History

Updated: Archaeological Zones at Sea TM notice

Updated: Archaeological Zones at Sea TM notice

Last month Transport Malta has issued the updated Coastal notice to mariners regarding historical wrecks declared as archaeological zones at sea by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. If you’re a non-diver, or never dived these wrecks, most of these can be seen at https://underwatermalta.org/ To dive these wrecks, which are mainly under 50m depth, one Read More

Maltese entities participate in Blue Culture Technology Excellence Hubs for promotion of Underwater Cultural Heritage

Maltese entities participate in Blue Culture Technology Excellence Hubs for promotion of Underwater Cultural Heritage

We are reproducing below an email being circulated locally by the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) announcing its participation in a Maltese Blue Culture Technology Excellence Hub. According to information at http://bcthubs.eu: “BCThubs aims to build in the participating Widening countries (i.e. Greece, Bulgaria and Malta), Blue Culture Technology Excellence Hubs, as permanent structures, supporting Read More

B-24 Liberator – Archaeologists’ work leads to identification of remains of missing airman after 80 years.

B-24 Liberator – Archaeologists’ work leads to identification of remains of missing airman after 80 years.

The Times of Malta today reports about the discovery of human remains amongst the wreckage of a B-24 Liberator airplane. The plane has recently been opened for divers to visit as part of the Heritage Malta Underwater Museum technical dive sites. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) (USA) announced this news on the 31 August Read More

Diving in the deep (history)

Diving in the deep (history)

This interview published today on Maltatoday with Professor Timothy Gambin provides an insight into the reasons for declaring an underwater park 100m deep, as well as an insight into the importance and ways to appreciate our underwater heritage. A large stretch of seabed off Xlendi has just been inaugurated as a deepwater archaeological park: billed Read More

Monument in memory of the victims of the SS Polynésien to be inaugurated

Monument in memory of the victims of the SS Polynésien to be inaugurated

Timesofmalta.com reported today that the Serbian community organisation in Malta is to erect a monument on the Marsascala coast to recall the sinking, 105 years ago, of the ocean liner SS Polynésien some 3km offshore. A Serbian community organisation in Malta is to erect a monument on the Marsascala coast to recall the sinking, 105 Read More

World’s first Deepwater Archaeological Park inaugurated off Xlendi

World’s first Deepwater Archaeological Park inaugurated off Xlendi

Local media today announced that yesterday evening, an official announcement was done that a stretch of sea outside of Xlendi, Gozo has been declared the World’s first Deepwater Archaeological Park. The park is also complemented by the nearby Xlendi Tower which hosts some artefacts that had been recovered from the seabed and which was also Read More

Archaeology and the Sea in the Maltese Islands

Archaeology and the Sea in the Maltese Islands

From https://bdlbooks.com/product/archaeology-and-the-sea-in-the-maltese-islands/ The Maltese Islands have, since ancient times, been witness to various degrees of maritime activity. This movement of ships was mainly linked to the island’ excellent harbours. Over the last 50 years, the introduction and rapid increase of SCUBA diving around Malta and Gozo has led to numerous archaeological discoveries on the seabed. Read More

Diving Team commander saves St. John Co-Cathedral

Diving Team commander saves St. John Co-Cathedral

In an article on The Malta Independent, Albert Galea tells the story of when in the 1950s a huge WW2 bomb was found just outside St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, and by “luck” (read more in the article), responsibility on carting it away (without blowing up the Co-cathedral nor anyone close enough) ended up in Read More

700BC – That’s how old these recovered amphorae are!

700BC – That’s how old these recovered amphorae are!

