Man Buys Old Tank On eBay, Realizes Who The Real Owner Was



He bravely reached inside the tank to check. He was the first person to find this treasure and wanted to see everything first. His hand grazed something cold, and he quickly yanked his hand out in surprise.

Nick wondered if there were more valuable artifacts in the tank. He wasn’t concerned about fame or fortune; he had always had a genuine interest in tanks since he was a boy.

A Battle Man


Mr. Nick Mead was as regular a guy as any other. He was born and raised in Northampton, England. Although living in a quiet neighborhood, there was one particular loud hobby of Nicks. 

Mr. Mead had a profound interest in  Army Vehicles, particularly WarTanks, and actually collected old Armoured Vehicles. This always made him stand out with his friends. 

 Wartime Craze  

Carters News Agency

Nick’s passion quickly grew into an obsession. And he quickly began to acquire more and more collectible vehicles. But this came with a hefty price tag. Collecting tanks and other wartime vehicles were not the cheapest hobby around. Mr. Meads’s childhood hobby grew into an adult craze. And now he could afford to buy any collectible vehicle he desired. It was an expensive hobby to have.

Nick started to realize that he was spending more money than making. His collection was a splendid treasure, but he was the only person ever to see them. This led him to a bright idea to create purpose from his passion.

 This Business Means War


Nick decided to make some money off his treasured collection. Although old army vehicles were not the latest form of entertainment, he had an idea that just may spark interest in the general public.

After a few weeks of preparation and planning, Tanks A Lot was born. Nick’s brilliant idea of offering the community rides in the re-serviced veteran war vehicles was a raging success. He became popular. But one day, he found something that surprised him.

 Treasured Tank 


Nick was doing his weekly eBay check when he saw something rare. He found a vehicle listing for an old Soviet T-54. This was a rare collector’s item tank, and Nick was desperate to have it.

He immediately contacted the seller. The man was waiting for a better offer and would not give in so easily. Nick had some convincing to do if he wanted this item.


War History Online

Nick’s fame came as a disadvantage in this situation when the seller found out who he really was. He knew Nick had various Collectors Items and wanted something else in return.

It took Nick over a week to make a decision, but he finally agreed to the sellers’ hefty terms. In exchange for the T-54, he had to give away two of his most valuable vehicles. Nick was disappointed, but then he found something the young seller didn’t know was there.

 Hidden Secrets


Nick was well-read about warfare. He had seen that tanks were used to also transport various goods and wealth during war times.

The T-54 was one of the most commonly used vehicles in the Iraq-Iran war. It is durable and large enough for a few people. Nick was happily surprised at what he found in one of the fuel canisters.

A Deadly Find 


Nick is a seasoned veteran and knows how to follow the proper protocol and safety checks for war vehicles. His team assisted him in scouring the vehicle all over for anything unusual.

After a few days after the tank’s arrival, his team helped him dismantle a few fuel canisters. One seemed broken. Nick removed it with difficulty, and when he opened it, he did not expect to see what he had done.


Tanks A Lot

Reams and reams of old bullets fell from within the canister. Nick was astounded at the hidden arsenal. He also was cautious of it. Hundreds of metal bullets fell to the floor with musical chimes as though they were happy to be released. Nick was shocked and stepped back, afraid that the bullets could still be active.

Nick carefully place the bullets aside. These were sensitive pieces of war memorabilia that shouldn’t be tampered with. He knew that this tank was special. He then went straight to the police to declare his find.


Tanks A Lot

He also knew that this could turn into something astronomically big for him and his company, so he decided to start filming his progress with his mechanic, Todd Chamberlain. His mechanic friend was so happy at his friend’s luck. He went on about how great this would be for business and started recording the tank’s hidden find.

Todd said that he would help Nick with everything. He wanted to record the whole tank as proof just in case anybody didn’t believe them. He was right to do so because what he found next was even better than the bullets.

There Must Be More

Wonderful Engineering

Nick knew there must be more hidden within the tank. As such, he and his staff went to town to search every nook and cranny of the vehicle. 

He couldn’t afford for the old arsenal to be left within the tank. If a civilian became maimed by something he had missed inside the vehicle, he would be held accountable. And so, the great search began. But Nick was not prepared for what was found next.

 Not Ready For This

Tanks A Lot

Finding the next bit of hidden treasure wasn’t as hard as Nick thought. The team came across another faulty fuel canister. But this was different from the one before. It took two staff members to pry the canister off of its holding bracket with crowbars. 

This canister seemed to weigh a ton. Quickly, Nick bore a hole in the bottom of the fuel tank to see if he could reach inside. He thought he’d find guns to accompany the hidden bullets he had found earlier. But this tank held a far richer keep.

