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HomeTechnology'Black Ship' emerges from shadow of Nord Stream pipeline mystery

'Black Ship' emerges from shadow of Nord Stream pipeline mystery

“Dark ships” emerge from the shadow of the Nord Stream pipeline mystery

Swedish Coast Guard/Getty Images

In the early hours of September 26, a natural gas leak was discovered for the first time in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea, and heavy rain released 400,000 tons of methane into in the atmosphere. Officials immediately suspected that someone had sabotaged the international pipeline. New analysis seen by WIRED shows that two large ships with their trackers turned off were present near the leak in the days before it was detected.

Analysis by satellite data monitoring company SpaceKnow shows that the two “black ships” are each about 95 to 130 meters long and traveled a distance of 100 meters from the Nord Stream 2 leak point. within miles. “We found some dark ships, and these are ships that are large in size, and they were passing through that area of ​​interest,” said Jerry Javornicky, SpaceKnow’s CEO and co-founder. “They turned off the beacon, That means there is no information about their movements, they try to hide their location information and general information from the world,” Javornicky added.

The findings, derived from the analysis of images from multiple satellites, are likely to further increase speculation about the cause of the blast. Multiple countries investigating the incident believe the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were affected by a series of explosions that many suspect was directed at Russia as it continues its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. (Russia denies involvement.) Once SpaceKnow identified the ships, it reported its findings to NATO officials who were investigating the Nord Stream incident. Javornicky said NATO officials have asked the company for more information.

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said she could not comment on “the details of our support or the sources used” but confirmed that NATO believed the incident was “deliberate and irresponsible” acts of sabotage” and increased its presence in the Baltic and North Seas. However, a NATO official who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed to WIRED that NATO had received the SpaceKnow data and said the satellite imagery was useful to its investigation.

To detect the ships, Javornicky said the company searched a 90-day archive of satellite imagery of the area. The company analyzes images from multiple satellite systems — both paid and free services — and uses machine learning to detect objects within them. This includes the ability to monitor roads, buildings and changes in the landscape. “We have 38 specific algorithms that detect military equipment,” Javornicky said, adding that SpaceKnow’s system can detect specific types of aircraft on the runway.



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