USS Scorpion Mystery Solved

USS Scorpion
USS Scorpion Nuclear Attack Submarine

USS SCORPION SUNK BY A NATURAL SEAFLOOR UPHEAVAL!

The nuclear attack submarine USS Scorpion (SSN-589) and her crew of 99 American sailors mysteriously vanished on 22 May 1968.  She had dropped off two crew members at the US Naval Base at Rota Spain and was then assigned to escort a Polaris missile submarine out to deep water. Her orders were to then set a straight course to her homeport at Norfolk, Virginia. Two days later, the US Navy released a chart published by the Gallup Independent on 28 May 1968. It revealed that on 21 May 1968, the USS Scorpion was only “a few miles south of the Azores” when she sent her last message.  This location agreed with her orders to set a straight course home. Hundreds of other newspapers published the same chart.

USS Scorpion location May 1968
USS Scorpion located “a few miles south of Azores.”

The US Navy’s top brass knew the deplorable mechanical condition of the USS Scorpion. They started to worry. Was it wise to release the last known position of such a mechanically deplorable nuclear submarine with visible cracks in her hull? What if the USS Scorpion had crashed to the bottom a few minutes after sending her last message? If so, her wreckage was inside the territorial waters of the Azores.

Did the newly refueled nuclear reactor break apart and dump nuclear radiation “a few miles south of the Azores?” Were the two nuclear torpedoes also leaking nuclear radiation in Azores waters? If so, the US Navy’s admirals would be facing a monstrous nuclear clean up and a likely charge of criminally negligent homicide!

Obviously, Broadcasting USS Scorpion’s Last Known Position Was a Monster Mistake!

What if the citizens of the Azores started worrying about radiation poisoning in the fish they ate? Congress would be forced to conduct a full-blown investigation.

The USS Scorpion’s had stress cracks in her hull near her stern. Every newspaper in the world would report these cracks. The admirals could not deny them; they were visible to the naked eye. Furthermore, maintenance staff had placed honest reports in her file to protect their own asses in the case of a catastrophic hull failure due to the many visual fatigue cracks. Her maintenance file also revealed that USS Scorpion had departed Norfolk on a mission to the Mediterranean with 109 unfilled repair orders. The admirals would be found guilty of sending a wrecked submarine on a suicide mission that took the lives of 99 sailors!

As shocking proof… the admirals had limited her dive depth to 300 feet because they knew her system to pump seawater from her ballasts tanks and float her to the service was inoperative. The only way Scorpion could surface from 300 feet in an emergency was by suddenly increasing the turns of her propeller with both starboard and port dive planes set at a steep up angle. If she suffered a power failure with no way to blow her ballast tanks, she would sink like a stone and the admirals knew it before she left Norfolk!

What if the drive shaft had snapped? The propeller broke off?  Or, what if a dive plane snapped loose where it attached to the stern? Scorpion would go straight to the bottom with no way to surface.

There is not one speck of doubt, the admirals knew the USS Scorpion was a wreck looking for a place to crash even before she left home base. In fact, the 99 sailors who died on the USS Scorpion had nicknamed her the USS Scrapiron a few weeks before they departed on their final mission. They picked the name because it best described what turned out to be their coffin.

https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/1998-07/why-they-called-scorpion-scrapiron

This was not criminal negligence. This was MURDER of 99 US Navy submariners with zero chance to survive! The admirals knew they had to deny the USS Scorpion was anywhere near the Azores to keep from going to jail.

They Also Knew The Easiest Way to Relocate a Sunken Navy Vessel Was to Fake a Secret Spy Mission!

They could only pray that no one paid close attention to the new chart shown below. Simply comparing the two would reveal the deception.

USS Scorpion Relocated

The admirals lied when they said the US Navy’s Atlantic Submarine Command issued a top-secret operations order for the USS Scorpion to avoid the Azores. This so-called top-secret order allegedly sent the Scorpion 400 miles south of the Azores to spy on Soviet warships patrolling near the Canary Islands. The chart at the top of this page was allegedly faked to fool the Soviets.

In fact, according to an article published in the Chicago Tribune, the USS Scorpion was “250 miles south of the Azores” when she sent her last messages, not anywhere near the Azores.

