8/30/15  #833
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The crystal ball glimmered with an iridescence of days of future past.  The nearby flickering candles threw shadows of  things yet to be upon the orbs crystalline matrix.  The prophet, withered and aged, breathed deeply of the smokey air and continued to gaze deeply into the heart of the crystal.   Deep within his brain, universal connections that bind us all in a web of  wholeness are stimulated by the hypnotic shapes that danced faintly in the ball.  Time and space are one and all information contained within reality are available to those who can master their intellect and allow the stream of information to be downloaded directly into the brain -- bypassing the rational mind that would block anything received through such unconventional methods.  The prophet sighs in contentment -- because once again his crystal ball has brought him his subscription to Conspiracy Journal, the free weekly e-mail newsletter of everything weird and strange from the past present and future.

This week, Conspiracy Journal brings you such prophetic stories as:

- Astronaut Sets Record Straight On ET Nuclear War -
-  Whatever Happened to the Marshall County Cop Who Hit a UFO? -
- Artist Claims He Had Close Encounter with Yeti -
- AND: Confirmed: Long-Lost Nazi Loot Train Found In Poland 

All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


Here is a direct link to Issue # 44

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America's Strange and Supernatural History

Find out what the "Powers That Be" Don't want you to know regarding the truly hidden - occult - history of the United States.

No one would likely dispute the fact that times are stranger in America than ever before, and indications are that things are getting weirder with each passing day. But a look at our hidden – SECRET – history alerts us to the startling fact that our country has been steeped in “high strangeness” since its founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and, provocatively, even before.

It is nevertheless apparent that our proud nation owes a great “debt of ingratitude” to the mysterious, the macabre, the downright bizarre and the unseen realm of the occult. Did the ancient Lemurians, a Pacific Ocean race similar to the fabled Atlanteans to the east, erect the mysterious walls found in the eastern part of the San Francisco Bay area? Writer Olav Phillips explores the enigma first hand.

Sean Casteel provides an overview of historical incidents of cannibalism, stories that go back as far as “The Starving Time” of the Jamestown colony in 1609, and Wm. Michael Mott offers up some of the UFO and creature sightings he has collected from the state of Mississippi.

Publisher/writer Timothy Green Beckley and his friend Circe returned to Sleepy Hollow, New York – of “Headless Horseman” fame – and discovered that paranormal activity is still rampant there, while author Tim Swartz would like suitable explanations for all the supernatural mysteries of his native Indiana.

In a Bonus Section: “The Spiritual Destiny of America” - The future of America as seen through the eyes of prophecy and the occult is revealed. You can feel the chills already, eh? Read “America’s Strange and Supernatural History” and get ready to kick those chills up a notch or two.

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Also: Check Out W.M. Mott's latest blog at: http://mottimorphic.com/blog/2014/09/10/the-footprints-of-the-damned/


Astronaut Sets Record Straight On ET Nuclear War
By Lee Speigel

Few people are surprised by the eye-popping headlines in The Mirror. But when the infamous British tabloid quoted astronaut Edgar Mitchell as saying that "UFOs came in peace" to "save America from nuclear war," it shocked everybody -- including Mitchell.

"I don't know where The Mirror got the story," Mitchell, 84, said in an email to The Huffington Post, accusing the paper of fabricating his quotes and denying that an interview for this story ever took place. 

The sixth man to walk on the moon has been outspoken over the years in his belief that extraterrestrials have visited the Earth and the moon -- and that the government is withholding vital information about UFOs. Still, Mitchell insists the Aug. 11 Mirror story has no basis in the truth and disavows the information in it.

In the story, the Apollo 14 veteran allegedly told the tab that "military insiders" had seen the "strange crafts" on July 16 over missile bases and the White Sands facility in Las Cruces, N.M., where the first nuclear bomb was tested 70 years ago.

The Mirror quotes Mitchell saying the following: 

    "White Sands was a testing ground for atomic weapons, and that's what the extraterrestrials were interested in."

    "They wanted to know about our military capabilities."

