Mysterious submarines, unidentified men in black, encrypted radio traffic on Russian on emergency frequencies, and the Swedish Navy on the hunt. Something strange is afoot in the waters of the Baltic Sea. In something akin to a spy drama from years past, the Swedish Navy has launched search vessels and fast attack craft to follow up on the credible reports of a mysterious foreign submarine off the coast of Sweden, very near the capital city of Stockholm.
The Commodore of the Swedish Navy, Jonas Wikstrom is playing his cards very close to the vest. He is largely silent on the details of the investigation and communications with other countries. The statements he has made were to alert those that are working or traveling in that high traffic area as to what is going on in very general terms. Fishing and other vessels have been asked to steer clear of the area between Nattaro island and Danziger Gatt, and stay at least 10 kilometers (about 6.2 miles) away from Swedish Navy vessels searching in the area.
Intercepted encrypted radio traffic from the area in Russian, Tu-95 Russian Bear H bombers encroaching on guarded airspace last month, strange travel patterns of Russian owned ships in the Baltic Sea around the time of the sightings, and a long history of similar transgressions throughout the years are leading to strong suspicions of Russian involvement in the appearance of this mysterious submarine.
A Russian-owned oil tanker flying a Liberian flag has been zigzagging around the sea, and a Russian research vessel, The Professor Logachev, turned off its transponder and engaged in what appeared to be a search pattern in the Baltic Sea just east of Stockholm and the area where they mystery submarine was sighted. This lends credence to the theory that a highly specialized, short range submarine may have run aground or found itself in some sort of trouble.
Amidst the tension with Ukraine and the appearance of Russian bombers off the coast of California, Russian denials aren’t passing muster. Speculation abounds as to why a mystery submarine would be lurking in the area. The Cold War days of dropping spies off on the beach are in the distant past, but other reasonable explanations have yet to be presented. Many suspect the mysterious man in black to have been just that, a Russian spy being dropped off and caught wading ashore. Russian attempts to pass the blame onto the Dutch have failed. A Dutch ministry spokeswoman has said that the only local Dutch ship had left the area Thursday and had been in port in Estonia since Friday. With three sightings since Friday, the Swedish Military isn’t taking any chances. They are sweeping the area with high tech surveillance equipment and 200 personnel. With all eyes on the region, the mystery shouldn’t persist long.