After this trumped-up spy mission, the USS Scorpion supposedly headed away from the Canary Islands on a straight course to Norfolk. She then allegedly crashed due to an unexplained catastrophic event “400 miles south of the Azores,” far away from the territorial waters of any country. In other words, the fabricated top-secret spy mission relocated the wreck site out of the Azores and into International waters. This lie relieved the US Navy’s obligation to clean up a nuclear-contaminated wreck site. The lie also kept them out of jail!

The fabrication also explains why, for the last 50 years, the US Navy has repeatedly refused to allow an independent party to verify the location of the wreck site in a mini-sub. Instead, they declared the USS Scorpion wreckage off-limits because it is now the sacred burial grounds of the 99 US sailors they murdered.

The Admirals Had to Lie!

As directed from the very top, the admirals in charge of the Navy’s Court of Inquiry intended to cover-up the real cause of the sinking.

The US Navy has known for 200 years that besides enemy action, there are four natural undersea catastrophic events that can generate underwater shocks strong enough to damage a navy vessel either on the surface or under it. These sources are (1) a very shallow, moderate magnitude, vertical thrusting earthquake in the seabed, (2) a strong undersea volcanic explosion, (3) the sudden collapse of a volcanic caldera, and (4) the violent impact of a heavenly body with the surface of the ocean.

The official inquiry never mentioned any particular catastrophic event of nature. But it did ruled that the USS Scorpion sank due to an “unexplained catastrophic event.” This was only half-true. All four of the above mentioned oceanic disturbances are catastrophic events but they are not unexplained. Instead, they are well-known by the US Navy!

However, the admirals did not want to mention natural oceanic disturbance so they started leaking rumors that the Russians might have torpedoed the USS Scorpion in retaliation for the fabricated spy mission. Later studies of the wreck by U.S. Navy expeditions found no signs that an external weapon had hit the submarine.

You decide the truth. Believe the top chart released right after the sinking or believe the second chart released a few weeks later. One is the truth; the other is a fabrication by the US Navy’s top admirals. The two different charts cannot be explained other than by a purposeful US Navy Cover-Up!

The US Navy Never Admits Deception!

Fifty years have slipped by and the Soviet Union has gone out of business so why don’t the Navy show us the original documents to support the secret spy mission to the Canary Islands? If they did not lie to the American public, then there is no harm in proving it to the citizens of the Azores and the families of the sailors they murdered.

Allow me to repeat. Instead of admitting the USS Scorpion sent its last message a few miles from the Azores, they reported that at about 7:54 pm Norfolk time on 21 May, the USS Scorpion rose to within a few feet of the rolling surface and radioed the U.S. Naval Station in Greece that she was “250 miles southwest of the Azores Islands.” As mentioned above, this was reported by the Chicago Tribune.

The new fake location was a few miles west of the Canary Islands so if the admirals were telling the truth, why did they even mention the Azores? Why not just say the USS Scorpion sent its last message from “a few miles west of the Canary Islands?

USS Scorpion’s Fatal Mission Still Classified!

Of course, we are still forced to take the US Navy’s word even 50 years later because the evidence of the original fake spy mission remains top-secret to this day.

The lies told by the admirals put the wreck of the USS Scorpion south of its assigned course and in International waters a long way from any sovereign nation. They also prevent civilians from visiting the wreck site in mini-subs because it is the sacred burial grounds of US Navy sailors they murdered.

Why forbid a civilian mini sub from verifying the wreck site? Every relative of the 99 murdered souls would be elated if they could be 100% sure that this is where their sailor was resting. The US Navy could even carry the relatives to the area so they could say a prayer and drop flowers above the watery grave site. But this is not going to happen because the location they gave is not the real burial grounds of the 99 murdered sailors.

After faking the spy mission, the admirals then reported that the USS Scorpion crashed to the bottom due to an unknown catastrophic cause while on a “direct route home from the Canary Islands.” As you can see on the lower chart above, the fabricated wreck site had magically move to an area “400 miles south of the Azores.” Why not “400 miles west of the Canary Islands?” This is not the direct route home the Navy ordered her to take after she left Rota, Spain. It was an obvious lie, but if they could convince Azores citizens that it was the truth, then they might avoid the anger of Congress.

