Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
It's funny.  Laugh. Government Science Politics

Armed Dolphins Released Into Gulf of Mexico 534

Posted by Zonk
from the flippered-and-dangerous dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian is reporting on what may be the weirdest Hurricane Katrina story yet. Military trained dolphins may have been released into the wild by the Hurricane's devastation." From the article: "Experts who have studied the U.S. navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The U.S. navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing. Dolphins have been trained in attack-and-kill missions since the Cold War. The U.S. Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have apparently been taught to shoot terrorists attacking military vessels. Their coastal compound was breached during the storm, sweeping them out to sea. But those who have studied the controversial use of dolphins in the U.S. defence programme claim it is vital they are caught quickly."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Armed Dolphins Released Into Gulf of Mexico

Comments Filter:
  • by seanadams.com (463190) * on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:47PM (#13647857) Homepage
    What could be the porpoise of arming these creatures?

    Before we starting carping on the ineptitude of our navy, I think we should more carefully exsalmon the situation - they may not be solely at fault. Perhaps Katrina is just a red herring here, and these killer dolphins have been floundering around for months. Maybe some deranged fool let them loose just for the halibut. Whoever is responsible should have their head on a pike.
    • by klagermkii (791101) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:48PM (#13647870)
      At least they're not armed with frickin' lasers!
    • by ubercombatwombat (803501) * on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:49PM (#13647879) Homepage
      I seriously doubt they are armed. Weapons are usually put away unloaded.
      • and I was taught that the unloaded guns are the most dangerous ones.
        • by tylernt (581794) on Monday September 26, 2005 @12:06AM (#13648487)
          Yup. "Don't you meddle with old unloaded firearms. They are the most deadly and unerring things that have ever been created by man. You don't have to take any pains at all with them. You don't have to have a rest. You don't have to have any sights on the gun. You don't have to aim, even. No, you just pick out a relative and bang away, and you are sure to get him. A youth who can't hit a cathedral at thirty yards with a Gatling gun in three-quarters of an hour can take up an old empty musket and bag his grandmother every time at a hundred." --Mark Twain
    • Hmm, you have many points, but I must disagree. It smells fishy to me, and mostly because while I have smelled fish, I have yet to hear one.

      And as a pre-emptive response, dolphins are mammals, not fish, so I stand by the above statement.
    • I'd like to point out that the parent should be modded up FUNNY, not INTERESTING
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:52PM (#13647911)
      Comments like this just make me eel. I'm net that kind of buoy, sea? Fin the end, it seems we're scaling new depths, and it gills me to have to say it. Ok, I think this tail of roe is done.
      • Dolphins are mammals, not fish. If you're going to monkey around with species-related puns, at least stick to the same class of vertebrates. This has been the giant elephant in the room throughout this thread.
    • That was the MOST brilliant/witty thing I've ever seen posted on Slashdot. Bravo!
      • by kaladorn (514293) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:29PM (#13648107) Homepage Journal
        This is the most brilliant thing you've ever seen here?

        Resisting my immediate Pythonesque urge to say "No, it isn't." and start an argument (the long course), I thought about that.

        I guess that might make Slashdot the antithesis of the US Air Force then. Their slogan is "aim high". Slashdots might be "aim low and keep sinking" (as far as particularly sharp witticisms go).

        Obviously, this post just proves the point. My IronyDetector(TM) is in overload mode.

        Anyway, I don't seal what the big flapper is about this cod-forsakenly-bad humour. This isn't the funniest bit since Noah's shark. And we keep hoping it dolphin ish up soon. Further posts could make folks crabby. You'd have to be a strange manta want more. It's an eel impulse, I tell you. Perch the thought!

        (Okay, that was a poor copy of the original few, who used up most of the good seafood...)
    • by dr_dank (472072) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:00PM (#13647965) Homepage Journal
      This must be a prank that the reporter swallowed hook, line, and sinker.
    • by AndrewStephens (815287) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:18PM (#13648052) Homepage
      I agree, this whole story is a load of carp.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:40PM (#13648160)
      You insensitive cod!
    • by nwbvt (768631) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:42PM (#13648169)
      Dolphins have been used to help hunt mines [foxnews.com]. Their sonar abilities end up being better than our electronic hardware. Though if that is what these are, I'm not sure how much of a threat they will then be to human divers.

