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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, 12 2009 @ 04:59 PM
reply to post by Aggie Man

It was a Russian crew but not a Russian ship. Anyway, it's cargo was timber, so it's not supposed to be able to sink. Unless all the timber is now floating around and are no longer inside of the ship...

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 05:16 PM
The Maltese flag is a flag of convenience, it is a Russian ship owned by Solchart Arkhangelsk, a company based in Arkhangelsk.

That's one bizarre and compelling story.

edit :

According to this media Link

The Arctic Sea, originally called Okhotsk when built in 1991, is owned by Latvian-based Aquachart SIA and operated by Russian firm Solchart Arkhangelsk.

[edit on 12-8-2009 by Manouche]

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 05:27 PM
there are rumours of a mysterious extra cargo besides the wood,

“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.
Russia Today also on ATS, same source

an interesting development to an interesting story. i wonder why they are so convinced that there was further cargo aboard and why the sailors weren't more concerned about the apparent "police", especially when they are reported to have roughed the captain up. and why were a scandinavian paper company sending wood to algeria, to make paper? it can't be that much cheaper.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 05:37 PM
If the "Arctic Sea" is located, Russian warships are instructed to (if necessary) take control of the vessel by force.

Video from Russia Today


It has been confirmed that the Arctic Sea had a secret cargo.,It's not official what the secret cargo is, but it's apparently "valuable and extremely dangerous".

Also check out the video here (RussiaToday: "Not just timber on seized ship “Arctic Sea”?").

Hijackers, not necessarily pirates, have probably seized the ship “Arctic Sea” because of its valuable and extremely dangerous cargo, according to the editor of Mikhail Voitenko, the Russian Maritime Bulletin.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 05:50 PM
reply to post by maloy

Ships have automatic emergency locator beacons that are picked up by satellite automatically if they sink. These cannot be turned off. They can obviously be destroyed but that itself would be evidence that some foul play was involved.

If it sank there would be debris. The cargo itself was probably lashed down but there would be other debris. Unless something dramaitc and suddenly catastrophic hit the crew would probably have unlashed life boats or other floating debris even if they had no way to send a distress signal.

I think something clearly happened. My money is on a secret military cargo and someone stealling the secret cargo then possibly scuttling the ship with its crew. That said though, it it was a military cargo there woudl be no reason to conceal the theft by scuttling the ship. If the Russians lost something of military importance they would assume it fell into the wrong hands.

This is very strange at the least

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 06:09 PM
But if the Russians had something really valuable in the ship, they would have kept a close eye on it, especially after the search and the crew beating.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 06:11 PM
This is extremely weird. Seems laughable to me that police would attempt boarding a seafaring vessel in a rubber dingy. Let alone smashing their communications equipment and etc. What do you all think the odds are that little rubber boat came from a sub? Granted it happened in the channel and not in International waters. I haven't read how far they were off the coast.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 06:23 PM
reply to post by Marrr

The initial boarding off the coast of Sweden was not far from land and was in the Baltic Sea. The Russians do operate subs in the Baltic but they are hardly clandestine for long. The Baltic is shallow brackish water and it is relatively hard for subs to hide in haloclines like in the open ocean. The Swedes would almost certainly know if there were Russian subs around the ship. There are lots of undersea rocks, tiny islands, and canyons but these are very closely monitored by the Swedish military. I'm not saying it is impossible for the Russians to operate a sub there without being detected, but it is not very likely they could have in this situation, now.

But operating a rubber boat in the Baltic this tim eof year is very plausible. The waters are not very rough and the distances are small enough that you could be from the shore to the shipping lanes in just a few minutes.

The Swedish newspapers are reporting that a pirate crew may have been on teh ship all the way from when it was boarded the first time.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 06:29 PM
reply to post by Manouche

"But if the Russians had something really valuable in the ship, they would have kept a close eye on it, especially after the search and the crew beating. "

That is the confusing part to me. If the Russians had a secret military cargo aboard they would almost certainly have watched teh ship by satellite and would have made changes after the first incident - perhaps changed crew for example or done an exchange at sea to put the cargo on another ship.

