Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

White Sands Battleship?

Earth battleshipYou never know quite what you’re going to come across when you set off on a hunt for some information.

Chasing up some leads on old RAF bases in Scotland, one of those ultra-smart web searches threw up this image (no, I couldn’t find anything on the original page to suggest why, it certainly had nothing to with my search).

The caption that came with it indicated that it was a representation of the Bismarck, constructed for the British during World War II, to carry out practice air attacks for a forthcoming assault on the German battleship.

Also said never to have been used, and built for the British by the Americans.

The location given for this creation is somewhere on the White Sands ranges, used for such things as missile test.

Unfortunately, that’s all the info the story came with. No indication of the actual location of this feature, and not even as much as a hint of which part of the White Sand’s ranges it could be found on.

Normally, it’s fairly easy, if a little time-consuming on occasion, to apply the Mark I eyeball to Google Mapping or Google Earth and spot where an image has been grabbed from, and there’s plenty of detail to work with on this one. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to realise that unless you’ve got a lot of spare time, or get very lucky early on, you won’t be finding this one soon. The ranges are just as large as you would expect them to be for missile (and whatever else) testing, and the picture is too small to give a general indication of its surroundings. The ranges are next to featureless unless you zoom in close enough to see the road detail given in the pic, and at that level, progress is deathly slow over the area concerned.

So, if you find yourself with nothing better to do, you could do worse than have a stab at the White Sands ranges, and if you get lucky, post the lat/lon or a links back here, and put the rest of us out of our misery.

(This appeal for help was successful, and you will find the location in the comments below).

America’s Dark Secrets

The television programme gained access to the site.

The ‘ship’ is 300 ft short of the 800 ft Bismark’s length.

The ship is the hole left when a berm was constructed to protect observers from an MLRS (multiple launch rocket system) launch test


June 29, 2007 - Posted by | Maps, World War II


  1. 33.0764° N, 106.183° W

    Found in Google Earth Hacks collection.


    Comment by SEWilco | September 17, 2007

  2. You have the thanks of a small group of owners of blood-shot eyes.

    Thanks for taking a moment to post the link.


    Comment by Apollo | September 18, 2007

  3. ref: the whitesands battleship and location..
    if you go to google maps and type whitesands battleship it will take you right there…


    Comment by David Lock | March 21, 2008

  4. […] become a bit more mundane, and might start to feature more odd secrets, along the lines of the old White Sands Battleship? […]


    Pingback by March roundup « Secret Scotland | April 2, 2009

  5. i was stationed there. it is a replica ship deck used for firing missiles off of in a real drill type setting. it does look funny, driving through the desert and seeing a complete ship deck.


    Comment by schemefactory | July 20, 2011

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