2004 USS Louisville

Tim Printy

Member
These are some pics of USS Honolulu while transiting on the surface. It shows the bow wake and after wake. I believe we were going ahead full at the time (forward speeds were ahead 1/3, ahead 2/3, ahead standard, ahead full, ahead flank - ahead full was about 50% reactor power I don't remember how fast that was on the surface but it was not as fast as underwater). The last picture was from my last return to port during the maneuvering watch (All stations manned for coming into port). We were returning to Pearl, and, as a gift for my retirement, I was able to be up in the sail during this evolution for my first, and only, time. Usually, I was in the Engine room supervising (or when I was on Providence I was topside with aft line handlers). I am guessing the sub was probably doing ahead 2/3 or standard. Note how the bow now sticks up from underneath the water as the ship slows. The aft end of the submarine also becomes more above water (probably because of less of a wake).
bowwake.jpgstern.jpgoodbridge.jpg
 
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Tim Printy

Member
USS Chicago, another LA Class sub,traveling just below the surface. Perhaps if some use in visualizing what you might see looking at such a thing.1648397107959.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_navigation
The sub is at Periscope depth. The sail is below the water and not broached. The periscope is probably making the wake. That is a pretty big wake and it indicates the sub is going sort of fast (2/3rds or greater). This probably explains the bubbles going along the hull (they may have been venting some air from the ballast tanks. If it were the snorkel mast, it would be farther back. This is really clear and calm water (probably the Bahamas/Andros Island, where the water is very clear). Most of the time the water is far more turbulent and less clear. The more I look at this image, the more I think what it shows is a submarine that has just submerged. The bubbles are due to the remaining air coming out of the ballast tanks through the vents. The periscope fairings are probably out of the water as well, which makes a bigger wake.
 

GlobularOrb

New Member
A while back I tried to figure out if the Louisville was even in the area at the time, but couldn't find anything conclusive and kinda gave up on it. Detailed operations reports are available for some years here, but the 2004 report is classified and unavailable. Here's some of the info I have:

Where was the Louisville before Nov 10-14 2004?
  • Jan 10, 2004: Completed modernization (source)
  • June 21 2004: Departed NSB Point Loma for routine training in the SOCAL area (source)
  • Jun 23-July 23-ish 2004: Took part in RIMPAC 2004 in SOCAL area (source p.26)
  • Aug 13 2004: Capt. L. David Marquet relieved Capt. William Toti as Commander, Submarine Squadron 3, aboard the USS Louisville at Naval Station Pearl Harbor (source, source)

Where was the Louisville after Nov 10-14 2004?
  • Nov 20, 2004: "Most of Carrier Strike Group-11 (less submarine Louisville (SSN-724) and Bridge), comprising Nimitz with CVW-11 embarked, Princeton and guided missile destroyers Chaffee (DDG-90) and Higgins (DDG-76) completed its first group training exercise, off southern California." (emphasis added, source)
  • I couldn't find any info on whether it was part of the Nimitz's COMPTUEX exercise that ran from November 29 to December 17, 2004.

Where was the Louisville during Nov 10-14 2004?

