Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Remember Submariners When You Hear "Happy Thanksgiving!"

Remember all of our brothers serving on submarines during our national Thanksgiving...

Qualifying was no picnic, either:

Quotes from here ...

On submarines, when the shit hits the fan, there's only one way to run... Right into it. Nobody with a living brain cell can ever, ever call a submarine sailor a coward just because he's not dodging bullets somewhere. - SonarMan


We never had to go off station because we couldn't fix or adapt to a broken piece of equipment. We never had to go off station because someone got hurt or because of family problems back home... You, the men of the Augusta, fixed it when it got broken and you, the families of Augusta, handled problems as they arose and made sure the ship could continue to perform, ‘Any Mission, Any Time,' ” Haumer said. “I thank you.” - Cmdr. Mike A. Haumer, CO, USS Augusta (SSN-710)


One of our crewmen needed a sedative after a practice, MK 45 ASTOR dented our outer hull just inches from the rack where he had been sleeping. A 'nuclear torpedo' hitting that close and personal was his alarm clock from hell. As you might expect, we found humor and tried to imagine what our own reactions might have been. - Vigilis


Extreme Creatures ...
Who suffer no attrition upon news their kind are sunk,
Who endure sunless weeks on end in want of their own bunk.

Disturbed from precious sleep by those dreaded, alarming sounds,
When the latest hazard has sprung out of its nearby bounds.

Sacrifices are certain for these devoted volunteers,
Qualifications demanded by a jury of their peers.

In clear illustration of “24-7’s” meaning,
There is no phoning home during silent submarining.

- Juan Caruso Davenport HM1(SS) (nom de plume)



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Submarine Chic - Seeking Major Investors

The Sub Report had this story Nov. 22nd. There is always more to a submarine story.

November 25, 2008 - The Solar Sub Seeks Funding - Swiss energy company BKW FMB Energy wants 10 million Swiss francs to build Project Goldfish, a tourist submarine and the floating solar power system that would charge it.

What's wrong with this investment concept? Is that a fanciful solar power collector, or something else in the drawing? Let's compare:
Project Goldfish - Whether BKW's waterborne solar power schemes attract investors is an open question, given the economic turmoil now gripping world markets. BKW itself reported in September that, despite rising electricity sales, declines in global stock markets drove down its profit for the first half of 2008 to 63 million Swiss francs ($53 million) a 52-percent decline from the same period last year.
Movie Goldfinger - Swiss citizen Auric Goldfinger has initiates 'Operation Grand Slam,' an evil plot to raid Fort Knox and obliterate the world economy.
Swiss energy sponsor: BKW FMB
Swiss-Sited Movie key words:

another laser?



Monday, November 24, 2008

Interesting Theory of the U.S. Policy to Deal with Piracy

................MAIN STORY...................
EagleSpeak tackled the theory last week (recommended), providing some clear logic and 'law of the sea' basis underlying his inclination to generally discount it.

Here is the theory:
The growing Somali pirate menace will provide President Obama with a clear, convincing, and early opportunity to demonstrate his comfort with using force in defense of international peace and security.

Here's the basic rationale:
A carefully crafted, anti-pirate strategy would not only command multinational support, it would instantly contrast Obama's prowess with Bush's alleged cowboy approach to the conduct of world affairs.

More you should know about piracy...
By the 1790s, the U.S. was depositing an astonishing 20% of its federal income into North African coffers... Trying to buy off the pirates encouraged more piracy --

In contrast to the refusal to unite with America during the Barbary Wars, or more recently the Iraq War, the European states today share America's interest in restoring peace to the seas.

The Boston Globe recently reported: Piracy in the heavily trafficked Gulf of Aden and a widening arc of the Indian Ocean has more than doubled so far this year, with 80 ships attacked and 60 hijacked.

Military analyst Maj. W. Thomas Smith Jr. (SCSG) :
Admiral Mullen was ‘stunned’ by the pirate attack taking place so far from the coast, about 450 miles offshore. The attack in fact was a bit surprising. It was bold, very risky for the attackers, and much farther out into the so-called ‘blue water’ than previous attacks we’ve seen by similar bands in recent history. [bold color emphasis mine]
The big picture (reflects declining international economy):

Why the submarine photos up top? M.E. believes the piracy theory may gain traction.


Submarines are always silent and strange.



