Yellowknife, Northwest Territories - Reports of a large, smoky explosion that allegedly killed several whales in Canadian Arctic waters is being investigated by the military.

The mystery began July 31 when Inuit hunters at the top of Baffin Island reported the blast, followed by a cloud of black smoke and several dead beached whales, the Canwest News Service reported. Soon after, a member of the aboriginal military reservist Canadian Rangers made a similar report.

The Defense Department said none of its vessels were in the area, although cruise ships, cargo ships and supply vessels use the waters between July and September, the report said.

The military said it was dispatching a long-range Aurora aircraft over the area to search for clues as to the source of the explosion. In addition, the federal Parks Canada agency dispatched a ship as part of the investigation, the report said.

Keith Pelley, a Fisheries and Oceans Canada spokesman in Nunavut, said he wouldn't comment on the possibility of a foreign submarine in Canadian waters.

"Until we hear from Parks Canada and the military, there's nothing we can confirm or deny," he told the news service.