BAASS/AAWSAP Executive Report, Summer 2009:
  • The Louisville "was operating in the vicinity of the USS Nimitz as part of the CSG during the detection and intercept of the AAV." [...] "The former commander of the USS Louisville, CAPT [Redacted], confirmed that there was no anomalous undersea activity during this period. There was a live fire exercise conducted by the USS Louisville during the period of and in the vicinity of the AAV sightings; however, the weapon in use did not match the flight profile or visible characteristics of the AAV.""
Kevin Day, March 19, 2019 (Martin Willis Live Shows):
  • "We also had the USS Louisville out there from what I understand, and I've heard through the grapevine that they didn't detect anything either that they've admitted to." (1:21:42)
Gary Voorhis, April 3, 2019 (Robert Powell at SCU):
  • "It did go from approximately 30,000ft to negative 500ft...the sub got it on sonar..." (4:22)
  • "...other ships were picking these objects up on radar...I knew the subs had it but I didn't know which surface vessels had it, I knew all the AEGIS ships had it" (17:28)
  • Q: Was the sub that picked it up on sonar the USS Louisville? A: I'm not sure, sir. Q: Okay. I know that one was part of the battle group, I don't know if there was more than one sub or not. A: It's just labeled "Submersive" on my system." (18:24)
  • (In later interviews like this one (1:15:33+) he's less sure of the negative-500ft claim because the source isn't reliable, and says it's not the Princeton, but maybe the Nimitz or "it might have come from the sub itself" (1:17:40).)
Jason Turner, April 12, 2019 (Robert Powell at SCU):
  • "The submarine that we usually go with wasn't out there, I know they weren't out there for that particular exercise, and the Nimitz and the Princeton were the only two ships out there" (11:26)
Sean Cahill, July 14, 2019 (Whistling Past the Graveyard):
  • "The week of around November 14th of 2004 off the coast of Baja California and San Diego in various locations from Santa Catalina south to Guadalupe Island ...the USS Princeton was in company with the USS Nimitz, USS Louisville, and I really can't remember who else. Some other people have mentioned a couple of other ships that we were normally in company with when we were in training exercises so I think it's normal for some of my colleagues to occasionally mention the Chaffee or the Higgins or something like that. After 14 years I'm not exactly sure which ships were in company with us on any given date." (6:17)
Sean Cahill, August 25, 2019 (Paranormal Instigator)
  • "...we were out in the vicinity of the Channel Islands in San Clemente and Guadeloupe and we were in company with the USS Nimitz. I was on the bridge crew in the evening. We were in a what we would call a box. We basically had a box on our display, we were south I believe of San Nicholas Island, but I could be mistaken, and we were just kind of lazily tooling around looking for a submarine, who I believe is the USS Louisville." (4:00)

Alex Dietrich, June 15, 2021 (Mick West)
  • "I thought, where we vectored into some sort of live training range, and what we saw on the water was a submarine, and what was coming up the tic tac was some sort of surface to air or sub-surface-to-air missile, and I was pissed, I thought it might not have been intentional but it was certainly negligent to vector us into a live training airspace. But then I was reassured that it was not a Blue system, that we didn't have any subs in the area, and have been reassured many times since by the folks that are in the Pentagon, you know it was part of the Office of Naval Intelligence, AATIP, and UAP Task Force...that was investigated and that's been eliminated as a possibility." (39:20)

Alex Dietrich, September 6, 2021 (Aliengirl111)
  • "Then when we got back to the ship and debriefed and tried to classify it...and we thought well, maybe it was a submarine and maybe it launched some cool new super secret missile that doesn't have a smoke trail, or doesn't have anything with fins or things that we would recognize. And then we were pissed, we were like if that's the case we were vectored into a Blue on Blue scenario. But then we were reassured that it wasn't, that there were no Blue tests or exercises like that in the area." (53:03)

Were there other subs in the area at the time?
  • China doesn't seem to have had the ability in 2004, their sub fleet only conducted 3 patrols in total that year, and it seems that none were far from China (source).
  • The USS Georgia was in the SOCAL range October 4-14 2004 for the Silent Hammer exercise (source), but had docked in Norfolk Virginia by Nov 11, 2004 (source). This is kind of interesting because the Georgia tested the Stealthy Affordable Capsule System (SACS) in the SOCAL range. SACS is a system for launching "non-marinized" payloads like UAVs from underwater by deploying a capsule that floats to the surface, and then ejects its payload. From here: "During Silent Hammer, an FPM installed in one of Georgia’s ballistic missile tubes released two SACS, each containing an inert test shape simulating a UAV." iirc there was another system being tested at the time (early 2005) that deployed a canister out of the garbage chute of the sub that would deploy its payload after floating to the surface, but I could be wrong about that. In any case, testing of sub-launched UAV systems increased after 2008 (examples: source, source, source, source, etc..). I couldn't find any reference to these systems deploying balloons, though, just what's discussed in this Warzone article.
  • Aside from that, I suppose that it could have been Russian, or allied (British, Norwegian, Israeli, Chilean, etc...)
  • I looked for civil submersibles or DARPA-type systems, but couldn't find anything that fit, they were all small and seemed to operate closer to shore.
  • I considered narco subs, but couldn't find any evidence of them operating that far north and west of the Mexico coast.
 
