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Cargo Ship With Russian Crew missing in Atlantic days after search by unknown masked men

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posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:20 AM
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Russian navy to search for missing ship off Spain


From the link:



News agencies say Russian naval ships are joining the search for a cargo ship with Russian sailors that has gone missing off Spain.
ITAR-Tass says ships from Russia's Black Sea fleet will begin searching for the Arctic Sea and its 15 Russian crew members beginning Tuesday.

Officials say contact was lost with the ship, which was carrying lumber from Finland to Algeria, on July 28.

Days earlier, masked men who identified themselves as police officers briefly seized the ship in Swedish waters and beat up the crew. But Swedish authorities said they hadn't searched any ships.

Russian maritime expert Mikhail Voitenko said the ship's cargo belonged to Finnish wood products giant Stora Enso Oyj and could be worth up to $1.5 million.




Ship with Russian crew goes missing in Atlantic


From the link:



MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - A cargo ship with Russian crew has gone missing off Portugal's Atlantic coast, the Russian maritime journal Sovfrakht reported on Sunday.

The dry cargo vessel, the Arctic Sea, was expected to arrive at the Algerian port of Bejaia on August 4.

However, "the vessel has literally disappeared since July 28: there is no communication, and neither the ship-owners nor the relatives [of crewmembers] nor Lloyd's have any information about its whereabouts," Sovfrakht editor Mikhail Voitenko said.

On July 24, people who claimed to be police stopped the Arctic Sea in the Baltic Sea, tied up the crew and searched the vessel for 12 hours. The Arctic Sea resumed its voyage after they left the ship.

According to media reports, the Arctic Sea, which flies the Maltese flag, had a crew of 13 people as of late March.




I've not seen this posted anywhere on ATS, so I thought I would post this as it's rather odd.


A Cargo ship with Russian Crew, heading for the destination of Algeria, is boarded by unidentified masked men while in Swedish waters on July 24th, claim to be police, tie up the crew, search the ship for 12 hours, and then leave the ship.


Sweden denies it searched the ship.


Four days later, on July 28th, the ship is well on it's way again when it and it's crew disappears with no communication or information on it's whereabouts.



Now, we could put this down to pirates boarding the ship a first time, and then boarding it a second time, but if it was pirates (In the Atlantic?) why not when boarding it the first time, and wanting to seize the ship, why not stay instead of coming back a second time and having to seize the ship and overpower the crew all over again?


Another thing is that when the masked men left, I saw on a news channel that they took no valuables or money from the crew......is that pirate behaviour?


Especially considering as the cargo the ship was supposed to be carrying could be worth 1.5 million?


So if we rule out pirates, or inexperienced and indecisive pirates, then we are looking at a Cargo Ship crewed by Russians heading for Algeria, which was seized, the crew tied up, and the ship searched for 12 hours by masked men claiming to be police while in Swedish waters, the masked men then leave, the ship continue on it's way before disappearing four days later.



What were the masked men looking on the ship for over a period of 12 hours?


If we rule out pirates seizing the ship and overpowering the crew a first and then second time, who were these masked men? And what has happened to the ship and it's crew four days after being released?


Is it far-fetched to think Spec Ops? Told to search the ship for a certain specific cargo (Nukes?) and upon not finding it, leaving?


If so, again, what happened to the cargo ship?




[edit on 10-8-2009 by Regensturm]




posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:25 AM
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Somebody probably smuggled something aboard that had to be recovered. Hence the search. I cannot begin to account for the disappearance.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:37 AM
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That's nice of the Russians to search for the ship, seeing as it's not even a Russian registered ship.


A cargo ship with a Russian crew has disappeared off the coast of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean, the Russian maritime journal Sovfracht reports.

It says contact with the Maltese-flagged Arctic Sea vessel, with a crew of 13, was lost on 28 July.

Russian crew ship 'disappears'

Sounds to me like the Russians are trying to cover up a false flag operation with a concerned effort to locate the ship.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by Regensturm
 


This is what I come to ATS for.. very interesting.

OP you mentioned pirates with little experience (or common sense) I think it could be the reverse and that these are very clever pirates, perhaps gauging the cargo and what they would need to transport it off the ship, either that or just stalling the voyage by 12 hours for some reason.

It's odd that they would take no valuables but as far as I can see they seemed to want to carry off this guise of being police officers, how many nations police take a freighter, tie up and rough up the crew when the ship is carrying just wood..

