USOs: Unidentified Submarine / Submerged Objects

Philo_T

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#1
USOs in the Baltic sea?

I remember reading about this online, but now I can't track down the information again. So I'm taking to the board.

This was related as an aside in a larger story, either about USOs (Unidentified Submerged Objects) or naval submarine / intelligence history.

The gist of it being that someone somewhere had seen tracks from mechanically tracked vehicles deep on the sea floor where nothing (known) manmade could have been.

The details I vaguely (hence, possibly erroneously) recall were : Baltic sea (or other Northern sea), naval spy operations - like described in "Blind Man's Bluff".

Now that I think about it, there was a spate of USO reports in Sweden (Norway? Finland?) in the 1980's which could be tangentially related.

Does this ring any bells? I'm sorry I couldn't manage to be more vague about this. :D
 

Jerry_B

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#2
I remember various stuff going on in Sweden's territorial waters in the '80s, which were usually hinted at being Soviet incursions (which were of course denied by the Soviets). I think at one point a homing torpedo was fired at one of the USOs - but it failed to find it's mark and apparently disappeared. I also seem to recall that some time later it was all blamed on otters or seals, for reasons I don't remember off the top of my head. The stories of tracks also ring a bell.

Sweden has, in the past, had UFO and USO sightings associated with it's waters, as have other places - for example, various parts of South America, and Australia. The designs described seem quite exotic and/or the objects seen/tracked underwater allegedly suggested high-performance vehicles that could operate in water too shallow for normal subs.
 
A

Anonymous

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#3
Underwater Submarine Objects

I apologize if this topic has been covered here, but the search did not produce any results.

I remember reading about USOs in a popular magazine many years ago. There were several well-documented cases of them flying out of / falling into the sea or lakes described in that article. At least one case that I recollect is not covered in the following article (posted below) so I'll add it here. A crew of a sailing ship in the middle of the Atlantic in the 1850s-1860s witnessed an enormous flaming red ball rise out of the ocean with great roar. Water around it boiled as the ball disappeared in the sky. An artist's illustration of a ball of fire flying out of the ocean near a tall ship was especially impressive. Also, I recall reading about a USO seen by locals at a small lake in Northern Russia - it literally fell from the sky into the lake immediately covering it in a cloud of steam. 24 hours later it flew up vertically creating enormous noise and vanished in the sky (possibly needed that time for repairs). Now here's what I've found on this subject:

"Unidentified objects are not just confined to the sky. In fact throughout the seas, oceans, as well as lakes and rivers of the world, strange metallic objects have provoked just as much curiosity. In this case they are abbreviated as USO's - Underwater Submarine Objects. In many cases the line separating UFO's from USO's is a slender one. Not infrequently such objects will catapult themselves from the sea to hover above the waves before vanishing at amazing speed.

Ancient phenomenon.

Just like UFO's, sightings of the underwater equivalent go back to the dawn of civilisation Indeed the cultures of ancient Mesopotamia believed they derived all their learning from such beings who emerged from the sea. In more recent times the phenomenon has produced a steady stream of sightings. Perhaps not so many incidents as sky sightings, but since the oceans are so broad and unpeopled, this is not to be wondered at.

Brazilian Encounters.

Interestingly enough some of the best documented USO encounters have occurred off the coast of Brazil. On the night of 26th of July 1980 the crew of the tugboat Caioba- Seahorse were 60 miles off the coast of Brazil when they sighted a long grey object in the water ahead of them. At that moment a bright flashing light was seen skimming towards the tug at high speed. It eventually slowed down to hover above the grey object before lifting it from the sea. Both objects then sped off across the ocean.

Cigar shaped craft.

Only four months later an incredible incident took place on the Araguari River in Brazil. Over 70 people waiting for a ferry watched in astonishment as a 15 foot metallic object rose from the river to hover above them before disappearing from sight.

