Two men claiming to have found Nazi gold train appear on Polish TV
Two men have appeared on Polish TV saying they are the finders of a Nazi train said to be laden with gold - a claim that came as the military inspected the alleged site in south-west Poland.
Identifying themselves as Andreas Richter and Piotr Koper, the men appeared on TVP.INFO.
Authorities in the city of Walbrzych said last month that two men had contacted them through lawyers claiming they had found an armoured train that possibly contains valuables and weapons.
The report sparked a gold rush around Walbrzych, where tales have circulated since the Second World War that the Nazis hid a train full of gold from the Soviet Army in early 1945.
"As the finders of a World War Two armoured train, we, Andreas Richter and Piotr Koper, declare that we have legally informed state authorities about the find and have precisely indicated the location in the presence of Walbrzych authorities and the police," Mr Koper said, reading a statement on TV with Mr Richter at his side.
"We have irrefutable proof of its existence."
Their knowledge is based on information from witnesses, and research carried out with their own equipment, Mr Koper said.
TVP.INFO said the train is not in a tunnel, as previously believed, but buried in the ground. Mr Koper said the two men are ready to cover the costs of the train's retrieval and want it to become a local tourist attraction.
TV cameras showed Polish military officials checking the purported site in the woods, which police are patrolling to keep swarms of treasure hunters from digging it up.
Retired miner Tadeusz Slowikowski, the only living source of the train legend, confirmed that Mr Koper and Mr Richter had visited him, saying they had located it and were going to report the find to the authorities.
He had previously refused to identify them.
He said the site was near the 65th kilometre of railway track from Wroclaw to Walbrzych, near where he believes the train went missing and where he was searching in 2001 but only came across what he believed was the supporting wall of a tunnel.
Any find in the ground is state property, but finders are entitled by law to a 10% reward.
Defence minister Tomasz Siemoniak, a native of Walbrzych, said chemical weapons and explosives experts had made a first inspection of the site to determine if a search should be undertaken.
But he said it was "hugely exaggerated" to say the military "are looking for the gold train".