Suicide Mission!

Sending the USS Scorpion on her final mission knowing she had fatigue cracks in her hull and knowing her deplorable mechanical condition amounted to criminal negligence. The USS Scorpion was a sitting duck for the shock waves often generated during shallow-focused, vertical thrusting earthquakes and other natural upheavals on the seafloor and on the surface.

The area around the Azores is one of the most seismic hot spots in the world!

And the earthquake did not have to be a monster. All it had to be was extremely shallow. For example, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake only 4.6 km below the surface occurred not long ago in Oklahoma. People felt the quake in Chicago, thousands of miles away. The main reason for the devastation was the shallow depth, a common event in and around the Azores.

Allow me to repeat: The USS Scorpion had 109 unfilled repair orders and signs of metal fatigue in her hull that were visible to the naked eye. And, to make matters worse, the emergency system to flood her ballasts tanks with air and float her to the surface was not working and the US Navy knew it all before the sub left Norfolk. Am I correct to call this a suicide mission?

How I Discovered the USS Scorpion Cover-up!

In 1974, the oil supply ship I was running was hit by a seaquake off the coast of Puerto Rico. We lost 150 oil pipes over the side and almost sank.  I started looking for others who had experienced something similar but had a hard time finding any reports. My big break came in the 1990s when companies started digitizing old newspapers and putting them up on the Internet. 

Starting in the 1700’s, newspapers all around the world were reporting ships hit by seaquakes and other undersea upheavals.  Online archives are filled with violent encounters such as the ones shown at this link. You can find another 2000+ eyewitness reports of submarine upheavals at this link. Here’s a different link with over 12,000 reports from sailors telling you their experience with undersea earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. And there’s a lot more. I have over 5,000 handpicked reports from other sources that I am slowing posting on the net (Ships Hit By Seaquakes 1700 – 1899) (Ships Hit By Seaquakes 1900s to present). This stuff is mind-blowing.

The strange thing is these reports stop hitting the press in large numbers shortly after the USS Scorpion sank.

More Shocking USS Scorpion Truth!

The cover-up is obvious when you compare the number of reported seaquake encounters prior to 1968 with the number reported today. There are 50 times more ships and the same number of natural undersea upheavals. But we rarely hear about a vessel/seaquake encounter. We should be reading about shocks from a seaquake hitting a ship or a pod of diving whales almost every week.

The British and Australian navies are also in on the cover-up. All three have been fully aware of the danger since the early 1800s.

Furthermore, 200+ US Navy vessels have encountered seaquakes, including 40 to 50 submarines. The first encounter in the public records occurred in 1852 off the coast of Vancouver Island. One of the most notable happened in 1918 when double earthquake shocks shook the entire sixth fleet of Admiral Rodman’s heavy dreadnoughts.

US Navy Knows the Danger!

This much is proven. The US Navy started investigating seaquake pressure waves in 1939. In August 1946, US President Harry Truman signed Public Law 588 creating the Office of Naval Research (ONR). One of the first projects proposed to ONR was to generate massive tsunami waves with nuclear explosions. The genius behind this proposed weapon was New Zealand Professor, Thomas Leech.

ONR wanted to know all about using explosives to mimic seaquakes. They called this effort Project Seal. The US Navy also released a news article in 1962 asking for scientists to help them create artificial undersea earthquakes to sink enemy ships so their adversaries would believe an earthquake sank it. The Navy named it Blue Sky Research.

So Why Cover-up Seaquakes!

I give you two reason why the seaquake danger fell into a pit of secrecy. First, ONR’s discovered in the mid-1960s that the idea to use artificial seaquakes as weapons would work and needed to be classified as top-secret.

Another reason the Navy does not want you to know about the dangers of seaquakes is to hide the stupid mistake they made in the 1950s when they designed and built six Skipjack-class nuclear attack submarines. One of the six was the USS Scorpion. The Navy wanted the fastest, quickest turning, most silent nuclear attack submarine money could buy so they came up with the Skipjack design with its wide unsupported stern diving planes. They removed the upper and lower external struts that were normally used to support such wide horizontal appendages during fast maneuvers. They did this because the struts generated bubble noise (cavitation) and reduced the top speed by a few knots.

