SCOTT RITTER: The Nord Stream-Andromeda Cover Up

U.S. intelligence was too quick to leak information about the German investigation to The New York Times. It raises the distinct impression that the real culprit is nervous about the investigative work of Seymour Hersh. 

Divers taking a safety stop at 5 metres. (Oetzipopoetzi, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

Back in 2000, the television series “Andromeda”  premiered, based upon unused material from Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the Star Trek series and franchise. The plot is premised on the notion of a spaceship, “Andromeda,” frozen in time, which is given the opportunity to reverse the clock and undo history.

The series ran five years.

Fast forward to the present.

History has dealt a tough hand to the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, who openly confessed his intent to “bring an end” to the Nord Stream pipeline system which delivered Russian natural gas to Europe through four pipelines (Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, consisting of two pipelines each).

Since then, the Biden White House was compelled to deny the president’s stated intent after an explosive report by Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh detailed damning information which, if true (and there is no reason to suspect it’s not) casts the responsibility for a series of underwater explosions that took place on Sept. 26, 2022, on Biden himself.

Hersh’s report was ignored by the mainstream media in the United States, with neither The New York Times, for whom Seymour Hersh wrote on national security issues for many years, nor The Washington Post even hinting that the greatest living investigative journalist had broken a blockbuster story.

Gene Roddenberry circa 1976. (Larry D. Moore, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Enter the “Andromeda” — not the spaceship of the eponymous television series, but rather a Bavaria C50 15-meter (49-foot) yacht based out of the German Baltic port city of Rostock. On March 7 — nearly a month after Hersh self-published his article on Substack — a team of German reporters from the ARD capital studio, Kontraste, Südwestrundfunk (SWR) and Die Zeit collaboratively reported that they had uncovered the existence of “the boat that was allegedly used for the secret operation.”

The boat was “a yacht rented from a company based in Poland, apparently owned by two Ukrainians.” According to the story, “the secret operation at sea was carried out by a team of six people.”

The name of the yacht was “The Andromeda.”

According to the German reporting, the team — five men, consisting of a ship captain, two primary divers, two supporting divers and a female doctor — used the Andromeda to transport the team, along with the explosives used to destroy the pipelines, to the scene of the crime. The boat was returned to Rostock in “an uncleaned condition,” allowing German law enforcement officials, who carried out a search of the vessel between Jan. 8-11, to detect “traces of explosives” on a table in the ship’s cabin.

The same day the German reporting on the new Nord Stream attack narrative broke, The New York Times ran a front-page story entitled “Intelligence Suggests Pro-Ukrainian Group Sabotaged Pipelines, US Officials Say.”

[Related: As Bakhmut Falls, US May Turn From Ukraine, Starting With Pipeline Story]

For the first time, The New York Times referred to Hersh’s reporting, writing, “Last month, the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published an article on the newsletter platform Substack concluding that the United States carried out the operation at the direction of Mr. Biden,” before closing with “U.S. officials say Mr. Biden and his top aides did not authorize a mission to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines, and they say there was no U.S. involvement.”

Map of the explosions caused at the Nord Stream pipelines on Sept. 26, 2022. (FactsWithoutBias1, CC-By-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

As if echoing the Biden White House denials, The New York Times led off with this:

“New intelligence reporting amounts to the first significant known lead about who was responsible for the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines that carried natural gas from Russia to Europe” (emphasis added.)

The New York Times, it seems, was more than happy about proceeding with its own anonymous intelligence sources, while dismissing Hersh’s.

The problem with both the German reporting and that of The New York Times (whose source was clearly referring to the same data reported by the German reporters) is that the Andromeda narrative doesn’t hold water.

Take, for instance, the Tom Clancy-like tale of derring-do that has four allegedly Ukraine-affiliated divers defy physiology by conducting dives that would require the use of a decompression chamber for them to survive an ascent of 240 feet (the depth of the Nord Stream pipelines that were destroyed). A rule of thumb is that decompression takes approximately one day per 100 feet of seawater plus a day.

Marina in Rostock, Germany. (Beauwell, CC0, Wikimedia Commons)

This means that the team of divers would have required three days of decompression per dive. But to decompress, one needs a decompression chamber. For a dive involving two divers, the Andromeda would have to have been outfitted with either a two-person Class A decompression chamber, or two single-person Class B chambers, as well as the number of large oxygen bottles needed to operate these chambers over time. \

A simple examination of the interior cabin space of the Bavarian C50 yacht would quickly dispossess one of any notion that either option was viable.

Simply put — no decompression chamber, no dive, no story.

‘Traces’ of High Explosives 

There is another aspect of the story to probe. According to the German reporting, law enforcement officials detected “traces” of high explosives on the tables in the cabin of the Andromeda.

According to the Swedish Prosecution Authority, in a statement released on Nov. 19, 2022, Swedish investigators discovered “traces of explosives on several of the foreign objects that were found” at the site of the explosions.

These explosives, according to a Nov. 22, 2022, report issued by Nord Stream AG, the Swiss-based parent company that owned the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, produced “technogenic [i.e., “of or pertaining to a process or substance created by human technology”] craters with a depth of 3 to 5 meters” separated “by a distance of about 248 meters.”

