, Michaud never provided the evidence to provide the conclusion that the submarine wreck was in fact, U-1226, which would set precedent for his future claims. As a matter of fact, he had yet to actually dive the wreck, he had only allegedly found it on sonar. Michaud had determined the wreck’s identity based purely on sonar images and claimed that his discovery was the result of three years of research where he had confirmed that the U-1126 was prowling along the east coast on a spy mission and was sunk by US forces on 28 October 1944. In stark contrast to Michaud’s discovery is the U-869 which was discovered at roughly the same time in 1991. For the longest time, the wreck’s discoverer’s John Chatterton and Richie Kohler referred to the U-869 as the “U-Who”. It took a further six years worth of diving to recover evidence to prove that wrecks identity; they had recovered a torpedo arming device and spare parts from the engine room that were engraved with serial numbers that matched the U-869 and on 31 August 1997 announced their discovery as the U-869. Much like the “UX-791” Michaud announced his plans to raise the submarine wreck and put it on display as a museum ship. Michaud had indicated that the submarine wreck he had discovered was 251 feet long and buried in shifting sands. Michaud’s submarine wreck was immediately disputed, German records indicated that the U-1226 last transmitted on 22 October 1944 were the crew indicated that they were having problems with their snorkel. A snorkel on a U-boat was an apparatus that allowed for submarines to operate their diesel engines while submerged at periscope depth without having to surface. Diesel engines require air to operate and submarines would need to surface to operate their diesel engines to charge their batteries. Submarines would operate on batteries when submerged. A snorkel would allow a submarine to operate its diesel engines and charge its batteries without surfacing adding to their stealth. By the end of WWII, most German submarines would operate completely submerged due to this technology. Being that a snorkel is essentially an open hole into a submarine’s interior, its easy to surmise that the U-1226 reporting problems with its snorkel followed by its subsequent disappearance was due to the submarine filling with water due to a damaged snorkel. U-1226 was 375 miles south of Iceland when the boat reported in for the last time.
The US Navy had searched their own records and reported that there was no submarine sunk by US forces in the vicinity on 28 October 1944. Michaud stated that in his research that the U-1226 was part of a squadron of four submarines on a spy mission in late 1944 and had surfaced and was transmitting on a Coast Guard frequency. Aircraft were scrambled from Hyannis to sink the vessel. To help break what could be an incredible story, both the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe had sponsored an expedition to the wreck where Michaud said it was. The divers only found gravel, sand, rocks and came up empty-handed. It was then claimed by Michaud that this was due to the fact that these expeditions did not have proper sonar equipment. With the lack of credible information backing up Michaud’s claim and the lack of a tangible shipwreck, the media quickly lost interest in the U-1226 story. Michaud had later claimed that he did not want media attention and it had happened too soon into his research, however, he was the one who mailed out the press release “High-tech survey locates WWII German Spy Sub“. Michaud’s story had changed significantly when it later migrated to the internet. The Type IX submarine that U-1226 historically was had its numeral moved to make it into something more impressive, a Type XI submarine.
What follows is the full text of Edward Michaud’s “Operation CA-35”
Efforts to Raise Super Secret Nazi U-Boat Off Cape Cod
Operation CA-35 is the joint project of discovery conducted by Trident Research & Recovery Inc. of Framingham, Massachusetts and Sub-Sea Research Inc of Portland, Maine. It is much more than just a marine salvage operation. Indeed, it is an attempt to discover the fact surrounding the sinking of a legendary German U-Boat off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts in August of 1944, and to uncover the reasons for its secrecy for over fifty-four years.
The name assigned to this project is derived from the wartime German Naval marine quadrant location of the U-Boat wreckage initially located in 1993. The term “CA” refers directly to the German navigational box coordinate designated for the area immediately off the eastern shore of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with the number “35” referring to the location within the designated box. The process of discovery is a very time-consuming matter. This brief is preliminary and therefore, incomplete.
The availability of recently declassified military, political and intelligence documents are slowly assisting the professional researcher in filling in the gaps of World War Two history. Instead of seeing what appears to be a convoluted series of events we are now starting to understand just how the geopolitical strategies of the various governments involved in the conflict actually dictated the outcome of the battlefield scenario.
