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.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Request For Information!

Although we think that our little community here at TSSBP is a fairly insular little group, discussing issues of little attention to the world at large, I can assure you that is not the case. It turns out that people of eclectic interests read what we have to say and would like us to comment on issues of vital national importance. I got this E-mail from "Susie":
I work for an IT company that has extensive contracts with the Department of the Navy. I am looking for information about US submarines that have been damaged by earthquakes while berthed, but preferably while on patrol. Since we just experienced our own 5.9 bit of excitement here yesterday afternoon, this would be a topic of interest to our in-house Team Sub.

Based on your comments and your readership, you seem to have extensive resources; most of what I come up with is speculation about how US subs’ underwater testing has been the cause of whales and dolphins beaching themselves, the island of Sumatra shifting, and a trove of other sins so I’m hoping that you have more verifiable information on this topic. If you can assist me in this quest, please send any links that would provide some details.
So what do you think? Can we help Susie out? I've discussed my ideas on whether or not naval sonar is responsible for marine mammal beachings before (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), so you could say I'm on the side of the "skeptics". As far as submarine operations shifting the island of Sumatra, I had heard that there are some who think that "Bush/Cheney" set off a nuclear bomb to cause the 2004 tsunami to distract attention from their theft of Ohio votes in the election; once again, I'm a little skeptical about that one. I discussed my views on that topic on other websites.

So what do you think? As far as the effects of sonar on marine mammal beaching, there are probably legitimate security classification concerns with revealing too much, but I think we can all agree that the story of submarine operations causing tectonic shifts is much too important to worry about little details like "national secrets", so I encourage all my readers with vital information on this important topic to let us know in the comments!


Blogger robbie said...

Well, back in early 70's,the USS Sturgeon tried to "shift" the island of St. Croix and failed.

Perhaps technology and boat design has advanced enough to move Sumatra.

8/24/2011 2:47 PM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

...or at least capsize Guam?

8/24/2011 2:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I undestand that increase in sea level is not caused by global warming, but rather peaks with the number of submarines submerged at a given time. If they are also transiting in a circular direction, the coriolis effect increases the measured change in sea level.

8/24/2011 3:14 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

I never knew that "IT company that has extensive contracts with the Department of the Navy" employees wore tinfoil hats.

And to my knowledge, no study has ever been done that shows any sort of correlation between sonar testing and harm towards or beaching of ocean mammals of any type. I can say that I've been diving Hickham Harbor while sonars have gone off and I sure as hell wasn't bugged by it (twitch, twitch...)

8/24/2011 3:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a friend that was in overhaul in Mare Island during the Loma Prieta quake in 1989. ATthough the ship was floating in the Napa River at the time, they felt it.

8/24/2011 3:31 PM

Blogger SJV said...

Been through a hurricane on the surface and then submerged. No damage, but lots of fun with tank levels and such. Don't think any kind of earthquake/tsunami would even approach the violence of a hurricane, so I don't see any chance of damage underway. Storm surge could sure put a hurt on a boat in port, though.

8/24/2011 3:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask any old submariner and you can find points of reference to submarines going through earthquakes while at sea. It's pretty much non-event, as the ocean doesn't pass the energy in the same fasion that 'solid' land does.

Effects I've heard of from someone who's been through it: shifts in indicated depth, noises (LOUD...explosion-like), etc.

But absolutely nothing damage-wise to the boats. That's somebody's anti-Navy or nuclear-hysterics pipedream.


8/24/2011 3:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I work for an IT company that has extensive contracts with the Department of the Navy. I am looking for information about US submarines that have been damaged by earthquakes while berthed."

Either Navy contractors no longer have liaison officers to answer legitimate questions, or this is not a legitimate question. Sorry, "Susie".

Can anyone identify a single viable reason for an IT company to concern itself with submarine damage due to earthquakes? (Actually, there is one reason, but it is rendered moot by failure of examples (i.e. USS Guitarro SSN-665, a Sturgeon-class sub sank pierside in the San Francisco Bay Area --- although resulting damage was somewhat significant (reactor had not yet been installed), the sinking had not occurred during a period of noted seismic activity.

