"Filipino Monkey" may be behind radio threat, not Iranians (1 Viewer)

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‘Filipino Monkey’ may be behind radio threats, ship drivers say

By Andrew Scutro and David Brown
Posted : Friday Jan 11, 2008 17:24:25 EST

The threatening radio transmission heard at the end of a video showing harassing maneuvers by Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz may have come from a locally famous heckler known among ship drivers as the “Filipino Monkey.”

Since the Jan. 6 incident was announced to the public a day later, the U.S. Navy has said it’s unclear where the voice came from. In the videotape released by the Pentagon on Jan. 8, the screen goes black at the very end and the voice can be heard, distancing it from the scenes on the water.

“We don’t know for sure where they came from,” said Cmdr. Lydia Robertson, spokeswoman for 5th Fleet in Bahrain. “It could have been a shore station.”

While the threat — “I am coming to you. You will explode in a few minutes” — was picked up during the incident, further jacking up the tension, there’s no proof yet of its origin. And several Navy officials have said it’s difficult to figure out who’s talking.

“Based on my experience operating in that part of the world, where there is a lot of maritime activity, trying to discern [who is speaking on the radio channel] is very hard to do,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead told Navy Times during a brief telephone interview today.

Indeed, the voice in the audio sounds different from the one belonging to an Iranian officer shown speaking to the cruiser Port Royal over a radio from a small open boat in the video released by Iranian authorities. He is shown in a radio exchange at one point asking the U.S. warship to change from the common bridge-to-bridge channel 16 to another channel, perhaps to speak to the Navy without being interrupted.

Further, there’s none of the background noise in the audio released by the U.S. that would have been picked up by a radio handset in an open boat.

So with Navy officials unsure and the Iranians accusing the U.S. of fabrications, whose voice was it? In recent years, American ships operating in the Middle East have had to contend with a mysterious but profane voice known by the ethnically insulting handle of “Filipino Monkey,” likely more than one person, who listens in on ship-to-ship radio traffic and then jumps on the net shouting insults and jabbering vile epithets.

Navy women — a helicopter pilot hailing a tanker, for example — who are overheard on the radio are said to suffer particularly degrading treatment.

Several Navy ship drivers interviewed by Navy Times are raising the possibility that the Monkey, or an imitator, was indeed featured in that video.
http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/01/navy_hormuz_iran_radio_080111/


In the context of the situation one can see how things could have escalated, with little time to act and uncertainty over intentions and ominous radio transmissions.

But in retrospect, with time to evaluate the incident and review the evidence that the voice may indeed have been a hoax, why are certain people still treating it unequivocally as a hostile act?
 

Maxp

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How much of a threat were these fiberglass speed boats? This wasn't similar to the USS Cole attack. The phalanx system on board our destroyers would carve those boats up in seconds.
 

Saintman2884

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thats a pretty far out explanation black. I realize that their is a plausible explanation out their somewhere but why were those Iranian warships speeding at our ships and making threats by almost forcing us to fire on them. Something here does not make sense, I do not believe the Iranians are lily white clean on this matter. for some reason whether it be a gung ho boot captain was being stupid or they were trying to be provocative who knows.

And why would the Iranian government downplay the situation if they had nothing to hide and try to pretend like it never occurred.
 

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Maxp, what ever the incident was, why were those boats coming at our ships anyway? Just on principle, why would they make such a provocative move in a tense time right now, we don't want to make the situation worse. it seems like a boat captain was either being stupid or acting out to show off or send a message to stay the hell out of their waters or anywhere near there
 

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I was reacting to how this story is being portrayed in the news. Our sailors showed great restraint in not blowing these boats out of the water. However, I just don't see them as much of a threat to one of our destroyers. Are these speed boats indicative of the Iranian surface fleet?
 
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thats a pretty far out explanation black. I realize that their is a plausible explanation out their somewhere but why were those Iranian warships speeding at our ships and making threats by almost forcing us to fire on them. Something here does not make sense, I do not believe the Iranians are lily white clean on this matter. for some reason whether it be a gung ho boot captain was being stupid or they were trying to be provocative who knows.

And why would the Iranian government downplay the situation if they had nothing to hide and try to pretend like it never occurred.
Read the article.

That comes from interviews with captains and crew of Navy vessels. It's been going on for years. So much so, that the Navy publicly stated that they don't know who's voice it was.

As for the speed boats, yes they would have been blown into splinters. It's not quite the same as the Cole, which was moored up and stationary. A sitting duck in harbor.

So, again we have a less than clear cut situation that some would like to drum up into a justification for war. It's a pattern.
 

