Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Submarine Tales Of The Paranormal

In the student paper at Drexel University, they have a story about WWI German submarines and sea monsters that's a little... confusing -- that's probably the best word for it.

"According to the internet, that scourge of modern ethical reporting, the captain of the U-boat, a fellow by the name of Gunther Krech, told an amazing tale. The story goes that he claimed the U-boat had surfaced during the night to recharge her batteries and give the sailors a chance to have a smoke. While surfaced, an enormous sea serpent appeared and climbed onto the side of the ship. Then men, startled, began shooting at it with their sidearms, which apparently infuriated the beast and made it bite down on or grab hold of the forward gun. The sea monster was so massive that the U-boat began to slip to the side, and the captain feared that the open hatch might slip below the water level, flooding the interior of the boat and sinking her. The sailors continued firing away at the monster, who eventually grew tired of such things and left, swimming back into the mysterious depths from which it came, leaving behind only terrified sailors and a badly damaged submersible. In his little on-deck tap-dance, the monster supposedly damaged the forward deck plating. The U-boat would never dive underwater again!
"That is, supposedly, how the crew of the Coreopsis was able to take prisoner the entire crew of the UB-85. The captain is said to have described the sea monster as "This beast had large eyes, set in a horny sort of skull. It had a small head, but with teeth that could be seen glistening in the moonlight." Of course, because this is something involving the paranormal, it's not possible to trace the source that first reported these astonishing words. Just like supposed evidence proving the existence of UFOs, it's something a friend of a friend of a relative read on the internet somewhere one time."

The writer for the student newspaper doesn't link the story he's talking about, but it looks like this is one of the sources. (Gunther Krech, by the way, was a real U-boat skipper, but in WWII. Info about the WWI U-85 is here.)

Back to the story, though; there's nothing really wrong with it -- it just flows weirdly. Yes, you shouldn't believe everything you read on the Internet. Good advice. I'm glad there's someone at Drexel debunking the paranormal. I just don't understand the strange examples the author uses. Then again, I never really have understood college journalism, or web sites for that matter. Check out this very minimalistic website a student at Drexel made, for example. Maybe I'm just too old.

Anyway, not much else happening in the world of submarines today -- I was trying to track down info on this post at Rontini's BBS about Salt Lake City in the Arctic, but wasn't able to find anything else. I heard that she was heading to Portsmouth after inactivation via the Arctic, but this was the first time I've seen what was claimed to be a picture of the feat. (For those who aren't as familiar with 688s, it was always said that pre-751 LAs shouldn't surface through the ice because the fairwater planes couldn't go vertical. Maybe they decided to take the chance, since SLC won't be doing anything after this trip.)

Going deep...


Blogger ninme said...

You're sure you weren't reading The Rectangle?

(To any graduate of Drexel, this would be hysterically funny.) (Or at least worth a chuckle.) (Fine. A bitter smile.)

12/09/2005 11:13 AM

Anonymous rebootinit said...

It could be her, notice that only about a third of the sail is out of the ice and how thin the ice appears to be compared to the size of the sail. Didn't the Charlotte just break through something like 60 inches of ice or something for a record?
I think the only concern would be the masts and not having an under ice position with thin ice. This is just poking the sail out of the ice, I think it could be done with minimal damage, and would probably be used as a reward to the decomm crew for a BTDT cool thing.

12/09/2005 10:42 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/10/2005 12:21 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

BH, your topic is known as "Cryptozoology". Asian toymakers once sold a plastic model depicting the u-boat encounter, and it has been available from time-to-time on Ebay.

Cousteau has also been involved:

"Hunt for Undersea Giant Kraken Underway"
Cousteau-led team calls the "giant calamari". Teeming with marine life, Kaikoura is known to be a veritable McDonald's drive-through for pods of sperm whales presumably hunting giant squid. The Cousteau team plans to follow the sperm whales 650m into the canyon, where they will load up the Deep Rover's arms with fresh bait, switch off their engines and lights and simply wait. No one is sure what will happen if and when a squid fixes its dinner plate-sized eye on two human beings sitting in a transparent bubble. What is known is that it can move at lightning speed, has the ability to change colours in the blink of an eye and judging by the wounds left on the carcasses of whales it has bested in hostile encounters has remarkable strength in its eight arms, all of which are lined with toothed suckers. "I'm not sure I want to be in a sub if he takes it and decides to keep it as a toy," Cousteau confessed wryly at a media briefing in New York.
Story originally published by The Courier-Mail / Australia | By Christine Jackman - April 29 2000

12/10/2005 12:23 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

About the SLC and 688Is: In my day, had always envied the 637s which also had tilting fairwater planes. Pogy arctic photos in particular.

12/10/2005 12:38 AM

Blogger half said...

Why were the tilting planes left off the first block of 688s? Was it a cost consideration or had everyone agree that the artic was too chilly for combat?

12/11/2005 3:55 PM

Blogger William said...

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1/06/2006 9:04 PM

Blogger jeffox said...

Ummm, really. . . I think the answer is a bit more prosaic than a kraken. Maybe one of the crew forgot :) to send their child-support check to the old lady. Let's call this critter "big bertha", eh? :)
Oh, btw, i heard that the '08 boat was the first 688 with vertical fairwater planes, for obvious reasons. :) :)

1/17/2006 2:51 AM

Anonymous said...

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10/21/2011 4:38 PM


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