Sunday, November 23, 2008

What the Good Admiral Was Joking About

One summery morning about 4 decades ago, a spanking new tech marvel was docked across the pier from us. The curious sub had not been there the night before, and it was one of only 2 we would not be allowed to board:

Published on 11/22/2008 - The Day Publishing Co. - The ceremony drew high-ranking military officials, politicians and former crew members to the Naval Submarine Base to say goodbye and to celebrate the accomplishments of the ship and its crews. ... The Navy will use remotely operated vehicles, and in some cases manned vehicles, to perform the missions NR-1 once undertook, said Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, U.S. Fleet Forces commander.

Some of you may have attended the ceremony and can relate better to the insider's joke, but the Lean Cuisine's product on the card in Adm. Greenert's hand almost says it all.
Our submarine cooks have done a much better job keeping us healthy and appetized than was possible on tiny NR-1. For instance, only C+ nutrition grade is awarded to Lean Cuisine's Baked Chicken Florentine (shown in the Admiral's hand), and the sodium content of 1 serving of this frozen dinner is as high (660 mg) as a full can of many soups.
How tiny is NR-1? Her total displacement is barely the difference in surfaced and submerged displacements in some of our LA class fast attacks. Her galley? Here are some photos.
NR-1's galley is [was] really no more than a sink, a small oven, and a single cold-storage unit. The lone washroom aboard conspicuously lacks any shower facilities, and even on a ship manned by only 11 people, the crew must still eat and sleep in shifts. But in spite of the close quarters and lack of creature comforts, NR-1 is never far away from a warm meal and more modern conveniences. The submarine is usually towed to and from remote locations by a chartered commercial vessel, the Carolyn Chouest, which serves as both an auxiliary research platform and submarine tender for NR-1. [emphasis added] source
Not much food storage space even for a crew of only three officers, eight crewmen, and perhaps two riders. Nominal endurance was just 16 Days with 13 people, and perhaps 25 Days maximum. So the standard joke was NR-1's sailors were never far from a good meal.
Yep, while they were being towed by SSV Carolyn Chouest (notice the Chouest's larger grill):

NR-1 being towed under the bridges at New London
Submarines are always silent and strange.



Friday, November 21, 2008

SSN-24 Already Named

From the sixteenth episode of the sixth season of The Simpsons - The Fox network (February 19, 1995):

Homer Simpson: Are we going to be landing on an aircraft carrier?
Pilot: ....No, the nearest Navy vessel is the USS Walter Mondale... It's a laundry ship.

What is a submarine laundry ship? No results found for submarine laundry ship.
Juan Caruso answers...
(Submarines are always silent and strange).



Thursday, November 20, 2008

"What's the Story" with this Nuclear Submarine Photo?

About a year ago, M.E. quoted Bothenook's opinion of a boat on which we had both served in different decades.

Recently, he provided a link to interesting, but seldom seen photographic history of the boat, the Sub that had PMS (Perpetual Modifications Syndrome). Two of the photos showed signs of unusual maintenance activity. The clearest photo is shown above. Plexiglass windowpanes can be seen faintly in the lower, forward sail. These panoramic accessories had been welded over by the time we reported aboard. For a high-def enlargement, go here. Notice the absence of any hull numbers on the sail?

The submarine was maintained in sound condition considering several of the experiments (including a sodium-cooled nuclear reactor), mishaps, and various roles she fulfilled not to be discussed.
Questions of the Week:
So, what's the story in the photograph showing exposed piping (outer hull plating has been removed, or fallen off for some reason)? The result is somewhat equivalent to driving your car with it's hood missing: Obviously, not recommended.
No answers here, yet. We will have to see what an informed reader says, if anything. Since Life magazine took the photos, a trip to library archives might solve the mystery. Problem is, we have two editions of Life featuring this sub, without the photos or the details. Perhaps the Submarine Force did not give permission to publish at the time. What was the year?
Submarines are always silent and strange.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Second U.S. Astronaut to "Lose Her Grip"

Female Submarine Crew Inadvisability, Again ?

February 08, 2007 - Strike ONE !

November 19, 2008 - (another Navy Captain) Strike TWO?
Lost tool bag forces changes to planned spacewalks - The briefcase-sized tool bag drifted away from astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper on Tuesday as she cleaned and lubed a gummed-up joint on a wing of solar panels on the space station.
What it boils down to is all it takes is one small mistake for a tether not to be hooked up quite correctly or to slip off, and that's what happened here, said lead spacewalk officer John Ray.

Despite my little hiccup, or major hiccup, I think we did a good job out there, Stefanyshyn-Piper said.

M.E. actually agrees with Stefanyshyn-Piper this time. She is one of our best trained astronauts. A small degree of error is built into everyone's performance. She was performing a complex task in a very low-tolerance environment. Gender may not have been a factor at all, this time (we will never know), although if she really lost her grip (small hand syndrome), the incident may point out a design problem.