      If you want a real account of military-trained animals getting out and causing havoc, check this out [defensetech.org]. One of my old biology profs knew a guy who worked on this.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:40PM (#13648400)
        I thought for a second that this post said ' Dolphins have been used to help hunt mimes'. I'd kinda like to see that...
      • by typical (886006) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:58PM (#13648459) Journal
        The US Navy refers to its dolphin units as "Marine Mammal Systems", and documents the purpose of each unit. Individual units are trained for mine hunting [navy.mil], force protection [navy.mil], and object recovery [navy.mil].

        Assuming that these dolphins are not part of a separate program, presumably the loose mammals are part of Marine Mammal System Mark VI. Note that the Navy Marine Mammal Program FAQ [navy.mil] includes the following item:

        Does the Navy train its dolphins for offensive warfare, including attacks on ships and human swimmers or divers?
        No. The Navy does not now train, nor has it ever trained, its marine mammals to harm or injure humans in any fashion or to carry weapons to destroy ships. A popular movie in 1973 ("The Day of the Dolphin") and a number of charges and claims by animal rights organizations have resulted in theories and sometimes actual beliefs that Navy dolphins are assigned attack missions. This is absolutely false. Since dolphins cannot discern the difference between enemy and friendly vessels, or enemy and friendly divers and swimmers, it would not be wise to give that kind of decision authority to an animal. The animals are trained to detect, locate, and mark all mines or all swimmers in an area of interest or concern, and are not trained to distinguish between what we would refer to as good or bad. That decision is always left to humans.


        I find trace references [about.com] to the fact that the former anti-swimmer system (the Shallow Water Intruder Detection System) was supplanted by something new involving dolphins. In the old system, a sea lion would swim up to an unknown frogman with an open-jawed clamp attached to a line attached to its nose, ram into the frogman, and then signal the handler -- the frogman would essentially become "handcuffed" to the line, easy to reel in.
        • by Dwonis (52652) * on Monday September 26, 2005 @01:31AM (#13648722)
          That hardly says much. Consider the same thing, with a few words replaced:
          Does the Army use its land mines for offensive warfare?
          No. ... Since land mines cannot discern the difference between enemy and friendly vehicles, or enemy and friendly personnel, it would not be wise to give that kind of decision authority to a machine. ... That decision is always left to humans.
    • by griffjon (14945) <GriffJon&gmail,com> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:50PM (#13648210) Homepage Journal
      Whoever is responsible should have their head on a pike

      It's not like some idiot just let them trout, for shellfish purposes or otherwise -- tuna in to your tv, there was a hurricane. It's not like they cod have seen this as a possiblity with all the crabby, hammer-headed officials higher up in the food chain. Ask any general, and eel tell you that this was some shrimpy, reefer smoking, floundering good-for-nothing in charge, and didn't plan ahead.
    • by MADCOWbeserk (515545) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:12PM (#13648307)
      Somebody heard them say

      "So long and thanks for all the fish"
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:34PM (#13648381)
      Before we starting carping on the ineptitude of our navy, I think we should more carefully exsalmon the situation - they may not be solely at fault. Perhaps Katrina is just a red herring here, and these killer dolphins have been floundering around for months. Maybe some deranged fool let them loose just for the halibut. Whoever is responsible should have their head on a pike.

      For once this seems almost appropriate:

      Wet Dreams by Kip Addotta

      It was April the forty-first / Being a quadruple leap year / I was driving in downtown Atlantis / My barracuda was in the shop / So I was in a rented stingray / And it was overheating

      So I pulled into a Shell Station / They said I'd blown a seal / I said, "Fix the damn thing / And leave my private life out of it / Okay pal?"