The only other possibility I can think of is sabotage by the men who made their way onto the ship, setting up something ready to sink it a little further into its voyage? Attacked in one countries waters but sunk in anothers.. would certainly shift the blame if it's found with a torpedo or drill hole in the bottom of it.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:00 AM
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"masked men claiming to be Police" would suggest that these were not simply pirates in rags with scarves over their faces. If they were claiming to be Police, and they managed to get aboard, they were likely in some kind of uniform.

That alone tells me that this was a special operations team from one nation or another, and probably working on intelligence gathered.

Why they would have left and then the vessel went missing is anyone's guess. Perhaps they missed what they were looking for and gained more intel later to confirm it was on board?
Perhaps it was just coincidence that they were searched by this team and then an accident happened?
Perhaps this vessel hasn't gone missing and Russia is reporting it as so to allow for the rest of the story to be made public?

My gut feeling is that American Intelligence uncovered something, and they sent a team in to investigate. Perhaps they were sent in to locate something, confirm it was there, and then sabotage the vessel.

It's very confusing, but this wouldn't be out in the public domain unless they wanted it to be. So I am suspicious of the motives.
Someone is certainly suggesting that the international community should be cautious of Russia right now. Why anyone would want to state that is anyone's guess.

Russia has stepped up their game recently. But this is now being made public by various nations and governments. Which suggests that they are beginning to paint Russia as a threat. How that benefits each nation beyond a justification for defence moves is again open to question.

It has been said many times that the solution to global financial problems is a global war. Perhaps we are seeing Russia reaching for the global leader position before China discovers they are in the prime position for it?



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:03 AM
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Was that the ship that lost its load of the south of England and dropped its load of Wood near the coast of Hampshire somewhere, the crew got Reprimanded for shoddy stowing and it was estimated that the was serious structural damage to said ship, smells of a cover plan to me



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:08 AM
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Maybe the "police" that boarded the ship found what they were looking for. They took it with them and left an explosive charge on a timer to scuttle the ship once it was out in deep water.

Just a thought.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by ItsallCrazy
reply to post by Regensturm
 


This is what I come to ATS for.. very interesting.

OP you mentioned pirates with little experience (or common sense) I think it could be the reverse and that these are very clever pirates, perhaps gauging the cargo and what they would need to transport it off the ship, either that or just stalling the voyage by 12 hours for some reason.

It's odd that they would take no valuables but as far as I can see they seemed to want to carry off this guise of being police officers, how many nations police take a freighter, tie up and rough up the crew when the ship is carrying just wood..



Good point, but the thing is, if they intended to go away so that they could arrange transport to take the cargo off the ship, why release the ship and crew the first time? Surely this would raise the risk of the crew raising the alarm, as did happen when they reported the seizing of the ship by men claiming to be police, and would have brought the risk of the ship coming under supervision escort of some sort for the rest of the voyage, complicating matters?


Why not leave a few men on the cargo ship to make sure the alarm was not raised by suspicious crew members?



Originally posted by ItsallCrazy

The only other possibility I can think of is sabotage by the men who made their way onto the ship, setting up something ready to sink it a little further into its voyage? Attacked in one countries waters but sunk in anothers.. would certainly shift the blame if it's found with a torpedo or drill hole in the bottom of it.




There's something funny about this, that's for certain.



Originally posted by detachedindividual
"masked men claiming to be Police" would suggest that these were not simply pirates in rags with scarves over their faces. If they were claiming to be Police, and they managed to get aboard, they were likely in some kind of uniform.

That alone tells me that this was a special operations team from one nation or another, and probably working on intelligence gathered.

Why they would have left and then the vessel went missing is anyone's guess. Perhaps they missed what they were looking for and gained more intel later to confirm it was on board?



The possibility of Special ops is something I would not rule out, a search, and then after the search, the ship dissapears, perhaps sabotaged to be sank, the cargo on board making it necessary....but why not take the crew off....unless there was a fear the crew would have talked publicly about it, in which case, why not take them for questioning and de-briefing...


Originally posted by detachedindividual
Perhaps it was just coincidence that they were searched by this team and then an accident happened?



Well, it's possible the crew were traumatised after having the ship seized and they being tied up....but do coincidences like that happen often?



Originally posted by detachedindividual
Perhaps this vessel hasn't gone missing and Russia is reporting it as so to allow for the rest of the story to be made public?

