Tuesday, November 11, 2008

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 Navy.mil 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.



At 11 November, 2008 06:02, Blogger Lou said...

Your "notch" on the front of the sail is a lei, and the other "notch" is a bag.

At 11 November, 2008 13:13, Blogger Vigilis said...

Well, Lou, how is it then that we are able to see through the sail? (Hint: see the water beyond the sub).

At 11 November, 2008 15:46, Blogger Lou said...

I suggest that you take a look at this photo:


At 11 November, 2008 16:33, Blogger Vigilis said...

Lou, thank you for pointing out the Navy NewsStand photo. While it definitely explains the optical illusion, it also (are you ready for this?) plainly identifies the boat as "USS Ashville (SSN 758)" in the channel of San Diego Bay.

That's right, it is not the USS Providence claimed by the photographer, Navsource, etc. Hmmm! You just made my point from

At 09 February, 2009 19:26, Blogger Peter the Bubblehead said...

As a sailor who served aboard USS Providence for two tours, and the husband of photographer Michele Peterson, I can assure you the mystery photo on the bottom is indeed USS Providence SSN-719 returning from deployment in November 2001. As previous poster Lou pointed out, the optical illusion on the front of the sail is caused by the red, whit and blue lei the ship was presented upon reaching the mouth og thr Thames River. The rear bump is either, as Lou said, a topside bag containing things like lifejackets and the jacob's ladder, or a crew member kneeling beside the sail probably in preparation for bringing the tug alongside to guide the sub into the pier at Subase New London.


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