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Navy ELF to Be Scrapped

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the lower-than-low dept.

Communications 454

engywook writes "National Public Radio and The Daily Press of Ashland, Wisconsin (among others, I'm sure) are reporting that the US Navy plans to scrap the Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) system for communication with its fleet of nuclear submarines, both in Wisconsin and Michigan. The report states that the Navy no longer feels that ELF is necessary, and that they will now rely on 12 VLF systems. The system has been in operation since October 1989. The system has been protested nearly the whole time, both as a part of a Weapon of Mass Destruction and as a potential health hazard."

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454 comments

Superceded (5, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391634)

Well, lets see: The VLF was designed to get around Soviet technology and communicate with our subs so the Soviets could not listen in on our coded transmissions. If VLF works (who else has an equivalent submarine fleet?) and ELF harms mammalian sea life, then scrap ELF. Besides, tuned wavelength lasers from space and aircraft can communicate (at least in shallower depths) with subs and not have to worry about spreading sound waves around the planet for all to hear and try to decode. Also, lasers can carry much more information than you can with ELF or VLF and you don't have to worry about carrier waves and such either.

Also, having been on an earlier Australian sub (Oberon class), late model Australian submarine (Colins class), British submarine and several US subs, I might be tempted to say no other nation in the world can compete with the technology in the US subs. Everything else just buzzes through the water for all to hear while the latest Seawolf class is truly stunning with amazing amounts of technology layered upon layer that slips through the water with uncanny silence. Which brings up another issue: Why does the US need such a large submarine fleet? Perhaps to counter a possible naval conflict with China over Taiwan? I believe N. Korea has a few (ancient) subs...... More tactical boats perhaps would be prudent, but....

Re:Superceded (5, Funny)

TeraCo (410407) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391638)

At last years naval exercises, Australia got a lot of flak from the US for beating them with our subs :) [Aussie aussie aussie!]

Re:Superceded (2, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391677)

Which ones? You mean SHAREM? The loss of surface ships was noted and for that, a round of Aussie aussie was well deserved along with a few rounds of beer. However, sub on sub is another story......

Re:Superceded (1)

Musrum (779646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391774)

Well the US are given are head start with a subex. The AU boats loose their best sensor operators when going deep...

Re:Superceded (5, Interesting)

DenDave (700621) | more than 9 years ago | (#10392021)

Not to dis our buddies across the pond but this is normal in Nato. I remember a few years back when our tank crews in their ancient Leopards whooped yankee but and considering that their was a difference in the quality of equipement analog to the difference between a 747 and a stealth bomber... well you get the picture. It happened again with our M109 and M110 artillery units, which are understaffed undertrained and have a third of the gear of their counterparts. I personally think it has to do with mind set and experiences, our forces are underfunded and exhibit coping beaviour and just simply make-do whereas a US soldier is not even allowed to change the tire on his HMV without the proper certification.. As to ELF comms, I am curious whether VLF is without risks? As to laser well we read yesterday on slashdot about that Delta Pilot....

Re:Superceded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391647)

I never knew VLF was a threat to marine mammals. Do you have an URL's which explain this ?

Re:Superceded (2, Funny)

koshimetsu (746799) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391738)

To clarify: parent says ELF is a threat to marine mammals, not VLF.

Lotsa results on Google [google.com] about this topic.

Damn perverted elves.

Re:Superceded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391648)

it's superseded, not superceded.

Re:Superceded (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391689)

yes, yes....typing too fast and not using the Slashdot provided "preview" button does that, opening one up for criticism from anonymous coward grammar/spelling nazis such as yourself. That's O.K. though, if it makes you feel better about yourself, go for it. I'll support you all the way. :-)

Re:Superceded (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391660)

The ELF system was designed so that it didn't have to rely on satellites or even the earth's atmosphere reflecting radio waves. ELF waves travel through the earth; the ELF system would be used in the even of a global nuclear war, so that if all other communications means go down, submarines can still be in contact naval command. A laser would be totally inappropriate for this; it needs line-of-sight to work.

