NORFOLK, VA - Having an unknown contact appear off the stern can be a frightening scenario for many submariners, but it's even worse when that sonar blip is searching for a mate.
The close shadowing of numerous submarines by whales was recently revealed by Admiral William Wysocki, Director of Submarine Services for the Atlantic Fleet.
"We never like to see a contact following us, and for quite a few subs out there, it's been a frightening ordeal," said Wysocki.
One sub that dealt with a strange tail was the USS Baltimore (SSN-704).
“We were traveling submerged approximately 25 miles off the Virginia coast when Chief Robinson confirmed contact with an unidentified object following less than 500 yards behind," said Captain Steven Horowitz. "I took evasive action, but we just couldn't shake him.”
In what is considered a remarkable, but non-traditional decision, Captain Horowitz called on Senior Chief James 'Fins' Oslow of SEAL Team 3 to investigate.
The Chief selected three from his SEAL team that happened to be awake, not occupied in the can, or flirting with one of the female Lieutenants, to assist with the mission. The SEALS exited the sub using the number 4 torpedo tube, and waited for the 'shadow' to appear.
“When I saw it, I just about shit my pants,” said SO2(SEAL) Jason Bingham. “It was a whale, and he had a fucking erection. He was headed straight for the ass-end of the sub.”
Thinking quickly, Bingham decided to strike the whale first.
"I pulled a chemlight out and poked him on the nose as hard as I could, which caused the whale to go flaccid and abort his attack."
When the SEALs reported back to the sub, Captain Horowitz told the Team to cut the shit and tell the damn truth.
After realizing they weren't exaggerating, he then reported the incident to Atlantic Fleet.
Admiral Wysocki assured him that this wasn't an isolated incident. Tracking similar stories, the Admiral had postulated that the damage, and/or disappearance, of at least four subs in the past year "could be attributed to horny whales."
A committee has been appointed to determine the best method to avoid future whale attacks on submarines. One member recommended towing a chemlight armed SEAL behind every submarine, but was voted down due to the concern of losing the SEAL to shark attacks.
“We don't train these boys to be shark chum,” said Admiral Wysocki.
Another suggestion of towing one of the female officers behind the sub as a decoy was tossed out due to concerns of sexual harassment accusations.
While the committee has so far failed to develop a viable plan, they did recommend that Petty Officer Bingham be given some type of award for saving the Baltimore from impending whale rape. This recommendation means another committee has been established to design an appropriate “Cock Block” ribbon.