The Swedish armed forces are investigating photos and witness accounts of a possible foreign submarine that suddenly turned up near Stockholm.

A defence spokesperson announced this on Friday. Images taken in mid-April by a Swedish family at their holiday home in Saltsjöbadet show a large elongated black object in the water with an extension that resembles the tower of a submarine.

The Swedish Navy had no submarine nearby. In the 1970s and 1980s, Sweden regularly hunted submarines, including dropping depth charges. Sweden’s first female submarine commander reported in an interview with the quality newspaper Svenska Dagbladet last year that there is “increasing military activity” in the Baltic Sea.

UPDATE 25 May 2011: The alleged foreign submarine that suddenly appeared near Stockholm in March is said to have been a detached wooden bathing jetty.

A spokesman for the Swedish Armed Forces reported this on Wednesday, after weeks of investigation. According to the spokesman, the photos that a family took of the long dark colossus show a loosened, floating deck that was later salvaged. Ice build-up would have kept the jetty under water.

The fact that the Swedish Navy did not exclude a foreign submarine at first reminded many Swedes of the 1980s and 1990s. At that time, the armed forces were frequently on the hunt for possible Eastern European submarines and even dropped depth charges. | © 2011 Marcel Burger for ANP News Agency (first part published in Dutch on 6 May 2011; 25 May edition previously unpublished)