The secretive world of naval underwater surveys rarely breaks the surface. Now recent events are briefly shining a light into the darkness.
In the Adriatic, a Croatian fishing vessel caught one of the U.S. Navy’s undersea sensor systems last week. That mysterious object has largely been explained. Meanwhile, China has held an awards ceremony for fishermen who alerted authorities after discovering similar devices in their nets. The devices may have been operating in international waters, but still in China’s backyard, as they see it. We can infer that some of these devices may belong to the U.S. Navy.
China has been holding the annual awards ceremonies since 2016. This year 11 fishermen were rewarded for handing over unidentified underwater vehicles which they had found. The number of devices was not reported, but in 2018, nine were handed over.