Swedish military releases photo of mysterious ‘foreign vessel’

Stockholm (AFP) – The Swedish military presented photographic evidence of a mysterious “foreign vessel” off the coast of Stockholm but rejected reports of being on the “hunt” for a damaged submarine.

Ever since the armed forces received a tip-off about a “man-made object” off the coast of Stockholm Friday, 200 men, several stealth ships, minesweepers and helicopters have been searching the sea around islands about 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of the Swedish capital.

“This is not ours, it’s a foreign vessel,” Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad told reporters, pointing to a grainy photo taken Sunday morning by a “source” — the third such sighting since Friday.

“He saw something that was on the surface and after he took the picture it disappeared again.”

Grenstad said it was not possible to determine the nationality of the vessel due to the poor quality of the photo — which shows a far-off dark object jutting out of the sea surrounded by surf — but said the sightings followed a pattern built up over several years.

He rejected media speculation that the armed forces were “submarine hunting” and stressed that the mobilisation — one of the biggest, barring purely training exercises, since the Cold War — was an intelligence operation.

“This is not a submarine hunt, using weapons to combat an opponent. It’s about collecting intelligence to establish that there is foreign underwater activity,” said Grenstad, adding that an area east of the Swedish capital appeared “to be of interest to a foreign power.”

“Later there can be a situation where it becomes a submarine hunt. We’re not there now.”

Full article: Swedish military releases photo of mysterious ‘foreign vessel’ (Yahoo!)

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