Military probes mystery blast in Arctic

By | August 9, 2008

Military probes mystery blast in Arctic

The Canadian military is sending a long-range Aurora aircraft to investigate reports of a mysterious explosion along Canada’s Northwest Passage that may have killed several whales.

The drama apparently began in the early-morning hours of July 31, when an Inuit hunting party at an outpost camp at Borden Peninsula on northeastern Baffin Island was alerted to the sound of an explosion, followed by a cloud of black smoke.

An Inuit member of the Canadian Rangers, a military reservist unit stationed in the far North, reported the incident, and said a hunter at the camp saw several dead whales on shore when he went over to investigate.

In a preliminary investigation, DND’s Joint Task Force Northern headquarters determined there were no known vessels operating in the area, and it did not know of any activity that could have caused an explosion.

“At this point, we really have very little else to report,” says Summer Halliday, a spokeswoman for the Joint Task Force in Yellowknife.

“But we will be sending an Aurora aircraft to do a flyover. The plane is currently up north in the Mackenzie Valley on a routine exercise supporting the RCMP’s Operation Nunakput.”

Parks Canada will also be on the scene with a boat that’s being dispatched from Sirmilik National Park on Bylot Island.

Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare, the Aurora is able to detect and destroy the latest generation of stealth submarines.

But its long-range capabilities are what make it so useful to the military. It can fly for 17 hours and cover 9,266 kilometres without refuelling.

The Aurora is frequently used to search out illegal fishing, illegal immigration, drug trafficking and pollution along Canada’s three coastlines.

Unusual activity has been reported in the Borden Peninsula region before, according to a DND briefing report. Last summer, for example, several unusual and unidentified objects were seen in the water in the same area.

This past winter, a spectacular meteorite that swept across the sky lit up the radio waves with talk of UFOs.

Foreign submarines have also been sighted in Canadian Arctic waters over the past decade. No one will speculate on whether a submarine might be involved in this mystery blast…. – canada

This is the CP-140 Aurora, not the mysterious US Aurora hypersonic aircraft.

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