The treasure hunt that began last in the town of Walbrzych, Poland has ended after two treasure hunters failed to find a buried Nazi train full of gold, jewels, and weapons.
When treasure hunters found a rail tunnel in Walbrzych last year, they were determined to find the Nazi train, which according to many locals was carved by the German into the Owl Mountains as they fled the advancing Soviet Army in 1945. The area was part of Germany before World War II. Although there were no concrete evidences to support the story of the Nazi train, the hunters were hopeful that they would find something from the excavation.
After no treasure was found on Wednesday, the spokeman for the project, Andrzej Gaij said, ''Unfortunately, the excavation has revealed no train, no tunnel and no trackway in the location where we thought they would be.''
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However, the treasure hunters, Piotra Koper and Andreas Richter explained that they found something that looked like regular round shaped about 16-feet underground tunnel ceiling from their ground-penetrating radar images. Tomasz Siwiec, the coordinator of the project said, ''It was an iceberg that formed this beautiful dome of loan that we though, by looking at the radar images to be the tunnel. You may say that the iceberg played a joke on us.''
He added, '' The hunters are disappointed but not discouraged. They will try it again in September using drills rather than excavator and bulldozer to find the tunnel.'' There were about 64 people who worked as volunteers for the project. The heavy equipments were donated and the majority of locals supported the hunters.
A 58-year old Walbrzych resident, Arleta Admaska said, ''I have been cooking free meals for the searcherse. I am 100 percent certain they will find something sooner or later. If not here, then in another place. Walbrzych is full of mysteries. But we are already benefiting: We have been booked up all summer.”
Slightly run-down with a population of 120,000 people, Walbrzych wasn't so popular before the lost Nazi train gained massive attention from all over the world. The spokesman for the mayor of Walbrzych and head of the City Promotion office said that the treasure hunt has boosted the tourism of the town by 44 percent from the previous year.
He said, “The publicity the town has gotten in the global media is worth roughly around $200 million,” he said. “Our annual budget for promotion is $380,000, so think about that. Whether the explorers find anything or not, that gold train has already arrived.” The mayor, Roman Szelemej, in an interview on Friday said, ''Before the hunt for the Nazi train began, Walbrzych was known mainly for illegal coal mining.'' Mr Szelemej said, ''I'm thinking of naming a roundabout after Koper and Richter in thanks for their services to our town.''