In 1967, again off the coast of Brazil, a cigar shaped craft is reported to have followed the Argentine cargo ship Naveiro. The object stayed alongside the freighter for some time yet curiously left no wake. In some astonishment the crew watched on as the object began to glow in intensity before plunging beneath the ship into deeper waters.

English Sightings.

In England several recent sightings off the coast of Cornwall excited considerable speculation. Cornwall is well known for such happenings, but strangely enough the most unusual British encounter was said to have involved the driver and passengers of a London bus. The year was 1964 and driver Bob Fall on a route near Tottenham was amazed to a see a silver cigar shaped object dive into the nearby waters of the River Lea. Police later explained the incident as a flight of ducks, but severed overhead telephone wires and a large gouge on the embankment told a different story.

Widespread Alarm.

Off the coast of South America in the 1960's the Argentine Navy pursued numerous USO's for at least fifteen days before finally losing track of them. In 1953 USO's caused considerable alarm in Buenos Aires harbour. Once again the navy gave chase but were unable to match the speed of the objects. In Panama meanwhile a USO that emerged from the sea is reported to have followed a passer-by for some distance before speeding away.

Scandinavian Mystery.

In Scandinavia mystery objects are known to have flown into and out of frozen lakes. A report in the Times of the 5th of April 1967 gave the following account: "Something incredibly powerful has smashed a huge hole through the ice covering a lake in central Sweden, but scientists and military experts are uncertain what it was". The possibility of a meteorite was quickly discounted and several days later there was a further incident. Once again it proved that USO's are every bit as elusive as their aerial counterparts. "

http://www.space-2001.net/html/uso_.html
 
A

Anonymous

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#4
Sweden seems to have been particularly prone to strange underwater sightings. I think a lot of them, IIRC, appear to be related to a general "Soviet submarine" flap back during the cold war. They do seem to be phenomena that have gone out of fashion. (Maybe the alien oceanography program has been cut. ;) )
 
A

Anonymous

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#5
u.s.o's

Hi Gloria,a really good book on the U.S.O/U.F.O phenomenon is the classic-"INVISIBLE RESIDENTS" by Ivan T.Sanderson,the whole book is devoted to exploring a lot of sightings of craft seen entering and departing oceans and other bodie's of water.
I think this part of the phenomena has been overlooked by a lot of people,hope this helps.:)
 

Jerry_B

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#6
Janet & Colin Bord's excellent book 'Modern Mysteries of the World' has a whole chapter dedicated to USOs.
 

RainyOcean

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#7
Wow, I've never heard of this. I'm gonna have to look up more about it, seeing as aliens are, to me, probably the most fascinating fortean phenomenon
 

Onix_Martinez

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#8
Didn't someone mentioned that the tripulation of the Russian submarine Kusk saw some strange submarine objects before they had the accident that damned the ship? I seem to recall something about it.
 

Jerry_B

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#9
RainyOcean said:
Wow, I've never heard of this. I'm gonna have to look up more about it, seeing as aliens are, to me, probably the most fascinating fortean phenomenon
Well, let's not jump to conclusions - no-one's said that USOs are crewed by aliens, after all. In fact, there are at least two accounts which describe human-looking crews.
 

Philo_T

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#10
1. After reading "Blindman's Bluff", about the Americans tapping submerged Soviet communications cables, I've always wondered if there were any corresponing reports of Russion USOs.

2. I mentioned this in before another thread: I vaugely remember some round-up report on USOs (I'm thinking in the Baltic, or the flap in the 1980's in Sweden (?)) about unidentified vehicle tracks on the seabed. Possibly even exiting onto the land. Does this ring any bells?
 

Jerry_B

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#12
I think the thread title is confused - 'USO', of course, stands for 'Unidentified Submarine Object'.
 

RainyOcean

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#13
Well, let's not jump to conclusions - no-one's said that USOs are crewed by aliens, after all. In fact, there are at least two accounts which describe human-looking crews.
Yeah, but not everyone believes that U.F.O.'s are really aliens either or even that aliens even exist. That doesn't mean they are not aliens though. It sounds like they very easily could be and I am very interested in the subject and would like to research it(at some point when I have time to spend more then an hour doing anything besides homework, anyway.)
 

