Polish officials searching for a lost Nazi gold train may have found the vehicle but its contents are as yet unknown. The announcement comes after two men approached Polish authorities claiming to have found the train in the Owl Mountains near the city of Walbrzych, and demanded a 10 per cent cut to reveal its whereabouts.
Pawel Zuchowski, a vice minister in Poland's culture ministry told reporters he was "convinced" of the existence of the train, but urged amateur treasure hunters who have flocked to the area in the wake of the men's demand to abandon their search out of safety concerns.
"I appeal to people looking for the train to stop until official proceedings to make the find safe have finished," said Zuchowski. "There is a high probability the train is mined." He added that the train was a military vehicle, and there was the possibility it contained dangerous materials.
Since the Second World War stories have circulated in Walbrzych of a train full of Nazi gold which vanished without a trace near the city towards the end of the war. It was reportedly loaded with treasure in the city of Wroclaw as the Soviet Red Army approached but never reached Walzbrych.
Its rumoured destination was the Project Riese tunnels built by slave labour in the mountains during the Second World War, which experts believe were intended to function as underground armaments factories safe from Allied bombing.
"The city [of Walbrzych] is full of mysterious stories because of its history," the town's deputy mayor Zygmunt Nowaczyk told journalists at a press conference on Tuesday (August 26) night. "Now it is formal information — [we] have found something."
Speaking to the Telegraph, Arkadiusz Grudzien, a spokesman for Walbrzych council's legal office, said that a letter from the lawyer of the two men who claimed to have found the train did not give its exact location, but said there was "no doubt" that it is within the local government's district.
He said there is no indication of what is on board it yet. "The train is of a military nature - there is no mention of valuables, just military equipment."