    "My own experience talking to people has made it clear the ETs had been attempting to keep us from going to war and help create peace on Earth."

    "Officers from bases on the Pacific coast told me their [test] missiles were frequently shot down by alien spacecraft."

When HuffPost asked Mitchell if he had told The Mirror that peace-loving aliens came to Earth to stop a nuclear war, that aliens were interested in our atomic weapons testing areas, and that ETs attempted to keep us from going to war and help create peace on Earth, he said, simply, "None of those statements were originated by me."

In recent years, Mitchell has gone on record suggesting that, despite the fact he has never seen a UFO or extraterrestrial, his many conversations with people in the military and intelligence community have convinced him that extraterrestrials have visited Earth and the truth about that has been covered up.

While the former moonwalker has no problem suggesting that Earth is being visited by extraterrestrials who may also be using the moon as a good vantage point for keeping an eye on our planet, in this particular case, he's saying that the specific quotes attributed to him by The Mirror were, frankly, alien to him.

HuffPost contacted Jasper Hamill, who wrote the story in The Mirror. He maintains that he accurately reported his May 5 conversation with Mitchell. A Mirror editorial spokesman, Ben Rankin, confirmed Hamill "stands by his story and has notes from the interview he conducted with Mr. Mitchell."

Mitchell does believe ETs have an interest in humanity's destructive capabilities. In his email to HuffPost, he states the following:

"I have told several sources about my connections over the years with military officers manning missile silos during the Cold War with the Soviet Union who told me personally of UFOs hovering over their missile sites and disabling the missiles targeting the Soviet Union.

"Also, that some of our military missiles were shot down by UFOs during some missile tests from a military station on the California coast. This was rather common knowledge coming from various military officers from years back."

The "common knowledge" factor doesn't refer to what the public was told of these incidents. It was information that he believes was shared among military officers who were stationed at locations where UFOs were allegedly responsible for disabling American missiles.

Mitchell isn't the only prominent individual outspoken about UFOs and alien visitation of Earth.

Paul Hellyer was Canada's minister of defense during the 1960s. After his retirement, he became the first cabinet-level politician from a G8 country to go on record claiming that aliens are already on Earth.

"I know they are here. As a matter of fact, they've been visiting our planet for thousands of years. There's just so much evidence, if anybody will take time off to do a little bit of research and study," Hellyer said on a Russian television program.

In 2013, Mitchell told HuffPost he hopes the truth embargo that surrounds the UFO-ET issue will end.

"I can't say where they're from, but evidence of their presence here is pretty overwhelming -- if you care to look for it. My only guess as to why there's this embargo is because of the profit potential that goes along with having the capability and the technology that could go outside of our solar system.

"[We need to] spread a little bit more truth about the type of universe we live in and the fact that we're not alone. We've got many, many mysteries on our hands and mysteries to solve.

"We really don't know the scope of our existence and our picture of the universe is still pretty primitive."

Source: The Huffington Post


Whatever Happened to the Marshall County Cop Who Hit a UFO?

By John Enger

At 1:40 a.m. 36 years ago, Marshall County Sheriff's Deputy Val Johnson was on night patrol along a rural section of State Highway 220 near Warren, Minn., when he drove into a ball of white light.

"I noticed a very bright, brilliant light, 8 to 12 inches in diameter, 3 to 4 feet off the ground," Johnson said in a taped police interview. "The edges were very defined."

Johnson drove toward the light, and woke up in the ditch a half-hour later with burns around his eyes. The windshield and one headlight of his 1977 Ford LTD were smashed. Both radio antenna were bent sharply back. The watch on his wrist and the clock on the dash both ticked 14 minutes slow.

The incident turned Johnson into a local legend and national media sensation. And years later, people are still talking about it.

Johnson's squad car is preserved in the Marshall County Museum with a plaque that says: "U.F.O. Car." People still come from miles around to see it. It's an annual display at the Marshall County Fair.

Sometimes former Marshall County Sheriff Dennis Brekke gives talks at the museum about the car and the night his deputy drove it into a ball of light. Police investigated and never drew any conclusions.

