Friday, January 24, 2020

The List 5199

The List 5199 TCB

To All,

I hope that you all have a great weekend.



Today in Naval History

This Day In Naval History

Jan. 24

§ 1942—During the Battle of Makassar Strait (Balikpapan), destroyers John D. Ford, Parrott, Pope, and Paul Jones attack the anchored Japanese invasion force in the harbor of Balikpapan, Borneo, sinking four of 12 transport ships.

§ 1945—Submarine Blackfin (SS 322) sinks the Japanese destroyer Shigure in the Gulf of Siam.

§ 1956—USS Jallao (SS 368) becomes the first U.S. Navy submarine to transit the Suez Canal traveling from the Mediterranean to Massawa, Eritrea, Ethiopia.

§ 1991—Desert Shield/Desert Storm SEAL platoons from USS Leftwich (DD 984) and USS Nicholas (FFG 47) recaptures the island, Jazirat Qurah, the first Kuwaiti territory from Iraqis.

Jan. 25

1941—The keel to USS Wisconsin (BB 64) is laid. Commissioned in April 1944, she serves during the later stages of World War II in the Pacific. She is now a museum battleship stationed in Norfolk, VA.

1943—USS Shad (SS 235) encounters German blockade runners transporting ore in the Bay of Biscay. Shad fires on Nordfels, but the torpedo fails to explode, and Nordfels returns to Bilbao, Spain.

1945—USS McLanahan (DD 615) shells the German command post on the Italian Rivera and silences the shore battery.

1945—USS Silversides (SS 236), despite the presence of auxiliary submarine chasers, sinks the Japanese army cargo ship Malay Maru off Kuro Jima.

1952—High speed transport ship Wantuck (APD 125) under CTF 95 OpControl, lands South Korean troops at night for demolition raid on enemy rail line, tunnels and bridges east coast of Korea.

1963—The 1st Seabee Technical Assistance Team arrives in Vietnam. By the end of 1964, 14 teams are operating or have completed their six-month tours.

Jan. 26

1913—The body of John Paul Jones is laid in its final resting place in the Chapel of Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD.

1943—USS Wahoo (SS 238) sinks entire convoy of four Japanese supply ships north of New Guinea.

1944—USS Skipjack (SS 184) sinks the Japanese destroyer Suzukaze and the aircraft ferry Okitsu Maru in the Caroline Islands area. Also on this date, USS Hake (SS 256) sinks the Japanese auxiliary netlayer Shuko Maru off Ambon and USS Crevalle (SS 291) sinks the Japanese gunboat Busho Maru 175 miles southeast of Cape St. Jacques, French Indochina.

1949—USS Norton Sound (AVM 1), the first guided-missile ship, launched the first guided-missile, Loon.

1960—Destroyer John S. McCain (DL 3) rescues the entire 41-man crew of the sinking Japanese freighter, Shinwa Maru, in the East China Sea.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told Inside Defense that the Navy needs to send clear signals to the hypersonics industrial base to help facilitate a transition from developing prototypes to producing weapons systems at scale.

• Multiple outlets reported on the groundbreaking of a $200 million upgrade of historic Dry Dock 4 and Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

• Multiple outlets reported on the release of footage via FOIA from a 2018 unsafe and unprofessional interaction with U.S. Navy and Chinese navy warships in the South China Sea.

This day in History

· January 24


Shortly after declaring himself a god, Caligula is assassinated by two Praetorian tribunes.


Matthias Corvinus, the son of John Hunyadi, is elected king of Hungary.


Representatives from three Connecticut towns band together to write the Fundamental Orders, the first constitution in the New World.


Czar Peter the Great caps his reforms in Russia with the "Table of Rank" which decrees a commoner can climb on merit to the highest positions.


Gold is discovered by James Wilson Marshall at his partner Johann August Sutter's sawmill on the South Fork of the American River, near Coloma, California.


U.S. Secretary of State John Hay and British Ambassador Herbert create a joint commission to establish the Alaskan border.


U.S. Cavalry is sent to preserve the neutrality of the Rio Grande during the Mexican Civil War.


The German cruiser Bl├╝cher is sunk by a British squadron in the Battle of Dogger Bank.


British expeditionary force of 12,000 is sent to China to protect concessions at Shanghai.


The League of Nations rebukes Poland for the mistreatment of a German minority in Upper Silesia.


A German attempt to relieve the besieged city of Budapest is finally halted by the Soviets.


The UN establishes the International Atomic Energy Commission.


Indian leader Nehru demands that the UN name Peking as an aggressor in Korea.


Winston Churchill dies from a cerebral thrombosis at the age of 90.


In a rebuff to the Soviets, the U.S. announces intentions to sell arms to China.


