Saturday, February 8, 2014


The liberty port visit to Brisbane that never was

In the case study by Dawn Wright (Oregon State University), David Dibase (Penn State University) and Francis Harvey (University of Minnesota) dated 17 June 2008, under the GIS Professional Ethics Project ( and supported by the National Science Foundation grant#GEO-0734888, the official story is given as follows:
Case (for presentation to students)
On January 8, 2005, the nuclear submarine USS San Francisco ran aground enroute from Guam to Brisbane, Australia in one of the worst submarine accidents in U.S. naval history. This was a terrible accident made more bizarre by the fact that the submarine crashed into a large seamount (an underwater volcano), rising 2000 m from the surrounding ocean floor. This was definitely a feature that should have appeared on the submarine’s navigational charts so that it could have been avoided. Four minutes before the crash the submarine’s sonar measured a false depth of 2000 m. The crash actually occurred at a depth of ~160 m, while traveling at a speed of 33 knots or ~38 mph (by comparison the average cruising speed of most oceanographic research vessels is 10-12 knots).
January 27, 2005 Damage to the bow of the USS San Francisco SSN-711
The impact of the collision punched huge holes in the forward ballast tanks of the sub (Figure 1), which in turn shut down the throttles, and caused the sub to drift listlessly, its bow pointing down. Luckily, the sub’s nuclear reactor and the crew’s quarters were not compromised. However, one crewman was killed in the accident and 115 were injured. The rest of the crew managed to keep the sub from sinking during a harrowing 30-hour, 360-mile transit back to Guam.

Why are we so sure the tale of USS San Francisco grounding on 8 Jan 2005 is a huge lie and never happened? As with all the geohazards and survey frauds investigated and proven beyond doubt, fake incident reports always focused narrowly on the “prop stage”. Most of the discrepancies and illusions become apparent once you look from the backstage; not the frontal audience view the fakers want you to see. So if you are interested in the truth, you must look beyond the circle of lies and distorted truths. Fakers always take great pains to fabricate around the facts and do not stray too far from the truth to appear credible. So we should expand beyond the location of the crash site as shown in figure 164 of part 1.

Figure 164a shows the straight 360 nautical miles (measured from google earth) course from Guam to the purported crash location. Despite conflicting details, some basic “data” can be tested to “verify” the facts. The USS San Francisco departed from Guam at 8am 7 Jan (local Guam time). At 11:38 the submarine was in a location with about 6,000 ft of water depth.
They joined a boat that had suffered a troubled reputation because of subpar inspections before Cmdr. Kevin Mooney took over as skipper in December 2003. “He came in and kind of turned the boat around,” said Tillman, 29, of Augusta, Ga. “It really put us on the map.” As a reward, the crew earned a liberty cruise to Brisbane, Australia. The vessel departed Jan. 7, 2005, and headed full speed toward the Caroline Islands southeast of Guam. At 11:42 a.m. the following day, some of the sailors had begun to line up outside the mess deck for a lunch of hamburgers, french fries and baked beans.

San Francisco left Guam just before 8 a.m. Jan. 7, headed for a liberty port call in Brisbane, Australia, according to the report, prepared by a team led by Capt. Kenneth D. Walker, commander of the Pacific Naval Submarine Training Center, in the weeks immediately after the accident. At 1:53 a.m. the morning of Jan. 8, the navigation team shifted to chart E2203, which generally showed water depths of 7,200 to 7,800 feet along its intended path. But less than five hours later, the ship's fathometer recorded a depth of 5,610 feet.
From 6 to 7 a.m., the soundings were all about 1,200 feet shallower than what was shown on the charts. At 7:30 a.m., the ship went to periscope depth to use the global positioning system to fix its position on the charts accurately, and submerged again at 9:48 a.m. At 11 a.m. the fathometer reported 8,652 feet of water; at 11:15, 5,988 feet; at 11:30, just under 6,588 feet. At 11:43:21 a.m., the San Francisco ran into an underwater mountain at a speed greater than 25 knots, just as the crew was finishing lunch.
In late morning, the ship was at periscope depth, checking to make sure it was on course. Everything checked out; the ship was just over 400 miles southeast of Guam, near the Caroline Islands ridge, but the charts showed that there was no water less than about 6,000 feet deep for at least seven miles around the boat, more than enough of a safety margin for submariners, who are known to be cautious.