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Given the circumstances, those Navy showed incredible focus during a time immense stress. To be able to sort out a possible rogue radio transmission while the Iranian speedboats were buzzing around is a real testament to their professionalism.
 

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So, again we have a less than clear cut situation that some would like to drum up into a justification for war. It's a pattern.
I would wholeheartedly disagree. Nothing was drummed up. It all occurred. IRG speedboats were zipping around, in an attempt to be provacative. Our Navy was disciplined in the face of great stress, created by the Iranians.

The President was hardly warlike, again, he was firm, but reserved. A very disciplined response. I see zero pattern.
 
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I would wholeheartedly disagree. Nothing was drummed up. It all occurred. IRG speedboats were zipping around, in an attempt to be provacative. Our Navy was disciplined in the face of great stress, created by the Iranians.

The President was hardly warlike, again, he was firm, but reserved. A very disciplined response. I see zero pattern.
They did. The captains and crew handled it perfectly.


As far as the speedboats, I wonder if they have video of previous encounters for comparison.

The radio transmission about blowing up completely alters the perception of the incident. If there is now a question as to where it came from, I don't see any need to keep beating the drums over this incident.

Just stay vigilant on the seas as always. Likewise the Iranians would be wise to keep a little extra distance going forward.
 

dapperdan

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Good read on the Iranian incident over at Westhawk:

http://www.westhawk.blogspot.com/

Saturday, January 12, 2008
Speedboats not a bother? Think again.
It might be hard to imagine how a one-ton speedboat could be a threat to a 90,000 American aircraft carrier. But in 2002 some U.S. military war-game theorists assembled a “Red Team” to imagine just that. Rising to the challenge, the “Red Team” apparently delivered an interesting result, as the New York Times explained:


In the days since the encounter with five Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz, American officers have acknowledged that they have been studying anew the lessons from a startling simulation conducted in August 2002. In that war game, the Blue Team navy, representing the United States, lost 16 major warships — an aircraft carrier, cruisers and amphibious vessels — when they were sunk to the bottom of the Persian Gulf in an attack that included swarming tactics by enemy speedboats.

“The sheer numbers involved overloaded their ability, both mentally and electronically, to handle the attack,” said Lt. Gen. Paul K. Van Riper, a retired Marine Corps officer who served in the war game as commander of a Red Team force representing an unnamed Persian Gulf military. “The whole thing was over in 5, maybe 10 minutes.”
 

dapperdan

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From NYTimes link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/12/washington/12navy.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin

Iran Encounter Grimly Echoes ’02 War Game
By THOM SHANKER
Published: January 12, 2008
WASHINGTON — There is a reason American military officers express grim concern over the tactics used by Iranian sailors last weekend: a classified, $250 million war game in which small, agile speedboats swarmed a naval convoy to inflict devastating damage on more powerful warships.

In the days since the encounter with five Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz, American officers have acknowledged that they have been studying anew the lessons from a startling simulation conducted in August 2002. In that war game, the Blue Team navy, representing the United States, lost 16 major warships — an aircraft carrier, cruisers and amphibious vessels — when they were sunk to the bottom of the Persian Gulf in an attack that included swarming tactics by enemy speedboats.

“The sheer numbers involved overloaded their ability, both mentally and electronically, to handle the attack,” said Lt. Gen. Paul K. Van Riper, a retired Marine Corps officer who served in the war game as commander of a Red Team force representing an unnamed Persian Gulf military. “The whole thing was over in 5, maybe 10 minutes.”

If the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, proved to the public how terrorists could transform hijacked airliners into hostage-filled cruise missiles, then the “Millennium Challenge 2002” war game with General Van Riper was a warning to the armed services as to how an adversary could apply similar, asymmetrical thinking to conflict at sea.
 
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From NYTimes link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/12/washington/12navy.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin

Iran Encounter Grimly Echoes ’02 War Game
By THOM SHANKER
Published: January 12, 2008
WASHINGTON — There is a reason American military officers express grim concern over the tactics used by Iranian sailors last weekend: a classified, $250 million war game in which small, agile speedboats swarmed a naval convoy to inflict devastating damage on more powerful warships.

In the days since the encounter with five Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz, American officers have acknowledged that they have been studying anew the lessons from a startling simulation conducted in August 2002. In that war game, the Blue Team navy, representing the United States, lost 16 major warships — an aircraft carrier, cruisers and amphibious vessels — when they were sunk to the bottom of the Persian Gulf in an attack that included swarming tactics by enemy speedboats.

