Was Missing Ship Taken by Pirates—or Spies?

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2009 1:26 PM CDT
In this Dec. 29, 2008 photo the cargo ship the Arctic Sea is seen in Kotka, Finland.   (AP Photo/Pekka Laakso/Lehitukuva)

(Newser) – As Russian warships search for missing merchant ship the "Arctic Sea," speculation is swirling, with many theorizing that the vessel was carrying more than its reported $1.3 million load of timber. “There was probably some sort of secret cargo,” the editor of Russia’s Sovfracht maritime journal tells Reuters, “and a third party of some sort did not want the cargo to get to another party, so this highly sophisticated operation was cooked up.”

The editor doubts piracy—a very rare occurrence in European waters—is to blame: “It really smells of some sort of state involvement, he said. “This is real cloak and dagger stuff, like a le Carre novel.”