My gut feeling is that American Intelligence uncovered something, and they sent a team in to investigate. Perhaps they were sent in to locate something, confirm it was there, and then sabotage the vessel.

It's very confusing, but this wouldn't be out in the public domain unless they wanted it to be. So I am suspicious of the motives.
Someone is certainly suggesting that the international community should be cautious of Russia right now. Why anyone would want to state that is anyone's guess.


Russia has stepped up their game recently. But this is now being made public by various nations and governments. Which suggests that they are beginning to paint Russia as a threat. How that benefits each nation beyond a justification for defence moves is again open to question.




I think if we take into consideration the CIA 'Cold War Warriors' and the NeoCons, and indeed KGB 'Cold War Warriors', there were fears of those who still believed with the fall of The Berlin Wall, The dynamics of the world had not changed from being that of US vs Russia, and wished to see hostilities continue between them.



Originally posted by detachedindividual
It has been said many times that the solution to global financial problems is a global war. Perhaps we are seeing Russia reaching for the global leader position before China discovers they are in the prime position for it?



We know what happened after The Great Depression = World War Two.


It created superpowers.







[edit on 10-8-2009 by Regensturm]

[edit on 10-8-2009 by Regensturm]

[edit on 10-8-2009 by Regensturm]



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by Ferris.Bueller.II
 


Russian crew ship 'disappears'


From the Link:



Arctic Sea was built in 1991 and is operated by a firm based in Russia's northern city of Arkhangelsk, Sovfracht says.



The question is, why sail under the Maltese Flag? Unless Malta is one of the countries that have loose requirements for the standard a ship has to be sea-worthy.



Russian Navy sends out alerts over disappearance of vessel Arctic Sea



From the Link:



MOSCOW. Aug 10 (Interfax) - Russia's Navy is carefully analyzing the situation surrounding the vessel Arctic Sea, which is believed to have gone missing off Portugal's coast in the Atlantic Ocean, the navy said in a press release on Sunday.

"Appropriate alerts have been sent to the navy's ships and
vessels," the navy said.

The crew of the vessel Arctic Sea consists of Russian citizens.
The dry cargo vessel Arctic Sea with a Russian crew went missing
off Portugal's coast in the Atlantic Ocean as it was heading to
Gibraltar, Mikhail Voitenko, editor of the Maritime Bulletin -
Sovfrakht, said earlier.



The Cargo Ship's scheduled destination seemingly has changed, first reported as Algeria, and now Gibraltar?


From the Link:



"It was supposed to arrive there on August 4. But the vessel
disappeared on July 28. Contact has not been established with it since
then. Neither its owner nor the relatives [of the crew] know anything
about its whereabouts. No traces have been found. All services,
including the navy, are searching for the vessel," Voitenko said.
According to earlier reports, on June 24, people who claimed to be
police stopped the Arctic Sea, whose crew included 15 Russians, in
Swedish waters in the Baltic Sea. They had come up to the ship on a
rubber dinghy, came aboard, tied up the crew, and searched the vessel
for 12 hours.


When they left the ship, the Arctic Sea resumed its voyage.
The Swedish authorities are investigating the incident.
"The attack story is getting more mysterious all the time. The main
question is why the attack only became known after a week. After all,
some of the sailors were seriously hurt, as it transpired. What was it?
What was being looked for on the ship and who were they? And the main
point is - where is it?" Voitenko said.
The editor argued it would not be easy for a ship like that to
disappear without a trace. It cannot, for example, sink without sending
out a distress signal, he said.



Can a distress signal be disabled? Anyone know?


From the Link:


"One doesn't want to panic, but, on the other hand, everyone,
including the families, is looking for the ship. I've had requests for
information today both from services and from families," Voitenko said.
"It remains a riddle why the ship was attacked. Apparently, there
had been a tip-off, and someone believed there was something valuable on
the ship that was being carried illegally," he said.
The operator of the Arctic Sea, which was built in 1991 and was
initially named Okhotskoye, is Solchart Arkhangelsk, based in
Arkhangelsk, Russia.




Is Voitenko, editor of the Maritime Bulletin - Sovfracht suggesting Special Ops involvment?


This is not being overtly reported by the MSM as yet.

[edit on 10-8-2009 by Regensturm]



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 11:06 AM
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I remember when this ship was hijacked (I posted it in Mutter). Btw, the imposters spoke english. And now the ship is missing...