Onix_Martinez

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#14
Philo T said:
1. After reading "Blindman's Bluff", about the Americans tapping submerged Soviet communications cables, I've always wondered if there were any corresponing reports of Russion USOs.

2. I mentioned this in before another thread: I vaugely remember some round-up report on USOs (I'm thinking in the Baltic, or the flap in the 1980's in Sweden (?)) about unidentified vehicle tracks on the seabed. Possibly even exiting onto the land. Does this ring any bells?
The first question relates to mine about the Kusk submarine. As for the second, I recall an article in Readers Digest about Russian (then Soviet) submarines with tank-like caterpillars.
 

Philo_T

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#15
Oh Onix, you're such a tease!

As far as the tracks, that could also be a bit of coldwar disinformation / rumor / propaganda. Or worse yet, could be vaporings from Branton.

Google groups, sees all, knows all :
From: Per Nordenberg ([email protected].)
Subject: Cold war incidents between Sweden and Soviet/Russia
Newsgroups: sci.military.naval
Date: 1998/08/28
<snip>
1982
Large ASW operation at Hårsfjärden southeast of Stockholm (largest Sw naval base). For the first time controlled mines with 650 kg charge are used
against contacts indicated on the magnetic cables (although they are
detonated with a few seconds delay). Last real ASW capable ship destroyer
HALLAND is decommissioned during this operation. Tracks are found on the
seabed afterwards possibly coming from tracked minisubmersibles. One patrol
boat gets a contact which possibly is a minisub docking with a larger mother
sub on the seabed, but are not allowed to launch any weapons. One track on
the seabed is said to come from the keel of a Soviet Whiskey class sub.

Which raises the question : "Since the end of the cold war, has any info about such purported Soviet devices surfaced?"
I know we've heard about cavitating torpedoes.
 

Jerry_B

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#16
There was a design from the the USSR for a small tracked sub, but it's hard to find out if such a thing actually saw service. AFAIK it was designed specfically for covert operations, so that would add another layer of obfuscation. That said, the covert activities of all nations hasn't stopped, so it wouldn't be a great leap of the imagination to surmise that such machines (if they exist) would still be in use.
 

FilthyleDog

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#17
Weren't the tracks seen off the coast of Sweden?

I was fascinated by the USO reports that came to light in the eighties, especially the Scandinavian reports.

There was a small feature in "The Unexplained" about them but apart from that you never hear many accounts any more.

I recall that some Nordic Navy (could have been the Norwegians or the Swedes) were highly troubled by intrusions into their waters and went to great lengths to flush out whatever it was encroaching. Whenever they got wind of a USO in their territory at one stage they resorted to depth-charges in quite shallow waters. Nothing appeared except a load of dead fish...and the next day the object(s) was/were back.
This led to press conferences and all sorts of kerfuffle but the mystery was never solved.

As far as I'm aware, the Russian military have never admitted it was anything of theirs since the end of the Cold War, nor has anybody said anything off the record.

However - like I said, I haven't heard or seen any recent reports in the last 10-15 years which leads me to suspect that these were clandestine operations by one side or the other.
 

Yithian

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#18

Rogue sub sparks Japan sea alert


There has been a military alert in Japan after an unidentified submarine was detected inside the country's territorial waters.

Surveillance aircraft spotted the submarine near the southern island of Okinawa and the Japanese navy was ordered to investigate.

Officials said the government was trying to establish the vessel's country of origin.

The submarine has already left Japanese waters, officials said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/3998107.stm
More soon.
North Koreans?
 

Yithian

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#19
More details

Japan's navy gives chase to suspicious sub

*** Breaking news ***

The government ordered the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) to chase an unidentified submarine that was spotted in Japan's territorial waters around southwestern Okinawa Prefecture Wednesday morning, a government spokesman said.