With this in mind, here is a general status of World War Two as it stood during the summer and fall of 1944 with the minute details that actually affected the important events unfolding during this time frame.
During the summer of 1944 the United States and her Allies, namely Great Britain and the Soviet Union had commenced the final push to the victory of Germany’s Third Reich in Europe. The now-famous “D-Day” landings on the French Normandy coast were successfully accomplished on 6 June and the German battle lines gradually gave way under the allied onslaught. The German high command knew well that it was the beginning of a long retreat and would ultimately end in total defeat.
In fact, a little over a year earlier in the month of February 1943 the German military and civilian populace witnessed the disastrous events unfolding on the Russian Front. With the loss of the city of Stalingrad to the Soviet forces, those individuals inside Germany with any insight at all could see very well what the inevitable outcome would be. As a result of these German military losses the several Nazi-Opposition groups, already in place within Germany since 1939, now began to increase their activity. These particular individuals and organizations firmly believed that Hitler’s plans of domination were a direct threat to their country’s best interests. The groups incorporated many of the German social and political elite who had actually assisted Hitler’s fascist machine in the first place, most notably Germany’s “Technocrats” of political leaders, industrialists, bankers, and highly placed military officers. By February of 1943, these opportunists became increasingly disillusioned with the Hitlerite agendas and commenced making their own arrangements of their postwar futures, both as individuals and as corporate entities.
Highly placed military leaders such as Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, Chief of Germany’s leading intelligence agency, the “Abwehr” and Field Marshal’s Walter von Kluge and Erwin Rommel, as well as several high ranking staff officers within the Kriegsmarine and Wehrmacht, actively conspired in the failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler on 20 June 1944.
While the German military was attempting to eliminate the problem at its source (Adolf Hitler) the conservative civilian opposition groups were attempting to alter the inevitable outcome of the war by initiating contacts with the “Western Allies”, Great Britain and the United States. These various contacts were an effort to end the war for Germany under favorable terms for an armistice. The Nazi opposition groups were literally fighting the clock, as every day that passed without an end to the war meant the further loss of German life and the wholesale destruction of property and postwar industrial capability. In fact, these specific concerns of a postwar German industrial capability. In fact, these specific concerns of a postwar German industrial survival were the prime motives of the Nazi Opposition.
The Western Intelligence agencies and military commands were well aware of just what was going on inside Germany at this time and actually conducted numerous secret meetings with the German military and civilian leaders in an effort to end the war. However, the Western Allies possessed a vastly different agenda. Upon review of available declassified political documents, it appears that the American parties negotiating certain details with the german representatives had several spate agendas – all of which seem geared at personal gain rather than with the American public’s best interest.
The President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had publicly stated as early as 1943 that no terms except “Unconditional Surrender” would be accepted from Germany by the three Allied powers; the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. Roosevelt was to maintain this stand throughout the war. However, many of the hard-line political capitalists in the United States Department of State, the Office of Strategic Services and the military intelligence services had a vastly different idea of just how to end the war – all of which were to run contrary to the Presidential administration’s policy decisions.
Operationally, the German U-Boat force still managed to keep its U-boat fleet somewhat active in the summer and fall of 1944. The official records indicate that most of the available U-Boats were operationally concentrated within the North Sea and around the British Isles in its continuing attempt to strangle the Allied supply lines. Occasionally an independent U-Boat patrol would be deployed into the North Atlantic to sink ships, report on weather or both. There were two “Special Missions” deployed against the American coast in 1944, only one of which was to succeed off the Maine coast near the end of the year. In that particular case, the U-1230 successfully landed two agents at Winter Harbor. The success was minimal, however, since both men were eventually picked up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
During the first week of July 1944, an incident involving a U-boat and the U.S. Naval Airship “K-14” occurred off of Bar Harbor, Maine. As is made so painfully clear in the official inquiry records, the U-boat in question brought down the “K-14” with 20mm Anti-Aircraft fire resulting in the loss of six airship crewmen out of a total complement of ten men. The inquiry and related intelligence reports also show that “K-14” was somewhat successful in at least severely damaging the enemy vessel. Unfortunately, this incident was also kept secret for over 54 years.