A Susie skeptic

8/24/2011 3:47 PM

Blogger KellyJ said...

Well, an "IT Company" may be concerned with siesmic effects on subs (submerged underway) considering the new Virginias use fly-by-wire technology for ship control.
The few times I've been underway in the vacinity of these events have been unremarkable, with one exception. Going through a narrow island strait an earthquake occured. The boat yawed about 15 degrees off course. Other than that never really noted any physical effects.

8/24/2011 4:02 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

True enough, but Susie was particular about subs damaged "while berthed".

Old submariners? BH brought up earthquakes at sea years ago. In fact, here's an example from 2007:

8/24/2011 4:40 PM

Anonymous 594tuff said...

The Panda lurks! This IT company woudn't happen to be located in Beijing would it?

8/24/2011 5:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Panda lurks! This IT company woudn't happen to be located in Beijing would it?

My thoughts exactly. I assumed she was Liu Lu or something similar.

8/24/2011 5:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sand - No
Whales - physical collision excluded, unlikely but whale physiologigy is based study of dead specimens making judgements iffy.
Coffee - Susie has had too much (insert omygod!)

8/24/2011 5:44 PM

Blogger DDM said...

Compliment you and then ask you to divulge information that could be used against the navy, by somebody who works for the DON. No chance she's legit.

8/24/2011 5:50 PM

Blogger Miss J said...


As far as sonar and marine mammals go, may I suggest that you refer any interested parties to the National Science Foundations Division of Ocean Sciences? I was a program director there for a number of years and at the same time that the Navy (including ONR) was dealing with legal ssues regarding marine mammals and sonar, so was the NSF. All the (extensive) scientific work and responses that the NSF did to respond to the claims are unclassified.

As far as submarines and earthquakes go, I can point to the recent (minor) issue on Guam following the tsunami. There was a lot of local interest regarding that and probably still information at

8/24/2011 5:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Submarine sonar in my many years of pinging has never had a negative effect on marine mammals. A different kind of sonar may have a severe impact. Think loofa without the oo if you get my meaning. That stuff messes with them big time in my opinion.

8/24/2011 6:53 PM

Blogger Don the Baptist said...

I thought the giant bubble of magma beneath the Sunda Strait had something to do with Sumatra's movement...

8/24/2011 6:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Submarine damage from an earthquake? When the sub is in the water? My head hurts from so much stupid.

8/24/2011 7:02 PM

Anonymous Veemann said...

The Chinese are bored with just reading your blog for open source intelligence and wanted to mix things up a little...

8/24/2011 7:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boat was berthed in the P.I. in 1987 when an earthquake hit the area, I think it was a 5.something.

The only damage recorded besides a loss of shore power was a momentary pause in imbibing and fornication in progress in the area.

My word verification: "griessn". Fast attack tough, boys!

8/24/2011 8:16 PM

Anonymous acurrentelt2jv said...

I survived the dreaded 2010 Hawaii tsunami resulting from the earthquake in Chile. We were just outside dry dock 1 and I was on duty. We secured all of the hatches save the bridge and started up the EDG. The EDMC got us all prepared for what ended up being a 4 in rise in sea levels. Better to be safe than sorry I guess.

8/24/2011 9:03 PM

Anonymous MentalJim said...

Two words:

Susie Mulligan

8/24/2011 9:19 PM

Anonymous 610ET said...


"...I can say that I've been diving Hickham Harbor while sonars have gone off and I sure as hell wasn't bugged by it (twitch, twitch...)"

Yes but did you beach?

8/24/2011 10:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

BAH, this is just another anti-nooker that is fishing for half-ass information to raise the specter of the US Navy hiding nookler accidents from the public in the wake of that massive (my ass) earthquake on the east coast. They will try to drum up something for groton, norfolk or some place else about environmental damage from all the leaks, then compare it to Fukushima.
What a bag of ASS.


8/25/2011 12:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at Mare Island during Loma Prieta quake, installing BAMS on HAWKBILL. No damage to the boat, no damge to the dry docks or caissons, lots of bricks falling out of old buildings though. Now, if the crane on the pier had fallen onto HAWKBILL, that would have been a different story.