Let's hope there is never a Strike THREE. A future mission could be a failure due to lost space debris (including a tool bag). Here's the YouTube of the actual incident (no sound for the 1st 40 seconds. Wonder what has been censored.):

Second U.S. astronaut to "lose her grip"



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When Sub Silence Was Extreme

Submariners both appreciate and understand the sophistication of modern boats as well as the remote potentials for sudden, compounding failures. Breathable atmosphere, watertight hull and fairly accurate depth to keel, for instance, are commonly assumed, with related upsets routinely drilled.

In the early days of submarining, however, upsets were rather more expected:

The early submarines, dating from the 1900 period, had, for twelve years, been extremely vulnerable to being rammed or run-over by surface vessels. Virtually at all times when in busy navigable waters, a submarine was escorted by a ship of sloop size to ensure its safety. When this occurred, the highest safety factor was when the boat was on the surface, the two vessels in sight of each other and fully aware of what each was doing. source
And surfaced subs could not communicate as easily as we:

Before, during and after WW2, submarines had "jumping wires" which were rigged from forward to aft external of the boat, over the top of the casing and the conning tower. The conning tower was fitted with stanchions which supported the wire, set in such a way that personnel and equipment [periscopes etc] were not affected by the presence of the hefty wire. source
M.E. came across a rich and invaluable resource for insights into early submarine technologies.

The author is an ex-submariner. We could spend hours in this Museum, but those with a possible interest are on their own. M.E. will confine further description to only two, difficult to find items of general interest:
When was wireless telegraph in use? 1912. RN submarines B class - 1913. Range: 1-2 miles (usual); 25 miles best.
When was voice radio introduced?

The new fangled communication of radio telephony [R/T] {which had been known about for many a long year by this time} was still an emission for trial purposes only. The earliest R/T transmitter in the RN was the Type 81 [1921] closely followed by the Type 83 [1923]. This is what the Admiralty Handbook of Wireless Telegraphy 1920 had to say about R/T communications * which the 1925 edition more or less echoed and wasn't at all sure about the reliability of voice / sounds / tones being transmitted through the ether as radio waves. source
Submarines are always silent and strange.



Monday, November 17, 2008

ITS Pelosi's "Commemoration of Submariners Killed"

Recommended by M.E.:

A brief (3:02) Youtube (below) of a naval tribute to departed submariners. Why is this important? Read on. The YouTube exhibits 3 features as yet undupilcated for worldwide web consumption by a curious public:

1- Prominent Involvement of 85% of the sub's Officers (6 of 7) in a
2- Wreath laying ceremony to the accompaniment of the
3- Italian Submariners Song (words translated here: Canzone dei Sommergibilisti)

The point of this is to highlight the wonderful spirit that deserves emulation by other navies. Certainly, one will find wreath laying for Easter, national law enforcement officers, unknown soldiers, Veterans and Remembrance Days, and HMAS Sydney (645 perished).

With current submarine recruiting as difficult as it has become (i.e. UK and Australia) why have admirals missed such an obvious opportunity to promote the silent service?

Here's the wreath laying ceremony (Commemorazione sommergibilisti caduti):

On the ITS Salvatore PELOSI (S522), improved Sauro class sub, commissioned in 1988 at Monfalcone shipyard. All submarine navies including Russia and the U.S. might do well to emulate this periodic tribute for recruiting purposes alone if no other.



Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sometimes, when just a few of the best will do ... Surprise!

.........................................League of Democratic Nations Poster Nbr. 01008

Whether pirates, terrorists, or tyrants in a hub of evil, they must reckon with the awesome forces arrayed invisibly and awaiting silently to wreak sudden and utter destruction.



Saturday, November 15, 2008


Responding to a photo posted in 02SEPT2005, Bubblehead asked,What the hell's that red thing I got hanging in front of my crotch?

Two years later on 06Sept2007, Molten Eagle addressed a new Russian photo and again asked the obvious question. Fred Fry had the best answer, but M.E. could not believe what, if correct, it certainly implied (highlighted below). M.E.'s assessment has now proved tragically correct. Although Russian press alluded to the fact Nerpa's crew not being far from their breathing apparatus, they had been vague about wearing them (especially non-crew passengers). Now we have confirmation (the object being worn on crew belts in the photo below).

Confirmed by second source:
[Russian submarine] Crew members carry special breathing apparatus with them at all times as protection from the gas if the fire extinguishing system goes off. They are also trained to use the complicated apparatus.