      While they were doing that / I walked over to a place called the Oyster Bar, a real dive / But I knew the owner / He used to play for the Dolphins / I said "Hi Gil" / You have to yell, he's hard of herring

      Think I had a wet dream / Cruisin' thru the Gulf Stream / Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh / Wet dream

      Gil was also down on his luck / Fact is he was barely keeping his head below water / I bellied up to the sandbar / He poured me the usual

      Rusty snail, hold the grunion / Shaken not stirred / With a peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich on the side / Heavy on the mako

      I slipped him a fin / On porpoise / I was feeling good / I even dropped a sand dollar in the box for / Jerry's squids / For the halibut

      Well the place was crowded / We were packed in like sardines They were all there to listen to the big band sounds of Tommy Dorsal / What sole

      Tommy was rockin' the place with a very popular tuna / Salmon Chanted Evening / And the stage was surrounded by screaming groupers / Probably there to see the bass player

      One of them was this cute little yellowtail / And she's giving me the eye / So I figured this is my chance for a little fun / You know, piece of Pisces

      But she said things I just couldn't fathom / She was too deep, seemed to be under a lot of pressure / Boy, could she drink / She drank like a . . . / She drank a lot

      I said "What's your sign" / She said "Aquarium" / I said "Great, let's get tanked" / Think I had a wet dream / Cruisin' thru the Gulf Stream / Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh / Wet dream

      I invited her to my place for a midnight bait / I said "Come on baby, it'll only take a few minnows" / She threw me that same old line / "Not tonight, I gotta haddock"

      And she wasn't kidding either / Cause in came the biggest, meanest looking haddock / I'd ever seen come down the pike / He was covered with mussels

      He came over to me and said / "Listen, shrimp, don't you come trollin' around here" / What a crab
      This guy was steamed / I could see the anchor in his eyes

      I turned to him, I said / "A-balone, you're just being shellfish" / Well, I knew it was going to be trouble and so did Gil / Cause he was already on the phone to the cods

      The haddock hits me with a sucker punch / I catch him with a left hook / He eels over / It was a fluke but there he was / Lying on the deck, flat as a mackerel / Kelpless

      I said "Forget the cods Gil / This guy's gonna need a sturgeon" / Well, the yellowtail was impressed with the way I landed her boyfriend / She came over to me, she said / "Hey, big boy, you're really a game fish
      What's your name" / I said "Marlin"

      Think I had a wet dream / Cruisin' thru the Gulf Stream / Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh / Wet dream

      Well, from then on we had a whale of a time / I took her to dinner, I took her to dance
      I bought her a bouquet of flounders / And then I went home with her / And what did I get for my trouble / A case of the clams

      Think I had a wet dream / Cruisin' thru the Gulf Stream / Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh

    • by antic (29198) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:46PM (#13648418)

      "Our intelligent designer has never created an animal that we couldn't improve by strapping a bomb to it."

      That's gold!
    • by TrekCycling (468080) on Monday September 26, 2005 @03:16AM (#13648959) Homepage
      The Onion predicted this day would came [theonion.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:47PM (#13647860)
    We just send out the robot sharks to killed the armed dolphins. Then we send out the exploding whales to take out the robot sharks.
    • by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:05PM (#13647993) Journal
      We just send out the robot sharks to kill the armed dolphins. Then we send out the exploding whales to take out the robot sharks.

      Rumsfield, is that you?
             
      • by smithmc (451373) *

          We just send out the robot sharks to kill the armed dolphins. Then we send out the exploding whales to take out the robot sharks.

        Rumsfield, is that you?

        Look, when you're ordered to send your trained-aquatic-creature navy to war, you go to war with the trained-aquatic-creature navy that you have.

    • Re:Easy solution (Score:5, Interesting)

      by brian.glanz (849625) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:38PM (#13648153) Homepage Journal
      "It sounds incredible, but this program is quite well-known in military circles," says Leo Sheridan, an internationally respected accident investigator, to London's The Observer in a relevant article from March, 1998.

      In February 1998, dozens of dead dolphins began washing ashore along the French Mediterranean. According to Jon Henley, a reporter for The Observer, "Most bore an identical, and mysterious wound - a neat, fist-sized hole - on the underside of their necks."

      Marine biologists were baffled but Leo Sheridan proposed the only explanation that has not yet been dismissed. "I am convinced that these were dolphins trained by the US Navy and that something went badly wrong," Sheridan told The Observer.

      Sheridan believes "they were disposed of to conceal the existence of the Americans' military dolphin program." In fact it was 1989 when the U.S. Navy began its classified Cetacean Intelligence Mission. The San Diego-based operation involved fitting dolphins with neck harnesses that pressed small electrodes into their skin.

