|German Castle Somewhere in Poland|
Local reports are suggesting the site in question is a branch line shown on pre-War maps to the north of Lubichow (50°50'16.37"N 16°20'3.33"E). If so, the finders' claim to have found a train buried here "70 m down" must be wrong, as GPR in such substrate can only penetrate 15-20 m. (but then the difference between the top of the hill and the railway line here is 30-50m).
UPDATE 31st August 2015
At a news conference Tomasz Smolarz, the Voivoda of Lower Silesia pours cold water on the claim, the documentation which the president of Wałbrych has passed on to him does not confirm this find, consisting as it does of "merely a few - hardly legible - maps" [I presume bad copies of old maps]. He makes no mention of any radar plots or other instrumental records of any investigations. As usual, more people are coming forward to say it was "they" who "discovered the train" and making unsupported accusations of claim-jumping.
Meanwhile, there may be consequences for the hapless General Conservator of Historical Monuments (GKZ) Piotr Żuchowski who - astonishingly - announced he'd seen the proof of the existence of the train and was "99% sure it exists". Such a statement - which some might say lies outside the competence of this office - has led to the prosecutor being informed, interestingly by our old friends the metal detecting 'Fundacja Thesaurus', who are demanding his dismissal for unprofessional conduct and spreading false information. After all, he only has to go to the archives of the office he runs to find my reports on the three matters I handled (exactly the same lunatic claims) and my analysis of why the whole lot simply have no basis in any verifiable material. But then, what happens in heritage is generally this, out go the old teams, in come new (and there have been half a dozen - and utterly dramatic - changes in the GKZ since my days there), and all the old paperwork is put in boxes and buried in some dark cellar. The right hand does not know what the left has been doing. There is no gold train here.
UPDATED UPDATE 5th September 2015
The men who claim to have made this find are named as Andreas Richter and Piotr Koper, sand they a appeared on Polish TV claiming that they do have "irrefutable proof" that it exists, and that it is not in a tunnel but "buried underground". Hmmm. Mr Koper read - with some difficulty it seems - a statement prepared in Polish by their lawyer(s) which was internally inconsistent and mainly addressed what the press had been saying about them.They say they have firm proof that it is there and what it is, and several sentences later that they will use their own equipment to identify the site and whether there is something there.
Here's their website: XYZ Spółka Cywilna Piotr Koper and Andreas Richter . According to this (trans.) "the XYZ partnership in engaged in subsoil investigations in terms of exploration of tunnels, cellars, the [finding of] metals and any other objects underground". For this they announce that they use a GPR made by the German firm KS-Analysis, model FMCW model KS-700 (Frequency-Modulated Continuous-Wave). For metal detecting they use a Lorenz Detecting Systems, model Lorenz Deepmax x6 (which interestingly is an obsolete model- replaced by the DEEPMAX - Z1-DL).
|The webpage showing the shaft tagged 'Gold Train'|
There is a legal problem here if we consider this as cultural property. By Polish law, both the original survey and any later one and (especially) digging done by these two require them to have a permit, and the issue of that is dependent on them having certain qualifications which it is my guess they do not have. Their idea that they can just go out and dig it up themselves for their sponsors' money, unfortunately cannot be accommodated by the existing law. It will be interesting to see how that one is resolved.
UPDATE 6th September
Hmmm. We are, after all dealing with metal detectorists. So it will be no surprise then that yesterday their nascent website showed a colourful picture of a shaft with something at the bottom and the tag "gold train". Today the tag has disappeared and the page is labelled "Badanie NIE przedstawia pociągu". Yeah, well when you stop playing childish games and get your act together, gentlemen, do let us know when you have something to show...