Why is this important? Here is what we said im 2007 (and thanks, again, Fred Fry):

Fred Fry, your guess makes better sense than anything so far. Wearing an 'Emergency Escape Breathing Device', however, projects minimal confidence in the CO, the crew, and the boat. If your guess is correct, what an interesting commentary on the psychology of Russian sub crew morale it may suggest. Also, if accurate, a major point seems to have been missed by analysts and journalists who covered the intervening (August 2000) Kursk tragedy. An excellent submission, regardless.
Perhaps the best indication of low morale in Russia's military is this quote from a 27-year-old man, who preferred not to use his family name:
Everything I hear is that the equipment is old and dangerous and the conditions are not humane.
He is joining countless other young Russian men in scraping together the $800 to $1,000 it costs to bribe his way out of the mandatory 12-month military service.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



Friday, November 14, 2008

Was it Freon Fragging, Then?

UPDATE (19NOV2008) - Experts blame computer glitch for Russian nuclear sub deaths - RIA NOVOSTI:

We submariners are unanimous: a computer program failed. Previously, the submarine fire suppression system had always started manually on the commander's orders. Now it is launched electronically, Ensign Yevgeny Ovsyannikov, a technical specialist on the Nerpa, told Komsomolskaya Pravda. Ovsyannikov also added that it was the first time this computerized system had been used on the submarine during the sea trials and that the computer had malfunctioned during tests in the dock.


A toxic additive, trichlorotrifluoroethane [C2F3Cl3], was used. It is cheaper than pure Freon. Possibly, they simply wanted to economize, suggested an expert who requested anonymity, adding that there were unmistakable signs of poisoning, which could not have been caused by Freon: People were collapsing as though they had been shot

UPDATE (14NOV2008) - It is difficult to justify locked cabin doors during submarine sea trials, but this AFP article makes 3 references to them. Here is just one:

We had to smash down the doors of the cabins that had been locked. We took the lads out. Two breaths of freon and that's it. Some of them died on our way into the port. - Alexei Shanin, officer on board the submarine K-152 Nerpa.
No kidding, let me be first to guess that the Russians had at least one female aboard. Only pure speculation, but my guess is at least one female probably a shipyard engineer had been aboard. Were you unaware of female shipyard workers? Nerpa (seal) is coincidental name of a Russian shipyard here:

5/18/98: WORKERS STRIKE Female workers from Nerpa's galvanization work-shop began a hunger strike on 14 May 1998. Workers from the transport workshop joined the strike, which has immobilized the shipyard. The Nerpa shipyard has not paid workers for eight months because the Ministry of Defense still owes more than 74 million rubles ($12 million) to Nerpa for repairs completed on nuclear sub-marines. [Vesti newscast, 18 May 1998; in "Russian TV Shows Striking Subyard," FBIS-UMA-98-139.] source
Russian submarine Builders trials may soon become known by their more appropriate name - Blunder trials. Yes, the U.S. has had its share of blunders, too.

Twenty people, including 17 civilian shipyard workers, died when a hazardous fire suppressant (freon gas) was discharged during sea trials for Russia's Nerpa attack submarine.

Military deaths were limited to two officers and a warrant officer. Twenty-one people were also injured in the incident.

A submariner has already confessed he switched on the system without authorization, according to Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Investigation Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office.

An expert from the investigative commission said the probe must determine how the sailor managed to gain unauthorized access to the system.

Only senior commanding officers have access to the fire safety system. It is impossible to simply activate the system, which is protected from unauthorized activation by multiple levels of confirmation, the official said. We must find out how a person without authorization managed to activate the system and determine whether the same situation could occur again. source

The tragedy occurred late Saturday in the Sea of Japan.

Was it freon fragging (unsurprisingly, the suspect has given no reason for his unauthorized activation of the fire suppressant)?

No, it was not fragging. If found guilty, the unidentified sailor faces a sentence of only seven years imprisonment. Unless his sentence is upgraded, intentional murder has obviously been ruled out by the prosecutor.

The sailor's confession, which some believe was obtained under duress, conveniently absolves Russian engineers of a horrible design flaw, a problem which would easily jeopardize the higher package price Russia intends to charge India for Nerpa's timely lease.

If true, however, the charge would be a blot on Russia's method of screening, training and supervising submariners. What an indictment! Putin, who has been watching intently, must be fuming over this lastest submarine debacle.

