Does this 65 year-old photograph solve the mystery of the unidentified wreck found on the bed of the river Foyle?
The Royal Navy Submarine Museum photo shows part of the German U-Boat fleet which surrendered at Lisahally at the close of the Second World War in Europe.
George A Malcolmson, archivist at the Museum in Gosport, says the small unidentified German craft, pictured in front of the three U-boats on the left of the photograph, could well be the vessel discovered around three weeks ago.
The wreck, at first thought to be a U-boat and then reported to be a British X Craft, was discovered by a dive team from Cork who were working on a unrelated operation on the Foyle’s riverbed.
The Royal Navy Submarine Museum naval history expert says the latter suggestion now holds little sway.
“There are no records to support the theory that it is a British X craft. Anybody wishing to see a wartime X craft would have to visit our museum which is home to HMS X24, the only surviving wartime example of the class.
“The current theory is that it may be a small German craft surrendered at the end of World War II. The basis for that theory is the photograph which shows a small and as yet unidentified U boat in Lisahally at the end of the war,“ he said.
Mr Malcolmson says discussions have taken place with the relevant authorities to determine how best to move forward.
He says primarily it must be ascertained if the wreck poses any risk.
“Regarding the wreck, I have been in discussion with the Ministry of Defence heritage department who are working closely with the local authorities in Northern Ireland.
“All concerned are trying to identify the vessel and to work out if the wreck poses any potential hazards,” he said.
Authorities are keeping the location of the wreck secret in a bid to ward off scavengers. The port at Lisahally was a key location for the Allied naval war effort and the site of the surrender of around 60 German U-boats.