A treasure hunter's effort to salvage what he calls $3 billion in platinum from a World War II shipwreck off Cape Cod has been ended by a federal judge. Greg Brooks' company Sea Hunters LP is no longer allowed to salvage additional items from the SS Port Nicholson, which was sunk by a Nazi U-boat in 1942, US District Judge George Singal ruled today. Brooks' treasure hunt had led to a criminal investigation and legal action by investors who paid him millions of dollars. Brooks said he believed the Port Nicholson carried platinum bars from the Soviet Union that were payment to the US for war supplies.
The judge also denied an attempt by a group of investors to win recovery rights, claims to what's on the ship if anything is found. The judge wrote that evidence suggests there's nothing valuable to salvage. The record, the judge wrote, suggests that all that remains is "70-year-old truck tires, fenders, and miscellaneous other parts and military supplies." Brooks said he located the Port Nicholson wreck in 2008. His claim of valuable precious metals aboard led to a splash in the media in 2012, but there were immediate questions about the veracity of it. (Read more treasure hunters stories.)