Finnish ship hijacked in Swedish waters (Published: 30 Jul 09)


Exactly what the hijackers, who spoke English, were looking for remains unclear. Reports indicate that they said something about a "drug enforcement control" and that they were looking for narcotics.

[---]

The hijackers are reported to have been travelling in a high-speed inflatable boat.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 07:54 PM
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Truly a weird incident. Ships do occasionally disappear in current times, although it is very rare for there to be no sign of distress. But what are the chances that the disappearance was purely random had nothing to do with the boarding of the ship near Sweden?

The ship was originating from Finland, and I do know that Finland is quite often used to for illegal transports from Russia. Also interestingly enough the ship was searched by the unknown boarding party, in a highly-traveled channel in Baltic Sea. With the high traffic volume and relatively strong coast guard monitoring, this seems as a very unlikely place for a search, assuming that it wasn't really the Swedes. And searching it throughly for a whole 12 hours - is even stranger.

I also read that the crew of the ship was reportedly beaten. The only sense it makes to beat an unarmed crew - is if they were being interrogated. But as is the case with many smuggling operations - the crew likely had no idea if there was anything on board the ship that should not have been there.


If there were indeed pirates (
of the Baltic), then they definitely were not after the ship's official cargo of lumber. However the fact that they had Swedish uniforms and pulled off a pretty risky stunt in the middle of a busy waterway, suggests that the search was organized by someone more official - some government or military perhaps. But then why hide their identity - especially if they were searching for something like narcotics?


And the final bizarre news is that Russia is sending naval ships to search for the vessel. This is not the usual course of action for Russia when a private ship has an incident far from Russian territorial waters.




So this is definitely an interesting story to watch. I think it is too early to make any conclusions, but there has to be more to this. Worst case scenario is that on top of all the crap going on in the world, we now have to worry about damn Vikings again.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 05:41 AM
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Originally posted by Hellmutt
I remember when this ship was hijacked (I posted it in Mutter). Btw, the imposters spoke english. And now the ship is missing...


Finnish ship hijacked in Swedish waters (Published: 30 Jul 09)


Exactly what the hijackers, who spoke English, were looking for remains unclear. Reports indicate that they said something about a "drug enforcement control" and that they were looking for narcotics.

[---]

The hijackers are reported to have been travelling in a high-speed inflatable boat.





Thanks Hellmut.


So, the masked men spoke English, and it would be interesting to know whether by speaking it was evident English was not their first language....how would the masked men know if the Russian crew spoke English?


Another thing we have learned, from the link you posted, is that the masked men were black-clad.


So....masked men, black-clad, spoke English.....this is going to sound really silly but it reminds me of the 'Wet Work' level from Call of Duty 4, where the SAS storm a cargo ship!


For those who have not played it, the SAS go aboard a cargo ship in the sea to find a nuclear weapon on board.


Pics:


The Cargo Ship in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare



SAS boarding Cargo Ship in Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare: Black-Clad Men Who Speak English because they are British, mate.




Life imitating art imitating life?



Ok, maybe that is a stretch to compare this incident to Call of Duty Modern Warfare.....but it's got echoes, you have to agree.



reply to post by maloy
 




The fact the masked men did this in a busy waterway - indeed in Swedish Waters- suggests confidence, especially in in taking 12 hours to search the cargo ship.


'Hijacked' cargo ship missing at sea


From the link:




The vessel was last seen in the English Channel on July 29th and Stora Enso, the Swedish-Finnish forestry concern which owns the cargo, has no idea of its whereabouts.

The owner of the Arctic Sea and the company managing the voyage, Solchart Management, have been unforthcoming with any details regarding the ship, its hijacking and the valuable cargo.



Last seen in English Channel.


I think this is a story we all need to keep an eye on....it could be pirates....could be a criminal gang....could be something else entirely.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 07:46 AM
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Here's an update:


Secret cargo aboard missing ship?


From the link:





The “Arctic Sea” ship which disappeared in the Atlantic was carrying a cargo of timber worth nearly $2 mln and, perhaps, a “secret” cargo says Mikhail Voytenko, editor-in-chief of the Russian maritime bulletin Sovfrakht.


“It has been unveiled that the timber belongs to the biggest European paper manufacturer, Stora Enso Oyj,” Voytenko told Interfax.



However, the company maintains that they were not the only ones whose cargo the “Arctic Sea” was carrying. Voytenko stated that a cargo of timber was unlikely to have been the cause for the ship’s disappearance.


