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Oz fans eagerly wait as scuba divers search lake for long-missing ruby slippers


Could one of the "Holy Grails" of Hollywood history be sitting on the bottom of a lake in Cohasset, Minnesota?

That question – whether the burglar (or burglars) who stole a pair of Dorothy's "Wizard of Oz" ruby slippers and threw them into the Tioga Mine Pit a decade ago – could be answered Friday.

For the second day in a row, Itasca County dive teams will search the bottom of the pit for the legendary shoes, an event coinciding with the annual Wizard of Oz Festival in nearby Grand Rapids – birthplace of star Judy Garland.

Two dives were scheduled for Friday, one at 10 a.m. and another at 1 p.m., according to a schedule of events at the now-underway celebration of all things Oz.

The first day of diving turned up no sign of the shoes, but according to the Northland's News Center, it did draw a crowd of spectators.

The scuba divers have their work cut for them – the "pit" covers 51 square acres and is 225 feet deep, Lake Link says.

So why this particular waterhole? Per a CNN report, a "long-held local rumor" says the stolen shoes were thrown into the lake in a sealed container (one hopes so, as water damage might eat into the pair's estimated $2 million value).

The pair, one of five used in the production of the film, were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum (site of the Oz fest) in 2005 in what was described as a "relatively simple burglary."

They were on loan to the museum at the time, and despite investigations by Grand Rapids Police and private sleuths in the years since, they remain somewhere over the rainbow.

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