New Lead to Nord Stream Sabotage?
Two "dark ships" pose a mystery
Created: 11/30/2022, 5:14 am
By: Stephanie Munk
There were several explosions on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in September, and sabotage is suspected.
Now two "dark ships" are said to have been discovered in the satellite data.
Stockholm - Several leaks in the two gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2 - this news broke around eight weeks ago in the midst of the events of the Ukraine war around the world.
For days, huge amounts of methane flowed out of the Baltic Sea pipelines in the middle of the sea.
The suspicion quickly arose that a deliberate attack was behind it.
Explosives were probably attached to the pipelines, which exploded and caused massive damage.
To this day, investigators are trying to clarify who is responsible for the alleged sabotage of the natural gas pipelines that run from Russia to Germany.
Now there are new findings: According to new satellite data, a few days before the attack, two huge ships were underway near the leaks - so-called "dark ships".
They had switched off their tracking devices, which is actually forbidden in shipping.
This is reported by the US computer
Mysterious Ships Near Pipeline Leaks - 'Trying to Hide Information'
According to the report, the analysis of the new satellite data comes from the company "SpaceKnow".
It was able to spot two ships, some 95 to 130 meters long, sailing a few miles from the eventual leaks.
"They had their beacons turned off, so there was no information about their movement, and they were trying to hide their location information and general information from the world," SpaceKnow boss Jerry Javornicky is quoted as saying.
In total, 25 ships were identified in the weeks leading up to the Nord Stream explosions that were in the area, it said.
23 had Automatic Identification System (AIS) trackers on - two did not.
This is a requirement under international law.
The AIS automatically sends the ship's name, direction of travel, location and other data.
It is designed to prevent accidents at sea and to help with navigation.
The Swedish Coast Guard aerial photograph from late September 2022 shows gas escaping from a leak in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. © The Swedish Coast Guard/Imago
Ships without tracking device near Baltic Sea pipelines - is Russia behind sabotage?
If a ship turns off its automatic tracker, it is usually suspected of being involved in illegal fishing or human trafficking,
Especially in the Baltic Sea with its immense shipping traffic, it is very unusual to switch off the identification system, "unless the ships have a secret military mission or other secret goals," Otto Tabuns, director of the NGO "Baltic Security Foundation", is quoted as saying.
The findings about the "dark ships" are likely to fuel speculation about the cause of the pipeline leaks.
The majority of western countries suspect Russia to be behind the sabotage act - even if it sounds paradoxical that President Vladimir Putin is destroying his own pipelines.
However, it could be part of psychological warfare to fuel fears in Europe of an energy crisis and send a signal that Russia could damage other vital undersea lines as well.
Russia, however, rejects all accusations and speaks of an "act of terrorism".
In a speech, Putin openly accused the United States of being behind the attacks.
In any case, the company "SpaceKnow" has now made its findings about the "dark ships" available to NATO for their further investigations,