Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 18

U-2 incident Francis Gary Powers, in a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, is shot down over the Soviet Union, sparking a diplomatic crisis

American U-2 spy plane shot down on May 1, 1960.

An American U-2 spy plane is shot down while conducting espionage over the Soviet Union. The incident derailed an important summit meeting between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev that was scheduled for later that month.

The U-2 spy plane was the brainchild of the Central Intelligence Agency, and it was a sophisticated technological marvel. Traveling at altitudes of up to 70,000 feet, the aircraft was equipped with state-of-the-art photography equipment that could, the CIA boasted, take high-resolution pictures of headlines in Russian newspapers as it flew overhead. Flights over the Soviet Union began in mid-1956. The CIA assured President Eisenhower that the Soviets did not possess anti-aircraft weapons sophisticated enough to shoot down the high-altitude planes.

On May 1, 1960, a U-2 flight piloted by Francis Gary Powers disappeared while on a flight over Russia. The CIA reassured the president that, even if the plane had been shot down, it was equipped with self-destruct mechanisms that would render any wreckage unrecognizable and the pilot was instructed to kill himself in such a situation. Based on this information, the U.S. government issued a cover statement indicating that a weather plane had veered off course and supposedly crashed somewhere in the Soviet Union. With no small degree of pleasure, Khrushchev pulled off one of the most dramatic moments of the Cold War by producing not only the mostly-intact wreckage of the U-2, but also the captured pilot-very much alive. A chagrined Eisenhower had to publicly admit that it was indeed a U.S. spy plane.

On May 16, a major summit between the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and France began in Paris. Issues to be discussed included the status of Berlin and nuclear arms control. As the meeting opened, Khrushchev launched into a tirade against the United States and Eisenhower and then stormed out of the summit. The meeting collapsed immediately and the summit was called off. Eisenhower considered the "stupid U-2 mess" one of the worst debacles of his presidency. The pilot, Francis Gary Powers, was released in 1962 in exchange for a captured Soviet spy. History Channelvideo

Wikipedia  Image: U-2 incident Francis Gary Powers, in a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, is shot down over the Soviet Union, sparking a diplomatic crisis.

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - Defensive Counterair

(DOD) All defensive measures designed to neutralize or destroy enemy forces attempting to penetrate or attack through friendly airspace. Also called DCA. See also counterair; offensive counterair.

The Old Salt’s Corner - Dolphin Structure

Dolphin Structure A dolphin is a man-made marine structure that extends above the water level and is not connected to shore. Dolphins are usually installed to provide a fixed structure when it would be impractical to extend the shore to provide a dry access facility, for example, when ships (or the number of ships expected) are greater than the length of the berth/pier. Typical uses include extending a berth (a berthing dolphin) or providing a point to moor to (a mooring dolphin).

Dolphins are also used to display regulatory information like speed limits etc., other information like advertising or directions and navigation information like a day beacon as well as ranges and lighted aids to navigation. Mooring dolphins can also be used to "cushion" ship impacts, somewhat similar to fenders. The structures typically consist of a number of piles driven into the seabed or riverbed and connected above the water level to provide a platform or fixing point.

The piles can be untreated azobé wood, pressure treated pine wood poles, or steel or reinforced concrete beams, blocks or tubes. Smaller dolphins can have the piles drawn together with wire rope, but larger dolphins would typically be fixed using a reinforced concrete capping or a structural steel frame. Access to a dolphin may be via a pedestrian bridge (mooring dolphins) but is usually by boat. Wikipedia

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

“Thought for the Day

“Thought for the Day”

“That man is successful who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much, who has gained the respect of the intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.”

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

“What I Have Learned”

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Dog testifies in court in French murder case

Dog testifies in court in French murder case Allowing dogs as “witnesses” in court cases in France has become “something of a recent trend”, reported the Paris edition of the European news site, The Local, in April. A nine-year-old Labrador retriever (“Tango”) took the witness stand in the city of Tours so the judge could observe how he reacted to the defendant, on trial for killing the dog’s owner. (For due process of law, a second dog, “Norman”, took the stand later, as a “control dog”.) Ultimately, the judge said he learned nothing from the dogs and dismissed them. [The Local, 4-3-2014]The Local - France's News in English

The Golden Hinde: Drake started his famous circumnavigation of the world from Plymouth, England, November 15, 1577, passed through the Straight of Magellan (southern tip of South America) into the Pacific, coasted up the western shores of the Americas, crossed to Asia and the Philippines, and finally returned to Britain on September 26, 1580. Elizabethan Era: Elizabeth I in her coronation robes, patterned with Tudor roses and trimmed with ermine; The Lady Elizabeth in about 1546; Elizabeth playing the virginals;  Elizabeth and Philip, King of Spain, relations deteriorated ending in the defeat of the Spanish Armada;  A wedding feast, 1569;  Ivan the Terrible shows his treasures to Elizabeth's ambassador, by Alexander Litovchenko, 1875;  Elizabeth ushers in Peace and Plenty. Detail from The Family of Henry VIII: An Allegory of the Tudor Succession, 1572, attributed to Lucas de Heere.

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Back in the day when England practically ruled the world and claimed land and settlements in most parts of the world, why didn’t they claim the Western part of the now United States?