The Munxar Local Council announced the official opening of the restored Xlendi Tower, which will house a collection of amphorae, some of which recovered from the nearby seabed more than 60 years ago. The official opening of the Xlendi Tower will happen on the 5 July 2023 at 19:00, which will also be the first Read More

Napier Lion engine recovery

Napier Lion engine recovery

Posted by Frederick Galea on Facebook on the 29/06/2023. During the summer of 1996 scuba-diver David Schembri, while underwater, came across an aircraft engine laying on the sea-bed fairly close to the island of Filfla, and at a distance from Dingli cliffs. He informed our Foundation about the find, and within a short while, wheels Read More

Xlendi Tower features recovered underwater artifacts from 2,000 years ago

Xlendi Tower features recovered underwater artifacts from 2,000 years ago

Timesofmalta.com reports today about the reopening of the Xlendi Tower, which will also include an exhibition of underwater artifacts retrieved nearby in the 60s which have been dated back to Roman Times. Read more about the Xlendi Tower restoration and re-opening here. Well done to authorities for displaying artifacts close to where they were recovered Read More

Steamship Adjutant

Steamship Adjutant

These islands have seen more wrecks than those we visit today… and maybe a few bits and pieces may still be lying around. Thanks to Kevin for sharing the below information about a lesser known event, and maybe spare a thought for those who did not survive them. Thanks to Kevin Aquilina, a wreck enthusiast Read More

Prof. Timmy Gambin participated in a conference on new technologies in maritime archaeology held in Rabat, Morocco

Prof. Timmy Gambin participated in a conference on new technologies in maritime archaeology held in Rabat, Morocco

From University of Malta News Website Prof. Timmy Gambin, from the Department of Classics & Archaeology, recently participated in a conference on new technologies in maritime archaeology held in Rabat, Morocco. The conference served as a platform for international experts from various backgrounds to share their research and innovative practices in the field. Gambin’s presentation Read More

Main-plane reconstruction for Spitfire EN199

Main-plane reconstruction for Spitfire EN199

Post by Mr Frederick Galea on Facebook on the 1 June 2022 The other day we showed you the reconstruction of the main-planes. This time we shall see what other components were required for the project to move on towards completion. NOTE: Today, in place is Maltese legislation protecting underwater cultural heritage.

Main-plane reconstruction for Spitfire EN199

Main-plane reconstruction for Spitfire EN199

Posted by Frederick Galea on Facebook on the 26/05/2023. The other day we showed you the recovered Spitfire main-spar c/w undercarriage legs. These are necessary basic items required to commence reconstruction work on main-planes – most aircraft structures (possibly all) are built around their main-spars. In the accompanying photographs we shall show a quick progression Read More

Magnetometer survey results off the north-eastern coast of Malta 2010-2014

Magnetometer survey results off the north-eastern coast of Malta 2010-2014

The below page from the Archaeological Society of Malta contains the text of a report on the magnetometer survey results off the north-eastern coast of Malta 2010-2014: Mellieħa Bay, Salina Bay, and St Paul’s Bay carried out by University of Malta researchers.

Early underwater archaeology and research in Malta (1960-70)

Early underwater archaeology and research in Malta (1960-70)

From The Malta Independent on Sunday Leafing through the pages of the annual reports on the working of the Museum Department for the years 1960-70, it is possible to have a particularly good overview of what was a relatively new specialised field and branch of research. Underwater archaeology started to thrive in the early 1960s Read More

Dornier Do J Wal Jupiter VIII – Gnejna underwater wreck

Dornier Do J Wal Jupiter VIII – Gnejna underwater wreck

Posted by Frederick Galea on Facebook on 12/05/2023 On 16 February 1932, Dornier Do J Wal Jupiter VIII – 112 R Cabina Piaggio force-landed owing to engine trouble at a point 30 miles SW of Delimara at 08:50 hours local time. A 202 Squadron floatplane was dispatched to locate the aircraft with assistance of DF Read More

Naval Air Crash at Delimara – Rescue Plane Driven Ashore

Naval Air Crash at Delimara – Rescue Plane Driven Ashore

Post by Frederick Galea on Facebook on the 28/04/2020 Times of Malta -Tuesday, March 29, 1949 Naval Air Crash at Delimara – Rescue Plane Driven Ashore Our Services Reporter Lieutenant (1) M.D. Stanley, R.N., the pilot of a Mosquito aircraft which crashed into the sea off Delimara Point on Saturday morning, has still not been Read More

