Big thingy in the water

Fishing Boat Makes Mystery Catch


Via a reader:

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — It was hard to miss. The stubby missile, floating about 14 miles off the Washington coast, was crusted with barnacles, seaweed and seagull droppings and had a live seagull sitting on its nose.

The trawler Windjammer had just pulled its net when skipper Erik Eide spotted the object on Sunday afternoon. He decided to move in for a closer look.

It looked to him like a World War II buzz bomb. “It was kind of freaky at first,” Eide said.


Check out the guy on deck below it to get a sense of scale. This thingy ain’t a small thingy at all. But it’s been in the drink for a while as evidenced by all the growth.


When they scraped off some barnacles and seaweed, they saw Cyrillic letters and that’s when Eide decided they better report their find to the U.S. Coast Guard. Minutes later, the Coast Guard radioed back to say it was coming to take a look.

A helicopter flew over, a vessel pulled alongside, took some digital pictures and then the Navy ordered Eide to head to Port Angeles instead of heading to the Bornstein Seafoods dock in Bellingham, with his perishable cargo of cod and sole.

The KIRO-TV story says the Navy thought it was some sort of Soviet communications device from the Cold War. Check out the link for a video of the story.

According to KING5:

Intelligence agents then seized it further examination. They now say it appears the object is a very old, inoperable sonar once pulled behind a submarine. They describe it as Soviet in origin, likely from the Cold War.

Officials with the Navy said they had no idea where the sonar would have traveled from. They plan to return it to Eide within the next few days.

But what exactly does a person do with a Cold War-era sonar?

“Is there a Russian Consulate in Seattle? They might want it back,” laughed Eide.

This thing is going to end up on eBay soon. Especially if the Russian Consulate gets ahold of it.


  1. You wont believe this, but my Mom says that she used to live there, in Bellinham, and that she and her older siblings used to play around on a dud bomb. I asked her if that was it, and she said yes! I am NOT kidding!

  2. Isn’t it sort of mad to be playing around with potential abandoned munitions? Moreso lifting it up onto your fishing boat? Think insurance covers that? On the other hand, it sounds too damn cool to let drift away.

  3. Michael: I’d say it’s a bit more than a ‘little’ mad, but you’re also right that it’s too cool to let it just drift away. Given the amount of growth on it, I probably would have hauled it aboard, too. Besides, Gene’s mom used to play on it when she was a kid and she never got hurt…