Another situation occurred on 20 August 1944.
U-1229, a Type IXC/40 submarine, slightly larger than the original Type IXC’s under the command of Arnim Zinke had left Trondheim on 26 July 1944. Zinke’s orders were to put Abwehr agent Lieutenant Oskar Mantel ashore along the Maine coast. On 20 August 1944, U-1229 was found and attacked on the surface by aircraft from the “USS Bogue” (CVE-9), one of the keep carriers that the U.S. Navy deployed for ASW operations. Having been heavily damaged in the initial air attack, the U-1229 attempted to escape underwater but was forced to surface again as poisonous fumes started to develop from the damaged battery sections. While the crew was abandoning ship, the U-boat was strafed by several aircraft resulting in the death of numerous crew members including Zinke. In total 18 crew members died while 41 survivors were picked up by a US destroyer after seven hours in the water. Among the survivors was Mantel.
What was not known by most military men at this time, however, was the fact that a Type XI U-boat was also proceeding to the American coast – at that time located only 20 nautical miles distant from the U-1229 at the time of the latter’s demise.
THE “BLACK KNIGHT”
*The specifications and history of the Type XI U-Boat will be discussed later.
As detailed within the Kriegsmarine “K” design office there were four type XI-B cruisers 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 only one boat was actually launched, the other 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 number and for all practical purposes, the Type XI was never officially commissioned.
Very little is known about the Type XI 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 and the building yards of Deschimag-A.G. Weser in Bremen, Germany. However, there is a subtle hint that at least one vessel of this type was indeed launched from the Deschimag yards. Contained within the records of the Military archive at Freiburgim-Breisgau, Germany is a brief mention of the “actual” yard trials in the Weser River for the Type XI U-cruiser having attained a surface speed of 26 knots. This is supported to some degree by Eberhard Rossler’s Impressive Publication “The U-Boat”, in which this trial is partly quoted. The details contained in the records of the Military archive in Germany make it very clear that above speed trials were not obtained from “tank” tests of models. Therefore, there certainly is some proof of the actual existence of a working and operational model of the legendary Type XI.
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 Vigo, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal on the Iberian Peninsula. These same sources have stated that the unofficial reference to the Type XI was “Der Schwarz Ritter” (“The Black Knight”). There is no official documentation of this but, considering the sources, we must at least consider the high probability of these facts. It is certainly already well established that most of the clandestine activity directed by the Germans toward the Americas originated from the Iberian Peninsula, primarily through a German Industrial Intelligence organization referred to as “Sofindus”.
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 FEURERLAND”, meaning “Action Land-of-Fire”, referring to the southern geographical area of Argentina). These two operations were intended to pave the way for German postwar survival. Noted Nazi leaders and war criminals were in the process of laying the financial foundation for a “Fourth Reich” within the borders of such countries as Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and most importantly, for reasons of easy access, Argentina.
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 pursue negotiations for an acceptable armistice. The sole motive for German Industrialists was obvious. They wished to maintain their corporate identity AND their financial assets for the postwar 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 wee 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 headquartered in the neutral city of Berne, Switzerland.
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 New York, City. it was these same prewar German connections with which Allen Dulles was negotiating throughout the winter of 1943 and the summer/fall of 1944. All official documentation points to the fact that the Dulles brother were not operating in the best interested of United State foreign policy, but were actually motivated through personal reasons to help in creating an acceptable form of armistice which would benefit most the German Industrialists directly. This also involved the safeguarding of certain German securities, which both John Forst and Allen Dulles actively assisted with – regardless of its direct violation of accepted U.S. Treasury and Presidential administration policy. In short, the Dulles brothers, along with a handful of U.S. diplomats and intelligence operative, helped Nazis and Anti-Nazis alike to hide negotiable securities from Allied confiscators and at the same time assisted in negotiating an end to the war along lines which were contrary to the “Unconditional Surrender” guidelines as set forth jointly by the three major Allies.