A draft of Air Force history reports that the U.S. secretly sprayed herbicides on Laos during the Vietnam War.


First canned beer goes on sale


An interesting bit from Hal and Dutch R.

This day in history....Capture of USS Pueblo and the sinking of the USS Scorpion

thanks to Hal

Fifty years ago, today, the Navy's intelligence gathering ship USS Pueblo was captured sixteen miles off the coast of North Korea. Twelve miles is the recognized limit of International Waters. The why is interesting...

A former sailor, John Walker was selling top secret information to the Russians. He did this over a period of years. The Russians were intercepting coded messages but could not decode them. What they needed was the KW-7 encryption machine found on most US naval vessels. The Russians ordered the North Koreans to seize the USS Pueblo and get the encryption machine, and they did. With that, the Russians could not only decode stored messages, but would be able to decode real-time messages sent to ships at sea. They harvested 800 pounds of secrets from the Pueblo.

Our submarine, USS Scorpion, was preparing to depart the Mediterranean Sea to return to home port in Norfolk. She stopped at Rota, Spain, to offload two sailors and then headed home. Russian submarines usually tried to follow our subs, as we did theirs, but they were usually unsuccessful. However, our former SecNav John Lehman said with what Walker had given them, they would know where our subs were around the world. We can't be sure about that.

Scorpion then received orders to head for the Azores and observe a Russian naval exercise going on in the area. Arriving several days later, she was detected and sunk by the Russians. In their mind, this was revenge for what they believed our sinking of their sub, K-129 by USS Swordfish. But I have a friend who was an officer on the Swordfish and he said they were not even in the same ocean at that time.

Days passed without Scorpion reporting in by microburst transmission and it was feared that she was lost. SOSUS hydrophones had in fact recorded the sounds of a submarine sinking. Gordon Hamilton, an acoustics scientist had a recording station in the Canary Islands and he recorded the sounds of a sub sinking, as well.

These recordings were given to Dr. John Craven at the Naval Research Laboratory and he concluded that a depth charge had sunk our sub. Some years later I was assigned to NRL's Office of Science and Technology and I had an opportunity to talk to Dr. Craven about this. He was certain our submarine had been sunk by the Russians.

After Scorpion failed to report in, the Chief of Naval Operations send ships to search for her. The USNS Mizar and USS Compass Island found her.....because the Russians told us where to look.

John Walker, his brother Arthur and son Michael would pass information to the Russians for eighteen years. Their KGB handler was General Oleg Kalugin. John's wife Barbara would expose her husband to the FBI. John and Arthur were sentenced to multiple life sentences and both died in prison.

Years later, General Kalugin would get crossways with Russian Premier Gorbachev and came to America. He had lived and worked for years here as a journalist. He was given a teaching appointment at the Catholic University. These days he is a curator at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC and a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is sought after as a speaker. I heard him long ago when he spoke at the Fort Myer Officers Club. All is forgiven, you see.



Thanks to YP …

This is a forward from my VA-86 flight leader. There were two Scoot squadrons aboard the Independence: our Squadron had Shrike anti Sam instrumented A-4E's with all sorts of Electronics; the other squadron, VA-72, flew plain jane A-4E’s. So we kinda fitted in with all the Modern Magic A-6’s, F-4B’s, and RA-5C’s, whose photo intelligence fed data into the Integrated Operated Intelligence Center, full of whirring Robert Strange computers. The A-6’s and RA-5C’s had inertial navigation systems that were fed from the ship. How could such massive technology not win the war right quickly? We sometimes felt there were more tech reps on board than there were sailors.

Well … Technical problems — chit happened, like electric fusing blowing aircraft outta the sky with premature detonations, and so on. Then, there was the dream team back in Washington.. Hopefully, they are slowly roasting on spits down in the Bad Place. There is a specially rigged excercise spit reserved for Hanoi Jane.

This is a worthy video. My pisscutter is always off for Thud pilots.


From: "Skip Wood"

Subject: Thuds go downtown

This is one of the best videos on the Thuds and N. Vietnam (and this is a TINS!)

LCDR Trent Powers came to Takli, Thailand one month after I was sent to Korat, Thailand to develop the new Wild Weasel (not called that then) tactics with the APR-23 in our VA-86 A-4E’s. I worked with the USAF 542 Squadron and their F-105’s from Nov 1-6, 1965. I was sent back to the ship from there on Nov. 6, 1965. USAF Capt. Joe Mitchum from VA-72 was my wingman. The weather was crappy every day and we lost the CO of the 542nd with a SAM

It was stupid and we never knew then that the N. Vietnamese had intel on our mission schedules.

The video and stills of Jane Fonda still make’s my blood boil to this day. LBJ, McNamara and Rusk should have been tried for treason, along with some JCS troops. If we can have a trial for a single CIA traitor then we certainly should be able to conduct a trial for treason for those that killed thousands. The facts are there.

