A team of professional Swedish treasure hunters have made a remarkable find at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. What exactly it is, however, will remain a mystery for the immediate future.
At an unrevealed location some 250 feet below the brackish waters between Sweden and Finland, the deep-sea salvage company Ocean Explorer has discovered a large, bizarrely shaped object on the seabed.
“I have been doing this for nearly 20 years, so I have a seen a few objects on the bottom, but nothing like this,” the crew´s team leader Peter Lindberg told Brooke Bowman of CNN.
“We had been out for nine days and we were quite tired and we were on our way home, but we made a final run with a sonar fish and suddenly this thing turned up.”
At first glance, said Lindberg, the team joked that they had found a UFO. However, upon closer inspection using a device known as a side-scan sonar, the joke no longer seemed quite so far-fetched.
What they found appears to be a disc-shaped object roughly 180-feet in diameter with a rigid tail that extends another 1,200 or so feet.
And what´s more, when the team turned back to make another pass and get a closer look, they found another similarly shaped object some 600 feet away.
Lindberg´s crew says that the object is too large to be part of a shipwreck and admits that they´re utterly stumped as to what the mysterious object could be.
Not surprisingly, this has led to wild speculation and a number of theories that border on the absurd.
“We´ve heard lots of different kinds of explanations, from George Lucas´s spaceship–the Millennium Falcon–to ℠it´s some kind of plug to the inner world,´ like it should be hell down there or something,” Lindberg told CNN and the Daily Mail Online.
And there´s only one way to find out for sure, he added.
Unfortunately, the team will have to wait for tamer waters before they´re able to make an exploratory dive to clear up the mystery once and for all. That could mean weeks or even months of nerve-racking waiting.
While a handful of adventurous salvage crews have found troves of treasure–both historical and literal–at the bottom of the world´s oceans, more often than not such searches result in disappointment and bankruptcy.
Andreas Olsson, chief of the archeological division at Sweden’s Maritime Museums, says that he isn´t getting his hopes up too high about Lindberg´s find. While he hopes for the best, maritime treasure-hunting simply doesn´t have much of a record of success.
“If you want to stand in a cold shower tearing up £50 notes, go shipwreck hunting,” he told CNN.
“Most shipwrecks are rotting away, or carrying dull things–all the romance has been taken out of it.”
And Lindberg himself doesn´t entirely disagree. He explained that to have success in the business, you need patience, luck and a lot of financing–and even that doesn´t always work.
“It´s a very difficult industry to be in–it´s money all the time,” he confessed.
And while he does appreciate the historical element of his profession, Lindberg says make no mistakes; he´s in it for the money.
“The best thing [our find] could be, would be 60 meters of gold–then I would be very happy.”
Yet even if it doesn´t turn out to be a gold-laden Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, Lindberg´s team is already working on a plan to earn back some of the time and money they´ve invested in the search.
They say that if it´s something really interesting–whether an archeological object or some kind of natural anomaly–they´ll try to make a sort of underwater tourist attraction out of it, taking investors and curious tourists for an up-close and personal look at the marine oddity for a hefty fee.
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