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Wreck of Australian Warship HMAS Sydney Found? 193

Posted by kdawson
from the frieght-and-salvage dept.
Mendy writes "Tim Ankers, a British archaeologist, claims to have found the wreck of the HMAS Sydney, lost with all hands in the Indian Ocean during World War II. He says that he's done this from the comfort of his home using software he wrote called Merlindown, which can analyze satellite photographs at different wavelengths to 'peer 75 meters into the earth and 16,000 meters beneath the seas.'"
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Wreck of Australian Warship HMAS Sydney Found?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, 2007 @12:37AM (#19368293)
    You're not alone. Apparently this story came out last week and Akers' claims already rejected by those searching for the ship.

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/hmas-sydney-fi nd-nonsense/2007/06/03/1180809320635.html [smh.com.au]

    FTA -
    But Ted Graham, the chairman of the Perth-based volunteer company HMAS Sydney Search (HMA3S), says finding the shipwreck using the methods Mr Akers said he employed was impossible.

    "All the advice we're getting is saying Tim's claims are technically not possible," Mr Graham told AAP.

    "We've spoken to a whole lot of people and got advice from various people including technical people in government departments and they have all stated that what Tim's claiming is complete rubbish.

    "I think it's just complete nonsense."
  • by missileman (1101691) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @01:56AM (#19368603)
    There is a lot of ill feeling in Australia (from veterans and their familes) against McArthur. I believe most of those come from his perceived mismanagement of the Australian forces under his command, like the invasion of Balikpapan. "Balikpapan was one of the most controversial Australian operations of the Second World War. By this point it was clear that the Australian operations in Borneo were not contributing anything to the final defeat of Japan and many high-ranking Australian officers considered them strategically unsound. The Australian Commander-in-Chief, General Sir Thomas Blamey, advised the government to withdraw its support for Oboe 2. The government, however, stood behind the Commander-in-Chief of the South-west Pacific Area, General Douglas MacArthur, who had devised the Oboe operations, and the Balikpapan landings went ahead. They resulted in the deaths of 229 Australians and around 1,800 Japanese." From AWM website : http://www.awm.gov.au/units/place_1913.asp [awm.gov.au] My grandfather fought at, and was wounded at Balikpapan. That being said, there is no doubt that the industrial and military might of the United States saved Australia from invasion, however it should also be noted that Australian forces inflicted upon the Japanese the first decisive LAND battle defeat of the war, on the Kokoda track in the Owen Stanley ranges in New Guinea, at a time when Australia was under direct threat of invasion. To the parent, please note that previous to this, the sea-bourne threat the Port Moresby was ended due to the US victory in the Battle of the Coral Sea.
  • by weighn (578357) <weighnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday June 03, 2007 @02:02AM (#19368625) Homepage

    Port Morrisby and the Northern Territories

    not picking on you for being from Canadia :) , but you mean Port Moresby [wikipedia.org] and the Northern Territory [wikipedia.org].

    Besides, the West Papuans [wikipedia.org] had helped us Aussies a great deal in defending the norther frontier from the Japs. The Australian government has recently and shamefully turned their backs and allowed the West Papuans to suffer terrible human rights abuses [survivalfrance.org] at the hands of the Indonesian dictatorship.

  • by hey hey hey (659173) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @02:17AM (#19368679)
    Do you really think it was the American forces that kept the japs from taking Port Morrisby and the Northern Territories?

    To take nothing at all away from the exceptional job done by the Royal Australian Navy, the defense of Port MorEsby is generally placed at the feet of the Battle of the Coral Sea, which was a combined operation between the US Navy (2 carriers, 6 cruisers, 13 destroyers), and the RAN (2 cruisers).

  • by blincoln (592401) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @02:19AM (#19368683) Homepage Journal
    Another reason to be skeptical: UV and X-ray don't penetrate the atmosphere, never mind the ground or ocean.

    X-rays and short-wave UV don't. Longer-wave UV does.

    IR penetrates less than visible light -- ie, not very far.