But the incident's enduring fame has lingered far beyond Marshall County.

What's known as the "Val Johnson Incident" remains one of the top 10 most influential UFO encounters in history, according Jerome Clark, who wrote about it in his 1998 book, "The UFO Encyclopedia."

Paranormal TV shows like "UFO Files" and "Mysteries at the Museum" filmed reenactments. Even now, people debate the legitimacy of the encounter on online forums.

"It was an extraordinarily important case," Clark said.

Plenty of people have strange experiences on back roads late at night, Clark explained, but very few of them yield any tangible evidence. Fewer still are ever investigated.

But one thing is strikingly absent from the small town museum, the TV shows and online discussions: Val Johnson. When you try to track down Val Johnson, people tend to say he's hard to find, that he's still haunted by what happened to him 36 years ago. A 2013 Pioneer Press article said Johnson "quickly grew tired of interviews" after the incident and is "believed to now live somewhere in Wisconsin."

Sheriff Brekke's wife Louise said Johnson hasn't kept in touch with his old colleagues in Marshall County for three decades, aside from a letter he sent a few years back with no return address.

As it turns out, Johnson isn't that hard to find. He lives in Eau Claire, Wis., and he answers his phone.

At the first mention of UFOs, he laughed aloud.

 "People don't call about that anymore," he said.

It becomes readily apparent that the details of the Val Johnson incident still enthralling UFO enthusiasts, just don't fascinate Johnson.

"I looked up at the sky and said, 'Well shucks, what happened?'" Johnson recalled. "And then I shuffled on with my life."

He had small kids to raise back then. Hitting a ball of light and ending up in a ditch wasn't close to the most important thing going on in his life.

For almost a year after the incident his phone hardly stopped ringing. He's quoted at the time by Associated Press writer Barbara Dewey saying his wife was "run ragged" by the constant calls. He appeared on Good Morning America, and in dozens of newspapers across the country. For a while, he was a very big deal.

 "And then other stories came along and pushed me off the front page," he said. "Thank goodness."

Johnson stayed on as deputy for a while after the incident. Then he took a job as chief of police in the nearby town of Oslo, Minn. Locals, he said, never questioned his ability to enforce the law.

In 1982 he was hired to set up the Roseau, Minn., Police Department, but lost the job less than a year later over a funding dispute.

"Once you're a chief of police, and then you get fired," he said, "you're un-hireable."

He was working as a security guard in a Twin Cities mall when a friend got him a job answering the customer service line at 3M.

"He asked me how I'd like to take 60 angry phone calls a day," he recalled, "I said, 'Dang, I can do that.'"

A few years later he retired to 20 acres in Wisconsin. Even then, he said, people sometimes showed up on his front porch with theories about his experience in Marshall County.

"We'd sit in the back yard with lemonade and talk," he said. "They'd tell me what they thought happened to me and I'd nod at the appropriate times. Eventually they'd go away."

 Johnson is 71 now. He has a short white beard and thinning white hair. He's retired, living in Eau Claire with his wife, Rosanne. No one has stopped by in years. No one calls about UFOs even when his name airs on television.

He has great-grandchildren.

To this day Johnson won't speculate on what happened to him in 1979. He doesn't think the light he saw was an extraterrestrial — but also won't rule out the possibility. For years, he said, it just hasn't crossed his mind.

"I saw a ball of light," he said. "I drove toward it, and suddenly it was in the car with me. It's unexplainable, and will remain so. I'm happy with my mental stability."

If it seems Johnson's ambivalence could cast some doubt on the famous incident, those passionate about UFOs are unfazed. Clark said it's a textbook UFO encounter coping mechanism.

Clark talked to scores of people involved in UFO encounters for his books. Some became obsessed with what happened to them. Some plunged into denial. Others he said, found peace, refusing to allow an encounter to change their lives.

"If anything," Clark said, "It's a story to tell at the bar, and that's it."

