Ukraine Denies Weaponized Dolphin Program

Ukraine Denies Weaponized Dolphin Program

Heavily armed, romance seeking dolphins have apparently not escaped from their Ukrainian handlers.

Russian news service RIA Novosti has reported that three Ukranian military dolphins have gone missing, escaping their handlers during a routine training exercise. Ukraine's defense ministry denies that any such military dolphins exist. Apparently it's not that strange for military dolphins to go AWOL, a former soviet naval officer told RIA Novosti. "Control over dolphins was quite common in the 1980s," said Yury Plyachenko, "If a male dolphin saw a female dolphin during the mating season, then he would immediately set off after her. But they came back in a week or so." It's a setup way too good to be true, right? The dolphins the Ukrainians have would have been inherited after the breakup of the USSR, and the program was maintained for civilian purposes - like working with disabled children. Last year, RIA Novosti reported that Ukraine was once again training the dolphins for war, arming them with specialized knives and pistols to fight enemy swimmers - as well as training them for tasks like finding sea mines.

But they apparently aren't, and no dolphins have escaped, either. According to The Atlantic, Ukranian news sources have traced the story of the escaped military dolphins to a faked report. We're left high and dry for news about love-seeking, armed and dangerous military cetaceans on the loose. It's a plausible story based on real circumstances - but it just didn't happen.

Source: RIA Novosti
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Permalink

Question, what use does a land locked country have for weaponized dolphin anyway ?

EDIT: Nm had the somewhat older border in mind (damn you Paradox Interactive for messing my modern geography =p), so forgot they border the Black Sea. =p

What

Reading this felt weird... Military weaponized dolphins? Huh? Am I missing something? I feel I'm missing something.

Well of course it isn't weaponized dolphins. That's an Allied unit, silly. Now squid, that's another matter...
image
I have an uneasy feeling about their trainer as well...

They should have given them laser guns on their heads.

Nomad of the Stars:
What

Reading this felt weird... Military weaponized dolphins? Huh? Am I missing something? I feel I'm missing something.

You're not missing anything, honestly. It's precisely as strange as it sounds - and the claims about actual weapons are pretty insane and deeply unlikely.

Who takes USSR trained military possible mine-seeking dolphins and puts them to work with disabled children? You wouldn't put Rambo in a kindergarten either!

Also, I don't think war dolphins have ever worked. Didn't the US or UK try those for mine recce some decades ago and as soon as they released them for the first test run they just buggered off?

iniudan:
Question, what use does a land locked country have for weaponized dolphin anyway ?

They border the black sea, which, through the Bosphorus, leads to the mediterranean sea. Not like that's really dolphin area though.

EDIT: I see your edit and raise you mine!

Does anyone know Dolphin for "Sarah Connor?"

JonB:
You're not missing anything, honestly. It's precisely as strange as it sounds - and the claims about actual weapons are pretty insane and deeply unlikely.

Even for weird, this is strange. This isn't weird in a typical way, as perculiar as that sounds, but weird in a... Weird way.

I need to go lie down while I contemplate on this for a bit.

Quaxar:

iniudan:
Question, what use does a land locked country have for weaponized dolphin anyway ?

They border the black sea, which, through the Bosphorus, leads to the mediterranean sea. Not like that's really dolphin area though.

Had already corrected that myself, just Paradox interactive game making my geography a mess. =p Kind of had more Kievan Rus border in mind.

Neverhoodian:
Well of course it isn't weaponized dolphins. That's an Allied unit, silly. Now squid, that's another matter...
image
I have an uneasy feeling about their trainer as well...

I dunno dude, the guy might be a bit bonkers but he's got a neat idea for a national anthem:

Weaponized Ukrainian dolphins would have made Rise of Nations a LOT more interesting.

Nomad of the Stars:

JonB:
You're not missing anything, honestly. It's precisely as strange as it sounds - and the claims about actual weapons are pretty insane and deeply unlikely.

Even for weird, this is strange. This isn't weird in a typical way, as perculiar as that sounds, but weird in a... Weird way.

I need to go lie down while I contemplate on this for a bit.

I guess this concept doesn't really clique with you?