 A Hidden Fortune

Public Domain

As Nick slid his hand across the smooth surface, he got an instant thrill. Quickly, he latched onto the bar and pulled it out of the canister. This discovery sent him reeling. In his hand, Nick held a gleaming gold bullion. 

He absolutely could not believe his luck! Nick marveled at the bar and showed it to the team. Their eyes grew wide as they jolted into action, feeling encouraged and inspired. 


Tanks A Lot

Each of them grabbed a crowbar and tackled the heavy canister together. Their strength doubled with the adrenaline of the incredible moment. 

On the count of three, they hoist the canister out to see what else was hidden within. And this is when things began to really heat up. With every second, they were closer to a discovery that would change their lives forever.

 More Than Meets The Eye

Daily Mail

One of Nick’s engineers began to reach into the fuel tank. And it seemed every time his hand came out, it was holding another bullion. 

In total, the tank contained five gold bars! This was estimated to cost a whopping $2.4 million. Nick was baffled by the monumental find. But now, he was plagued by his conscience. What would he do with this treasure?

 Real Gold!

Public Domain

First, Nick had to make sure that what he found was real. Although it sure felt and looked real, he had to be sure. So, he grabbed a weighing scale and nervously set them down. 

It was as expected, each gold bar weighed about twelve pounds. These were definitely not fake. Nick really had found 2.4 million pounds worth of gold! But could he keep them?

 Finders Keepers?

Carters News Agency

Everything in Nick’s being wanted to hold on to the bars. But he knew this was not a morally sound decision, nor a safe one. If he kept ownership of the bars, he would put his business and family at great risk. 

He would be a target for crime should anyone learn of his fortune. As such, Nick decided to call the local police force. But still, he needed to know what would become of the bars.

 Telling All

Public Domain

Nick brought the gold bars to the police station the next day and told them everything about his discovery. He brought his camera to record this conversation too. 

With a find this huge, he wanted to make sure he had proof of everything. He watched as the police gasped and stared in shock at Nick’s story. But what they said next made Nick suspicious. 

 Debating Proceedings 


They asked Nick for the details of its previous owner and said that the first thing they should do is try to determine who actually owns the gold bars.

Nick agreed but also thought that the previous owner could claim he owned the gold bars if he wanted to. But it was obvious he never knew they were there. The canister wasn’t opened for a very long time after all. He braced himself for a legal battle.

A Mysterious Owner

Daily Mail

Nick was given a receipt by the police, who then took the bars into police custody. The authorities would try and find the rightful owners of the goods. But what would happen should the previous owner or no one claim them at all? 

Nick wasn’t sure. But still, for safekeeping, he kept the receipt of the bars in a bank vault. Authorities came back with a baffling theory on who the previous owners may be.


War History Online

Luckily his legal battle never came. The police explained the previous owner was shocked at the find but didn’t dare claim the gold as his own. Instead, they had another wild theory. 

The police shared the news that Nick sure was not ready for. They speculated that the owner of the gold may have been Saddam Hussein himself!

 What Will Happen? 


The police told Nick that his type of tank was favored by the war veteran during the Iraq-Iran war. Plus, Saddam Hussein’s troops were known to pillage the rich Persian Gulf.

That would explain the gold and how it got there. But for how long were they there, and how could they have been left there by the troops? This is where the story got wilder.

 The Backstory

Hurriyet Daily News

The Iran-Iraq war was a protected armed conflict that began in 1980 when Iraq invaded its neighbor, Iran. The war lasted eight years and ended with a cease-fire in 1988 and a formal peace agreement in 1990.

Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s president at the time, wanted to seize control of the rich oil-producing Iranian border region of Khuzestan. But once they started attacking the oil-tanker shipping that supplied the rest of the world, the US and Europe got involved to ensure a steady flow to the rest of the world. But what about the gold?

 Gold Origins

The gold is thought to be Kuwaiti in origin—Iraqi forces engaged in wide-scale looting of the country after the August 1990 invasion of Kuwait. 

Six months after the end of the war, Iraqi authorities returned 3,216 gold bars under UN supervision. But obviously, 5 bars escaped the authorities and through incredible odds, ended up in the hands of Nick. 

 The Legend Continues

Daily Mail

Nick was not only involved in a discovery of a lifetime but now felt even more connected to his life’s mission of collecting and repurposing old war tanks, as well as the Iraq-Iran war.

Even though he has the most incredible story to tell, he was still left with one crucial question. Who did the gold actually belong to?


National Collective

That’s still a mystery, and it seems like it might remain so, at least for the time being. But in the meantime, Nick has an awesome story to tell.

However, this is not the first time someone inadvertently encounters something of inestimable worthwhile looking for a bargain on eBay. That’s what happened to Mike Colquhoun, a man from Edinburgh whose eBay purchase came with what he least expected.