Oh, and if someone thinks submerging a boat causes the sea level to rise, they need to go back and study Archimedes.

8/25/2011 12:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some serious Susie hating. Sad. I am neither ex nor current navy and happen to work for an IT company. I never read the part where Susie was asking on behalf of the company and wanting anyone to divulge secrets. I was in the earthquake zone also and will soon be in the hurricane zone. If you have never been on a sub it seems to be a legit question as does the question "Does a hurricane affect subs underway?" Kinda current events in our world right now. Yes even non submariners can wonder and have questions.

8/25/2011 3:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I remember the story correctly, Archimedes was acused of stealing the crown jewels. When he sat in his tub, he accidentally pulled the plug causing the water level to go down. He was later convicted of theft and locked in a larger tower. He allowed his hair to grow and escaped by climbing down a ladder made from his golden locks. The entire episode was made into an animated featuring voices of Mike Mulligan and Carmen Electra.

.... seriously, study Archimedes...

8/25/2011 6:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anon 3:59am

"Does a hurricane affect subs underway?"

Two words, Dive! Dive!

8/25/2011 7:20 AM

Anonymous Beijing Weather Modification Office said...

The ChiComs are already testing their seismic warfare capability, they just dropped a 5.9 earthquake on DC a couple of days ago. Supposedly a "Once a century" event or so we are told.

Now a major hurricane is going to turn right and smack from DC to Boston just a week after the earthquake that is another "once every 20 years" event.

8/25/2011 9:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, a hurricane does affect a sub, even while underwater. I was at 400 feet and some people were getting sick. I was also on a boat that was forced to surface during a tropical storm because we ran out of water, but we weren't going to pull in until the following morning.

A shipmate of mine went through a couple earthquakes in his time, and the boat was drydocked each time. No damage. I think your best bet is to find a sailor who was in San Diego during any one of the quakes there. I can only see damage on a submarine coming from an external source during an earthquake.

Remember, they test out the first of the class by doing shock testing, which is supposed to simulate shocks from warfare.

8/25/2011 10:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anon 10:25

"I was also on a boat that was forced to surface during a tropical storm because we ran out of water, but we weren't going to pull in until the following morning".

So you came up to collect rainwater??

8/25/2011 11:28 AM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

Experienced 1965 Alaska quake while in port at PSNS. The crane was lowering the brow onto BARBEL so we could move on board. Crane waved and the operator got bug eyed and white. No damage to sub. The Diesel ARCHERFISH was in drydock and shifted on the blocks. The yard had to seal her up and refloat in a rapid fashon and fix the blocks. Fortunately, no significent damage to the sub. While a midshipman on a cruise on a diesel boat out of New London, I slept through my first hurricane next to a Mk 14 torpedo. I guess I was rocked to sleep by the sea state.

8/25/2011 12:00 PM

Blogger Fred Zimmerman said...

Put away the tin foil hats. A customer (i.e. the Navy) probably asked for a quick assessment and, since there was no data, they went to the old submariners ...

8/25/2011 1:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Newswire - Several IT companies contracted to track government spending have concluded the recent earthquake in Washington DC was in fact caused by the Obama administration bouncing a check. A single rubber check not only affected the submarine force; but, the entire Department of Defense as well.

8/25/2011 2:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susie should aske her question of the surface fleet. They bang away with their sonar on avergae more than submarines. I could count on one hand on the three boats I served how many times we went active.

8/25/2011 3:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


8/25/2011 5:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred Zimmerman -

You say, "Put away the tin foil hats.
...the Navy probably asked for a quick assessment and, since there was no data, they went to the old submariners ..."

Stop it right now, moron!

Either you are not a qualified submariner, you were a nukie dropout, or you are presently on drugs.

The USN has the most complete and accurate history of submarine history imaginable. I will not even deign to link the enormous references available!

Susie is an impostor as many real submariners have easily recognized.

Want to prove otherwise? Cite a single, documented example of earthquake-related submarine damage at berth or at sea. Otherwise, sober up, dude.