“It was either a secret or a counterfeited shipment,” he said.

The company whose cargo the ship was officially carrying also confirmed that something else might have been at stake.

“We are not the only company whose cargo was on board,” a spokesman for Stora Enso Oyj told Interfax.

He also noted that all of their timber was insured, so the company will not suffer a loss as a result of the incident. When asked whether he knew which other companies had their cargo aboard the “Arctic Sea,” the spokesman said that such information was unavailable.




So the company who were originally identified as whose cargo he ship was officially carrying now says they were not the only company with cargo on board.


From the link:



Voytenko said the last signals from the ship were received on July 30. According to other sources, the last signal from the ship was received on July 28.

Specialists from France and the UK have stated that the last position of the ship was in the waters of the Biscay Gulf near France, and not Portugal as previously stated.

“The entire staff of my company is working very hard to establish communication with the ship. Unfortunately, there is no information so far and, much to my regret, I cannot comment on the situation,” said Viktor Matveev, CEO for Solchart Management – the company which owns the ship.

In his Sovfrakht bulletin, Voytenko stated that it would be very simple for a specialist to deactivate the vessel’s short-range tracking system. If this was done, the ship would purposefully disappear from navigation monitors.

In a statement contradicting this point, Viktor Matveev said that the modern vessel is a complex engineering construction with lots of electronics onboard, with radio navigation systems – “and only top class specialists can force them out of action, all the more to do so simultaneously.”

As Voytenko reports, families of the disappeared sailors said that the investigative services who interrogated them were very vague in their descriptions of the incident.

The wives and children of the 15 missing Russian sailors struggle to piece together what they can.

“We are now only interested in one thing: where the ship and the crew are,” one of the sailors’ relatives said.

Aleksandr Deshchenya is an experienced sailor and the father of one of the missing seaman.

“A vessel carrying a cargo of timber cannot sink. I transported timber for many years, and I know for sure. Even if the ship did sink, the timber would be floating all over the sea,” he said.



No timber floating in the Atlantic reported as yet....



An investigation is underway, however, and a group of Russian vessels which was headed for military training in the Baltic Sea is now participating in a search operation.

Voytenko said seizing a ship in European waters with a criminal purpose is impossible.

“I rule that out. It is easier to believe that they were captured by aliens,” he said in an interview with Vesti TV channel.

“And the idea of seizing a vessel [in Europe] because of timber is ridiculous. Only Somali pirates who have an opportunity to hide the ship can afford that,” Voytenko added.

And European specialists say that if the vessel was wrecked, the automatic alarm signal would have gone off.

This is not the first incident with the “Arctic Sea” in last few weeks. On July 24, unknown people presenting themselves as police officers stopped the vessel in the Swedish waters of the Baltic Sea.

According to Voytenko’s sources, they then proceeded to tie up the crew and search the ship for 12 hours.

But what’s strange is that those men apparently left the ship peacefully – and without taking anything.

Journalist Natalya Gracheva was the last to interview the crew following their hijacking.

“A number of mask-wearing attackers burst in from the bridge wing and pinned down the ward service, after which they called the skipper and made him lie down on the deck. Later other crew members were tied. The attackers used sufficiently rough methods. The skipper received several blows with the butt of an automatic rifle. Incidentally, the attackers were very well armed, using hand to hand combat and quite familiar with all of the ship’s technology,” Natalya said.




So the descriptions of the attackers from what we have gathered so far: Masked, Black-clad, spoke English, "very well armed" "using hand to hand combat" and "quite familiar with all the ship's technology"


If people with maritime knowledge are ruling out pirate and criminal activity.....what else could it be?



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 06:41 AM
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The latest twist in this mystery....



Hunt on for 'hijacked cargo ship'



A search is under way for a cargo ship which may have travelled through the English Channel after apparently being hijacked by pirates.

Coastguards fear the Maltese-flagged Arctic Sea, carrying 15 Russian crew, was hijacked in the Baltic sea.

UK authorities made contact before it entered the Strait of Dover but the Russian navy told the Itar-Tass agency it was now looking for the ship.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the situation was "bizarre".

Spokesman Mark Clark said: "Who would think that a hijacked ship could pass through one of the most policed and concentrated waters in the world?

"It seems strange to think that a ship which had been hijacked was passing along the channel along with ships carrying day-trippers going over to Calais for the day."