While all of these manipulations were going on within the Allied camp, Germany was desperately trying to protect what she had left of her industrial and monetary systems. Every day that passed without a negotiated armistice meant the further loss of property and postwar capability. It is well documented that major German corporations began making plans for the safeguarding of its resources in supposedly “neutral” countries while continuing to pursue diplomatic agendas.
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 coins or bars by June of 1944 in anticipation of secreting these hard assets into the neutral countries of Switzerland, Lichenstein, Portugal, and most importantly Argentina. Indeed, the Krupp concerns alone possessed vast estate holdings in Argentina and postwar records confirm that many millions worth of negotiable securities did make it to these estates via U-boat transport for eventual deposit in the German-controlled banks of Banco Aleman Transatlantic and Banco Tornquist.
What helped to speed up German corporate assets and attempts at armistice negotiations were the decisions of the Breton Woods International Monetary Conference held at Breton Woods, New Hampshire between 1-20 July 1944. Most of the allied nations represented at this conference voted for the dissolution of the Bank of International Settlements in Switzerland, a major money launderer for the Nazis. With the loss of this particular bank, the German corporations would find it much more difficult to move their ill-gotten profits out of Germany. On 9 July the Breton Woods Conference passed what is referred to as “Resolution No. 6” which called for the dissolution of the Bank for International Settlements and the monitoring of the German movement of corporate wealth into neutral countries. Combined with a desperate need to negotiate an armistice this created a “Controlled Panic” situation within the German Industrial community.
When one studies the known movements of wealth and the options then open to both 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 port of Danzig, Poland as of early July. When one studies the details mentioned in this report there is only one conclusion: the alleged “Hitler Escape Boat” is none other than the type XI-B U-Cruiser…the same vessel which was never officially commissioned into the Kriegsmarine. The very same vessel which is not supposed to even exist!
The long trail of records shows that this vessel departed the port of Danzig, (Gdynia), on the afternoon of 20 July 1944 – the same day as the assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler by the Nazi-Opposition. Records also indicate very strongly that the German Industrialists were behind the deployment of the Type XI-B U-Boat. One can only assume that the excuse for this vessel’s existence in acting as a “Hitler Escape Boat” was only an accepted cover story for the benefit of the Nazi-Opposition, as quite obviously Hitler himself was not embarked on board the vessel at the time of its departure.
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 U.S. representatives and to export to Argentina at least a portion of the German corporate securities. Thirty-Seven days later the Type XI-B U-Cruiser arrived the Massachusetts coast – committed to her clandestine mission.
CODENAME: “OBSCURE CINCH”
The date of 25 August 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 the U.S. Navy “COMINCH” (meaning Commander-In-Chief) that a U-Boat they had designated as “LT” was heading across the Atlantic 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 the U-Boat Commanders of the time.
On 17 August British Admiralty appears to be reasonably sure that the mystery vessel was bound to the American coast but inquire further from U.S. “COMINCH” for any additional information that may help in their assessments. Simultaneously to this tracking, the U.S. Navy was following the movements of the U-1229, designated as the “RJ”, (Red Jig). which appeared to be running a parallel course to the mystery U-Boat.
By 18 August. British Admiralty admitted to U.S. “COMINCH” that the heading of “LT” (Love Tare), “REMAINS OPEN”, suggesting that all are totally confused as to the subject vessel’s actual destination and purpose.
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…”
After comparing all of the pertinent documents to the numerous other operational intelligence material it becomes obvious that the “ULTRA” staff are completely unaware of the actual miss 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 25 August, it becomes obvious that the Type XI was successful in evading the U.S. Naval Task Forces east of the Grand Banks, as she surfaces at approximately 1600 hours just south of the Great Round Shoal Channel seven miles east of Great Point, Nantucket. Due to a submarine sighting by a commercial Pan-Am Plane at this the time, the Naval Airship Squadron “ZP-11 based at south Weymouth, Massachusetts orders the Nabal Airship “K-25” to divert from its escort patrol 60 miles to the northeast and to investigate the reported sighting. Local vessels of the Northern Ship Lane Patrol are also ordered to the scene, which included two Coast Guard 83-footers and two 110 foot Sub-Chasers.