Source: MPR News


Argentina: Shadows and a Winged Man in Quilino

Residents of this community in the province of Cordoba have been reporting manifestations of a shadowy human figure for the past 15 days. It was seen by volunteer firefighters last night in the downtown area.
Residents of the community of Quilino, in northeastern Cordoba province, are terrified by the strange manifestation of a shadow. There is even a call for evidence before the courts.

The Head of the Ischilín Department, Chief Constable Jose Ceccarelli, told Cadena 3 that the first ones to report the situation were residents of Barrio Tigre, and that volunteer firefighters had become aware of a strange presence.

"It is publicly known that those claiming to have seen certain spots, shadows or human-like figures were never in close contact with such presence," Ceccarelli explained.

He further added that a call for evidence was opened as soon as the situation began, so that if a perd +son is eventually arrested, the prosecutor's notice may be alerted. "But no crime or violation [of the law] has been recorded as a result of this supposed presence," said the constable.

"According to them (the neighbors), shadows similar to those of a human being were reported, which then disappeared," he explained. Ceccarelli stated that complaints were received 15 days ago in the Tigre area, "where locals had phoned the police to say they had captured it, but upon the arrival of police personnel, it was nowhere to be found. Last night we had an alleged manifestation of these characteristics in the downtown area, near to the where the fire fighters are located," he stated.

SOURCE: Cadena 3.com and Miraelnorte.com.ar

"Winged Figure" Causes Commotion in Cordoba

According to local media, firefighters claim having seen a hunched figure descending from a tree across from their station. The stunned men followed it with their flashglights and the mysterious figure scurried to the location's back yard. The men reached the side in disbelief, and were soon startled by a new sight: when cornered, the human-like figure assumed a winged form and escaped.

This strange phenomenon has occurred repeatedly in the community of Quilino itself, and all agree that the figure resembles a "human form with wings."
The Quilino Police Department is also surprised by the rumor, which has spread panic throughout the community, and has been the source of many complaints.

The following is the transcript of the interview with Carlos Sanchez, one of the firefighters, as it appears on Miraelnorte.com.ar:


-Carlos, you claim to have seen a winged man last night while you were on duty?
-Tell us what happened
-It was approximately 0:30 hours at night on Moreno Street, on the curb, which you can see if you pull back slightly. There was someone standing there, a person, who slowly headed for a house behind the fire station.
-Carlos, you were here, in this sector, when the entity appeared.
- Yes, it came from over there, it passed through here, and went to the back, following a little trail that can be seen over there, and went to the back. When the fellow told me...I don't think it's their kids, because everything's closed. So I pointed my flashlight back there, near the station, and there was something moving. So my companion said: "Carlitos, let's go. I think I saw something. When the fellow went this way, I went around the other way, around the other block. He lit something up, and...
- Fine, but it came up to here looking like a human being.
- It walked like a man.
- And then it transformed into...
- Then it was something else. The figure was no longer human.
- Thanks, Carlos

To Watch the Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NG

[Translation and transcription (c) 2015 S. Corrales, IHU with thanks to Daniel Ubaldo Padilla]

Source: Inexplicata


Artist Claims He Had Close Encounter with Yeti

Like the Lock Ness monster, summer is the usual time for sightings, but until now there had been no known appearances this year by the 'mythical' Yeti in eastern Russia.

This has changed with well-known Tashtagol artist and sculptor Andrey Lyubchenko's claim that he came face to face with an Abominable Snowman less than a month ago.

What's more the Yeti posed for him - allowing the artist to draw his picture on birch bark - and the pair even managed to 'speak', he claimed.

'It happened so unexpectedly and fast that I had no time to get scared,' he said. 'There was a clear feeling that this was a thinking creature, I felt he was trying to 'talk' to me.

'The Yeti was about two and a half metres tall, with thick dark brown hair like a bear's - but a lot softer. He was holding a wooden stick, with bits of hair wrapped around it. But the main thing was his eyes, they were just like light-coloured human eyes.'

At the time he was in the remote taiga in Kemerovo region, well known as the Russian region with the most Yeti sightings.

