Plans are being drawn up to search for the wreckage of bandleader Glenn Miller's plane off the Dorset coast following a fisherman's surprise revelation.

The retired seafarer, who is not being named, has come forward to say has said he is "utterly convinced" that he pulled up the wreck of the American musician's crashed light aircraft in his fishing nets 32 years ago.

He has told investigators the single engine plane his trawler snagged on in 1987 was "incredibly similar" to Miller's plane.

Coastguards at the time advised him to drop the aircraft back where he found it, in 130ft of water about 30 miles south of Portland Bill.

The fisherman says he thought nothing more of it, until years later when he saw photographs of the UC-64 Norseman plane Miller had been flying in with two others when it vanished without trace in December 1944.

US-based The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which describes the fisherman's account as credible, now plans to carry out a search later this year.

It has teamed up with Weymouth-based dive exploration group Deeper Dorset.

Jazz musician Miller was one of the best-selling recording artists in the 1930s and '40s, with his biggest hit being In the Mood.

His disappearance remains one of the greatest mysteries of the Second World War.

His light aircraft had taken off from an airfield in Bedfordshire to fly to Paris where he was due to give a morale-boosting performance. But he never made it and the plane crashed in the Channel in thick fog.

There have been conspiracy theories surrounding his death over the years.

Members of TIGHAR have already visited Dorset to interview the fisherman and carry out research – Weymouth diver Grahame Knott of Deeper Dorset assisted with the fact-finding mission.

Mr Knott, who previously found the wreckage of the Hercules, a US Air Force plane that crashed into the Channel in 1969, said: "I met with members of the team after they flew in from America.

"I gave them a bit of local information and advice as part of their fact finding mission."

TIGHAR also spoke to several experienced fishermen who said they had also previously encountered an underwater obstruction in the area in question.

Ric Gillespie, of TIGHAR, said: "I was contacted last year by one of our members in the UK who had been approached by a retired fisherman who told a story.

"He was captain of a fishing trawler and their nets hooked on something. They pulled it to the surface and he was amazed to see what he had was a small aircraft with World War Two markings.

"It was the whole plane, a single engine, fixed landing gear with the wing tips sticking out of his net.

"Several years later he realised the plane he pulled up looked very much like the plane Glenn Miller disappeared in.

"We spent many months researching the witness account and found no reason to say that it couldn't be Glenn Miller's plane."

Mr Gillespie added: "Glenn Miller...took a flight he shouldn't have taken and went down in the Channel.

"But finding the wreckage of his plane will bring an end to the story and the conspiracy theories."