22. WHO'S GOT THE GOLD?

Was Fort Knox robbed of thousands of tons of gold?

This incredible story focuses on some 165.1 million ounces of gold which the United States allegedly lost between 1961 and 1971.

In a London Sunday Express article, which appeared on December 13, 1981, the writer quoted Dr. Peter Beter who believes the theft occurred in the late 1960s when the United States, a leading member of the London Gold Pool agreement, transferred 233.4 million ounces from Fort Knox to the Federal Reserve Bank in New York and London's Bank of England. Dr.. Beter was a financial adviser to the late President John Kennedy and a legal adviser to the American Gold Association and the American Export-Import Bank, according to the report.

According to the article, 23.1 million ounces were accounted for at the Federal Reserve Bank while another 45.2 million ounces arrived safely in England. The destination of the remaining 165.1 million ounces is unknown and Dr. Beter states that attempts to learn what happened have been "stonewalled" by treasury officials.

Jerry Nisenson, Deputy Director of Gold Market Activities at the Treasury Department, said: "We have investigated the claims of Dr. Beter and his supporters and we contend that the gold was not stolen. There is no cover-up. They have misinterpreted our books. The gold was being refined into better quality gold and those ounces just went up the chimney."

Edward Durell, identified as an Ohio industrialist, sheep farmer, and active Republican, supported Dr. Beter's claims, saying he believes the gold was shipped abroad, probably "to the Bank of England, and from there to an unknown destination."

The possibility of irregularities at the U.S. Assay Office in New York, through which all the gold was shipped, was noted in a brief item in Money, in January, 1980: "Loser: The Treasury Department, which reported $1 million in gold missing from the U.S. Assay Office in New York in 1978. The department said the federal investigators 'just could not tell what happened'."

The "missing gold" issue has been a hot one in America's conservative press but not widely publicized elsewhere. The apparent failure of the U.S. government to either prove that the gold is not missing or to explain what happened to it qualifies this for nomination as a "best censored" story of 1981.

SOURCES:

London Sunday Express, 12/13/81, "U.S. Probes 'Fort Knox Robbery'," by David Markham; Money, 1/80, "Loser: The Treasury Department;" Silver and Gold Report, an independent newsletter, 7/81, "Is Our Gold Still in Fort Knox?".