According to the Gospel of John, after Jesus Christ had been crucified, Roman soldiers planned to hasten his death by breaking both of his legs. Before proceeding, however, they noticed that he appeared to have already died. To make sure, one soldier took his lance and pierced the side of Jesus and "and immediately there came out blood and water."
That lance, called the "Spear of Destiny" or "Holy Lance" has since glided through history as an artifact of massive interest. Whether the story or the item itself is real is unknown, but that hasn't stopped man from claiming time and again to have proof of its existence — or from pursuing the supposedly unparalleled magic power granted to whomever possesses it.
Last night, the History Channel premiered Season Two of its hit series "Brad Meltzer's Decoded," which profiles a "historical enigma, an unproven rumor, or a story with a puzzling outcomes. The focus this time was the Spear of Destiny and those famous and infamous who have searched for it, in particular Adolf Hitler.
The leader of the Third Reich was reportedly obsessed with finding the relic, and may have actually succeeded. According to Meltzer and his crew, German members of the occult wanted Hitler to secure the spear because it would not only make him undefeated in battle, but also solidify support from his base as the true world leader.
If Hitler really did find the spear, it seems its powers were overestimated, since we all know how World War II ended. But who has it now?
One version of the story has the weapon eventually falling into the hands of U.S. General George Patton. Another says that the lance on display in Vienna is a fake planted by Hitler, who had the real one shipped to Antarctica and hidden along with other Nazi treasures. According to one researcher, it may not be in the hands of a "Nazi secret society."
Either way, in light of this History Channel special, interest is high. If yours is piqued, check out the full episode from Wednesday night's premier over at the official site here.