Officials in the Netherlands have launched an investigation after discovering that three Dutch warships that sank in WWII have apparently vanished.
Discovered in 2002 by a diver, the ships were casualties of a legendary 1942 showdown known as the 'Battle of the Java Sea.'
In the midst of planning a 75th anniversary commemoration of the event, a sonar examination of the area revealed that two of the ships had disappeared and a third was stripped of its larger parts.
All that remained of the missing ships were indentations in the sea floor that serve as a ghostly reminder that the vessels had once been there.
It is presumed that the ships were pilfered by surreptitious scavengers that salvage old wrecks for metal and other valuables.
While that may be the case, the disappearance of the ships has been met with deep dismay from Dutch officials as the site had been declared a sacred grave for those who fought and died in the battle.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident as scavengers targeting shipwrecks has been a common occurrence in the area where so many vessels went down during the war.
Source: The Guardian