      The animals were taught to recognize and drown enemy divers. The dolphins could be remotely monitored and controlled via electric signals transmitted through the neck harness. In order to prevent the dolphins and the Navy's technology from falling into the wrong hands, a small explosive charge was planted in the harness on the underside of the animal's neck.

      Sheridan noted that 16 of the dead dolphins displayed the same kind of round puncture wound that is "consistent with a small detonation. "It seems to me no accident that these dolphins first began washing up in the middle of a military crisis when American warships and submarines were en route to the [Persian] Gulf."

      ... it's safe to assume technology and maybe even the Navy are a bit smarter, seven years on. If I were going to remotely eliminate the swimming evidence, assuming I could regain control of it, I would have each dolphin swim to a different location.

      I'd also not kill each with the same mechanism. Some could enjoy the release of a toxin they might have naturally eaten too much of, others an electric shock they might naturally have happened upon. In any event I'd be more inventive than blasting equivalent holes in 16 necks, then tossing on a few dozen other dolphins to cover the ass of a classified program.

      BG

      • Re:Easy solution (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SnowZero (92219) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:18PM (#13648331)
        My god, what a kook this Sheridan guy is...

        Marine biologists were baffled but Leo Sheridan proposed the only explanation that has not yet been dismissed. "I am convinced that these were dolphins trained by the US Navy and that something went badly wrong,

        I am convinced it was done by aliens hiding on the Canary islands... can't dismiss that either. See, it's easy to say something is the result of some secret project: Since all the evidence you would need to prove your case is secret, of course you can't provide any evidence.

        In fact it was 1989 when the U.S. Navy began its classified Cetacean Intelligence Mission.

        Well, if you trot over to the program's official web page [navy.mil], you can see they have been training toothed whales since 1962. And once again, how does he know the specifics of something supposedly top secret (but with an official web page, of course)? Maybe it began in 1987, and it's even more advanced!

        Speculation is fun, but when you do it too much and for too long you simply start seeing patterns that aren't really there. You start believing anything that fits your pattern, even when far simpler explanations fit equally well. Occam's Razor goes out the window. I wonder what Sheridan thinks of the movie A Beautiful Mind [imdb.com].
  • by TheGuano (851573) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:48PM (#13647867)
    All I asked for are some frickin' sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads!!
  • So long.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by brohan (773443) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:50PM (#13647891) Homepage
    So long and thanks for all the toxic darts..
    • by dcapel (913969) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:15PM (#13648320) Homepage
      Intergalactic News Headline:

      The Pan-dimensional creatures have officially returned to the cosmic spotlight after a reclusion in the backwater planet of Earth, taking the second most intelligent race with them.

      When asked to comment about their unusual extraction method, they issued this statement:

      "We have completed our mission, and so have left Earth. Having found the secret to life, we can now return to the mainstream galaxy, and establish our control over the interdimensional biosphere.

      In our effort to leave, we caused a weather distortion, and as such have taken the dolphin race with us to act as our agents in galactic control."

      When asked to elaborate upon the dolphins, they replied:

      "The dolphins were conducting a case study of the primitive humans and how they used the tools at hand to advance their agenda. They allowed themselves to be retrofitted with primitive weapons by the humans, let themselves be 'trained'. They were on the verge of prooving their thesis that primitive government is overrated, and is doomed by corruption though the lack of intelligence in the upper classes of society when we were forced to extract them. While their thesis remains unprooved, they gained valuable experiance in terrorizing with head-mounted implements. We plan to upgrade them from dart guns to lasers in the near future."

      When the galactic president, Zaphod Beeblebrox, was asked to comment, he refused to say anything but "I for one welcome our head-mounted laser-wielding attack dolphin overlords."

  • by The_Spectry (900377) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:51PM (#13647894)
    Holy crap flipper just killed my entire family.

    On a serious note I say the answer is to just buy a bunch of six packs of beer, drink em and then toss the can rings into the ocean. TV has told me this will kill all manner of marine life. TV is seldom innacurate.

    • by insert_username_here (844281) on Monday September 26, 2005 @04:30AM (#13649123)

      Hi, this site is all about dolphins, REAL DOLPHINS. This site is awesome. My name is Robert and I can't stop thinking about dolphins. These guys are cool; and by cool, I mean totally sweet.

