48. WWII American Army Lieutenant Ships Medieval Treasure Nazi Spoils Home
Stolen: Eight medieval artifacts, including a jeweled 9th-century illuminated manuscript gospel book, a jeweled printed evangeliary from 1513, and an ivory liturgical comb.
Location: Quedlinburg, Germany
No one wants outsiders coming in and stealing their precious cultural artifacts, so when local clergymen got word that Nazi looters were honing in, they hid a dozen or so pieces in a nearby mineshaft. Enter Joe Meador, the U.S. Army lieutenant assigned with seeking out Nazi resistance fighter supplies once the Germans evacuated the area. His men discovered the mineshaft, and instead of guarding the treasures, Meador casually mailed them home. He never attempted to sell anything he took, and it wasn't until his brother tried to sell them 10 years after Joe Meador's death that the two were charged.