Fresh twist in mystery of missing Nazi 'ghost train' full of looted gold
The tale of a legendary Nazi 'ghost train' carrying gold that allegedly disappeared without trace in the dying days of the Second World War has taken a new twist.
Two men have filed a finder's claim with a district council in Poland for what they have described as an "armoured train" carrying precious metals, fuelling speculation that the mysterious train has been located.
The claim was filed in the south-west Polish town of Walbrzych and could put an end to 70 years of rumour, myth and fruitless treasure hunts.
According to local media, two claimants - a Pole and a German - say they have found a 500-foot long "armoured train" with gun platforms and a cargo of "precious metals". The claim was lodged because under Polish law treasure finders can keep 10pc of the value of their find.
It is believed that towards the end of the war, as the Red Army closed in on the city of Wroclaw, Nazis loaded a train with gold and other treasure and sent it south-west.
"Lawyers, the army, the police and the fire brigade are dealing with this," said Marika Tokarska, an official at the Walbrzych council.
"The area has never been excavated before, we don't know what we might find."
According to local legend, the train disappeared after heading into mountains straddling the current Polish-Czech border.
"In the region we actually have two gold train stories," said Joanna Lamparska, a local historian.
"One is supposed to be under a mountain and the other somewhere around Walbrzych. But no one has ever seen documentary evidence confirming the existence of such trains."
Other historians say the Nazis dug miles of tunnels in the south-west mountains of what is now Poland in one of the biggest construction projects in the history of the Third Reich.
The reason for the tunnels is shrouded in mystery, and some believers in the ghost train argue that the Germans may have excavated secret railway stashes and hidden the loot in one of them.
(© Daily Telegraph, London)