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Suspected sub sighting sets Swedes on edge

TT/Rebecca Martin · 6 May 2011, 13:12

Published: 06 May 2011 13:12 GMT+02:00

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Early in the morning in April Hanna Harge went to walk the family’s puppy when she suddenly saw something massive appear in the water outside the family’s seaside house.

“I saw this huge and odd object surface out of nowhere. Then over the next 15 minutes or so it passed by. It disappeared by the trees next to our boathouse. My first thought as that it had to be a submarine,” Harge told The Local.

She immediately ran inside to wake up her two teenage sons who hurried out to snap some photos. The pictures show what looks like a turret and the body of a submarine in the midst of the backwash of water.

The family thought it must be a Swedish navy exercise.

“My husband wanted to e-mail the military to say that residents of the area should be warned, so that no one would run into the submarine. But they answered that they had no information of any exercises in the area, “ said Harge.

The day after the family received a call and was later paid a visit by the Swedish Marine Intelligence service (Marintaktiska stabens underrättelsetjänst).

“They were here a couple of hours and questioned me and my oldest son. They reconstructed the whole event,“ said Harge.

When Harge asked the intelligence officers what they thought she might have seen they told her that it could simply be a question of floating cargo containers, according to Dagens Nyheter (DN).

But after comparing the photos with YouTube footage the family have their own theory.

“It is funny because Swedish submarines look nothing like this thing we caught on camera. But the box-like shape of the turret we saw looked very much like the Russian submarines we have since seen online,” Harge said.

They don't think that it is likely to be a case of espionage.

"Spying by submarine just feels so '80s' somehow, one must assume they too have come further within that field, it just seems so dated. Instead we believe that it has to do with some sort of smuggling," Harge said.

The family decided to take the picture to the Swedish media on the advice of a journalist friend of the family.

Story continues below…

“But it felt right to wait for a while, as the intelligence officers that visited us were certainly treating this as a serious matter,“ she told The Local.

The Swedish military are reluctant to comment on what they think that the sighting was.

“We are examining the photographic evidence to see what it could be. But the investigation is by no means finished,“ said Marie Tisäter from the Swedish military information department to DN.

According to the Swedish military they will have finished the investigation within the next two months.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:55 May 6, 2011 by jan.petras
omg the russians are coming....
14:04 May 6, 2011 by Gordy
Well at least this explains all the air force activity along the coast!
14:10 May 6, 2011 by Syftfel
@jan petras: It's fine for you to make light of it. But you are more than likely correct. The Soviets (now referring to themselves as "Russians") have not lost sight of political, and territorial, gains in Scandinavia. You will recall that certain O. Palme made covert overtures towards the East in his days, for which he should have stood trial for treason, but never did. It would be interesting to hear some commentary form a social dem. But please avoid the ususal sarcastic cliches about "fear of the red menace", or "living in the past" or any other such rehearsed invective.
14:21 May 6, 2011 by Zeffanyx
Show the photos, please. Those one is not representing any sub, actually!
14:36 May 6, 2011 by DamnImmigrant
Yes! I agree with Zeffanyx, I really need to see the "sub" because it looks to me like a Lockness Monster type Sea Creature and I want to be sure it is safe for my kids to go back in the water!

Maybe it was one of those new drug running subs. They cannot stay down very long. Russian subs have no reason to surface.
14:37 May 6, 2011 by jbkulp
It was Vasa sinking again.
14:41 May 6, 2011 by Rishonim
OMG, it is Loch Ness
14:41 May 6, 2011 by RobinHood
It's great to have the Russian submariners back skulking and lurking and disturbing the lobster pots. You can be sure the Swedish navy (and others) are skulking and lurking off Russian shores, disturbing Russian lobster pots; so it's only fair.

This one needs a bit more practice. If it breached in full view of Mrs Harge and frightened her puppy, someone wasn't watching the depth gauge.

Good to see you back in the game again Ivan. Keep off the rocks, avoid the fishing boats, and leave the nukes at home, thank you. And if you lose one, for God's sake ask for help quickly, don't just leave it at the bottom of the sea cluttering the place up.
14:48 May 6, 2011 by Kevin Harris
It was bin Laden in his CIA built underwater escape module on his way to a new life on that island in Lost. Inform the conspiracy theorists immedietely.
14:50 May 6, 2011 by jamtlandtom
I vaguely remember that August was "Submarine month" also known as the time for silly news a few decades ago when the media was full of rhetoric and photos of suspicious underwater "things". I would have thought there is enough to write about without starting this off again !!!

