Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

Marine Mammals Used To Fight Terrorism 131

Posted by samzenpus
from the jones-the-enhanced-dolphin dept.
pinkstuff writes "The Navy unveiled its terror-fighting marine mammals at a two-day homeland security and disaster preparedness exercise in California this week. From the article: 'A Navy seal — actually a sea lion — took less than a minute to find a fake mine under a pier near San Francisco's AT&T Park. A dolphin quickly located a terrorist lurking in the black water before another sea lion, using a device carried in its mouth, cuffed the pretend saboteur's ankle so authorities could reel him in.' Queue the 'frickin lasers' jokes."

*

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Marine Mammals Used To Fight Terrorism

Comments Filter:
  • by eagee (1308589) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:15AM (#32265490)
    *This* is why we environmentalists want to protect marine life. It kicks ass.
    • by durrr (1316311) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:18AM (#32265546)
      We need a new enviromental protection agency to protect us from the enviroment.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Mister Whirly (964219)
        No, we need an Environmental Protection Agency that actually protects the environment instead of business interests. Non-mandatory pollution reduction programs instead of regulations - who knew only 2 businesses in the country would sign up for them and reduce pollution on their own without being legally obligated to do so?
        • by Barrinmw (1791848) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @12:14PM (#32266278)
          You took something moderately funny and ruined it. You sir, are a fail.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Paranatural (661514)

          No, we need an Environmental Protection Agency that actually protects the environment instead of business interests. Non-mandatory pollution reduction programs instead of regulations - who knew only 2 businesses in the country would sign up for them and reduce pollution on their own without being legally obligated to do so?

          People with functioning brains?

        • by christianT (604736) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @12:39PM (#32266650)

          Wow! From zero to crazed activist in three posts. I think this is a new record!

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by CoryD (1813510)
            Someone who believes that pollution reduction should be mandatory is a crazed activist? I think I'll side with the "crazed activist" who never stated what kind of programs he had in mind. Rather than you being my other option, the overly dramatic nut job that thinks the pretty sunsets over industry cities are just enhanced scenery. I'm mean, if we're throwing around blind accusations, that IS accurate no?
        • by sqldr (838964)
          in Europe, we have carbon trading. You can pollute as much as you like, but it will cost you.
      • We need a new enviromental protection agency to protect us from the enviroment.

        EPA: Stubborn Environment Refusing To Meet Civilization Halfway/a/ [theonion.com]

    • by thijsh (910751)
      Anything that kicks extreme ass or is really cute and fluffy has a tremendous wallet-opening magic power. This is why environmentalists want to protect any creature that possesses these magical properties. It's a shame most people know the unicorn is already extinct otherwise they could make a fortune of mythical proportions.
    • Indeed. And good luck protesting funding for dolphins in counter-terrorism, PETA. Better just stick with mice in cancer studies.

      God I wish that had made sense.
    • Aquaman?

    • by sqldr (838964)
      Wait until you get a load of the dolphins I've been training as suicide bombers :-)
    • *This* is why we environmentalists want to protect marine life. It kicks ass.

      Many environmental groups are on record as opposing [knittingfordolphins.com] the marine mammal program. You may be the minority in your own crowd.

  • Be carefull (Score:4, Funny)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:17AM (#32265536) Homepage Journal

    You could be training them or more sinister proposes...heh, yeah that was bad. And by bad I mean AWESOME.
    This is a great movie:
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069946/ [imdb.com]

  • by Quato (132194) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:19AM (#32265564)

    It's the Iranian Kamakaze Dolphins you have to worry about!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/middle_east/670551.stm [bbc.co.uk]

  • by kg8484 (1755554) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:19AM (#32265568)
    Cue as in the stage signal. Not the waiting line (or data structure named after it). Otherwise, does anyone else get reminded of Jones from Johnny Mnemonic when they read these articles?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by nemasu (1766860)
      #include #include void main() { std::queue Q; Q.push_back("Need more frickin' sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their frickin' heads!"); Q.push_back("mutated sea bass?"); Q.push_back("Well, it's a start"); return; }
      • by Sir_Lewk (967686)
        < Try selecting "Code" formatting for your post next time >

        Good point though.
      • I'd like to file a bug report:
        $ gcc -o frickinLaser.exe frickinLaser.cppfrickinLaser.cpp:1:9: error: #include expects "FILENAME" or frickinLaser.cpp:2:9: error: #include expects "FILENAME" or frickinLaser.cpp:3: error: '::main' must return 'int' frickinLaser.cpp: In function 'int main()': frickinLaser.cpp:5: error: 'queue' is not a member of 'std' frickinLaser.cpp:5: error: expected `;' before 'Q' frickinLaser.cpp:6: error: 'Q' was not declared in this scope frickinLaser.cpp:9: error: return-statement
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by nemasu (1766860)
          Apparently the /. comment editor makes a horrible IDE.

