The Polish governor of the province in which a fabled Nazi train loaded with stolen gold and riches reportedly has been located tried to lower expectations of the discovery.
Tomasz Smolarz, provincial governor of Lower Silesia in south west Poland, also announced that the alleged location of the train car’s discovery has been sealed off in the wake of a surge of treasure hunters and curiosity seekers to the area, Polish Radio reported.
Smolarz said in a news conference Monday in Worclaw that new evidence about the train’s location and its contents “are not any stronger than similar claims made in past decades.”
On Friday, Polish Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski announced he has seen a ground-penetrating radar image indicating that the train, which two unidentified individuals claimed to locate earlier this month, likely exists.
The train is believed to be one that reportedly disappeared in 1945 loaded with gold, gems, art and guns bound for Berlin, one of several trains the Nazis used in an attempt to save their war plunder from the advancing Allies. According to local lore, the train vanished after entering a network of tunnels under the Owl Mountains.
Two men, one German and one Polish, approached government officials in Poland’s southwestern district of Walbrzych earlier this month, claiming to have found the train and demanding a 10 percent finder’s fee.
At a news conference Friday, Zuchowski said he was “more than 99 percent certain that this train exists,” The Associated Press reported.
Zuchowski also said the two men who claim to have found the train learned of its location from a dying individual who had been involved in transporting the train in 1945.
Smolarz said at the news conference that the area where the train is supposed to be located will be secured by police, forest guards and railway security guards. The armed forces will survey the site, he added.
“First and foremost we have to be sure of people’s safety,” Smolarz said. “This is an exceptional situation.”