Ghostly WWII fighter plane wreck emerges from shifting sands on UK beach

A ghostly World War II fighter plane wreck has emerged from the shifting sands of a U.K. beach 76 years after crash-landing.

The BBC reports that the Royal Air Force plane crashed on the beach in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, in April 1944, shortly after it took off from nearby North Coates.

Debi Louise Hartley posted images of the plane on Facebook on May 25. Hartley explained that she and her partner, Graham Holden, spotted the plane while walking on the beach with their dog.

THE SEARCH IS ON FOR MYSTERIOUS WORLD WAR II SWEETHEART OF RAF 'GREAT ESCAPE' PILOT

The Grimsby Telegraph reports that plane is believed to be a Bristol Beaufighter, a World War II night fighter and anti-shipping aircraft. Citing information from the RAF Museum in London, the Grimsby Telegraph reports that the aircraft’s crew survived the crash landing.

The plane wreck was discovered on the beach in Cleethorpes, U.K.

The plane wreck was discovered on the beach in Cleethorpes, U.K. (Debi Louise Hartley)

On Sunday, the Grimsby Telegraph reported that a Royal Navy bomb disposal team conducted a controlled explosion on the beach of ammunition that was discovered among the wreck.

Other plane wrecks on the U.K. coast have been garnering attention in recent years. In 2019, the eerie wreck of a U.S. World War II fighter plane that crashed off the coast of North Wales in 1942 was given protected status by U.K. officials.

EERIE US WWII FIGHTER PLANE THAT CRASHED OFF UK COAST GIVEN PROTECTED STATUS

In 2017, engineers working on a sub-sea power link discovered what is believed to be the wreckage of a lost World War II Royal Air Force bomber off the coast of Norway.

The plane is believed to be a World War II Royal Air Force Bristol Beaufighter.

The plane is believed to be a World War II Royal Air Force Bristol Beaufighter. (Debi Louise Hartley)

In a separate project, researchers in the U.K. have been searching for details of the mysterious World War II sweetheart of a Royal Air Force Spitfire pilot who was killed in the famous Great Escape.

Flt. Lt. Alastair ‘Sandy’ Gunn was shot down over Norway on March 5, 1942, during a mission to photograph the German battleship, Tirpitz. Gunn bailed out from the plane but was captured by German forces. In 1944, he was part of the famous “Great Escape” breakout from the Stalag Luft III POW camp. Recaptured shortly after the breakout, the Scot was among 50 escapees executed by the Gestapo.

WORLD WAR II FIGHTER PLANE FLOWN BY 'GREAT ESCAPE' PILOT DISCOVERED ON NORWEGIAN MOUNTAIN

In 2018, Gunn’s Spitfire AA810 was recovered from a Norwegian mountainside. The plane, which had been specially equipped for long-reconnaissance, was an adapted Mk 1 Spitfire stripped of guns and armor and fitted with additional fuel tanks to extend its range from 575 miles to nearly 2,000 miles.

Shifting sands revealed the plane wreck. (Debi Louise Hartley)

Shifting sands revealed the plane wreck. (Debi Louise Hartley)

A team of researchers painstakingly recovered the pieces of the aircraft from a peat bog on the edge of the Arctic Circle.

The plane is now being restored by the Spitfire AA810 Project, which plans to fly it again in 2023.

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The plane emerged 76 after its crash landing.

The plane emerged 76 after its crash landing. (Debi Louise Hartley)

In another project, hidden footage from the secret World War II code-breaking base in southern England recently surfaced. The footage is of Whaddon Hall in Buckinghamshire, a secret site connected to the famous Bletchley Park code-breaking base.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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