Stella Parker, owner of the Barnardos charity shop in Porthmadog, Wales, made a startling discovery while sifting through a pile of books contained in a battered old suitcase.
“All the lining of the suitcase was ripped, as I went through the case I noticed this paper behind the lining.
When I took it out I could see it was plans of a submarine,” Ms. Parker said, as cited by the Daily Post.
What she unearthed were indeed plans for the now decommissioned nuclear submarine HMS Trafalgar, which was launched way back in 1981.
It was the first Royal Navy submarine to launch Tomahawk missiles against the Taliban during the Afghanistan conflict in 2001.
The Trafalgar was also involved in two grounding incidents in 1996 and 2002, both of which took place off the coast of Scotland, near the Isle of Skye. The grounding in July 1996 caused £5 million ($6.1 million) worth of damage, the Mirror reports.
Unfortunately for Park, plans for the Trafalgar class submarine have already been declassified.
Park took the plans to celebrity antiques dealer David Dickinson, who was filming his ‘Real Deal’ television show in the nearby village of Penygroes. He offered £40 for the plans, but Parker has decided to auction them off instead.
“He told me it was the map used by the men to help find themselves around the sub. If they had been the real blueprints they would have been worth a lot more,” she told the Daily Post.