Removing The Struts Was a Fatal Mistake!

The wide horizontal dive planes on the Skipjacks often flapped up and down slowly like some giant prehistoric bird lifting off the ground. The internal supports could not take the constant bending stresses. After 4-5 years of service, the internal supports began to show hairline cracks (metal fatigue) in crucial areas that could only be seen by cutting open the outer plating of the dive planes. In addition, the Skipjacks also suffered a lot of shaft and propeller vibrations that added vibratory stress to the already fatigued internal dive plane supports and to the propeller shaft.

Furthermore, because the hull of a submarine changes shape under increased diving pressures, aligning the long shaft and propeller so they would not vibrate as the depth changed was a nightmare. Shaft failure in submarines was a big problem before the 1990s.

The more stress-weakened the internal supports became, the easier if was for seismic shock waves to knock loose one of the large horizontal diving planes. Sudden shocks generated by shallow-focused, vertical-thrusting seaquakes, especially a reverse-fault event near magnitude six presented an extreme danger to the Skipjack class submarines.

When the USS Scorpion was new, the wide horizontal planes could take the seismic blow. But, as mentioned above, after 4-5 years of bending fatigue, the internal supports holding the diving planes became the most vulnerable part of the submarine if it was hit hard by vertical shocks from the seafloor.

Seaquake Shock Waves Exploit Design Flaws!

The US Navy’s own Maritime Safety Division warned them in 1966, only two years before the USS Scorpion disaster. Marine scientists O. L. Martin, Jr. with the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office published a special report entitled UNDERWATER DISTURBANCES! It was all about the danger of shock waves generated during seaquakes and undersea volcanic explosions. While reading it, ask yourself if the shocks and pressure disturbances mentioned by the US Navy’s Maritime Safety Division in 1966 might injure marine mammals, sea turtles, and fishes with swim bladders. You don’t need to read too close. Just look in the left column of page 59 where the article clearly states that:  “MARINE LIFE CAN BE DESTROYED BY A SEAQUAKE.”

Also, notice on the last page where the article informs:

“Damaging seaquake…. The ship may be thrown about in the water with such force that mast, booms, superstructure, and machinery, as well as the hull, may be damaged. It is possible for seams to be opened to such an extent that flooding cannot be contained and the vessel sinks.”

Keep in mind that the US Navy published this informative article only 2 years before the USS Scorpion tragedy. Their own Oceanographic Office clearly stated that seaquakes could open seams, sink ships, and kill marine life.

There’s More Evidence That The US Navy Lied!

In 1967, one year before the USS Scorpion disaster, US Navy Ensign Frank P. Rossi, loaned to the Environmental Data Service, Environmental Science Services Administration, Washington, D.C. published a US Navy authorized article entitled Seaquakes: Shakers of Ships. These four pages are shocking. Read them (one, two, three, four).

In the early 1960’s, Geophysicists Dr. Hugh Bradner  and Professor John Isaacs, the Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, began to wonder if a nuclear submarine was steaming over an earthquake in the seafloor, would the added hydrostatic pressure pulse generated by the sudden vertical shifting of the seabed show up on the submarines depth gauge as a sudden descent. Then one day at a cocktail party, they ran into a Navy commander who had been watch officer on a submarine during an earthquake. In less than four seconds, his depth gauge had gone beyond test depth. Then, much to his relief, it returned to normal (see page 73).

Both Dr. Bradner and Professor Isaacs warned the Office of Naval Research that an earthquake could easily sink a nuclear submarine, especially if there were fatigue cracks in her hull.

In other words, the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research knew the USS Scorpion was vulnerable before she left Norfolk. That’s why the admirals restricted her diving depth to less than 300 feet during her final suicide mission.

Purging the Seismic Records Easy for the US Navy!

There were no seaquakes in the official US government records, but purging these files would have been a simple matter of an admiral making a 2-minute phone call. And, there were no seismic stations in the Azores capable of detecting a dangerous quake near where the location of the USS Scorpion when she sent her last message. And, if they did pick up the quake, the Azores never put two and two together. On the other hand, there were several US Navy underwater listening stations that picked up the noise of the USS Scorpion crashing to the bottom. The recordings from these stations were suddenly seized and taken to Naval Headquarters. Someone knows what happened to this secret tapes but no one is talking. The Navy released easy-to-fake printouts of this noise several months later. This material fooled many gullible souls, but not the skeptics.

