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Darrell Miklos standing on a boat holding diving equipment

Darrell Miklos discusses his hunt for stolen Nazi treasure

Treasure hunter Darrell Miklos believes Nazi Germany's stolen riches were loaded into modified U-Boats that are now lying at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea. In 'Lost U-Boats of WWII', Darrell and his team of experts set out to see what they can recover.

Image: Darrell Miklos is leading an underwater treasure hunting expedition in the Dominican Republic | Lost U-Boatsod

During the Second World War, the Nazis looted an estimated 600 tonnes of gold, thousands of pieces of artwork, and millions of priceless artefacts. While some of these items have been found, much of it remains missing.

Treasure hunter Darrell Miklos believes some of these stolen riches were loaded into specially modified U-Boats that are currently lying at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea.

On Lost U-Boats of WWII, Darrell and his team of divers and researchers are setting out with two top-secret documents to find these lost U-Boats and answer questions decades in the making. The shows starts Monday, 29th April at 9pm on Sky HISTORY.

Sky HISTORY caught up with Darrell to find out more about his search and the amazing discoveries he made in the Dominican Republic.

How would you describe the premise of the series?

It's about the U-Boat presence in the Caribbean and just how close the US and its allies were to losing the war. We're uncovering new evidence of just how many new boats were actually in the Caribbean.

I'm a treasure hunter by trade, so I usually find colonial-period shipwrecks that are loaded with treasure. But It's not the same as this story because, although we're looking for larger objects like the size of the U-Boat, there's very little evidence. So much of it was kept secret by the US government because they were so close to losing the war. Thank God they didn't and here we are today to be able to tell a rich story about something that's very little talked about.

How did you first get interested in treasure hunting?

I wanted to be a rock star or a professional surfer. But because I was so good in the water and I wasn't as great at singing as I thought I was, my dad [famed treasure hunter Roger Miklos] said: 'During summertime, you're going to go dive with me. We're going to take you treasure hunting.'

So, he got me involved. Once I started getting into it more and more, I enjoyed it.

In the series you are searching for U-Boats specially modified to carry cargo, what could they have been carrying?

I don't have an exact manifest of what it was that was supposedly put on these specially outfitted U-Boats, but I have an idea: gold and some very high-ranking personnel. We were told that these U-Boats were gutted with a few cannons up on the top of the boat to defend themselves because they needed to be empty. My dad and I snuck into East Berlin in 1983 and we were told by former Nazi U-Boat commanders that this did take place.

Where were these specially modified U-Boats headed?

The Dominican Republic was one of the clandestine areas where they would hide out. They would go from Europe through the Atlantic through the Caribbean, stop off in a friendly area in the Dominican Republic, around Haiti and through what we call today 'The Ratlines' that headed south to South America. So, we do know that South America was their final destination.

A man diving underwater with a metal detector
Image: Lost U-Boats of WWII

How are you trying to locate these lost U-Boats?

We've got a chart from a US Naval pilot whose only job was to locate U-Boats in the Caribbean, and he put down on a chart the location of seven specific U-Boats that he identified off the coast of the Dominican Republic. To me, that's proof enough that there's a lot more going on than what has been written about so far.

That's what we focus on in the first season, telling the story of how many Germans were in that part of the country, what were they doing there and why?

How come no one has been searching for these lost U-Boats before?

Most people and historians believe that the US found them all. There's no secret plan. It doesn't exist. Nobody wants to delve into something like that because they're just taking the word of the government.

Can you talk about the German colony in the Dominican Republic during this period?

There are old photographs of them there. When I went through some archival photographs there was a photograph of one guy having coffee and he's in full Nazi gear with Monte Cristi in the background. We have a local eyewitness who saw a Nazi U-Boat commander.

Do you have a favourite artefact that you discovered during the series?

Believe it or not, my favourite artefact was finding that old man who was an actual eyewitness to a Nazi U-Boat commander living in town. Without him I would have never known just how involved the Germans were there in Monte Cristi.

Can you talk about your great team in the series?

Garth Baldwin, who was a former Marine and he's an archaeologist. He's fantastic and very well knowledgeable. I brought along with me Steve Bender, who I dive shipwrecks with and since I'm so comfortable working with him diving shipwrecks, I thought he'd be a perfect team member for this.

Are there any other shipwrecks you'd like to explore?

Right now, my goal is to continue this quest. Luckily enough, while we're looking for U-Boats we always find shipwrecks. We found more colonial shipwrecks while we were filming this season than ever. My mind was blown away.

What do you think your dad would think of the series?

He'd be annoyed that he's not here to do it! But I'm sure he'd be proud because he wasn't able to do what I'm doing. He didn't have the US Naval chart I have.

Lost U-Boats of WWII starts Monday, 29th April at 9pm on Sky HISTORY.