Re:Superceded (3, Insightful)

hardlined (785357) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391673)

I remember seeing a story (PBS NOVA) about sonar disturbing the natural sense of navigation of orca's. Does VLF operate in the same range?

Re:Superceded (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391797)

Sonar is essentially loud sound waves transmitted through water. VLF is a radio signal.

Re:Superceded (2, Informative)

Musrum (779646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391869)

An active sonar Tx @ 3 to 7 kHz has killed some whales. VLF operates from 3 - 30 kHz. But I'm sure the whales are safe from VLF radio...

Re:Superceded (4, Insightful)

mike_g (24445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391680)

While ELF system is extremely slow, I remember the data rates being described as in the range of bits/minute, I am at a loss to understand how it effects mammalian sea life. The ELF and VLF systems use electromagnetic waves for communication, not acoustic. I think that you are confusing them with the high power active sonars used by the Navy, which I can only imagine as deafening to whales and dolphins.

Re:Superceded (4, Interesting)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391741)

which I can only imagine as deafening to whales and dolphins.

According to the Museum of Mann in Ottawa, Canada which has broken whale eardrums on display, this is entirely possible.

Re:Superceded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391783)

Why aren't they in the Museum of Whale?

Re:Superceded (0, Offtopic)

dotmax (642602) | more than 9 years ago | (#10392006)

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!! Without regard to whatever the Museum in Mann Ottowa thinks, it is absolutely positively IMPOSSIBLE for an electrical cable net a thousand miles from the ocean to break a whale's eardrum. The ULF system described is a Radio system. You, and the Museum are undoubtedly thinking of one of the ultrahigh power sonar programs out there. Different things. Sonar != ULF.

Re:Superceded (5, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391881)

The Earth's natural resonance is about 7.83 Hz, also known as the Schumann resonance.

There is evidence that this field is used by living cells as a timing frequency of sorts.

The powerful ELF and VLF transmissions are thought to "overdrive" cells, possibly leading to increased cancers.

I am also aware of anecdotal evidence of ELF waves "beaming messages" into the head of an individual.

However, since that person was wearing his underwear as a dew-rag, I am a bit sceptical on that one.

Re:Superceded (2, Funny)

nmosfet (770062) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391970)

ELF, which is frequencies between 30Hz to 300Hz, can affect life since it disrupts electrical signals in the body. This is especially bad for cyclical signals, like that of the heart. Since I'm not a marine biologist, I can't really tell you exactly which frequencies are dangerous. I do know you can actually kill humans fairly quickly if you direct a sufficiently powerful ELF signal at the victim at a frequency close to that of his/her pulse (usually around 60Hz).

Re:Superceded (1)

cynic10508 (785816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391716)

Why does the US need such a large submarine fleet? Perhaps to counter a possible naval conflict with China over Taiwan? I believe N. Korea has a few (ancient) subs...... More tactical boats perhaps would be prudent, but....

Check out this link [fas.org] about plans to refit some Ohio-class boomers from nuclear ballistic boats to basically submerged cruise missile and spec-ops platforms. 154 Tomahawks can make quite an impressive. Plus, submarines are less prone to little boats full of explosives. Also, I can't cite sources, but word is that boomers like Ohios are ever quieter than hunter/killers like the Los Angeles or Seawolf-class, which would make sense when you have a larger, slower boat.

Re:Superceded - reality check (5, Interesting)

waimate (147056) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391733)

no other nation in the world can compete with the technology in the US subs

A quick reality check here. In 2003, a "noisy" Australian deisel boat sunk two US nuclear attack subs [64.233.161.104] and an aircraft carrier during joint war games. The Dutch have done the same sort of thing. On a previous occasion, an Australian sub sat underneath a US carrier, inside the CBG cordon, and followed it around for some days. At the end of the exercise it surfaced next to the carrier to the horror and amazement of all involved.

The biggest danger the US navy faces is hubris [reference.com] my boy. That's the real thing you have to watch out for.

