Here's the story as it appears on the website. It is substantially the same (I've not checked it completely ) as the one in the print edition:
THE 66-year search for the wreck of HMAS Sydney, on which 645 Australians lost their lives, is almost certainly over.
A group of West Australians using just a grappling hook and an underwater camera last weekend found what they are sure is the Sydney, which sank after a battle with the German raider Kormoran on November 19, 1941.
Video film of the discovery shows scenes of tangled wreckage over a vast expanse of deck, much longer than any other vessel known to have sunk in the area.
The search team believe a series of details clearly visible on their video — decking bolts, extensive radio aerials, steam tubes and signs of massive damage — all point to the Sydney.
The wreck is off Cape Inscription on the northern end of Dirk Hartog Island in about 150 metres of water.
Amateur researcher Phil Shepherd, who has been intrigued by the Sydney's fate since he saw a lifeboat from the Kormoran 61 years ago, said last night it was unlikely the wreck could be anything else.
"I've always wanted to find out where the souls of those sailors lay for all the people who have grieved over the years," Mr Shepherd said. "I've got a family member there too. This is a sacred site and a war grave — probably our most important war grave. We hope we can give the families some closure knowing where their people are and where they can place some flowers."
Mr Shepherd, who has been involved in other Sydney search groups, said despite the rudimentary nature of the vision, it threw up strong evidence supporting his contention.
"Sydney had a huge aerial system for its wireless telegraphy and we think we're seeing that on the video," he said. "There are bolts sticking out of the deck, lots of steam pipes and tangled wreckage. The bolts are important because we know the Sydney had timber decking that was tied down by the bolts.
"You would not expect that sort of damage from anything that had just sunk. It is inconsistent with it being anything else like a merchant ship.
"I knew the Sydney was flattened by the Kormoran by gunfire. She caught fire because of the wooden decking. We believe she took a torpedo and was down by the bow and yawing …
"I became more convinced when I saw all these halyards and what looked like aerial wires with insulators strewn over the debris, over railings. It looked like the mast had been shot down.
"All of this convinced me it wasn't an ordinary vessel. It didn't prove to me that it was a military vessel, but I asked myself: what else could it be if it's not the Sydney? The only other vessel it could be in that location was the Kormoran.
"If it was any other vessel than the Sydney or the Kormoran in that location, why hadn't it been reported as missing and looked at?"
Mr Shepherd said he later showed the video to another team member, diver Trevor Beaver, who had explored US naval wrecks in Truk Lagoon in the Pacific.
"He took one look at the video and he said: 'You've got it. It couldn't be anything else.' "
Mr Shepherd said about 15 years ago he noticed an anomaly on the bottom of the sea when he was fishing, but it was before the days of the global positioning system and he didn't know how to get back to it.
Early this year he was given a derivative location close to that spot by the son of a local fisherman who pulled up a copper bolt with a little bit of white timber attached to it about 12 years ago.
"From all of my research, with this new information, it became logically possible that this was the location," Mr Shepherd said.
He began working with his son Graham, master divers Ian Stiles and Trevor Beaver, Perth businessman Terry Crommelin and diving supplies agent Simon van Zeller to work out a way to investigate the site. They devised a method of getting a camera down to film the site. Last weekend the late fisherman's son agreed to take them to the spot.
"We put down a heavy grapple and we were on the spot nearly straight away and hooked up on something," Mr Shepherd said. "We put the camera down on a tether rope holding it on with U-shackles.
"When we got to the bottom we got pictures and within three minutes we spotted what looked like a spoon — which we now believe was a shovel — just laying in the sand. We were sitting there on the deck with a blanket over our heads so we could see the pictures on the screen and then this shape of what we thought was part of an aerial — now we think it's a railing — just came up out of the gloom.
"We were absolutely gobsmacked. And it just got better and better."
Ian Stiles, an oil and gas diver for 25 years, took GPS locations as the camera travelled along the deck of the wreck to the extent of available movement. He logged a length of 30 metres. The Sydney was 170 metres long.
Mr Stiles said one structure appeared to be a tripod. The Sydney had the ability to launch a Walrus aircraft which used a tripod structure.
Much as I'd like to see the Sydney's wreck located (and I've blogged about this several times ) I believe that the new claims draw a very long bow. For one thing the site identified by the purported finders is much closer to the mainland than has hitherto been thought feasible; for another it is in relatively shallow water (150m).
That said, I'll wait with considerable interest to see if these new claims are confirmed. Others, including former deputy PM Tim Fischer are also keeping their powder dry, as there have been several false alarms before, not to mention some
conspiracy unusual theories about the ship's disappearance (see links to Fischer story for some of them).
On ABC TV News tonight (the story isn't yet on the ABC website) Minister of Defence Nelson, while welcoming the news, counselled caution about the ultimate outcome. Given his previous propensity to shoot from the hip this is a prudent thing to do.