Best Regards,

Skip Wood


Thanks to Carl

The Navy and the UAPs

By Kyle Mizokami | January 10, 2020

One of the strangest mysteries of the modern U.S. Navy is a series of events that played out in 2004 and 2014–15, on each coast, involving what the Pentagon now calls “unexplained aerial phenomena” (UAP). In 2004 and 2014–15, Navy personnel flying carrier-based strike fighters and on surface warships spotted aircraft with flight and engineering characteristics currently considered impossible. The sightings are evidence that someone, somewhere has operationalized technology far beyond the apparent state of the art. The unknown craft, if not under the control of the U.S. government, might well represent a serious threat to American military superiority in a future conflict.

The story first became public in December 2017, when The New York Times broke a story about UAPs and the Nimitz Strike Group. The USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and her escorts were doing workups in advance of their 2005 deployment. Retired Commander David Fravor, one of the aviator eyewitnesses, says the ships were approximately 60 miles off the “midpoint between San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico” on 14 November 2004. Along with the Nimitz was the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG-59) and several support ships.

Fravor, at the time skipper of the Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 41 “Black Aces,” and Lieutenant Commander Jim Slaight were flying an air-defense training mission from the Nimitz, with Marines from the VMFA-232 “Red Devils” set to play the bad guys. The Princeton was to coordinate the exercise.

Unbeknownst to Fravor, the exercise was about to take a turn. During the previous two weeks, radar operators on the Princeton had tracked unknown aircraft flying highly unusual maneuvers. The craft would descend from 80,000 feet, drop straight down to 20,000 feet, loiter for three to four hours, and go straight back to 80,000 feet again. As many as a dozen of these craft were sighted on the cruiser’s SPY-1 radar at a time. The Nimitz’s E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning and control aircraft could also see the craft.

Once airborne, Fravor received a request from Princeton Control to specify his aircraft loadout. He replied that his F/A-18F was equipped with a CATM-9 captive-carry training missile. The Princeton informed him the air-defense exercise was canceled in favor of a “real-world vector.” The controller explained the situation with the sightings and tasked Fravor’s flight of two F/A-18Fs to investigate the mysterious craft.

The strike fighters flew west until Princeton Control declared “merge plot”—meaning the radar returns of the objects were blurred with returns from the Super Hornets. The Navy flight crews looked down to the right and noticed a cross-shaped object, approximately the size of a Boeing 737, just under the surface of the water with waves breaking above it. Just above the underwater object was a white, oval-shaped object approximately 40 feet long—dubbed “the Tic-Tac” after the breath mint. All four naval aviators observed the objects with their own eyes, unaided. The aircraft did not resemble a helicopter nor did the water show any sign of rotor downwash.

Fravor descended to get a better look while his wingman continued flying at altitude. As Fravor’s altitude decreased, the Tic-Tac began rising to meet him. Fravor and the object flew closed—until the object abruptly seemed to disappear. The 737-sized object in the water also disappeared.

As the two F/A-18Fs left the area, Princeton Control radioed that the Tic-Tac had reappeared—at the strike fighters’ original rendezvous point (before they were retasked to investigate the object). By Fravor’s estimate, the object had traveled 60 miles in 30–40 seconds, which works out to roughly 7,200 miles an hour. The Princeton did not track the Tic-Tac’s rather; rather, the object simply seemed to reappear on the cruiser’s SPY-1 radar. The fighter crews flew back to the rendezvous point but did not observe the object, which also did not appear on their radar.

A third F/A-18F took off immediately after Fravor’s flight landed. The plane’s weapon system officer (WSO) detected the Tic-Tac on radar but immediately encountered antiradar jamming, presumably emitted by the object. The airplane’s other sensors had slewed to target, however, and the WSO was able to observe it and record video with the AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) sensor and targeting pod. The video, released by the U.S. government, later was uploaded to YouTube by a UAP-investigation group. It shows an oblong-shaped object that holds in the center of the ATFLIR for several seconds before rapidly accelerating left and out of the camera’s field of view.

In March 2019, The New York Times broke a second story about a series of UFO sightings—again by U.S. Navy personnel—this time, off the East Coast. The sightings took place from summer 2014 to March 2015 and involved Super Hornet air crews flying from the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). Lieutenants Ryan Graves and Danny Aucoin of the VFA-111 “Red Rippers” spoke on the record to the Times about their UAP encounters. As with the Nimitz in 2004, the “TR” was engaged in a training workup in advance of a deployment to the Persian Gulf.

