After a day at port, the Ocean X Team has disappeared again, presumably back to the Baltic Anomaly, a mammoth underwater formation of unknown origin. The excitement among UFO enthusiasts over the Baltic Anomaly is palpable. But is this just another Great Lakes Dive Company Hoax?
Background on the Baltic Anomaly
Here’s the background. Last summer, the Ocean X Team used side-scan sonar to “photograph” a strange object deep in the Baltic Sea, approximately 260 feet below surface. It’s about 200 feet in diameter, with a tail stretching over 1,300 feet across the sea floor. Recently, the team returned to the site to give it a closer look.
Let’s get one thing out of the way. We’re highly skeptical of the Baltic Anomaly. Between the vague and highly charged updates, the involvement of Titan Television, and dark hints at “military intervention,” we can’t help but wonder if this is a hoax to drum up publicity. It has precedent, namely the Great Lakes Dive Company Hoax.
The Disappearances of Felix Moncla Jr. & Robert L. Wilson
On November 23, 1953, radar operators in Michigan spotted something unusual on their screens…an unidentified flying object. First Lieutenant Felix Moncla Jr. scrambled an F-89C Scorpion Jet into the air to check it out. Second Lieutenant Robert L. Wilson flew with him, acting as the radar operator. Moncla caught up with the object 8,000 feet above Earth.
Back at Ground Control, radar operators watched the situation unfold. The radar blips – one for the jet and one for the UFO – grew closer and closer together. They merged, turning into a single blip. And then this blip vanished. Moncla didn’t respond to radio calls. And a search and rescue operation failed to recover him, Wilson, or the jet. No traces of the ill-fated flight were ever found (although some researchers think the parts were found in 1968).
The Great Lakes Dive Company Hoax?
In 2006, a man named Preston Miller emailed an Associated Press story to UFO scholar Francis Ridge. The story proclaimed the discovery of Moncla’s missing jet at the bottom of Lake Superior…along with something else. The divers who’d made the discovery called themselves the Great Lakes Dive Company.
“In searching the general vicinity of the wreck, we believe we have also found a part of the object that the F-89 collided with. We are still in the process of documenting the mystery object…There is still a lot of wreck site forensics to complete.” ~ Adam Jimenez, Great Lakes Dive Company Spokesman, Great Lakes UFO Mystery Solved, Another Begins – (Supposed Associated Press Story)
Ridge forwarded the email to a popular UFO forum and the story spread like wildfire. Adam Jimenez, the Great Lakes Dive Company’s spokesman, gave interviews to numerous reporters and radio programs. His description of the crash site was similar to the Baltic Anomaly, namely “a plow mark trailing behind the object (as if it had crashed).” Two images of the plane were posted on the company’s website, appearing to show an aircraft half-buried in silt. Sonar images of a second metallic object, presumably the UFO, were also posted (see above).
There was just one problem. The Great Lakes Dive Company didn’t exist. Neither did Adam Jimenez. Three weeks later, the company’s website, www.greatlakesdive.com, disappeared. So did the man claiming to be Jimenez. James Carrion, the International Director of Mutual UFO Network, investigated the incident. To make a long story short, he discovered the original Associated Press story was bogus as were many of Jimenez’s statements.
“In summary, MUFON after many hours of investigation by a number of our dedicated field investigators has not been able to substantiate any of GLDC’s claims. Until GLDC personnel resurface with more information and definitive proof of the F89 discovery, their claims remain doubtful at this time.” ~ James Carrion, Update on Kinross / Great Lakes Dive Company Case
Jimenez and the Great Lakes Dive Company never resurfaced. These days, most people consider the whole thing a hoax.
The Baltic Anomaly vs. The Great Lakes Dive Company Hoax
There are some similarities between the Ocean X Team and the Great Lakes Dive Company. Both groups published strange sonar images. Both made extraordinary and vague claims about their discoveries. Both deliberately fanned the flames of UFO enthusiasts. And both got increasingly tight-lipped as time progressed. Even the supposed image of GLDC’s UFO (pictured above) looks similar to part of the Baltic Anomaly.
However, if the Baltic Anomaly is a scheme, it’s far more elaborate and refined than the 2006 scam. The Ocean X Team is a real company with a real boat led by real treasure hunters. Their reputations are on the line. Also, they haven’t made any outlandish claims about the exact nature of the Anomaly, other than to say it’s “top secret.”
At the same time, the Ocean X Team is under pressure to produce something extraordinary. They’ve raised a lot of money and they could find it difficult to raise funds for other projects if the Baltic Anomaly turned out to be nothing of interest. That’s part of the reason why we expect the Ocean X Team to drag this out as long as possible before claiming they were forced to evacuate the site due to ”military intervention.”
Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis
We’re not convinced the Baltic Anomaly is real. Side scan sonar images are highly prone to distortion. If it is real, we here at Guerrilla Explorer suspect it’s nothing more than a hot spring. A hot spring would explain the initial radiation reported by the Ocean X Team, as well as the Anomaly’s strange shape.
“When hot water is expelled from a hot spring, it causes dissolved minerals and the surrounding soil to be driven outward. These materials eventually cool and harden in the water. All in all, this might account for the vast amount of disturbed seabed as well as an object that looks like a sandbar.” ~ David Meyer, The Baltic Anomaly: UFO…or just a Hot Spring?
So, is the Baltic Anomaly a hoax? Is the Ocean X Team this year’s version of the Great Lakes Dive Company? At the very least, we think this has the potential to turn into a hoax. In other words, the Ocean X Team could hide the true nature of the Baltic Anomaly under the guise of “military intervention.” That would leave everyone happy. It would help Titan sell its documentary on the “Baltic Cowboys.” It would keep the Ocean X Team’s reputation intact. And it would give UFO enthusiasts yet another near-miss legend to kick around.
Guerrilla Explorer’s Coverage of the Baltic Anomaly
- 1/30/12: A Lost Shipwreck…or a Lost UFO?
- 6/2/12: The Baltic Anomaly?
- 6/6/12: The Baltic Anomaly: UFO…or just a Hot Spring?
- 6/8/12: The Baltic Anomaly: A New Discovery?
- 6/12/12: The Baltic Anomaly: Is it a Hoax?
- 6/13/12: The Baltic Anomaly: Another “Great Lakes Hoax”?
- 6/14/12: The Baltic Anomaly: The Lost Updates?
- 6/15/12: The Baltic Anomaly: Answers at Last?
- 6/16/12: The Baltic Anomaly: Questions & Speculation?
- 6/17/12: The Baltic Anomaly: What is Going on Here?
- 6/18/12: The Baltic Anomaly: The Bigger Picture?
- 6/19/12: The Baltic Anomaly: Is it a Black Smoker?
- 6/20/12: The Baltic Anomaly: That Mysterious Pillar?
- 6/21/12: The Baltic Anomaly: The Nazi Connection?
- 6/22/12: The Baltic Anomaly: The Ocean X Team Speaks!
- 6/23/12: The Baltic Anomaly: What is the next “Anomaly”?
- 6/27/12: The Baltic Anomaly: Is it Natural…or Artificial?
- 6/28/12: Breaking News: Is the Baltic Anomaly an Elaborate Hoax?
- 7/2/12: The Baltic Anomaly: What is the Secret Wreck?
- 7/6/12: The Baltic Anomaly: The Original Ocean X Team?
- 7/16/12: The Baltic Anomaly: The Fire and Ice Theory?