Lake Toplitz is about 60 miles from Salzburg, Austria. Located high in the Austrian Alps, the lake is almost completely surrounded by high cliffs. The lake is frozen over for about 6 months every year. Another interesting fact about the lake is that there is no oxygen below 20 feet down. This keeps items in the lake in near original condition. The trees that have fallen in over time are in close to perfect condition, making diving in the area very dangerous.
Herman Goering, the Nazi World War II Luftwaffe Commander, had a villa not far from this lake. He and Adolf Hitler would dine the in bar and restaurant with the locals. During World War II, the Nazis used this area for testing top-secret weapons. The holes used for this purpose can still be seen in the canyon walls. They are still accessible via a hazardous mile long path.
It is said that toward the end of the war, the Germans dumped a number of things into the lakes of the Austrian Alps. Among those things were forged currency from different countries and other artifacts, some of which have already been recovered. Those items still un-recovered are the rumored Nazi gold dumped into the lakes and documents detailing property confiscated by the Nazis during World War II.
In Lake Toplitz, reports are specific to forged currency (some has been recovered from the lake), property documents and gold.
Some continue to claim that the Nazis placed gold in four lakes, one of them Toplitz. They blew holes in the rock walls, hid the gold and then covered the holes. One individual claims to have seen the maps detailing the locations. He says the maps no longer exist, but he saw them while in South America. Most experts do not believe there is any gold here.
Over the years at least 5 divers have been killed trying to search this lake. Diving has since been banned.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is currently searching the lake in an attempt to find the crates of property documents. They have contracted with Oceaneering Technologies, the same company that worked on the Titanic exploration and the John Kennedy plane search/recovery operation. They are using a device that is a cross between a diving suit and a submarine called the wasp. Using this device, divers can stay submerged for days.
So far Oceaneering has identified hundreds of potentially man-made objects on the lake floor more than 300 feet deep. Only a few of these objects have been recovered.