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Domzh

Active Member
Alex Dietrichs initial assumption would pretty much explain a lot and its weird how she said she was reassured there was no sub, yet various sources state the opposite..

also how does a "submarine was in the perimeter conducting live fire tests" fit to them seeing nothing but a big blue calm sea besides the turbulence in the water.

it somehow reminds me a bit of the ariel shool encounter, where some children said they have seen an alien with long hair and one child said it was just the gardener, yet it has become one of the poster boy ufo cases and everyone ignores that childs initial testimony..
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
why would they do that?

i believe based on all we know so far this would be extremely unlikely
You release weather balloons to assist in weather condition measurements and predictions. Surface ships of the US Navy do it all of the time. The question is, do US submarines do it.
 

Domzh

Active Member
You release weather balloons to assist in weather condition measurements and predictions. Surface ships of the US Navy do it all of the time. The question is, do US submarines do it.
do you have a source for that?

i cant find anything supporting the claim that they "do it all the time".

i only found some articles how they did this in the 50s and one from 2019 with the purpose to teach it to africans (https://www.dvidshub.net/news/217261/weather-balloon-launched-horn-africa)

ps: we all know the purpose of a weather balloon but as stated by Tim (who actually served on a sub) you try to stay undetected with a submarine and wouldnt risk to surface for something a ship could do as well. hence my question "why would a submarine do it?". from all we know so far, its "extremely unlikely" that a us navy submarine would do this, especially during a live fire exercise. hence my answer.
 
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Landru

Moderator
Staff member
do you have a source for that?

i cant find anything supporting the claim that they "do it all the time".

i only found some articles how they did this in the 50s and one from 2019 with the purpose to teach it to africans (https://www.dvidshub.net/news/217261/weather-balloon-launched-horn-africa)

ps: we all know the purpose of a weather balloon but as stated by Tim (who actually served on a sub) you try to stay undetected with a submarine and wouldnt risk to surface for something a ship could do as well. hence my question "why would a submarine do it?". from all we know so far, its "extremely unlikely" that a us navy submarine would do this, especially during a live fire exercise. hence my answer.
I was in the Navy too, on an aircraft carrier. I stated that SURFACE ships do it all of the time.
https://www.thebalancecareers.com/navy-enlisted-rating-job-descriptions-3345773
They calibrate and test meteorological instruments such as satellite receivers and balloon-carried instruments, and they operate, program and maintain computers and related meteorological equipment.
https://www.defense.gov/Multimedia/Photos/igphoto/2001967396/

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Doron S. Dill launches a weather balloon from the fantail of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln and Carrier Air Wing 2 are under way in the Western Pacific conducting a scheduled deployment.
I don't know of any reason a sub would do it.
 

Domzh

Active Member
thats interesting, do they launch the widely known big weather balloons or do they look different? have you perhaps seen them during your career?

i couldnt find anything about submarines and weather balloons, taken into account what Tim said this seems to add up.
 

Domzh

Active Member
at the moment i believe alex's initial perception that they run into a submarine launching a missile without exhaust plume would be where i put my money on..

this, however would only work if the radar tracks belonged to something different.

the whitewater was apparently 5-10nm away from their merge plot.

i believe this circumstance alone would pretty much rule the white water and tic tac out as the cause for the radar tracks..?
 

flarkey

Senior Member
I Don't know of any reason a sub would do it.
A sub would do it if it was in a location that a surface ship couldn't get to. I accept that the sub would have to momentarily surface to do this but it's not inconceivable.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
thats interesting, do they launch the widely known big weather balloons or do they look different? have you perhaps seen them during your career?

i couldnt find anything about submarines and weather balloons, taken into account what Tim said this seems to add up.
Click on the 2nd link. There's a picture.
 

Domzh

Active Member
A sub would do it if it was in a location that a surface ship couldn't get to. I accept that the sub would have to momentarily surface to do this but it's not inconceivable.
so are aliens. just very unlikely compared to other possibilities
 

Tim Printy

Member
You release weather balloons to assist in weather condition measurements and predictions. Surface ships of the US Navy do it all of the time. The question is, do US submarines do it.
I never saw a balloon release on board a submarine in the 22 years I served in the Navy (not all of it was on subs - I spent about 12 years at sea). To be using weather balloons, you need a weather rating to evaluate the data (aerographers mate). There was no such rating aboard submarines. Subs don't need to know about the local weather conditions in that kind of detail. If a submarine launched weather balloons, I can only suspect it was when they go on a special mission to something like the north pole. In that case, they would probably bring aboard a specialist (senior enlisted aerographers mate or actual weather officer) to evaluate the data gathered.
 
