Last weekend we reported that in the past month two men, a Pole and German, claimed to have discovered the legendary Nazi "gold train" - a 150 meter long German train alleged to be full of gold, gems and weapons, which disappeared just before the end of World War II - in the proximity of the Polish town of Walbrzych, close to where the Nazi are said to have loaded up the train with valuables for its final voyage in the town of Wroclaw, just as the Soviet forces approached in 1945.
As we detailed, the train is said to have been entombed in the vast tunnel labyrinth located close to Ksiaz castle, which served as Nazi headquarters during World War II...
Ksiaz castle, Nazi headquarters during World War II
... and specifically, was said to be located at the foot of the Sowa mountain, in the woods three miles outside the town of Walbrych.
The "gold train" is said to be located under this hill
While many were skeptical that the mystical Nazi treasure train had been finally discovered after many years of searching, an official update last Friday by the Polish government suggested that that may indeed be the case. As the Mail reported on Friday, a representative of the Polish culture ministry, Poland’s National Heritage and Conservation Officer Piotr Zuchowski, said that the man who helped hide the train had revealed its location shortly before he died, and that proof of the train has been observed on radar.
Zuchowski added that "Information about where this train is and what its contents are were revealed on the deathbed of a person who had knowledge of the secret of this train.' He added that Polish authorities had now seen evidence of the train’s existence in a picture taken using a ground-penetrating radar. He said the image - albeit blurred - showed the shape of a train platform and cannons.
Piotr Zuchowski, Poland’s National Heritage and Conservation Officer, confirmed the 'unprecedented' find
Mr Zuchowski said the find was 'unprecedented', adding: 'We do not know what is inside the train. 'Probably military equipment but also possibly jewellery, works of art and archive documents.
'Armored trains from this period were used to carry extremely valuable items and this is an armored train, it is a big clue.' He said authorities were now '99 percent sure the train exists' and whatever is on it will be returned to the rightful owners, if they can be found. 'We will be 100 per cent sure only when we find the train,' Mr Zuchowski added.
The train found in the mountains is an 'armored train' which looks similar to the one pictured
Mr Zuchowski told reporters that the train was about 100 metres long but added: 'It is not possible to disclose the exact location of where the train can be found. Still, he noted cryptically that "The local government in Walbrzych knows where it is."
He explained it is hidden along a 4km stretch of track on the Wroclaw-Walbrzych line.
Mr Zuchowski said the person who claimed he helped load the gold train in 1945 said in a 'deathbed statement' the train is secured with explosives. The official declined to comment further about the man who said this but speculation is now rife that it was a former SS guard or a local Pole who stumbled upon the train before hiding it.
Deputy Mayor of Walbrzych, Zygmunt Nowaczyk told the press: 'The city is full of mysterious stories because of its history. 'Now it is formal information - we have found something.'
Key excerpts from the press conference by the Polish official can be seen on the Euronews clip below:
The confirmation of the discovery unleashed a surge of treasury hunters, and forced the Polish government to warn the population to stop looking because it could be booby-trapped and dangerous. Zuchowski said "foragers" have become active since two people claimed to have discovered the train last week and urged eager fortune-hunters to stop searching, saying they risk injury or death.
Zuchowski adds that "there may be hazardous substances dating from the Second World War in the hidden train, which I'm convinced exists. I am appealing to people to stop any such searches until the end of official procedures leading to the securing of the find. There's a huge probability that the train is booby-trapped.'
If anything, tthese warnings are sure to unleash an even more aggressive wave of seekers now that the train's existience has been confirmed, and the government is actually warning seekers to be careful in their search.
But perhaps what is more interesting is just what the discovery, which would be straight out of an Indiana Jones sequel, will contain, and whether someone already got to the precious cargo over the past 7 decades. The answer should be made public shortly.