Graves describes the UAPs he and the other pilots saw as similar to a “sphere encased in a cube.” Graves explains that UAPs would appear at “30,000 feet, 20,000 feet, even sea level” then depart at up to hypersonic speeds. The objects also would fly up to 12 hours at a time, far longer than conventional high-performance aircraft could do unrefueled. Aucoin says his own CATM-9 captive-training missile picked up the UAP. The AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR could observe the objects but the sensor did not register heat sources from any propulsion systems or any form of hot engine exhaust.

The 2014–15 sightings differed from the Nimitz’s in one important way: The jets’ onboard radar could detect the objects. Fravor’s older generation F/A-18F had the AN/APG-73 radar system and could not detect the UAPs, while the pilots of VFA-111 had newer Super Hornets with AN/APG-79 active electronically scanned array radarsthat could. The newer system possessed increased sensitivity and greater processing power.

The objects were sighted several times over a period of almost a year, resulting in two more released videos: “Gimbal” and “Go Fast” (both available on YouTube). In the Gimbal video, one pilot remarks that the radar—presumably using the AN/APG-79’s search-while-track feature—picked up a “whole fleet” of the UAPs. According to the pilots’ voices in the video, the craft were flying against the wind, which was 120 knots out of the west. All three videos were recorded with the AN/ASQ-228.

The New York Times interviewed three additional pilots who spoke about the objects but declined to go on the record. Other East Coast pilots reportedly had their own sightings. In one instance relayed by Graves, a UAP allegedly flew between two Super Hornets flying 100 feet apart. The incident resulted in the squadron filing an aviation flight safety report.

The three videos posted to YouTube by To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences have been confirmed by the U.S. Navy as authentic, showing what the service classifies as unidentified aerial phenomena. UAP is a broad category, however, that includes literally anything that flies but is not identified, whether a frisbee or a flying saucer. While the videos are “genuine,” the viewer is left to wonder what exactly they depict.

What are the objects? The UAPs can only be defined based on their observed characteristics. The West Coast sightings were of a 40-foot long, oblong-shaped objects. The East Coast sightings were generally of a “sphere within a cube”–shaped objects, though Graves has alluded to at least one sighting more like the Tic-Tac. Both types flew at hypersonic speeds and were capable of instantaneous acceleration to extremely high speeds. Neither appear to emit heat for propulsion when viewed in infrared.

The objects appeared to have some limited antiradar and/or stealth capability. In 2004, the AN/APG-73 radar could not detect them, though the ship-based SPY-1 and E-2 Hawkeye APS-145 radar could. In 2004, the UAP also jammed a Super Hornet’s radar, leading to the obvious question: Why would a UAP carry a radar jammer?

What could power the craft and what is the source of the craft propulsion? This is a wide-open area for speculation, and the only thing we can say with any certainty is that they do not use conventional aircraft propulsion. For one, ATFLIR confirms there is no heat-generating internal combustion engine that expels hot air and exhaust gases in a trail behind the aircraft. Not even a scramjet engine—or any other known engine—would allow it to reach speeds of 7,200 miles an hour instantaneously.

Another mystery is that the craft seem to have the ability to hover, fly at amazing speeds, and then come to a quick stop, much faster than vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft such as the F-35B. The 2004 “FLIR1” footage shows the object going from a hover to zipping out of the camera field of view faster than any known aircraft. How any object can accomplish this is unknown.

Graves comments that the craft seem to carry an extremely powerful energy source, flying for 12 hours in ways that would require a conventionally powered aircraft to refuel after an hour. This would rule out jet fuel and the small size of the craft seems to rule out nuclear power. One possibility is the use of so-called “zero-point energy,” or the potential energy derived from a vacuum. As for a propulsion system, some speculation has focused on a system that can refract gravity, pushing an object in a direction other than straight downward to Earth.

The UAPs encountered in the 2004 and 2014–15 sightings could be secret, unacknowledged U.S. military aircraft. With what limited knowledge we have, that is the best-case scenario. (Alternately, they could be non-native to Earth, but that possibility creates far more questions than it answers.)

More alarming is the idea that the craft belong to another country, Russia or China in particular. The idea that a potentially hostile power could operate highly advanced craft so close to the borders of the continental United States is disturbing and calls many things into question in a conventional conflict. It would be as great a threat as nuclear weapons—probably greater—making obsolete the largest and most modern arsenal of tactical aircraft in the world. Strangely, the U.S. military has not demonstrated any particular concern about the sightings.

These UAP sightings remain a mystery. The objects, sighted by credible witnesses and detected and recorded by sophisticated sensors, are so far beyond the frame of reference of contemporary science and technology they meet science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke’s famous dictum that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Little can be learned without a craft for analysis or whoever operates them stepping forward. Until a better understanding of these UAPs is obtained, it would be prudent to consider these a potential threat.

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