Some time about 11:30, after running through a safety checklist to make sure the boat was ready to submerge, the officer of the deck gave the order to dive. The San Francisco used the dive to pick up speed, and was soon running at flank speed, something in excess of 30 knots.
Although its destination was to the southwest, it was headed in an easterly direction, probably because it had “cleared its baffles,” or changed direction to check to make sure there were no submarines trailing it in the spot directly behind the ship, where its normal sonar sensors cannot “hear.”

At 11:42 a.m. Guam time, about four minutes after diving, the San Francisco crashed head-on into a nearly vertical wall of stone, a seamount that was not on the charts. In an instant, the submarine's speed dropped from almost 33 knots horizontal to 4 knots almost straight up as the bow whipped up and the ship tried to go over the obstacle — without success.

Let us do a bit of calculation. At an average speed of 13 knots it would have taken the USS San Francisco 27.69 hrs to travel 360 nautical miles and be at around the crash location at 11:41 am on 8 Jan. That is assuming a straight line course and constant depth without stopping (none was reported). So far the story appears to fit the facts based on surface linear distances.

Now if 13 knots was the average cruise speed in deep waters of the wide ocean, why did the Commander decide to speed up to 25 knots or even 33 knots (according to different versions) in a known uneven underwater terrain surrounded by atolls? If the USS San Francisco was in the habit of cruising at flank speed ie >30 knots (even for a leisure cruise) it would have taken a mere 5.3 hours to the crash location. So what happened to the “missing” 22 odd hours? You see the fakers did not anticipate this type of questioning outside their circle of lies and distorted truth. They could use the average speed of 13 knots in the collision but it would not be credible enough to account for the intense damage.

Atolls imply very steeply rising islands due to coral formation. Better still, the investigation by a team led by Capt. Kenneth D. Walker, commander of the Pacific Naval Submarine Training Center, found that the soundings on the chart were all in error by about 1,200 ft (shallower). These are not small errors by any standard. Yet 4 minutes before the dive, the commander gave the order to dive at full speed. If this was not a suicidal Kamikaze dive, then I do not know what is.

Could a commander with 19 years exemplary service and someone who had turned a troubled vessel around to earn a liberty cruise to Brisbane, be so “stupid or suicidal”? No I do not think so and neither would you. Otherwise how could the US navy have defeated the mighty Germany and Japanese navies in the 2nd world war?

13 knots was certainly not full speed and the purported crash site was more than 170 nautical miles from the Caroline Islands. If the USS San Francisco had headed towards the Caroline Islands (136 deg) or direct towards Brisbane (168 deg) there would have been no underwater collision. No, the Commander had to chose a heading of 156 deg straight to the crash location. But wait a minute. Was there not an island chain stretching from from West Fayu Atoll to Pikelot across the straight line course?

So the USS San Francisco could not have headed straight to the crash site. If it did, it would have hit the island chain first. See figure 164a. If the commander had been made aware of the islands (as if he did not already, being the most experienced officer on board) the USS San Francisco would have to make a 20-40 nautical miles detour to the west of West Fayu Atoll. This makes the story even more ludicrous. Why detoured to the crash location when it is not even in the destination? It was a liberty port visit, remember?

Even if a detour had been made, would the crew not have awoken up to the fact that they were in uneven, unpredictable shoal-atoll terrain? The reason why so many of these small shoals within areas surrounded by island chains are not charted accurately is because they do not present a hazard to normal international traffic routes. If any vessel or submarine do accidentally venture into the uncharted waters, they do not (as any seamen even novices will tell you) blindly crash into any islands at high speed. If they did, the captain and bridge crew would have been prosecuted more heavily than just “demotion”. As the punishment meted out is not consistent with the purported incompetence and perceived “stupidity”, the only logical conclusion is; “it never happened”. Period!

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