Heinz, MM1(SS)

8/25/2011 7:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geeze Heinz, MM1(SS, Now I wish I had taken pictures!

My Nautilus model was berthed on a shelf when the California Easter earthquake hit. Needless to say, she lost her mooring and suffered extensive damage. NavWife 01 declared her a total loss resulting in her decommissioning and scraping (Nautilus not NavWife).

As far as IT twit girl – if she knew anything she would not have posted such dumb assed questions!!! Perhaps she has suffered neuron loss due to overexposure to C2H5OH?

Old Chief from the dark ages

8/25/2011 7:50 PM

Anonymous Get Some, Susie said...

I do remember some rocking and shaking going on in Subic one time...wait...that was my Navigator in the next room knocking the bottom of some pretty young thing!

The poor girl came out the next morning looking like she had washed up on the beach after being hit by a tsunami, earthquake and main frame sonar all at once!

The Nav was pretty mellow after that. I think he released years of pent up submarine and marriage duty.

8/25/2011 7:50 PM

Anonymous AGC(RET) said...

I was working with NAVO during ABE's workups when the Greenpeace clods launched their lawsuit to stop MFA. We were the friggin marine mammal CACO's. Every time a ship found a dead mammal, we took the posit and ran the current model backwards to figure out where the critter was before COMEX. In EVERY SINGLE CASE, sonar was proven NOT to be the cause of the animal's demise.
Where there are lots of animals, there are going to be dead animals. Anyhow, I built a brief before I got off watch that Friday. By SAT morning, CNO himself was looking at it, and the White House legal team was looking at it on Monday morning. Lawsuit dropped.

8/26/2011 5:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think he released years of pent up submarine and marriage duty."

Uh huh. And what did he catch, seeing's how ho'ing is a catch 'n release program?

8/26/2011 7:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Want to prove otherwise? Cite a single, documented example of earthquake-related submarine damage at berth or at sea. Otherwise, sober up, dude."

Here you go.

I would count tsunami generated by an earthquake as "earthquake-related."

8/26/2011 9:27 AM

Blogger Below Decks Watch said...

You see the SAPS software was originally written to look for seismic events. I think when it gets confused, it kind of runs home to Mama.

8/27/2011 1:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Dive, dive" normally relieves you of surface symptoms. Was underway in the North Atlantic for the "Perfect Storm", the one the movie was made from. 10 degree rolls at 400 foot told us something was going on topside. Attempted to make a bird pass- when the depth gauge jumps to zero you attempt to get down again very quickly. Bobbing like a cork is not fun.

Attached to USS Haddo in Mare Island. First or second day in drydock a minor quake hit. A few inches movement on the blocks, with a lot of calculations performed afterwards to see if we had to be refloated and repositioned. The answer was no.

8/28/2011 8:50 PM

Blogger Old Curmudgeon said...

We were at 2,700 ft. and had just passed Thors Twins on our way to the Abyssal Plains when an earthquake struck. The caterpillar drive went tits up when the seawater became destabilized. We quickly took a (deleted) degree (deleted) angle. If it wasn't for the quick thinking of the (deleted) who blew the (deleted), the (deleted), and the messcook, I wouldn't be here today.

8/30/2011 7:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty sure that if the 711 could move the mountain at (deleted) speed, that there's absolutely friggin nothing any boat could do to have "been ... the cause of Sumatra shifting" C'mon "not an impostor just a naive IT contractor with extensive Navy contracts" Susie.

This is what we get for never testing the brain to mouth interlocks, failure.

8/30/2011 8:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

*COULDN'T* move that mountain

8/31/2011 5:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Late 1988 in Seal Beach on USS Chicago (SSN 721) loading out our first warshot Tomahawks into the VLS tubes. We thought we had dropped one, as the entire boat shook. The CO beat me up the Weapons Loading hatch by a nanosecond, only to discover that there was no dropped weapon, only a tremor that beat us up against the camels. Luckily the khaki hid the shorts stains after that one...

8/31/2011 1:06 PM

Anonymous said...

It can't work in reality, that's exactly what I think.

9/28/2011 2:24 AM


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