 Mike Colquhoun

The Herald

Mike Colquhoun, aged 37, had been living in Edinburgh for his entire life. After attending Edinburgh College of Art, he remained in his city, building a successful career in marketing and communications.

To anyone who knew him, Ross might have seemed like he had his life perfectly together. But that was far from the truth.

 Mike’s Story 

Royal Television Society

Not many people were aware of it, but Mike’s background had little to do with how his life was now. His path to adulthood and success had been everything but a path strewn with roses.

Growing up, things weren’t easy at home. His family situation was very different to that of his peers, and he was always aware of that.

 Fatherless Child

Public Domain

Mike grew up without a father. He never really knew what happened between his mother and father until he was well into his late teens.

After finding out, he couldn’t help but harbor resentment toward his father for years. However, in time he would learn that it wasn’t all as black and white as it may have seemed.

His Mom Was The Mistress

Public Domain

What his mom Alice had told him was this: when she and Mike’s dad met, he was a married man, and she became his mistress. He was a wealthy attorney and she was a working-class girl.

Time and time again, Mike’s dad would promise his mom that he was about to divorce his wife, who couldn’t conceive, to marry her. The situation went on for years until Alice conceived Mike.

Unclear Story


Mike never knew clearly whether his parents actually intended for him to be conceived. Alice always said she was always the one insisting to Mike’s father about having kids, but she would have never dared scheming to get pregnant without talking to her man first.

Sometimes, her story seemed to hint that the pregnancy was an accident; others, she said that they had been talking about having kids for a while. So for years, Mike was left in the dark about this.

He Disappeared


But shortly after Alice became pregnant with Mike, the man disappeared from her life without a trace. Even though she tried to reach him for almost two years, she finally gave up.

She even said that even if the man tried to come back into their lives, she would never entertain the possibility. She harbored too much anger, too much resentment for what he had done to her and Mike.

A Tough Childhood


Naturally, she passed on the same resentment to Mike. It wasn’t easy to grow up without a father: although he couldn’t say he ever wanted for anything, his mom’s measly officer cleaner salary could only cover the strictly necessary.

But that wasn’t all. The worst part was the feeling of loneliness derived from not having a male figure to look up to in his childhood and adolescence.

 A Void

Public Domain

However, this didn’t stop Mike from putting in the effort and drive to achieve a good, fulfilling life. Now, he had a successful career, a loving wife, and hoped to become a father soon and give his son everything he didn’t have growing up.

However, he always felt that void inside of him. No matter how hard he tried to repress it, he always felt like something was lacking. Until one day.


The Picture Place

Ever since he was a kid, Mike was a soccer aficionado. He knew all of Britain’s clubs’ history and all sorts of trivia and facts about historic players. 

He also enjoyed collecting soccer memorabilia and browsing on eBay for new pieces for his collection. One evening, he found something that instantly piqued his interest. He still didn’t know that there was more to it than it seemed.

Collector’s Item

Public Domain

One day, Mike found some programmes and team sheets of a Hearts of Midlothian  Liverpool 2012 game. Instantly, he purchased it.

“I’ve always had an affinity with Liverpool because one of the few facts I knew about my Dad’s Mum was that she was from Liverpool,” he explains. He could have never suspected where his purchase would take him.

His Dad

Public Domain

It was his own father who was selling the item. This is how Mike recounts it on a post he made on his social media:

“Just before the pandemic started, without knowing, I bought something on eBay from my Dad, who I’ve never met. He refunded it. Two years later, it’s started me on a journey to get to know my family that I didn’t grow up with. And tonight I met my sister Erin for the first time.”

Life Affirming Experience


“We laughed, we cried, and we shared stories. It felt like we’d known each other our entire lives. I was extremely nervous, but it was an absolutely beautiful and life-affirming experience.”

“We talked about our lives and experiences, which seem remarkably similar. Erin studied at Glasgow School of Art, whereas I attended Edinburgh College of Art.” But why did they never know about each other?

 The True Story

As Mike’s dad told him, Erin came to his and Alice’s lives one year before Mike was born. However, the man was still haunted by doubts and remorse about what he was doing to his wife.

Eventually, he decided to end things with Alice. She agreed on one condition: to adopt Erin as her daughter so she could have a nice, prosperous life, letting her keep Mike.



Eventually, things faded out between Alice and Mike’s dad. The two of them had been too afraid of telling their children the truth, but Mike’s dad couldn’t deal with regret. So when he found his son’s profile on eBay he decided to reach out and make up for his mistakes.

“The trepidation is still there, but I’m really looking forward to meeting the family members I’ve yet to meet,” Mike says.

In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.