'It was in the morning of 27 July, I went in into taiga to gather materials for wooden sculptures,' he said. 'I usually need a lot of curved and unusually shaped branches. I live right next to the edge of taiga, so I left early in the morning. It was 5 am, I was getting close to Chernukha mountain, which is right next to the Tashtagol TV must.

'I went out onto a small open patch, and there I felt the Yeti's presence. I turned back and saw him standing up, deeper in the woods, not going away and trying to communicate. It happened so unexpectedly and fast that I had no time to get scared.'

Lyubchenko explained further: 'I am saying 'He' because shape of his body, his gestures, his behaviour were clearly male. His body was very toned, with lots of visible muscles. His hands and feet were proportionate to his body, the same way as with humans. His face was expressive, too, just like his eyes. Also I remember that he had huge legs - by human sizes, his feet were size 60.'

This is suggests his feet were 46 cm in length - or 18 inches.

'I can't describe or understand how we spoke, because - well because it sounds unbelievable. It felt like we heard each other's thoughts, as if it was telepathy. There was only one word that the Yeti actually said when I asked his name. His voice was low and chesty, and the name sounded as if somebody hit a tambourine twice - 'Ta-ban'.'

After the encounter he sought a person who spoke the local Siberian Shor language and asked about a meaning of the word, without explaining where and how he heard it. He told that there can be several translations, one meaning 'a sole', and another one meaning 'the one that wasn't discovered'.

The artist said he was 'talking' to the Yeti for about 40 minutes. He admitted he could not prove his encounter, and that he was previously pre-disposed to believe in the existence of the Yeti, factors which are in common with many supposed sightings.

'I didn't have my phone with camera on me, or a camera - but I always carry a pencil and something I can draw on, this time it was a piece of birch tree bark,' he said. 'I made a drawing of the Yeti and showed him. The Yeti studied it really carefully for a while, and then drew a symbol next to my drawing.

'I still can't find what this symbol means, I've been going through books and internet, but found nothing similar. There is a similar looking symbol of friendship, but I am not sure this is it.'

If Yetis live so close to people, he was asked by Natalya Guzeva, a journalist from 'Kuzbass 85' newspaper, why they did not show themselves more to humans.

'I wonder if they are scared to intervene. Do you think it was easy to put up with this meeting? I am still in a state of shock, I can't believe it happened to me,' he said.

Why was he chosen by the Yeti?

'I guess it was a pure coincidence. Or perhaps it happened because I sincerely believed in Yeti's existence and imagined how one day I'd meet them. I've been dreaming about meeting them, to be honest. I also don't think that I am the only person that met Yeti. Others simply don't speak about it, rightly fearing they might be called insane.

'All I can say about myself is that I am as normal as one can find, I am physically and mentally healthy, I don't drink or take drugs. I think one day I'll get back to the place where we've met... I think we might see each other again.'

The newspaper said it has asked about him and 'he is a reputable person in the city, quite well-known, and certainly isn't seen as a nutter'.

Russia's best known Yeti hunter Igor Burtsev - head of the Russian International Centre of Hominology - has previously estimated that as many as 30 Yetis roam Kemerovo region. 'We are on the brink of finding the Yeti at long last,' he said in 2011.

However, many sightings or finds of 'Yeti hair' or footprints  have been disputed by other experts who point out no remains of the animal have ever been discovered.

Source: Siberian Times


A Mammoth-Sized Ghost (Literally!)
By Nick Redfern

As most people who read my articles here at Mysterious Universe will know, my main areas of interest are Cryptozoology and Ufology. I rarely ever get into ghosts, haunted houses, and related issues, however. Only because the collective subject doesn’t really interest me that much. Now and again, though, I find myself on the receiving end of a story that has cryptozoological ingredients, but which also has ghostly overtones attached to it. On such occasions, I do get involved.

A perfect example is the account of a woman named Jill O’Brien. She had a bizarre encounter – in September 2008 – in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. It was an encounter that I was able to personally investigate in early January 2009, as Jill had then recently moved to Oklahoma City, which is not that long a drive from my Arlington, Texas home. So, it was time for a road-trip and a notable interview. Jill’s story was as intriguing as it was bizarre.