“The section of the pipe between the craters is destroyed, the radius of pipe fragments dispersion is at least 250 meters,” the report noted.

Nord Stream AG head office in Zug, Switzerland. (Alexey M, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

In a report to the United Nations, both Denmark and Sweden said that the damage done to the Nord Stream pipelines was caused by blasts equivalent to the power of “several hundred kilograms of explosive.”

It should be noted that underwater pipelines like those used in Nord Stream are designed to withstand proximal explosions from devices up to several hundred kilograms in size. Indeed, in locations such as the Baltic Sea, where unexploded military ordnance from multiple world wars abounds, the threat of a drifting device striking a pipeline and detonating is quite real.

Computer modeling shows that a 600-kilogram high explosive charge detonated approximately 5 meters from a 34mm-thick steel pipeline filled with gas would not compromise the structural integrity of the pipeline.

A piece of Nord Stream pipe on public display in Kotka, Finland in 2017. (Vuo, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

At the location of the explosions, the Nord Stream pipelines consisted of 26.8 mm steel pipes with an addition 33.2 mm of concrete coating, for a total thickness of 60 mm. The weight of a single pipe section was over 11 tons.

In short, a standard high-explosive charge of several hundred kilograms would not be sufficient to cause the destruction that occurred on the Nord Stream pipeline.

Enter Hersh, who reported that the explosives used were “shaped charges.”

With a shaped charge, the energy of the explosion is focused in one direction, usually by creating a concave shape in the explosive that is them lined with a metal sheet, so that it usually achieves an armor- and/or concrete-penetrating effect.

Without getting too technical, the design of an underwater shaped charge that would be sufficient to penetrate concrete-lined steel pipe at a depth of 240 feet is not common knowledge. The charge would have to be prepared by qualified explosives experts and ideally tested prior to being employed operationally to validate the design and functionality of the device.

These are not tasks undertaken by a small ad hoc team of Ukrainian underwater saboteurs, but rather state-sponsored actors with access to military grade explosives and testing facilities.

Strike two for the German reporting.

But the most glaring deficiency in the German reporting deals with the detection of “trace explosive” onboard the Andromeda. This information would identify the precise explosive used. Moreover, when compared and contrasted with the “trace explosive” found by the Swedes at the location of the Nord Stream attacks, it could provide a clear linkage between the Andromeda and the attacks.

But Sweden has sealed the files of its investigation into the Nord Stream attack on national security grounds, meaning that it will not cooperate with Germany to see if the explosive traces found at the scene of the Nord Stream crime match those onboard the Andromeda.

The obvious reason behind this decision: because the two traces won’t match. One — the Swedish sample — points to the culprit. The other — the Andromeda sample — is evidence of a cover up.

Strike three, and you’re out.

The German government’s crude effort to manufacture an alternative narrative regarding who attacked the Nord Stream pipeline fails the smell test — in short, it stinks. The holes in this story are such that even the most gifted screenwriters could not turn this Andromeda tale of changing history into something remotely believable. In short, Gene Roddenberry would not be impressed.

Moreover, the fact that the U.S. intelligence community was quick to leak information about the German investigation to The New York Times appears to be de facto evidence of U.S. complicity in this cover up.

And the reason for this cover up is quite clear: the Germans and Americans both fear the reporting being done by Hersh.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. His most recent book is Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

69 comments for “SCOTT RITTER: The Nord Stream-Andromeda Cover Up

  1. A Concerned Westerner
    March 17, 2023 at 13:25

    Predictable and pathetic, the West is like a bad child caught with his hand in the cookie jab and starts spewing a number of inane stories as to why he needed to take the cookies without permission. Is this the best the West can do? If Biden is such a big tough mafia boss like he tries to portray whu doesn’t he “man up” and admit it? His morons at the State Department have already admitted it by their gleeful response to its destruction and Biden has already compromised himself by saying the US would shut down Nordstream, yet declined to explain how. Only an utter fool couldn’t connect the dots on this story.

  2. March 17, 2023 at 08:03

    I sent the following to Consortium News earlier today; so far no response:

    From this article:

    This statement is entirely inaccurate:

    A rule of thumb is that decompression takes approximately one day per 100 feet of seawater plus a day.

    That maybe true for saturation diving (I don’t know exactly), but if you’re just dropping down to 250 feet for long enough to drape a charge over a pipeline, this might even be safe to do without any decompression (See the US Navy’s Repetitive Dive Tables, declassified about 60 years ago). A decompression chamber is also not necessary for decompression; formerly, it was always done in the water, and this is actually probably safer than using a chamber, as long as a reliable source of air is available, which is easy to arrange.

    It’s not necessary, although probably now recommended, to use heli-ox gas at that depth. People have dived to at least 400 feet on air and survived; nitrogen narcosis becomes a serious issue below 300 feet, and many divers are susceptible to it at shallower depths; experienced divers know how deep they can safely go on pure air.

    I don’t particularly credit the entire story, but there’s nothing on its face that’s impossible.

    Also this:

    as well as the number of large oxygen bottles needed to operate these chambers over time.

    is also manifestly inaccurate. No oxygen is needed, only air that can be delivered by a low-pressure, water-lubricated compressor. These are not even expensive.


    Somebody somewhere is masterminding a disinformation campaign intended to so muddy the waters that nobody will know what to believe.