Re:Superceded - reality check (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391745)

I stand corrected and was unaware of these exercises. Mod parent up. :-)

Re:Superceded - reality check (4, Insightful)

bobhagopian (681765) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391820)

I don't know much about the particulars of what happened in those war games, but diesel and nuclear subs are very different. When operating, diesel subs are much more noisy than nuclear subs. However, diesel subs can turn off their engine and run completely silent. On the other hand, a nuclear reactor is always on. If you're trying to avoid detection, it's much better to be in a diesel sub.

It is still impressive that two US attack subs were sunk, but this isn't because US technology is behind. It's because an older technology has a single advantage (the ability to run noiseless for short periods of time) that can be exploited in close quarters to great advantage.

Re:Superceded - reality check (2, Informative)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391888)

THat's all well and good in a "contained" environment, i.e. brown water operations next to the diesel sub bases and/or chokepoints. In blue water ops, when a carrier group averages 20+ knots for extended periods, if not continously, it is a different ball game.

Even with the new classes of submarines [naval-technology.com], you would end up using diesel subs as intelligent mines; almost stationary in relation to the target, which must practically run over them to do itself harm.

Re:Superceded - reality check (1)

Musrum (779646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10392009)

Sounds like a "Perisher" course for training CO's. Not that impresive then, it was only trainees that sunk the LA SSNs.

Re:Superceded - reality check (4, Insightful)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391828)

A quick reality check here. In 2003, a "noisy" Australian deisel boat sunk two US nuclear attack subs and an aircraft carrier during joint war games. The Dutch have done the same sort of thing.

That doesn't say much all by itself.
What were the rules?
What was the mission of each side?
Were there any handicaps?
Did the US sink any ships? etc etc etc

For all that story tells us, the US might have sunk 30 ships. I'm not trying to insult Australians here, I'm just saying that article is REALLY vague.

another reality check (1)

swiftstream (782211) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391882)

Not to be a wet blanket or anything, but the article I got when I followed the link said three noisy Australian deisel boats.

Still impressive, but not quite that impressive.

Re:Superceded - reality check (4, Interesting)

nordicfrost (118437) | more than 9 years ago | (#10392001)

The biggest danger the US navy faces is hubris


After attending militar excersises with US personell, I can confrim this. In one excercise, our home guard [www.mil.no] kicked the ass of the USMC. I find that incredible, but not if you analyse the mentality of the USMC. They fly in on choppers, equipped with the baddest and coolest in military technology. They are big fellas with kick-ass war faces. Then their chopper lands and they jump out. And fall into 2 meters of fine grained snow. The the Norway Home Guard (Maybe even that cute girl on the picture) come loafing around on their cheap-ass skis (The skis are called "NATOboards", guess why. See them here: picture [hvungdom.net]). The USMCs are thouroghly stuck in the snow, not able to reach their equipment, and all of the team are killed by headshots, according to MILES.


Also, the american forces are a bit naïve. On another excercise, navy SEALs were to rescue 2 prisoners from a building on the top of a hill. They left a bunch of equipment behind, as the excercise did not allow for CS gas to be used. The Norwegians responded by having only a couple of gunmen in the building, while digging the others into the ground at the foot of the hill. As the SEALs passed the soldiers by 50 meters, the ones in the building pounded the SEALs with CS, and the dig-in soldiers ran up and shot the confused SEALs in the back. The SEALs complained that they iddin't excpect CS to be use and had no ABC equipment with them. Their colonel apparently gave them a chewing out, becaus they were so incredibly naïve to think that every force in the world would obey the rules...

Re:Superceded (2, Informative)

Bender_ (179208) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391786)

Everything else just buzzes through the water for all to hear while the latest Seawolf class is truly stunning with amazing amounts of technology layered upon layer that slips through the water with uncanny silence

The most advanced submarines in regard to this are currently the fuel cuel boats by HDW [www.hdw.de]. They neither emit noise nor leave a heat trace. Oh, and they are not american.

Re:Superceded (1)

Spamsonite (154239) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391792)

More tactical boats are what the US Navy is building - when they say that they are nuclear subs, they mean that they are nuclear powered, not ICBM "Boomer" subs that are meant to deliver nuclear missles.