Before I get to the story, however, a bit of background on Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Established in 1980 by Alaska’s National Interest Lands Conservation Act, it’s the largest US National Park and covers in excess of 13 million acres. It was at the base of the park’s Mount St. Elias – which stands to a height of 18,009 feet – that Jill’s extraordinary encounter occurred. As a keen traveler and photographer, Jill was in the area specifically to get shots of the mountain. She got her pictures. And she got something else, too.

When I say that Jill’s encounter was of the ghostly variety, don’t be assuming that we’re talking about chain-rattling ghosts, wailing spirits, or similar such things. Nope. Not at all. We’re talking about what Jill came to believe was the ghostly, spectral form of a baby mammoth. Yeah, you did read that right. As Jill prepared to take one particular photo of Mount St. Elias, she heard what she described to me as “thudding” and “crunching” on the ground, and coming from somewhere behind her.

Her first, terrifying thought was “bear.” Thankfully, it was not. Jill found herself confronted by a very small mammoth, one that was somewhere in the region of four-feet in height, or maybe slightly bigger. Now, for years, reports have surfaced and circulated suggesting that – against all the odds – in certain parts of the world the mammoth survived extinction and still lives.

I have investigated a lot of cases involving alleged, surviving mammoths. Personally, and for the record, I don’t think the mammoth is still with us. It’s just not feasible. I do, however, think there is enough circumstantial evidence to suggest it may have clung on for far longer than many suspect. But that’s quite another story for another day. Those excited by the prospect that mammoths still live today should note I’m not suggesting Jill saw a young, living, breathing, mammoth. And it’s most assuredly not what Jill was suggesting, either. You’ll see why.

As Jill watched in a mixture of awe and shock, the mini-mammoth raced past her and…vanished. Gone. When I asked Jill to explain what she meant, she said that the animal was suddenly enveloped by a small “black cloud,” which “sucked into itself” and disappeared. The entire encounter lasted barely a handful of seconds at most. Jill was, however, very sure of what she had seen. In her opinion it was nothing less than the ghost of a long-dead mammoth.

Whether Jill’s case is one for ghost-hunters, or for cryptozoologists, is something well worth pondering on. In terms of the latter, it all depends on how one defines the term “cryptozoology.” If we’re talking about cryptozoology solely being the study of unknown animals, then no, it’s clearly not one for the cryptozoologists. Personally, however, I’m very far from convinced that so-called cryptids are mere flesh-and-blood and nothing else. And, for that reason, I do take note of rogue cases like the one told to me by Jill.

Of course, Jill’s testimony – combined with her opinions on what she encountered back in 2008 – is the kind of thing that most ghost-hunters would eagerly want to tackle too. This raises an interesting possibility. One day the fields of creature-seeking and specter-seeking might come together – and even work together – to solve certain, odd and unusual cases like this.

I have a suspicion that the ghost-hunting community will be eager and up for it. As for the field of cryptozoology, I can already see them steaming with red-faced rage and planning to send me hate-mail by the sack-load. Whatever! The fact is that such odd reports crop up on more than a few occasions. Witnesses like Jill need to be taken seriously and treated with respect. Such accounts need to be treated seriously too. Maybe ghost-hunters and monster-hunters can learn a thing or several from one another. Or is that just asking way too much? Unfortunately, from the cryptozoological end, yes it probably is.

Source: Mysterious Universe


Confirmed: Long-Lost Nazi Loot Train Found In Poland    

Recently, a pair of anonymous treasure hunters approached officials in Walbrzych, Poland via their lawyer to claim they had found an old Nazi loot train. Now officials have confirmed that the pair certainly found a train. Whether it's full of gold remains to be seen.

A press officer confirmed that a military train had been found and the town's deputy mayor Zygmunt Nowaczyk made the following statement at a press conference:

"The city [of Walbrzych] is full of mysterious stories because of its history. Now it is formal information — [we] have found something."

