Secret Team: The Nord Stream Pipeline Sabotage Revisited

Following the very damning report entitled, “How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline,” published on February 8th by the legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the US authorities are still not budging from their official denial, and refuse to admit any form of involvement with the explosion which damaged the Nord Stream pipelines on Sept 26th of last year. As a result, Nord Stream sabotage theories deepen as shreds of evidence and intelligence leaks surrounding the sabotage of the pipelines have provided more questions than answers, with the New York Times even admitting, “It may be in no one’s interest to reveal more.” Contrary to the mainstream media consensus of the ‘unsolved mystery’ hinting towards the tenuous official conspiracy theory that Russia is somehow guilty of sabotaging its own pipeline project, we believe it’s very much in the public interest to expand on Hersh’s story by revealing more important details surrounding this top secret military operation carried out on the ocean floor of the Baltic Sea. 

Despite their proximity to the event question, and being a primary stakeholder in the Nord Stream pipeline project, the German government has done little if anything in terms of a serious investigation into the unprecedented attack, with the German officials serving us a remake of the 9/11 story, albeit with a James Bond feel to it, involving fake Bulgarian passports and some trace of explosives on a 50-foot pleasure craft called ‘The Andromeda’. In his follow-up piece entitled, The Cover-up, published on March 22nd, Hersh maintains this was a desperate cover story conjured by US intelligence in order to deflect from his bombshell revelations. According to the Germans, six men are believed to have planted C4 explosives on the seabed at a depth of 262 feet who, and when detonated, this triggered a blast registering 2.5 on the Richter scale. I am confident Hollywood will take full advantage of this compelling plot in combination with the even more spectacular claim from a US intelligence report suggesting that a ‘rogue’ pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines. A blockbuster in the making, for sure.

Moreover, when the issue was raised at the UN Security Council in late March by the representative of the Russian Federation, both the US and UK voted against an investigation into the Nordstream bombing.

It’s now time to fill-in the remaining gaps of Hersh’s bombshell story, and reveal the ‘secret team’ who carried out this historic attack on a vital piece of European energy infrastructure. In this article, we will show you which state actors had the means, the motive and the opportunity to carry out this crime. We will also show you the actual demolition diving team that participated in BALTOPS-22, a 13-day naval exercise which featured some 47 ships, 89 aircraft, and 7,000 personnel in the Baltic Sea, under the command of NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe’s (SACEUR). We will also break down some of the equipment – minisubs and multi-role support vessels – used by these elite deep sea divers, whilst also identifying the various factions involved in the planning and the execution of what was a well-rehearsed and successful CIA-backed covert operation.

Seymour Hersh has stated that under the cover of BALTOPS-22, C4 explosives were attached to the pipelines, which would later be triggered by a sonar buoy dropped by a military plane. Hersh explains what happened next:

“Once in place, the delayed timing devices attached to any of the four pipelines could be accidentally triggered by the complex mix of ocean background noises throughout the heavily trafficked Baltic Sea—from near and distant ships, underwater drilling, seismic events, waves and even sea creatures. To avoid this, the sonar buoy, once in place, would emit a sequence of unique low frequency tonal sounds—much like those emitted by a flute or a piano—that would be recognized by the timing device and, after a pre-set hours of delay, trigger the explosives.”

The explosions occurred on Sept 26th, and subsequent underwater gas leaks occurred which visibly bubbled to the ocean surface (image, below).

The initial story published by Seymour Hersh did open the door to a plausible explanation as to what had taken place in the Baltic Sea last autumn, but it has also left a number of unanswered questions as to the specifics of the operation. As per his confidential source, Hersh stated that US Navy divers, operating under the cover of the annual NATO exercise known as BALTOPS-22, had planted triggered explosives which were then detonated three months later, destroying three of the four pipelines in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 transit network which carries Russian natural gas to Germany. His source also replayed how this operation planning was led by Biden’s National Security advisor, Jake Sullivan, receiving input from men and women from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, CIA, State and Treasury departments. The initial meetings took place in “a secure room on a top floor of the Old Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House, that was also the home of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB).”