“The sheer numbers involved overloaded their ability, both mentally and electronically, to handle the attack,” said Lt. Gen. Paul K. Van Riper, a retired Marine Corps officer who served in the war game as commander of a Red Team force representing an unnamed Persian Gulf military. “The whole thing was over in 5, maybe 10 minutes.”

If the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, proved to the public how terrorists could transform hijacked airliners into hostage-filled cruise missiles, then the “Millennium Challenge 2002” war game with General Van Riper was a warning to the armed services as to how an adversary could apply similar, asymmetrical thinking to conflict at sea.
Of course. All these state of the art ships and they are made obsolete by speed boats...

And there was a bomber gap, a missile gap, etc. etc. It gets old.

I'd need to now more about the specifics of the war games. It said swarming speed boats were "included." Some think the speed boats would not be decisive but these would be:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moskit

Iran is assumed to have some of these and some say the speed and maneuverability is such that it can defeat Aegis. You'd have to talk to an aerospace engineer to get a better sense on the true threat.

I'm guessing these exercises included speedboats and anti-ship missile launches.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/11/AR2008011103730_pf.html
 

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Thanks for those links dapperdan. To those that would discount the threat posed by those speedboats due to their size, that Times article shows how they could still be dangerous. Yes, we most likely had them in our sights the whole time, but you can never discount the possibility of a lucky rocket shot getting off or an explosives-laden boat getting through.

...But in retrospect, with time to evaluate the incident and review the evidence that the voice may indeed have been a hoax, why are certain people still treating it unequivocally as a hostile act?
Absent the "Filipino Monkey" transmission, those boats' actions would still be considered threatening. I was a Fire Controlman (Weapons Technician) in the Navy and stood watches as SDWC (Self-Defense Weapons Coordinator) on my ship when underway. We drilled scenarios such as these all the time. Suffice to say, there's a perimeter around the ship you want to maintain at all times. In the U.S. Navy video, those speedboats were well within that. Frankly, I'm surprised they let them get that close without firing any warning shots.
 

JimEverett

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How much of a threat were these fiberglass speed boats? This wasn't similar to the USS Cole attack. The phalanx system on board our destroyers would carve those boats up in seconds.

It reminds me of some of the footage I saw in the early days of the Iraq war. With all this ominous talk about the threat Iraq posed I saw what looked like some late 1970s Datsun pickups with guys in the back with shotguns fighting the U.S., I mean coalition, forces.
 

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Of course. All these state of the art ships and they are made obsolete by speed boats...

And there was a bomber gap, a missile gap, etc. etc. It gets old.
We do have defenses against speed boats, but the type of "swarming" attack by multiple high-speed boats described in the article is still going to be difficult to fend off. You have to realize as well that the US Navy is still primarily a "Blue-Water" force meant to fight on the open seas. We're starting to "diversify" the fleet to meet these new, post-Cold War threats with the development of platforms such as the Littoral Combat Ship.
 
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We do have defenses against speed boats, but the type of "swarming" attack by multiple high-speed boats described in the article is still going to be difficult to fend off. You have to realize as well that the US Navy is still primarily a "Blue-Water" force meant to fight on the open seas. We're starting to "diversify" the fleet to meet these new, post-Cold War threats with the development of platforms such as the Littoral Combat Ship.
The exercises dapperdan referenced, after a little checking, did include an all out attack on a concentration of U.S. ships in which speed boats were combined with anti-ship missile barrages from land and air.

That is in deed a threat.

Everybody handled it correctly.

I doubt the Iranians will take the risk just to take out a couple of cruisers when the response will be devastating. If they do it, it is going to be as in the context of the exercises --- an all out attack -- and as a response to an attack on their nuclear facilities.

So, my point is that this is being used again to bang the drum.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080113/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_mideast

This is a symptom of the tension and the threats from both sides. The thing that apparently sets this off from other similar incidents, where warning shots were already fired is the radio transmission and that is now suspected of being from a hoaxer by the Navy itself.

It's a dangerous situation reminiscent of the Spanish American war. The Maine blows up in Havana amidst war tension, sabotage is automatically assumed and off to war it is. Nobody today believes the Spanish had anything to do with the explosion of the Maine.

By the Way, this is going to happen in some form every time we send ships into the Gulf, or it should. I think the entrance to the straits is only 6 miles wide. The Iranians are going to document every movement of our ships in or out of the Gulf for their own intel purposes. That might include getting their video cameras as close as possible for positive identification of each ship. It's just going to be down to the distance they keep going forward..

The fact the that the crews are wearing life jackets would suggest that they are not eager to meet their virgins just yet.
 
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