P.S. Well done the Sundsvall Dragons!!!
15:02 May 6, 2011 by Wireless.Phil
Sure thats not the wake left by the boat on the right?
15:05 May 6, 2011 by graceolsson
I am so sorry but as a photographer, I can´t see anything anormal...cause This one is´t enough to say it is a sub. Doesn´t matter what can happens, al Qaeda never will attack Sweden
15:12 May 6, 2011 by Shibumi
@ Kevin Harris... comment #9... excellent!
15:16 May 6, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Its just some booger-eating Russians up to their old tricks. Depth-charge the sh_it out of them.
15:39 May 6, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
I think Kevin Harris may well be on to something: after all didn't Osama bin Laden spend some family holidays in Sweden in the 1970s? Lol
15:51 May 6, 2011 by l33tshane
it doesn't look like a sub at all does it? would have thought a sub would have a small tower/turret on top of it.
16:15 May 6, 2011 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
It's HMS Astute. They think they're going up the Bristol Channel. We already know they don't have a clue how to navigate the bloody thing..
16:30 May 6, 2011 by zircon
The Baluga Whale perhaps?
16:50 May 6, 2011 by swedekk
Well, It's almost 30 years since they were 100% sure... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_submarine_S-363
16:53 May 6, 2011 by Zill
Anyone recall the so-called "Whiskey on the Rocks" episode off Karlskrona in 1981? I do.

More in Wikipedia:

17:09 May 6, 2011 by rohermoker
Maybe they should send the Home Guard to roust them out.
18:53 May 6, 2011 by misssh
they better be careful where they park that thing the coast gaurd will leave a p boter on the hatch
19:02 May 6, 2011 by LoeEaredGaloot
With such a good perspective capture in the form of the tree on the right and the clean backdrop of the hill crests behind, it should be possible to send a pair of boats into the bay and get a +/-3m estimate of length which can be compared to online dimensions.

I personally have doubts because you should be able to see the tail wakes and potentially screw chop if the top of the sail is visible and we don't (subs have a characteristic 'double vee' wake pattern near the surface for this reason).

The proportions are also wrong, with the sail so far forwards that it more closely resembles a boomer than an attack boat (and the Russians would never risk a Delta IV in such shallow waters) but even so, the distances between the nominal leading edge of the sail and the bowdome are off.

Take this to one of the Janes, GSO or FAS forums and you might get a better answer.
19:10 May 6, 2011 by Rick Methven

I have a very funny picture d of you, cowering under your bed in the US of A , with your tin hat and a brown trouser jobbie crying the "the commies are coming to get me" while sticking pins into a plasticine model of Olaf Palme:LOL

Why do you keep on making idiotic posts that make no sense?
21:33 May 6, 2011 by jbat
22:21 May 6, 2011 by wxman
"The pictures show what looks like a turret and the body of a submarine in the midst of the backwash of water." Come on, I realize a journalist wrote this, but wouldn't just about anybody know that submarines have conning towers not turrets. Sheeesh!
22:22 May 6, 2011 by Arturio
I thought was the monster of loch ness ...
22:31 May 6, 2011 by Beavis
Anyone actually been bothered to actually go out and have a look in a boat maybe?
23:15 May 6, 2011 by Dr. Dillner
We are missing an important part of any sub, the "conning tower". I think it is Nessy!!
00:35 May 7, 2011 by jan.petras
Supermassive black hole starting out in the bottom of the lake.
01:35 May 7, 2011 by muscle
I think, Antonov wanted to show SAAB some model of a russian sub!
01:35 May 7, 2011 by MarkinBoston
Assange's friends preparing to attack Sweden.
02:08 May 7, 2011 by kaotik
Mabye it's nessie the loch ness monster.....
02:09 May 7, 2011 by blursd
It's either the Russians, or a really sophisticated system for smuggling alcohol into Sweden ... take that Sysmtembolaget!
08:30 May 7, 2011 by Decedo
The Russians are here to spy on Sweden and see what other Swedish businesses it can buy
11:40 May 7, 2011 by johnny1939
I think it is a serious matter whomever of whatever it might be. It can certainly not be ignored.
12:38 May 7, 2011 by booka
doesnt look like a sub.....
13:33 May 7, 2011 by swedejane
So does every report by a hysterical housewife get published in The Local now? How about publishing stories that actually have a point and some...umm..facts.
13:42 May 7, 2011 by muscle
@Decedo: too bad the russians will be out of luck, when they will find all businesses require "SWEDISH" as a mandatory language :D
01:51 May 8, 2011 by jamesblish
We saw a sub along the north east coast in 1987, most likely Soviet because the navy came to our house and questioned us about it. Was a pretty big deal for a day or two, then they left. If surfaced well within sight because the water is at least 150 meters deep in that particular place. The Soviets spied on us like crazy and I wouldn't be surprised if they're still doing it to some extent. Never trust a russian, my grandma used to say. Maybe she was right.
14:43 May 8, 2011 by johnny1939
Yeah, nothing good comes out of the east my father used to say
06:51 May 9, 2011 by farnoxo
This is one of those home-made Columbian drug-smuggling submarines that too a wrong turn at the Bahamas!
07:05 May 9, 2011 by David S
Never trust a russian, my grandma used to say. Maybe she was right.

My mother-on-law says the same thing. Problem is she's a russian, so I don't know whether to believe her or not ....
12:41 May 9, 2011 by jamesblish
Nah, it's probably just the booze talking.
20:08 May 12, 2011 by Icarusty
It's Osama's granny, she wants revenge and she's nicked a sub in order to get it.... unfortunately she's lousy at navigation and seems to have ended up a bit East of America
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