Uh oh – it seems the Ukrainian Navy has a small problem on their hands. After rebooting the Soviet Union’s marine mammal program just last year with the goal of teaching dolphins to find underwater mines and kill enemy divers, three of the Ukrainian military’s new recruits have gone AWOL. Apparently they swam away from their trainers this morning ostensibly in search of a “mate” out in open waters. It might not be such a big deal except that these dolphins have been trained to “attack enemy combat swimmers using special knives or pistols fixed to their heads.” So if you are planning a family holiday to the Black Sea this week, I think it’s best you avoid any “friendly” dolphins that might approach – especially if they have KNIVES or PISTOLS strapped to their heads.
Here’s a documentary all about the former Soviet military dolphins, some of which have been sold to Iran, and a some of which are currently roaming the Black Sea looking for a good time.
Here’s a more in-depth radio report on this subject from The Voice of Russia UK Edition
You can download/listen to the news report as an mp3 at this link.
Apparently, “The Ukrainian Defence Ministry has denied the reports.” But the Voice of Russia and the RIA Novosti appear to have sources at Sebastopol confirming that the dolphins escaped.
This Russian news agency is claiming that the escaped animals really did have firearms attached to their heads at the time they went missing (as far as I can tell via Google Translate). Crazy!
YET MORE UPDATES:
This news story has blown up on the interwebs, with reports suggesting that the escaped dolphins “are highly trained, intelligent, and can strike anywhere,” which is probably a slight exaggeration, as well as suggestions that the incident (first reported by RIA Novosti, but now found on every website known to man) in fact never happened at all. Now that journalists around the world are on the case (producing well-researched reports like this one from Wired), maybe we’ll soon get to the bottom of this story! Meanwhile, let’s not panic people!
Now there is evidence that the news report of this incident, first reported by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, was (maybe) based on false information, with RIA Novosti having received fake documents detailing a dolphin escape that never happened. So what are we to do with all these hilarious photoshopped images of dolphins with weapons strapped to their heads?
This entire news story is now confirmed as bogus. Bummer!