Polish authorities have backtracked on claims a buried Second World War train containing Nazi gold has been found in the country - just days after a minister claimed he was 99% sure of its existence.
Following two weeks of speculation about a 'Nazi gold train' with valuables on board, officials now say the evidence is "no stronger than similar claims made in past decades," according to Bloomberg.
This conflicts with a statement made on Friday by Piotr Suchowski, the deputy culture minister, that he was "more than 99% certain that this train exists".
Feverish excitement about the train was sparked by reports from two men who claim to have found carriages containing the haul. Those reports appeared to be corroborated by radar images indicating the train was armoured and protecting valuable goods.
Both discoveries gave weight to a local legend about a Nazi Party train carrying gold and valuable cargo which was supposedly lost during the Second World War and is still in the country somewhere.
According to legend, the train may contain up to 300 tonnes of gold, jewels and weapons, as well as valuable art. It was rumoured to have gone missing when the Nazis were fleeing Russia’s Red Army.
Yet according to Bloomberg, the head of administration for the region in question has said the evidence is as weak as ever.
"[They] aren’t any stronger than similar claims made in past decades," Bloomberg reported him as saying.
Authorities will still send in the army to investigate the site for the 100-metre-long train, following images in a forest near the Czech border.
The military will also secure the area, which has been swarmed with booty-hunters after a gold frenzy swept Poland in the wake of the revelations.
Polish ministers have since appealed to gold-seekers to stop their searches, saying the genuine train is likely be booby-trapped - advice that is also expected to dampen the frenzy.Reuse content