Submarines are always silent and strange.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Utmost Tradition - Submarine Sealing by Insiders: EVIL IS OUR MIDDLE NAME

We had no lame, late, or lazy (dog tired by day's end was not unusual) crew members. We had a crew of get-the-job done right, unconventional types. Pirates who could get clearances and do their jobs well were a comfortable fit.
From World War I to the beginning of World War II, some U.S. Navy ships had these insignia, but World War II brought them into general use. During long wartime patrols, crew members designed their own, which flew high on battle flags upon return from patrol. Many ships wrote to top artists to have their insignia designed, while others developed them on their own, frequently through contests. The Korean War saw another upsurge in interest in crests and
coats of arms.
Naval heraldry

In the 1950s and 1960s, OPNAVINST 5030.2B encouraged ships to design their own crests (or badges). Ships' seals, crests or badges usually include mottoes, which are phrases (originally in Latin) meant to describe group motivation or intention. Fortunately, the fighting, non-PC, 'pirate' spirit has been retained by modern submariners, at least in some of the SSNs. Feel free to comment with more:

I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way John Paul Jones - Commander Sloop Providence, 1776

Providence's badge reads Providentia Remedium Belli, translated Providence for war is the best prevention for it. The idea of military strength to prevent war is still accurate, if not polittically correct.

Contrast the preceeding with USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740)'s PC motto - In Spe Pacis Perennis, which tranlated reads In hope of everlasting peace. And USS Ohio (SSGN-726) Always First. Higher authority seems to have been more rigorous in approving mottoes for SSBNs and SSGNs. In the future, under an Obaman administration, we can expect things to tighten for SSNs, too. What a shame.

Here is USS Ashville's (SSN-758) official (PC) motto: From The Mountains To The Seas. And here is its non-PC piratatical motto: EVIL IS OUR MIDDLE NAME [1]

USS JIMMY CARTER (SSN-23): Semper Optima (Always the Best)

USS Connecticut (SSN-22): Arsenal of the Nation

USS Virginia (SSN-774) motto is the state's PC motto of the Commonwealth of Virginia: Sic Semper Tyrannis (Thus Always To Tyrants)

USS Texas (SSN-775) is not the PC state motto of Texas, but more bellicose: Don't Mess With Texas

USS North Carolina (SSN-777) is again the PC state motto: Esse Quam Videri (To be, rather than to seem)

USS New Hampshire (SSN-778) again the state motto, but aggressively non-PC: Live Free or Die

If you would like to share more examples, feel free to do so, but kindly document any unofficial motto.

Which of the two mottoes shown at top is official? Surprisingly, the one in latin is the unofficial pirate motto. Translation of Deponis Tuum Suavem Clunem: To set down your dainty buttocks (ass).

Pirate spirit! See what I mean? Submarines are always silent and strange.



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The U.S. Needs Politicians Like Iceland's Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

UPDATE (13 NOV 2008) - Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen quoted the Norwegian Embassy’s memo of last Friday's luncheon in Reykjavík, stating that Grímsson had offered Russia use of the military base in Keflavík. source

Will a President Obama invite Russia to takeover Guatanamo Bay, or allow Hugo Chavez to annex Cuba in its entirety?

First, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, a non-lawyer, has served as Iceland's President since 1996. He was re-elected unopposed in 2000, re-elected for a third term in 2004, and automatically re-elected to a fourth term this year. Like Obama wants to be, Ólafur is a popular, left wing president.

There may be at least one important difference in the two, however. You will never hear words like this from a law school graduate in U.S. government: Iceland’s President Wants Lower Salaries -

President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has expressed his view that the salaries of the president and of other officials should be lowered in light of the current economic crisis facing Iceland.
Imagine our President or Congress expressing a view like that!



Too Strange To Explain Credibly

UPDATE (11-11-2008) Illusion solved BUT, it's not USS PROVIDENCE?

Reader has provided evidence here that this submarine was NOT USS Providence, but USS Ashville (SSN 758) in the channel of San Diego Bay. If the link disappears

Reader (see comments) Lou solved one mystery (lei and bag caused optical notch illusion), but that merely opened another can of worms. Why? Because the sub with the decorative lei above was and is described as: Image: 050401-N-7949W-003.jpg San Diego, Calif. (Apr. 1, 2005) - Crew members assigned to the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Ashville (SSN 758), man the rails as they begin to sail through the channel of San Diego Bay. Ashville is returning to her homeport at Naval Base Point Loma, Calif., after completing a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean. Asheville performed national security missions and took part in two international exercises. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Daniel Woods (RELEASED) source .
The 2 upper photos are identified as USS Providence (SSN-719). The Providence is certainly a sub with a proud history. She was, for instance, the first submarine to fire tomahawk missiles in two wars, back to back. She has also been awarded 3 Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals, 3 Navy Expeditionary Medals, 4 Meritorious Unit Commendations, 4 Naval Unit Commendations and 5 Battle E awards, and most recently the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals.
To knowing submariners, such awards and public accolades often connote participation in undisclosed events at undisclosed times and places.
In the upper photo notice how the forward and aft lower sections of the fairwater (sail) meet her deck squarely. It is difficult to miss the forward notch and after fairing in these same locations on the lower photo, however. Never had M.E. seen anything like it. The photo, found in Navsource's Online: Submarine Photo Archive includes this in its description:

