Picture this: It’s dark and bitterly cold — negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit, let’s say — and you’re bundled up walking through a remote city in Siberia with a flashlight. Perhaps you have a thermos containing a piping hot (and potentially alcoholic) beverage in the cupholder of your backpack. Oh, and your backpack is extremely heavy…as if there are gold bars in there.
Your mood? Ecstatic.
This may sound like bollocks; however, local residents of Yakutsk, Russia this week flocked to the local airport in a frenzy amid reports that USD $156 million of gold bars had fallen from a Soviet-era plane down onto the runway and bushes surrounding the airport.
The Antonov AN-12’s lower hatch was accidentally forced open during takeoff, releasing more than nine tons of precious metal worth a reported $156 million, according to Russia’s Investigative Committee. The reports spread quickly on social media, prompting locals to head to the airport to collect the bounty.
As it turned out, the bars were actually doré, a composite of both gold and silver. Still, not a bad take for a night’s walk in the woods. It remains unclear if any were fortunate enough to find some. Reports stated that any who did and failed to report their find would be prosecuted. However, an Instagram video from a local posted today shows that people are still scouring the fields, so many still seem to believe in finders keepers.