I don't think they would have guarded a truly secret shipment as that itself would give away the secret nature. An escort would draw attention.

Perhaps the ship was carrying arms destined for some African war or maybe nuclear waste. Both of these would be dangerous and politoically secret but would not warrant a military escort or intense tracking. But should such a shipment go missing they might want to find it.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 06:31 PM
No one has worked it out yet have they?
Well there was no 1.5 million worth of wood on this ship as we are led to believe.
Instead However it was actually carrying a huge wooden crate with 2 Stargates in it. Which was then seized and transshipped by these 10 armed Gunmen who boarded the Vessel and they were actually a CBOO unit (Clandestine Black Ops Operative.) from one of the 3 letter US government agencies Which I am not at liberty to divulge.
Then they had an alternative vessel waiting to which they put this crate on. And yes they did it in the English Channel and right under there noses classic No one would suspect style" Yeah like who is going to notice details when there is chaos all around them!"
Come on peoples you got to read up on the alternate News

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 06:29 AM

Originally posted by Hellmutt

It has been confirmed that the Arctic Sea had a secret cargo.,It's not official what the secret cargo is, but it's apparently "valuable and extremely dangerous".

This is what has me concerned now:

1) The cargo vessel was carrying something "valuable and extremely dangerous"

2) No timber spotted on the surface of the sea, indicating no sinking as yet.

3) The end destination of the cargo vessel, in consideration of the fact it is carrying something "valuable and extremely dangerous"

4) The Russians scrambling Navy vessels with the view to finding and boarding the ship as soon as possible. This is obviously to them a priority.


Missing ship feared hijacked by pirates

From the Link:

While the search is going on in the Atlantic for the missing “Arctic Sea” ship with a Russian crew onboard, speculations are raging in the media over if and why the vessel could be seized by pirates.

On Wednesday Interpol has passed the shocking information to all its member states that the “Arctic Sea” was seized by pirates, according to Itar-Tass news agency’s London department – though the Russian Central Interpol Bureau says they haven’t received any information concerning the possible seizure of the “Arctic Sea” from the General Secretariat of Interpol, according to the Russian department of Itar-Tass.

They add that, according to a pilot of a Portuguese coastal patrol aircraft, he saw the “Arctic Sea” on August 2 while patrolling the Atlantic in latitude of the city of Porto.

After that all traces of the ship disappear, as there are “no indications that it would have passed Gibraltar”, a Spanish coastguard official told the Independent.

The “Arctic Sea”, a Maltese-registered vessel heading to Algeria with a cargo of timber, was last recorded on the AIS Live ship tracking system off the coast of Brest, northern France, at 1.29am on July 30. At that moment the ship was in the western part of the Bay of Biscay.

The ship was due to arrive in the Algerian port of Bejaia on August 4 – which it never did.

An incident which recently happened to the ship in the Baltic Sea has aroused the suspicion that the ship has been hijacked.

On July 24, masked men claiming to be police stopped the “Arctic Sea”, tied up the crew and searched the vessel.

According to the “Arctic Sea” crew’s report, after the 12-hour ordeal, the masked men left and the ship resumed its voyage – which is now doubted.

The British coastguards who were the last to have communicated with the ship on radio, on July 29 as the “Arctic Sea” passed along the English Channel, now suggest that the person speaking to them was “either a hijacker or a member of the crew with a gun pointed at his head”, the Independent says.

“We heard from this ship, not knowing it had been hijacked, on 29 July at 5.30 in the morning [local time]. They said they had 15 crew on board and they were going from Jacobstad [in Finland] to Bejaia,” Mark Clark of the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.

“It wasn't until later that we had a report from the Zeebrugge [Belgian] police to say it had been hijacked off the coast of Sweden. The contact we had suggested everything was OK on the ship but we don't know if we were talking to a hijacker or a genuine crew member with a gun at his head,” Mark Clark added.

No distress signal has been passed by the ship since then, and the crew are believed to have twice made contact later – with investigators in Stockholm on July 31 and with Russia’s Archangelsk, where the relatives of the crew live and the ship’s operator is located, on August 1, Russian Vesti TV channel says.