    Near IR penetrates the atmosphere better and with less scattering than visible light. What you say is true for *some* of the IR band, but it's also got a lot of room in it.
  • by Geodesy99 (1002847) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @02:23AM (#19368715)
    His claims of course are WAY suspect - light of whatever wavelength needs to get to the target, then reflect BACK to the sensor, and well, the reason water is blue is that it's pretty much impervious to most wavelengths, and as far as IR, that wreck that deep would probably have cooled down really well by now to the ambient water temperature. I have seen sunken wrecks from satellite images though ... Scapa Flow has quite a few scuttled wrecks from WW II. See http://www.scapaflow.co.uk/graphics/blockship.jpg [scapaflow.co.uk] and then http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=58.927777,- 3.310318&spn=0.059626,0.126343&t=k&z=13&om=1 [google.com] (.... Hmmm, been spending WAY to much time looking at synthetic aperture radar scenes .... )
  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <(aussie_bob) (at) (hotmail.com)> on Sunday June 03, 2007 @02:32AM (#19368761) Journal
    But Americans tend not to be aware of it, because a certain egomanicial general by the name of McArthur had this nasty tendency to ignore allies and claim that everything was done by the Americans.

    Actually, MacArthur had some justification for the claim.

    Roosevelt and Churchill had tried to force the 6th and 7th Australian Divisions to remain in Burma, effectively abandoning New Guinea and Northern Australia to the Japanese. The Prime Minister of Australia at the time, John Curtin, made the decision to recall the troops despite intense pressure from the other allied leaders. At the same time, MacArthur needed Australia as a supply and staging post, so the agreement was made that the Australian troops would be returned to defend their country, but commanded by MacArthur. So in that sense, they were part of the American military effort rather than acting as an independent force.

    It's worth emphasising though, both America and Britain initially wanted to abandon Australia, and allow us to be occupied by Japan. If it wasn't for Curtin's leveraging of those two divisions, it'd likely have happened

  • by CaptainAvatar (113689) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @02:44AM (#19368829)

    It's worth emphasising though, both America and Britain initially wanted to abandon Australia, and allow us to be occupied by Japan. If it wasn't for Curtin's leveraging of those two divisions, it'd likely have happened
    Hardly. Japan never had any intention of invading Australia: no plans for such were ever made, other than occasional speculations by junior officers. More importantly, it didn't have the logistical capability to sustain such a huge operation over such vast distances.
  • by Geodesy99 (1002847) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @03:31AM (#19369045)

    .... what is available if you PAY up for quality data.
    Light (and all radiation) obeys the same rules of physics along the optical path, it doesn't care how much you 'pay' for it. The example I gave was Google (and they DO pay for their data, although they post it for free), but I do buy a lot of data ( I just purchased a bunch from the Alaska SAR Facility). I've worked with almost every type of sensor out there in most every atmospheric propagating wavelength - SAR, LIDAR, IR, NIR, Visible, from Landsat, Aster, Alos, Quickbird, from airborne and space located platforms. I even bout the X-ray glasses from comic books ads when I was a kid http://www.tomheroes.com/images/COMICAD%20xray%20g lasses.JPG [tomheroes.com] ... And military platforms also have to obey the same physical constraints, although they do have certain other advantages. There is no 'magic' part of the spectrum which penetrates to the depths he speaks of, the best that's every been done in that zone were some air-borne active blue-green laser experiments.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 03, 2007 @04:24AM (#19369263)
    George Carlin, R.I.P.

    Funny while he lasted.

    EJ in reference to (US of) America.
  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <(aussie_bob) (at) (hotmail.com)> on Sunday June 03, 2007 @05:36AM (#19369519) Journal
    Japan never had any intention of invading Australia: no plans for such were ever made

    The Japanese navy was responsible for planning an invasion of Australia. In February 1942, Admiral Yamamoto had set a plan before Japanese General Staff to land two Divisions on the northern coastline of Australia. They would then follow the north-south railway line to Adelaide, thus dividing Australia into two fronts. The plan was opposed by the Japanese army, and was not approved by Emperor Hirohito.

  • Nonsense (Score:5, Informative)

    by b00le (714402) <interference&libero,it> on Sunday June 03, 2007 @05:42AM (#19369535) Homepage
    This is nonsense: I work in the earth observation satellite industry and there are no ultraviolet or x-ray sensors on earth observation satellites (for obvious reasons - the earth does not emit x-rays, and UV is absorbed by the atmosphere.)
    Optical sensors can see at most a few metres [eurimage.com] into clear water. At infrared wavelengths water is black and opaque. "Light passes through matter"? No, it doesn't. Didn't The Times use to have a science correspondent?

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