Providence (SSN-719) makes her way up river to the submarine base at Groton CT. She was returning home from a 6 month deployment that later turned into Opera- tion Enduring Freedom. Size: 160k.

The original photo may have had 160k resolution and size, but this one certainly does not. The photo's attribution is listed as: Photo Owned @ Copyrighted by Michele Peterson.

The lower photo was first noted on Galrahn's blog, yesterday. When asked, one of his co-authors provided this source. By that time we had found the same apparently doctored photo in 4 other sites in addition to the Navsource archive.

Will the photo soon disappear? We do not think so. Why? It seems a Michele Peterson just happened to submit another photo of SSN-719 in UNDERSEA WARFARE Magazine's 4th Annual Undersea Warfare Photo Contest sponsored by the Naval Submarine League. The entry has this caption:

Photo by Michele Peterson USS Providence (SSN-719) is assisted by the C-Tractor as it moves upriver to the submarine base in Groton. Providence was returning home after a seven-month deployment.

We doubt any credible explanation will ever be forthcoming. No after fairing or forward notch is apparent in the above contest submission nor other Providence photos. Could the missing and added notch objects be detachable sonar transducers or intentional deceptions? Almost anything is possible in the Silent Service.

Submarines are always silent and strange.



Monday, November 10, 2008

Out of Chaos: The Latest Russian Submarine Tragedy

UPDATE (11-11-2008)
In principle it could have been activated by cigarette smoke, Chairman of St. Petersburg submariners club, Capt (retired) Igor Kudrin was quoted as saying by 'Moskovsky Komsomolets' daily. Since it is very difficult to control civilians, may be one of them, instead of waiting for his turn to go to smoking room, lighted cigarette near a safety gauge.

No one should board a submarine without a portable breathing apparatus. Crew members literally sleep in them, former Northern Fleet Commander Vyacheslav Popov told Interfax. - source. Well, that may finally explain these objects, then.

First, here is a very easy review (Rated Excellent by M.E.) of haloalkanes (freon) for nonchemistry majors- AP: Russian Sailors Fell to Freon Poisoning at My Chemical Journey.

What submariners learned in sub school, even in the days of the early nuclear subs:

Phosgene can be created is by passing a freon through lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Phosgene gas was used as a chemical weapon in WW1. It is an insidious poison with little detectable odor and late appearing symptoms. The gas can only be detected at 0.4 ppm, which is 4x its Threshold Limit Value. Its high toxicity is due to reaction of phosgene gas on proteins in the lung. Damaged alveoli disrupt blood – air exchange causing suffocation.
Then, in 1984:

In Bhopal, India 43 tons of methylisocyanate was accidentally released at a Union Carbide plant, killing or injuring tens of thousands of people. Phosgene was a suspected component of the leak.

And Post 9-11:

Freon R-22, Hydrogen Fluoride & Phosgene samples were taken at WTC. (no detectable levels)

In addition to the toxic effects of phosgene (especially for any smoking shipyard technicians or engineers on the K-152 Nerpa), which must still be questioned, we have intriguing clues from official sources and other authorities. Each theory generates at least half a dozen more questions. Only a few questions have been asked below:

The generally accepted theory is that a leak of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the forward torpedo room of K-141 Kursk in August 2000, led to the detonation of a torpedo warhead. Hydrogen peroxide vapors can form sensitive contact explosives with hydrocarbons (lubricating oils and such greases). Possible reactions of H2O2 include spontaneous ignition of other compounds. Question: Did a H2O2 leak cause a legitimate and intentional triggering of fire suppressant on the K-152? Or, was there really a false alarm, erroneous release? -False alarm blamed for Russian submarine deaths source - Los Angeles Times

Or, was there really a false alarm, or system malfunction?

Russian submarine accident blamed on fire system malfunction source - RosBusinessConsulting


Poor training behind Russian sub deaths: ex-officer

About two thirds of the 208 people on board the submarine were civilians checking the vessel before handing it over to the navy for active service. Civilians accounted for 17 of the 20 dead.