The Navy Took 10,000 Pictures of the Wreck Site!

When US Navy finally located the wreck site. They sent down a camera sled and took 10,000 pictures, releasing ~20 to the public. The US Navy classified the remaining 9,980 as top-secret and they still remain top-secret even today.  A Navy plane flew them to the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Washington on 5 November 1968. The Chicago Tribune confirmed that the photos arrived. ONR spent a week looking for the cause of the sinking.

Then, on 15 December 1968, in a quasi-secret transaction withheld from the press and the public, ONR signed a $2.6 million research contract with Scripps Institution in San Diego. They called the study OVERPRESSURES DUE TO EARTHQUAKES PROJECT and name Geophysicists Bradner and Professor Isaacs as led investigators. Even though it was not officially classified, it was not publicly announced or widely distributed until 2015 when a digital copy was accidentally put online by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS copy) to which this author subscribes.

The Navy Did Not Need a New Earthquake Study!

The US Navy’s Maritime Safety Division warned in 1966 that seaquakes could sink vessels, But in December 1968, the Navy pretended not to know anything about undersea seismic upheavals. Nor did the official US Navy Board of Inquiry mention seismic upheavals regardless that only two years previous, their Maritime Safety Division had warned the maritime world of the dangers of seismic upheavals on the seafloor.

The Cover-Up Begins!

The overpressures project ask Bradner and Isaacs to tell the Navy what they already knew—how an undersea earthquake might have sunk the USS Scorpion. They also wanted Bradner and Isaacs to develop a SEAQUAKE HAZARDS CHART so they could keep the five other Skipjack class submarines out of harm’s way until they could retire them without embarrassing the admirals. This they ordered even though the 1966 report by the US Navy’s Maritime Safety Division including a far more detailed SEAQUAKE HAZARDS CHART.

In other words, the US Navy’s Maritime Safety Division already knew the location of all the seismic hotspots. The Azores was and still in one of the most dangerous. There was also a request for floating pressure gauges (sonobuoys).  Such devices could measure the intensity of seaquake pressure impulses. But the 1966 report mentioned floating seismic recorders were already in use.

The admirals would play dumb in case Congress started an investigation.

The Truth Finally Leaks Out!

USS Scorpion starboard diving plane missing
the tail section of the USS Scorpion missing starboard dive plane, propeller, and drive shaft

Earthquake shock waves snapped the tips off the port dive plane. The shocks pull loose the stress-weakened internal supports holding the starboard dive plane tearing a hole in the hull above the port dive plane. Once loosened from the stern, the fast current bent the plane back into the propeller. The jolt broke off two propeller blades. It also snapped the shaft where it connected to the main drive. The USS Scorpion lost thrust instantly. The 99 sailors on board were helpless because the emergency blow system that filled the main ballast tanks with air and raise the sub to surface was inoperable . The Scorpion rolled over several times and spiraled to the bottom somewhere in the Azores.

The weakness is submarine propeller shafts has been known for many decades. Here is the very latest US Navy report on the problem of broken shafts in nuclear submarines.

The admirals knew the sub was in serious danger while traversing the seaquake active Azores. This meant that sending her back and forth to the seismically active Mediterranean via the seismic hotspot a few miles south of the Azores was the same as sending her on a suicide mission.  They knew a less dangerous route to and from the Mediterranean. The top admirals flat-out lied to the families of the dead sailors and to the public.

What About Five Other Skipjack Class Submarines?

The US Navy had five other seaquake vulnerable Skipjacks in service. Under no circumstances could they retire an entire class of nuclear attack submarines due to dangerous design flaws, especially at the height of the Cold War and at a time when they were already under heavy criticism for the 1963 mysterious loss of the nuclear submarine USS Thresher.

The Russian, French, and Israeli navies also knew a seaquake sank the USS Scorpion. They also lost submarines in seismic hot spots only a few months earlier. They all agreed to keep quiet about the danger. Otherwise, they would all have the same problem. Sailors would avoid submarine duty.

