Vikram Cattermole, an award-winning 45 year old traffic warden, has discovered a British battleship buried in a remote Brazilian rainforest.
The WW2 monster, believed to be the missing 40,000 ton HMS Harlesden, was found in a shallow grave in a large clearing on the banks of the River Amazon. Satellite photographs posted on the internet last night, appear to show the battleship's huge 15 inch rear guns poking menacingly out of the forest floor at an angle of 45 degrees.
“There's evidence she was chasing the German pocket battleship Graf Spee in 1939,” revealed naval historian Rear Admiral Sir Cyril Knatchbull-Kilt today. “I suspect the Harlesden was giving the Graf Spee a damned good dose of her own medicine - before making smoke and getting herself lost up the Amazon delta,” he opined. “Otherwise she'd surely have chased the bastard Hun a thousand miles south and sent her off to the bottom, eh! What sort of worthless coward does a scuttle job up the River Plate, what?”
Nevertheless how - and indeed why - HMS Harlesden ended up buried beneath sixty feet of python infested soil, still remains a mystery. “They always presumed she'd been sunk and went down with all hands,” said a triumphant Vikram Cattermole. “I can only say I've always had this strange gut instinct there was a big boat parked-up somewhere down the Amazon,”
Plans to excavate and re-float the Harlesden are already at an advanced stage. “Once we sort out a properly legal all-day 24 hour bay including Saturday and Bank Holidays, we'll drive her back to London and open her up as a museum,” he said.