Two men in Poland claim to have found a long-forgotten Nazi train filled with treasure whose existence was long thought to be a myth, the Associated press reported today.
The two men, one German and one Polish, are demanding 10 percent of the train's value in exchange for telling authorities its location near the city of Walbrzych, in western Poland. The train's existence, which has never been definitively proven, has long been part of popular Polish mythology since the end of World War II.
Marika Tokarska, an official at the Walbrzych district council, told the AP today that they believe the men's claim is authentic and that they "are taking this information seriously," partially due to the fact that the men hired lawyers. Authorities have agreed to pay the reward for the train if the men give them its location, according to the AP.
Tokarska told CNN that the train's value could be "well over a million dollars."
Polish authorities have already met with the heads of the local military, police and fire departments to investigate the claim, Tokarska told CNN. The site of the train could be dangerous, Tokarska added, because it is likely filled with methane and possibly unexploded bombs.
According to Polish myth, the 490-foot train was believed to have left Wroclaw (then Breslau) in 1945 and disappeared sometime during its 40-mile journey through the mountains to the city of Walbrzych. The Nazis had constructed a system of underground tunnels in the region, when it was under German control, to transport materials during World War II. They later closed the underground tunnels and stations when the war ended, possibly sealing off stolen treasure." A lawyer for the men compared the discovery of the train to the "wreck of the Titanic" on a Polish radio station, said the AP.
Some are skeptical as to whether the two treasure hunters' claim is genuine, considering that no one has managed to find the "ghost" train in the 70 years since its disappearance.
"We have had a lot of stories like that in the last few years with people claiming they know where the train is," historian Joanna Lamparska said to the AP. "But nothing was ever found."
The potential discovery of the gold-filled train comes a month after scientists found the undiscovered remains of 86 Jews that had been gassed by the Nazis in the French city of Strasbourg.
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