'Since it is quite a rare alarm, they could have assumed it was some kind of different alarm,' said Capt. Alexander Nikitin, who monitors nuclear safety in Russia for Bellona. Nikitin said everyone on board the vessel would have had access to breathing apparatus. 'Most likely, they did not use it according to the procedures or as they were supposed to.' ... 'These are not military people who strictly follow instructions.' source - The Washington Post

The most suspicious fact yet may be this: Why were so many civilians (about two thirds of the 208 people) aboard in the first place? Only a very new or complex technology would require so many watchers.


There are 21 people currently being treated in hospital. The rest of the crew are being examined," Alexander Kostenko, deputy governor of Primorsky Krai, said on Channel One television. Russian newspapers said the submarine was only intended for a crew of 73 and that there were 208 people on board during the tests. The Kommersant daily quoted navy personnel saying there may not have been enough oxygen masks. [color emphasis mine] source -

Were there actually not enough oxygen masks, then? Have we ever before seen shortages of critical equipment in Russia?


India set to pay more for Russian submarine

India might well have to pay another $2 billion to get Gorshkov by 2012. Already, there are indications that a part of the huge cost escalation could be linked to Russia demanding more for Nerpa over the initial $650 million. source - The Economic Times

The accident, whatever its cause, is an automatic bargaining tool for India. Why would the India agree to pay more now?


US nuclear sub enters Japanese territory 'without notice'

'The Japanese government regrets the visit by the Providence without prior notice,' Japanese foreign ministry Deputy Press Secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura said, adding that US embassy Deputy Chief of Mission James Zumwalt in reply expressed regret over the incident and explained it was due to miscommunication in the US navy. A US embassy spokesman declined comment. source - The Times of India, etc.

No wonder official comment was declined; locations of unmarked submarines [USS Providence (SSN-719)], in foreign waters are rarely disclosed. Was it really SSN-719? [Rhetorical question - don't answer, this one, please]. M.E. thinks it was another sub. more here. Hmmm!.


Submarines are always silent and strange.



Sunday, November 09, 2008

Tragic Evidence the Real U.S.Submarine Stealth Strategy Works

Last July Molten Eagle ridiculed Norman Polmar's criticism of U.S. submarine admirals opposed to non-nuclear submarine construction in U.S. shipyards. We later satirized Polmar's notion of a submarine mafia, and M.E. applauded the Navy's preference for an all nuclear sub fleet. Why? Here is what we said:

In the foreseeable future (next 10-15 years, or so), no military competitor of the U.S. can construct, crew and maintain nuclear submarines with the effectiveness and efficiency with which the United States maintains its fleet. Business majors will recognize the United State's enviable niche in terms of S.W.O.T. analysis. The nuclear niche gives the U.S. a distinct naval advantage to help assure our ongoing military primacy.

Other nations (India, China, Brazil, Venezuela, etc.) will try to emulate the success of our half-century-plus learning curve, but they will spend a fortune in time and money to attain 50% effectiveness of their so-called nuclear submarine fleets. They must try, however, and that is the U.S. strategy. We will no doubt assist our allies to a prudent extent.

Could the Chinese simply throw warm bodies (replacements) from their million-man Peoples Liberation Army Navy at a more disciplined effort? Certainly, but strict discipline alone does not capable nuclear submariners make!

At the time, there had been some tragic Russian nuclear sub accidents.
Now there has been a new tragedy on Nerpa. Q.E.D. perhaps?

Submarines are always silent and strange.



Friday, November 07, 2008

Submarine Recruitment and Citizenship Applications Soar Suddenly in United Kingdom

WOMEN could be allowed to serve on submarines for the first time under plans being put to Defence chiefs.


The prospect of mixed gender cruises alone may be attracting red-blooded submariners worldwide (in non-Islamic countries)! Applications for British citizenship from Canada and Australia have been increasing, particularly.

"The responsibilities that come with being a member of our Special Forces are rewarded..." The Royal Navy

The poster rivets our attention, but there are still some unanswered questions. Are you ready to join up?
Submarines are always silent and strange.
This posting is dedicated to our friend, Bubblehead. We are praying for your full and speedy recovery, Joel. TSSBP is tops!



Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Once a Sailors Utopia thanks to a man with a lifelong predjudice against ...

First, some review:

History is filled with deceptions perpetrated chiefly by dishonest lawyers (examples), leaders (e.g. Boss M'Kane), followers (e.g. students), heirs, and publishers (example).


What Institution did the following describe, and who was qualified for admission?

