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US Navy dolphins with friggin dart guns on their heads escaped

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posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 12:46 AM
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observer.guardian.co.uk... ml



Armed and dangerous - Flipper the firing dolphin let loose by Katrina
by Mark Townsend Houston
Sunday September 25, 2005
The Observer

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

Dolphins have been trained in attack-and-kill missions since the Cold War. The US Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have apparently been taught to shoot terrorists attacking military vessels. Their coastal compound was breached during the storm, sweeping them out to sea. But those who have studied the controversial use of dolphins in the US defence programme claim it is vital they are caught quickly.

Leo Sheridan, 72, a respected accident investigator who has worked for government and industry, said he had received intelligence from sources close to the US government's marine fisheries service confirming dolphins had escaped.

'My concern is that they have learnt to shoot at divers in wetsuits who have simulated terrorists in exercises. If divers or windsurfers are mistaken for a spy or suicide bomber and if equipped with special harnesses carrying toxic darts, they could fire,' he said. 'The darts are designed to put the target to sleep so they can be interrogated later, but what happens if the victim is not found for hours?'

Usually dolphins were controlled via signals transmitted through a neck harness. 'The question is, were these dolphins made secure before Katrina struck?' said Sheridan.

The mystery surfaced when a separate group of dolphins was washed from a commercial oceanarium on the Mississippi coast during Katrina. Eight were found with the navy's help, but the dolphins were not returned until US navy scientists had examined them.

Sheridan is convinced the scientists were keen to ensure the dolphins were not the navy's, understood to be kept in training ponds in a sound in Louisiana, close to Lake Pontchartrain, whose waters devastated New Orleans.

The navy launched the classified Cetacean Intelligence Mission in San Diego in 1989, where dolphins, fitted with harnesses and small electrodes planted under their skin, were taught to patrol and protect Trident submarines in harbour and stationary warships at sea.

Criticism from animal rights groups ensured the use of dolphins became more secretive. But the project gained impetus after the Yemen terror attack on the USS Cole in 2000. Dolphins have also been used to detect mines near an Iraqi port.

See also U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program




posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 08:21 AM
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The government says none have escaped. People who are against dolphins being used by the military are saying they escaped.

Big difference.

[edit on 26-9-2005 by skippytjc]



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 08:41 AM
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It's hard to say whether or not they did escape, seing as theres conflicting reports. I can easily understand why either side would say what they are saying. The people against the use of dolphins might be making up something to gain support for their agenda.

The military on the other hand probably wouldn't look so good if they just walked out and said "Hey you're not going to believe what just happened, we think we might have just lost a couple of highly trained counter-terror dolphins armed with toxic darts".

I know I wouldn't want to be the one to go out and tell the public. Really, we've already got sharks out there, just imagine a world were you can't trust the dolphins.

Either way funny story in a way. Should be serious but I can't help laughing at the idea that trained dolphins with toxic darts might be on the loose. It's like a bad sci-fi movie or something. Whats next, sharks with friggin lazers on their heads?



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 08:51 AM
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how are the dolphins suppose to shoot these suppose toxin weapons? by remote control...possibly? wat i know so far about military dophins is that they tagged mines and attack terrorists or other people that are in restricted areas. with their mouths or beaks or course wen attacking.

[edit on 26-9-2005 by deltaboy]



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 12:15 PM
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Any country that would do this to an animal is morally bankrupt.

What next, baby seals with hand grenades tied to their back.



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by Winchester Ranger T
Any country that would do this to an animal is morally bankrupt.

What next, baby seals with hand grenades tied to their back.


i guess pretty much almost every country that uses dogs for military purpose is morally bankrupt. we use bugs and bees for military purposes. depends on yer view of wats moral.



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 12:44 PM
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posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 02:16 PM
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I love the way that people think that these dolphins just swim around their pens with these dart guns strapped on 24/7.
Anything like this, the cameras they use to find torpedos, or subs, aren't put on until they are actually doing training, or are going to be used.

As far as them starving as some people are saying, the dolphins are trained that if they are separated from their handlers to swim to a certain area and wait in that area, and the handlers will go there to look for them.



posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 02:20 PM
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This report is very silly on a number of levels.

- Anybody ever heard of an underwater poison dart gun? Wanna guess what the ballistics would be like?

- What is the point of arming a dolphin with such a thing? They have very effective natural weapons and could take out a human swimmer very quickly and efficiently should they wish to.

- As previously mentioned, dolphins would not wear such harnesses except for training or operations.

Now, you don't have to believe them when they say that dolphins are never used for attacking people (only for locating and marking) , but common sense should tell you something.

It's those radio-controlled man-eating mutant cyborg alligators I'm worried about




posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by Wembley

It's those radio-controlled man-eating mutant cyborg alligators I'm worried about



I guess you never heard of the giant attack manatees?


cjf

posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 03:04 PM
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There are a few "very odd" attempts, some plausable, to use animals in combat (other than the known mainstream roles)

"Dog Mine" anti-tank

"Bat Bomb"

Pigeon guided missile

.



posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 03:57 PM
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Originally posted by HowardRoark

Originally posted by Wembley

It's those radio-controlled man-eating mutant cyborg alligators I'm worried about



I guess you never heard of the giant attack manatees?

Ah...

Homosassass springs. Those things attacked me. Stupid manatees. Lets just use suicide whale nukes and get it over with.



posted on Sep, 27 2005 @ 04:05 PM
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They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No-one you see, is smarter than he (or as well armed),
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there-under, under the sea!
Everyone loves the king of the sea,
Ever so kind and gentle is he (except for the friggin dart gun on his head),
Tricks he will do when children appear,
And how they laugh when he's near!
They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No-one you see, is smarter than he,
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there-under, under the sea!


Peace




[edit on 27-9-2005 by Dr Love]




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