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    HMS Royal Oak Hologram on display at the Orkney Museum in Kirkwall

    Hi Mairiuna!

    Remember when in Kirkwall, we visited the Orkney Museum, just opposite St-Magnus Cathedral?

    I’ve learned since that the museum is housed in one of Scotland’s finest vernacular town house:
    the Tankerness House, built in 1574.


    Tankerness House Orkney Museum

    Tankerness House – Orkney Museum (c) Scotiana 2012

    Be it said that the entrance from the main street leaves no clue to the large building that lays behind! The story about this building involves a large fire, pirates and a restoration project, but I’ll come back to that later on.

    Tankerness Orkney Museum in Kirkland, Scotland

    Tankerness Orkney Museum in Kirkland, Scotland – Photo Scotiana 2003

    What I would like to share now is what happened when the museum was about to close and a group of five or six men arrived, completely drenched, soaked to the bones, asking to see the hologram of the HMS Royal Oak.

    Due to closing time, the staff lady in charge hesitated to let them in. Unable not to resist all those demanding eyes, she granted them five minutes to go into the room where the hologram was on display.

    I had no clue about the hologram they were talking about, so followed to see why they were so eager to see it.

    In fear of forgetting their conversation over it, I took this little film. It’s not the best video, but happy to share.


    Now myself intrigued about this historical event and hologram, I ventured on the Internet to get more information about the sinking of the HMS Royal Oak battleship:

    The HMS Royal Oak was a Revenge-class battleship of the British Royal Navy, the first battleship sunk in the Second World War whilst she was anchored in the Scapa Flow, off the coast of Orkney, Scotland.

    She was torpedoed by a German U-47 submarine on October 14, 1939, and lost 833 of her crew. In 2006, the Salvage & Marine Operations unit of the UK Ministry of Defence commissioned Archaeological Diving Unit Surveys (ADUS), a collaboration between St Andrews University and Dundee University, to provide sonar images of the Royal Oak.

    ADUS contacted Holoxica to see if it was possible to put the sonar scan into a 3D hologram. Holoxica took the 1.1M point cloud dataset and managed to convert it into a horizontal format hologram which can be laid flat and it’s possible to walk 360 degrees around it, or view it from all sides by mounting it on a turntable.

    Source: HMS Royal Oak on Vimeo

    HMS Royal Oak from Holoxica on Vimeo.

    This article further give insights on the environmental consequence of the battleship laying on the seabed:

    Martin Dean, managing director of ADUS, said: “We are excited by the holographic visualisation produced by Holoxica from our wreck survey data. This is undoubtedly a major step forward in helping people to understand the condition of wrecks on the seabed, an important consideration for both cultural and environmental reasons.

    “The Royal Oak is not only an important historic wreck, it is also slowly leaking fuel oil which could be a threat to the surrounding area.”

    Recognized as a war grave, the wrecked battleship is protected from the recreational divers and each year, on the day of October 14th, Royal Navy divers fly the Royal Ensign above the hull of the Royal Oak in memory of the victims.

    Holograms have fascinated people since their inception. Even stamp collectors as holograms on stamps is a very popular topic. Click here to view some displayed on Discover Topical Stamp Collecting website.




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