The submarine subsequently left Japan's territorial waters, but the MSDF remains on full alert in case it intrudes into territorial waters again, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda told a news conference.

"It's extremely regrettable. We need to clarify the purpose of the intrusion and the nationality of the submarine among other questions," Hosoda said.

Crewmembers of an MSDF P3C anti-submarine patrol aircraft spotted the submarine in seas off Miyako and Ishigaki islands, southwestern Okinawa Prefecture, early Wednesday morning. At 8:45 a.m., Defense Agency Director General Yoshinori Ono ordered the MSDF to chase the submarine after receiving approval from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Following the order, the MSDF dispatched more P3C aircraft and a destroyer to the area. However, Hosoda said the MSDF did not issue any warning to the submarine.

Even through the submarine left Japan's territorial waters, the P3C aircraft is continuing to pursue the vessel. The nationality of the submarine has not yet been confirmed.

The Defense Agency chief issued the order under Article 82 of the SDF Law. This is the second time that Japan issued such an order following one issued in March 1999 when a North Korean spy ship entered Japan's territorial waters in the Sea of Japan.

The clause allows the Defense Agency chief to order SDF, with permission from the prime minister, to go into action in the sea to keep law and order in cases of crises the Japan Coast Guard cannot cope with on its own. (Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, Nov. 10, 2004)

http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/20041110p2a00m0fp003000c.html
 

Philo_T

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#21
First thing this brought to mind to me were the "mystery subs' or USOs that plagued Sweden (?) in the Baltic during the 1980's.

Then I wondered why Japan hadn't experienced similar phenomena at the same time. They just had subs bumping into ships and ships bumping into subs.


If they're DPRK, then they'd by definition have to be diesel, or at least non-nuclear powered. Right? Nobody's sold a nuclear powered sub that I've heard of. (Of course, I seem to recall reading that diesel subs are quieter anyway.) Just what one needs to extend their strategic reach. But then, they'd need submarine-launched ballistic missiles, too.
 

Twin_Star

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#22
Storm in a teacup

I'd have thought it's far more likely to be a Han Class PRC Submarine that's been sniffing around in the gulf of Taiwan, and was then on it's way home to a pen at Qingdao.

Bit of a navigational snafu (or a small piece of sabre-rattling)straying into Japanese territorial waters, and upon realising they've been rumbled, had gone port full rudder and made flank speed for home.
 
A

Anonymous

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#24
Philo T said:
First thing this brought to mind to me were the "mystery subs' or USOs that plagued Sweden (?) in the Baltic during the 1980's.
Oh, yes, those. The official explanation is that it turned out to be playing otters messing with the radars. The newspapaers had a field day on that one. It's so silly, it's probably true.

....of course, one time it turned out to be a russian/soviet sub with a drunk captain which stranded in the swedish archipelago. the media had a field day with that too. ;)
 

Mal_Adjusted

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#25
Hi

news update:

source:
----------------------

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1348086,00.html

quote:
----------------------

Sub flees after navy chase

Justin McCurry in Tokyo
Thursday November 11, 2004
The Guardian

The fragile relations between Tokyo and Beijing were further weakened yesterday when a suspected Chinese nuclear submarine was chased out of Japanese territorial waters.

The submarine was detected about 180 miles south-west of Okinawa near the
Senkakus, an island chain whose ownership is disputed.

It was the first time the Japanese navy had pursued an unidentified vessel since March 1999, when two suspected North Korean ships were seen off Japan's coast.

The submarine refused demands to surface and identify itself but reportedly left the area after three hours without a shot being fired. It was then chased
through international waters by two destroyers and a helicopter.

Beijing would not be drawn on reports that the submarine was Chinese.

The Japanese prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, described the encounter as
"regrettable", adding: "It is certainly not a good thing that a submarine of
unknown national origin entered our territorial waters."

Defence officials believe the vessel may have been among two Chinese military
vessels spotted in the area this week.

The sighting comes at a delicate time for Sino-Japanese ties. The countries are at odds over gasfields near their maritime border in the East China Sea.