At this same time O.N.I. Telegrapher Preston Howley was monitoring the U-Boat’s wireless transmission for the Office of Naval Intelligence Radio Intercept Station located at Chatham, Cape Cod, only fourteen miles to the northwest of the U-Boat’s position. According to Howley, the transmission was originating from an “S-5” position, (Naval parlance meaning from a very close location), and was being sent out on a “diplomatic B-Bar” signal. This meant that this particular German U-Boat was sending diplomatic messages in a “High Priority” status. Given what we now know about this vessel’s mission parameters, this diplomatic message tends to run parallel with the established facts. Howley described the message as being sent in three parts lasting just a few minutes each and separated by approximately two or three minutes. The total message lasted perhaps twenty minutes, enough to fill three legal-size teletype pages of coding data.
O.N.I. Telegrapher Howley duly re-transmitted this message over his teletype to the U.S. Naval Cryptographic Center in Washington, D.C. Within half an hour the message bounced back to his station from Washington with the statement that they wished him to verify the coding and destination address, which he did. Howley verified the coding and address which, looking back on it fifty-fou years later, he firmly believes was destined for the White House Map Room. The White House Map Room was not just the President’s War Room during World War Two. It was also an intelligence center for combined services -managed by the Department of State itself. The implications of Howley’s experience and later assessments are obvious.
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 a 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 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 exactly what happened and how it happened.
IN SEARCH OF A GHOST
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 Boston for the then ongoing MWRA Outfall Project. Every night Michaud and his fellow crewmen would bunk in Warren’s 100-foot tug “Georgina A.“, then tied up at one of the East Boston docks. Since hearing of the legendary U-boat, Ed would query Warren of what he knew of the vessel and its location. In due time the MWRA contracts would end and Michaud would eventually locate the various veterans who were involved in the original 1944 incident. 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 Cape Cod was a standard German Typ IX-C/40 submarine (what the U-1226 was) at the time of its loss. However, when the detailed sonar images were obtained in December it was immediately apparent that what had been found was indeed much larger in both length and bulk. After weeks of study and comparisons with known German building plans, it became obvious that what had been found was actually a submarine that, according to all known histories, was not supposed to exist! Michaud and his team had found a German Type XI-B U-Cruiser – in and of itself a major discovery.
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 underwater visibility 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 it is to be expected in the area. As an example, just miles to the west was 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, the exclusive rights of salvage for the German Type XI-B U-Boat in the First Federal District Court in Boston. Under this Admiralty claim, Civil Action No, 95-11374RCL, Trident continued its survey of the site. 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.
As of August 1997 Trident Research & Recovery, Inc. and Sub-Sea Research, Inc. of Portland, Maine combined their resources in order to bring the latter’s experience, expertise and high technical ability to bear on the project. Trident and Sub-Sea had been working jointly on other interesting research projects in the recent past, so it seemed only natural to combine the resources of both companies on the “Operation CA-35” Project.
The new joint venture will concentrate on obtaining videotape footage of the Type XI-B wreck side and is presently planning on follow-up recovery operations. All vessel artifacts so recovered are slated for preservation and ultimately public display at the USS Salem Museum located in Quincy, Massachusetts. Needless to say, this would make for a rather impressive and informative stage for further public dissemination.
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, it’s 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.
The Historical Type XI-B Submarine
The type XI Submarine cruiser was the product of another time; it was devised from the successes of cruiser submarines from the First World War. At the outset of WWI, Germany had built large merchant submarines to carry cargo in and out of Germany while avoiding inspection and the combined British and French Navies. The first of these boats was the submarine Deutschland. The Deutschland was eventually taken over and commissioned as the U-155 in the Imperial German Navy. It was armed with 6 bow torpedo tubes and due to its size, it was armed with a pair of 15 cm SK L/45 guns taken off of a pre-dreadnought battleship. The U-155 conducted three war cruises sinking 42 ships and shelling the port of Ponta Delgada in the Azores Islands. Although the type U-151 submarines were armed with torpedo tubes, their primary armament was the 15 cm deck guns. The strategy was to surface suddenly, shell the target and then stealthily submerge and escape. After the war, the U-151 was later put on display in London (which will be covered in more depth in a later museum ships series).