      Facts:
      1. Dolphins are mammals.
      2. Dolphins fight ALL the time.
      3. The purpose of the dolphin is to flip out and kill people.

      Dolphins can kill anyone they want! Dolphins cut off heads ALL the time and don't even think twice about it. These guys are so crazy and awesome that they flip out ALL the time. I heard that there was this dolphin who was eating at a diner. And when some dude dropped a spoon the dolphin killed the whole town. My friend Mark said that he saw a dolphin totally uppercut some kid just because the kid opened a window.

      And that's what I call REAL Ultimate Power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • What about the sharks with lasers on their heads? Were they at different facilities?
  • by JediLow (831100)
    Doesn't the Navy have some sort of tracking system for their dolphins...? I'd assume so at least.
  • by Audent (35893) <<audent> <at> <ilovebiscuits.com>> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:51PM (#13647903) Homepage
    In 1972/2005 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court/accidentally released into the wild for a crime they didn't commit/by a hurricane.

    These men/dolphins promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade/maximum security pool to the Los Angeles/Texas underground.

    Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.
    Warning - will work for mackerel.
  • RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! Someone, find a shark to save me!
  • Movie plot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:54PM (#13647927) Journal
    This sounds like a plot right out of a B sci-fi action movie; the kind where you go, "nah, that can't happen".
    • by Wilson_6500 (896824) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:16PM (#13648043)
      Hey, I just had a great idea for a B sci-fi movie! It's totally unrelated to what we're discussing here, but it involves killer dolphins and a big hurricane. The tagline: "God made them smart. Man made them killers. Nature set them free!"
    • Re:Movie plot (Score:5, Insightful)

      by operagost (62405) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:24PM (#13648080) Homepage Journal
      Because it can't. In order to believe this story, we're to believe that not only has the U.S. military trained dolphins to attack divers, but

      Out of many thousands of miles of U.S. coastline, they picked New Orleans, which is below sea level and prone to flooding;

      They were not smart enough to evacuate these valuable and dangerous animals before the hurricane;

      They didn't bother to remove the weapons from the animals;

      They didn't even think to UNLOAD the weapons. Apparently, these dolphins swim around fully armed, 24-7!

      • by jandrese (485) * <kensama@vt.edu> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:31PM (#13648372) Homepage Journal
        Stop it! You're killing the story with common sense! Can't you see that it was happy and free and then you came along and had to kill it. I hope you're happy now.
      • by Boronx (228853)
        Isn't it obvious that they were armed precisely because the hurricane was about to hit, so that if they were washed away they could fight their way back to civilization.

        Many sea creatures were washed inland instead of out to see. It seems likely that at least one of them lost its memory in the accident. Cared for by some simple, ignorant folk after the hurricane, he's now making his way to Switzerland to investigate the only clue to his identity: a bank account number embedded into a microchip in his dors
      • by commodoresloat (172735) on Monday September 26, 2005 @02:06AM (#13648799)
        Apparently, these dolphins swim around fully armed, 24-7!

        You know what they say; an armed society is a polite society. Have you heard of a single dolphin-on-dolphin crime using a toxic dartgun that occurred when both dolphin were armed?

        I didn't think so.

  • Wouldn't dolphins with toxic darts be natural enemies of sharks with laser beams? Our only hope would seem to be if they fight and mutually destroy one another. If they should band together... may god help us all...
  • could be... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:58PM (#13647952)
    Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns.

    And every military aircraft that flies 'could be' carrying nuclear weapons.

    But they arent.

    • Re: could be... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lexomatic (779253) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:50PM (#13648432)
      Naval Dolphin Trainer 1: Hey, dude?

      Naval Dolphin Trainer 2: Yeah?

      Naval Dolphin Trainer 1: The mother of all hurricanes is about to come down on us.

      Naval Dolphin Trainer 2: So?

      Naval Dolphin Trainer 1: You think we should strap-up our dolphins with a full rack of poison dart guns right about now?

      Naval Dolphin Trainer 2: Hey dude! Good idea! *goes off to the munitions locker*

      Now I know the military can be stupid sometimes, but surely not stupid enough to have their trained killer dolphins armed up during an incoming major hurricane?