  3. Dao Gen
    March 17, 2023 at 00:47

    Isn’t the German “information” about the explosions deliberately crude and unbelievable? By writing an all-too-obviously ridiculous account that deconstructs itself, and by leaking it to the NYT, the Germans were probably trying to indirectly and obliquely indicate that they have been forced by the US to create a hoax account — and thereby to indicate who the real culprit is.

    • jamie
      March 17, 2023 at 11:40

      Absolutely, no pro-Ukraine group would be so dumb to not involve German government/intelligence, the most important stakeholder in such act of terrorism and the most important ally in the war in Ukraine before carry out such act of terrorism that could potentially backfire and cause a popular and political earthquake in Germany, whose shock-waves could hit the foreign/European support to Ukraine. In fact, German government did not seem very “upset” after the sabotage. Non doubt that EU and UK were also notified and gave their blessing… German government contributed to create the fictional theory adopted by NYT, “CIA’s voice”. The room’s courtroom would not be big enough to contain all the governments and institutions involved in such act of terrorism and environmental damage

    • A Concerned Westerner
      March 17, 2023 at 13:34

      Absolutely no brains involved in concocting this silly amateurish story. This is what the West has become. I’m embarrassed to be a part of it.

  4. PCM
    March 16, 2023 at 20:15

    You know who really needs to read this article? The citizens of EU- and NATO-member countries:

    • Not the ones who are making a small fortune off rising energy prices.

    • Not the ones who hope to cash in on weapons sales.

    • Not the ones who are salivating at the prospect of buying up real estate and distressed businesses at bargain rates.

    • Not the industrialists who have been itching for an excuse to eliminate the remaining labor and social barriers to offshoring all of their production to low-wage, low-regulation countries.

    • Not construction companies to whom destruction equals rebuilding equals profit.

    No: ORDINARY citizens who are getting screwed to the wall by sanctions on Russian energy and are slowly realizing that the destruction of three fourths of Nord Stream’s carrying capacity means that they are going to keep getting screwed for years to come. And if they’re smart, it will start dawning on them whom their EU, NATO, and national leaders are REALLY working for — and that it ain’t them.

    • A Concerned Westerner
      March 17, 2023 at 13:37

      100% on target. What’s amazing is most people in the West I speak to cannot connect the dots that you quite clearly articulated in your excellent commentary. That’s the real problem – ignorance of the Western citizens helped by massive amounts of Western state propaganda.

  5. Robert Emmett
    March 16, 2023 at 11:34

    You may remember, it’s nearly 20 years to the day, when the u>S. phony war on (of) terror rained bombs on non-Western people, cut off their life supports such as food & medicine, clean water & electricity during the u>S. phony war on (of) terror. The effects of those kinds of hardship continue to this day & have metastasized to remote outposts such as Syria, Yemen, Somalia & Libya (where Reuters reports 10 drums of uranium ore concentrate just gone missing for an IAEA inspection). The unending mop-up of the very enemies the Western allies created (and even armed) in the first place. Who has been held to account for all that?

    Even if it the u>S. were to accept responsibility for Nord Stream explosions what would happen? Is there an international tribunal that somehow would hold them to account? And, even if so, then do what? Levy a fine for damages? To be written off as a cost of doing business?

  6. Ike Hall
    March 16, 2023 at 08:40

    All this just points to why Seymour Hersh is a World Treasure. I subscribed within seconds to his Substack, and you should, too.

  7. ricardo2000
    March 16, 2023 at 06:21

    Noam Chomsky: ”Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. Media.”

    H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956): “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    The NordStream pipelines are hardly the only pipelines crossing the Baltic Sea. The Norwegian pipeline supplying Poland and Germany passes just west of Bornholm Island crossing both NordStream lines. So it would take critical pipeline location knowledge to attack the correct pipeline without damaging other nearby lines. We can be sure this info is available with a smile from Houston, when the CIA and the US Navy ask for it. Non-state actors looking for accurate pipeline locations would be arrested crossing the parking lot before they got to their dickup trucks.

    Gore Vidal: “The late Murray Kempton once noted that although the New York Times likes to pose as being above the battle, this position has never stopped the Times, once the battle’s fought, from sneaking onto the field and shooting the wounded.”

    The NYTimes fantasy will confirm White Western MSM are lying corporate sluts with no interest in the truth or public service. The Global South have their low opinion of Washington confirmed again.

    William Casey (CIA Director 1981-1987): “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

    Voltaire: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

    John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873): “I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally conservative.”

    • vinnieoh
      March 16, 2023 at 12:11

      “dickup trucks” – I’m still laughing, thanks for that. The sheer volume of dickup trucks, majority of which are 4-wheel drive, in my locale is mind-boggling, and most will never leave the safety of paved roads, carry any significant or necessary load, or serve any other purpose than affirming the insecurity of their owners.