'Extremely curious'

Hijackers may have been coercing the ship's crew when they made radio contact with coastguards at Dover on 28 July, the MCA fears.

Reports say Swedish authorities were told by the Finnish shipping line operating the 3,988-tonne cargo ship that it was boarded by up to 10 armed men claiming to be anti-drugs police as it sailed through the Baltic sea on July 24.



For anyone who may not know, Dover, and The English Channel, is one of the busiest Shipping lanes in the world, in particular because of the ferries and cargo travelling to and from the UK to mainland Europe and vice versa.




The intruders apparently left the vessel - which was carrying about £1m worth of sawn timber from Finland to Algeria - 12 hours later on an inflatable boat after damaging the Arctic Sea's communications equipment.

But on 3 August, Interpol told Dover Coastguard that the crew had been hijacked in the Baltic Sea and asked UK authorities to be alert as the vessel passed through the channel.

By then the ship had already left the Strait of Dover and was last recorded off the coast of Brest, northern France, just before 0130 BST on 30 July.

The MCA said it was told the vessel had seemingly been spotted subsequently by a Portuguese coastal patrol aircraft but its current location was unknown.

Mr Clark said the person on board whom coastguards had spoken to had told them the ship was due to arrive in Bejaia, northern Algeria, on 4 August at 2300 BST.

He added: "There is no coastguard I know who can remember anything like this happening.

"There didn't seem anything suspicious when contact was made. It could well be that a crew member had a gun put to his head by a hijacker when contact was made, but who knows?

"We are extremely curious to find out what could have happened to this vessel."

'No different'

World leaders have become increasingly concerned about pirates operating off the coast of Somalia.

But Nick Davis, who runs the private security firm Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions, told the BBC's Today programme that the relatively low value of the cargo suggested this was a different kind of piracy to that seen off the coast of East Africa.

Instead, he suggested, it was more likely that the apparent seizure was the result of a "commercial dispute" in which one party had decided to "take matters into their own hands".

He added: "Piracy is piracy - if someone's wanting to take that vessel, and they're not authorised, and they use a speedboat to go and get it, then it's no different to what the Somalis do.

"However, I don't believe they would have boarded that vessel firing weapons in the air, and threatening to kill the crew.

"Whilst it is piracy, it's not like what we know in Somalia."

Russian authorities have said they have been assessing the situation and Navy vessels have been notified, according to Itar-Tass.

Vladimir Kochurov, deputy head of the Arkhangelsk regional administration's transport department, told the agency that there was "scarce information" about the Arctic Sea.

He added: "Security services are holding the investigation.

"Meanwhile, the regional administration is ready for rapid reaction in case the situation clarifies. We will give assistance to the crew."




The last time there was a hijacking in The Atlantic was 60 years ago.....



I'm still not sure we are getting the full story on this, it seems more than just a hijacking.....if there is hijackers on board, why have the hijackers not given demands? Surely they know if they try to dock with the ship, an interpol alert will swarm on them?


Having said that, it sailed around Dover unhindered.



Wierd.



Medvedev orders defense minister to join Arctic Sea search


MOSCOW. Aug 12 (Interfax) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has
ordered the country's defense minister to take "all the necessary
measures" to find the missing dry cargo vessel Arctic Sea and to free
its crew, should this prove necessary.
"President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered Defense Minister Anatoly
Serdyukov to take all the necessary measures to establish the
whereabouts and to find the missing ship Arctic Sea with a Russian crew
on board, as well as to free [the ship's crew], should such a need
arise," the presidential press service told Interfax on Wednesday.




Medvedev orders search for missing Russian-crewed Arctic Sea


MOSCOW, August 12 (RIA Novosti) - President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered measures to track a Finnish-owned cargo ship crewed by Russians, which was last sited off Portugal's Atlantic coast on August 1 and may have been hijacked, the Kremlin said.

The order came after Solchart, the owner of the dry cargo vessel, requested Russian assistance to trace the ship on Tuesday. The relatives of the missing crew have also called on Russian authorities to help search for their loved ones.

The Arctic Sea set off from Finland on July 23, carrying timber, and was due to arrive at the Algerian port of Bejaia on August 4.

Some media reports said contact was lost with the ship on July 28, after masked men claiming to be police briefly seized the vessel in the Baltic Sea on July 24 tying the crew up and searching the vessel. A sailor was quoted by the media as saying the men left the ship after the 12-hour ordeal, and the Arctic Sea resumed its voyage.