They all kept their mouths shut and began to route nuclear submarines around seismic hot spots. It was and still is a benefit to all navies to stay silent about the real danger. No citizen, regardless of their country, wants submarines loaded with nuclear warheads sailing along their seismically active coast lines.

To make matter worse, the USS Scorpion is likely still leaking radiation into Azores fishing grounds. This is why the Navy must lie about its location. They also had to say the reactor did not crack during the crash. One look at the mangled reactor compartment makes it impossible to believe the US Navy.

Masters of Propaganda!

The US Navy, masters at press manipulation and propaganda, pumped out confusing news reports left and right. The admirals stalled until they finally came up with an ass-saving plan. They would pretend not to know that seismic shock waves could snap off the unsupported diving plane on a Skipjack. They didn’t want their design flaw to leak out. But they still needed a fallback backup story.  That’s why they kick off the $2.6 million OVERPRESSURES DUE TO EARTHQUAKES program. The admirals directed the scientists to discover how seaquakes could sink nuclear submarines. They pretended to forget that their Maritime Safety Division had researched underwater disturbances for decades. The admirals also forgot they had studied the use nuclear weapons to generate tsunamis in the 1940s.

They would continue to deny seaquakes. If the truth leaked out, they’d play stupid. They’d say they had recently initiated a study to learn if seismic overpressures were dangerous. It was a weak excuse, but it was all they had. If the seaquake connection never leaked, they would bury the unclassified research in the basement of the Pentagon. No one would ever know what really happened.

The admirals had no way to know what would happen a few decades later. In the early 1990s, our government formed the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). NTIS’s assignment was to digitize all the old unclassified research papers rotting in the Pentagon. Taxpayers had paid for this unclassified material. They had the right to read it. The NTIS made a digital copy of the OVERPRESSURES PROJECT in 2015 and put on the Internet. Google sent me a notice. Reading it shocked me.

The Research Project

The first part of the OVERPRESSURES PROJECT was to develop a system for measuring hydroacoustic pressure pulsations generated by seaquakes. This first phase started with the following paragraphs:

“The Overpressures Due to Earthquakes project work is directed toward the understanding of the various effects, at the sea surface, at the ocean floor, and between, of nearby undersea earthquakes. The present goal is the study of pressure variations in the water column which result from seismic events. At the beginning of the program, various experimental approaches were considered. One such consideration was the development of inexpensive long time instruments that could be scattered over known seismic areas and left for extended lengths of time (i.e. several years). The idea of attempting to measure the overpressures using such instruments was subsequently abandoned, mainly because of the gross uncertainties involved with trying to make such measurements in the near field of adequate seismic activity.”

“It was decided, instead, to attempt measurements during the aftershock sequence of large earthquakes located beneath the sea. There is almost invariably a sequence of aftershocks following a large earthquake. By definition, the size of the aftershocks are all smaller than the main event (the greatest aftershock is usually about 1.2 in magnitude less than the main event) and continue for from a few days to a number of weeks after the main shock. They are usually located in the general region of the main shock and most probably along the edges of the displacement area of the main shock.”  (see Page 50 of this document)

A major seaquake can sink a modern nuclear attack submarine loaded with nuclear weapons. But the US Navy does not want you to know it. They pretend that a seaquake is harmless to submarines. They even deny that seaquakes can injure pods of diving whales. (see US Navy’s cover-up of the centuries-old whale stranding mystery).

The Oil Industry is Also Worried!

Seaquakes have damaged the legs of an oil rig. They have also damaged large pipes that carry crude oil from offshore to refineries on land. Just such a pipeline burst not ago and spread oil all over Southern California beaches. Naturally, the oil industry does not want you to know such things.

One seafloor upheaval in the wrong place could coat a hundred miles of pristine beach with black crude. The clean-up could top a billion dollars.

Oil Tankers Also Face Danger!

And what happens when a strong seaquake erupts under a loaded oil tanker or liquefied natural gas tanker? Read how a seaquake turned an oil tanker into scrap metal.

It has happened many times. But the news media, as a favor to the US Navy and oil industry, do not publish the reports.