The first building was erected in 1831-32, and during the year following, fifty seamen were admitted to the Institution. Since that time, it has provided for nearly nine thousand sailors.

Answers to Tuesday's Qualified Sailors, Nets and Institutionalization questions.

Upon his death in 1801, the estate of sea captain and wealthy merchant Robert Richard Randall provided for the maintenance of aged, decrepit and worn-out seamen (merchant marine sailors). Sailors Snug Harbor opened in 1833, along Kill Van Kull on Staten Island's north shore. American sailors must have served 5 years under the flag, foreignors 10, or have been incapicitated by age or broken health from further sea service. Trustees of the asylum referred to residents as sea dog wards, inmates or dependents, according to the New York Times here.

A magnificent residence, the grounds covered over one hundred enclosed acres. Some sixty acres were laid out in lawns, flower beds, and shade trees. More than fifty buildings stood on the estate, representing an investment of several million dollars. Eight main buildings, used as dormitories and mess halls, were connected by corridors of brick and stone, eliminating outside walks during poor weather. The Home had its own bakery, dairy, storage warehouse, laundry, power plant, hospital and dispensary and theater. Ample acreage devoted to farming provided most of the vegetables and a goodly amount of meat consumed. In its heyday (1939) twenty pigs were slaughtered at a time, to supply the tables with fresh pork. The dairy pasteurized its milk.

A large staff included farm hands, engineers, mechanics, carpenters, repair men, clerks, orderlies, laborers, butchers, stablemen and persons in various other capacities. The hospital staff included a Superintendent and two resident physicians. A registered pharmacist has charge of the dispensary.

Sailors Snug Harbor saw a peak of 1,000 residents by 1900. After the Social Security system was implemented residency declined. By the mid 1950's, fewer than 200 residents remained and in 1972, the facility was moved to North Carolina. Today, Snug Harbor is a Staten Island Arts, Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. Ah, Utopia!
According to the New York Times article (linked four paragraphs above) Captain Robert Richard Randall maintained a lifelong predjucice against lawyers. With only hours of life remaining, Randall contemplated his Snug Harbor hospital and summoned lawyer Alexander Hamilton.
In 1912, The New York Times reported, If Randall could have lived the work that Hamilton did for him that June day must have changed his opinion of the profession.



Fair and Square Defeat

As predicted here October 03, 2007:

He was a very believable candidate, nonetheless.

What just happened? Lawyers won the executive branch, a higher proportion of the Congress, and, of course, retained the Judiciary.

Public re-education begins January 20, 2009.



Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Qualified Sailors, Nets and Institutionalization

Note: the MSNBC photo is of an oil barge explosion on Staten Island in 2003.

Its motto, as printed in the upper left-hand corner of the front page, is:

"All the news that's fit to print."

Anti-Submarine Net - August 27, 1915
A novel protection against submarines, in which a net is used, has been evolved by an American inventor, J. H. Reinhardt of East Orange, N. J., and although he is of German descent, Mr. Reinhardt sent an outline of his plan to the British Admiralty several months ago.

Wire Protection Will Be Strung from Sandy Hook to Rockaway. TO SHUT OUT U-BOATS Will Cross the Three Ship Channels February 10, 1917

A submarine net was rigged from Staten Island's Miller Field across the Narrows to prevent German submarines from attacks in New York Harbor during WWII.

Election FRAUD - January 9, 1894
[color emphasis mine]

Question - (On being qualified) What Institution did the following describe, and who was qualified for admission?
The first building was erected in 1831-32, and during the year following, fifty seamen were admitted to the Institution. Since that time, it has provided for nearly nine thousand sailors.

Answer Thursday.



Sunday, November 02, 2008

Out of the Bag: Fractured Hull By 2011

Don't say you have not been warned.

Suppose Obama is elected.... and impeached! Why? Prepare yourself to read the news stories the media has already prepared but sat upon for months until after the election.

First, did he LIE about his Hawaiian birth?

Next, did gadzillions of his campaign contributions come from Islamic countries under fraudulent U.S. aliases?

Not a problem for you, so far? Great! To what country, if any, might you pledge your allegiance?

Obama has been set up for impeachment, but only if he wins, which still remains to be seen.

Good, if odd, riddance!


Obama WOW!... Terrific concept, Obama! Bin Laden will cringe at your civilian defense corps... Chavez and Ahmadinejad will chuckle, and Putin chortle.

What about submarines? Two per year, one or 1/2? Unexpected, as usual. Pay particular attention to the country that has been the largest source of contributions to the Obama campaign.

Very strange.