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Can animal sonar affect modern RADAR?

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posted on Mar, 8 2004 @ 11:17 AM
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When I was stationed onboard the USS Midway (CV-41) back during the Great War of 1991 (Persian Gulf Part I), there were a few times in which we had inbound aircraft, and a couple instances of incoming missiles.

During one such event, we were sent to battle stations because of inbound missiles. Our escort, which had orders to "intercept" missiles if possible, was not within travel distance (interestingly enough, my high school bully was on the ship meant to protect me... had to laugh about that).

Before reaching our stations, we could hear the... crap, can't remember its name... the automatic gatlin cannons that can track and shoot at missiles... we could hear that firing off.

Upon reaching stations, there was only silence as we waited for impact. You could hear the auto-cannons firing some more.

A few minutes went by. Finally, the announcement to return to station was broadcast throughout the ship; apparently, the missiles were destroyed.

About a week later, we were told that the reported missiles were in fact whale sonar affecting the ship's radar systems.

What? Never had I heard anything like this! But, then again, there were a few things onboard that were kept from us.

Now, I recall there being submarines with us (even though the news said there were no subs due to depth of the Gulf), and that we did, in fact, carry nuclear missiles (the crew members were ordered below decks when a Marine platoon landed and removed some crates).

I understand keeping things from the public's eye, and to keep things secret from the enemy... but to create such an odd-sounding cover story of whale sonar?

Now, my question is this: Just because I never heard of it, it doesn't mean it can't happen. It sounds odd to me... but is it possible for animal sonar to affect a naval ship's RADAR? You have to keep in mind that not only did it affect the auti-guns, but it would have had to affect the ship's main radar, too. The auto-cannons are just that, automatic... they (the guns) could not have told the crew to go to battle stations.





posted on Mar, 8 2004 @ 11:23 AM
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It might be possible but I think it would have to be a large animal or a school of alot of fish

anything is possible



posted on Mar, 8 2004 @ 11:32 AM
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No, SONAR cannot affect your radar.

Did you ever think that maybe they were doing a PACFIRE to the CIWS while you happened to be at GQ?
Maybe the whole thing was a drill?



posted on Mar, 8 2004 @ 11:37 AM
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Wasn't a drill. Our captian had declared, before entering the Gulf, any call to battle stations was a real event; he also annouced that there would be no drills (unless they were fire drills), because he wanted the crew to have that mentality, that it was the real thing (so we wouldn't screw around, I guess).

If, perhaps, we weren't in the Danger Zone (so to speak), then I could see it being a drill. And, although you could fire the auto-cannons remotely, I doubt they would have had a 'test fire'... the reload time was 5 minutes plus on those things. Not likely a good thind to do in the middle of a war, you know?



[Edited on 8-3-2004 by soothsayer]



posted on Mar, 8 2004 @ 11:56 AM
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If, perhaps, we weren't in the Danger Zone (so to speak), then I could see it being a drill. And, although you could fire the auto-cannons remotely, I doubt they would have had a 'test fire'... the reload time was 5 minutes plus on those things. Not likely a good thind to do in the middle of a war, you know?

True, but a PACFIRE makes sure that the rounds go where they are supposed to. If not, then it is time for PMS.

What was your rate/rank?



posted on Mar, 8 2004 @ 12:10 PM
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A lowly PNSN (PersonnelMan, E3)... and I hated every moment of it!

I wanted to do ordance, but the schooling for that didn't start until August... and I wanted out of my parent's house right away. So...

But I hung around different groups, studied to get those Air warfare and Surface warfare pins... wasn't until test time that I found out us E3's couldn't take the exam.

But I guess being a paper-pusher had its advantages; hang out with the right people, you'd be treated like a king!



posted on Mar, 8 2004 @ 12:22 PM
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Nice to know that I am not the only Navy type around here.



posted on Mar, 8 2004 @ 12:33 PM
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A whale sonar affecting both search AND track radars? Anomalous propagation would be a better explanation - you know, when the atmosphere bends radar waves so you pick up bits of terrain (on a ship, yeah I know) on your scopes. But it still sounds odd, like a made-up explanation. Why cover something like that up?!



posted on Mar, 8 2004 @ 12:40 PM
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Originally posted by Lampyridae
A whale sonar affecting both search AND track radars? Anomalous propagation would be a better explanation - you know, when the atmosphere bends radar waves so you pick up bits of terrain (on a ship, yeah I know) on your scopes. But it still sounds odd, like a made-up explanation. Why cover something like that up?!


It would have to affect both the search and track radars for the ship, and then the search and track radar for the CIWS.

Hey sooth, do you remember what time of day this ocurred at? That might help explain it, I have some theories but the time of day would help flesh them out.



posted on Mar, 8 2004 @ 03:36 PM
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It's been awhile, but somethings are hard to forget...

It was towards evening... the sun either had set, or was close to setting. The seas were 'normal'... nothing unusual about the waves (not rough or storm-like).

I used to think, too, that the waves might have been a factor, but... there's always waves. Hope this helps.

Lampyridae... yeah, it does sound funny... but I think it was a distraction. Either it was reported to the news that nothing happened, or it was to keep the crew's spirits up. I'm shooting for the spirits up thing myself.



posted on Mar, 9 2004 @ 11:47 AM
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Sounds likes some BS that Rumour Control got its hands on.

The Vulcan Phalanx system can be affected by EMI (electro-magnetic interference), but this is pretty rare. Since 99.9% of the time the system is in "safe" and the safety pins are installed, it doesn't amount to much of a risk (the system will only fire if the turret itself slews out to the correct bearing and elevation of the threat). However, if you are in "Red & Free" mode, it can happen where the system will take a pot shot at a phantom threat. I have seen this personally in the Persian Gulf (it scared the crap out of the GMG2 who just happened to be lubing up the 3" gun which is about 25 feet away...)

Most likely it was due to some exceptionally strong EMI from another closeby emitter...like another fire control radar.



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