Soon afterwards, “[CIA director] Burns quickly authorized an Agency working group whose ad hoc members included—by chance—someone who was familiar with the capabilities of the Navy’s deep-sea divers in Panama City. Over the next few weeks, members of the CIA’s working group began to craft a plan for a covert operation that would use deep-sea divers to trigger an explosion along the pipeline.” Regarding the special diving operation, Hersh states:

“The divers were Navy only, and not members of America’s Special Operations Command, whose covert operations must be reported to Congress and briefed in advance to the Senate and House leadership—the so-called Gang of Eight. The Biden Administration was doing everything possible to avoid leaks as the planning took place late in 2021 and into the first months of 2022.”

Hersh notes that the idea of a CIA-led special operations using US Navy divers to intervene with Russia infrastructure has solid pedigree. In 1971, Operation Ivy Bells was a joint US Navy and CIA covert mission, which successfully located and wire-tapped an undersea communications cable in 400 feet of water off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula located some 2,300 km northeast of Vladivostok in the Russian far east region.

In terms of the political evidence, we have the admission by President Joe Biden on February 7, 2022 during a joint news conference with the newly crowned German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, with Biden issuing categorical threat: “If Russia invades, that means tanks and troops crossing the border of Ukraine again, then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2,” said Biden, before pausing. “We will bring an end to it.”

Prior to this in late January 2022, Biden’s Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, issued a similar threat stating, “If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”

Finally, just days after the attack, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the sabotage of Russian Nord Stream gas pipeline was seen in Washington as a “tremendous opportunity” to reduce European energy imports from Russia. Of course, that’s exactly what happened, with the US and NOrway moving in the control the gas import market into northern Europe. Later, in Part 2 of this series, we will also analyse the overarching geostrategic energy play which is now underway, as evidenced by Norway’s renewed interest in the Barents Sea Pipeline gas project as part of Europe’s new Green Deal industrial plan, with its multi-pronged strategy, including long-term ambitions to create a European Hydrogen Energy market, initially involving ‘blue hydrogen’ at first, followed by ‘green hydrogen’ in the long-run. Not surprisingly, the two main partners for this project are Norway and Germany.

The Mission: Nordstream Sabotage

We believe there is value in being more precise regarding the accusation of that US Navy deep sea divers were used from The Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) which operates out of the Naval Support Activity base in Panama City (NSA Panama City), often referred to as one of the largest diving facility in the world. Our interest in the subject is not new and those who follow reports on the 21st Century Wire might recall our previous article, “QUI BONO? From 9/11 to Nord Stream – A New Geopolitical Game Changer.” Our curiosity took us to the heart of the US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), and its U.S. Navy research and warfare centers (NSWC PCD) in Panama City, including its Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU).

This underwater demolition mission used NATO’s BALTOPS-22 as cover for this act of war, and rapidly our investigation’s attention turned towards the Norwegian Armed Forces and their close ties with NATO Joint Force Command in Norfolk Virginia (NATO JFC-NF), looking into the NATO Wargame Center there, and NATO’s Joint Logistics Support Group (JLSG) based out of Norway – to see if they too played a role in this logistically complex mission. Our findings are more than compelling.

We must first familiarise ourselves with the overarching command structures that this operation was conducted. Let us start with the NAVSEA, currently operates eight Surface Warfare Centers:

1. NSWC Carderock, Maryland.
2. NSWC Corona, California.
3. NSWC Crane, Indiana.
4. NSWC Dahlgren, Virginia.
5. NSWC Indian Head, Maryland.
6. NSWC Panama City, Florida.
7. NSWC Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
8. NSWC Port Hueneme, California.

NAVSEA has also seven affiliated Program Executive Offices (PEOs) including a PEO for Undersea Warfare Systems which enables the delivery of enhanced combat capability, with improved cybersecurity and resiliency, to all submarine platforms.

The primary mission of NSA Panama City is to provide, operate and maintain facilities, providing defence and physical security of critical infrastructures. Major tenants include Naval Surface Warfare Center-Panama City Division (NSWC PCD), Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC), Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) and U.S. Coast Guard Station Panama City. In a few words, the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Panama City Division is the perfect location to assemble a highly skilled special force diving team and the equipment needed to plan and conduct an underwater high-risk covert military operation.

The NDSTC in Panama City is where the U.S. Navy trains some of its best deep-sea and saturation divers – regarded as among the elites in this category of specialised military operations. These ‘One Team Warfare Centers’ provide also training facilities for the Seabee underwater construction divers (Naval Construction Force – NCF) as well as for the joint service diving officers, including explosive ordnance disposal officers (EOD). It is truly a One Team Warfare Center.