          ....I don't know why I'm fixing this

          Tested under MSVS2008

          #include <string>
          #include <queue>

          int main(void)
          {
          std::queue<std::string> Q;
          Q.push("Need more frickin' sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their frickin' heads!");
          Q.push("mutated sea bass?");
          Q.push("Well, it's a start");
          return 0x2A;
          }
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by riverat1 (1048260)

      If enough of the 'frickin laser' jokes were made you would have a queue of them.

  • This is not new (Score:5, Informative)

    by bigredradio (631970) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:20AM (#32265584) Homepage Journal
    Actually the Navy has been doing this for years. Harbor patrol using seals and dolphins has been around for a while. When I was in the Navy in 93' I wrote an article about it (Yep there are journalists in the military). I was unable to run the story though because they were afraid people might jump to conclusions and think they were strapping bombs to marine animals. The facilities for training the marine animals in San Diego ranked right up with SeaWorld (if not better).
    • I think the Navy was doing this stuff back in Vietnam. I watched a documentary where they regretted not using killer whales in the Hanoi harbor to exploit the Vietnamese cultural fear of large fish.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheLink (130905)

        > They regretted not using killer whales in the Hanoi harbor to exploit the Vietnamese cultural fear of large fish.

        Cultural fear of large fish? I'm not Vietnamese and I think I'd have a better chance against an attacking great white shark than a killer whale.

        Or at least a quicker death. See what killer whales get up to with their prey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xk0fc_FzUs [youtube.com]

      • by RockDoctor (15477)

        I watched a documentary where they regretted not using killer whales in the Hanoi harbor to exploit the Vietnamese cultural fear of large fish.

        How the hell would that work? Every one knows that orcas are not fish - at least, they're no more fish than humans are.

        (And yes, I am fully aware that humans, orcas, and everything in between them and the natterjack toad are all "fish" in the sense of "bone-using gnathostome vertebrates".)

    • by meerling (1487879)
      I heard about this stuff when I was a little kid in the 70s. Definitely not anything new.
      There was even a movie (inspired by the real ones) that used this as it's gimmick.
      (I forgot the movie name, it was boring, the ad was the most exciting part.)

      They've trained various ones for guard duty, e.o.d. duty, and sabotage duty.
      Hopefully they've improved their training and gear by now, it has been a very long time...
      (Please note, I have no idea when they started this stuff, just that I know the info went p
  • by OzPeter (195038) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:25AM (#32265628)
    The Day of the Dolphin [wikipedia.org] Now git off my lawn or patch of seaweed or what ever is appropriate for you to git off
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It is also a good counter to the Soviet Squids.
    Do not forget the Chronosphere and Weather Control Station

    • by meerling (1487879)
      Sorry to disappoint, but this stuff was done for multiple decades before Westwood was even founded, much less wrote Red Alert.

      Except for the squid thing, haven't ever heard of anyone training squid to do anything yet.
  • by djconrad (1413667) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:31AM (#32265702)
    Marine mammals used to fight terrorism? Why did they stop?
  • by bagofbeans (567926) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:45AM (#32265858)

    A dolphin quickly located a terrorist

    Shouldn't TSA be given this detection technology to, ya know, help 'em out a little?

    • by Barrinmw (1791848) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @12:15PM (#32266302)
      "Sir, will you please jump in this large tank of water so that the dolphin can scan you."
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by lennier1 (264730)

        Hey, at other places people pay a lot of money to swim with dolphins.

        • And at some places people PAY to be put through a strip search, sniffed by a dog, publicly humiliated and probed by a big guy with a grudge.

          Doesn't mean I want this top happen to me... well at least not when I am trying to catch a flight... maybe if it is delayed, you know, to kill the time... If I put a sausage in my luggage, will that trigger that sniffer dog and his hunky handler?

    • A dolphin quickly located a terrorist

      Shouldn't TSA be given this detection technology to, ya know, help 'em out a little?

      Well, TSA agents do have near-dolphin intelligence, but their senses aren't as well developed. I don't think they can pull it off.