However, suspicions are growing that the crew member could have been threatened and that the ship was in fact hijacked.

The vessel was reported to have been last seen by a Portuguese patrol boat.

Media reports said the Arctic Sea, which flies the Maltese flag, had a crew of 13 sailors on board as of late March.

Russia's Defense Ministry said later on Wednesday that it had dispatched Black Sea Fleet vessels now on a mission in the Atlantic to hunt for the cargo ship, and all search-and-rescue means, including satellite reconnaissance, have been deployed.

One of the navy vessels, the Ladny frigate, has passed the Straits of Gibraltar and is on its way to where the Arctic Sea is believed to have been last sited.

Portugal was reported to be carrying out its own search.





If the ship was still hijacked when the crew radioed to say masked men had boarded the ship and then left, why say anything at all about masked men boarding the ship in the first place? Why would the hijackers allow the crew to mention masked men hijacking the ship and thus send out an alert to be sent out to look for masked men who attacked the cargo ship and had left?


I mean, unless the masked men thought they had been seen originally boarding the cargo ship, and wanted the impression they had since left, it does not make sense.



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 08:44 AM
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If the cargo was only worth 50,000 euros, why hijack the ship? I think I smell somthing fishy, is there something more valueable on board that may be illegal? Weapons? Intelligence? Warheads? Drugs?

I will stay tuned, but even if there is something other than cut timber aboard, we likely will never hear of it.



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 09:00 AM
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From a BBC article on the hijacking

.. reported to include nuclear submarines ..

Operations will be centred on the patrol ship Ladny, a guided missile frigate ...

Relatives of the Arctic Sea's 15 crew members - all of whom are said to come from the northern Russian port city of Arkhangelsk - have so far been unwilling to speak to the media.


So the Russians are sending some seriously heavy weaponry to search for a boat that's purportedly carrying "wood" to Algeria. Right!

I think there's a message here: "You took our stuff. We know it. We will find you. We will take it back and then we will sink you. This is not a warning, it is a promise!"



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 12:32 PM
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Well if its heading West towards the US and Russia is sending its Naval patrols to search for it, then wouldnt it make sense to use the 2 subs off the Eastern US already there to take part in the search.
I dont understand how in todays day in age sonar capability can detect Tuna Fish, and Radar can see Microlights in the sky. Yet a Cargo-Ship carrying thousands of tonnes of Cargo can just slip by and STILL after weeks of searching, not be found.



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 03:31 PM
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"I dont understand how in todays day in age sonar capability can detect Tuna Fish, and Radar can see Microlights in the sky. Yet a Cargo-Ship carrying thousands of tonnes of Cargo can just slip by and STILL after weeks of searching, not be found. "

You gotta be looking in the right place. Why have satellites staring down at the mostly empty Atlantic all the time. Now, if we go actively look we will find ships. But then the problem is to rule out the hundreds of ships on the open water at any time that are NOT the one you are looking for. It's the same with radar watching the ocean. Our need is to watch for stuff approaching our shores so trying to watch the entire ocean is counterproductive. CAN we do it? Do we have the technology? Probably. But we don't have a need to spend the money to do that.

I have no doubt that there is something to this but I think it is just a botched operation of something that would not surprise anyone - the Russians were shipping some secret military cargo and someone stole it either to sell it, use it for nasty purposes, or to learn the Russian secrets.

I will be following this story closely!



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:51 PM
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I think that just like with the Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic, we may never know what really happened on board the ship. Of course if there is debris found, it can be deduced whether it sank in a storm or was scuttled or abandoned, although that still wouldn't make most of the details clear. And it will be very difficult to find remains or wreckage, considering that the last point of contact for the ship was in the English Channel. It could have disappeared anywhere along its route to Algeria, within a time frame of over a week.

And this brings us to the Russian "search party". How do they possibly expect to find the ship in an area of thousands of square miles? That is of course unless Russia has additional information and knows where to narrow the search to. And what are the chances that the crew is still alive after all this time?

Also I am not sure how much additional fuel cargo ships carry, but I doubt that it can still be en-route to some location. By this time, if it had not shown up in any port, it is safe to presume that an incident has occured.



posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:56 PM
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Well, if it's a Russian vessel, then odds are that it's under the water and not floating on it.


Just my 2-cents



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