According to the news, Swedish explorers have just discovered a large mysterious object in the Baltic Sea. They do not believe that it is natural. http://on.io9.com/BalticSeaObject
They used side scan sonar, just like in my book. The following is an excerpt from my novel at the moment that the first mysterious object was seen on sonar on-board the USS Marysville. I can almost guarantee this is how it played out for the Swedes, as well.
The sound of the sonar systems filled the darkened instrumentation room on-board the U.S.S. Marysville as she maintained a straight heading under the skillful watch of Captain George Vander.
Up on the bridge behind Vander, Evans poured over the charts with Vander’s navigator. Using dividers and rulers to plot their current position, Evans satisfied himself that their course was exactly the same course the Lockheed P-3B Orion had flown months before. The task was not that easy.
Consider trying to remotely tow a car using a cable deployed from an airplane over three miles up and several miles ahead. A rather formidable job that challenged even the time-tried skills of Vander, cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth and a steaming cup of hot black coffee in his weathered left hand.
In the instrumentation room, several levels below deck, designed to be at the center of gravity of the vessel, Mike, McHugh, and Sevson crowded behind the Western Light sonar technician. The only moving thing in the tight cabin was the greenish trace on the cathode ray tube as it displayed the line by line return of the side scan sonar.
The only sounds other than the “blips” made by the sonar in the darkened room were the scratchy noises made by the pen registers as they recorded the images now being laid out on the cathode ray tube or CRT. If it weren’t for the soft rolling of the Marysville, there would have been no indication that Mike was even at sea.
The trace on the sonar’s oscilloscope held steady, a faint greenish line followed the brighter green dot that ran left to right across the circular screen. Except for occasional jiggles of the trace, which could be accounted for by changes in the local magnetic background of the ocean bottom, nothing unusual had occurred.
“Any more theories on the magnetic anomaly, Bob?” asked Sevson.
The ever present half smoked cigar dangling from the corner of his mouth, McHugh was absorbed in thought. The stale cigar smoke competed with the sweet smell of “Barking Dog” tobacco emanating from the corn-cob pipe in the corner of Sevson’s mouth. The tinfoil packet from which Sevson constantly refilled his pipe had the subtext, “Barking Dogs Never Bite.”
Absentmindedly, McHugh replied, “Nothing radical, Tom. If it is Russian, then we are in deep trouble. We won’t be able to deploy a sizeable station at that depth for any period of time. Based on the magnetometer readings this thing, whatever it is, is substantial. If your Nematode, or whatever you call it, can help us locate the source of this anomaly, we can get down there with the Trieste for a look.”
“Don’t we have sonar arrays deployed at those depths?”
“No, our SOSUS nets are generally deployed at much shallower depths. No submarines are known to be able to dive to the depth associated with the anomaly. If the Russians have a submarine capable of that depth, they could hide in the submarine canyons off Santa Catalina Island and be within thirty miles of Los Angeles and not be detected by our SOSUS nets.”
“Holy [ ]!” said Sevson, sinking into a chair. “[ ], it’s Cuba all over again!”
“Let’s not jump to conclusions, Tom. We have no knowledge that the Russians have that kind of technology. If they did, I think we would have heard by now.”
“Bob, I think you’d better see this,” interrupted Mike, who had been looking over the shoulder of the Western Light technician.
“Commander, we have a reading,” called out the sonar technician. McHugh walked across the small room to stand behind the technician. On the CRT, the greenish lines were definitely displaying something.
The green trace was rising steadily, not in dramatic jumps, but steadily as each trace ran across the face of the oscilloscope, the tension in the instrumentation room grew. Evans and Sevson joined McHugh and Mike. More lines were painted vertically on the screen. Each new line gave a better indication of the shape and size of whatever the side scan sonar saw.
As the object began filling the screen of the CRT, McHugh asked the operator to turn on a backup plotter. McHugh went to the plotters and what he saw was something big, as big as a football field, and oval in cross section. This was not a natural feature like a rock outcropping or fault line.
“[ ]!” uttered Frederick Evans.
If I get too many more of these “coincidences” I may have to re-list my book as non-fiction.