Thursday, June 11, 2009

First Things First; Pourquoi Pas (Why Not)?

When it comes to submarines, no one is assigned to any sub for its entire period in commission. In what is perhaps the ultimate compartmentalization of national intelligence, only a few very high-ranking persons therefore, would ever know everything an individual sub attempted, much less accomplished. Hence, the saying: Submarines are Always Silent and Strange.

In the case of searching for Flight 447's ULB, submarine crews would know, like the public, the general location and mission. Unlike the public they would also know depths.

Consider two related statements from the press, however:

This is the first time the French military uses a nuclear-powered submarine to search for the debris of a crashed plane.

How would the reporter know this? Reporters would just know what they were told.

The submarine must pass very close to the boxes to have a chance of detecting them, he said. If the voice and data recorders are found, a French remote-controlled submarine will try to retrieve them with a robot arm. No flight recorders have been retrieved from the 12,000ft depth where those of Flight 447 are believed to lie.

Interesting, because given the irregular ocean depths in the search area and the need to pass very close [to the ULB beacon], what would the French Navy do first, search for the ULB with deep-diving submersibles or the relatively depth limited nuclear sub Émeraude (S 604)?

Obviously, a better search would be achieved using a deeper-diving submersible [Nautile] first, but its arrival is said to have been weather-delayed until tomorrow. The Pourquoi Pas is the only French vessel that carries suitable devices to retrieve and locate the black boxes, if their signals are ever detected.

Once located, however, an SSN like Émeraude underscores the importance of the ULB recovery mission.

A careful analysis, however, might suggest other possibilities:

1) The ULB may have been located before the SSN arrived. The SSN will transport the ULB, if recovered, safely back to France for forensic analysis.

2) The ULB may have been located and even recovered before the SSN arrived. The forensic examination has already taken place. If the examination reveals an exposive device aboard Flight 447, Émeraude purpose is still to transport the ULB (evidence) safely back to France.

In either case, when would the public be informed that the the ULB was ever found, or never found? Is this really needed now?

Submarines are always silent and strange.



Post a Comment

<< Home