Straight Out of a Bond Movie

Armed dolphins on the loose:

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.

Certainly puts the beginning of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in a new light.

(h/t Drudge)






31 replies
  1. 1
    Stormy70 says:

    So long and thanks for all the fish!

    Had to be done. Could …not… resist.

    Firefly rocks! I watched eight episodes yesterday, and I will see the movie ASAP.

  2. 2
    circlethewagons says:

    How do you protect yourself from a loose dolphin?
    And how do they fire those toxic darts anyways?

  3. 3
    Tim F says:

    There is only one possible answer to this crisis:

    Sharks with frikkin’ laser beams attached to their heads.

    Train the laser-beam sharks to hunt the killer dolphins and we’re home free.

  4. 4
    Mac Buckets says:

    Sigh…I just get back from My Evacuation Vacation, and this is the news I get? Now I’ve got a dolphin terrorist insurgency to deal with? Let me freaking unpack first!

    This reeks of hoax. I don’t believe for a minute that the Navy has a Flipper Brigade armed with anything (save their native playful nature and a mouthful of tiny pointy teeth).

    Apparently, neither does The Register:

    The evidence for this report is the loose speculation of one Leo Sheridan – “a respected accident investigator who has worked for government and industry” – who, we are told, “had received intelligence from sources close to the US government’s marine fisheries service confirming that dolphins had escaped.”

    …We find, however, that Sheridan has made sport of gullible reporters in the past. In 2003, he was confident that he and a team of divers he advised had located the site where English aviator Amy Johnson died, after her plane went into the sea off Kent in 1941. The Guardian carried that item too. Not surprisingly, there has been little news about Johnson’s plane since the announcement.

    He also appears to have been confident, back in 1998, that a group of US Navy killer dolphins had come to grief off the French Mediterranean coast when they got loose and their handlers detonated a “radio-controlled explosion of their signal collars, so that no one could find out their missions.” (Find out their missions?)

    Now, admittedly, the US Navy does use trained dolphins, by its own admission. They’re useful for mine detection and for locating suspected enemy swimmers, rescuing friendly swimmers, and the like. But we find ourselves persuaded by the Navy’s explanation that dolphins, being an alien species with an entirely different sensory and cognitive apparatus, are ill equipped to detect and process the subtle signals that humans use to distinguish between friend and foe, and are therefore unsuited to search-and-destroy missions.

    But dolphin assassins would make great fodder for a B-movie suspense script.

  5. 5
    Defense Guy says:

    Tim F

    We are all out of sharks with laser beams. Will you accept ill tempered sea bass as a substitute?

  6. 6
    norbizness says:

    Sorry, as a part of Operation Offset, we’re going to have to downscale our ambitions to some mildly depressed sea monkeys with tiny little brass knuckles.

  7. 7
    Defense Guy says:

    Yes, but think of the boon to the tiny little brass knuckles industry.

  8. 8
    Lines says:

    This comment thread has jumped the shark.

  9. 9
    TallDave says:

    “So Long, And Thanks for All the Poison Darts”

  10. 10
    JWeidner says:

    This comment thread has jumped the shark.

    When a comment thread can be said to have “jumped the shark”, I have to think that the phrase itself has made the jump…

  11. 11
    TallDave says:

    Jumping the shark has jumped the shark?

  12. 12
    Krista says:

    Or it’s jumped the dolphin…oh wait, it can’t jump the dolphin, as it risks getting shot.

    mildly depressed sea monkeys with tiny little brass knuckles

    As opposed to the evil monkey hiding in my closet?

  13. 13
    Nikki says:

    But we find ourselves persuaded by the Navy’s explanation that dolphins, being an alien species with an entirely different sensory and cognitive apparatus, are ill equipped to detect and process the subtle signals that humans use to distinguish between friend and foe, and are therefore unsuited to search-and-destroy missions.

    I believe the Navy is lying to cover its mistake in letting the killer dolphins escape. We are all doomed, doomed I tell’s ya!!

  14. 14
    Tim F says:

    Now that they have escaped, it’s a cinch that they’ll start breeding. Native species cannot compete. In a few years the seas will be overrun by trigger-happy killer dolphins.

    Our only hope lies in a plucky marine biologist in a wet blouse and a disposable crew of minorities and bridge ensigns.

  15. 15
    DougJ says:

    If only their plans to train the Arabian horses had worked…

  16. 16
    Tim F says:

    Honestly, I’m not worried. First, an army that leaves unattended killer dolphins swimming around with armed poison dart guns probably deserves to get shot in the ass. Unless the executive branch has managed to spread its stupid disease to the farthest reaches of the military those dolphins do not have armed guns. Second, trained dolphins are hothouse flowers. I’d worry more about them dying of starvation than about terrorizing swimmers. Third, dolphin packs tend to be territorial. It’s likely that these cetacean Rambos will get kicked around the Gulf until they either go native and join a pod, or else die of starvation.

