Earlier this year you may recall that I blogged about the concerns of Britain's Royal Navy to protect underwater cables and communications. Here's that story:
Then there was that strange story of the lost Russian submarine in 2019:
And going even further back, there were those stories of the attacks on California electrical sub-stations, internet cable-cutting in San Francisco (and then Arizona):
And finally, in case you forgot, that strange story of the sabotage of a German underwater observatory from 2019, a story with suspicious resemblances to today's story:
And now once again, we have another case of "someone" cutting similar cables and making off with similar underwater observatories of Norway, according to this story shared by G.B.:
And like the German underwater observatory disappearance, this one can only be blamed on "someone," but the reasons for "someone" doing such a thing are disclosed in the article:
Undersea sensors off the coast of northern Norway that are able to collect data about passing submarines, among other things, have been knocked out, the country’s state-operated Institute of Marine Research, or IMR, has revealed. The cause of the damage is unknown, but the cables linking the sensor nodes to control stations ashore are said to have been cut and then disappeared. This has raised suspicions about deliberate sabotage, possibly carried out by the Russian government, which definitely has the means to do so.
The IMR, one of the biggest marine research institutes in Europe, described “extensive damage” to the outer areas of the Lofoten-Vesterålen (LoVe) Ocean Observatory, putting the system offline. LoVe, which was only declared fully operational in August 2020, consists of a network of underwater cables and sensors located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, an area of strategic interest for both Norway and Russia.
Norway’s military and the country's national Police Security Service are reportedly investigating what happened to the research surveillance system. LoVe's stated purpose is to use its sensors to monitor the effects of climate change, methane emissions, and fish stocks, providing scientists with a live feed of imagery, sound, and other data.
And unlike the loss of the apparently similar German observatory in 2019, the Norwegian observatory has an admitted surveillance and military aspect:
Of course, the system also monitors submarine activity in the area, so will immediately be of interest to the Russian Navy, in particular. Indeed, data gathered by its sensors is first sent to the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, also known by its Norwegian acronym FFI, before being handed over to the IMR for further study. “FFI is believed to routinely remove traces of any submarine activity in the area before turning over the observatory’s data to IMR so that it only contains fishing, currents, and climate information,” according to a report from Norway’s News in English website.
Notably, the "narrative" here is that the Russians are behind the activity. This makes sense, especially in the ratcheted up geopolitical tensions going on between Russia and Belarus on the one hand, and Poland and the EU on the other. The first thing one would do before a major operation would be to interdict the potential enemy's command, control, and communications, inclusive of the enemy's ability to track and surveille one's own military resources.
But here's my problem with the Russia-is-behind-everything hypothesis (and hence, here's today's high octane speculation): assuming one views these events as connected - from undersea cable-and-observatory cutting and sabotage, to the cutting of land-based internet cables in San Francisco and Arizona a few years ago - then the implication is that one is dealing with a concerted and covert operation. Could the Russians be behind it? Sure. Could the Chinese? Sure.
But so could anyone - including non-state actors - with the resources and technology to do things like use underwater drones to sabotage Norwegian or German underwater observatories and surveillance capabilities. As I pointed out in my blog about the Russian submarine incident, none of the speculations advanced for the loss - from internet cable-cutting to the placement of "doomsday bombs" by the Russians on the ocean floor - really made any sense.
So, for the moment, I am left with yet another piece to what may be a pattern of strange activity being conducted by "someone" to disrupt - at key times and places - the internet and communications and surveillance capabilities of certain nations. Add to this pattern the equally mysterious patterns of chemical plants exploding (and other explosions) in Russia and now, more recently and as-we-speak explosions in China, and we're looking at two basic possibilities (among many others): (1) either we're looking at a covert war between the "west" and "the bad guys" (Russia and China), or (2) someone else is on the stage, and making it look like option (1) is in play, in an attempt to ramp up east-west tensions. Who that may be is anyone's guess, which is why this is a case of You Tell Me...
See you on the flip side...