The Polish government has launched an investigation into the existence of a Nazi treasure train, with a leading cultural official admitting on Thursday he thinks the trove is real.
Two men recently claimed they found the train, which has been missing for 70 years. However, Piotr Zuchowski, the Deputy Culture Minister in Warsaw, warned treasure hunters to not look for the "so-called 'gold train'" because it could be mined and dangerous.
A March 2012 picture showing a part of a subterranean system built by Nazi Germany in what is today Gluszyca-Osowka, Poland
Since the end of the Second World War, Polish legend told of a German train filled with gold, gems and armaments, which disappeared around the city of Walbrzych while retreating from the Red Army in 1945. Explorers have long-looked for the train; during the communist era, the Polish army and security services carried out fruitless searches for it.
This month two men, a Pole and a German, said they found a train with armaments and valuables, leading to hopes it could be that long-lost mystery train. So far no evidence has been offered to the public of the train's existence. However, Zuchowski did hint that there's something to the men's claims and the Culture Ministry announced it would hold a news conference on the topic on Friday afternoon.
Here's what will happen if the Nazi gold is uncovered
"In connection with the published information referring to the find of the so-called 'gold train' in the region of Walbrzych, an increase in the activity of treasure hunters has been observed," Zuchowski said in a statement.
"I am appealing to people to stop any such searches until the end of official procedures leading to the securing of the find. Inside the hidden train — of whose existence I am convinced — there could be dangerous materials from the time of World War II. There is a great chance that the train is mined."
Things that look like Hitler: