“If we were using this animal for spying, do you really think we would attach a mobile phone number with the message ‘please call this number’? We have military dolphins for combat roles, we don’t cover that up.”
Russian Colonel Viktor Baranets
April 30 2019 — FSB officers have recently arrested Norwegian citizen Frode Berg on charges of espionage. But Norwegian authorities have caught a much “bigger fish”. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
UPDATE (May 5 2019) — This beluga whale may not be a super spy after all. The friendly fellow sure appears to behave more like an entertainer than a trained killer.
The whale performs twirls and leaps and happily retrieves plastic rings before swimming up to the dockside with its mouth open looking for a fish in reward.
And the initial theory that the whale had escaped from a Russian military facility does not hold water either.
The inscription on its harness is written in English: “Equipment St Petersburg.”
So far, Norwegian authorities have not brought formal charges against Russia and the beluga whale. Don’t laugh. We have been there before…
During the Napoleonic Wars, a French ship was wrecked in a storm off the coast of Hartlepool, a town in County Durham, England.
The only survivor from the ship was a monkey, dressed in a French army uniform to provide amusement for the crew.
The people of Hartlepool had never seen a monkey before. But according to some experts, the monkey looked exactly like a Frenchman.
Mistaking its chattering for French, the brave people of Hartlepool convicted the monkey of being a spy. The animal was hanged on the beach.
END of UPDATE
A beluga whale wearing a harness was spotted by Norwegian fishermen and freed from its garment.
Now Western media are speculating that the marine animal must have been a top spy working for the Russian Navy.
The tame beluga repeatedly approached Norwegian boats off Ingoya, an Arctic island about 415km (258 miles) from Murmansk, where Russia’s Northern Fleet is based.
Marine biologist Prof Audun Rikardsen said the harness had a GoPro camera holder and a label sourcing it to St Petersburg.
A Norwegian fisherman managed to remove it from the whale.
Belugas are native to Arctic waters. Like dolphins and killer whales, they are quite intelligent. They are quite social, and they can be trained.
Russia ridicules the allegations that the whale is a Russian spy.
Interviewed by Russian broadcaster Govorit Moskva, Colonel Viktor Baranets made however the following statement:
“In Sevastopol (in Crimea) we have a centre for military dolphins, trained to solve various tasks, from analysing the seabed to protecting a stretch of water, killing foreign divers, attaching mines to the hulls of foreign ships.”
The US Navy also use dolphins for various tasks. During the Cold War the US Navy set up a special programme for training dolphins and sea lions in California.
“The US Navy Marine Mammal Program, based in San Diego, uses bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions for locating mines and other dangerous objects on the ocean floor.
The navy website also says the animals are used to detect unauthorised personnel underwater who could potentially harm US ships.
The US Navy deployed dolphins to the Gulf during the Iraq War in 2003 to help mine-clearance teams.” [BBC NEWS]
Using Bubbles to Communicate
The belugas, especially the females, are some of the most playful creatures on Earth. Thy devote approximately one-third of their time to play.
They often create shimmering bubble rings with their mouths just to entertain themselves.
Researchers believe that belugas also use stream of bubbles to communicate. Here is a code not even the NSA and GCHQ can crack!
PS: I still believe that President Putin may pardon Frode Berg, but I do not expect a swap between Berg and this beluga whale.
Moscow’s bait for Norway? ‘Military’ whale allegedly tricks fishermen into seizing spy harness
Animal Spies & Warriors — Norwegian Fishermen Spot Russian-Trained Beluga Spy
Animal Spies & Warriors — Norwegian Fishermen Spot Russian-Trained Beluga Spy [UPDATE]