Beijing reacted angrily this week to a Japanese defence agency report saying
China could attack if US troops on Okinawa were asked to help Taiwan in a possible conflict.

--------------------

Endquote

Mal F
 

Twin_Star

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#26
Taken from http://www.japantoday.com - 11/11/2004

Nice to see i was probably right about the Class. Lucky it wasn't the Type 093, then i would have been concerned...

TOKYO — Japan continued to track an intruder submarine on Thursday that entered its waters Wednesday, but Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said it was still too early to identify the vessel, despite media reports that it was a Chinese nuclear submarine.

"We are still tracking the submarine outside our territorial waters," Hosoda told a news conference. He said Japan has yet to identify its nationality "because it stays underwater."

The Maritime Self-Defense Force is trailing the submarine with P-3C patrol planes, two destroyers, and helicopters after continuing the chase through the night, a Defence Agency spokesman said.
The submarine was in the open sea near a chain of islands southwest of Okinawa close to Taiwan, and moving northward on an irregular course, Hosoda said.

Judging from its cruising sound, the Defence Agency believes the vessel is a Chinese navy Han-type nuclear submarine, the mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun and Jiji Press news agency said.
The government has been put on the defensive for ordering the MSDF to take action only after the submarine left Japanese waters, as well as announcing the emergency action more than two hours after the order was issued.

Defense Agency sources have said the vessel appears to be a Han-class submarine of the Chinese Navy — China's first nuclear submarines which became fully operational in the 1980s — based on analysis of the noise made by its screw.

But Hosoda said that information is insufficient to confirm the vessel as being Chinese. He also said the government has no plans to make inquiries with other countries in an effort to identify the vessel.

MSDF officers said they plan to keep tracking the submarine until it goes beyond Japan's air-defense identification zone, and with radar as far as possible after that.

The government plans to lodge a protest through diplomatic channels when the submarine is identified, officials said.
But the government's attempt to identify the submarine only by tracking it and without inquiring with other nations drew criticism from within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Former LDP policy chief Fukushiro Nukaga said in an address to a private security conference in Tokyo, "A nuclear submarine that travels this region cannot be considered as belonging to a country other than the United States, Russia or China."
"The government is recommended to ask these nations and resolve this issue," said Nukaga, formerly a Defense Agency director general.

He also criticized the government for failure to announce the order to mobilize the Self-Defense Forces as soon as it was issued.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said, however, that the step taken after the submarine went out of Japanese waters "was appropriate."

"It was not late. We need a certain amount of caution," he said.
New Komeito leader Takenori Kanzaki, whose party is the LDP's coalition partner, urged the government to review how it took time before issuing the order and also before telling the ruling coalition of the action.

Hosoda said, "We would like to review the matter comprehensively from here on."
The submarine entered Japanese waters around 6 a.m., according to Defense Agency sources. After it left the waters nearly two hours later, the government ordered the MSDF to take security action at 8:45 a.m. and announced it around 11 a.m., according to Hosoda.

The MSDF security action was the second invoked under the SDF Law in its 50-year history. The previous time was in 1999 when two North Korean vessels approached the Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan. (Wire reports)
 

Mal_Adjusted

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#27
Hi

news update:

source:
-----------------------
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53858-2004Nov16.html


quote:
-----------------------

China Explains Sub Incursion Into Japanese Waters

By Edward Cody
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, November 16, 2004; 10:43 AM

BEIJING, Nov. 16 -- Facing strong protests, China broke a week-long silence Tuesday and offered Japan its first explanation about a Chinese submarine that Tokyo said intruded into Japanese territorial waters and refused to signal its identity.

The incursion, by what Japanese officials identified as a Han-class nuclear vessel, has outraged Japanese public opinion and led Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's government to lodge a diplomatic protest and demand an official apology. It sent temperatures rising in a relationship that has long been delicate because of the heritage of Japanese occupation in China and has recently become even more complex as Chinese power expands and Japan reassesses its regional role.
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The Chinese Foreign Ministry still refused to own up publicly that the submarine was Chinese or acknowledge it had penetrated into Japanese waters. Brushing off questions, a ministry spokeswoman, Zhang Qiyue, said only that Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei had briefed Japan's ambassador in Beijing, Koreshige Anami, "and this problem has been properly addressed."

