Japanese sub 'located' – again
By D.D. McNicoll
From The Australian
November 24, 2006 12:21am
LITTLE more than a year after the last breathless "discovery" of a Japanese midget submarine missing after the 1942 raid on Sydney, two television programs and a women's magazine have found "the real McCoy".
Last night Channel 7's Today Tonight scuttled a planned Channel 9 scoop by airing photographs from next week's edition of New Idea that purport to show the long-missing sub resting upright on the seabed north of Sydney.
On Sunday night, Nine's 60 Minutes planned to run the pictures of a two-man submarine it claims was found by scuba divers in deep water off the coast.
The network began running promotions for the "world exclusive" program early yesterday.
But Seven last night spiked 60 Minutes guns by showing New Idea's exclusive photographs. New Idea is published by Pacific Magazines, which is owned by Seven.
"The sub is in amazingly good shape. It is sitting up on its keel on the sand and instantly identifiable as a submarine," 60 Minutes reporter Liam Bartlett said yesterday.
"I know the story wasn't helped by the Foxtel History Channel documentary last year that falsely claimed to have found the sub in Broken Bay. This is different. It is the real McCoy."
The photographs shown on Today Tonight last night showed an object on the seabed heavily encrusted with barnacles and weed.
In November last year, the History Channel ran a documentary by Sydney filmmaker Damien Lay that claimed to have found the submarine covered by sand just off Lion Island, in Broken Bay, 35km north of Sydney.
A month later, NSW Planning Minister Frank Sartor said investigations by the NSW Heritage Office and the water police had confirmed that the mysterious lump of sand was just that - a lump of sand.
The missing submarine, known as M24, was one of three Japanese midget subs that slipped through the anti-submarine nets stretched across Sydney Harbour on May 31, 1942.
Two of the submarines were sunk after attacking shipping in the harbour - but no sign was found of M24. A torpedo from one of the subs sank HMAS Kuttabul, killing 21 sailors.
Over the past 60 years, the navy has had more than 50 approaches from divers and adventurers who have claimed to have found the 24m, 46-tonne sub.
All have proved to be false.
"You'll be surprised by how it looks," Bartlett said yesterday.