Reports regarding the Arctic Sea are positively Newtonian: for each report there is an equal and opposite report. She was reported in Spain, then Spanish authorities denied the claim. She was reported off the Cape Verde Islands then Russian diplomats and Portuguese authorities said she wasn’t. An AIS signal in the Bay of Biscay signalled her presence, or maybe not because there was no evidence the transmission came from equipment on the ship,the Russian naval officials said it was from a Russian Navy vessel, which raises more questions than it answers.
Now it is reported that ransom demands have been made to the shipowner but, again, there has been no ‘proof of life’ – a necessary element for a credible ransom demand and until that is given the ransom demands are meaningless.
There have also been suggestions that military forces have been tracking Arctic Sea since she was first allegedly boarded off Sweden by armed men claiming to be drugs police. This would seem to be unlikely.
Indeed, it is technically feasible that Arctic Sea never left the Baltic. There have been no confirmed sightings anywhere else since she left her Finnish port of lading, just a couple of radio calls and AIS transmissions. Neither are particularly evidential regarding the vessel’s movements.