Life offers nothing as intoxicating as pure, unfiltered potential. In potential, all things are possible; one's reality is not yet sullied by the rote misery of what must ultimately arrive. Eventually, the balloon is punctured. Eventually, hope and love and happiness reveal their true shapes. Eventually, you're left to sweep up the pieces of a shattered fantasy.
And so it goes with the once-inspiring and now soul-crushing saga of the Nazi gold, revealed today to have never even been, to have been merely a false dalliance on our journey to the afterlife.
Let us remember those halcyon days, when our heroes—Piotr Koper, from Poland, and Andreas Richter, from Germany, the BBC tells us—reported they'd discovered the location of a fabled, long-lost Nazi train filled with millions and millions of dollars worth of Nazi gold in Walbrzych, Poland. Interested swelled; tourists flocked; and the deputy cultural minister of Poland declared himself "99% convinced" of the train's existence.
Naiveté truly is our closest analog to contentment.
Professional geologists descended on the scene, and today, they brought their findings to the frothing press, begging for a satisfying conclusion. Alas, none. Professor Janusz Madej, of Krakow's Academy of Mining, crushed a million dreams and broke a billion hearts in a matter of seconds.
"There may be a tunnel," he declared, "but there is no train."
There is no train.
There is no truth.
There is nothing but the fading recollection of our blissful childhoods, slipping away like sand through your fingers; a wave crashes on the beach, and washes it all away.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.