Oh, but they did. Sir Francis Drake, the English sea captain and explorer under Queen Elizabeth I, claimed an area of land on the west coast of North America in 1579. His claim was valid by sixteenth century standards. He had obtained consent from local natives, and he was the first European to discover the place, but as it turned out, the Crown wasn’t much interested in the Pacific side of the New World. By the time the twentieth century rolled around, the event had been mainly forgotten and achieved legendary status among historians until 1936, when the discovery of an artifact in San Francisco Bay proved Drake’s visit and the British claim on California, or New Albion.

By the way, in October 2012, the US government designated a site on the Point Reyes Peninsula as Drake’s landing place and a historic landmark.

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Glitch”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Along with space exploration came new expressions that are now everyday language. Astronauts said “affirmative” for yes, “check” to confirm a completed task, and “copy” to indicate that an instruction was understood.

The word “Glitch”, for an unexplained computer malfunction, was first used to describe the Mercury space capsule’s frustrating tendency to signal an emergency when none existed. The word glitch is often used to refer to an unknown computer problem, and was popularized by several movies.Wikipedia

Wikipedia  Image: Glitch (Flickr)

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Creamed foreskins: Creamed chipped beef.

Flight Deck Buzzard: Chicken (food).

JAG: Judge Advocate General's Corps - Navy lawyers

Ping: To emit a pulse of sound energy from a SONAR transmitter.

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines

Just for MARINES

Brig: A jail in the naval services usually operated by Marines.

Brig Chaser: A Marine, now normally an MP, assigned to guard a prisoner while being transported to a location outside the brig, often for a work detail.

Brig Rat: A prisoner or someone who is frequently in trouble.

Brig Step: A regular step as in marching but the distance between the front of one prisoner and the back of the one in front is reduced to about four inches so that they must all step together. It is a common method of controlling prisoners while moving them from place to place. It is an illegal step for anyone other than a prisoner.

Military Acronyms

Navy Acronyms

VERTREP - Vertical replenishment

VCNO - Vice Chief of Naval Operations

WSO - (Wizzo) Weapon system Operator

XO - eXecutive Officer

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HS-7 - Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 7: “Dusty Dogs” NAS Jacksonville, Florida

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Mystery Of Hundreds Of Human Skeletons

British Guards in Roopkund, India, made a discovery in 1942, involving a frozen lake more than three miles above sea level. What made this discovery so unusual was that the lake was surrounded by hundreds of skeletons... human skeletons. When the ice melted during the summer, more remains were uncovered floating in the water and laying around the edges of the lake.

Because this was during World War II, some feared that the skeletons were of Japanese soldiers who had died while sneaking through India, causing the British government to send a team of investigators to determine the truth. Their fears of a Japanese land invasion were discovered to be unnecessary, though, when their examinations turned up evidence of the bones being much older.

After dubbing the lake “Skeleton Lake”, many theories to explain the phenomenon surfaced, including epidemic, landslide, and ritual suicide. These theories held sway for nearly six decades, without any real light upon the mystery.

It wouldn't be until 2004 that a scientific team in league with National Geographic Magazine retrieved about thirty skeletons, some with flesh and hair still attached. With these, they began to uncover the truth, and their answers startled them. For starters, all of the bodies dated to roughly 850 AD.

Two distinct groups of people emerged from the DNA evidence: one of a family, tribe, or closely related individuals, and a smaller secondary group. Further analysis of the skulls showed that the people died from similar methods, irrespective of their stature or position... by blows to the head.

However, because of the cracks in the skulls, it was determined that these killing blows were caused not by weapons, but by something round. Further inspection of the head and shoulders provided proof that the blows came from above, leaving scientists to come to one singular unexpected conclusion: the hundreds of travelers died from an unexpected, freakish hailstorm.

While hail is rarely lethal, these ninth century travelers could not escape the sudden onslaught of these "rock-like spheres of ice" without shelter, which they lacked.

Mystery Of Hundreds Of Human Skeletons (Unbelievable Facts)


Super Bowl XXVII – Dallas Cowboys won 52–17 over the Buffalo Bills

Sports 1993 Wikipedia

World Series Champions: Toronto Blue Jays

Superbowl XXVII Champions: Dallas Cowboys

NBA Champions: Chicago Bulls

Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadiens

U.S. Open Golf: Lee Janzen

U.S. Open Tennis (Men/Ladies): Pete Sampras / Steffi Graf

Wimbledon (Men/Women): Pete Sampras / Steffi Graf

NCAA Football Champions: Florida State

NCAA Basketball Champions: North Carolina

Kentucky Derby: Sea Hero

Image: Super Bowl XXVII – Dallas Cowboys won 52–17 over the Buffalo Bills (NFL)



● Nutella was invented during WWII, when an Italian pastry maker mixed hazelnuts into chocolate to extend his chocolate ration.

● Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima for work when the first A-bomb hit, made it home to Nagasaki for the second, and lived to be 93.

● A British man changed his name to Tim “Pppppppppprice” to make it harder for telemarketers to pronounce.

Answer to Last Week's Test

Who invented scissors?

Answer: Leonardo Da VinciWikipedia

Joke of the Day

A man was driving down the street in a sweat because he had a very important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven, he said, “Lord, take pity on me. If you find me a parking place, I will go to church every Sunday and quit drinking!” Just then, a parking place appeared - the closest one imaginable.

The man looked up again and said, “Never mind, I just found one.”