Found Tanks. Belarus.

From: Nickolay Panov (
Date: Mon Feb 24 2003 - 14:23:34 PST

    Hi all!
    Excuse for my English language. Attention, my telephone number has exchanged!

Steve Grammont writes:
First of all, how are you expecting to find the stuff? Just walk around the countryside of Russia with a metal detector? :-) In order to even go over there someone would have to know of something pretty much for sure. Otherwise it would 99.99999999% chance of being a complete waste of time.
Now, even if you did find something... guess what? It is not yours to do anything with. You would have to go to the host government, inform them exactly what you found and EXACTLY where you found it (I doubt you would have much choice there), and ask for permission to just dig it up. There is also the issue of who owns the land, but that is a whole 'nother ball of wax I am sure. Now, at this point the government can do one of two things:
1. Start an official process of permitting you to remove the item. This will no doubt involve a lot of money, bribes, and near perfect "negotiating" skills. From my indirect experience, Americans and Europeans by default lack the skills. And fully expect to get most, if not all the way through the process, before being informed that there is some "problem" with the paperwork so far and that you will no longer be able to proceed any further (likely without a refund of money spent thus far).
2. Tell you to frig off, then get on the phone to one of their buddies in a nearby military unit. A unit which likely has not been paid in a couple of years in any official or consistant capacity. Said unit negotiates for a cut of the sale and goes over to remove it. You are kindly asked to leave the country.
Or option number 3 would be the combo of the two, using the money they bilk from you to get the ball rolling on #2.
Sorry folks, but it isn't like the former Soviet Union is just a big empty cornfield with a kindly old farmer meeting you in his driveway to strike a deal for things he knows exactly where they are. The current President of my company used to go over to Russia all the time on behalf of the multi-billion dollar company he worked with. He had to deal with several factories owned by former Generals (privatization was not, how shall I say, all that "fair"). After the last time he went he told me that he would never, ever go over there again. No matter how much anybody paid him. He was just never sure if he would come back or come back without a deal that they had already paid something for.
Sorry to look like I am trying to burst bubbles, but yeah... I am :-) I'm no expert or anything, but I know enough to say that unless you already have very strong and personal ties to the powers that be in such countries, forget about ever doing anything there.

    I am very a pity also to me very much переживаю concerning it, but Mr. Steve Grammont <> of the rights concerning businesses in the countries former USSR. But I invite all the wishing people to take part in expeditions of search of the lost vehicles and in rise of the found out vehicles. I invite you to make an excellent adventure. Our club has all state licenses permitting such business in Belarus and Russia. You not should to run and spend a lot of time for decisions it. Our club has spent already many years for reception of all licenses. All financial questions, concerning this business, will be decided separately, according to your desire. The found vehicles (not all) will be offered for sale.

"Buck & Rami Sharp" <> writes:
i do not believe any of us would just go over there and expect anything that is what research is for. i dont just happen to find anything here in the states i halft to do lots of rescherch and do lots of tracking just to find what i do which isn't much but without all of this id be wasting money that i do not have someone would almost halft to know someone in the area of searching and have them help out that's what the finders fee is for as for importing something i do not have the funds but if one of you do i can help out just to say to my grandkids wow i remember digging out a tank or whatever it may be. ive never been anywhere but the states and not many of them. i do not know any other language sorry i have a friend his wife is from Germany would there be anything there?? IM still interested ill help with what i can. does Russia have internet can someone chat and meet someone from there and learn the laws and have them find out the info a guy needs?? maybe we are all crazy.. got way cold here today hope
to go tomorrow and check out a private collectors collection ill get pictures of their stuff and hopefully prices of what they want to sell. back to work i go

    The sirs "Buck & Rami Sharp" <>, I have understood from a little your letter, but, as it seems, sense it I have understood. Not all so is bad. Our club already made the most part of work, it is necessary to make a little. But it cannot be made without your help. We communicate with a little to West and we do not know your requirements, but we are ready to discuss them and to find ways of the decision of all problems. We are open for dialogue. Let's together to build this WORLD. If you are ready to go, I wait for your offers. Ukraine - bad choice for the beginning works. I write it not because I from Belarus, that is why, that I know a real picture of businesses.

