Inspired by true events, many years of research and drawing on a lifetime’s tracking, hunting and prediction skills, Vanished weaves together fact and fiction to create an engrossing tale of subterfuge, murder and revelation. The incredible twists and turns of the narrative reveal what went on during the Jena operation.
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June 24th, 1945, the final days of WWII.
A large United States Army Road Convoy is evacuating 1 300 German civilians from the city of Jena in Thuringia, Germany, to Heidenheim, 380 km to the southwest. Eminent academics, scientists and industrialists are being moved out of what would soon become Russian occupied East Germany. En route to Heidenheim, fourteen trucks from that convoy, carrying 80 000 pieces of laboratory equipment and technical drawings from the world-renowned Carl Zeiss optics company, go missing. The current value in lost property, intellectual capital, research and industrial advantage from that time is estimated in billions of US dollars.
Military convoys are designed and conducted not to lose vehicles. But this one did. Competent investigators and academics, and powerful organisations have searched for those lost trucks and their crews over the years. Yet the lost people and property’s fate remains a mystery to this day. Was this major war-time crime one of the largest heists in history?