professor at university in Norway believes beluga whale that was found in Arctic Ocean near Norway's northernmost point could be part of Russia's spy network. Local residents reported that beluga was extremely tame and enjoyed being petted. Professor Audun Rikardsen said creature was fitted with harness and mount for a spy camera. He said: "It is most likely that Russian Navy in Murmansk was involved." However, news images show there is "Equipment of St. Petersburg" written on harness in English. A local said: "The talk in this hamlet is that it could have escaped from Russian military facility or could have swum from St. Petersburg, Florida, because of the English-language text."
There is much speculation online as to where whale came from. Journalists are asking whether it came from whale and dolphin training facilities in St. Petersburg, Florida. U.S. Navy is known to use dolphins to help divers on military missions. Russian naval analyst, Mikhail Barabanov, downplayed any links the beluga might have with Russian military. He said: "Even if there are military programs for using marine animals for navy purposes, they are unlikely to be belugas." Russian military official agreed. He told BBC: "If we were using this animal for spying, do you really think we'd attach mobile phone number with the message 'please call this number?'"