"GOTAM35" <> writes:
I have for many years thought it would be so cool to go to north Africa and look for WW2 stuff. Kind of a day dream thing. I always figured Europe was too crowded to find anything good that wasn't already spoken for. I realize the locals in North Africa probably scavenged everything they could years ago, but what about stuff that was too far out in the desert or buried under sand. Are the governments in those areas today something you can work with? I have little money, little time and little sense. But I have lots of crazy ideas. I have already dreamed up a recovery vehicle that could go out to the deep desert and pick stuff up. Anybody got the money?
Seriously, has anyone ever made any real attempts to locate and remove such things. I figure with today's thermal imaging and other high tech things I can't spell, you could find stuff that has been lost since the war. Forget Russia, lets look for booty in the desert.
Just another off the wall thought from, Joe Trapp

    Mr. Joe Trapp, to forget Russia - bad idea. Russia itself will not give it to make. There are two positions. First - unwillingness and laziness, second - desire and work. First will make of the man the monkey, which thinks only of the stomach. Second will make of the simple man of the great man (the man, which has lived on this ground and has left the trace). A choice behind you! Or to be floating on current and to be a ballast in this life. Or to do this life more perfect.

"David Page" <> writes:
A few years ago, myself and several others had this same idea. We got sufficient financial backing to fund the trip, provide equipment accommodation and hire in experts (including ordnance disposal and interpreters, etc.).
We had confirmed locations of a King Tiger in a lake near Budapest, several Panzer III and IV's in the former Eastern Block countries and a few half tracks.
We tried relentlessly for several months to gain permission to carry out surveys using ground penetrating radar and other geophysical methods (all non intrusive) but couldn't get permission. The main problem is that (a) these countries know exactly how collectable these vehicles are, (b) what they are worth as restored vehicles and (c) they are the property of the state/crown and they are quite happy to leave them alone for the time being.
If people are serious about going out and trying again, I still have all the locations as well as contacts in the UK and abroad - let me know and I'll be there!
Best Wishes
Dave Page

    Mr. Dave Page, You made the large work and it is a pity that have not reached result because of bureaucracy. The items listed by you: A, B and C concern to our country also. Difference in one - we shall offer for sale of vehicles, but not all. We do not ask to finance our expeditions, our club offers you to receive an unforgettable adventure. Then to take away film with your participation on this expedition and so on. All your desires will be discussed and, whenever possible, to be decided in your advantage. Others are possible also development of events, all offers will be listened very attentively. I very much want to get acquainted with you and I shall wait E-mail from you.

Walter Keller <> writes:
Cool pics - very sweet condition too.

    Mr. Walter Keller, now this vehicle is capable to go.

Steve Grammont <> writes:
Not sure what you mean, especially because this link was in the original post. I assume you mean who is doing the recovery=3F The pictures say this is in White Russia (Belarus) and everything in this picture does not disagee with that (from the terrain, the soil, the recovery arch, the vehicles, camo jackets, etc.).
=46rom other documented recoveries I have seen it works just like it would here in the US. I could get some guys from a local Army Guards unit to help in a project like this without too much difficulty I would expect. Especially if that unit is an engineering or recovery unit. From what I can tell if you make a good pitch to them to combine community service with practical training, they jump.
In former Soviet Republics this would be the same, but probably some money or other considerations would be exchanged. In other recoveries I have seen documented regular Army units were absolutely involved right alongside of construction crews with civilian heavy equipment.
If someone had a couple million bucks, a good and patient attitude, and a good translator... I am sure you could go to Russia, Ukraine, Poland, or wherever and pretty much take whatever the heck you want. And there would be smiles all around. But that is the bottom line... money. Recently the brutalized remains of a Panther were recovered and sent back to the US from Poland. It can be done, but I am sure it cost him a pretty penny.

