You may have been following the fascinating case of the "Baltic Sea Object," reported by the Ocean X team of Sweden earlier this year.

Ocean X Team is a deep-sea "treasure-hunting" outfit created by Peter Lindberg and Dennis Åsberg of Sweden, which searches for shipwrecks which contain salvageable items that they can recover and sell. In 1997 the team recovered champagne from a 1916 wreck which they report being able to sell for record prices through Christie's of London.

Earlier this year, Ocean X released images and descriptions of an object they discovered in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden which has captured the imaginations of viewers around the globe. The team actually took the original imagery in June of 2011 but only noticed the anomaly later on when reviewing the footage. Sonar images appear to show a nearly circular object, as well as what may be a long "track" along the sea-floor stretching away from the object in one direction. The team reports that the object is approximately 60 meters (close to 200 feet) in diameter.

The team has conducted two further expeditions to the site this year. Due to the visibility conditions of the Baltic Sea, which can be quite limited, visual images of the object (which rests on the seafloor at a depth of approximately 275 feet) had to be taken from quite close on these expeditions, and the team also reported electronic difficulties and equipment problems. However, divers passing close above the object photographed what appears to be a circle or ring of about 25 to 30 stones on one side of the circular object.

A photograph of that circle can be seen in this article by Linda Moulton Howe on her Earthfiles website. That site also discusses a secondary object or formation seen in the Ocean X side-scan sonar about 600 feet from the circular object. Ocean X reports that closer examination of this other formation revealed numerous right angles, as well as what appear to be large "stairs" leading up to it from the ocean floor.

Ocean X reports that both objects are elevated from the sea-floor itself, the circular object by as much as 50 meters (164 feet) and the angular object by about 10 meters (almost 33 feet).

Below is an interview with Peter Lindberg of Ocean X on Red Ice Radio in which he describes the two objects and some of the theories that have been put forth so far by various people in reaction to the findings:

That interview is conducted by Henrik Palmgren of Red Ice, an excellent interviewer who has a great talent for adapting his interview questions to his guest and allowing the guest to tell his or her story, while offering insightful questions that help to bring out some of the most interesting aspects of the subject at hand.

One possibility discussed in the interview is the possibility that the formations might be volcanic or the remnants of an ancient volcanic flow or eruption. At about 16:30 in the interview above, Peter Lindberg notes that geologists have been quite skeptical of this possible explanation, as it does not accord with the tectonic paradigm which currently dominates most geological analysis.

Other possible explanations which have been put forward include some kind of military project from the Second World War, perhaps the wreck of an advanced experimental German "saucer"-shaped aircraft, or some kind of an anchor for a large anti-submarine net that would have been affixed to the bottom of the sea to prevent submarine incursions into the Baltic during that war.

However, in the interview (around 34:00), Peter Lindberg points out that there are some problems with explaining it as a human construction from any recent century. For one thing, if that circle of stones on top of the circular formation was created by humans rather than being a random arrangement of stones (and it certainly appears to be deliberate), then the object must have been there for a very long time, from a time when its current location was not below the level of the sea.

When was the sea so much lower that a point that is now lying beneath 275 feet of seawater was dry land? The answer one gives to that question depends on the geological paradigm one uses, but in any case it was a very long time ago -- certainly prior to World War II. Of course, one could argue that someone went down in more recent years and placed the stone ring there, but since it was only discovered recently, that explanation seems to be unlikely (unless Ocean X is being less than truthful about the entire object). If Ocean X is not pulling an elaborate hoax, then it would seem that the object has been there for a very long time -- and if it is indeed man-made then it would argue for a quite remote date of construction for what appears to be a fairly advanced structure (certainly not what those operating within the paradigm of conventional history would expect human beings to be building at that time).

Another "non-human construction" explanation has been that the objects are large meteorites. Peter Lindberg points out that there does not appear to be any sort of crater around the objects on the sea-floor, but does say that if the meteorites hit during the Ice Age and struck a thick layer of ice, they might have made a huge crater in the ice and then later settled to their current location when the ice melted.

And of course there is the most sensational explanation, that the object (especially the circular one) is related to extraterrestrial activity -- based on its "spaceship-like shape" it has invited the description of "Baltic Sea UFO." In the interview above, Peter Lindberg points out: "I should say we never have said it was a UFO" (at about 12:00), and later on he reiterates: "we don't know what it is." Ocean X has taken samples from the site to Stockholm University and are currently awaiting results from their analysis, and they have expressed interest in conducting another expedition this year before weather conditions become too difficult later this fall, and hoping "to have some real scientists" from various disciplines accompany them to help guide the search for clues. In other words, it does not appear that Ocean X is pushing a sensational interpretation of the object's origin -- far from it. In fact, it appears that they are sincerely interested in getting opinions and analysis from those who can honestly help to come up with the explanation that best fits the evidence.

The UFO theory that dominates much of the coverage of this story does not seem like a necessary conclusion based upon what has been found so far, but for further discussion of possible evidence of extraterrestrial contact with ancient humans, see for example the previous post "Supernatural or Extraterrestrial." So far, it seems difficult to definitively argue that the object or objects must represent alien technology and could not have been built by ancient humans -- if indeed they are not natural geological formations of some sort.

More interesting in light of the subject matter discussed on this blog is the question of when the oceans would have been low enough to allow the possibility that these objects (or at least the stone ring, if it was put there by humans) were built by people when the area was dry land. Because they are at a depth of 275 feet, conventional theories can explain possible human construction by noting that the end of the Ice Age could explain sea-level rise of up to 300 feet.

As discussed in numerous previous posts (such as this one), the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown also provides an explanation for greatly lowered sea levels and higher continents as well -- conditions which were intimately connected to the causative mechanism for the Ice Age (see also this post for more discussion of that concept). The hydroplate theory, in fact, appears to explain some of the other "anomalous" sea-level-related evidence around the world (including other undersea structures that may also be man-made, and the alleged Antarctic contours shown on the Piri Re'is map) far better than conventional theories do. Thus, the ongoing examination of the Baltic Sea Object(s) is of great interest for any clues it may offer that could shed light on the explanatory powers of the hydroplate theory versus other theories.

The Baltic Sea Object (or objects) thus offers yet another example of the need for good critical, but open-minded, analysis. So far, it would appear that these structures may well invite explanations that are outside of the conventional tectonic geological paradigm, as well as outside of the conventional paradigm of ancient human history. Like a "Scooby Doo mystery" (or a Sherlock Holmes story), it would appear wise to keep an open mind in this case, and investigate all the possible explanations carefully before rejecting any of them.

We wish Ocean X and all those involved in the analysis the very best with their continuing efforts in the Baltic Sea.