Discovery Channel has jumped into one of the most intriguing potential historical findings in years: an armored booby-trapped Nazi gold train buried in Poland — that may or may not actually exist.
The cable network announced Friday it has begun production on a documentary going behind the scenes of investigators researching the exceedingly dramatic claim, which might (or might not) culminate with the opening of a buried transport vehicle filled with gold and priceless artwork that hasn’t been seen since 1945. The last living witness to the train’s burial allegedly died a few years ago, revealing its location to a pair of treasure hunters who recently took their claim to the Polish government in hopes of receiving a 10 percent finders fee if the train is recovered. Some very preliminary analysis of the site has bolstered these initial reports, with authorities in Walbrzych treading carefully since there are concerns such a site could contain, yes, booby traps.
“We are honored to be collaborating with Mayor Szelemej … to help chronicle what will no doubt continue to be a globally captivating story, and could be one of the most significant World War II archeological finds ever made,” said Marjorie Kaplan, President of Content for Discovery Networks International.
Added Olgierd Dobrzynski, General Manager, Discovery Networks Poland: “We are proud to have the world’s eyes on Poland as we stand alongside our local partners to capture these events as they unfold. We look forward to sharing this story around the world in a way that only Discovery can through its global networks and rich heritage of capturing these monumental moments in history.”
We’re told Discovery has landed the rights to film this current exploratory stage of the Walbrzych investigation. If a train is indeed found, one expects interest in the site will skyrocket and the filming situation will get more competitive.
The train went missing in 1945, CNN reported previously, when the Soviet army was closing in on Nazi forces. The legend has it that the train left Germany loaded with armaments and treasure, then vanished. The theory is that the Germans buried the train several meters below the surface, beside the tracks. The site has since been sealed off by Polish soldiers to prevent people from getting too close.
Of course, the train might not be there at all — let alone be loaded up with The Amber Room and the Ark of the Covenant. And even if it does exist … does Al Capone’s vault ring a bell?