This isn't quite as crazy as it sounds, I remember seeing articles about the US training dolphins for finding mines and enemy divers.

Did Ukraine learn nothing from that episodes of The Simpsons. How long before these trained dolphins turn on their master and we are forced off the land into the sea in a brutal conflict?

DVS BSTrD:
Weaponized Ukrainian dolphins would have made Rise of Nations a LOT more interesting.

Nomad of the Stars:

JonB:
You're not missing anything, honestly. It's precisely as strange as it sounds - and the claims about actual weapons are pretty insane and deeply unlikely.

Even for weird, this is strange. This isn't weird in a typical way, as perculiar as that sounds, but weird in a... Weird way.

I need to go lie down while I contemplate on this for a bit.

I guess this concept doesn't really clique with you?

Well you don't normally associated with violence and warfare. After all they look like such dorsal creatures.

Their military dolphin program may be nonexistent, but their laser shark program is still going quite strong.

Has PETA picked up on this yet?

Sounds like your typical military dance by a group of incompetants. Their secret program isn't so secret, a problem happens, and they wind up denying that it ever existed for there to be a problem to begin with.

That said, yes, weaponizing animals is an old idea, and that has included sea creatures. Using Dolphins for underwater EOD and such is no differant than using bomb sniffing dogs or whatever, and is an old idea. As is the idea of arming fairly smart animals that can be trained to identify and attack enemies or simply attack on command. I'm not sure about pistols, but armoring dolphins with bladed harnesses is really no differant than some of the arrangements used by old "War Dogs" which live on in the popular mind through D&D games where we've all probably faced them, or argued based on hisporical prcedent that we should be able to make our "Druid/Ranger" companion even tougher by using some of this really authentic armor.

THAT said, most programs of this sort intended for serious use actually involved strapping bombs, or torpedo launchers, or whatever else to dolphins, whales, and other creatures that can either be trained to move around targets, or just released into the wild during a time of war to await targets of oppertunity. The idea being that if you can get a dolphin or whale to swim close to a boar/sub/naval facility, etc... you can then detonate the bomb, and the sea creature dies, but you take out whatever it was near. With torpedos the idea is not that the creature fires them, but that they have cameras and remote triggers on them, so if your dolphin or whale gets close enough to a target you can paint it and fire a guided torpedo from an unexpected location, the launch doubtlessly kills the creature, but chances are your target dies too. All of this coming about due to the tendency for naval forces to ignore or filter out marine life during combat operations, you could pretty much kill someone looking for enemy subs, but ignoring say a pod of whales.

I've read a bunch of stuff about this over the years, and pretty much anyone with the resources and a navy has considered and (and probably used it). While "inhumane" to animals, it tends to follow what is very much a "humans first" policy. I'd be very surprised at any advanced nation not working on such things right now, but at the same time I don't expect any of them to admit it, by way of hiding their actual level of development, and of course to reduce civilian outcry.

On land similar things have been done by loading horses or dogs with explosives, or even rats though I don't think they were used on a large scale (the end of the movie "Wanted" was based on actual theory). I think The Escapist mentioned early ideas for weaponized pigeons so I won't mention that, and I don't think that one was ever under any kind of development or taken as a serious theory for warfare.

To my way of thinking, I like animals like dogs, but come a time of war, using them to deliver explosives is perfectly viable to me. I also find it more palatable than what a lot of third world countries do by using their children as suicide weapons. To put it bluntly if I can defeat an enemy by deploying 30 trained dogs loaded with C-4 and spare the lives of the men under my command, I'm going to do it, it might be cold, but "humans first" and all of that, and it's also why people shouldn't get attached to "working dogs" for the police, military, and other jobs where they are more tools than pets as cold as that is. To me the same logic applies to Dolphins, Whales, Otters and other smart seacreatures. If I can destroy an enemy sub or boat in a time of war (hot or cold) without risk to my men, for the cost of a dolphin or whatever, then I'm going to do it. Saying this might make PETA cry, but that's my priorities, so I have no real problem with militaries maintaining weaponized animal programs in case of war. Think of a Dolphin with an explosive harness and detonator, or a one shot torpedo launcher, as a cheaper drone.