Mikhail Voytenko, editor-in-chief of the Russian maritime bulletin Sovfrakht, believes it was a well-organized seizure and says, “A worldwide search for the ship must urgently be organized,” as cited by Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

“There are three possibilities of what could have happened to the ship. The first one, Lord forbid, is that the vessel has been already sent to the bottom after the [secret] cargo was taken off it – the cargo because of which everything started. What that cargo has been – we don’t know and I’m afraid will never know now. The second possibility is that the ship is sailing somewhere at the moment with its crew staring down gun-barrels – somewhere it will be unloaded. And the third is that the cargo was reloaded to another ship right there at sea and the “Arctic Sea” ship was abandoned. So now it could be adrift with the crew locked inside and in urgent need of help,” Voytenko said.

”The only thing that could be done in this situation is urgently to start a wide-scale search operation while it is not too late. Not just three or four Russian warships – that is not enough,” Voytenko added. “We need to engage rescuers from other countries and comb the Atlantic, also using the satellite data and long-range airplanes. That is the only chance to save people if they are still alive.”

However, Mikhail Voytenko still rules out piracy, saying he has not seen anything like this hijacking before.

“It’s a mystery and I think it may stay a mystery as long as we live, just because it doesn’t look like anything that a lot of people and media [outlets] are speculating about. I believe this is quite a unique case – not something we will meet later on. But, I say, the piracy, commercial disputes and any criminal activity are out of question. They wouldn’t have been able to hijack a vessel in European waters – it is technically impossible,” Voytenko said.

Meanwhile, journalist Natalia Gracheva – the last person to interview the “Arctic Sea” crew – believes its disappearance was down to a carefully-planned criminal attack.

“It is definitely a criminal act performed for gain. They might now want either to sell the cargo or demand money for the release of the crew or the cargo,” Gracheva says. “It is most probably a continuation of the attack that took place in Sweden. It’s very doubtful that after 12 hours the crew was freed and the attackers left the vessel. It is possible that the offenders never left the ship. The versions about a random attack on a vulnerable vessel should be dismissed. It seems the attackers knew the ship well and were hunting for it specifically. It's also impossible that the ship would sink – we would see piles of timber. And if there was an explosion, it would have been recorded. The ship is thought to be heading to Africa now, since it will be easier for the hijackers to sell the cargo in countries with weaker controls.”

Both the relatives of the crew and the Finnish owner of the ship have asked the Russian authorities to help trace the missing vessel, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov to do everything possible to find the ship.

“The Russian Defense Ministry has instructed the Russian Navy to search for the “Arctic Sea” vessel in the presumed area of its location. The Navy intends to cooperate with the Russian Foreign Ministry, Emergency Ministry and the ship owners, as well as with the relevant international organizations. The Russian Navy ships located in the Atlantic and all possible tracking systems, including space, are involved as well,” the Defense Minister’s press secretary Aleksey Kuznetsov told RT.

Five Russian Black Sea Fleet warships have set out for the search. The guided missile frigate Ladny was leading the fleet as they passed the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic Ocean early on Thursday.

Also, a large-scale international search operation is going on in the Atlantic, with its headquarters in Malta.

The maritime expert Mikhail Voytenko says he has never seen anything like it, and rules out piracy and criminal activity.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 06:39 AM
reply to post by Ferris.Bueller.II

From what I heard on Sky News, the ship IS Russian but is registered in Malta which is, apparently, quite common. It is still very odd though as on Sky they said that there were no Confirmed reports of the ship being searched before "disappearing", it has a tracking device onboard but this was switched off or disabled once it had left British waters!

[edit on 13/8/09 by wiser3]

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 07:43 AM
This may seem like a "mystery" but it is really quite simple. Either the Russian Government or some rouge group within Russia had something of great importance (probably nuclear) on that ship. The cargo was either sold on the black market and being delivered or was going to be sold on the black market.