  17. 17
    ppGaz says:

    The Duct Tape, the Color Codes …. the trained dolphins?

    Fuck me, you couldn’t make this stuff up, nobody would believe it.

    How’s that flypaper theory working in Iraq these days?

    I feel so safe today.

  18. 18
    Dave Ruddell says:

    The Mk 6 anti-swimmer dolphin system is real:

    http://www.news.navy.mil/searc.....ry_id=8978

    I don’t know why the’d need to be trained in firing a dart gun. Dolphin vs human in underwater combat? Flipper will mess you up bad.

  19. 19
    DougJ says:

    I agree this reeks of hoax.

    There have been so many hoaxes like this, it’s a wonder people fall for them. Remember the hoax about how the head of FEMA had no experience in disaster management and had been fired from his last job. Or the one about how the former CEO of Halliburton became vice president and started a war that made Halliburton billions of dollars. Or the one about how the White House planned to investigate itself for the failures of FEMAs. These stories are all ridiculous, yet people go around repeating them.

  20. 20
    DougJ says:

    And where the hell is Al Gore for all of this? He’s got the wherewithall to fly his buddies out of New Orleans and he’s supposed to know so damn much about the environment. Couldn’t he get his fat bearded butt down there and help catch these dolphins? And couldn’t Sean Penn get that old dinghy he used to “rescue” people and go around the Gulf looking for the killer dolphins?

  21. 21
    Mr Furious says:

    I heard this on the “coming up on the news” promo last night, “Armed and dangerous Navy dolphins escaped during the hurricane…” and I asked my wife “Did they just say armed dolphins?” Yup. Now, I’d heard of dolphins trained to sweep for mines, plant bombs on hulls of ships, and protect naval bases, etc. But trained “hit-dolphins” with toxic dart guns?

    This sounds like a GI JOE comic. I’m glad our billions in Homeland Security and Pentagon money is going into stuff like this. I feel safer already! Don’t worry about those “unsecured” chemical plants, folks—the terrorists don’t stand a chance against our laser beam-equipped eagles.

    Hopefully the Navy has fully deployed its fleet of Sea Wolf subs in the search…

  22. 22
    DougJ says:

    They’ve got radiation-detecting dolphins making sure no nuclear material comes into our ports, too.

    Once they teach dolphins to fly, they’re going to have one hell of a missile defense system.

  23. 23
    Mr Furious says:

    If the White House knew what the fuck they were doing they’d put this guy in charge…

    Warning: That site is so damn funny it’s not office-safe if laughter is frowned upon.

  24. 24
    jobiuspublius says:

    I can’t wait to see what’s in store for pigs. Hey, how about elephants?!

  25. 25
    Basilides says:

    Puts a new spin on the idea of amphibious assault vehicles…

    (I linked to this on my military Christian blog — it was too fun not to include, although very “off topic”!)

  26. 26
    Joey says:

    And where the hell is Al Gore for all of this? He’s got the wherewithall to fly his buddies out of New Orleans and he’s supposed to know so damn much about the environment. Couldn’t he get his fat bearded butt down there and help catch these dolphins? And couldn’t Sean Penn get that old dinghy he used to “rescue” people and go around the Gulf looking for the killer dolphins?

    Man, you go out and try to help some people, and look at the response it gets. WTF is your major malfunction?

    Okay, this maybe the sci-fi fan in me, but this sounds pretty damn cool. Practical, no. But damn cool, if it’s true.

  27. 27
    Tim F says:

    Furious,

    God damn you, that site got me in a lot of trouble with my coworkers. It’s bad enough to surf around for useless politico-stuff, now they have to put up with me snorting and fighting back tears. I don’t even have the courage to click on the Wonder Twins.

  28. 28
    Mr Furious says:

    Yeah, if you grew up on “THE SUPERFRIENDS”, that site is going to hit home. Quite probably the funniest website I’ve ever seen. Heads up, you might really waste some time over there, and you better not be drinking anything.

    UPDATE: I jokingly referred to the laughter-inducement factor as being unsafe for work, I should note the link I provided upthread is cool, but following that to the homepage of that site will garner you an adult banner ad. It’s at the bottom, just keep you window tight and you’ll be fine.

  29. 29
    Mr Furious says:

    Addendum: You MIGHT get an adult banner ad. I just went back and got a Red Cross/Katrina ad and a record company, so you takes your chances…

  30. 30
    DougJ says:

    I wonder if the Dolphins are in the DHS television series

    http://www.dhstheseries.tv/downloads/dhs_high.mov

  31. 31
    Anderson says:

    “So long, and thanks for all the fish … muthafuckahs!

    [Opens automatic fire.]

    —from the lost Quentin Tarantino adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, with hat tip to the United States Navy.

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