On 6 March 1988. a 7.8 quake followed by seven aftershocks occurred in the Gulf of Alaska. The epicenter was 200 nautical miles from Valdez. Four Exxon tankers were nearby. The incident never made the newspapers but the USGS did report the earthquakes (PDE FILE: 1988 03 06).

There Were Two Eyewitness Reports!

Roland Burton published a condensed version:

“Exxon assigned me to a coast-wise VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) as “Radio Electronics Officer”. The year was 1988 and we were running empty from the San Francisco Bay to the port of Valdez, Alaska to pick up a full load of crude oil.

“The weather was nice with calm seas.” 

“It was right after 7 a.m. and I lay in bed thinking about starting my daily routine when all of a sudden I felt a huge jolt and shaking. It felt like some giant hand just picked the ship up in his huge fists and was taking it and shaking it like some giant set of maracas. There is a rail that goes along the side of the bunk to prevent you from falling out when the ship rocks and rolls. I had to physically hang on to this rail to keep myself from flying over the side of the bed onto the deck in my stateroom.”

“My first thought was that we had struck something. The thought of the Titanic first came to mind and of us going down to the bottom of the sea like she did. I wasn’t terrified at that moment; that would come a little later. What I was feeling most of all right then was a “what the hell is going on” type of feeling.”

“The shaking continued for perhaps 15 seconds or so. During this time, we were going up and down at a rate of about 2-3 feet in each direction as of a giant rapid beating yo-yo. It was a very painful type of shaking. I was positive that it was going to break the entire ship up and we were certain of going down to the bottom of the sea. I couldn’t even stand up, much less find my survival suit.”

The Second Eyewitness Report!

The oil tanker Sansinena II was streaming to Valdez, Alaska, to pick up a load of crude. Her Captain Brent Christian in now the chief pilot for the Port of Los Angeles. Below is his account of what happened:

“Suddenly, without warning, an extremely severe vibration started to shake the entire ship. My first thought was that we’d lost one or several propeller blades. I immediately pulled the throttle back to about 40 rpm. But there was no change in the intensity of the shaking. Not knowing what was happening, I ran out on the bridge wing to look around. The stack shaking so hard I thought it might collapse. I returned to the bridge and a few moments later the shaking subsided.”

“About this time I heard a call over the very high frequency (VHF) emergency Channel 16. The Exxon Boston was calling the Exxon North Slope. She reported she heavy vibration, lost power and flooding. The Exxon North Slope also was without power. It called a third Exxon ship, the Exxon New Orleans, which turned to stand by the Exxon Boston.

Meanwhile, our radio operator heard about the earthquake from a station at Ketchikan. We found no signs of damage, so I gradually resumed speed. I called the Exxon North Slope, gave our position, and offered to assist if needed. They responded that they were restoring power and did not need any help at this time. The Exxon Boston reported that the flooding was under control and the Exxon New Orleans was now standing by.

We felt the first of several aftershocks, leaving no doubt that it was an earthquake we’d felt. We resumed course to Valdez, where eventually all vessels arrived without further incident.”

ref: Craig B. Smith (2006) Extreme Waves, Joseph Henry Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001, ISBN 0-309-13367-X e-pub ISBN

Seaquake News is Suppressed!

Naturally, the oil industry and the US Navy don’t want you worrying about such things. Nor does the cruise ship industry. Would you go on a cruise if you thought a seaquake could sink your ship? Owners of cargo vessels don’t want anyone to know about seaquakes. Their reason is simple. Like a building cracked by an earthquake, the resale/loan value of a ship hit by seismic shocks plummets.

The truth is Shocking!

NASA physicists at Goddard Space Flight Center wrote a report you should read if you don’t believe me. They determined that shock waves from two 7.5 magnitude seaquakes reached 100,000 pounds per square inch (6,000 kilobars). A shock wave approaching 6,000 kilobars will sink any nuclear submarine above the epicenter.

To negate the NASA research, the US Navy financed a 1971 study estimating shocks at 250 psi. There’s a big difference between 100,000 psi and 250 psi. Read both research papers.  Then decide whether you believe the physicists the Navy paid or those working for NASA. Read more on seaquake intensity.

In my opinion, an average 5.5 seaquake generates ~600 psi compressional waves for ~30 seconds.

Capt. David Williams


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