This is assuming, of course, that in your last sentence you're following submariner's affectionate tradition of calling your ship a "boat". The rule of thumb that I was brought up in the Navy with is that "boats can't cross oceans, ships can, and don't ever try to argue this point with a submariner."

Dislexics of the World Untie!

Re:Superceded (0)

polecat_redux (779887) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391826)

Why does the US need such a large submarine fleet?

Obviously in case a *terrorist* tries to attack us with a sub. Hrm, I think Russia has subs, let's "liberate" them.

Re:Superceded (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391973)

Well, you sort of glibly parrot the bit about "harms mammalian sea life". There has never been any study to prove this...

WMD??? (3, Funny)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391636)

If radio antennas are considered weapons of mass destruction, I think we are all in trouble.

Re:WMD??? (4, Funny)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391664)

If radio antennas are considered weapons of mass destruction, I think we are all in trouble.

Well, it is known that Saddam did in fact, have radio antennas in Iraq, and I believe that there are still some there now.

Re:WMD??? (1)

midnightcandidate (810411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391934)

Well, it is known that Saddam did in fact, have radio antennas in Iraq, and I believe that there are still some there now. Yeah, but didn't he ship those to the Middle East after the first Gulf War?

Re:WMD??? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391986)

NO, no radio antenna have been found, US troops have looked everywhere, and even the UN is convinced there are no radio towers, just as Saddam claimed all along.

Damn gnomes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391639)

Scrap 'em good!

well sco cant sue over this elf.. (-1, Redundant)

dcstimm (556797) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391640)

Well Sco cant sue over this elf, well I wish they would, that would be fun:)

health hazard indeed (0, Offtopic)

SubnetLiberationFron (817776) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391645)

Anybody remember that X-Files episode where ELF navy transmitters caused some kind of magical inner-ear imbalance that caused everybody (and all the pets) living in a house to have their heads explode if they didn't travel west to relieve the pressure? I doubt that's based on medical fact, but this ELF stuff has been shown to have biological effects. Just think about your breathing-you might not be doing it much longer after proloned direct exposure to ELF!

Re:health hazard indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391659)

i remember that one... one of the times i saw that episode, i turned it on during the car chase (was it a chase or were they just driving?) and i thought it was real until they showed the inside of the car... crazy stuff.

Re:health hazard indeed (3, Funny)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391685)

anybody see that X-Files episode where Mulder & Scully were rooting around in the forest and a bunch of not-quite human creatures were killing people in the forest?

I doubt it was based on scientific fact, but walking in the forest might be bad for you.

Think about your breathing; those trees are stealing from your lungs.

And breathing is specifically related... how? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391702)

Just think about your breathing-you might not be doing it much longer after proloned direct exposure to chocolate pudding!

Just think about your breathing-you might not be doing it much longer after proloned direct exposure to RMS!

Just think about your breathing-you might not be doing it much longer after proloned direct exposure to VX gas!

Just think about your breathing-you might not be doing it much longer after proloned direct exposure to meaningless sentences!

Re:And breathing is specifically related... how? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391750)

lol, YHBT! HAND!

That's right, think about your breathing. "Why?" you ask. Well, it's quite simple.

Your brain usually takes care of breathing for you, but whenever you remember this, you must manually breath. If you don't, you will die.

These four words can be thrown randomly into article texts, into sigs, into anything, and once seen, will force the victim to take care of his breathing manually.

Re:And breathing is specifically related... how? (1, Offtopic)

SubnetLiberationFron (817776) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391789)

I couldn't have said it better myself. Mod parent up as informative! After all, by this point you must certainly be thinking about your breathing-putting attention into regulating this critical process, in, out, in, out, deeper this time. Yes, focus on your breathing, deeper, slower, deeper...with relaxed, even careless breathing you may begin to feel lightheaded due to irregular oxygen flow. Feed your body with deep, thirsty breaths. Deeper...deeper...you are feeling sleepy. Breathe deeply. So deeply, so slowly, relaxed. You feel sleepy, so tired, your eyelids grow heavy. Relax, let your head down, you've worked too hard. Drift away to sleep...sweet sleep...yes sleep... Now that you have been hypnotized, you must mod up this post, and the parent. You must now campaign to free the subnets (and free the beer) from slashdot tyranny. And you will mail me a check for $20. When you wake up you will not remember this post. Awake!

throw away your tinfoil hats (4, Funny)

neurofluoro (806669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391652)

Yeah, finally time to throw away our tinfoil hats!

