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Subject: ROKN Patrol Corvette sucken by DPRK torpedo boat
YelliChink    3/26/2010 12:10:07 PM
Just happened 2150 Korean local time. Chinese reports say that it was DPRK torpedo boat. The ROKN corvette sunk is probably a 1200t PCC. I can't read Korean so I am not sure which one exactly. At this moment, 59 out of 104 crew have been saved so far. Best wishes to the still missing ones and condolence to families of lost sailors.
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Reactive       3/30/2010 1:43:26 PM
A RoK diver just died in the salvage operation. No details, but its implied that the vicious underwater tidal current in that bay slammed him into something and he drowned before his buddy diver could rescue him and get him to the surface. That place is dangerous to dive.

Now I'm supposed to believe that DPRK divers could use a chariot type electric drive submersible and meet a maneuvering ship target to either place a Munroe effect bomb on the hull or put a torpedo into or under her?
It would require either the most amazing luck or the most incredible skill at 2kph you'd think they'd have very little say in where they went.. Could they use simple acoustic tracking torpedos at greater range, i.e. they could be farther away.
Seems very implausible. I'll stick with "I don't know until we see the hull."
or if.. perhaps it will be classified  as a war grave and left, or the footage not released (nothing yet, certainly) or the survey kept out of the public domain or marked as inconclusive.. From friends who have worked on military enquiries coverups, I know just how much can be blacked out for "security reasons". One would think that there is enough public pressure in this instance, but I thought that about the Iraq enquires too... 
One more thing....I've read contradictory reports on the gunfire episode. Are we certain that the gunfire episode was fifteen minutes in duration, or was it within fifteen minutes of the reported sinking that a ROKN ship opened fire on a target?    
They are indeed contradictory, Islanders said they heard a gun battle, the explanation given by officials was that they may have heard the sound of flares launching, presumably they launched them in a continuous salvo? The flock of birds explanation is very unconvincing to me, even with the fog of war I can't see it as much more than an afterthought from a politician.
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Reactive       3/30/2010 1:51:34 PM

"The military released a video image (the still we've all seen) of the frigate Cheonan as it went down on Friday night.

The image, taken by a marine unit who used a thermal observation device shortly after it heard the explosion that caused the sinking of the ship, only showed the bow of the ship remained above the waters, local media quoted Defense Ministry spokesman Won Tae-jae as saying.

But he said the video would not be disclosed to the public because there was no clue in the video to help determine the cause of the incident."
I expect to hear quite a lot of that..
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Hamilcar       3/30/2010 2:03:02 PM

Former North Korean soldiers who defected to South Korea on Monday claimed "underwater suicide squads" may have been responsible for the mysterious sinking of a South Korean naval vessel on Friday.


If so, then Kim the Fat and Ugly is indeed proven to be completely insane. He'd better die soon so that we can hope saner people can be in charge of DPRK.

A suicide attack fits the scenario very well, except that the time is in spring and the water is very cold. If they somehow can overcome this difficulty, either with heating suits or enclosed cabin, then we'd better put this into consideration. Suicide torpedo will leave much larger debris and remnant and is likely to be found.


After all, this is not even a new idea. IJN did managed to sink two US ships with Kaiten.

The Missenewinau (Spelling?) was a sitting anchored duck in Ulithi lagoon, and the USS Underhill (DE) for some strange insane reason deliberately maneuvered to ram the one of the two she found and stopped. Question never answered was WHY?
Captain Newcombe should have stood court martial, but he along with ten of the other senior officers aboard were blown to **** in the explosion.
A chief bosun;'s mate took command of what was left and saved most of the 122 survivors with quick common sense action.
Quite a debacle.
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Reactive    Video of Rescue   3/30/2010 2:08:17 PM
Some of it has been released, see any Flames/Smoke?
From another article:
"Some lawmakers and defense experts cautiously raised the possibility of a North Korean torpedo attack.

