One of the great unsolved mysteries of the Second World War may be one step closer to being uncovered as engineers start surveying a railway embankment in south-western Poland to establish how to dig out what could very well be the infamous Nazi ‘gold train’.
According to local legend, the area is criss-crossed with secret tunnels that were linked to Hitler’s Project Riese – a top-secret programme for developing ‘Wunderwaffe’ (magic weapons) including atomic bombs and anti-gravity propulsion – an area the Nazis had to close off as they were forced into retreat.
The site, on the outskirts of Walbrzych will be checked with magnetic field detectors, thermal imaging cameras and radars. It has been under police guard since August when Piotr Koper, a 44-year-old builder and his friend, German-born Andreas Richter, showed the authorities images they had taken with a £7,000 ground-penetrating radar kit.
The two men have hired a lawyer and applied to the Polish treasury for a reward of 10 per cent of the value of whatever is uncovered as they are well out of pocket having self-funded all their research to date.
We’ve worked for four years to get to the bottom of legends that have flown around our city for 70 years. It has become a fascination. We do not know what is inside, only that it is armoured, which suggests a precious cargo.
However, they are not the only ones keen to profit from the potential discovery. Other residents of Walbrzych, a run-down coal mining town with around 20 per cent unemployment, are already cashing in.The city now has a Gold Train Car Wash, a Gold Train Skoda dealership and a line in souvenirs including fridge magnets, stickers, bags and gold ingot paperweights. The local museum even has a waiting list for gold train mugs.
Opinion is divided on exactly what could be contained within the buried train but local carpenter, part-time explorer and full time legend Krzysztof Szpakowsk (pictured above) is convinced there is treasure within:
There is something on that train that was intended for Riese. We only know five per cent of what went on in this part of the world.