That is awesome.
Shifting sands reveal World War Two fighter plane lost for 65 years
Last updated at 01:00am on 15th November 2007
For 65 years, this Second World War fighter had lain hidden under the surface of a beach where it crash-landed.
Just a short distance above it, holidaying families have built sandcastles, strolled and swum, all unaware of its existence.
But now the P-38 Lightning has re-emerged after freak weather conditions caused the sands to shift and expose its rusting frame.
The U.S. aircraft - with its distinctive "twinboom" design - was discovered on the North Wales coast, but the location is being kept secret in case it is targeted by looters.
Its remains were spotted by a family in July, but it was thought to be an unmanned drone used for aerial target practice from the 1950s.
However, a local aviation enthusiast recognised it from a newspaper photo and contacted a group of U.S. aircraft historians.
The Lightning has been identified using its serial number and other records. It was built in 1941 and reached Britain in 1942 before flying combat missions along the Dutch-Belgian coast.
It was flown by Second Lieutenant Robert F. "Fred" Elliott, 24, from North Carolina.
The P-38 fighter plane: One was lost off the Welsh coast during a gunnery practice mission on September 27, 1942, a fuel supply problem forced him to make an emergency landing on the nearest suitable place - the Welsh beach.
His belly landing in shallow water sheared off a wingtip, but he escaped unhurt.
Unfortunately, less than three months later, the veteran of more than ten combat missions was shot down over Tunisia. His plane and body were never found.
His nephew, Robert Elliott, 64, of Blountville, Tennessee, has spent nearly 30 years trying to learn more about his uncle's career.
"This is just a monumental discovery and a very emotional thing," said Mr Elliott, who hopes to be present for the recovery. Ric Gillespie, who heads the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, is leading the mission to recover the P-38.
"American officers had the guns removed, and the records say the aircraft was salvaged, but it wasn't," he said.
"It was gradually covered with sand, and there it sat for 65 years. With censorship in force and British beaches closed to the public during the war, nobody knew it was there.
"It's sort of like Brigadoon, the mythical Scottish village that appears and disappears. The fighter is arguably the oldest P-38 in existence. In that respect it's a major find."
The twin-engine P-38 was conceived by Lockheed design genius Clarence "Kelly" Johnson in the late 1930s. Some 10,000 were built, and about 32 complete or partial airframes are believed to still exist.
The recovery group plans to collaborate with British museum experts in recovering the nearly intact but fragile aircraft next spring. The Imperial War Museum Duxford and the Royal Air Force Museum are among the institutions expressing interest in it.
That is awesome.