Incredible footage shows what is believed to be the submerged remains of a British WWII twin-bomber complete with unused explosives.
A local diver discovered the engines and part of the main body of the craft that crashed into the Goodwin Sands in Kent more than 70 years ago.
At least 60 RAF and German aircraft are believed to have crashed over the ten-mile stretch of shifting sandbanks during fierce aerial battles in 1940.
Many of the airmen’s bodies were never recovered.
No human remains have been found so far, but as some of the aircraft remains buried under the seabed it likely divers will uncover the bodies of the crew.
Dover Harbour Board recently obtained a license to dredge Goodwin Sands to expand cargo facilities and build a marina – a move which campaigners are looking to suspend in light of the recent historical discovery.
The incredible footage, which was captured by Ramsgate-based diver Vince Woolsgrove, shows the fuselage of the plane scattered over an area at least 260 feet (80 metres) long and 108 feet (33 metres) wide.
A number of intact bombs from the era, which could be live and potentially explosive, have also been found.
The nationality, age and type of the crashed aircraft remains unknown.
However, finding an aircraft with two engines strongly suggests it is the remains of a twin engine bomber, writes 3hconsulting, which provides media support for maritime and foreshore archaeology.
Both engines have fishing net wrapped around them, and divers have speculated that a trawler may have crashed into the remains of the aircraft in the recent past.
According to Dave Brocklehurst MBE, who is Chairman of Kent Battle of Britain Museum near Folkestone, the plane is definitely from WWII and the double banked radial engine indicates that it is likely British, or possibly American.
He is currently working on a formal identification for the aircraft.
Divers will be visiting the aircraft and engines to find out more information about them and possibly even identify the actual aircraft that went down.
Experts believe it could be that more than one aircraft has been located and further on-site investigation is planned.
The remains were initially detected in a geophysical survey but were not identified as being part of an aircraft.
The wreck was described by Wessex Archaeology, DHB’s archaeological contractor, as ‘seafloor disturbance’.
In July 2018, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) granted Dover Harbour Board (DHB) a licence to dredge 3 million tonnes of aggregate from the Goodwin Sands, to use as landfill for their Dover Western Docks Revival.
Campaigners say the plan to remove the sand and gravel will not only disturb wrecks but will cause coastal erosion and endanger delicate ecosystems and wildlife.
The sands have seen more than 2,000 shipwrecks. In the Great Storm of 1703, on one night alone 1,200 men were lost on its banks.
In light of the most recent find, campaigning group Goodwin Sands SOS wants the dredging licence to be suspended.
Mr Brocklehurst MBE previously spent two months searching war records to identify the locations of aircrafts shot down over the Goodwins.
He previously said: ‘I can tell you with my hand on my heart that there are missing airmen out on the Goodwins.
‘We must commemorate and protect the last resting place of our heroes.’
His list of 60 lost planes and their crews includes Spitfires and Hurricanes, as well as German Messerschmitts, Dornier Do 17s and Junkers Ju 88s, all shot down and never recovered between May 29 and November 14, 1940.
Battle of Britain Day, which will be held on 16 September, is celebrated every year to commemorate the aerial clash that took place from July 10 to October 31 in 1940, thought to be the first major military campaign fought entirely by the air forces.
In defence of the United Kingdom, the Royal Air Force fought against attacks from Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe in a battle in which Canada, Australia, Poland and New Zealand also took part.
MailOnline has contacted Dover Harbour Board’s archaeological contractors for comment.