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Tim Printy

Member
This document is from 1955. I just don't see the use of weather balloons as feasible on subs. That is a lot of Helium to store and we don't normally store the stuff. You would have to find a place for it and subs are usually pretty cramped. Could we find space for Helium bottles? Sure. The engineroom was usually used to store extra cans of food and supplies during long deployments but what is the purpose? Note the document indicates the submarine has to surface to launch a balloon. The instant you stick your sail out of the water, everybody knows where you are (either visually or by radar). You have now thrown away the biggest tactical advantage of a submarine for.......gathering weather data, putting up some surveillance balloon, or presenting some form of target/decoy? It seems like a big waste of over a hundred lives and a half a billion dollars in submarine (I recall this was what a 688 cost in the 1980-90s - I could be wrong).
 

CeruleanBlu

Senior Member.
While this has absolutely nothing to do with an 18 year old video, it does however answer one nagging question I had about this particular topic, which was "do submarines ever intentionally release any objects to the surface while submerged?".

I came across this Aerovironment Blackwing loitering reconnaissance system which uses an "underwater-to-surface delivery canister" to allow a submerged submarine to release a small unmanned drone which is then used for various purposes.


Source

Screenshot 2022-04-06 02.05.43.png



While it doesn't help here with this particular event from 2004, it might come in handy knowing this information for any future encounters.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
one
While this has absolutely nothing to do with an 18 year old video, it does however answer one nagging question I had about this particular topic, which was "do submarines ever intentionally release any objects to the surface while submerged?".

I came across this Aerovironment Blackwing loitering reconnaissance system which uses an "underwater-to-surface delivery canister" to allow a submerged submarine to release a small unmanned drone which is then used for various purposes.


Source

Screenshot 2022-04-06 02.05.43.png



While it doesn't help here with this particular event from 2004, it might come in handy knowing this information for any future encounters.
Worth pointing out again that there is no video from this event as described by Fravor/Dietrich.
 

maya.s

New Member
So there is this interesting patent filed by the US Navy in 2004 for a system for launching anti-air weapons, balloons, and UAVs while submerged with a pneumatic gun. It doesn't necessarily mean that they were testing a prototype at that time, but does it indicate that they were thinking about concepts for smokeless underwater launches.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
So there is this interesting patent filed by the US Navy in 2004 for a system for launching anti-air weapons, balloons, and UAVs while submerged with a pneumatic gun.
Metabunk's link policy requires us to augment links with sufficient quotes from the linked page to support our point; something like this:
Article:
2004-12-20 Application filed by US Department of Navy

Submarine short-range defense system

Abstract

Disclosed is a launch system of an affixed lower section of launch tubing and an upper section of launch tubing configured to telescope vertically from a stowed position within the hull of a submarine to a position just above the ocean surface for a launch operation of a projectile, with the upper section returning to a stowed position after the launch operation. The launch system is capable of launching a projectile to engage air contacts by the discharge of high pressure fluid air, through the length of the upper and lower sections to impact the projectile for launch. The launch system includes surveillance, command and control elements as well as operational connection to additional projectile stowage and a supply of high pressure fluid. The projectile in use with the launch system can support surveillance and communications operations.

[...]

A submerged submarine is vulnerable to attack from directly above, particularly by airborne weapons launched at short range. If an enemy aircraft, or even a small surface craft, can establish its position over a submarine, there is no present defensive capability on the submarine to counter such a threat of attack. [...]

As a result, a short range defensive weapon system for submarines is needed. It should be an objective of the launch system to store small anti-air weapons inside the hull of a submarine, and launch them into the air space above the submarine while the submarine remains submerged at periscope depth. It should also be an objective of the launch system to launch such weapons while the submarine is on the surface. The proposed system described in this disclosure would accomplish those objectives and would offer other significant features that are currently unavailable to submarines, such as deployment of anti-missile decoy countermeasures.

FIG. 1 shows a schematic of the launch system of the present invention located with a submarine;
US07249567-20070731-D00001.png
FIG. 2 shows a schematic of the launch system of the present invention in a launch position with a section of the launch system extended from the submarine;
US07249567-20070731-D00002.png
FIG. 5 shows a schematic of a small drone aircraft as a surveillance projectile from the launch system of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 shows a schematic of a canister with inflatable balloon as an alternative surveillance projectile for use with the launch system of the present invention.
US07249567-20070731-D00006.png
 
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