    • James White
      March 16, 2023 at 16:34

      Thank you for soem great quotes. The one from William Casey reveals everything about the age of Psy-Ops that we find ourselves living in. What differs from the past is that it used to be mostly Republicans who were the D.C. insiders supporting the military industrial complex as well as the CIA/Deep State. Most gave at least the appearance of loyalty to the country and the people, despite whatever dirty deeds were being done. The Democrats and press back then did a fair job of holding them in check. Now the Democrats have become -the- party behind the CIA/Deep State. They are mostly devoid of any religious influence that might give them pause. They have no moral restraint nor observance of any power higher than themselves. The now-constant Psy-Ops, gain a substantial amplification from the whoring press. Taken together, we have our government, the DNC and Corporate media in an unholy alliance of pure evil. Since absolute power corrupts absolutely. Americans face a real possibility of never again having an election in which their votes are counted fairly. Ensuring continued dominance of the Democrat party once the election rigging is perfected. There are ample reasons to suspect that they may have already gotten away with it in 2020. That election is over but corporate interference in elections is growing continuously stronger and more elaborate. Those forces blunted voter rage in the 2022 mid-terms. We barely eked out a dismissal of Pelosi as Speaker during the term of a President who has practically destroyed the country. The ineptitude of the Biden Regime and the destruction they have caused should have made for a blood bath for Democrats in 2022. Instead, despite Biden’s consistent 40% approval rating, a medical doctor in Pennsylvania could not manage to beat a Democrat with literally half a brain.

    March 15, 2023 at 22:12

    From the day after the pipeline explosions we followed and inquired very extensively. We learned that the U.K. and others were conducting War simulation exercises very close to the pipe location, just before the explosions, and that they involved submersible transports and diver personnel. The distances involved were well within the “submersibles” capacity, and were equipped to carry high explosives. This military maritime maneuvering was certainly the culprit, they were a specialised unit, trained and equipped for this type of demolition; they simply used timers to set off the explosions once they were well clear. We notice that there is no mention of these facts anywhere, a sure sign of cover up and diversion. We recorded most of this information to hard drive at the time; it will all carry time and date registrations. All of this is true and factual and will bear investigation.

  9. CaseyG
    March 15, 2023 at 19:09

    Sorry, Biden, Blinken, the military and much of Congress. It all comes down to that old joke about how you tell that they are lying:
    ANSWER = their lips are moving. Seymour Hersh makes much more sense

  10. jamie
    March 15, 2023 at 17:37

    about few days after journalist Seymour Hersh theory, the Dutch intelligence issued a warning of possible attack on energy infrastructures by Russian forces… that for me was an attempt to discredit Hersh’s investigative work, to restore the public faith on the western narrative and a possible involvement of the EU as well, not only Norway; yes they are speculations, but then I watched US representative Kelley and co. speaking at UN security council on Russia’s desire for an independent investigation, all quick in diverting the attention away from the nord stream issue to the allegedly unprovoked Russian aggression in Ukraine, and it did not look good, even worse Borrel statement, “I am not afraid of the truth. Any truth. But we are talking about … speculations,” Borrel; then to avoid any more discussion, the NYT anonymous source popped up… it seem it is almost a pattern of behavior that once the narrative is crumbling there is a well coordinated attempt to restore it, and is this parade of imbecility that makes even more plausible Hersh’s theory

  11. March 15, 2023 at 16:54

    Neither the corporate media nor the Biden administration care one wit that their lies are obvious, as demonstrated in this article by former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He meticulously makes clear just how impossible the narrative spun to counter Seymour Hersh’s brilliant exposé on the joint US – Norwegian act of international terrorism designed to force the German people to buy American, even at twice the price, and that all the world would pay twice as much for natural gas as they should.
    Truth is no longer relevant to the US electorate.

    • Jamie
      March 16, 2023 at 08:41

      To me Germany was well aware and gave it “the go” to whoever was paid to carry out the terrorist act, we know just too well how the west trains terrorist group, to me Germany was an accomplice not a victim, their population perhaps… The importance of such action without proper involvement of the main actor would be unthinkable, not knowing how it would affect the environment surrounding the war in Ukraine

  12. Mike
    March 15, 2023 at 16:32

    Really great article. It filled many holes in my knowledge and provides very strong support for Hersh’s version – which really fits all reason and logic.

    At one time, explosive manufacturers added a small amount of magnetic particle mixtures that could be used to trace the origin of a batch of explosives. A specific mixture of particles with slightly different properties was added to act as an identifier. Is it possible that the Swedes have this information?

    As some have pointed out, shape charges have a reaction force. But if it was possible to strap the explosive device onto a section of pipeline, the pipeline itself – with the strap – could provide the reactive force. There should be loads of evidence laying in the debris field of how this was done. (There is also the reactive armor concept that could be used.) But as Mr. Ritter has shown us, it takes specialized equipment, lots of time, and the right expertise – like Sweden should have – to do such an investigation.

  13. susan
    March 15, 2023 at 16:12

    Oh what a tangled web they weave…

  14. James White
    March 15, 2023 at 14:44

    A thorough thrashing of the latest CIA Psy-Ops by Scott Ritter. Things are often simpler than they are made to appear. Only a handful of nations worldwide have the capability to have blown up these underwater pipelines in the manner that that were destroyed. Ergo,cui bono? Of those nations fully capable, only the U.S. and U.K. would stand to benefit in any way from the destruction of the pipelines. Both countries did benefit from preventing Russia from selling gas (and oil) to Germany. Norway also benefits, but probably lacks the full technical capability to have acted alone. And certainly no NATO country would commit an act of war against another NATO country without explicit U.S. approval. Hersh’s scenario is far more plausible than this obvious German/U.S. fraud. You can be certain that Sweden would not be concealing the facts of it’s investigation, except to protect the actual terrorists from being revealed.