But the Japanese government spokesman, Hiroyuki Hosoda, said in Tokyo that Koreshige was called in Tuesday and told the submarine accidentally veered into Japanese territorial waters because of technical problems last Wednesday and that the Chinese government regrets the mistake.

"We consider this to be an apology," Hosoda said, according to news agencies reporting from Tokyo.

The delay in China's response may have been due in part to President Hu Jintao's absence from Beijing at the time of his first test as commander of the Chinese armed forces, according to Chinese and foreign analysts. Hu, who recently became military chief in addition to his posts as president and Communist Party head, has been on a visit to Brazil en route to a summit meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Chile.

The Chinese military, particularly its strategic submarine service, operates with broad autonomy from lower-ranking civilian authority, the analysts noted. Given the potential for embarrassment or trouble with Japan, decisions on what to do about the submarine detected in Japanese waters likely would have had to come from the top, they said, meaning Hu's traveling office.

The submarine was detected by Japanese submarine-hunting patrols not far south of Okinawa, a Japanese island 1,000 miles south of Tokyo that houses extensive U.S. military facilities. Although the vessel spent only a few hours in Japanese waters, the Japanese navy mobilized and gave chase for two days as it headed back toward China, still without identifying itself, officials in Tokyo said.

The craft was operating in waters near where Chinese vessels earlier this year began exploring for gas deposits along the median line of overlapping exclusive economic zones claimed by both countries. In response to Japanese demands, Beijing and Tokyo last month held a round of talks over the Chinese exploration, after which Japanese officials complained they had been stonewalled.

The Japanese trade minister, Shoichi Nakagawa, told reporters in Tokyo last week that the submarine incident could intensify Japan's doubts about the gas exploration and China's intentions in the disputed economic zones.

Diaoyu Island, which Japan controls under the name Senkaku, also lies nearby, about 300 miles southwest of Okinawa. Both nations claim the small dot on the map, where petroleum deposits have been detected, and Chinese nationalists have occasionally sailed out to stake a claim, only to be ejected by Japanese police.

"This South China Sea dispute has had very bad effects that have mobilized Japanese public opinion and Chinese public opinion," said Shi Yinhong, director of the Center for American Studies at People's University in Beijing.

More broadly, the submarine's operations zone would be key in any Chinese military move against Taiwan. According to military analysts, China would be eager to make U.S. intervention dangerous should it attack or blockade Taiwan; the area, south of Okinawa and north of Taiwan, would be a natural route for U.S. ships traveling from U.S. bases in Japan.

"This is a very grave incident," said Mineo Nakajima, a China specialist and president of Akita International University in Tokyo. "First, China's expansionist strategy became clear. China has been active developing natural gas in the East China Sea near Japanese waters, and there is the Senkaku Island issue. The second problem is Taiwan. China is preparing to use military force against Taiwan."

Koizumi, who has angered Chinese with repeated visits to a shrine where Japanese war criminals are honored among the dead from World War II, said earlier that the submarine incident should be handled carefully because of the importance and difficulty of relations with China. His spokesman's acceptance of China's explanation indicated Tokyo would be willing to move on now that China has come clean, at least in a private diplomatic exchange.

Japanese diplomats have been trying to set up a meeting between Koizumi and Hu during the APEC meeting in Chile. Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said over the weekend the submarine intrusion made such a meeting all the more important.

But in deciding whether such a meeting would be opportune, Hu has to reckon with Chinese public opinion that is strongly resentful of Japan.

A Japanese victory over China in last summer's Asia Cup soccer tournament led to street disturbances in Beijing, for instance, and a recent government decision to award a railroad construction contract to Japanese firms was carefully played down in China's censored media. In the same spirit, the submarine incident was not reported here at all.