    Dear Mr. Steve Grammont, you very much and very much informed man and you are absolutely right in the reasoning. Though this outflow of the information in many respects can damage, but in many respects can and help.

    Dear Mr. Rikk Rogers, I am always grateful for your help. I hope that your problems were finished well!

"GOTAM35" <> writes:
I guess we all want a free German tank, but when reality sinks in I realize that's not going to happen. So here's the question of the day.
If given the opportunity to see, touch and photograph such things, would you? Ownership is nice, but I'll have to say from my point of view that to sit down at the tire store or dentist office and tell a total stranger about the time I got to help pull a Panther or Sherman out of the mud some where far, far away would be reward enough. Most of us work 40 hours a week at a job that is relatively mundane (this list may be THE exception to that statement) and do very little that is unique or extraordinary. That's half the reason I flew on the B-17 and B-25 last year. You don't get to do that every day. I went and toured the facility where the "Hunley" (civil war sub) is stored. These things are rewarding to me. I don't have to own these things to experience them.
With this thought in mind, you don't have to be rich to pull the tank out of the mud. You would have to be rich to take it with you. So, anybody know of anyone that is trying to recover a war relic anywhere in the world that might need a hand?
Joe Trapp
One more question. Does anybody try to bring up stuff like tanks from the ocean? Is there less red tape? Is the stuff so far gone that it is not worth the trouble? Can everybody swim?

    Bravo, Bravo, Bravo!!! I was sure, that the spirit of the present the man has not died yet!!! I am sure, that there are still men, which are ready on the present adventures (about which it is possible will to tell to children)!!! As speak at us in Russia and Belarus - Forward on tanks!!! And we shall take care, that you would not lose the money and have not spent them in the dust-heap.

Dave Merchant <> writes:
This thread brings to mind the MIG-23 sitting on the lawn in front of the Air Force Museum.
The story on the AFM website was slightly edited to omit a few key details:
"It first was sold legally as a display aircraft by a Russian general to a Finnish company, supposedly to obtain funds to feed his troops. The Museum acquired it from the National Air Intelligence Center in 1998."
...apparently the rest of the story is that it was imported into the US by a rich guy, but "his papers weren't in order", and it was confiscated. -Dave Merchant

    Dear Mr. Dave Merchant, from the party, we guarantee that all papers will be made according to our laws. Your laws you should observe. Most important, that we do not demand any advance payment. The payment for a vehicle will be made only after reception by its buyer. Is not any risk for money of the buyer. Mister Kevin Wheatcroft already has bought from our club the half track chassis DB1043. With this purchase he did not have problems. And now it is in his collection. Photos it you can see on a site of a network Mr. Rikk Rogers.

    I would wish to answer to everyone, who has responded to this theme, but I am very much engaged now. Whenever possible I shall answer necessarily. First of all I shall answer everyone, who will be interested in joint business. By the one who wants to arrive to us and to participate in our expeditions. Write, call, we shall do business.
    At once I want to apologize for possible mistakes, our club first (N1) in Former USSR, who tries to do this business officially and at complete support of the state. We shall be grateful for any help. Together with us it is possible to do business and good money. Only it is not necessary to consider us for the fools and to try to deceive. It does not concern any of this list, I simply met such of Western Europe.
    I want to present our general director - Valeriy Semushkin, the executive director - Igor Mazuk his close friend and partner - Igor Deviatnikov. Я - also partner and friend these people and manager on sales. We together have made a lot of works and welcome to us.
    Once again forgive me my English language, but in this case - better bad English language, than good Russian.
Nickolay Panov.
V.Gastinec, 75-86
222310, Molodechno
Republica Belarus
Tel: +375 1773 69404
Tel/fax: +375 1773 54974

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