    • by thewiz (24994) *

      Actually, we at the TSA have ordered 2,000 800-pound gorillas to replace the current airport screeners.
      Just remember:
      o DON'T wear anything yellow
      o DON'T bend over
      o DON'T argue with the screeners

  • Queue (Score:4, Funny)

    by mcsqueak (1043736) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:45AM (#32265860)
    I love it when my 'frickin lasers' jokes are in nice, orderly lines... ;)
  • by BobMcD (601576) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:47AM (#32265884)

    This is a truly novel approach, but what kind of sophisticated aqua-terrorists are we genuinely preparing to encounter?

    9/11 was civilian aircraft, Oklahoma City was a Rider truck, and the attack on the USS Cole was a rubber raft [wikipedia.org].

    Color me stupid, but it seems that stealthy and/or sophisticated attacks are absolutely not the point of terrorism. They don't seem to be trying to show that they are worthy James Bond villains, but rather that an attack could materialize out of the simplest and most common things.

    But nice job with the seals and dolphins. Good luck with the sharks and the lasers.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Since when does Oklahoma City count as a terrorist attack? McVeigh was a white American and that makes bomber/tax protester/survivalist/separatist not a terrorist.

      Newsweek said so: http://www.newsweek.com/id/233949 [newsweek.com]
      • by PhilHibbs (4537)

        So only furriners can be terrorists? That doesn't make sense. What about an American citizen that joins an Al-Qaeda group and blows something up in the US? Are they not a terrorist while the Sudanese guy next to them is?

        • by lennier1 (264730)

          Didn't you get the memo?
          Terrorists always have to be Muslims and wear a turban. It's part of the union regulations.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by sumdumass (711423)

            Yep, it sure is in the union regulations. I have the regulation manual right here and on page 29 titled section 219- paragraph A- subsection S, it says that in order for a child apprentice to become a legitimate terrorist, it has to take the diaper off their ass and put it on their head. When the diaper is full of shit again, it gets called a turban and they are bona fide terrorists subject to wages of scale until they die.

      • by BobMcD (601576)

        Perhaps you're intending the conflict to reflect your point, but in the case that you're not:

        bomber/tax protester/survivalist/separatist == terrorist

        There has never been a difference, and there isn't one now just because we've gone about replacing all our fear-speak with 'terrorism' rather than 'communism'. The Boston Tea Party patriots were terrorists, too. They were on 'our side', but still they attacked a civilian target and tried to frame it on the Native Americans, all towards their political agenda.

        • by AndersOSU (873247)

          Civilian-ish. The East India Company wasn't exactly a hallmark of free enterprise.

          As for being terrorism ... no one died, so if it's terrorism its a particularly weak soup variety. I'd call it a lawless protest or a mob action.

          But then on the other hand, the guy who thinks Tim McVeigh wasn't a terrorist is an idiot.

          • by BobMcD (601576)

            As for being terrorism ... no one died, so if it's terrorism its a particularly weak soup variety. I'd call it a lawless protest or a mob action.

            I wasn't aware that we had accurate historical records of the event. Can we be certain that no one was killed? It seems somewhat unlikely, unless there were just so many in the mob that the ship security elected not to resist.

            Even so, I'm not sure it matters. See the case in Atlanta of the autistic child accused of making terroristic threats via stick figure drawing.

            • by 2short (466733)

              "I wasn't aware that we had accurate historical records of the event. Can we be certain that no one was killed?"

              Well, be aware. We have eyewitness accounts from several participants and uninvolved bystanders, and multiple newspaper stories. They are not in perfect agreement as far as matters like where exactly along the warf the ship was, or what time the last of the tea was dumped. Based upon them one can certainly debate more possibly significant matters like how well planned the event was and by whom

              • by BobMcD (601576)

                Yeah, that's what I thought as well. Seemed like all of the above was hearsay, and that none of it was recorded properly at all.

                Considering the participants, this would be strange.

                Seems there could be a reason to me, but I'll stipulate that it is unfounded speculation.

                • by 2short (466733)

                  "Yeah, that's what I thought as well. Seemed like all of the above was hearsay, and that none of it was recorded properly at all."

                  No, what I said isn't what you thought and are still saying; It does not seem like it is all hearsay; It was all recorded quite extensively. The event was heavily reported. Heated debates were had over whether the tea ought to be paid for. Suggesting someone probably got killed isn't just unfounded speculation, it's outright denial of well founded history.

