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Canadian military investigated mysterious ‘pinging’ sound coming from Arctic seafloor

The Canadian military dispatched a surveillance plane this week to investigate a mysterious “pinging” sound, apparently coming from the Arctic seafloor. .
The Canadian military dispatched a surveillance plane this week to investigate a mysterious “pinging” sound, apparently coming from the Arctic seafloor. . CP file photo

The Canadian military dispatched a surveillance plane this week to investigate a mysterious “pinging” sound, apparently coming from the Arctic seafloor.

Last month, the government of Nunavut requested the Department of National Defence to investigate strange sounds heard by hunters and boaters over the summer in Fury and Hecla Strait, just north of Igloolik.

Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Paul Quassa told Nunavut legislature that many community members “have heard noises and sounds that are being emitted near the Fury and Hecla Strait area northeast of Igloolik.”

“The sound that has been heard in the area seems to be emitted from the seabed and underwater,” he said. “As well, this past summer, a private sailboat reported to the community of Igloolik that they also had picked up a strange noise or pinging sound in the area.”

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Quassa also noted that the sound is coming from an area that is “devoid of sea mammals and that hunting has been poor in the area for quite a while now.”

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On Tuesday, a surveillance team was dispatched to the area.

“The Canadian Armed Forces dispatched a CP-140 Aurora aircraft on Tuesday, November 1 under the mandate of Operation LIMPID to investigate the alleged sounds,” Department of National Defence said in a statement to Global News. The air crew performed various multi-sensor searches in the area, including an acoustic search for 1.5 hours, without detecting any acoustic anomalies. The crew did not detect any surface or subsurface contacts.

“The crew did observe two pods of whales and six walruses in the area of interest,” the department said.

According to the Government of Canada’s website, Operation LIMPID “is the routine domestic surveillance of Canadian air, maritime, land, space, and cyber domains as well as presence in Canada’s aerial, maritime and land approaches.”

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The Department of National Defence said in the statement it does not intend to further investigate.

On Thursday, Quassa thanked the military for investigating the apparent sounds.

We want to thank the Department of National Defence for doing an investigation on this right away after we informed them,” Quassa told legislature. “I know they will keep investigating this. They will be kept informed by the hunters as well, and they will inform the hunters as to what they find.

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“Sometimes there are mysterious things happening and there are people out there that report when they see or hear mysterious things. We thank the people of Igloolik for informing us when they noticed this happening,” Quassa said.