Kilograms of cash, diamonds, jewelry and a Picasso still lost after 25 years, SAIT

Source: Money Review

Swissair Flight 111 from New York’s JFK Airport to Geneva, Switzerland, crashes off Nova Scotia, Canada, killing 229 people.

It’s a tragedy. But also a mystery that remains unsolved to this day, almost 25 years later. Because with the Swissair plane, five kilos of diamonds and precious jewels, a Picasso painting worth millions and almost 50 kilos of money sank to the bottom of the sea.

The fate of this treasure remains unknown to this day.

Knowledgeable people told The Canadian Press a few years ago that this mystery may never be solved. The first attempt to locate the plane’s precious cargo was quickly abandoned, and treasure hunters who presumably have their eye on it are conducting their search illegally and in secret.

When the plane crashed into the water off Peggys Cove, all 229 people on board were killed instantly and the fuselage was shattered into millions of pieces.

A ship fitted with a giant scavenger was enlisted to pull the wreckage from the seabed. The Transportation Safety Board report said 18,000 pounds of the cargo was recovered, but gave no further details.

According to Stephen Kimber, author of the book “Flight 111: A Year in the Life of a Tragedy”, the cargo of the flight included a diamond from the Nature of Diamonds exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, other diamonds totaling approximately one kilogram. , another 4.5 kilograms of precious jewelry, 49 kilograms of banknotes and a version of Picasso’s painting The Painter.

Swissair Flight 111 was popular not only among UN officials and businessmen, but also among diamond dealers, who used it to transport their goods between Switzerland and the United States.

“Somewhere at the bottom of the ocean, theoretically, these diamonds are,” Kimber says.

Insurance company Lloyd’s reportedly paid $300 million in damages for the diamonds and other jewelry and sought permission to search the site of the tragedy after authorities’ investigation ended. But the treasure recovery plan angered the families of the victims, and the insurance company eventually withdrew its claim.

After the accident, Canadian authorities enforced a two square kilometer exclusion zone around the site for about a year. But after this period, the area was no longer guarded.

This is why treasure hunters are thought to have silently excavated the site all these years, likely taking advantage of permits allowing them to search for other wrecks in the area. There are around 10,000 shipwrecks off Nova Scotia’s rugged coast, and connoisseurs say the area is something of a “Wild West” for treasure hunters.

In any case, no one can even know if the precious cargo of Swissair Flight 111 survived the violent collision. After all, the plane hit the water at a speed of 500 kilometers per hour, which means it was like hitting cement.

During the in-flight recovery operation, only a small piece of Picasso’s painting was found, which had just been sold and was traveling to its new owner.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Sarah C. Figueiredo