It was with these past successes in mind, the prewar Kriegsmarine (German Navy) set to design a large submarine with equally large deck guns to fill the same role as U-155 and its sisters. Germany was not the only nation to experiment with large, long-range, high endurance submarine cruisers with equally large armaments, the Royal Navy had the M-Class submarine, the French had the Surcouf and the United States built cruiser type V Boats; the USS Argonaut (SS-166), USS Narwhal (SS-167) and the first USS Nautilus (SS-168). Additionally, the United States had drawn up plans to construct a 490-foot long submarine armed with eight 8″ guns split between four turrets.
At 377 feet long, the German Type XI-B Submarine would have been the second-largest submarine constructed in WWII after the 400 foot long Japanese I-400 class submarine. The XI-B would have been 31 feet in breadth and 20 feet in depth. The Type XI-B would have had a displacement of 3,630 tons. It would be diesel-electric, similar other German U-boats of WWII, with eight 12 cylinder diesel motors producing 17,600 hp and 2 battery-powered electric motors producing a total of 2,200 hp. The Type XI-B would have had a top speed of 23 knots surfaced and 7 knots submerged. These vessels would have had a range of 15,800 miles at 12 knots. It is estimated these U-boats would have had a maximum depth of roughly 800 feet. They were also provided with a vertical stowage cylinder located just forward of the conning tower, for a collapsible Arado AR-231 floatplane for scouting. The Type XI-B would have been armed with two armored turrets each mounting twin 127 mm guns (5-inch) (for a total of four) two 20mm Anti-Aircraft guns, two 37mm guns and a total of six torpedo tubes, four in the bow and two in the stern. The vessel would have carried a crew of 110 and would have had further space for 60 troops. Design of the Type XI-B began in 1937 and the design was approved in 1939 with construction on the U-112 allegedly beginning 17 January 1939. U-112 was constructed at the AG Weser yard in Bremen, Germany and was going to be the first in a series of four Type XI’s along with U-113, U-114, and U-115. Construction on U-112 was suspended by 15 September 1939 and by May 1940 the Type XI project was canceled and abandoned altogether. Although it is unclear, U-112 had apparently made it as far as having its keel laid down, but it is unknown how far construction had progressed or if construction had even begun in the first place.
If the keel had been laid, it was most likely recycled into other construction projects at the cancellation of the Type XI-B project. It was quickly realized by the Kriegsmarine just how impractical the Type XI-B submarine design was and the project was canceled in favor of smaller, more successful designs like the Type XVII. The price and resources required to build one of these submarines were simply too much for the resource stricken U-boat arm of the Kriegsmarine when the Kriegsmarine comparatively could build four smaller submarines for the same price as a singular Type XI-B U cruiser. Additionally, Anti-Submarine warfare had evolved significantly between both World Wars and having a submarine that was built to engage surface ships in gun duels was impractical when torpedos could do the same job more stealthily. Though it is postulated that a Type XI-B’s armament would have been more than a match for the escort ships of the time like Flower-class corvettes, Subchasers, and River/Castle class Frigates. Hauling the floatplane out of its container would have also been problematic, requiring calm seas to deploy. The later development of the Focke Achgelis Fa-330 autogyro proved to be a better option than a collapsible floatplane but few U-boats were ever able to utilize it for scouting due to them being detectable by allied radar and deploying one would broadcast the U-boats position. A submerged top speed of 7 knots was abysmal and would be useless for such a large submarine to escape the sonar ping of any vessels that would be sent to chase it especially when smaller U-boats like the Type XVII were achieving submerged speeds of 22 knots. There was simply no need for such a large heavily armed submarine when smaller submarines could do exactly the same job more efficiently. Due to these limitations, the cost and the draw on resources these boats were never constructed as opposed to what “Project CA-35” research suggests. Had Germany constructed such an immense submarine like the Type XI-B there would have been propaganda surrounding it much like that of their immense battleships Bismarck and Tirpitz. The two Type IA Submarines U-25 and U-26 were the first type of U-boat Germany constructed prior to World War II and were used extensively for propaganda purposes to illustrate the might and the rebuilding of the Kriegsmarine.