  15. Caliman
    March 15, 2023 at 13:10

    Great article and great BTL comments … however, none of this really matters that much, does it?

    The point of the German and Times shoddy attempts at explanation was not to actually dispute the Hersh reporting; it was to just throw some chaos and nonsense out there such that the German and US govt and MSM (and thus the majority of the public) can claim that there are multiple explanations and really how could one tell what really happened? And that will provide the required cover for the Germans to keep pretending the US is their friend and mentor and that we are both defending “freedom” in Ukraine and that the “rules based order” is being kept safe with no large public rebellion.

    And so once again facts will be fixed around the required narrative and life as we know it will continue.

  16. Rudy Haugeneder
    March 15, 2023 at 11:52

    Europe appears doomed and America — and the British — win the fossil (pun intended) war.

  17. Galileo
    March 15, 2023 at 10:56

    Hundreds of kilograms of explosives bit: more like thousands. The reported shock wave detected as 2.1 and 2.3 earthquake by the Danes is equivalent to 1 and 2 tons of C4.
    Decompression chambers can be avoided but it requires even more advanced equipment and time.

    • Eddy Schmid
      March 15, 2023 at 23:56

      Point being, How do you fit and carry 2 tons of explosives, on a piddly little sailing boat, and the clincher, how do you lift it without a crane ??? I’ve done sailing, and we managed to concoct a tri stand for a block and tackle, but the aluminium masts used would not be able to withstand lifting 2 tons. so how did they get this stuff off the boat and into the water ????

  18. Ronald Bruce Meyer
    March 15, 2023 at 10:49

    I’m not sure Mr. Ritter has his facts right on the necessity of diver decompression on the surface. Divers can usually decompress on the way to the surface. NAUI publishes tables for just that purpose.

    • Mark J Oetting
      March 15, 2023 at 14:58

      True but would be very difficult if not impossible at those depths. It is rare for divers to go deeper than 130 ft without special decompression equipment

  19. Lois Gagnon
    March 15, 2023 at 10:48

    The only way this criminal gang running our so called government can continue their activities is for real journalists like Sy Hersh to be marginalized. That’s becoming increasingly difficult as the lies and coverups mount. It’s like playing whack-a-mole. The truth is leaking out all over the place. Keep it coming.

  20. DMCP
    March 15, 2023 at 08:26

    Why do we even think that divers were involved? At such depth, why not use a robotic submersible? Again, not something that a non-state actor would have on hand. Did the Swedes use divers to inspect the damage after the sabotage?

  21. Webej
    March 15, 2023 at 08:22

    There’s another glaring error in the information. The perpetrators are unknown, but we do know they are pro-Ukrainian Russians or Ukrainians, and moreover, they are not British or American. An amazingly specific list of possible attributes have been checked here against unknown people.

    The reason they can’t compare the signature of explosives’ chemical signature is because they’re still fishing for something so unique that it flags the evil-doers, you know, like Novichok in a perfume bottle in a bin.

    Liars always include unnecessary embellishments to add detail to the story but land up giving us cues.

    • rgl
      March 15, 2023 at 11:09

      “The perpetrators are unknown, but we do know they are pro-Ukrainian Russians or Ukrainians, and moreover, they are not British or American.”

      While I’m onboard with the first part of your sentence “The perpetrators are unknown … “, I would very much like to know – as I am sure a number of governments would like to know also is how you can aver that ” … they are not British or American.” What proof pray tell.

  22. Webej
    March 15, 2023 at 08:05

    What few commentators have mentioned is that the pipes are buried in a trench, covered by a minimum of 1½ meters of fill, depending on the location.

    Since the perpetrators blew out a section of pipe (248m) it means they placed explosives at 8 points.
    A lot of work, and a lot of explosives.

    Normally you would remove part of the concrete collar to better attach your shaped charges.

    All of this adds to the degree of difficulty for a fly-by-night gang of saboteurs.

    • vinnieoh
      March 15, 2023 at 11:14

      “…the pipes are buried in a trench, covered by a minimum of 1½ meters of fill, depending on the location.”

      Is this true? Are there knowledgeable individuals here (can you offer any statement of creds, Webej?) and source material available on standard methods of underwater pipe construction? Honest questions, seriously: I worked in heavy construction for many years but know nothing of underwater construction.

      So, if you’re correct Webej, then what methods/machines are used to dig the trenches, connect and place the pipe segments, and bury the completed sections? It is obviously a mature technology, as witnessed by both NS’s and other underwater pipelines. And, if true, you’re quite correct about the likelihood of well-supported personnel with sophisticated equipment.

      Don’t misunderstand me – not being critical or doubtful, but truly curious. As to the shakeout of the whole incident? Even if revealed evidence is glaring, irrefutable, and absolutely assignable, the US will never admit anything. And so it goes.