Neverhoodian:
Well of course it isn't weaponized dolphins. That's an Allied unit, silly. Now squid, that's another matter...
image
I have an uneasy feeling about their trainer as well...

Man, that was the exact thing I was going to post if no one else did. Looks like I was beat.

There's only one way this can end.
image
EDIT: Dangit, how do you post pictures from photobucket? The only way to view this thing right now is by right-clicking on it.

Therumancer:
Sounds like your typical military dance by a group of incompetants. Their secret program isn't so secret, a problem happens, and they wind up denying that it ever existed for there to be a problem to begin with.

That said, yes, weaponizing animals is an old idea, and that has included sea creatures. Using Dolphins for underwater EOD and such is no differant than using bomb sniffing dogs or whatever, and is an old idea. As is the idea of arming fairly smart animals that can be trained to identify and attack enemies or simply attack on command. I'm not sure about pistols, but armoring dolphins with bladed harnesses is really no differant than some of the arrangements used by old "War Dogs" which live on in the popular mind through D&D games where we've all probably faced them, or argued based on hisporical prcedent that we should be able to make our "Druid/Ranger" companion even tougher by using some of this really authentic armor.

THAT said, most programs of this sort intended for serious use actually involved strapping bombs, or torpedo launchers, or whatever else to dolphins, whales, and other creatures that can either be trained to move around targets, or just released into the wild during a time of war to await targets of oppertunity. The idea being that if you can get a dolphin or whale to swim close to a boar/sub/naval facility, etc... you can then detonate the bomb, and the sea creature dies, but you take out whatever it was near. With torpedos the idea is not that the creature fires them, but that they have cameras and remote triggers on them, so if your dolphin or whale gets close enough to a target you can paint it and fire a guided torpedo from an unexpected location, the launch doubtlessly kills the creature, but chances are your target dies too. All of this coming about due to the tendency for naval forces to ignore or filter out marine life during combat operations, you could pretty much kill someone looking for enemy subs, but ignoring say a pod of whales.

I've read a bunch of stuff about this over the years, and pretty much anyone with the resources and a navy has considered and (and probably used it). While "inhumane" to animals, it tends to follow what is very much a "humans first" policy. I'd be very surprised at any advanced nation not working on such things right now, but at the same time I don't expect any of them to admit it, by way of hiding their actual level of development, and of course to reduce civilian outcry.

On land similar things have been done by loading horses or dogs with explosives, or even rats though I don't think they were used on a large scale (the end of the movie "Wanted" was based on actual theory). I think The Escapist mentioned early ideas for weaponized pigeons so I won't mention that, and I don't think that one was ever under any kind of development or taken as a serious theory for warfare.

To my way of thinking, I like animals like dogs, but come a time of war, using them to deliver explosives is perfectly viable to me. I also find it more palatable than what a lot of third world countries do by using their children as suicide weapons. To put it bluntly if I can defeat an enemy by deploying 30 trained dogs loaded with C-4 and spare the lives of the men under my command, I'm going to do it, it might be cold, but "humans first" and all of that, and it's also why people shouldn't get attached to "working dogs" for the police, military, and other jobs where they are more tools than pets as cold as that is. To me the same logic applies to Dolphins, Whales, Otters and other smart seacreatures. If I can destroy an enemy sub or boat in a time of war (hot or cold) without risk to my men, for the cost of a dolphin or whatever, then I'm going to do it. Saying this might make PETA cry, but that's my priorities, so I have no real problem with militaries maintaining weaponized animal programs in case of war. Think of a Dolphin with an explosive harness and detonator, or a one shot torpedo launcher, as a cheaper drone.

Using animals for destroying ships or tanks doesn't really work though. I heard that during WW2 the Soviets trained dogs to look for food under tanks, but the trouble was that they trained them using their own tanks, which didn't end up working too well. Also, with dolphins, most of the stories about the US training them to destroy ships is just a myth. They can't really get them to swim under enemy ships as they'll just shy away from them, and torpedoes in the end are just more effective because they can carry a much more powerful payload. I have heard about Iran looking into the concept of Kamikaze dolphins, but so far, none of it seems practical.

Of course they deny. What did you expect?

Fursnake:
Has PETA picked up on this yet?

