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SS Thistlegorm Cargo Mystery Objects Plus Deeper View

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A few years ago I posted a thread about some mystery objects on the lower cargo deck of the SS Thistlegorm. If you don't know this wreck, its a scuba diver/military/aviation/locomotive enthusiast's dream dive with the cargo holds full of BSA M20, Norton 16H, Albions, Crossleys, Bristol Blenheim spares...Stanier 8F locos.

Fellow diver Alex Mustard started researching the cargo several years ago and following the 3D survey I did we added to the work and published an iBook. 

To cut a long story short...when I posted the thread about mystery objects it was not possible to view the ortho photos - 2D photographic site plans that are scaled and georeferenced - online. Typical file sizes are measured in gigabytes (thats big) and even fibre broadband won't help there.

But things have changed and its now possible to view them online, to zoom in and see the detail.

Here's a link to the lower cargo deck. The image is orientated as the ship lies and the bow is towards the top of the screen. At the bow there are a series of mystery objects - over 60 of them - that look like bell housing/gearboxes of some form...but they have a square section at one end and no sign of an input/output shaft:

SS Thistlegorm Lower Cargo Deck 1mm per pixel

You can also find Lee Enfield rifles and RAF accumulator trollies amongst the wreckage. The Norton 16H motorcycles are stacked in Fordson WOT3 trucks and can be found towards the stern (lower end of the image).

If anyone has any idea what the mystery objects are...we would love to hear from you.

If that has piqued your interest the upper cargo deck can be seen here:

SS Thistlegorm upper cargo deck 1mm per pixel

Which has BSA M20, various Albions, Bedford and Morris Commercial vehicles...and bed frames.

Finally, the main site of the wreck itself. The area covered is 5 acres and is at a lower resolution of 10mm per pixel:

SS Thistlegorm Main Site 10mm per pixel

The two Stanier locomotives can be seen on the port and starboard side and in the remains of Hold No 4 there are several Universal Carriers, unidentified vehicle remains and lots of munitions - mainly 4in shells but some 15in examples too. The stern has two deck guns mounted and on the port side are two divers digitally preserved to give a sense of scale.

The other areas of the ship have been scanned...including the captain's quarters and radio room - should anyone be interested to see them just let me know.

Warning: Scrolling around these images is addictive!

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24 minutes ago, 67burwood said:

The bell housing objects are a mystery, I imagine the the tyres are either 900 or 1100 in size so the mystery objects are quite big!!

The diameter of the circular "bell housing" bit is 683mm/26.88in and the square section is 540mm/21.25in. Overall length is 820mm/32.28in.


Are the trucks at the other end Bedford MWD’s ?

No. Hold No2 has Fordson, Crossley Q and Leyland Retrievers plus the Nortons. Bedford OYC bowsers are in the deck above - the Upper Deck.

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1 hour ago, robin craig said:

Simon can you explain what change has taken place for us to be able to see that online at that detail level please?

I'm thinking that may make other things you have photographed to be viewed that way also?



The 3D model will always be good for measuring and looking around to get a sense of scale and place.

These ortho photos have always been possible but their online viewing is only just coming of age - the file size for the lower cargo deck view is 2.79Gb.

The online viewer takes these massive images and breaks them into tiles - smaller areas we can view one at a time - so we never have to pull that amount of data down from a server.

Other things would work too. Let me run a little test...

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