  23. peter mcloughlin
    March 15, 2023 at 07:14

    We must not forget in all of this discussion that humanity gets closer to WW III, the constant warnings of history continue to be ignored.
    A free ebook: The Pattern of History and Fate of Humanity

  24. JohnA
    March 15, 2023 at 03:08

    The official story about the Skirpals, the door handle smeared with deadly Russian only made poison is riddled with impossibilities. The official story about the Malaysian flight downed by Russia/Russian supported separatiusts over Ukraine is riddled with impossibilities. This latest attempt to deflect blame for the Nordstream sabotage is riddled with impossibilities. And yet the MSM and western governments stick doggedly to their absurd lies and the narrative never changes. I expect it will be the same with this latest lunacy. Most ordinary people seemingly don’t think they are being lied to and blithely swallow everything no matter how ridiculous this is.

    • Valerie
      March 15, 2023 at 11:48

      We need a new department for the governments of USA/UK: The Ministry of Impossibilities.

      • Xpat Paula
        March 16, 2023 at 05:10

        We must remember that there are possible impossibilities as well as impossible impossibilites, which kinda complicates things for establishing this Ministry.

    • Realist
      March 16, 2023 at 15:37

      You see, the way the system works in America is that evidence is not collected to discover the true narrative surrounding a crime, rather evidence is selectively chosen or even created to support a pre-determined narrative. Easier to assign blame, punishment and other desired outcomes that way. Completely obviates the need for a trial in most cases. “Justice” used to be the purpose of the legal system, today it is only “winning!”

  25. March 15, 2023 at 00:42

    “US Officials Say.” is sure sign, Just like FarceBook puts it’s fact checks when something is true.

    Have you seen the Radar Record of that day? hxxps://

  26. Taras 77
    March 15, 2023 at 00:22

    I’m surprised that they did not find ID’s or passports of the six individuals on the yacht. (sarc)

    • Blessthebeasts
      March 15, 2023 at 10:36

      Good one!

    • rgl
      March 15, 2023 at 11:12

      LOL! Now that was pretty much hilarious. My ribs hurt. Thanx.

    • Valerie
      March 15, 2023 at 12:37

      They say they used fake ones:

      “At least one of the fake passports used to hire a yacht to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipelines was Bulgarian, Der Spiegel reported.

       An investigation by the German media ARD and Die Zeit weekly the explosions of the two gas pipelines at the end of September were carried out by six people who rented a yacht in Rostock. They presented fake passports which, according to German investigators, were ‘very well made’. Traces of explosives were found in the yacht. Three separate investigations into the sabotage are under way – in Sweden, Denmark and Germany.”

    • Cheryl Parker
      March 15, 2023 at 18:36

      They might as well use familiar names: Gilligan, The Skipper, The Professor, Thurston Howell,III and his wife/nurse Lovey.

      A nation can be insulted with just so many ridiculous lies.

  27. sibir
    March 15, 2023 at 00:06

    Thank you for the additional important facts that prove the impossibility of such an undertaking. Even if it was clear to me from the first moment that it was a revolver story, hard evidence is always important. As it happens, I have 2 friends who sailed on the “Andromeda” a few years ago, with a crew of 6 people as well. They nearly fell out of their chairs laughing when they heard what was supposedly packed onto the boat, remembering how much space their private stuff alone took up at the time: Food, clothes, maps etc. for six days. And all that without using a crane, for example, for 500-1000 kg of explosives alone. In a small sailboat harbour, that would certainly have attracted attention.
    But joking aside, for us here in Germany, this leaves two questions unanswered. The first and serious question concerns the mental midgets in our government. In addition to all the impositions they have been making on us lately, they seem to think we are so simple-minded as to be able to foist such a story on us without blushing. They must have known themselves that this story is too thin. This leads to the second question, on which we have already placed bets: when will the moment come when a 360° (sic!) turn is made in the original direction? And – tatärätä – it is there. The solution is called Minerva Julie, a Russian oil and chemical tanker that looks more than twice as old as it is and sails under the Greek flag. This ship must have passed the point in question in the Baltic Sea at the crucial moment. This was found out by a Dane called Oliver Alexander, an OSINT-Expert and Nafo-Follower. He thinks, the Russian had the best motive to blow up the pipeline. All that is really missing is that it turns out that he is an employee of Bellingcat.
    But this kind of thing hasn’t been really funny for a long time.

  28. Packard
    March 14, 2023 at 20:14

    Only more evidence that we have become a nation led by an age addled, yet lifelong blowhard of a POTUS who is advised daily by a woke cabinet of Diverse, Inclusive, & Equitable nitwits. The government’s Nord Stream pipeline cover up caper is becoming a low comedy side show worthy of the Keystone Cops.

    Whether it is President Joe Biden, VP Kamala Harris, Sec. of State Antony Blinken, Sec. Def. Lloyd Austin, Attorney General Merrick Garland, General Mark Milley, CIA Director William Burns, FBI Director Christopher Wray, NSA Jake Sullivan, Sec. Energy Jennifer Granholm, Sec. Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Sec Homeland Security Alejandro Majorkas, Javier Becerra, or even White House Press Secretary Karene Jean Pierre; how can people with so much power be so d*mn incompetent?

    God help us all.

  29. shmutzoid
    March 14, 2023 at 19:16

    Agree 100%. ……. Hersh’s reporting was so compelling the empire just had to concoct a a counter-story to divert attention. Now, the corporate media has something to chew on so as to say, “Ya’ see!?…..the US had nothing to do with it”. This hastily concocted story by US imperial managers will now bounce around the echo chamber of the Western corporate mediascape. In due time, the rubes who ‘consume’ their news from those outlets will forget there even WAS a version of the story reported by Sy Hersh.