Now, either the British or United States got wind of it and decided that it could not let this happen for security reasons and took "secret cargo" and the ship/crew will not be found EVER.

It appears that the Russians want to find their precious secret cargo but it is to late, the cargo has been safely moved to Britain or the US for "safe keeping" and the story will fade away just like that. We will never know what the cargo was unless the Russians come clean and that will not happen.

end of story.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 08:03 AM
This reminds me of the Estonian incident. My favourite theory was that there was a briefcase nuke on board heading to sweden. That's why it was sunk. If there was another one of those onboard this one then I'd expect the intelligence services and militaries to be all over the vessel.

reply to post by pieman

It's not unusual for Enso to ship the wood all over the place. They're quite big on the markets.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 08:18 AM

Interfax reports that a ship similar to the missing Russian cargo ship is being chased off Gibraltar. It has possibly been hijacked.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 08:22 AM

Originally posted by Common Sense says...
end of story.

The story may continue if you don't mind just to find a little more factual information

Your story version is possible and it happens to fit well in your beliefs. It's also possible there is no secret cargo and the ship and its load were simply stolen by a mafia for whatever reasons or any other fantasized possibility.
We don't know much apart it's really a curious story on many aspects.

Has the secret cargo been confirmed by another source than Voytenko ? He is simply guessing.

A new article : Hunt for pirates after ship disappears from UK waters

Stora Enso ( trades timber too. A shipment of wood to Algeria whether it is for construction or a local paper industry is not suspicious. I see nothing wrong with the official cargo load.
If there was a secret cargo, it was may be due to another destination.

I have vague memories of this story involving a Ukrainian ship seized by Somalian pirats and loaded with tanks and ammunitions. It was reported the pirats didn't know at first the nature of the shipment.
Voytenko was a spokesman for the owners of the ship, he must be some sort of ship hijacking expert.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 09:21 AM

Originally posted by Marrr
This is extremely weird. Seems laughable to me that police would attempt boarding a seafaring vessel in a rubber dingy.

"rubber dingy" LOL!

(fair use/Illustration: Paul Wallander)

They used a quite large rigid-hulled inflatable boat, (RHIB) and the Swedish word for Police (POLIS) were painted in white on both sides of the RHIB.

And it happened quite near one of two big populated islands in Swedish waters.

These waters are often patrolled by the Swedish Military and Coast Guards & Police since they also have bases on the islands.

On one of the islands they also have a quite large Police department, so it's not too far-fetched for the crew of the "Pirated Ship" to have thought that the "Fake Police Patrol" could have come from there, no?

[edit on 13-8-2009 by Chevalerous]

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 04:07 PM
Russia hold exercises off Kamchatka. They also drilled how to board and save ships in distress...

ITAR-TASS: Russian border guards hold exercises in Pacific Ocean


The border troops trained to chase ships that intrude Russian territorial waters, use aviation to stop it and to dismount FSB commando units onboard of the detained vessel with the help of helicopters. They also drilled how to search and save ships in distress.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 04:12 PM
Here's another source.

RIA Novosti: Russian border guards exercise in Pacific with FSB aviation


Russian coast guards and Federal Security Service (FSB) air units have conducted a series of exercises in the Pacific, a spokesman said on Thursday.

He said the tactical exercise rehearsed actions to counter unlawful activities at sea, as well as search and rescue operations

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 06:27 PM
When the ferry Estonia was sunk in 1994 (killing 852 passengers), NATO held a "search and rescue" operation ("Baltic Sea naval exercises") in the Baltic Sea at the same time as the ferry Estonia disaster. These numerous ships didn't assist in rescuing the passengers from the ferry Estonia. There are conspiracy theories claiming that "the west" smuggled a Russian suitcase nuke on the ferry Estonia, and that the Russians sank her in order to stop them from stealing their nuke. It's a fact that the Swedish military smuggled some kind of Russian military equipment on the ferry Estonia, turning the passengers into human shields. Maybe it was a suitcase nuke, or maybe it was something else. If the Arctic Sea situation is a result of a similar smuggling operation, at least they didn't use a passenger ship this time...

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