A white beluga whale spotted off the coast of Norway on Friday may be an escaped Russian military experiment, according to speculation from Norwegian officials.
The whale was found swimming off the Norwegian coast wearing a strange “tight” harness on its body, which upon closer inspection led investigators to believe that there may be a possible connection to the Russian military. Fisherman Joar Hesten jumped into the water to remove the harness from the whale Friday, discovering that some lettering on the straps read “Equipment St. Petersburg.”
“We were going to put out nets when we saw a whale swimming between the boats,” Hesten told Norwegian news outlet NRK.
“It came over to us, and as it approached, we saw that it had some sort of harness on it,” he continued.
Fellow fisherman Ree Wiig says that “people in Norway’s military have shown great interest” in the whale’s harness. (RELATED: Alleged Russian Spy Maria Butina Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy)
The whale was demonstrating very strange behavior by seemingly pursuing the fishing vessel and going so far as to pull at ropes and straps on board, the Guardian reports.
A fisherman jumped into the frigid water to remove a harness from a Beluga whale off the Norwegian coast. The harness appeared to be Russian-made, prompting speculation that the animal may have escaped from a Russian military facility. https://t.co/EgEWM4AolX pic.twitter.com/hT7Wvsl0rm
— ABC News (@ABC) April 29, 2019
Marine experts in Norway are now speculating that the whale could be part of an underwater mammal military program founded by the Russian Navy. Martin Biuw of the Institute of Marine Research in Norway told The Guardian, “If this whale comes from Russia – and there is great reason to believe it – then it is not Russian scientists, but rather the navy that has done this.” (RELATED: Mic Writer Spreads Fake News About Russian Spy In Oval Office)
Audun Rikardsen, professor at the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology at the Arctic University of Norway told NRK, “We know that in Russia they have had domestic whales in captivity and also that some of these have apparently been released. Then they often seek out boats.”
He said that Russian scientist contacts told him that those responsible are most likely “the Russian navy in Murmansk”.
The recent research conducted in Murmansk Sea Biology Research Institute in northern Russia was allegedly testing whether beluga whales could be used to “guard entrances to naval bases” as well as “assist deepwater divers and if necessary kill any strangers who enter their territory”, according to The Guardian.