    Did we forget? According to Bush/Cheney——-> “We’re an empire now – we create our own reality!”

    Certainly, world leaders easily see through this farcical attempt to shift responsibility away from the US for this pipeline sabotage. it can only help solidify any country’s desire to align with China/Russia, BRI, BRICS. Turns out negotiating economic/diplomatic deals in a spirit of mutual respect/cooperation without the threat of violence is a very attractive alternative the the US’s bullying ways. The end of the US empire, hopefully, will come sooner rather than later. The world can’t take it, anymore!

  30. March 14, 2023 at 18:32

    Unfortunately, most if not all of us tend to believe what we want to believe, no matter how much evidence there is or is not to support what we want to believe. As I remember all too well during the run up to the March 19, 2003 Iraq war., Scott Ritter clearly showed there was no confirming evidence to support the George W Bush Administration’s claim that Saddam Hussein had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

  31. SH
    March 14, 2023 at 18:30

    Bingo, Scott! – The US, it seems, is much more adept at blowing up than covering up …

  32. mgr
    March 14, 2023 at 18:16

    Thank you. It also seems to me that given the difficulties of working at that depth, 240 feet; pitch black and freezing, finding the right place, conveying the hundreds of kilograms of explosives and attaching them, times four, and using only two or four divers, means many hours of work in the water. That in turn means many hours on station by a large ship capable of carrying perhaps several decompression tanks (how many divers?) not to mention a shit-load of compressed airs tanks because, again, at 240 feet you are using compressed air like crazy, resulting in literally tons of equipment, plus all the necessary support personnel to handle all this. A ship that size, I imagine, is one that cannot easily escape detection in that area especially if it has to spend days and longer on station.

    Given the physical and physiological requirements for the job and circumstances involved, I find it hard to believe that the governments monitoring the area are unable to know what ships fitting these size, time and location requirements could be involved. In their apparent coverup actions, the Scandinavian and EU government leaders involved, I would say, have effectively declared war on their own publics (all “democratic” countries) that they were elected to serve.

    Unbelievable that they rushed out such an objectively worthless narrative. Nonetheless, these are the “reality-creators,” who think a step ahead of everyone else, and who would rule the world.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      March 14, 2023 at 20:17

      Thank you for the great comment. Yes, the entire bogus “explanation” of the small boat that carried tons of explosives for several days without being detected in a sea that is heavily surveilled by several countries and NATO, and a dinner table where apparently it was possible to stack several tons of high explosives (apparently while preparing a meal), and the fact that there was no decompression equipment because there was no room for such a thing on this small boat, make this a rejected submission from “Boys’ Own”.

      • mgr
        March 15, 2023 at 09:00

        Carolyn: Yes, thank you; either sheer arrogance or desperation. If these assumptions are true, and I think they are, given the time and physical requirements, it argues for a ship hiding in plain sight which makes the NATO games that were held in that area before the bombing very suspect. It seems to me that NATO countries are the least qualified to investigate this. They are, after all, given the available evidence, the prime suspects.

  33. Terry Wears
    March 14, 2023 at 18:09

    Excellent piece. Their crude to efforts to establish plausible deniability are pathetic. Thank you Consortium News and Mr. Ritter!

  34. John Kirsch
    March 14, 2023 at 17:40

    Call it “The Andromeda Strain.” (One of my favorite films.)

  35. Piotr Berman
    March 14, 2023 at 17:32

    “With a shaped charge, the energy of the explosion is focused in one direction…” while true, action equals reaction, initially, the blast spreads symmetrically and in one direction it is deflected. In a projectile, the deflecting part is a solid piece of metal with high momentum, but with a stationary charge, the deflector would need to have a non-trivial mass, my guess would be above 100 pounds, possibly more. Water does not compress, so it helps in deflecting, but the physics here is complicated.

    Complicated enough that a specialized military unit would need outside consulting. Normal targets of sabotage are ships, and as we know from events in Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, there exist “standard designs”. But they would not work here. For example, a pipe is more resilient than a sheet on a side of a ship. That meshes well with the story of Hersh. It is a bit mysterious why Norway would be involved, but Norway is involved in a lot of underwater work because of North Sea oil and gas, and even underwater experience in Baltic, and among hundreds of people with experience, some would be in military. So Norway could be a more convenient consultant than, say, “Garfield Thomas Water Tunnel is one of the U.S. Navy’s principal experimental hydrodynamic research facilities and is operated by the Penn State Applied Research Laboratory” (I used to work in an adjacent building. Their known achievements are not in explosions but in acoustics, how to make submarines silent, so it was a quiet neighbor.)

    • gcw919
      March 14, 2023 at 21:43

      What is not mysterious is that now, Norway is one of the primary suppliers, with US, of natural gas to Europe.

    • Eddy Schmid
      March 16, 2023 at 00:08

      Quote, “It is a bit mysterious why Norway would be involved, ” Unquote. Norway stood to gain massively financialy, as the demand for gas to replace the lost Russian gas is coming from Norway as well as the U.S. I guess you could say, for Norway, “it’s all about the money”.

