Guest Post

GUEST POST: CONSIDERING THE USS FITZGERALD INCIDENT

(Today's guest post is from Mr. R.P, who has a slightly different take on what may have happened in the USS Fitzgerald incident; if one allows the full implications of what he is saying sink in, then it's one of those involuntary throat-swallowing moments...  Here's his analysis and speculation on the incident, and who he thinks is sending messages):

While  listening to the members' vid-chat several weeks ago, the incident of the USS Fitzgerald came up. One of the commenters was aghast that the Captain was possibly sleeping. This article started as an explanation of how ship’s watches allow for things like eating, sleeping and other work rather than staying on a bridge for 24/7 for the entire deployment. As I dug into the Fitzgerald incident I was reminded of the USS Donald Cook. Then it got fun.

The USS Donald Cook is an Aegis class, guided missile destroyer. An Aegis radar system stitches together the disparate radar inputs and creates an environment-wide real-time electronic scenario with which to combat incoming threats. It is very similar to the "Catch a Pokemon" phenomenon a few months ago were NSA were linking all the inputs of all the smart phones for a 3D rendering of the environment around rare Pokemons. These ships' main weapons are guided missiles and secondary armament is the 5"/54 gun.

The entire ‘attack’ of the USS Donald Cook incident can be summed up as a pair of second line Russian fighters did an over flight of the USS Donald Cook. The SU 24 is a Soviet era fighter-bomber, and it’s lucky if it’s second string. These unarmed aircraft flew past the USS Cook and disrupted the electronic systems. They then flew twelve attack passes on the Cook, "sending a message."

Several points can be unpacked here. The Black Sea is a Russian Lake. The USS Donald Cook was not just performing peaceful exercises in the Black Sea with the Turkish navy but collecting electronic intelligence on radio chatter from the Russian coast. It is capable of filling the role of spy ship or listening post.

The ‘attack’ took place on the 11th and 12th of April, 2016. Less than six months previously, on the 24th of November 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian SU 24. It was probably doing aerial reconnaissance and electronic warfare operations. There can be passive electronic warfare operations where one just "listens" (think of a sonarman on a submarine and you get the idea). Aegis destroyers would have been patching together radar inputs to guide the Turkish F 16s onto the target aircraft, killing one airman.

The pair of SU-24 knocked out electronic systems. No article I could find said it affected the propulsion of the ship. It may have been a type of targeted electronic warfare attack. One very telling photo shows a breaking bow wave on the Cook. (http://www.voltairenet.org/article185860.html) The ship had propulsion systems operational. Only its combative capacity was reduced dramatically. This will be a very important point when we consider the USS Fitzgerald.

The USS Fitzgerald incident happened at 1:30 am in the Philippine Sea. This is the Sea bordered by Japan, China and The Philippines. It was struck amidships by a cargo containership. Seven US sailors lost their lives and others were injured, including the captain of the Fitzgerald. The Fitzgeraldlike the Donald Cook, is a guided missile destroyer.

Several questions arise: Did the Fitzgerald have way? Was it steaming along and able to navigate? This is important as a naval destroyer compares to a container ship as a Porshe to a double decker bus. Why did the Crystal (the container ship) reverse course several times in an obvious attempt to hit the Fitzgerald? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Fitzgerald_and_MV_ACX_Crystal_collision)

Note the speed of the Crystal. The map also shows some very erratic maneuvering of the container ship after the collision. I found no information of the Fitzgerald’s course; just the Crystal's.

Nevertheless, a few points immediately spring to mind. I have sailed in that sea aboard a warship, the Canadian HMCS Restigouche. While at sea there are a minimum of six people on the bridge at all times. Two of these people are sailors who are the port and starboard lookouts. This brings us to the next point: a container ship is tough to miss. Even at night you can use your binoculars to see them as either a ship with running lights or a warship that is a shadow, a negation of the normal light and sea and sky. In several sources, in fact almost all of them, I found that the Fitzgerald is taking the blame for this. Most articles say that the captain was asleep, and the crew were tucked in their berths.  This is a typical sort of article about the incident. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4718884/Investigation-suggests-USS-Fitzgerald-fault-crash.html

All the articles (even Wikipedia!) allege or imply that the American ship was responsible. (See, for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Fitzgerald_and_MV_ACX_Crystal_collision ) Imagine that. It’s not only the government admitting culpability but the Navy!

