Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Dead whales, fish kills and a super-cavitation submarine
Dead whales, Fish Kills & a Super-cavitation Submarine
Feel free to circulate
In a great story posted March 17, 2009, Joan Conrow discussed two Humpback whale strandings on or near Kauai on Jan. 21 and Feb. 9 respectively. In the same story Joan described fish kills in the same time period and the concerns of scientists as to whether or not the whale strandings and fish kills were related and whether they were caused by sonar tests, underwater explosions or toxins in the water. No conclusions were reached.
In the same story, Joan reported that scientists working on Lehua had been told by DARPA representatives that they could not be on the island for 3 nights between Jan. 3 and mid February. Lehua is a very small island north of Ni’ihau.
DARPA is a government agency that supports exotic military projects. Clearly, an exotic project was being conducted during the period of the whale strandings and fish kills. However, Tom Clements, the spokesman for Pacific Missile range denied that anything unusual was going on. Perhaps he knew nothing about the DARPA project - but, more likely, he was covering for DARPA.
To read Joan’s story go to islandbreath.org. Then scroll down to the 12th story on the left labeled “DARPA”
The following is an attempt to investigate the exotic DARPA project that very likely killed 2 Humpback whales and a large number of fish. The project probably involved the testing of a super-cavitation submarine under DARPA’s so-called “Underwater Express Program”. I came across this program a few days ago while doing a Google Search on DARPA. The key paragraph is as follows:
“In 2005, DARPA announced the 'Underwater Express program', a research and evaluation bid to establish the potential of super-cavitation. The program's ultimate goal is a new class of underwater craft for littoral missions that can transport small groups of Navy personnel or specialized military cargo at speeds up to 100 knots. The contracts were awarded to Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics Electric Boat in late 2006”.
So what is the “Underwater Express Program”?? First a few words about both “cavitation” and “super-cavitation”. Cavitation is an effect caused by small localized pressure differences in water - often due to the motion of a propeller. The pressure differences lead to the formation of small bubbles which then collapse and can damage metal parts. Whereas “cavitation” is related to small collapsing bubbles, “super-cavitation” refers to a single giant non-collapsing bubble which is formed in a very special way so that it wraps part way around the front end of a moving torpedo or submarine.
So how is this giant bubble formed?? First, it requires that the torpedo or submarine be propelled by a rocket engine. As the rocket fuel burns the torpedo or submarine is propelled forward as a reaction to the gas shooting out the rear end. Now comes the tricky part. The front end of the torpedo or submarine is cleverly designed so that a small part of the exhaust gas emerges from the front end and pushes outward against the water. The gas then forms a bubble which grows and moves backward along the body and partially envelopes the torpedo or submarine. There is much less friction between water and the surface of the giant bubble than there is between water and the surface of an ordinary torpedo or submarine. – So when a giant bubble is wrapped part way around either a rocket-driven torpedo or submarine, either vessel can travel a lot faster than a normal torpedo or submarine.
In fact, a super-cavitation torpedo can travel at a speed of almost 300 miles/hour – whereas a super-cavitation submarine can reach a speed of about 100 miles/hour. When I first learned about super-cavitation many years ago, I found it hard to believe that it was a real effect.
From here on I will mostly write “S-C” in place of super-cavitation. Both the S-C torpedo and the S-C submarine seem more like science fiction than science fact.
But they do exist. In fact, The S-C torpedo has been around since 1977 but you may have never heard of it. Russia developed the first S-C torpedo - called the “Shkval” and has sold one or more to China. In 2006 Iran tested an S-C torped o called the “Hoot” which means “Whale”. Perhaps, the United States has decided that it is time to catch up.
The S-C submarine is probably a fairly new item. I had never heard of it until I read about DARPA’S underwater express program during my recent Google search.
In any case, the existence of the “Underwater Express Program points to DARPA as being responsible for the fish kills and whale strandings near Kauai because DARPA is the same outfit that told scientists working on Lehua that they could not be on the island at night for 3 nights between Jan. 3 and mid February of this year. It is quite likely that a DARPA contractor was testing one or more S-C submarines. The contractor may also have been testing S-C torpedoes
So how were the whales and fish actually killed?? Here’s one way!! The burnt rocket fuel ejected from either an S-C submarine or from an S-C torpedo is bound to make one hell of a loud noise – probably far louder than the noise from the loudest sonar in the whole wide world. It probably sounds like a continuing series of loud explosions. This might kill or injure anything in the neighborhood in a way that the loudest sonar never would.
The above does not explain the evidence in Joan Conrow’s story that chemicals or toxins may have caused or contributed to the fish kills. I e-mailed Dr. Carl Berg, a marine researcher on Kauai who had worked with some of the dead fish. Dr. Berg responded that he had not previously thought of an S-C submarine or torpedo as the cause of the fish kills. He then pointed out that the unused or burnt rocket fuel would be highly toxic to fish – and maybe even to whales. Dr. Berg’s comments greatly strenghten the case against DARPA.
And why did DARPA insist that the scientists on Lehua not be on the island during the nights of the “secret” tests. I suspect that DARPA wanted to deliberately conduct the tests close to Lehua so that they could observe the results from high points on the island. Also DARPA wanted to conduct the tests at night for easier observation. A submerged rapidly moving C-S submarine or torpedo might be hard to observe in the daytime but at night the light from the rocket motors would put on a brilliant display which should be easy for anyone to observe. Also, the underwater noise from the rocket engines might have been loud enough to penetrate the water surface and wake up the sleeping scientists. These factors would clearly identify the fact that the tests involved a rocket-driven submarine Perhaps the rocket engines might even explode.
It should be pointed out that S-C torpedoes and S-C submarines are not great underwater weapons despite their great speed – at least not yet. They both have serious problems with stability. If the giant enclosing bubbles should inadvertently ch ange shape and lose symmetry, the vessels might veer off in unwanted directions.
Also, both the S-C torpedo and the S-C submarine tend to go in straight lines. In the case of the S-C torpedo there may be no way to change direction from a distance. However, an S-C submarine could be designed with a series of jets so that the direction of the ejected fuel could be controlled by the pilot of the submarine. It might take a lot of underwater testing to get it right - but does DARPA have to test in Hawaiian waters during the Humpback whale season??
The fact that only two Humpback Whales were found stranded does not mean that only two whales were killed. Other dead Humpbacks could have sunk to the bottom or drifted out to sea Ð so the carnage due to DARPA’s exotic tests cold have been far greater than is now known.
Finally, it should have been clear to both DARPA and it’s contractors that the exotic tests north of Ni’ihau would have been a threat to whales and other forms of marine life. I believe that the tests were in obvious violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and that DARPA and it’s contractors should be prosecuted. In addition, before further such tests are conducted, DARPA should be required to go through the entire EIS process.
Lee Tepley, Ph. D. in Physics