The two men who claimed they found a lost Nazi "gold train" in Poland have identified themselves following accusations their story is a hoax.
The men, Andreas Richter and Piotr Koper, said on Poland’s TVP.INFO that they had “irrefutable proof” of the train’s existence, the Associated Press reported.
Last month, authorities in the south-western city of Walbrzych, Poland said two men had contacted them claiming to have found an armoured train - possibly containing looted Nazi gold and priceless artwork.
Reports that the Nazis hid a train full of gold from the Soviet Army in early 1945 around Walbryzych have circulated since the Second World War
On 20 August it was suggested the train had been found, but despite speculation there was no proof the "gold train" actually existed.
Reading from a statement, Mr Koper said: “As the finders of a WWII 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.”
”We have irrefutable proof of its existence.“
Mr Koper said the pair’s knowledge of the train is based on information from witnesses and from their own research carried out with their own equipment.
The pair also released an image taken with ground-penetrating radar that allegedly shows the Nazi train.
Tadeusz Slowikowski, a retired miner and the only living source of the train legend, told the AP that Mr Richter and Mr Koper had visited him to say they had located the train.
Mr Slowikowski also searched for the train in 2001 and believes it is near the 65th kilometre of railway tracks from Wroclaw to Walbrzych.
Mr Koper and Mr Richter’s statement claims the train is not in a tunnel, but buried underground.
The pair have demanded a 10-per-cent share of any find and have offered to cover the cost of the train’s excavation. They hope it will become a local tourist attraction in the future.
Last week, an unexaplained bush fire reportedly broke out close to the “gold train” site.
Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said military experts made an inspection of the site to determine if a search should be undertaken.
He added that it was “hugely exaggerated” to say the military “are looking for the gold train.”
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