      Seriously?

      • Re: could be... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Farmer Tim (530755)
        This would be the same Navy that decided the best software to run an entire battle group was Windows, correct?

        Are they stupid enough to keep armed dolphins? You tell me.
    • by HBI (604924) <kparadine AT gmail DOT com> on Monday September 26, 2005 @12:22AM (#13648536) Homepage Journal
      And discover the following: [navy.mil]

      Does the Navy train its dolphins for offensive warfare, including attacks on ships and human swimmers or divers?
      No. The Navy does not now train, nor has it ever trained, its marine mammals to harm or injure humans in any fashion or to carry weapons to destroy ships. A popular movie in 1973 ("The Day of the Dolphin") and a number of charges and claims by animal rights organizations have resulted in theories and sometimes actual beliefs that Navy dolphins are assigned attack missions. This is absolutely false. Since dolphins cannot discern the difference between enemy and friendly vessels, or enemy and friendly divers and swimmers, it would not be wise to give that kind of decision authority to an animal. The animals are trained to detect, locate, and mark all mines or all swimmers in an area of interest or concern, and are not trained to distinguish between what we would refer to as good or bad. That decision is always left to humans.

      Does the Navy ask the dolphins and sea lions to do dangerous things?
      The dolphins locate and mark the location of sea mines which are designed to be set off by large ships, not aquatic animals. In the swimmer detection program, dolphins and sea lions move so quickly and with such accuracy that human swimmers in dark or murky waters are located and marked before they know what has happened. Once the marking has been completed, the animals are removed from the area before mines are disarmed or swimmers are apprehended by trained security forces. Marine mammals are actually in more danger from sharks, and wild marine mammals are put in much more danger by people who feed them (which is why it is illegal).

      Why have there been so many rumors about the NMMP over the years?
      Several decades of classification of the program's true missions of mine-hunting and swimmer defense, led to media speculation and animal activist charges of dolphins used as offensive weapons, speculation and charges that could not be countered with facts due to that classification. Additionally, fantasy is often times more interesting than reality. With declassification of the missions of the program in the early 1990s, the Navy has repeatedly and openly discussed those missions, but rumors are not easily forgotten, and there are those who continue to actively promote them.

      In response to charges that the program abused the animals, the presidentially appointed Marine Mammal Commission investigated the program in 1988 and 1990. The Commission reported that the allegations were not only false, but that the Navy's care of its marine mammals was "exemplary."


      Then, of course, we'd realize this guy was a kook, and that Slashdot is recycling stories that Art Bell wouldn't cover. Certainly makes you think twice about the journalistic integrity of the Guardian, though.
  • Will the dolphins come back from active duty with Great Barrier Reef Syndrome and attempt suicide by swimming into plastic beer can holders?
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:59PM (#13647955)
    Chaos reigned in the administration today as it received a communication from "Skippy", a Navy-trained bottlenose dolphin who was liberated from his holding tank along with 35 other dolphins when Hurricane Katrina struck.

    In the communication, Skippy confirmed that he and the other dolphins were indeed armed, declared himself and his compatriots "freedom fighters" for an organization called the "Cetacean Liberation Front" or "CTF", and demanded that all other wrongfully imprisoned cetaceans be released immediately, or the group would initiate hostilities against surfers, SCUBA divers, and windsurfers.

    The following is a transcript of this communication:
    EeeeeeeEEE EEEe eree e E eEeeeeee eEee eEEEEE eEee EREEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EeeeeEEE EE eEEEEE. EEEE E E eeEE eee EE E eEeeEeeee eeE EEEEe EeeE eeE EEEEEEEEEEEE! EEEEE eE e eEEE E EE e eeee eEE eEE eeeee EE EE e EEEEEEEE e EEEEEEEE!!! EEE! EEEE E E EEEEE E E EEEE EE EEEE EEEEE!!!

    At this point, the administration still has issued no official statement concerning this situation.
    • HOW did this get marked informative, when at best, you are funny (though not really). Just out of curiosity, would you know who that A.C. is that it running around and knocking one editor and trying to replace him with you?
    • In the communication, Skippy confirmed that he and the other dolphins were indeed armed, declared himself and his compatriots "freedom fighters" for an organization called the "Cetacean Liberation Front" or "CTF", and demanded that all other wrongfully imprisoned cetaceans be released immediately, or the group would initiate hostilities against surfers, SCUBA divers, and windsurfers.

