The treasure-hunting outfit known as Ocean Explorer, or Ocean X-Team, discovered what appears to be a large disc-shaped object at the bottom of the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland in June of 2011. Sonar detected the object approximately three-hundred feet below the sea’s surface, and is estimated to be nearly two-hundred feet in length. The announcement of this find fueled speculation that the mysterious object could be a crashed UFO. And the media helped fuel that speculation by pointing out that the object’s appearance resembles the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.
Now, one year later, Ocean X-Team has returned to the area to hopefully identify the mysterious object. But as Lee Speigel of the Huffington Post points out, not everyone thinks there is a UFO sitting at the bottom of the sea. Benjamin Radford, deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, told The Huffington Post that side-scan sonar, the type of sonar used by Ocean X-Team, can create “false echoes,” and “the object that we’re talking about is basically flush with the ocean floor, and side-scan sonar is much less reliable for things like that.” Radford also told the Huffington Post that he suspects conspiracy theories will ignite if the team is unable to locate the object this time around. And there is already added fuel for those conspiracy theories should the object no longer be detected.
According to Swedish news site Aftonbladet, the team is already worried that someone may have beaten them to the object. Team member Dennis Åsberg reportedly stated recently that Russians and Americans were conducting “military exercises” in the area.
Regardless, the team, reportedly backed by a “secret sponsor,” set out to rediscover the object, and hopefully determine its identity. According to the team’s website, “The expedition started Friday (June) 1st from Norrtälje harbor when Ocean X-Team took their crew out for this exciting adventure trying to find out what the mysterious disc-shaped object is. Unfortunately the weather conditions have been really bad the last days, but now they are on a roll.”
NTD Television reports that the team will use equipment to conduct three dimensional sea floor mapping, and sea floor penetrating equipment. Team member Peter Lindberg explains, “We have divers, we have robot, sophisticated sonar, we will take bottom samples, we will measure for radiation and we will also bring tests with us so we can leave it to a lab.”
The latest expedition is scheduled to last between six and ten days.