                  • by BobMcD (601576)

                    It was all recorded quite extensively. The event was heavily reported. Heated debates were had over whether the tea ought to be paid for. Suggesting someone probably got killed isn't just unfounded speculation, it's outright denial of well founded history.

                    I see. Because the absence of a fact is the same as the presence of a fact? That doesn't seem very scientific, but I can tell that you're getting annoyed, so I suppose I'll just let it go.

                    • by 2short (466733)

                      You know, there is no report either way about whether alien flying saucers helped dump the tea. Would forming any conclusion on that be unscientific?

                      The absence of evidence that your theory predicts should exist indicates your theory is wrong or incomplete. This is the very essence of science.

                      There being no evidence, in the form of reporting, your theory "Someone was killed" is wrong or incomplete. Unless I misunderstood, you hoped to complete your theory with the further postulate "The event was not wel

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by riverat1 (1048260)

          One persons terrorist is another persons freedom fighter. It all depends on your POV.

          • I've wondered about this saying. It only makes sense in the context of McVeigh, Embassy bombings ('83 or '98), IRA, Contras, that sort of thing. The difference is those people were fighting something that existed where they actually lived. The 9/11 attack was carried out thousands of miles away. No freedom fighting there. Just exporting violence. I'm not saying McVeigh or the mujaheddin were freedom fighters. Just that they saw themselves as such. Remember, the US backed a lot of these groups when it was in

            • by Nadaka (224565)

              Some are oppression fighters (fighting for oppression), the rest see the US as occupying their home and strike at US anywhere. Bin Laden is a little bit of both, he became offended when the Saudi leadership invited the US in during the first gulf war and he also wishes to impose a global Caliphate where a select group of islamic clerics impose anything they say as absolute law and all non-muslims are exterminated.

      • Newsweek said so...

        Holy shit, that makes it true, then!

      • He used terror to further his agenda. That makes him a terrorist. White people can be terrorists you know, and black people can be president, regardless of what McVeigh would have thought of that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Infiniti2000 (1720222)

      This is a truly novel approach, but what kind of sophisticated aqua-terrorists are we genuinely preparing to encounter?

      Prior to 9/11, people like you would ask the same questions about civilian aircraft. Maybe you should pull your head out of your ass and look towards all avenues of terrorism.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BobMcD (601576)

        My head is in the fresh, clean air, thank you.

        I am looking at all avenues of terrorism, which only include things that would terrorize us, and not every conceivable thing the US Government would like to spend tax money on.

        Rationalize for me how the plot of your typical action movie would generate fear in the general public. Please.

        Head in ass, indeed.

        • Not everything is about terrorism, it just sells now to call it that, but this kind of stuff went on during the cold war, it is a known fact that various armies (or rather navies) have used divers and small subs to sneak into harbours to blow stuff up. It is very difficult to protect against them and ship by their nature make high value targets. If you can sink or at least severely damage a carrier with just a small team... well that would be very nice indeed. Better then having to send in a fleet of your o

          • by BobMcD (601576)

            You're weird and make large logical leaps for no apparent reason. If you'd like to continue this conversation, please demonstrate the value of trained seals as it would have pertained to Pearl Harbor.

    • by robot256 (1635039) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @12:22PM (#32266428)
      IIRC, the Mumbai bombings were executed by terrorist operatives who swam to shore from dinghies in scuba gear in order to enter the country illegally. But yes, it does just sound like an excuse for sharks with lasers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nohelix (1244378)

      This is a truly novel approach, but what kind of sophisticated aqua-terrorists are we genuinely preparing to encounter?

      This is not a novel approach.
      Both the US and Russian governments have been training and using marine mammals [wikipedia.org] (wikipedia) as well as other animals [wikipedia.org] (wikipedia) to help with military tasks. Dolphins and sea lines have been in training and use in the Gulf Wars. Perhaps the funniest example of military animals is the dogs that the failed Russian anti-tank dogs [wikipedia.org] (wikipeida) that due to their training attacked Russian instead of enemy tanks. Its worth noting that this was again unsuccessfully attempted by Iraqi

      • Perhaps the funniest example of military animals is the dogs that the failed Russian anti-tank dogs [wikipedia.org] (wikipeida) that due to their training attacked Russian instead of enemy tanks. Its worth noting that this was again unsuccessfully attempted by Iraqi insurgents in 2005.
        Man, you think you get bad press for child soldiers, just wait until the public finds out about your kamikaze dogs. Might as well hang yourself, and spare the world another nuremberg style trial.
        • by Nadaka (224565)

          It is even funnier when you understand that like pigs, dogs are considered an unclean animal by most Muslims. Any Iraqi killed by "friendly fire" in such an attack would be damned.

