The search is on for a “ghost” train from the Nazi era that potentially carries millions worth of gold, gems and other treasures.
Searchers were led to the site of the excavation in southwestern Poland by two men who claim they found the train, long rumored to exist but with little more information about its exact whereabouts. The men, who want 10 percent of the profit of any valuables found aboard, said last year they had “irrefutable proof” the decades-old train was stuck in a network of secret tunnels in Walbrzych.
The area was part of Germany during World War II but is now a part of Poland. Polish folklore alleges the “armored” train disappeared as Soviet forces invaded the area, sending German soldiers running. An estimated 500 feet long, it supposedly went missing in 1945 in the tunnel network the Nazis never finished.
Some say the train, which also reportedly carries artwork, historical artifacts and documents, never existed. But authorities in the region said they believe the two men who said last year their "own resources, eyewitness testimony, and our own equipment and skills” led them to discover it.
"We believe that a train has been found," said Walbbrzych District Governor Marika Tokarska last year. "We are taking this seriously."
Nazis looted art and other cultural artifacts during their time in power, with most plunder taking place during World War II. Exact contents of the ghost train, like its very existence, are disputed.
Some reports say the train isn’t actually in the tunnels, but is buried underground. Previous quests to locate it have been unsuccessful and the current search is expected to take several days.