This Week In History, Apr. 16 – 22

Published April 21, 2017
Updated April 13, 2018

Man Finds $2.4 Million-Worth Of Gold Bars In Iraqi Tank He Purchased On eBay

When Nick Mead purchased an ex-military tank on eBay, he probably thought he was getting a decent deal. Little did he know, there were five gold bars worth $2.4 million hidden in the fuel tank.

Mead, a tank collector from the United Kingdom, owns a company that provides tanks and armored vehicles for driving classes, television and film props and, occasionally, epic parties.

He came to own the tank in question — an ex-Iraqi Army Type 69 — by trading an Abbot self-propelled howitzer and a British Army truck, valued together at $37,000, with the eBay seller.

When Mead and his mechanic found machine gun ammunition in the vehicle, they thought the accompanying firearms might be hidden in the fuel tank. Not wanting to arouse police suspicion with an Iraqi gun collection, they decided to film the rest of their initial inspection (above).

But there were no guns in the fuel tank. Instead, they pulled out the gold bars, weighing about 12 pounds each.

Read more here.

New Study Finds That These Medieval Villagers Mutilated The Dead To Prevent Zombies

English Cemetery Medieval Village Og

Historic England/PAAn illustration of the medieval village of Wharram Percy, where the human bones were excavated.

Medieval villagers in England mutilated the dead to make sure that the corpses didn’t rise up from the grave after burial, new research shows.

English archaeologists have discovered that people who used to live in the Wharram Percy village in Yorkshire, England during the Middle Ages used to chop, smash, and burn the recently dead, according to the Guardian.

Published in the Journal of Archaeological Science this past Monday, their research concludes that the mutilation was intentional and done after death.

Delve deeper in this report.

Allied Forces Knew About The Holocaust Far Earlier Than Believed, New Documents Show

Kids Holocaust

Child survivors of Auschwitz, photographed by the Soviet army

United Nations files documenting the scale of the war crimes committed during the Jewish Holocaust have been sealed for 70 years.

Recently opened, they prove the Allies knew that millions of civilians were being killed and tortured by the Nazis as early as 1942 — two-and-a-half years before the modern narrative assumes.

It’s long been thought that U.K., U.S., and Russian forces only realized the scale of the human rights violations when they discovered and liberated the concentration camps in 1944.

But the records reveal that U.K. Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden made a statement to the British parliament as early as December 1942.

Ernest Hemingway Was A Soviet Spy, Ex-CIA Author’s New Book Claims

Ernest Hemingway Soviet Spy

Lloyd Arnold/Wikimedia CommonsErnest Hemingway at the Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho, late 1939.

He’s perhaps as famous for his adventurous life as he is for his Nobel Prize-winning writing. And now, a new book claims that Ernest Hemingway’s adventures may have included time as a spy for both the United States and the Soviet Union during World War II and into the Cold War.

In Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935-1961, former Marine colonel and CIA officer Nicholas Reynolds discusses Hemingway’s connections with the Soviet People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), forerunner of the KGB, and America’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS), forerunner of the CIA.

As for the former, HISTORY reports, Reynolds marshals evidence that in December 1940 NKVD agents met with Hemingway in New York, gave him the code name “Argo,” and successfully recruited him for intelligence work.

Researchers Uncover Earliest Known Ice Age Cave Art In Indonesia

Pleistocene Cave Art Sulawesi Indonesia Og

Kinez Riza

Archaeologists have uncovered the earliest known cave art and jewelry in Indonesia. Dating back to a prehistoric ice age, these trinkets and pieces of art are roughly 40,000 to 22,000 years old.

Moreover, in research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, the archaeology team states that these prehistoric examples of art reveal the ways in which humanity’s sense of spirituality shifted on its journey across the world.

Find out more here.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.