Eric A. Johnson, Spokesman, U.S. Embassy, Tallinn,
The USNS Pathfinder's training mission in the Baltic Sea as part of BaltOps 2008 has been a great success. American and Estonian researchers and sailors have deepened the relationship between our two countries, and have honed their abilities, particularly in the area of underwater mine-hunting . As a result, we both contribute stronger, surer capabilities to NATO.
The Pathfinder's mission also allowed America and Estonia to collaborate to solve one of history's many mysteries: the fate of the Kaleva.
After conducting a thorough search using specific coordinates for the area where Estonian and Finnish researchers believed the Kaleva might be, we were not able to locate the missing airplane.
We are, however, confident that the Kaleva will someday be found. Now that these coordinates have been ruled out, we hope that other ships will continue the search this summer at new locations.
The crew of USNS Pathfinder and the U.S. government are proud to have been a part of this search. We look forward to working together with the Estonian government and military on future maritime activities.
From the USNS Pathfinder:
The search area was located 16 Nautical miles (Nm) North West from Tallinn near Keri Island. All three AUV-s (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) were used during the search: the Remus 100, the Remus 3000 and the Remus 6000. The Remus 6000 spent 25 hours under water on one mission -- this is longest ever mission time for the Remus 6000. It is about three hours longer than the longest mission so far. Also the Remus 100 and Remus 6000 were launched for a mission at the same time -- the first time they have ever worked together. The Remus 3000 completed one mission, the Remus 6000 competed two missions, and the Remus 100 completed two missions.
The area searched was very glacial and rocky. The depth of the water differed within three Nautical miles from 32 meters to 118 meters. Some large rocks were as big as 5 meters tall and 20 meters long.
The crew was working 24 hours a day from Friday, May 30 until Wednesday morning, June 4. Anywhere from four to six experts reviewed the recorded data (targets) at the same time.
"There is no indication of a large human made objects in this area. I have a high level of confidence that the plane is not there," said Martin Ammond, Senior NAVOCEANO Representative.
The USNS Pathfinder's Training Mission in the Baltic Sea as Part of BaltOps 2008