Strange Pinging Sound on Arctic Seafloor Scaring Off Animals
© 2016 by Linda Moulton Howe
“A sailboat notified us that their sonar had picked up these weird, loud PING
sounds at the bottom of the sea bed in Fury and Hecla Strait.”
- Nunavut Minister of Education and Colleges Paul Quassa,
Igloolik, Nunavut Territory, Canada
Fishing boat in Fury and Hecla Strait, Nunavut
Territory, Canada, where strange ping-hum sound has been
picked up on various boat sonars since the summer of 2016.
November 24, 2016 Igloolik, Nunavut Territory, Canada - Two thousand miles north of New York City is the small Eskimo village of Igloolik populated by 2000 Inuit. The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous people who originally were in Siberia and perhaps Mongolia until they crossed the Bering Strait to settle into Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada and Alaska.
For centuries the Inuit have depended upon naturally strong water currents in special places called polynyas to be like their refrigerators always full of seals, whales and other sea mammals for year round food supply. The reason is that the polynya water's strong current never freezes, even when the land around the polynya is iced over. For the Inuit in Igloolik, one of those always-full polynyas has been 75 miles northwest of their village in the Fury and Hecla Strait.
That Strait is a narrow channel of water in the Canadian Territory of Nunavut west of Greenland, which is the most recent, largest and least populated territory in Canada. Around June 2016, fishermen from Igloolik heard through their sonar a very odd, humming, PINGING sound. Fishermen also say they have felt the pinging sound come through the hulls of their wooden boats. But no one knows the source, except the mysterious sound seems to be coming from the seafloor below. At the same time, the local Inuit reported that the Fury and Hecla Strait polynya was empty of sea mammals when it should have been full. That meant something was upsetting the animals and scaring them away from the polynya.
Fury and Hecla Strait, with Baffin Island to the north and the Melville Peninsula to the south.
Geographical coordinates: Latitude : 69 55' 00'' Longitude : -84 00' 00''
Fury and Hecla Strait is a channel in Nunavut Territory near to Friday Point
and Liddon Island in the Arctic west of Greenland. The Inuit hamlet of
Igloolik island (red marker) is 75 miles southeast of Fury and Hecla Strait.
Fury and Hecla Strait is a narrow [from 1.2 miles (2 km) to 12.4 miles (20 km)] channel of water located in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut Territory, Canada. The thin strait runs between Baffin Island on the north and Melville Peninsula to the south with Foxe Basin on the east and Gulf of Boothia on the west.
Blue underlined Fury and Hecla Strait between Baffin Island and Melville Peninsula
is 75 miles northwest of Igloolik village in the Canadian territory of Nunavut.
Igloolik is on an island next to the east side
of Melville Peninsula. The village population in 2013
was 2,000 people, mostly Inuit. Image by Inns North.
Fury and Hecla Strait is a narrow channel of water in Nunavut, which is the most recent,
largest and least populated territory in Canada, west of Greenland. Normally the strait is full of seals, whales and other marine animals because the spot doesn't ice over through most of the year.
But since the summer of 2016, the waters have been eerily empty alerting locals that
something is wrong and fishermen hear and feel the pinging coming through the
hulls of their wooden boats. Image by City Escapes/Shutterstock.com.
So, local residents reported to their Legislative Assembly Member Paul Quassa that throughout the summer of 2016, the strange “ping” or “hum” or "beep" in the Fury and Hecla Strait was scaring seals and whales and other sea animals away. That threatened the Inuit food supply. So the reports led to a request for the Canadian Department of National Defence in Ottawa to investigate.
On Friday, November 4, 2016, DND released this statement: “The Canadian armed forces are aware of allegations of unusual sounds emanating from the seabed in the Fury and Hecla Strait in Nunavut. 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.”
Nunavut Legislative Assembly Member Paul Quassa was born in one of Igloolik's ice igloos 65 years ago. Mr. Quassa is now Minister of Education in the Nunavut Territory, responsible for the Nunavut Arctic College. Growing up, he was very familiar with the Fury and Hecla Strait polynya that his village depended upon for food. He is very puzzled about the reports of the strange ping sound on sonar from residents, while the government investigators say they heard nothing. He talked to me recently by phone about his top questions: Who? or What? makes the intermittent ping sounds? And when will sea mammals return to the Fury and Hecla Strait polynya?
Honourable Paul Quassa, Minister of Education,
responsible for Nunavut Arctic College,
Government House Leader in the Legislative
Assembly of the Nunavut Territory of Canada.
