The first version of the story of a mysterious object found in the sea near Mljet seemed somewhat strange, but now that new details are coming out, it seems to be completely unbelievable.
This morning, the Croatian media reported on fishermen near the southern Dalmatian island of Mljet finding a strange, large object in their fishing nets. The story was originally reported on Morski.hr’s website, which described the 130 cm wide box, weighing around a hundred kilograms, which destroyed the nets in which it was caught. The site also connects this object with the very unusual path an American naval research vessel USNS Bruce Heezen took after leaving Rijeka. It was there at the Viktor Lenac shipyard, undergoing the regular maintenance, and after that… well, let’s just say you have to see their path for yourself in order to believe it:
(Screenshot from the VesselFinder also taken from the Morski.hr website)
The box contained some information which indicates that it was supposed to be delivered to Rijeka by DHL, and no definite identification of what exactly it was has been found.
And then comes the second part of the story: Darko Kunac Bigava, the fisherman who found the object, confirmed to Morski.hr that he has been contacted by the American vessel and that they’ve requested that he returns it to them. He refuses to do so until he is reimbursed for the damages done to his nets, and confirms that he has spoken to Croatian Coast Guard personnel who are on the American vessel. Morski.hr also confirms that the Americans know, as well as the Croatian Ministry of Defence, what the device was doing at the location, but are unable to make any comments for the media currently. An anonymous source also confirmed that it’s a HIPAP device (link opens a .pdf document), used for the underwater navigation and can be used for various purposes.
UPDATE 1: At 12:49 Vlatka Polšak Palatinuš writes for tportal that several Americans, accompanied by the members of the Croatian Coast Guard came to his boat, paid him the amount of money he requested for the damages on his nets, and took the device with them.
We’re certain the story of the mysterious object will continue to impress the Croatian public and the media, and we’ll update it as more information becomes available.