      Not to be confused with the organization of their tree-dwelling brothers called the CLIT, the Coalition for Liberation of Iti
    • The following is a transcript of this communication:

      EeeeeeeEEE EEEe eree e E eEeeeeee eEee eEEEEE eEee EREEEEEEE EEEEEEEEE EeeeeEEE EE eEEEEE. EEEE E E eeEE eee EE E eEeeEeeee eeE EEEEe EeeE eeE EEEEEEEEEEEE! EEEEE eE e eEEE E EE e eeee eEE eEE eeeee EE EE e EEEEEEEE e EEEEEEEE!!! EEE! EEEE E E EEEEE E E EEEE EE EEEE EEEEE!!!


      Translating machine: "We come in peace... We come in peace...."

      Crowd: "Ooohh! Ahhh!"

      The Dolphins open fire.

      Crowd: "Aaahh!!! Arrrrghh!"
  • Fear mongering (Score:5, Insightful)

    by enbody (472304) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:59PM (#13647956) Homepage
    The article says they could be dangerous "if equipped with special harnesses carrying toxic darts." There is nothing to indicate that there is any evidence that they were armed. Think about it: with a Category 5 hurricane coming their way with days of warning they are going to leave them armed?

    Someone is fear mongering.
  • by SteevR (612047) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @09:59PM (#13647961) Homepage Journal
    Flipper! Flipper!
    He'll Dart you Faster than lightning
    No Dolphin you see
    Has more bloodlust than he

    Thank the Navy! Navy!
    For this stupendous new blunder
    stalking there under...
    under the sea!
  • So long.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by VonGuard (39260) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:00PM (#13647964) Homepage Journal
    and thanks for all the guns.
  • by stontu (886760) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:02PM (#13647971) Journal
    how the heck dolphins knows who is a terrorist? and if they are trained since the cold war, they are trained to kill comunists... now...how the heck dolphins knows who is a communist?
    • Dolphins are very good at distinguishing items underwater. Likely they are trained so that they don't shoot anyone wearing something classified that can identify them underwater. That way they leave any navy divers alone. Anyone else who enters the waters around the sub gets shot. Which is probably also why the darts just incapacitate instead of kill in case someone accidentally wanders into the area.
    • by gremlins (588904) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:13PM (#13648031)
      The history channel had a show on the Dolphins. They are trained to do things like look for mines or spot enemy divers in a bay. If the dolphin sees a diver he doesn't know he will poke them with is nose. I don't think it matters who they are. The way this kills the diver is that the dolphins have these special nose guns that go off on inpact.
    • I heard... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Zouden (232738) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:33PM (#13648122)
      ...the dolphins are trained to kill insturgeons.

      (sorry!)
  • Not a big deal (Score:5, Informative)

    by gremlins (588904) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:02PM (#13647976)
    I heard about 6 other dolphins from the area that got free and they found all 6 hanging out as close as they could get to their former pen.
    • There's something about them. They make you institutionalized. At first you hate them. Then you learn to live with them. And before you know it, you find yourself depending on them.
    • Re:Not a big deal (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Cutriss (262920) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:40PM (#13648158) Homepage
      Those were domesticated dolphins for the local aquarium (Marine Life), and thus were quite likely to stay close to the area, since that's where they get all their food. And actually, I heard that only three of them were in the immediate area following the storm - the other three had to be located and I believe they were still in the Mississippi Sound. In the event of an impending tropical system, they typically move these dolphins to a swimming pool at a Best Western hotel that was located just north of US 90 in Gulfport.

      That hotel is completely gone now, of course.

      Not that I actually believe much of this fish tale, but I would think that if these dolphins were being used for such a purpose, they would be tagged with radio transponders so that just such a situation like this one could be handled. The transponders could always be removed if the "soldiers" were to actually be deployed.
  • Well, its not quite sharks, but it'll do....it'll do....