But there's a huge problem: In one of the photos you can see the damage on the Fitzgerald. Look closely. It’s a kiss from a container ship that weighed eight times as much as the destroyer. It hit amidships. With enough speed from the Crystal it would have ripped the smaller ship, the destroyer in half. Think PT 109. With my checkered background I think something else very likely happened: like Dr. Farrell, I think that an electro-magnetic pulse hit the Fitzgerald, disabling all the systems on board the ship leaving it dead in the water. A parked Porsche. Once the entire ship was ‘nuked’ it would have gone to Action Stations without the bonging and intercoms. All red openings would have been sealed, i.e., all the hatches below the waterline. The crew would have been at action stations and the captain on the bridge. They saw the Crystal coming, but there was nothing they could do.  In this scenario, the navigational systems on the Crystal were "hacked," and possibly then steerage taken over remotely. On the maps it shows the Crystal steaming into the destroyer. It had power and their radar would have picked up the warship. It then hit the destroyer amidships, bounced off, and then turned around for another pass at the disabled destroyer. Which stayed there. Not moving. Parked.

The entire crew of the Crystal would have been at their version of emergency stations. Engineers may have turned off the fuel to the engines manually to limit the damage to the ship. Look at the speed of the Crystal for the second pass at the Fitzgerald. I have been involved in a collision at sea. There would have been sheer terror on both bridges as the inevitable occurred, a slow motion train wreck. Both ships would have been at a very heightened state of readiness and the crew on both vessels will be traumatized.

It is more than coincidental that a Philippine registered ship hit an American warship. Those poor folks in the Philippines have enough trouble with ISIS in their country, to now have to deal with this.  Unless this was a message. To whom? Duterte? I would say no. The US "Deep State" is, I think, the recipient of this message: "We know who ISIS is and we’re not happy." may be the message.

But who sent it?

The Philippine Sea shares its border with Japan, The Philippines and China. You connect the dots if there are any to connect to China. I suggest a Chinese submarine "pulsed" the Fitzgerald. The Crystal would have been hacked from the mainland through Chinese satellites. It would account for a bit of the lag of the collision and track of the Crystal.

Immediately, the USN would either have to "take the blame", or admit to the world that its ships are open to being completely shut down in a war time situation while container ships, like giant torpedoes, "pinball" off the sides of its aircraft carriers and cruisers.

Is this what happened? I don’t know and can’t say. But I can say that I think the USN "doth protest too much."

This second attack is different from the Cook. That was the Russians talking. This is the Chinese talking. The Russians were more surgical yet the Chinese could have caused greater loss of life if the Crystal hit at full speed. I think the war is a lot hotter than we want to believe. All sides are being very creative to not let it get into a shooting war.

25 thoughts on “GUEST POST: CONSIDERING THE USS FITZGERALD INCIDENT”

  1. Brilliant analysis from both the author and those commentating. One of the reasons I enjoy this site so much is the quality of the minds here. Its a forum of people with open minds. As the late Jim Marrs was so often to say: “The mind is like a parachute. It’s more effective when it is open.”

  2. Using an electronic weapon to shut down the systems of an Aegis class destroyer reminds me of the premise of the opening war in the Sci-Fi Channel ‘Battlestar Galactica’ (2004). The Cylon infiltrator hacked the mainframe of the human defense department, and when the Cylons attacked, a virus shut down all of the human ships. With the flip of a switch, all human air and space defense was disabled.

    From the voltaire.net article cited above,

    Vladimir Balybine – director of the research center on electronic warfare and
    the evaluation of so-called “visibility reduction” techniques attached to the
    Russian Air Force Academy – made the following comment:

    “The more a radio-electronic system is complex, the easier it is to disable it
    through the use of electronic warfare.”

    1. “The more a radio-electronic system is complex, the easier it is to disable it
      through the use of electronic warfare.” Sounds much like derivatives – a costly, profit-and-fee-producing pile of nothing that can be turned off at the flick of a switch…

  3. I also say that the Donald Cook incident wasn’t about anything like some old SU-24 taking its systems out of function. That was a rumor started by some random Russian blogger, that eventually spread on their social media and was mentioned then by Russian mainstream media.
    At most the destroyier had turned off some of its systems so the Russians (who had electronic recon pods on the plan) can’t record or register what frequencies and powers they use. The Su-24 tried to make it turn them on again by doing some mock attacks, and failed.
    So the Russians started that silly rumor with them shutting down its systems and dozens of terrified American sailors quiting their jobs right away when they arrived in the Romanian port. Its a classic propaganda thing.