Honorable Paul Quassa, Nunavut Minister of Education and Nunavut Arctic College, Ogloolik, Nunavut Territory, Canada: “This past summer around Igloolik, we do get all kinds of different boats that pass through up to the Northwest Passage (Arctic). And this summer, we had two sailboats passing through our community that went up towards Fury and Hecla Strait. That’s where the sound apparently came from. Through their sonar, they started hearing this very loud PING PING sound.
And right away they knew it was at the bottom of the sea bed that was making that sound. It was that sailboat that first notified our community that their sonar had started picking up these weird, loud PING sounds at the bottom of the sea bed.
And after we heard about that, our local hunters and trappers organization started hearing from hunters themselves also the fact that in that particular area, around the mouth of Fury and Hecla Straits, in the winter time that’s a polynya with open water year round.
A POLYNYA IS OPEN WATER THAT IS SURROUNDED BY ICE?
Yes, it’s open water that doesn’t freeze over because of the current where the surrounding is all ice except that particular area. It’s a polynya.
AND THAT’S WHY THERE WOULD BE A LOT OF SEALS AND WHALES IN THAT OPEN WATER AROUND THE YEAR NORMALLY?
Yes, that’s right, year round. Normally polynyas are the favored place of marine mammals because there’s a lot of source of food there because it’s a polynya with strong current and it’s open year round. Hunters go up there year round hunting seals, whales, walruses. So, it’s a popular place to go for seal hunting. But this year, this summer, the hunters were saying that there’s hardly any. And because they can’t really hear the pinging sound if they are on top of the water without any sonars. The difference there being that there’s no more seals.
And sure enough, the other Member of the Legislative Assembly — there are two of us that are from Igloolik that are in the Legislative Assembly. My other colleague went up there by boat and he experienced the fact that there was hardly any seals.
And right away, we knew because we have the experience of similar situations like that when ships are mapping the seafloor. They would put some kind of sonars around that area that they are mapping and seals become agitated because of that sound and they would move away.
And that particular area also has an abundance of whales, like narwhals, and those are the animals that we hunt in the summertime. And this summer there were hardly any narwhals! It’s something that bothers us a lot because it’s like a grocery store. We go out there and catch marine mammals to put food on our tables. Unless they take that loud PING thing out there, the seals are not going to be returning.
Narwhals are medium-sized whales and are around the same size as beluga whales,
their closest living relative. Total length in both sexes, excluding the tusk of the male,
can range from 3.95 to 5.5 m (13 to 18 ft). Illustration of a narwhal and a beluga whales.
Canadian National Defence Investigated
SIR, HAS ANYONE RECORDED THE PINGS?
Not that I know of. But we got the National Defence to look into that situation. They informed us that PING sound wasn’t there. I don’t know what’s happening. We will see later on if the actual PINGING sound is gone by going back up there to see if the seals are back or not. And with that sound coming out of that particular area, it’s been abandoned by sea mammals. And in fact, we’re seeing a lot more sea mammals elsewhere where they normally aren’t. So I don’t think the food went away. I think it’s that sound.
I don’t know. We haven’t really gotten a definitive answer of who put it there? Why is it there? So, those are still the questions that we have.
I WONDERED IF ANYBODY IN OCEANOGRAPHY, OR NASA OR ANYONE HAS TALKED TO YOU OR ANY OF YOUR COLLEAGUES ABOUT OTHER STRANGE BUZZING, HUMMING, PINGING SOUNDS THAT THEY ARE INVESTIGATING?
No, we have not. The only source of information that we got was from the Canadian National Defence and that’s all we’ve heard.
MINISTER QUASSA, IS IT FAIR TO SAY THAT IF THERE WERE NOT A RETURN OF SEALS AND WHALES THROUGHOUT THIS WINTER AND TO NEXT SPRING AND SUMMER, THIS WOULD BE UNPRECEDENTED?
It would be. It would be unprecedented, yes.
OK, AND SO WE HAVE A MYSTERY THAT WILL KEEP UNFOLDING OVER THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE, DEPENDING UPON WHAT HAPPENS. AND IF BY NEXT SAY APRIL, MAY OR JUNE THAT NO ANIMALS HAVE COME BACK INTO THIS POLYNYA, WE ARE TRULY IN A MYSTERY?
That’s right. Yes, totally.
What Are Bright White Light
Flashes in Igloolik Night Skies?
HAVE YOU GROWING UP IN IGLOOLIK, OR ANYONE IN YOUR FAMILY — HAVE YOU SEEN UNUSUAL LIGHTS IN THE SKY OR IN THE WATER IN THIS AREA?
