Cape Cod - The bullion was supposed to be a payment from the Soviet Union to the United States for war supplies, dispatched to New York from England aboard the SS Nicholson in June 1942.
It was sunk off Cape Cod by a German U-boat killing a crew of six in an incident described later by NATO as a classic Stalin/Hitler stitch-up.
This week an audacious salvage operation to reclaim 71 tonnes of its supposed precious plutonium cargo has revealed the substitution of the precious metal with plutonium-plated iron pyrite bars.
"No wonder they sank it, made it seem so real," said a diver for the marine treasure trove company hoping to bring to the surface the alleged hoard, "bloody Bolsheviks must have pissed themselves thinking up such as scam."
In terms of scrap value a reasonable estimate of $1 million might be appropriate with the UK Government having the best claim to it because the Nicholson was part of the British fleet.
Alas, salvage costs to date are in excess of $4.5 million.