Source: "Red Soil"

Lights of what seemed like a huge ship was sighted on the waters of New Ireland by some village people who said, they’re not sure if it’s a ship or a submarine because every time they send someone out to check on it, it disappears.

An elderly man said he went out to fish very early one morning and saw those lights again. He tried paddling to catch up and tell them this is the people’s fishing ground but the lights just disappeared. The old man said when the sun came out and he tried to fish, he couldn’t because the sea that’s usually crystal clear was very dusty in a milky-murky way.

He said he couldn’t see near or far so he returned home and called up a meeting with all the men of the village and told them of what had happened. The meeting happened and someone mentioned the ‘Experimental Seabed Mining’ (ESM) that’s being talked about on the news, which led into a lot more heated discussions, as well as how to take precaution.

The men then called everyone in the village together and told them about what the old man had witnessed, to which he said he has never experienced before.  Women and children were advised not to catch fish at least for that day until when the water clears up, and to keep an eye on that vessel or whatever that is that only seemed like a lot of lights from out there.

Some days later, the people gathered around the shore looking at the sea. A huge part of it was covered in what looked like oil spill. The spill they said was dark black in color, very visible on their clear blue island sea and the locals could see that it was some meters below the surface as well.

An old man and some strong young men were sent out to follow the spill and catch up with the vessel that had spilt it, but they came back and said the spill was no more some kilometers out and that there wasn’t any vessel in sight. In the afternoon of the same day, two dead dolphins floated to their shore.

Dolphins are known to be man’s best friend in the sea to the island people so they cried when they found their lifeless bodies. A village elder said that there were no spear marks or scratches of any kind on their bodies and that they were young dolphins to have just died. He believes the only explanation is that they have fed on something that has been poisoned.

With what had happened, the people have cautioned themselves and are now very careful as to spot and report any vessels out at sea, they are to watch the color of the sea and also what they catch to eat.

A village elder explained that the people’s fears have come down to one thing and that is, what if this Experimental Seabed Mining has already started underwater, and what’s being talked about and reported in the media is just talk to distract and divert people’s attention and keep them busy talking.

“After all there is much opposition by almost everyone except the government, so the company might have been attempting to grab what it can while it can,“ he explained.

“Why does Byron Chan call himself a son of New Ireland, and yet he is the one who allowed and is bringing Nautilus the trouble, misery and death to us? He has shut his eyes, ears and all the God given common senses from the sea, and from us his people,“he said.

The village elder said everyone’s not happy with what they are experiencing, and so are appealing to all of you who live by the sea as well to stand firm and say ‘No to Experimental Seabed Mining’ to happen.