At some point or another we’ve all heard tale of ‘combat dolphins’, dolphins that the US Military have trained and weaponized in some form or another. But, a new revelation by former US Navy SEAL Brandon Webb in his memoir has shed some light on what sort of specific activities combat dolphins are (and were) involved in. From stabbing humans with gaseous needles designed to create an embolism, to swimming with nose-mounted guns and explosive devices.
The US Navy publicly denies that any dolphins have ever been trained for the purposes of inflicting harm on humans, but then why in his memoir does the former Navy SEAL Sniper go into detail about combat dolphins being trained to ram enemies in the chest with a gas needle designed to create an embolism (blood clot, gas bubble) that for a SCUBA diver would cause death within moments?
Business Insider grabbed a few excerpts from Webb’s memoir:
In his memoir on life as a Navy SEAL, Brandon Webb writes about a training exercise in San Diego to evade enemy military dolphins. Trainers used the mammals “to track down enemy divers, outfitting them with a device strapped onto the head that contains a [simulated] compressed gas needle,” Webb writes. “Once the dolphin has tracked you down, it butts you; the needle shoots out and pokes you, creating an embolism.”
An air or gas bubble injected into a vein or artery can quickly travel into the organs, something that’s potentially lethal. Webb sums it up: “Within moments, you’re dead.”
SPAWAR’s frequently asked questions page emphatically denies ever training dolphins “to harm or injure humans in any fashion or to carry weapons to destroy ships.” And in an email to Business Insider, Fallin reiterated that the “Navy has NEVER trained marine mammals to harm humans, period!”
But Webb writes that he spoke with a fellow Navy SEAL, who remains anonymous while describing how dolphins would “ram us in the chest cavity to simulate the [CO2] injection.”
For Webb’s own training exercise the animals were equipped with harmless versions of the mechanism.
And in 1990, the New York Times reported that former Navy trainers had told them dolphins were being taught “to kill enemy divers with nose-mounted guns and explosives,” a charge denied by a Navy spokesman.
The US Navy vehemently denies every training combat dolphins to harm human beings. The FAQ site for the US Navy’s Marine Mammal Program states:
Does the Navy train its dolphins for offensive warfare, including attacks on ships and human swimmers or divers?
No. The Navy does not now train, nor has it ever trained, its marine mammals to harm or injure humans in any fashion or to carry weapons to destroy ships. A popular movie in 1973 (“The Day of the Dolphin”) and a number of charges and claims by animal rights organizations have resulted in theories and sometimes actual beliefs that Navy dolphins are assigned attack missions. This is absolutely false. Since dolphins cannot discern the difference between enemy and friendly vessels, or enemy and friendly divers and swimmers, it would not be wise to give that kind of decision authority to an animal. The animals are trained to detect, locate, and mark all mines or all swimmers in an area of interest or concern, and are not trained to distinguish between what we would refer to as good or bad. That decision is always left to humans.
This is the trailer for the film that the US Navy blames all the ‘combat dolphins’ speculation on…and holy shit how have I never seen this film?! It looks awesome:
The aforementioned NYT piece from 1990 also details some pretty fucking awesome weaponry and training for combat dolphins, so awesome that after reading through Brandon Webb’s excerpts and this NYT piece I refuse to believe that weaponized dolphins are not real, because they’re too badass not to exist:
The specific tasks of the Navy’s 111 bottle-nosed dolphins are classified. But two former Navy trainers said the dolphins are being trained to ram enemy divers. Small cannisters strapped to the dolphins’ snouts are designed to detach on impact and fire a .45-caliber bullet.
”We were training dolphins and sea lions specifically for swimmer nullification,” said Richard L. Trout, a civilian mammal trainer for the Navy from 1985 to 1989. ”They were learning to kill enemy divers.”
Another former Navy civilian trainer, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, confirmed Mr. Trout’s account.
And if Putin and Russia have a ‘dolphin army’ like this video claims, we better be making sure we’re one step ahead of those red punks:
For more on combat and military dolphins you can head on over to Wikipedia for more information, or check out Brandon Webb’s new memoir on Amazon HERE.