    • If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

      There are really two sides to this, one somewhat hopeless, one somewhat cynical. The cynical one is that defense procurement is subject to substantial regulatory capture, and is thus driven more than one would like by what defense contractors can produce, rather than what is needed.

      The somewhat hopeless one is ultimately more problematic. Because we are a high-tech, highly integrated society, with a fairly high cost-of-living, we have a comparative ad
      • by Eivind (15695)

        Is it possible that there's solutions to the supply-side of this problem too ?

        To put the resources spent in perspective, the US alone has over 400 bilion, in a country with a GDP of around 15. Other countries have spent less, but also significant amounts, overall it's likely that 50 times the GDP of Afghanistan has sbeen spent in Afghanistan.

        That is a truly stupendous amount. Is it possible that a small fraction of this money, spent on activities designed to undermine terrorist recruitment, would suceed in

    • Color me stupid, but it seems that stealthy and/or sophisticated attacks are absolutely not the point of terrorism.

      "Terrorism" is the magic word that makes the red tape disappear from your budget request.

    • by SkOink (212592)

      It's actually not a new program - the Navy's had marine mammal units for many years now. Long before "terrorism" was ever a buzzword. Of particular interest is the Mark-6 unit (MK-6 MMS) which is an antipersonnel unit. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it - a suicide diver with the right explosives could probably take out a small naval vessel. A ship's sonar probably can't distinguish a diver from any other underwater mammal. And even if it could, bullets are ineffective in the water. It's a signif

      • by BobMcD (601576)

        It makes a lot of sense if you think about it - a suicide diver with the right explosives could probably take out a small naval vessel. A ship's sonar probably can't distinguish a diver from any other underwater mammal. And even if it could, bullets are ineffective in the water. It's a significant vulnerability if you think about it.

        I don't think you can use the phrase 'a lot of sense' in this application:

        1) If it were viable, it would be being practiced, particularly by our own side. There's probably something more to it that complicates the approach or somehow makes it non-workable. Otherwise we would have heard about it happening by now, to someone - even if only to or by Somali Pirates.

        2) Even if such a defense were necessary, there's no accommodating these creatures in our present infrastructure. Perhaps in our own ports, but m

  • Marine mammals used to fight terrorism. Now they don't any more, huh. What, the younger generation has gone over to the dark side, or have they just zoned out and now spend their time surfing the web???
    • by Anomalyst (742352)
      They looked into the frikin laser with their remaining eye and are now on permanent military disability, supported by your tax dollars. This is turning out to be more costly than anticipated as the sheets on the bed need to be changed after every rehydration and the fish smell is incredibly difficult to remove completely.
  • (shark instanceof Mammal) == false

  • Well, I was in the navy and it was a semi-regular occurrence of seeing them use Sea Lions for mine detection. So this has been around for years. My guess is this is the first non-military use of them.
  • It's worth pointing out that, despite the anti-terrorism/Homeland Security spin currently in fashion, the Navy has been working on using marine mammals for underwater security since at least the 1960's, with preliminary work going back into the 50's.

    The general idea is that it's rough and dangerous to send people into the water, E.G. to inspect the hull of a submarine moored in the 50 degree water of the Hood Canal, so it's better to use animals evolved to survive in that environment. Trained anima

    • by ArcCoyote (634356)

      Not to mention the dolphins and sea lions likely consider the training exercises to be a hell of a lot of fun. It's a game to them. What a job.

  • Did they develop drysuits or missiles or what? ;)

  • /me Slaps Terrorists around with a Fish

  • Marine Mammals *used* to fight terrorism, but now all they do is swim around and eat fish and stuff! Explains the increase in attacks.

  • The US Navy Marine Mammal Program has been in place for fifty years now and predates the "war on terrorism." It used to be heavily classified but its a lot more open than it used to be. The short summary of its mission:
    1) The Navy claims they have never used the program in an attack mission, but does admit they have been used in combat zones.
    2) The Navy recognizes the animals use in Mine Detection, object/personnel recovery, and enemy detection
    3) While originally a large array of animals were used, due to

  • Wasn't this done in Red Alert 2? Oh shit, we need to stop the Russians from taming giant squids!

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis

Working...