- Religion and Philosophy
The Baltic Sea UFO: A Skeptic's View
In 2012 the media reported the possible discover of an underwater alien spaceship. But what was the real story?
The Press Release
On June 15 2012 a press release was issued that contained an account of a strange formation on the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland. The release proclaimed:
- The was a roughly round object on the sea floor that was 60 metes wide and 3 to 4 meters high
- Electronic devices malfunction in the vicinity of the object
- The was a clear area on ine side characterized as a "runway"
- Rocks in the area looks like they were covered in soot.
Why So Skeptical?
- Well, for a start all of the alleged facts came from a single press release, and they are accompanied by a single low-quality image. That makes the whole shebang basically hearsay and pretty unconvincing, especially if the people giving the report have an ulterior motive.
- The people giving the report have an ulterior motive. They are offering to take wealthy tourists down to look at the thing. Not, I assume, for free. The dive team is profit motivated being more treasure hunters than serious researchers or explorers.
- The images were created using a poorly calibrated side-scan sonar which is known to be prone to distortions and often not a good representation of the shape of objects.
What about the runway and stuff?
The media had a field day based mainly on the rough correspondence between the silhouette of this rock and the fiction Millennium Falcon spaceship (from Star Wars). But there are some very prosaic facts that render this equivalence to the realm of coincidence.
A big rock will block debris from an ocean current causing a relatively open area on its lee side. The rocks that look charred are basically, what? A dark color? That could be just about anything.
And the thing about malfunctioning equipment may be at best exaggerated. If this was really true would Ocean X be preparing to take people to see it on a submersible? Wouldn't that be inviting a potentially fatal equipment malfunction?
So what is it?
Many suggestions have been offered for the origin of the sea floor feature, from extra-terrestrial to Nazi.
Most likely... a rock. A big rock.
Honestly, the fact that a rock looked just a little like the fictional Millennium Falcon proved less than nothing to begin with. This should never have qualified as a news story. And as the news cycle gets more rapid and less investigative we can only expect to be bombarded with more of this kind of attention-seeking self-promotion wrapped up in woo-woo speculation. Instead, for example, some actual investigation of actual news,
By August Lindberg himself was back-pedaling and denying he ever even implied the object was a UFO.
While the wild speculation about UFOs got all kinds of media attention, the final investigation was all but ignored. Within a few months experts has concluded that the not very mysterious object was a large rock. OceanX's promised documentary about the whole thing was never released.