I am curious, if it would be for or against the idea of having killer dolphins on the loose.

I'd also like to take this time to come out and directly address the possibility that I am creating weaponized dolphins. I will neither confirm nor deny if those rumors are true of false.

Never know what might happen when you start giving dolphins military weapons and training. Especially if you're keeping them isolated and unhappy. International shipping could be at risk!

Well, not really, but it's a very entertaining story.

Neverhoodian:
Well of course it isn't weaponized dolphins. That's an Allied unit, silly. Now squid, that's another matter...
image
I have an uneasy feeling about their trainer as well...

image
Yes! Yes! 1000x Yes! That is one of my favorite games of all time (well at least Red Alert 2 anyway).

OT: The US has military trained dolphins (or at least use to) so I don't see what the big deal is.

My God, next thing you know, Moviebob's screenplay will be published!

Moviebob:

Much like "Beavers," this was the result of my dual interests in arcane wildlife factoids and cheesy movies about killer animals colliding and then refusing to leave my head. In this case, the factoid was: Did you know dolphins are actually kind of pretty big assholes?

And I don't just mean in the usual "hey this ostensibly-cute animal is actually dangerous" way, either. Dolphins are harsh. They violently beat each other up for show, commit infanticide, kill and maim other sea life for "play" (i.e. not for food, and they often go out of their way to target their cousin the porpoise) and are one of relatively few species observed to use sexual assault for purposes of injury (to the target) rather than forcible procreation. Granted, all of these behaviors exist in many other species, but to find them all in the persona of a creature that humanity regards as benign and even innately good seemingly based on the shape of their skulls looking like a permanent friendly smile to us struck me as somehow meaningful.

Yes, meaningful - looking back, "Bottlenose" was meant to be my socially conscious monster movie: A Jaws knockoff where the twist was that the residents of the besieged seaside village responded to the killings by staging mass hunts for local sharks, never realizing that the real killer was the visiting dolphin hanging around the harbor whom the locals had "adopted" as a summertime mascot. It would eventually have been revealed that the dolphin in question had gone full-on homicidal because it was suffering from PTSD (having been used as an experimental scout animal by the U.S. Navy) and had escaped from a secret Naval laboratory destroyed by Hurricane Katrina - believe it or not, some of that was based on a news story that was making the rounds back then.

In keeping with the "Think about it, won't you?" tone of whole production, one of the good guys would've been an idealistic wannabe marine biologist who would keep insisting that a dolphin couldn't be guilty because of high intelligence - "They're just like us!" being his constant refrain. Later on, after the hard evidence had been gathered and the requisite nature slide-show/lecture on the actual viciousness of dolphins had left said idealist visibly shaken, another character would've ironically quipped: "Damn. Rape, murder, even racism. You were right, man ... they really are just like us."

Deep.

Great, now there's going to be a Dolphin based arms race. Whoever has the most underwater assassins will win!

A dentist in the U.S. attempted to weaponize bats during WWII so I don't think it would be fair of me to judge them.

Does this mean we will soon get a movie along the lines of killer dolphins or has that been done before? Did anyone ever make a movie like Jaws, but with dolphins? What about Birdemic, but with dolphins?

as a ukrainian, i must ask ukraine why NOT have a deadly arsenal of bloodthirsty dolphins.

I need to be honest with everybody.

I am NOT trying to weaponize the towns stray dogs. I know, I know, I look like the kind of person who would strap lasers onto the dogs in order to overthrow the evil Cats of our world.

So what if you found the Blueprints, I still do not have the time to make them.

If they hadn't weaponized dolphins they wouldn't need to deny it, would they? I say you all are in this. ALL OF YOU! YOU ARE ONE OF THEM!

Eh, seems somewhat unlikely, in that such things have been tried before, and not actually really worked.

This sounds like the set-up for a Flipper/Rambo crossover film. After escaping from military prison Flipper defects to the USA but his past comes back to haunt him and leads him to seek solitude in the Pacific North West. He comes across fellow recluse Rambo and shortly after the Ukraine special forces invade the region in search of the escaped dolphin. Hilarity and bloodshed ensues. Starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo and Gary Oldman as Flipper.

 

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