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Man believes he found lost Nazi loot on Galveston beach

Christopher Davis has been combing the beaches of Galveston for years but nothing he's found compares to what he found washed up on Memorial Day weekend.

GALVESTON, Texas — The next time you’re walking on the sand in Galveston, remember to keep your eyes open wide because you never know what you’re going to find.

Christopher Davis has been combing the beaches of Galveston for years.

"Mainly sea beans, old bones, unfortunately, old coke bottles," Davis said about the things he has found.

None of those things are as unusual as what he located in San Luis Pass in late May.

"As I was going along, I noticed in that pile," he said "Hey, there’s one of those bundles."

And there it was -- a giant hunk of dark-brown rubber covered in barnacles with an ungodly smell.

"It was horrible," Davis said. "A horrible stench."

To say he was excited would be an understatement.

"I feel like a kid in a candy store with an unlimited budget," Davis said.

He knew exactly what it was. Serendipitously, the discovery was made on Memorial Day weekend. Davis had heard stories about pieces of Nazi loot lost during World War II washing up on Texas beaches. One had been found on the Padre Island National Seashore back in March.

In 1944, a German blockade runner called the SS Rio Grande was spotted by American ships off the coast of Brazil. The USS Omaha and USS Jouet fired on the Nazi ship, sending it and its cargo three miles down to the bottom of the ocean. The entire loot remained there until about three years ago when the floating bales of rubber started washing ashore. What makes the find even more exciting are the tales of Nazi treasure they may contain.

"I think the gold came from the fact that a lot of people think that he (Adolph Hitler) would escape to Argentina," Davis said. "And so, he was packing the gold for him to have when he made it there, if he made it there."

Weighing more than 300 pounds, Davis had to call in for backup to get the bale off the beach.

"So, I called my friend Joe, I said, 'Come down here now, we’re going to load this up in the Jeep, take it back to the house and start cutting it open," Davis said.

Their effort didn’t result in gold, though, only more of that nasty smell.

"Yeah, we were at that point like maybe we should just take this back to the beach and give it back to mother nature," Davis said.

Davis said he’s contacted a few footwear companies with hopes of giving away the Nazi rubber so that it could find a more useful purpose.

"Nobody really wanted to clean an 80-year-old chunk of rubber to try to make sandals out of it," Davis said.

Since there haven’t been any takers, he’s been busy cutting cubes from the hunk of rubber, and giving the blocks to friends. But he’s not done yet. If anything, discovering the stinky load of latex has left Davis wanting to find more.

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