Monday, 11 June 2007

Secret in the Vault

A red-footed wallaby kicked off one of the most mysterious stories in recent Australian history. Bank manager David Sloane was killed instantly when a wallaby jumped in front of his car at dusk causing him to crash on May 12th 2002. A few weeks after his death, Sloane's grieving wife Laura confessed to two close friends that David had an apparent secret. His bank in Preston, Northern Territory had just 1600 customer accounts, but in its vault lay an item which could rewrite the accepted archaeological history of Australia - a large silver vessel judged to date from 900-1000 AD.

Mrs Sloane had listened to her husband talk about the treasure on many occasions, but had feared he was the victim of a fraud. Word of the story leaked, and Mrs Sloane went AWOL as the newspapers and television treated the story with a mixture of seriousness and derision. The bank steadfastly refused to comment. However, the reports were said to have been taken seriously enough to be the subject of four private meetings called by the Australian Parliament in January and February 2003, the details of which will not be made public till at least 2028.
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