Nord Steam theory says that bombers in a rented yacht took delivery of explosives in the scenic German harbor
A yacht chartered by six shadowy agents with fake passports, explosives delivered to the crew in the dead of night, and a mysterious organization beyond the control of any nation state.
These are ingredients in a compelling new theory that is beginning to emerge for the unsolved bombings of the $20 billion Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines on September 26, 2022.
The massive explosions caused an estimated $500 million in damage and cast serious doubt on whether this vast infrastructure network built to transport gas from Russia to Western Europe will ever be repaired. The attack sparked an ongoing blame game between Moscow and the West as international authorities scramble to pinpoint a culprit.
Researchers have now identified a 50-foot sailing yacht called Andromeda as a crucial piece in the puzzle. Andromeda left a German port in early September with six people on board who rented the boat with high-quality counterfeit passports – then embarked on a journey that took them directly over the detonation area.
In another intriguing twist, a massive oil tanker, the Minerva Julie, brought an entire week around a section of the ocean eerily close to the area around the same time as Andromeda’s voyage. It has led some observers to wonder: Was this more than a coincidence?
A theory has emerged about the Nord Stream attacks that speculates that a yacht rented in Germany was used by agents who planted the bombs. The group is said to have received the explosives in a picturesque German port town before embarking on the journey
Investigators have been investigating this 15-meter sailing yacht, named Andromeda, as a crucial piece in the mystery of who attacked the Nord Stream pipelines. The yacht was rented by six people using false identification and embarked on a journey over the blast sites in the Baltic Sea
Andromeda’s journey coincided with a period when the Minerva Julie (pictured) spent a week circling an ocean region near the site of the Nord Stream attack. The ship’s owners said it was just ‘waiting for her next travel instructions’
Andromeda left port in Rostock, Germany, on Sept. 6. The boat was rented by six unknown persons who provided false identification documents and informed the staff of the yacht’s owner, Mola Yachting GmbH, that they were planning a Baltic Sea cruise.
According to German officials, the rental of the boat was covered by a company registered in Poland. That company would be controlled by Ukrainian owners.
The day after it left Rostock, the boat arrived in Wiek, a much smaller German port about 100 kilometers northeast.
German officials believe the yacht’s crew received the explosives used to blow up the pipelines here. They have speculated that the bombs were transported to the crew in a white van at night when the port was not monitored by surveillance cameras.
Investigators, who also suspect more agents arrived that night to help with the mission, searched Andromeda in late January and found traces of explosives there.
Wiek harbor master Renee Redmann said he thought nothing of the six crew members who arrived on the yacht. He only discovered something was wrong when he was approached by authorities in January and asked to hand over the port logs.
It is not clear exactly how long the Andromeda remained in Wiek before continuing its journey.
But from there, the crew traveled northeast, further into the Baltic Sea – and into the ocean area above which the Nord Stream pipes were attacked, 80 meters below the surface.
What happened next is not entirely clear. The boat was so small that it was not fitted with a tracking device found on large commercial vessels.
The boat arrived in Wiek on 7 September. It is speculated that the bombs were transported to the crew in a white van at night, when the port was not monitored by surveillance cameras.
Tracking data for the Minerva Julie shows it spent about a week in the area where the blasts occurred. The ship’s owners said it was just ‘waiting for her next travel instructions’
What is known is that Andromeda finally docked again in mid-September on the small Danish island of Christiansø, ten miles from the larger island of Bornholm and a few miles from the blast sites.
Danish police contacted Christiansø’s administrator, Søren Thiim Andersen, in December to request information about boats entering the main harbor between September 16 and 18. the ports on those dates.
The entire journey took about two weeks before Andromeda was returned to Rostock. Days later, the bombs exploded, severely damaging the pipelines and releasing tens of thousands of tons of methane gas.
Investigators are now trying to figure out how the shadowy crew aboard the Andromeda could have carried out the attacks during their journey. Military officials agree that such an operation would require sophisticated equipment, a large amount of explosives and a well-trained, well-funded crew. Some dispute that such a mission can be performed from a five-cabin charter yacht.
The mystery is compounded by the movements of an oil tanker named Minerva Julie during a week in September.
The 600-foot (180 m) Greek-flagged tanker was sailing east from Rotterdam when it stopped in the Baltic Sea and circled an area of the ocean near where the pipelines had been targeted for seven days, from Sept. 5 to Sept. 13.
Minerva Maritime, the ship’s owners, said on March 10 that the ship was simply “waiting for her next voyage instructions.”
Open source intelligence analyst Oliver Alexander, who has provided a detailed analysis of Andromeda’s movements, speculated further Substack that the yacht could have carried the team and supplies to Minerva Julie, a large vessel much better equipped for such a mission.
US intelligence officials recently said a pro-Ukrainian group could have carried out the attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said America is responsible
Russia was also accused of carrying out the Nord Stream gas explosions. Explanations range from divers to spy submarines and underwater drones, with the possible motive being to cripple Europe’s winter energy supply
A report by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claimed that the US was responsible for the Nord Stream pipeline attacks. Navy divers allegedly planted the explosives in June, using NATO exercises as a cover. They were then remotely detonated in September, it is alleged.
Investigators and some intelligence officials are also considering the view that the perpetrators were not acting on behalf of a nation-state. In other words, they did not have the power and resources of any government or army behind them.
The suspicion was given extra weight last week when US intelligence officials informed that a pro-Ukrainian group may have carried out the attack without the knowledge of President Volodymyr Zelensky or his administration.
The Andromeda-centered theory is the latest to surface for how the attacks were carried out – and who was responsible.
A sensational and highly controversial report by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in February alleged that US Navy specialized diving teams carried out the attack on a top-secret mission overseen by President Joe Biden.
The White House and the CIA firmly rejected the report, labeling it “complete fiction.”
Russia blames the US for the attacks and Vladimir Putin said last week that any speculation that Ukraine was responsible is “pure nonsense.” According to US intelligence, a pro-Ukrainian group was responsible. The United Kingdom has also been accused by Russia in the past.