Last week, Norwegian fishermen met an unusually friendly beluga whale in the sea. The animal swam up to the boat itself, allowed itself to be stroked and looked almost tame. On examination, a special harness was found on the whale for attaching a waterproof video camera. Judging by the marking, this is the property of one of the universities of St. Petersburg.
The fishermen thought that the harness was causing inconvenience to the beluga whale, but they themselves did not dare to remove it and turned to scientists. So information about the whale leaked to the media, where they quickly concluded that the whale belonged to the Russian navy. Say, a very likely example of using a trained animal to spy on the Norwegian fjords. It happened in northern waters, it is cold for ordinary dolphins here, but for a large beluga whale it is a natural habitat.
It is known that both the USA and the USSR during the Cold War had programs for training sea animals for military purposes. According to rumors, they continue in Russia, under the heading Secret - in 2015 there was a leak that the Navy was looking for new dolphins "for experiments." As a hunter for combat swimmers or a miner, the beluga whale is not good - it is too slow and clumsy. But this strong animal may well carry reconnaissance tools.
The most interesting thing is that the Norwegian oceanologists have confirmed the fact that the beluga whale was used as a carrier. And the equipment was probably for observation - but not for the Norwegian bases, but for the underwater world. Such harnesses are used in different countries for mounting cameras and batteries for them. However, scientists from the University of St. Petersburg stated that they did not conduct such an experiment, which leaves room for conjecture.