The spotting has until now not been public knowledge. The incident took place on June 28th of this year, in clear daylight and sunny weather. The observation was made from Bosön, on northern Lidingö, Stockholm, where a sailing camp for children between 8 and 13 years of age was being held. The children were learning to sail in small dinghies.
They were sailing on Askrikefjärden, where a waterway connects Edsviken and Stora and Lilla Värtan to the larger waterways to and from Stockholm. As the water is shallow in some places, larger boats avoid this section, and usually chose the waterway along the bay’s northern side. This makes the water close to Bosön an ideal place for a sailing camp.
On that morning, sailing instructors put buoys in the water for the children to sail towards.
Half an hour later, around 20 dinghies were in the bay, with one child in each of them. The activity was intense, and instructors in five motorboats were helping their pupils.
From the beach a floating jetty stretched 50 meters into the water. In the middle of it one instructor was working. Suddenly he saw something strange behind one of the motorboats.
”I could see bubbles being formed on the surface, behind the motorboat. So I thought something was wrong with its motor”, says Fredrik, one of the instructors.
Fredrik says the bubbles ”looked like when you boil water, a lot of bubbles”. But Fredrik did not ponder it further. Instead he walked to the end of the jetty where he helped more pupils to get in their boats.
DN spoke with the instructor who was driving the motorboat – Filip Ek, 18, who had his motor turned on. But he could not see the bubbles in the water, since they were behind the boat.
”No, I didn’t notice anything. My focus was on the children", he says.
He drove up to one of the sailing boats where a child needed help. When he was next to the boat the children around him started screaming.
”Children and instructors were saying they could see something in the water. Something black”, says Filip Ek.
The children pointed towards the east, but the sails of the dinghies concealed the view from Filip, who only caught a short glimpse of something black in the water.
”I saw something big and angular in the water - low above the surface. It could have been half a meter above the water. It didn’t seem like a seal, then I wouldn’t have been able to see it from that distance", he says.
He describes what he saw:
”A black, rectangular object above the surface. The right and left sides where not linear, more rounded before they became a flat surface on the roof.”
Filip Ek saw the object from the lakeside: it was in the bay between him and the beach in Bosön. But he had to continue to assist the children, and didn’t return to examine what it could be.
Meanwhile Fredrik went back to the middle of the jetty.
”When I came back, two minutes later, there was a large submarine where I had seen the bubbles, but further ahead than where I saw them to begin with.”
Fredrik observed several details.
”I looked on the from the side. It was matte black or black-grey. The tower was not rectangular, it had rounded edges. It was four to six meters long, and two meters high, at most. On the top there were several antennas sticking out.”
It was close to the shore. It felt unrealistic.
As he perceived the vehicle's proximity to him, he reacted and shouted:
”Be careful - a submarine!”
Oscar Eurenius, a third instructor, helped the children who were still ashore with their sails. When he heard Fredrik shout, Oscar picked up his radio and informed the other instructors.
Fredrik wanted company on the jetty.
”He wanted more eyes, to see what it was”, Oscar remembers.
He went to the jetty to look:
”It didn’t look like an ordinary boat. It was the top of a submarine. I saw it from behind, it was going towards the waterway.”
The vehicle was moving slowly, and Fredrik picked up his cell phone to take two pictures and short film. The pictures were taken at 09:58 a.m, according to the time on the phone.
Both Fredrik and Oscar say they saw the vehicle going slowly with the tower showing for around 20 minutes. They could see it becoming smaller and smaller until it could no longer be seen in the waterway towards Karlsudd. All three instructors know the water close to Bosön well, as they have been sailing there for many years. They say they could not have mistaken the vehicle with another boat.
The instructors are busy taking care of the children, and they do not talk a lot about the mysterious vehicle. They avoid alerting anyone about what they have seen, nor do they speak to the board of the sailing school.
But during the next weekend an officer who knows one of the instructors hears about the incident. He calls the Armed Forces. They send two officers to Lidingö on July 4 to investigate the incident. They speak to Fredrik on the jetty.
”We can confirm that we received information about an alleged observation from this area at this time. I can also confirm that we have spoken to the informant”, says Jesper Tengroth, press secretary for the Armed Forces headquarters.
He refrained from commenting on what measures have been taken, or what the Armed Forces thinks about the observation, because the information is classified.
The alleged naval vessel could not have been a Swedish submarine, as there was no activity by the Armed Forces in that area when the observation was made.
Fredrik experienced the situation at Bosön as threatening.
”Yes. It was a strange place for a submarine to come up. There is a sailing camp with plenty of sailboats and motorboats everywhere. And it came up so close. I don’t understand how it was possible to come up so close, it’s kind off strange.”
Oscar Eurenius is ”surprised about what it was and what happened”. He says:
”It doesn’t feel like an optimal moment to appear, if it was a submarine. But it was very close, and it was really rather frightening.”
Marine expert Ola Oskarsson is one of Sweden's leading experts in investigations under water. He says the photographs from Lidingö are very good.
”The photographic documentation is very, very good. These are some of the best pictures I have seen of what could be a suspected submarine, and I have seen many which I have not thought were good.”
On Friday the Swedish armed forces through it’s press secretary Jesper Tengroth said that they ”do not share the conclusion presented in DN that it would be a foreign submarine”.
Why can you not say how you reached your conclusion?
– We do not want to show any opponents what we can draw for conclusions. And it's true whether it would be a foreign submarine or something else.
Translation: Evelyn Jones and Edgar Mannheimer