The Mysterious Loss of the K-14
Much like other pseudo archaeological tales this blog has covered in the past, the story of the Black Knight submarine is tacked onto another real-world mystery in order to cement the narrative and add to its validity and that is the loss of the Navy Blimp K-14. Michaud had changed his story, in his initial news about U-1226 he had stated that the submarine was sunk by aircraft when the story had migrated to the internet, the “Black Knight Submarine” was sunk by a blimp.
During WWII, the Navy was doing everything it could with the limited resources it had available to protect and defend the coasts of the United States, this included using fleets of blimps to patrol up and down the coasts to keep an eye out for either German or Japanese U-Boats respectively. They were equipped with the latest in Anti-Submarine Warfare, radar, sonobuoys, magnetic anomaly detectors and were armed with four 350 lb. depth bombs and one .50 cal machine gun. Each K-Type Blimp carried a crew of 10. Their high 24-hour endurance and ability to hover and operate at low altitudes and slow speeds made them ideal for hunting their quarry. Though the strategy was to observe and report U-boats to other units rather than engaging them.
The Blimp K-14 went down in the Gulf of Maine in July 1944 leaving an enduring mystery. On 2 July 1944 two lobstermen working on the boat Frolic were hauling traps about 12 miles southeast of Baker Island and spotted a periscope just a few yards from where they working moving south toward Mount Desert Rock. With something so dangerous so close, they continued working as normal but when they returned to Southwest Harbor they dutifully notified the local Coast Guard station. In response to this distressing report, the USS Patriot and the YP-600 were ordered to conduct a search off of Mount Desert Rock. The call also went out to the Blimp K-14 based at the Naval Air Station South Weymouth, Massachusetts to conduct a search for this U-boat. The blimp departed its base at 17:00 and arrived in the search area at about 21:00. They dropped down to an altitude around 100-200 feet and deployed a magnetic anomaly detector that the K-14 towed through the water from above. After the blimp made a routine check-in at 21:20 all contact with the K-14 was lost. Around this time independent observers nearby the K-14’s patrol area reported hearing two big explosions and gunfire. The K-14 had apparently crashed into the sea and only four out its crew survived first by hanging on to the still floating aluminum tailfin after that began to sink, they took refuge on the floating gas bag which was still partially filled with helium. The Naval Air Station at South Weymouth had grown concerned as the hours passed with no further contact from the K-14. At about 2:30 on July 3 officials in Boston contacted headquarters in Bar Harbor to request help in contacting the K-14. All ships were asked to be on the lookout for the lost blimp. At about 4:45 the USS Patriot spotted a rounded shape floating on the surface through the morning fog just east o Mount Desert Rock.
The Patriot rescued the four survivors of the K-14. All available ships, aircraft and the blimp K-15 were scrambled to the scene. The collective Coast Guard and Navy vessels took the wrecked blimp in tow to Bunkers Cove on the East side of Islesford Island, the small flotilla arriving with the wrecked blim just before 10:00 on 4 July 1944. Once they were able to pull out the sunken gondola, the Navy had discovered numerous empty casings from the K-14’s machine gun and that two of the depth charges were missing. Based on the placement of the wires used to arm the depth charges, they were deployed and live when they left the blimp. No evidence of concussive blast damage was seen on the wreckage of the K-14 or the recovered bodies of the dead crew. When the deflated gas bag was spread out on the ground to dry out at the Coast Guard Base in Southwest Harbor several small holes were discovered in the bottom of the gas bag with some apparently corresponding in size to 20mm the same as the anti-aircraft cannons common to German U-boats. The Navy had gone on to state that the damage was caused by the grappling hooks used during K-14’s salvage. The back half of the blimp was missing another oddity that’s apparently never occurred in any other blimp crashes. However, in their report, the surviving crew said that the indicator had shown the nose of the blimp was too high and the crew gave engines throttle to settle the blimp down only to have it hit the water tail first with its engines still running. It would seem like the K-14 had run afoul of its quarry only to be shot down, but why change the story? Why the secrecy? It is certainly provocative.