Spitfire wreck located off the coast of Gozo – Heritage Malta Site

Spitfire wreck located off the coast of Gozo – Heritage Malta Site

Article & photos reproduced from post by Frederick Galea on Facebook posted on the 21/04/2023 The history of the Spitfire wreck located off the coast of Gozo is linked to Operation Husky – the Allied invasion of Sicily (10 July 1943-17 August 1943). After the Allied victory in North Africa (Operation Torch), a decision was Read More

Spitfire Vc BR108

Spitfire Vc BR108

Posted in a Facebook post on the 14 April 2023 by Frederick Galea. During the early morning 8 July 1942, seven Ju88s escorted by Bf109s and twenty-one MC.202s made for Luqa. The formation was intercepted by Spitfires from three squadrons. Flt Lt Lester Sanders led his 603 Squadron to attack the bombers, but they had Read More

Spitfire Vb EP122/L

Spitfire Vb EP122/L

Article and Photos posted by Frederick Galea on Facebook on the 30/03/2023. A Malta Police Report reads as follows: “23.03.1943. – A Spitfire struck a cliff near Fungus Reek, Dwejra, Gozo, whilst trying to land in a field nearby. The pilot was extricated and conveyed to Victoria Hospital”. A 1995 cross-check with the records at Read More

Liberator B24-D code U 42-40112

Liberator B24-D code U 42-40112

Post by Frederick Galea on Facebook on the 24/03/2023 The following information was derived during an interrogation of Lt Chilcott, T/Sgt Bullock, T/Sgt Hord and S/Sgt Robinson, by Intelligence Officer Captain Stephen C Van Fleet, United States Air Corps: 343 Squadron of the United States Army Air Force based in Lete in the Middle East Read More

Bristol Beaufighter T5174/N

Bristol Beaufighter T5174/N

At 11:25 hours nine Beaufighters of 272 Squadron took off to escort nine Beauforts of 39 Squadron on a shipping strike off Punto Stelo. At 11:38 hours Beaufighter T5174/N, with Sgt Donald Frazee RCAF, at the controls and Sgt Sandery as observer, began to vibrate violently and lost speed rapidly. There was no option but Read More

Videos by Alessandro Bajada

Videos by Alessandro Bajada

Alessandro Bajada is well known on social media for his photography, as well as for digitising and sharing vintage footage showing Maltese landscapes from decades ago. Below is a selection of videos that he has uploaded to Facebook that are relevant to diving, going back even 50 years ago! 1973 – First Northern European Championships Read More

Bristol Beaufort DW805 – Part 2

Bristol Beaufort DW805 – Part 2

Post on Facebook Shared by Frederick Galea on 24/02/2023 More scuba-dives on the sunken wreck of the Bristol Beaufort took place between 12-24 October 1992, by a group of RAF divers out from the UK, led by Master Engineer Phil Nobbs; Chief Tech Chris Manning, Sqn Ldr John Sadler, Flt Lt Mark Istance, WO Dave Read More

Bristol Beaufort DW805 – Part 1

Bristol Beaufort DW805 – Part 1

From Facebook post by Frederick Galea on the 17/02/2023 Bristol Beaufort DW805 ditched off the coast below Fort St Leonardo owing to engine problems on 21 August 1942 – an OADU aircraft. Sgt Pritchard, the WOP/AG, was slightly injured in the crash, but Plt Off Moody and his crew took to their dinghy and were Read More

Rolls Royce Merlin aero-engine recovery 1970s

Rolls Royce Merlin aero-engine recovery 1970s

From Facebook post by Frederick Galea on the 10/02/2023 A Rolls Royce Merlin aero-engine from a Hawker Hurricane wartime crash site lay on the seabed off the Marsascala/Zonqor area for many years in 16m of water. The images shown are dated late 1970s, and in the early 80s, during one of my recovery ‘adventures’, I Read More