There have been legends of a lost Nazi train in Walbrzych for years, and now it appears they are true. A tour guide at a local castle told reporters that Nazis had dug myriad secret tunnels in the area during World War II as part of a project to turn that castle into a hotel for high ranking Nazi officials. It's unproven but plausible that these tunnels were used as a impromptu train-hiding spot.

There are still mysteries however. Walbrzych officals haven't said anything about the contents of the train and have expressed the need for caution exploring it, citing the possibility of unstable weaponry, booby traps, and caves that are filled with naturally-occurring flamable gasses. The officials also haven't said whether they agreed to the finders fee or found the train by other means.

Gold and treasure or no, it would be difficult for the contents of that train to be boring, and we'll no doubt hear more about its mysterious contents in the coming weeks.

There is the possibility that the Nazi gold train could contain an ornate room crafted out of amber, gold and precious jewels which has been missing since it was looted during World War Two.

Journalist Tom Bower, who wrote "Nazi Gold: the Full Story of the Fifty-Year Swiss-Nazi Conspiracy to Steal", has said he believes there is a high likelihood the hidden locomotive is filled with art and precious jewels, rather than bars of gold.

But what he really hopes to find in the train discovered abandoned in a tunnel underneath a Polish mountain is the Amber Room, stolen from the Catherine Palace, near St Petersburg, in about 1941.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Bower said: 'If it is an art train, there will be paintings, there will be perhaps diamonds, there will be rubies and precious stones and also, the one thing that's always been missing, the Amber Room. 

'I think it is far more exciting to think perhaps that is in the train.'

The Nazis dismantled the room - thought to be worth about £250million - when they arrived at the Russian palace in October 1941.

The Russians had tried to conceal the grand room, a gift to Peter the Great by the King of Prussia in 1716, by covering it in wallpaper, but their plan was foiled.

The room was then taken by the Germans by rail to Koenigsberg Castle, in what was then East Prussia. Now, the castle is found in the city of Kaliningrad.

But it disappeared In January 1945, after air raids and a savage ground assault on the city.

While some claimed it had been destroyed in the raids, others reported seeing 40 wagons moving away from the castle under a cloak of secrecy after the city fell to the Red Army.

To Mr Bower, it is entirely possible the train may have made the almost 400-mile journey across Poland to Walbrzych, on the border with the Czech Republic.

'As the Russians advanced and the Allies came in from the west, there was a huge movement as the Germans sought to keep it for themselves,' he explained.

Initially taken with a grain of salt, the story has gained credibility after a culture ministry official said he saw a ground-penetrating radar image of the alleged train on which he could make out platforms and cannons.

'I'm more than 99 percent sure such a train exists, but the nature of its contents is unverifiable at the moment,' Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski said Friday.

Walbrzych has been catapultedinto the public eye, with swarms of treasure-hunters and foreign television crews showing up at what is known as 'kilometre 65' of the Wroclaw-Walbrzych train track.

The train's exact location was supposed to be kept under wraps but curious onlookers can already be seen loitering around where X marks the spot.

Most joke about finding gold bars but one young couple with two children say they live nearby and are worried their house may be in danger if the tunnel is found to be booby-trapped as is suspected and explodes.

No such concerns at the nearby Ksiaz Castle, once known as Furstenstein, whose only source of revenue is tourism. It will be swarming with crowds if the train proves to be real.

'I don't have any concrete evidence to show the train exists, but reliable sources have confirmed it to me and I would love for it to be true,' said Ksiaz castle manager Krzysztof Urbanski.

The massive 400-room castle 'is already reaping the benefits,' he added.

'No one's seen the train as of yet, but that doesn't stop it from attracting people.'

Ever the effective administrator, he is already preparing promotional material: starting next week tourists will be able to buy 'Gold Train' T-shirts.

The castle is equipped with some of the underground Nazi passages - which perhaps still have a secret or two to reveal.

'We found a document detailing the amount of building material brought here for the facilities meant to welcome the Fuhrer,' said Urbanski.

'But according to experts, only about half of that material is found in the parts of the castle that we known of.'

Source: The Daily Mail

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