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No Nazi Train Filled With Gold, Experts Say

Last summer, officials in Poland thought they had located a long-lost Nazi train that, as legend had it, was filled with gold and hidden in an underground tunnel. Now, new information from a team of experts makes it look that the train is just a myth after all.

As we reported in August, "Poland's Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski said authorities were led to a spot by an unnamed individual and that images obtained from ground-penetrating radar [had] left him '99 percent convinced' that the treasure train has been located."

On Tuesday, however, a team of researchers from Krakow University of Science and Technology used "magnetic and gravitation methods" to determine the train does not exist.

"There may be a tunnel," Janusz Madej, leader of the team, said according to The New York Times. "But there is no train."

Piotr Koper and Andreas Richter, the two men who claimed to have located the train in Walbrzych, Poland, a small town near the country's southwest border with Germany and the Czech Republic, say otherwise.

"There can't be a mistake," Koper said Tuesday, according to the newspaper.

The Guardian reports that one thing that has kept rumors of the gold train alive is that "Hitler had established a secret command centre linked by tunnels to the Owl Mountains south-east of the city."

"Hitler's command centre, known as Riese, did exist in the Owl Mountains, though it is not clear that it was ever used. Tunnels survive and amateur treasure hunters are still uncovering more of them. Thousands of prisoners of war died in the excavation work to create the tunnel network."

Government authorities and self-anointed explorers have searched for decades for the fabled train. Now, the Times reports, local Walbrzych authorities have to decide whether they will continue with the next step of the search process, which includes drilling into the ground to use cameras to find out what is underground.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.