Special correspondent Sachiko Sakamaki in Tokyo contributed to this report.

---------------------

endquote

Mal F
 

ProfessorF

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#28
On the theme of USOs, this piece of flotsam washed up on the shore of my digital beach today...

The Navy’s Swimming Spy Plane
It floats, it flies, it eliminates enemy targets—meet the water-launched unmanned enforcer


By Bill Sweetman | February 2006

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, famed for the U-2 and Blackbird spy planes that flew higher than anything else in the world in their day, is trying for a different altitude record: an airplane that starts and ends its mission 150 feet underwater. The Cormorant, a stealthy, jet-powered, autonomous aircraft that could be outfitted with either short-range weapons or surveillance equipment, is designed to launch out of the Trident missile tubes in some of the U.S. Navy’s gigantic Cold War–era Ohio-class submarines. These formerly nuke-toting subs have become less useful in a military climate evolved to favor surgical strikes over nuclear stalemates, but the Cormorant could use their now-vacant tubes to provide another unmanned option for spying on or destroying targets near the coast.

This is no easy task. The tubes are as long as a semi trailer but about seven feet wide—not exactly airplane-shaped. The Cormorant has to be strong enough to withstand the pressure 150 feet underwater—enough to cave in hatches on a normal aircraft—but light enough to fly. Another challenge: Subs survive by stealth, and an airplane flying back to the boat could give its position away.

The Skunk Works’s answer is a four-ton airplane with gull wings that hinge around its body to fit inside the missile tube. The craft is made of titanium to resist corrosion, and any empty spaces are filled with plastic foam to resist crushing. The rest of the body is pressurized with inert gas. Inflatable seals keep the weapon-bay doors, engine inlet and exhaust covers watertight.

The Cormorant does not shoot out of its tube like a missile. Instead an arm-like docking “saddle” guides the craft out, sending it floating to the surface while the sub slips away. As the drone pops out of the water, the rocket boosters fire and the Cormorant takes off. After completing its mission, the plane flies to the rendezvous coordinates it receives from the sub and lands in the sea. The sub then launches a robotic underwater vehicle to fetch the floating drone.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is funding tests of some of the Cormorant’s unique systems, including a splashdown model and an underwater-recovery vehicle. The tests should be completed by September, after which Darpa will decide whether it will fund a flying prototype.
source
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#30
Mysterious giant deep ocean.... bulldozer tracks?

I am unsure if this fits here perfectly but it is the first thing I thought of when I saw it just on much larger scale (I can split it off to Science if folks that that would be a better home for it):

Posted on Sun, Jan. 07, 2007


OCEAN RESEARCH OFF S.C. COAST

Offshore trenches baffle scientists

Mapping sonar yields puzzle

By Zane Wilson
The Sun News


Scientists are puzzling over a new mystery of the deep discovered 40 miles offshore from Horry and Georgetown counties last fall while mapping fish habitat with the latest technology.

The mysterious formations look like giant bulldozer tracks under 480 feet of water.

"They are really interesting furrows and scours," said Paul Gayes, a professor of marine science at Coastal Carolina University who has been studying the geology of the state's coast for more than 20 years.

"It doesn't make a great deal of sense why these are out there," he said.

The gouges are similar to some offshore from New Jersey so they are not unique, but they were not known to exist off the Carolinas.

The formations are quite large, about 330 feet wide and 10 feet deep, with raised edges, Gayes said, something like the type of furrow people would make by dragging a shovel across the sand.

And there are not just a few of these trenches.

"There are swarms of them out there," Gayes said.

They had to be created by something more than water movement, he said.

"Currents by themselves typically don't do that," he said.

The researchers used a sonar that records depth to produce information that can be transformed into a display that is almost like a photograph.

Gayes plans to revisit the area in June with the equipment, when he hopes to study the formations more. In the meantime, he is working on finding out what they could be.
www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/16403073.htm
 
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