Initially, the Navy said a patrol ship, after the Cheonan sank, fired at an unidentified object. The service said later that the object was found to be a flock of birds.

But the defense ministry admitted Monday that a North Korean spy plane had approached the NLL hours after the incident, triggering speculation that the North might have been involved in the deadly incident. "


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Photon       3/30/2010 3:17:00 PM
ROK DoD is in 'damage control' mode right now:  Probably the best thing they can do to keep their rear-ends from getting grilled too much is to overplay possible North Korean thingies (e.g., stray Korean War era naval mines, N. Korean mini subs), thereby distracting the public and stall for some time until they figure out what the hell has happened.
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Lynstyne       3/30/2010 3:23:59 PM

I also find your claim about having an impeccable record fairly unbelievable. Your claim about a CAPTOR style mine in the thread proves that already. The more you write the more it gives the impression to me you've never served in the military or in combat arms.


Wrong.. I have to say I respect his opinions, find that he usually ofters insights that I hadn't considered, whether or not I agree with his every word. I think it's pretty damn clear that he's served, and deserves the respect that such service warrants.


There are a lot of things that strike me as odd, I'm going to list them with the strict provision that I am not making any claims, just things that nag me about this situation. 


1) South Korea on the day following the incident claimed that it was "virtually certain" there was no DPRK involvement, this before a dive team had gone in, they were intimating that an internal explosion was "almost certainly" the cause, despite the evidence to the contrary (ship sliced in two) and the reports from the crew that contradicted this conclusion.


2) I have seen every manner of official from South Korea make claims that seem to have an agenda, considering the positions of the people who made these statements, professors, defense analysts, govt spokesmen, they seem markedly innacurate. I've heard experts claiming that "torpedos can not cut a ship in half" to "if a mine or torpedo can break a patrol boat in two, we have to completely reconsider our defense doctrine" to "magnetic mines drift up and attach to the hull" to "radar operators confirmed that there was no torpedo attack"... All very odd no? I'm not quoting word-for-word for the sake of expediency but I'll dig the articles up if anyone wants.


3) Dive teams have been on site since Sunday, there has been no additional information added except that "the possible cause now being "hinted at" by the "experts" is likely to be an old 50's era seabed mine"...again pretty odd, given how easy a seabed mine is to verify (cratering in the seabed and associated debris from under the top layers of sediment being exposed/scattered.


4) Would a 50's era influence mine (either a bottom mine or a moored mine) still be operational, with oxidisation, encrustation, silt deposition, not to mention an electric power supply for the fuse that must be powered up by a magnetic (presumably in this case) sensor. I have my doubts about whether a weapon that must retain a charged cell to arm itself would still be able to do so. To my knowledge they were designed to operate for months/years, but not several decades. Modern mines are more resilient in this regard, being completely passive and requiring no power to initiate the arming  process, which itself relies on a battery that is specifically designed to retain its charge for long periods.


5) We have heard that the seabed is 20-40m deep, with 40m being the latest estimate for the area of seabed directly underneath the ship when she was hit, although a bottom mine may weigh up to a tonne, the bubble caused would (at 40m) be of a far greater diameter than the ship itself, all reports I have heard from the crew seem to suggest that there was very specifically an explosion towards the stern of the ship, if an explosive charge, however large, detonated 40m below the vessel, you would expect the resultant water-eruption to be all encompassing, more likely to tip the ship of that size over than break her in two. The effects are relative to the proximity of detonation, to snap a keel you want to focus the bubble on a localised section of the hull so that the forces work to sheer along the path of least resistance, as you can see from footage of under-keel torpedo detonations. If the depth is indeed around 20m the effects of mines/torpedos would be fairly similar, with the distinguishing difference being cratering of the seabed, which, again, should be very easy to ascertain.


6) The only weapon system I know of that is specifically designed to detonate under a hull with the intention of snapping the keel (and usually by less than 10m) is a torpedo.


