UnNews:Russia plants flag at North Pole, launches real estate boom
2 August 2007
MOSCOW, Russia (UnNews) -- An international diplomatic storm has erupted in the wake of Russia's claim to the sea bed under the Arctic. Although the area is generally considered to be unfit for human habitation, being buried underneath millions of tons of ice and thousands of feet of sea water, Russia is determined to claim this property as her own. "After spending decades in the Siberian salt mines and the Gulag archipelago, our people are quite used to the icy cold conditions," a spokesman for the Russian Ballet, later identified as Vlad "Horse" Balyasnikov, said. "And the mopping up operations will take care of any residual sea water using the traditional methods."
As a preliminary step, an expedition aimed at strengthening this claim of Russia's to much of the real estate wealth beneath the Arctic Ocean reached the North Pole on Wednesday, and preparations immediately began for two mini-submarines to drop a capsule containing a Russian flag to the sea floor.
"We feel that his is a perfect first step in establishing our claim. This is how the British Empire was built, by planting the Union Jack all over the place. This is how the USA acquired the moon, the most desirable and expensive real estate in the Solar System, by planting their silly candy-striped flag there, although this is still disputed by some. And even when they planted it, they could not get it up, they had to resort to a pathetic little arrangement with a stick to make it fly. Of course this was before Viagra was invented." Balyasnikov told The Associated Press. "It's like putting the flag on the moon, except more soggy." he explained, emphasising the historical precedents once again.
Russian scientists hope to dive in two mini-submarines beneath the pole to a depth of more than 13,200 feet, and drop a metal capsule containing the Russian flag on the sea bed. Balyasnikov said the dive was expected to start Thursday morning and last for several hours, or until the crews suffocated.
The symbolic gesture, along with geologic data being gathered by expedition scientists, is intended to prop up Moscow's claims to more than 460,000 square miles of the Arctic shelf -- which by some estimates may be subdivided into some 15 million attractive "gentleman's estates".
About 100 scientists aboard the Akademik Fyodorov are also looking for evidence that the Lomonosov Ridge -- a 1,240-mile underwater mountain range that crosses the polar region -- is a geologic extension of Russia, and therefore can be claimed by it under an obscure U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The biggest challenge, scientists say, will be for the mini-sub crews to return to their original point of departure to avoid being trapped under a thick ice crust.
"They have all the necessary navigation equipment to ensure safety," Balyasnikov said. "This includes a sextant, a rusted but serviceable Swiss Army knife, and a tattered copy of the Morse Code. They also have a prayer book."
In a separate development, Denmark hopes to prove that the Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of the Danish territory of Greenland, not Russia. Canada, meanwhile, plans to spend $7 billion to deploy up to 8000 realty salesmen in a bid to help protect its sovereignty. "Possession is nine points of the law," explained the Minister of Land Affairs and Environment. "Once we build our log cabins and we have the famous Mounties in there, we won't budge."
- AP "Russia to sink flag to Arctic Sea floor in oil, land grab" CNN, August 2, 2007