    Then there was also this
    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/04/russian-spy-ship-sunk-by-sheep-barge-sheep-and-sailors-unhurt/
    This was even weirder, an intelligence collection and spy ship with supposedly sophisticated sensors on board, sailing around Bosphorus straits probably to survey the traffic there couldn’t detected a freighter or barge closing in.
    The thing with Fitzgerald might be a sort of revenge for this.

    However, if I try to be the annoying debunker I can say that both ships get in a collision by accident as they were going through one of the most circulated sea lanes in the world, with dozens of ships navigating around there one after another at close distances, from every direction.
    The Russian ship captain (and maybe others on watch there) were also probably drunk at that time

  4. Very interesting to consider adding in more vessels not listed as being in the interaction. One could even include airplanes and satellites in the list of possible avenues for engineering the incident.

    Good “outside the box” thinking.

  5. When will the techno junkies realize keep your tech simple and secure. The more complex the easier to takeover and control the USSA military has yet to learn this lesson.

  6. Interesting theories.. It could either be the Chinese or the Russians. I’m inclined to think the Fitzgerald event is a response to the message sent by the USSA on May 23rd (the day of the attack of IS while the leader was away). As we speak, Tillerson is in Asia, more direct messages may be sent from all sides.

  7. Interesting scenario for the Fitzgerald. That “message” may have been a response to another action not related in an obvious manner. Purely by way of example and with no actual evidence, one might suggest a response to an earthquake or weather weapon etc. etc. The only sure thing is the geographical location and its multiple implications.
    And shouldn’t we also entertain the hypothesis of a non-State actor?
    On the broader level, we are probably seeing yet a further stage in the transition away from the current paradigms of naval power which, barring “Philadelphia Experiment” scenarios, is being made obsolete by space-based power, at least for strategic purposes.
    (Note: but not yet obsolete for State-sponsored trafficking and social engineering purposes: the Italian Navy has been directly ferrying so-called migrants to Italy with the excuse of “humanitarian aid”).

  8. These unarmed aircraft flew past the USS Cook and disrupted the electronic systems.

    This is not established, it remains in internet rumor.

    Start with the established fact that the Russian government has admitted that an advanced on shore radar system did indeed target the Donald Cook, then feel free to speculate. (Yes, I’m sure that Russian radar system could have shut down the Cook’s electronics. The ship herself carries such weapons built into the phase array radar system.)

    Why did the Crystal (the container ship) reverse course several times in an obvious attempt to hit the Fitzgerald?

    The intent of the course reversal is unknown. It’s unhelpful speculation to say the Crystal intended to harm the destroyer.

    As for the speculation that China attacked the Fitzgerald with some kind of weapon, and stopped it: Why. To what end? The existence of such weapons is well known. The US has them, and understands that other parties have them. China has no particular interest in fighting a war with the US, Russia, Japan, India, Brazil.

    As pure speculation on my part, if the destroyer were stopped with a weapon and the container shipped hacked in an attempt to use the bigger ship to sink the destroyer, then it was some 3rd force.

  9. The reliance on the USSA military’s high tech gadgetry will be short lived should war break out. It is their Achilles Heel. As an aviation electronics technician during the 70’s, I was constantly replacing state of the art EW and crypto packages on the A6E aircraft due to “self test” failures, a rather painful and time consuming process for the EW gear.
    When you rely on other nations to produce the electronic piece parts for your equipment, you are asking for trouble. Especially when you have the IC’s and processors manufactured overseas. While the design may be done here, and the manufacturing done there, there exists the very likely possibility that “additional circuitry” can be added. Most of the motherboards are also produced overseas and “additional circuitry” can also be added at that level.
    The USSA isn’t the only nation that designs in “back doors” or “programmed failures”. We are seeing it with cell phones and other products produced in China all the time and Israel is just as bad, if not worse. No doubt, the NSA has intentional back doors programmed into the software also. This has been the “Norm” for all Windows software and, most likely, for Apple, Unix and Linux as well.
    This begs the question for “whom” do these alphabet agencies actually work? They have never been part of the USSA’s government, though it does own “stock” in them.
    These disagreements within the “deep state” often use proxy nations military’s and “intelligence” arms to “make their points”, as well as the elimination of key personnel. It has always been this way throughout history. The “war” has always been between the “bankers” and the “aristocracy” of the day, and the masses have always paid the price. Very seldom do you actually see one of them take the fall; the Clinton’s and Soros are perfect examples of this.

