Friday, January 06, 2006

Submarines and Migraines

Recall, if you will, that ABC's Good Morning America segment Run Silent, Run Deep had been broadcast November 23rd, 2005 aboard a submerged Navy submarine off the East coast. This was the first broadcast of its kind. Needless to say, several intriguing questions were raised immediately. What was the military purpose for the stunt? Why were two submarines (Scranton and Oklahoma City) confused in an initial press release?

In order to fulfill the communications requirements of the alleged feat, a surface support vessel relayed the live broadcast from the sub to a satellite uplink in a Rube Goldberg manner - without the support vessel, MV Dolores Chouset, the stunt might have been very impressive.

The broadcast served as public relations function for whom then? The Navy? The submarine service? ABC? Wireless Maritime Services (the joint venture between MTN and Cingular Wireless) who provided the advanced, cellular telephones used? Very strange that a PR goal would not be more obvious.

What other purpose could the GMA broadcast have served besides PR?
That question was posed by a reader of USS Scranton (SSN 756) Whereabouts. He also made this comment: The thing that I find truly hilarious is that most of the stock footage was of 688s, not even 688Is... much less of the Scranton. The EMBT blow footage Diana Sawyer comments on several times during the broadcast is of a boat with fairwater planes!

Answering is easy; being affirmed correct is almost impossible due to the prevailing secrecy of submarine operations. Being labeled wrong, on the otherhand, is a given because the Navy has already told us what they [the CIA?] wanted us to know.

Theory favored by Molten Eagle's panel (anonymous, so please do not ask):
The broadcast served as a cover to explain the presence of MV Dolores Chouest as she conducted a more clandestine operation, also off the East coast. The Dolores Chouest is one of several vessels owned by Edison Chouest Offshore leased to the Military Sealift Command as part of its Special Missions Program. It's crew consists of civilians and others.

What kind of secret operations, you may ask? Well the Chouset deploys a Tethered Unmanned Work Vehicle (wired, remote control submarine) called the Super Scorpio Plus. Similar unmanned vehicles have been used to recover the flight data recorder from Alaska Airlines Flight 261, conduct detailed survey operations involving the collision of Greeneville (SSN-772) and the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime Maru, and the British Scorpio managed to free the Russian Priz class submersible AS-28 trapped on the sea floor off the Kamchatka Peninsula on 5 August 2005.

What could be of interest in these waters, you ask? Well, where did you actually see the Dolores Chouest? Did you spot her en route to and from Norfolk? How about after dark, where did you see her? When did the USS Scranton return with Robin Roberts and the other ABC people? On what later date did the MV Chouest return to Norfolk? These are all rhetorical questions.

Just Speculation:
Remember TWA Flight 800 (1996)? Swiss Air Flight 111 (1998)? EgyptAir Flight 990 (1999)? How about Abel Danger (1999)? Had an unidentified, foreign power been blackmailing the United States since 1996 (Clinton administration)?

2 Comments:

At 08 January, 2006 16:44, Blogger Chap said...

Feh. Start shaving with Occam's Razor, dude. Conspiracies are harder than they sound.

This is the same organization that loudly trumpeted a polar bear chewing on a submarine's rudder at the North Pole...while the rest of the military was busy invading Iraq ("major combat ops"). It's much more likely that this was the opportunity they had to finally get a TV show out on a boat after they had the previous news article pierside a while back.

The guys who want positive submarine stories don't compare their actions against the rest of the world--it's too hard for a PAO to figure out, most of the time.

 
At 09 January, 2006 14:37, Blogger Vigilis said...

Thank you, Chap, for underscoring my point that "Being labeled wrong, on the otherhand, is a given..." And who says I shave?

Occam's logic is little assurance that skullduggery is not taking place in our world. In fact, certain agencies justify their budgets because of it.

Did anyone note that the 3 international flights cited were leaving the East coast of the U.S.
rather than the West coast of Europe? Given the lame explanations for the disasters (No, I have never believed our Navy fired a missle at TWA 800, nor do I believe the crazy attribution to fuel tank problems, and senior engineers in the aviation industry where I was employed never believed that either.

To tell the truth, I do not know what MV Dolores Couset was actually doing or where. My speculation was labeled that, because it served only as an example with which many people would already be familiar.

 

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