Daimer Benz 601 aircraft engine recovery

Daimer Benz 601 aircraft engine recovery

Article & Pictures posted by Frederick Galea on Facebook on the 03/02/2023 Another of my ‘adventures’ was the organising of the recovery of a Daimler Benz 601 aircraft engine from an underwater crash site of a Messerschmitt Bf109 off Bahar ic-Caghaq, some years back. Needless to say, friends of mine from the scuba-diving fraternity were Read More

TM – Consolidated list of Archaeological Zones at Sea

TM – Consolidated list of Archaeological Zones at Sea

On the 23 January 2023 Transport Malta issued Notice to Mariners 04 of 2023 – Archaeological zones at sea – Superintendence of Cultural Heritage (Consolidated list January 2023) The list includes the sites protected under the Cultural Heritage Act (CAP445). As per the notice, several conditions are required to carry out diving operations at these Read More

Junkers Jumo Aeroengine

Junkers Jumo Aeroengine

Article and Pictures posted on Facebook by Frederick Galea on the 27/01/2023 In the evening of 5th March 1941, an estimated sixty bombers accompanied by Messerschmitt fighters, raided the Island. The Ju87 (J9+CH Werk-Nr.5297) crewed by Uffz Wilhelm Singer and Obgfr Paul Stapf was shot down into the sea off Zonqor Point. On 22nd June Read More

The Malta Airport Foundation supports Heritage Malta in declaring the world’s first deep-water archaeological park

The Malta Airport Foundation supports Heritage Malta in declaring the world’s first deep-water archaeological park

HeritageMalta reported on it website that The Malta Airport Foundation is pleased to announce that it is supporting Heritage Malta’s pioneering work to declare an underwater site the world’s first deep-water archaeological park. First discovered in 1993 just off Xlendi Bay in Gozo, the site lies at 105 metres below sea level and is composed Read More

Malta’s most popular diveable wrecks documented in mini-series

Malta’s most popular diveable wrecks documented in mini-series

Timesofmalta.com reports that the Malta Airport Foundation has launched Submerged World, a mini-series documenting six of the Maltese islands’ most popular diveable wrecks. The six-part series kicked off with an instalment on the tanker Um El Faroud, which was scuttled 1998, becoming one of the Maltese Islands’ first artificial reefs and diving attractions. The six-minute Read More

Heritage Malta Underwater Cultural Heritage Unit

Heritage Malta Underwater Cultural Heritage Unit

The Heritage Malta Underwater Cultural Heritage Unit takes care of Wrecks and other Underwater Cultural Heritage around the Maltese Islands. This entity manages the deep wrecks around the Maltese Islands, many of which can be virtually visited in the Underwater Malta Virtual Museum. To visit these wrecks, a booking system is operated through Diving Centres Read More

Phoenician Shipwreck: ‘Findings provide a piece of a puzzle that helps us understand our past’

Phoenician Shipwreck: ‘Findings provide a piece of a puzzle that helps us understand our past’

From “The Malta Independent” Research on a Phoenician-era shipwreck off Xlendi in Gozo can help us better understand our past, Professor Timmy Gambin told The Malta Independent. “Our research is important because nobody has excavated at the depth that we have excavated. To a certain extent, we’ve unlocked at least some of the doors for Read More

A Punic wreck off the coast of Gozo – a lecture by Prof. Timmy Gambin

A Punic wreck off the coast of Gozo – a lecture by Prof. Timmy Gambin

From Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/events/7637958129610354/?ref=newsfeed Details —————————————-We have a small number of seats left for non-members. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR THIS EVENT. TO REGISTER, SEND AN EMAIL TO: info@wirtghawdex.org with email subject: “7th July event”. Registration will take place on a first come, first served basis. If you would like to attend similar future events, and Read More

Government to fund further studies on Punic wreck off Xlendi

Government to fund further studies on Punic wreck off Xlendi

From the Malta Independent The government has committed €140,000 through an agreement with the University of Malta for continued studies on an underwater Punic wreck off the coast of Xlendi. The agreement was signed by Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri and university Rector Alfred Vella. Camilleri said the discovery merits full attention as it can shed Read More