Well, I remember back, way back when I was a teenager I guess, this has been seen a lot everywhere. Where it’s pitch dark outside, we’re snowmobiling, and then all of a sudden you see — it’s like a flash of a camera. It’s one second of total brightness in this very dark night! And I’ve seen this a few times in my area where you see it like a flash of pure white light in the middle of the night. We’ve seen these.
So, there’ve been — how do I say? — different types of things that have been seen in the past. I mean, it goes way back. Inuits are such that we see all kinds of things here, maybe from another world. But there has been incidents like that.
WHAT DO THE INUIT SAY ABOUT THESE BRIGHT, WHITE FLASHES OF LIGHT IN A DARK SKY?
It’s another form of life out there. We have a very strong belief that yes, there is other forms of life.
Inuits Say They Went to the Moon
Before NASA Astronauts
I’ll tell you a story, an old story, Inuit story. When we heard about people landing on the moon back in 196?
IT WAS JULY (20th), 1969 FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH NEIL ARMSTRONG AND BUZZ ALDRIN.
That’s right. When the Inuit first heard of that, the Inuit just laughed at it because they said, ‘We’ve been there before. We’ve been to the moon and back!’
So, they are very conscious that celestials are out there and they are very spiritual. There’s life out there, they truly believe that.
MINISTER QUASSA, WHAT WOULD BE AT THE BASIS OF THE INUITS SAYING THAT THEY HAD BEEN TO THE MOON BEFORE BUZZ ALDRIN AND NEIL ARMSTRONG HAD LANDED IN JULY OF 1969? HOW WOULD THE INUIT HAVE GOTTEN THERE?
(laughs) There’s stories. I’ve heard stories that if you go to the moon, this is how you can get back to the Earth. I know the story. I know how to do it. Inuit are very strong — in fact, Inuit even before Europeans came up to our area — way before, Inuit knew what was happening outside of the world, outside of our territory.
Shamans were able to travel around the world and come back in the spirit form. So in the spirit form, Inuit have been to the moon.
Controlled Remote Viewing
WELL, WHAT YOU ARE DESCRIBING, MR. QUASSA, WOULD BE IN THE UNITED STATES PROGRAMS THAT THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY AND THE DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY — THEY HAVE HAD PROGRAMS IN WHAT IS CALLED CONTROLLED REMOTE VIEWING. I HAVE INTERVIEWED SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED IN THOSE PROGRAMS. WHAT YOU ARE DESCRIBING FROM THE INUIT SOUNDS VERY SIMILAR — THAT THEY CAN BE IN A CHAIR AND OFFICE, BUT THEY CAN ACCESS SOMETHING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD, OUT INTO THE SOLAR SYSTEM, OUT INTO THE UNIVERSE.
Yes, totally! In fact there are stories like back in the World War II, we still had shamans. And there is a story of the shaman who wanted to go out and go kill Hitler because something terrible was happening. The shaman, he went out of his body , went over to Germany, started looking in spirit for Hitler and couldn’t find him. He (shaman) came back to his body. He told this other man that he didn’t find Hitler. But the other man urged him (shaman) to go back again. So he went again through his spirit, found Hitler and got him to kill himself. And the shaman said, ‘We did it.’
I mean, here we are, not even part of the war because we are so isolated in the north and the shaman is talking! Soon afterward, we heard that Hitler was dead. So, there’s all these stories that we have and we share.
WHAT IS THE DNA BLOODLINE OF THE INUIT?
I believe it’s Mongolian because Mongolians, when a child is born they have a bluish mark on their rear end, on the top of their rear end.
And we (Inuit) have that. And Mongolians have that.”
This Mongolian blue spot is at the base of the spine of this 6-month-old Taiwanese
baby girl. Mongolian spots are a benign, flat, congenital birthmark with wavy borders and
irregular shape. Equal distribution among males and females. In 1883 it was described
and named after Mongolians by Erwin Balz, a German anthropologist based in Japan.
It normally disappears three to five years after birth and almost always by puberty.
The most common color is blue, although they can be blue-gray, blue-black or
deep brown. The blue color is caused by melanocytes, melanin-containing cells,
that are usually located in the surface of the skin (the epidermis),
but are in the deeper region (the dermis) in the location of the spot.
If viewers have any further information about the strange ping/hum sound on the Fury and Hecla Strait seafloor, please email [email protected]. All requests for confidentiality are honored.
Also see: Petersburg Public Library Video of "Blinding Light" on Security Camera, Petersburg, Alaska, November 21, 2015, at 2:25 AM local time.