A remarkable story has emerged in Europe which has a plot that would be appropriate for a fictional novel or a James Bond movie, but this story is not know to many Americans yet. Many Americans know that the USA’s Patriot missile is a premier anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense weapon. They are extremely sophisticated and important parts of the US/NATO weapons inventory. US authorities would never want them to fall into enemy hands. Therefore, how on earth were 69 of these high-tech, vital missiles unexpectedly found by accident on a ship inspected in Helsinki, Finland?
The initial report in the first link indicates that Finnish authorities found the Patriot missiles in the hold of a British-flagged ship which was being routinely inspected when shipping inspectors found traces of explosive residues on the ship. Indeed, besides transporting 69 of the USA’s most sophisticated missiles, this ship was also carrying 160 tons of explosives (320,000 pounds!). That’s enough explosives to blow up a lot of stuff!
Since the ship’s final destination was Shanghai, China, it could be immediately assumed that China had somehow gotten ahold of a huge number of American Patriot missiles and were trying to steal them. The third link contains a denial in the Chinese media that they were stealing the Patriot missiles, and I am strongly inclined to believe them. For several reasons, I think the missiles had another destination.
The first reason is that the second link cites a German Defense Ministry authority as saying the Patriot missiles were an authorized shipment and were being shipped to South Korea. Is this the truth or a cover story hastily invented? One problem with that story is that if the first article accurately reported the final destination of the ship was Shanghai, China; South Korea lies further north than Shanghai and was apparently not listed as the final destination. It is possible South Korea was the actual final (and secret) destination, but if that was the case why would the ship dock anywhere in Communist China and risk having its ultra-valuable military cargo found and seized by the Chinese? One clue in this clandestine shipment is that Patriot missiles cannot be fired unless you also have the sophisticated launchers and radar/targeting vehicles that complete a Patriot missile battery. Therefore, this strongly argues that this large quantity of missiles was being sent to a nation which already has the launchers and radar-targeting equipment to fire them.
The second article states which nations have such equipment, and those nations are Egypt, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and South Korea. I think we can safely eliminate the first three nations on the list as Egypt is in chaos, Germany was shipping the missiles to someone else and Greece is bankrupt and can’t afford them. Any of the last five nations are logical possibilities to receive a large shipment of Patriot missiles with which to “reload” their launchers during a war. However, if this ship was actually going to stop in Shanghai, it would be suspicious of it to continue northward after leaving port to go to either South Korea or Japan. That doesn’t mean it was an impossibility at all, but it would create suspicions in the minds of Chinese port authorities and would have caused China to watch the ship like a hawk if it headed somewhere unexpected after leaving Shanghai. Israel, under threat from Iranian, Syrian and Hezbollah missiles, would have been a very logical recipient of such a shipment, and the ship could have easily made an unscheduled stop in Israel on its way to the Suez Canal. Taiwan is a very logical recipient as well as it is under severe threat by China’s massive build-up of missiles and warplanes that could target Taiwan at any time. Taiwan has long tried to obtain more military hardware from the USA, but the USA has been reluctant to ship large amounts of weaponry to Taiwan as it angers China. Decades ago, the USA would have shipped the weaponry openly to Taiwan and told China to “stick it.” However, China has most cleverly maneuvered itself into being the USA’s chief creditor and banker so the USA has to be very secretive about how much weaponry it is shipping to Taiwan. Taiwan needs these Patriot missiles very badly, and the ship could have easily made an unscheduled stop in Taiwan to off-load the Patriot missiles in a secret deal between the USA and Taiwan that China (and the world) were not to know about. The ship could also have made an unscheduled stop in Saudi Arabia as that nation is very concerned about defending itself from missiles and aircraft attacks from Iran.
Therefore, we are left with unanswered questions. This massive shipment of Patriot missiles must have been for one of the five nations discussed above. Since the Patriot missiles were being secretly shipped, my guess is the ultimate destination was Taiwan, the destination where secrecy would have been the most necessary. However, that is only my guess. I strongly doubt that Communist China was heisting the Patriots as they would only need one or two to reverse engineer them, and stealing 69 of them would mean China has very-highly placed moles in the NATO High Command, the Pentagon and the White House itself to pull off such a heist. There is another important unanswered question. Were the explosives and Patriots being shipped by the same shipper or was it a different vender who was shipping a massive supply of explosives to someone else along this ship’s route? It was the sloppily-packed explosives which were discovered, leading to the discovery and seizure of the Patriot missiles. If the same party shipped both items, it raises the question of whether this shipment was “packaged” and routed in a way that the shippers knew would never reach its stated destination. Finland has very sophisticated sensors, and the routing of the ship via Finland where it would be subject to sophisticated inspection argues that the shippers did not want to actually ship the Patriots to their intended nation and deliberately routed the ship to Finland so the Patriots would be intercepted but where the shippers could “innocently” state to the intended recipient nation that “we tried to get the missiles to you.” This option would argue that this ship’s voyage was “designed to fail” to ever reach its stated destination.
On the other hand, if the poorly-packaged explosives were shipped from Germany by a different shipper and intended for a different nation, then the interception of the ship could simply be “bad luck.” However, since German shippers are famous for their efficiency and professionalism, the fact that this ship was apparently entirely loaded in Germany raises a red flag because German shippers don’t ship sensitive cargoes (like 320,000 pounds of explosives) in a sloppy manner….unless they were told to do so. Adding to the skullduggery of this situation is the ship’s crew and flagging. According to the articles, the ship was British, but flagged to the miniscule Isle of Man, which means it could have been intended for clandestine missions. There is another huge problem. The ship had extremely sensitive and vital US/NATO weaponry in its hold without any armed escorts or security. The ship had a Ukrainian captain and Chief Officer who were arrested by Finnish authorities. The Ukraine used to be in the Soviet Union, so was this ship led by Russian-agents who were going to make a quick unscheduled stop in Russian Kaliningrad (just south of Helsinki on the Baltic Sea) to off-load a couple Patriots to the Russian military to reverse-engineer? If the US/NATO was really shipping these Patriots to someone legitimately, why wasn’t the cargo heavily-guarded and why did they use a ship led by officers from the former Soviet Union? Indeed, it seems this very sensitive cargo was being shipped with no escorts or security at all…which argues it was stolen. Who could possibly pull off such a brazen heist? Russian’s old KGB? The Mossad? Someone else?
There are a lot of factors about this shipment which really reek of intrigue and betrayal. I wonder if President Obama even knew that a huge quantity of the USA’s sophisticated, top-secret, air-defense missiles were being shipped by someone unknown to an unknown destination with no armed escorts or security aboard a ship led by officers from the ex-Soviet Union. This whole episode stinks! I hope the Finns keep a tight hold on these missiles until everything gets figured out. When the truth of this matter gets sorted out, heads might roll.
We won’t solve the mystery here and there are many possible explanations, but I wanted readers to know about this story. It confirms that large cargoes of military equipment are being shipped around the world at any given time as nations see the increasingly-dangerous state of world affairs and have no choice but to prepare for war. Jesus Christ warned the latter days before he returned would be characterized by “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24: 6). He was quite right.
My thanks to reader, Dennis, for tipping me off to this story.