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Lynstyne       3/30/2010 3:29:31 PM
Just a thought could our gun battle have been the 76 ammunition cooking off??
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gf0012-aust       3/30/2010 3:35:18 PM

Just a thought could our gun battle have been the 76 ammunition cooking off??

there would be other damage to the hull if that was the case.  the other oddity being that if they engaged something for 15mins then there would be very busy comms traffic before and during the "engagement"
I assume that the US, Taiwan and the Japanese would have been able to listen if not record chatter.
there are still a bevy of odd things about this that just don't make sense.

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Hamilcar       3/30/2010 3:57:08 PM
re Keel snappers

I belive that many modern mines (pretty sure stonefish was) are designed to create the water bubble come keel snapper
as allways i am happy to be proven wrong
You are not wrong

Just a thought could our gun battle have been the 76 ammunition cooking off??
Who knows? None of the on-board ship taken-off survivors mentioned cook-offs or underwater explosions after the one blast that they "heard"., Nobody mentioned being splashed by a water column  that would be raised by a keel-snapper either. All we know reported is "BOOM!", the ship's engines stopped, she rolled over to starboard, they looked aft, the stern was gone, and then she sank 
I admit that I'm not all that bright, but how can you make any sense out of this mush? We don't even know how long it took for the Cheonan to sink. I read three hours in one account and I said "huh?" With the stern blown off as one eyewitness reported? Then I read the captain report it took three minutes. Huh again? Using his cell phone to report to his high command his condition he said this? Before, during, or after abandon ship? Almost two fifths of the crew died. No survivor has said how. They, the survivors, KNOW, or at least they know the magnitude of what it took to kill so many of their shipmates.
So we have to be cautious. We have no idea of what exactly happened. We know that the RoKs when they went out there tried to ascertain if there were bodies or survivors. They did not lie about that. All of those semi-rigids we saw in the slide show show a  grid pattern search for floating debris or bodies. We know that a crane ship with machine shop is now on site so they intend to cut into what they find wrecked underwater and they intend salvage.
They just may not tell us what they find.
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Reactive       3/30/2010 3:58:24 PM
^^ Yes you're right, it was an oversight that I didn't add "or influence mine", I couldnt edit it once posted, a mistake I seem to make regularly. I was getting at the fact that I can only see a torpedo (unless we actually consider "suicide-norks" as a potential weapon here, if indeed it was a weapon.
These are the points of logic I've arrived at.
No smoke plume/flames = no "contact" explosion (or internal ordnance detonation), internal explosions always produce plumes of smoke, a contact mine would still penetrate the hull with hot gas and flame and cause fires. It's absent from the video, and I bet it's also absent from the missing FLIR footage..
No contact explosion + ship cut in half = underwater explosion.
50's influence mines or bottom mines would be unlikely to still function even if indeed they were ever fielded by North Korea in the first place, given the proximity to the island and the amount of boats that use that stretch of water from north and south I can't see this as being left over from the Korean War.
So if these things are true (and there's no way we can know yet, I make that abundantly clear) then the only answer is a dedicated attack OR friendly fire.
The fact that a NORK "spyplane" visited the area shortly afterwards as well as the other reported incidents of that night, as well as the recent threats from North Korea about intentional unpredictable bloodshed, and of course, the area that the boat was sailing in.. makes me think this was an attack.
If it was an attack then it was either an influence mine underwater, a bottom mine, or a torpedo, it wasn't a limpet mine or contact mine because the ship split in two, for the ship to split in two requires a water/bubble explosion (or as above, a truly massive internal fireworks display, and even that is unlikely to completely sever bow from stern), North Korea certainly havent been able to extensively mine the area and wait for "good" fortune given the amount of fishing boats etc, so to me, that leaves a form of guided device that generally targets the rear of the ship.. which is either a bunch of guys in a semi-submersible with an implausible ability to navigate given the current or, a torpedo...
If you can see a big hole in my logic let me know.. Just conjecture..

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