    1. WD:

      For better or worse, war, the big kind, has moved far beyond the electronics of circuit boards and such. Powderizing the WTC towers came from better understanding of the substrate upon which electricity bounces. Higher level planners in the US Navy, just by way of example, fully understand that the weapons exist to destroy aircraft carriers at will–no missiles needed.

  10. Thank you for the excellent article! Food for thought. It was definitely not an ‘accident’, and the Chinese are high on the list. (Although, I would not put it past the Japanese being the culprits, as a long-term revenge for the Fukushima terrorism. If the ‘source’ for the overrides was land-based, similar to Basta’s comment, note that the incident occurred at closest approach to the Isu Peninsula and particularly the port-city of Shimoda.)

    I made a long comment on the Fitzgerald incident on an earlier page:
    https://gizadeathstar.com/2017/07/uss-fitzgerald-victim-electromagnetic-warfare-attack/#comment-75109
    I bring this up to emphasize that the Fitzgerald may not have had it’s propulsion knocked-out; just its radar screens.

    The Wikipedia page on the “Crystal” gives some interesting information: Standard cruising speed of 23 knots, 29,000 tons displacement, and practically new (launched 2008).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_ACX_Crystal#2017_collision
    Given the constant dark-green of the “Crystal” course-map on the original Wikipedia page, I presume that the container ship hit the Fitz at 20-23 kts. I am surprised the Fitz survived; maybe the two crews at the last-moment managed a less-than-right-angle collision. Note on the course-map that the Crystal made two slight course-corrections before T-bo ning the Fitz. Were these ‘homing’ corrections, or just course-adjustments to get around Toshima (a mini-island)?

    I do not think that the subsequent movements of the “Crystal” indicate an attempt to ram the Fitz, again. It looks to me like an autopilot-course eastwards, an “Oh, sh1t” moment, the container ship being ‘deflected’ to the south resulting-from the collision, the autopilot attempting to put the ship back on course eastwards, the crew eventually disconnecting the autopilot and returning to the site of the collision (perhaps to pick-up survivors), another “Oh, sh1t” moment when they saw they had crippled a USN warship, and a ‘fleeing’ northwards from the site (perhaps in fear of being fired-upon). After reflection, they turned-on the autopilot and returned to their original course eastwards. I see no ill-intent in the post-collision course-track.

    We will probably not know exactly what-went-on until someone ‘leaks’ the USN side of events…

  11. Great article.. Only thing i can add is.. Huge military bases being built in the pacific by the Chinese. Quantum telecommunications being perfected by the Chinese.. I wonder if the Crystal was transporting something that could suck up military data from the Fritz… Maybe that’s why they strafed the frigate twice without running it through.. Lots of maybes and no certainties..and I repeat what I said on community. Radio waves can cause mammels to sleep.. See MK Ultra commission.. They admits it works but can quickly cook the brain if they use the wrong frequency. So if people were sleeping aboard.. But I think I saw an article where they admit that the cook was on battle stations..

    1. “Quantum telecommunications being perfected by the Chinese.”

      Far more advanced communications tech has been available for at least 100 years.

      1. Hey Lost – I agree with you for the communications yes. But teleporting data no – and if they’re talking about it in the press.. Its already on 2nd (or 3rd, etc) generation in the military.

        1. Kahlypso:

          Yes, teleporting data is nothing new, it’s at least 90 years old.

          What is new is new in the last 30 years is massive data storage in tiny packages.

          And communications=transporting/teleporting data.

  12. Good post, thank you!

    I agree that it had to be some kind of remote controlled takeover — drones of the sea — and it was probably China whodunit. China has the most to complain about in that region and they also build much of the computer and electronics components used in these military systems and doubtless they have placed and/or inbuilt their own back-doors into them. And clearly they have very sophisticated systems that can hijack ships just like, say, the Mercedes of a pesky journalist.

    One important point about he Cook incident: the best report I read about it argued that the MiGs were not carrying the jamming equipment but that the signal came from an installation onshore. The Cook was only 70 kilometers from Kalingrad — essentially the same as if a Russian destroyer was 70 km from Pearl Harbor or Groton, CT — and the jamming came from the Russian base, not the aircraft.

    Of course the Russians are happy to muddy the waters about this and put it out there that they have a mobile system, but using the old MiGs for the mock strafing run was simply to give the finger to the US Navy for its arrogance in coming so close to a major military installation with their spy ship.

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