  36. March 14, 2023 at 17:21

    Thank you Scott. Even if we all know who did it, it is still good and proper that some of us with deeper understanding of these matters, make the effort to set out the truth in this way (and do so light heartedly).

  37. Daedalus
    March 14, 2023 at 17:12

    Excellent reporting, Scott. This is not only a probable diversion, but it is a very poorly thought out tall tale.

    However, in a way it doesn’t matter. This was a clear war crime, and for the US to pretend that it’s ‘ally’ did it while not urging a war crime investigation makes them guilty of aiding and abetting. Think about the ‘getaway driver’ in a bank heist. That’s not gonna get you off.

  38. BP
    March 14, 2023 at 16:47

    I am not sure that this information on diving is correct. Not all dives have to be free-dives with regular compressed air tanks.

    There are pressure suits that are regular atmospheric pressure inside so that the diver does not have to decompress at all.

    There are also various breathing mixtures that usually include the inert gas helium so that they diver does not get too much oxygen or especially nitrogen:

    A helium-oxygen gas mixture (heliox) is employed to avoid nitrogen narcosis during dives deeper than 190 ft. In addition, the work of breathing is significantly less with helium than with air at greater depths.

    There could also be other techniques developed by the military in the last decades that are not generally known about. I have no idea if these techniques are small enough and lightweight enough to enable a medium sized yacht to carry and deploy divers with explosives, but I wonder if analysts familiar with these technologies have explained this and weighed in on these possibilities?

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      March 14, 2023 at 20:19

      The information has been confirmed by many people whose job it is to know about these things. Why do you insist on giving the perpetrators an out?

    • A
      March 14, 2023 at 20:54

      “There could also be other techniques developed by the military in the last decades that are not generally known about.”

      We rule these out because, by definition, a small group of independent actors would not have access to them.

      Hardsuits are basically man shaped submarines piloted by an operator. They are so expensive and require so much training that the investigators put together a list it would only take 30 minutes of calling to go through it. That isn’t to say it couldn’t be done. Just that they would know who did it.

      Which they do.

    • Webej
      March 15, 2023 at 08:01

      The helium is mentioned in the Hersh report.
      Still, this all requires monitoring and equipment, and the suits need to be connected to maintain pressure, supply oxygen … all presuppose a larger and better equipped gear.

    • RogerAF
      March 15, 2023 at 09:34

      That is my understanding as well. A HeliOx mixture and thermal suit with careful decompression stops when rising to the surface (and changing to standard NitrOx air at the appropriate depth) could conceivably be done. However, working time on the bottom would be limited, so divers would probably have to work in shifts. And hauling around a kilo ton of HE then getting it into place seems like a job for more than 6 people. I don’t know; maybe “pro-Ukrainian” divers are all highly motivated, perfect physical specimens, with lots of HE and demolition experience…
      Hmmm… is that a dead fish I smell?

  39. Valerie
    March 14, 2023 at 16:42

    “In short, Gene Roddenberry would not be impressed.”

    I can hear him saying “they must be out of their “vulcan” minds.”

    • George Philby
      March 14, 2023 at 22:10

      Nobody knows the truth yet because we’re not allowed to know it (and nor are the Russians–it was their pipeline …)
      But …
      Why isn’t Mr. Guterres investigating urgently, based on President Biden’s (and Victoria Nuland’s) assertion that they’d blow up the pipeline?
      Why isn’t Seymour Hersh (with his reputation) at the UN every day demanding Guterres follow up on Hersh’s seemingly well-sourced account?
      Why is Sweden allowed to “seal” its report and not publish it?
      This is too important to be left to liars.
      If the U.S. did the job (as Hersh claims) and is trying to blame others, there must surely be consequences.
      As Mr. Lavrov says, we shouldn’t live in a world where a party can walk free after committing this atrocity (with the Doomsday Clock at 90 seconds to midnight).

      • Nathan Mulcahy
        March 15, 2023 at 01:21

        “Why isn’t Mr. Guterres investigating urgently, based on President Biden’s (and Victoria Nuland’s) assertion that they’d blow up the pipeline?”

        Because you cannot make a man do the right thing if his livelihood depends on not doing the right thing. There are rare exceptions but Mr. Guterres is not one of them.

      • Henry Smith
        March 15, 2023 at 03:52

        There will be no repercussions for those who planned and undertook this attack, just as with the Covid related deaths the perpetrators are Teflon coated and immune from prosecution, that’s the way it works – they lie, they cheat, they kill, we suffer. Iff someone is paraded as a perpetrator , then you can guarantee they will be a patsy, a Lee Harvey oswald for the modern age.

        • Alan
          March 15, 2023 at 11:10

          BINGO! I was waiting for someone to introduce a Covid conspiracy theory into an unrelated thread.

      • Valerie
        March 15, 2023 at 05:07

        I think we both know the answers to those questions George. But here’s another one: why is the ICC bringing charges against Russia for alleged war crimes when people like G W Bush and T Blair are enjoying retirement.? Atrocities abound all over the planet, committed by governments and armies, which appear to go unpunished. We live in a world of lies and coverups; i wouldn’t be surprised if the doomsday clock isn’t really 10 seconds to midnight. (Humour is one thing which keeps me going.)

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