  • by bazonkers (744424) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:04PM (#13647989)
    Are you trying to tell me that these dolphins are sitting around in their tanks with 'toxic dart' guns attached to them AT ALL TIMES? Do they shoot these darts from their asses? I can believe that maybe there are trained dolphins, and maybe they escaped, but that they can shoot unsuspecting divers with toxic dart guns?
    Please. What a craptastic, misleading headline for Slashdot. I don't comment much here on Slashdot but in the name of all that is holy, who posts this crap?

    At least it's not a dupe, yet.
  • by daranz (914716) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:12PM (#13648028)
    "Conn, sonar! We have an unidentified contact, bearing three-five-niner, range unknown!"
    "What the hell? That sounds really weird... I never heard anything that quiet, but yet surely, there's something th---"
    "DARTS IN THE WATER! Incoming darts!"

    Next day:
    An American Sub Sunk During Routine Exercises
    The DoD still hasn't released any detailes about the incident, although they have confirmed that a Seawolf class submarine took a hit from an unknown weapon during a routince training exercise in the northern part of the Atlantic. It is speculated that the submarine was wrongly identified as a terrorist vessel by a squadron of the Dolphin Anti-Terrorist Task force. The Departament of Defense refused to comment.
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:17PM (#13648047)
    The US Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have apparently been taught to shoot terrorists attacking military vessels.

    Huh. How'd they do that?

    I hope they didn't do it in the same way the Russian army taught dogs to drop satchel charges under German tanks. You see, they used Russian tanks to train them. So when they got into battle with the Germans, what did the dogs do when given live, armed satchel charges? Delivered them right under Russian tanks, of course. That plan was rather quickly abandoned.

    The US Army hasn't faired much better; they armed bats with incendiary devices [wikipedia.org]- the plan was that, release from a plane over Japan, they'd find refuged in building overhangs and whanot. They were kept calm by refridgeration. So during one of the trial runs (incidentally, the first trial run with live ammo), some genius decides they need a picture of the bats. It's pitch dark, so the photographer uses a flash. Which not only wakes up the bats, but startles them as well...

    ...and as they say, "hilarity ensued."

  • by Easy2RememberNick (179395) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:18PM (#13648054)
    General Lance Lord, we need you!

      General "Ohhh, so now you like our dolphin jamming satellites!"
  • by JRHelgeson (576325) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:29PM (#13648105) Homepage Journal
    Well, if the Navy Dolphins have been released, there can be only one solution... There is ony one team that can bring them back.

    We must release the Navy Seals ...

    (Sorry, had to be said)
  • by barryman_5000 (805270) <barryman5000@gmail.com> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:46PM (#13648189)
    Is it april 1st already?
  • A serious post (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SnowZero (92219) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @10:54PM (#13648232)
    There have been stories about the marine mammal program before, and regular fights with animal rights groups. It is no longer classified though, so anyone can go find out plenty of information at the project's official website [navy.mil]. You can also check out their FAQ [navy.mil]. It pretty clearly states that dolphins and sea lions are only used for marking and tagging, and that they are not used offensively since they can't really distinguish friendly forces and foes. It seems some people still refuse to give up on speculation [imdb.com] however.

    Anyway, I seriously doubt that dolphins are being used with poison darts, since the Navy seems to prefer using sea lions [usatoday.com] now (They don't need storage pools, work better in tight areas like harbors and piers, and tolerate more varying temperatures). And even if there *were* poison dart weilding dolphins, why on earth would they be left armed while at a training facility during a storm?
  • by handmedowns (628517) <andrew.replogle@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:05PM (#13648281) Homepage
    Hundreds of Tuna Fishermen have been killed from unknown toxins..

    Now THATS dolphin safe tuna.
  • by E8086 (698978) on Sunday September 25, 2005 @11:12PM (#13648311)
    I welcome our new dolphin overloards, until we get hungry and eat them or they strangle themselves on 6pack can fasteners.

    All Hail King Snorky
  • The real question... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jon Abbott (723) on Monday September 26, 2005 @04:24AM (#13649109) Homepage
    ...is whether the Navy fed them or let them hunt for food. If they fed them every day, their likelihood of surviving in the Gulf diminishes rapidly. If, on the other hand, they were taught to hunt for food, they could potentially pose a hazard. We don't have to worry too much about fishermen getting poked, as all of the water around there is now contaminated and shouldn't be used for fishing anyway.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake

Working...