A year prior to the K-14 incident on 18 July 1943 the Blimp K-74 based from Naval Air Station Richmond, Florida had spotted the surfaced German submarine U-134 in the Straits of Florida. It was just before midnight and the submarine used the cover of darkness to vent its air and charge its batteries. The K-74 had picked up the surfaced submarine on radar and had emerged from cloud cover to make visual contact. The Blimps commander was concerned that if he didn’t attack immediately, the U-boat would get away and go on to attack further merchant shipping. The submarine had turned to port and fired its 20mm anti-aircraft cannons while the K-74 returned fire with its .50 cal machine guns. As the blimp passed over the submarine, the submarines 20mm fire managed to strike one of K-74’s engines causing it to catch on fire. In the remaining time, before the blimp crashed, the crew sent an S.O.S signal and dropped two depth charges. The Blimp had lost control when it dove on the U-boat and the sudden change in weight due to depth charges caused the blimp to go nose up and travel to 1,000 feet. In order to regain control, the crew had jettisoned the external fuel tanks yet the Blimp crashed tail-first into the sea. As the Blimp Sank, the K-74’s remaining compliment of depth charges detonated but each of the 10 man crew were able to get away in time and all survived. K-74 has gone down in history as the only blimp shot down by enemy action however all evidence would seem to suggest that the K-14 was shot down as well, just not be a rogue Type XI-B U-boat. It is hard to conceive of a 350 lb bomb fatally damaging a 377-foot long submarine.
Outside of these two incidents, no other blimp would engage a German Submarine much less sinking one as the K-25 apparently did. As stated, the story of the loss of the K-14 was used to bolster the “CA-35” narrative as it was suggested that K-14 had damaged the submarine to the extent that it sank and that is why there is a possible sunken German U-boat off of Cape Cod. So far, there is no evidence to suggest that the K-14 had ever damaged a U-boat much less sunk one.
Cool Story bro but, where’s the evidence? In its essence, the “Operation CA-35” narrative has a German Type XI-B submarine (which was a type that never was built) was constructed by German Industrialists and loaded with financial bonds and sent to the United States in order to negotiate a way to end the war and was sunk by a U.S. Navy Blimp. Under closer scrutiny, the “CA-35” narrative begins to unravel due to the lack of evidence. The text of “Operation CA-35” although an interesting story, had no sources, though I was later able to find a version with sources. Part II of the Legend of the Black Knight will discuss this and take a look at his Sidescan sonar images and discuss a later fraudulent claim that Michaud developed. Stay Tuned dear reader!
Sources & Resources
Brechlin, Earl. The Fate of the K-14. The Ellsworth American.
Brechlin, Earl. Fate of K-14: Blimp hits the water; six men perish. The Ellsworth American.
Brechlin, Earl. The Fate of the K-14: Navy Inquiry Was Fast, Ignored Key Evidence. The Ellsworth American.
Brechlin, Earl. Reader share Blimp Story Connection. The Ellsworth American
Chicago Tribune. Story of Sunken Sub Has Holes, Experts Say.
Dorr, Robert F. Blimp vs. U-boat. Defense Media Network
Helgason, Guomundur. U-boat Projects – U-boat Types – German U-Boats of WWII – Kriegsmarine. Uboat.net
Helgason, Guomundur. The Type IXC/40 U-Boat U-1226. Uboat.net
Helgason, Guomundur. U-155 German and Austrian U-boats of World War One. Uboat.net
Lyons, Chuck. Controversial Crash of K-14
Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources. Dixie Sword. Mass.gov.
Michaud, Edward. Efforts to Raise Super Secret Nazi U-Boat Off Cape Cod.
Michaud, Edward. Subsearesearch-Operation CA-3.
The New York Times. Chatham Journal; Sunken U-Boat You Say? Out There?
The New York Times. U-Boat Didn’t Sink in Waters off Cape Cod.
Parsons, Zack. My Tank is Fight!
United Press International. Wreck of German U-boat Sunk Off Cape Cod Found.
Vaeth, J. Gordon. Incident in the Florida Straits. United States Naval Institute Proceedings.
wrecksite. U-1226 SUBMARINE.