110 Year Old Torpedo Found In Ocean


Navy Dolphins Find Old Torpedo Off Coronado Island

Two trained dolphins surprise Navy specialists with their find: a Howell torpedo, state-of-the-art for its day in the late 19th century. It’s only the second one known to exist.

Howell torpedoThis Howell torpedo at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, Wash., was thought to be the only one in existence, but Navy-trained dolphins found another one in the ocean off Coronado. (U.S. Navy)

By Tony Perry

https://i1.wp.com/d121tcdkpp02p4.cloudfront.net/clim/112031/torpedo-2.jpgSAN DIEGO — In the ocean off Coronado, a Navy team has discovered a relic worthy of display in a military museum: a torpedo of the kind deployed in the late 19th century, considered a technological marvel in its day.

But don’t look for the primary discoverers to get a promotion or an invitation to meet the admirals at the Pentagon — although they might get an extra fish for dinner or maybe a pat on the snout.

The so-called Howell torpedo was discovered by bottlenose dolphins being trained by the Navy to find undersea objects, including mines, that not even billion-dollar technology can detect.

“Dolphins naturally possess the most sophisticated sonar known to man,” Braden Duryee, an official at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific said after the surprising discovery.

navy dolphinWhile not as well known as the Gatling gun and the Sherman tank, the Howell torpedo was hailed as a breakthrough when the U.S. was in heavy competition for dominance on the high seas. It was the first torpedo that could truly follow a track without leaving a wake and then smash a target, according to Navy officials.

Only 50 were made between 1870 and 1889 by a Rhode Island company before a rival copied and surpassed the Howell’s capability.

Until recently only one Howell torpedo was known to exist, on display at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, Wash. Now a second has been discovered, not far from the Hotel del Coronado.

Meant to be launched from above the water or submerged torpedo tubes, the Howell torpedo was made of brass, 11 feet long, driven by a 132-pound flywheel spun to 10,000 rpm before launch. It had a range of 400 yards and a speed of 25 knots.

Its specifications seem primitive today, but in the late 1800s, it was a leap forward in military armament.

navy seal.jpg“Considering it was made before electricity was provided to U.S. households, it was pretty sophisticated for its time,” said Christian Harris, operations supervisor for the biosciences division at the Systems Center Pacific.

Marine mammals have been trained at the Navy’s Point Loma facility since the 1960s.

Several species were tested before the Navy settled on the bottlenose dolphin and the California sea lion. Dolphins, in particular, have deep and shallow diving capability, great eyesight and a biosonar system that scientists admire but don’t fully understand.

090708-N-7783B-027At the Point Loma facility, 80 dolphins and 40 sea lions are being trained for mine detection, mine clearing and swimmer protection. When the U.S. led an invasion of Iraq in 2003, dolphins were rushed to the Persian Gulf to patrol for enemy divers and mines. Dolphins guard U.S. submarine bases in Georgia and Washington state. This fall, dolphins will deploy for a mine-hunting mission off Croatia.

To train the dolphins, Navy specialists sink objects of various shapes in rocky and sandy undersea areas where visibility is poor. The shapes mimic those of the mines used by U.S. adversaries.

A dolphin is then ordered to dive and search. If it finds something, it is trained to surface and touch the front of the boat with its snout. If it has found nothing, it touches the back of the boat.

When a dolphin named Ten surfaced from a shallow-water dive last month and touched the front of the boat, Navy specialists were nonplused. “It went positive in a place we didn’t expect,” said Mike Rothe, who heads the marine mammal program.

A week later, a dolphin named Spetz did the same thing in the same area. This time, the dolphin was ordered to take a marker to the object.

Navy divers and then explosive-ordnance technicians examined the object, which was in two pieces, and determined that the years had rendered it inert. On one piece was the stamp “USN No. 24.”

The torpedo pieces were lifted to the surface and taken to a Navy base for cleaning and to await shipment to the Naval History and Heritage Command, located at the Washington Navy Yard.

The dolphins have found unexpected things in the past, including a mine-shaped lobster trap during a mission off Canada with the Canadian navy. But a torpedo that was more than a century old and that the divers and trainers needed to consult explosives experts — and Google — to identify?

“We’ve never found anything like this,” said Rothe, his voice full of admiration for the marine mammals. “Never.”

Los_Angeles_Times_logo_black.png

For more information: articles.latimes.com/la-me-torpedo-dolphins

Disclaimer/ Disclosure: The Investors News Magazine is a third party publisher of news and research as well as creates original content as a news source. Original content created by Investors News Magazine is protected by copyright laws other than syndication rights. Disclosure is posted on each release if required but otherwise the news was not compensated for and is published for the sole interest of our readers.

Navy’s Blue Angels Grounded Air shows cancelled


Blue Angels

The Blue Angels fly in a show at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times / March 3, 2011)

By Tony Perry

The Navy’s famed Blue Angels aerial demonstration squad has canceled the rest of its 2013 performances, including dates this fall in San Diego, Ventura and San Francisco, Navy officials announced Tuesday.

The move was caused by the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, officials said.

“This is one of many steps the Navy is taking to ensure resources are in place to support forces operating forward now and those training to relieve them,” the Navy said in an official statement.

The Blue Angels spent the winter training at a Navy facility in El Centro, Calif., and had recently returned to the squad’s home station in Pensacola, Fla.

The squad had scheduled 33 performances remaining for this year. Some had already been canceled because the air shows in which the Blue Angels were to fly had been canceled.

Among the Blue Angels performances canceled were those at the Naval Base Ventura County Air Show on Sept. 28-29, the Marine Corps Air Station Air Show in San Diego on Oct. 5-6, and San Francisco Fleet Week on Oct. 12-13. Even without the Blue Angels, the three California events are still scheduled.

“The Navy intends to continue aerial demonstrations in the future as the budget situation permits,” the statement said.

Sign up for our free newsletter at: StockPumper.com

YouTube Video: http://youtu.be/ycSob-_e_F0

https://i0.wp.com/www.blueangels-usn.org/images/wallpaper/blue-angels-oceana-2008.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/questpointsolarsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/blue-angels-19.jpg