...from a chicken, bugwit
- Nov 8, 2003
- Reaction score
http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/01/navy_hormuz_iran_radio_080111/‘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.
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?