Old Cargo container yields $2 million surprise to a Nova Scotia man

Nova Scotia businessman bought $400 old cargo container, 10 years later he finds jet engine inside it worth $2 million

Life throws up fortunate  surprises and John Wilson from Nova Scotia is no exception. For 10 years, Wilson thought the cargo container he was using as a bridge was empty. Now, when he opened it, he discovered a $2-million engine inside.

“When I saw that jet engine in there, oh my gosh, that’s the first thing that come to my head — I’m going to jail,” said Wilson, of Bridgetown, N.S.

Wilson’s story began in mid-1990s when he bought a old cargo container for $400. Wilson said the engines on a Canadian destroyer, HMCS Athabaskan were replaced during a refit in 1994. The old engines were completely overhauled and placed in sealed cargo containers. Eventually, the containers were advertised in the Annapolis Valley buy-and-sell flyer, as empty.

Wilson on the other hand needed something to use as a bridge on his property, picked one of the containers up for $400. He never bothered to open it. When he finally did, he also found the service log book for the Pratt & Whitney turbine.

“Everybody wanted the book — the military police wanted the book, Pratt & Whitney  wanted the book — and I found out without the book it can’t be sold,” Wilson said.

Wilson believes he’s the rightful owner and has been trying to sell his find online for months. He said it will likely end up in the United States, where a prospective buyer hopes to use it as a five-megawatt power generator.

Wilson says that he will be happy if he gets $30,000 for the engine, though the market price for such pristine turbines is $2 million according to reports.

Wilson says that the buy-and-sell company was selling seven more containers like the one he bought years ago. Now that he knows what’s inside, he’s kicking himself for only buying another one.

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