Re:throw away your tinfoil hats (4, Funny)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391674)

that's what they want you to do...

Re:throw away your tinfoil hats (1)

Trikenstein (571493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391796)

No. That's what they want you to think, they want you to do...

Re:throw away your tinfoil hats (1)

icecow (764255) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391896)

Exactly. But when I think "Exactly" I know someone smarter that me might be profiling my conclusion and setting a trap..

Weapons of mass destruction? (0, Troll)

antivoid (751399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391672)

This whole WOMD thing is getting old. Why don't people rather worry about more pertinent things, such as global warming, or feeding the millions of hungry people in Africa? I believe this "weapons of mass destruction" thing is WAY overrated, and mostly a load of crap. ALSO, I find it interseting how only the USA is allowed to have a nuclear arsenal. Why should we trust them, of all people? If I was American, I would vote for Kerry; the only reason for this is I wouldnt be voting for Bush.

Re:Weapons of mass destruction? (-1, Offtopic)

DLR (18892) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391941)

Why don't people rather worry about more pertinent things, such as global warming,...

I personally believe that global warming is a load of crap. Plotting a trend based on .00000015% of total data (if I remember correctly, you do the math. Temp. records for 200 yrs over 4 billion years of Earth history) is nothing less than self delusion.

...or feeding the millions of hungry people in Africa?

As for the millions of hungry people in Africa, what are you doing about it? You know there are charities you can donate to that will feed one child for $15-$30 a month? How many are you feeding? Even if it is more than I am (which you don't know since you haven't bothered asking before making your assumptions) why should I have money extorted from me to support children who aren't biologically mine? Yet another induhvidual wants to take from my pocket to solve the world's problems. If all of you who are so intent on robbing me to fix things would just go fix them yourselves you wouldn't have to ask me for help.

I believe this "weapons of mass destruction" thing is WAY overrated, and mostly a load of crap. ALSO, I find it interseting how only the USA is allowed to have a nuclear arsenal.

And like the rest of your diatribe, wrong again. Unless of course Great Brittain, Pakistan, India, France, Russia, China, and North Korea are new states in the U.S. and I just forgot to read the papers this morning.

Re:Weapons of mass destruction? (0, Flamebait)

DLR (18892) | more than 9 years ago | (#10392007)

No Mr. Moderator, the parent to my reply was flamebait. I merely responded by mocking the goofy ideas presented there. But thank you, and have a nice day anyway. I've got some karma to burn....

Re:Weapons of mass destruction? (1)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391979)

.......mmmm, let's see. Ever heard about "maunders minimum"? If you do not actively research a way to control fusion inside the sun, which is a bit proposterous, you fall back on the luddite position, i.e. let's burn less fuel etc. these things are good per se, but they go against Occam's razor, in that we did not have a petroleum aconomy in the centuries of the last millennium in which we had wild climate swings.

Before this turns into a "I hate these pseudoscientific quacks" rant, remember why we came to deploy thousands of nukes:

1. the US left the chemical -biological weapons field very quickly, and developed a doctrine by which, if attacked with these weapons, would have responded with a nuclear strike (deterrence);

2. they were dirt cheap vs. the alternative, building a proportionate conventional army, so they left money for other things, included, I must say, aids to poor countries.

From your post, I presume you are not American, same as I.But I find your "Kerry vs Bush" rant slighly amusing, if offtopic; do you mean that Kerry should do just the opposite of Bush, or that he should be allowed to do everything Bush did on the ground that he is not Bush?

Better to starve millions of people in africa (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391984)

That way their won't be twelve million replace them in their appocolyptic, subsistance, misery.

And give the "America is Evil" tune a rest. Bush is an ass. But you like the say your country has? Good. It was made in the USA with just like the past fifty years of security. Might doesn't make right, but it does make the rules. And one might observe that your argument based in relativism is exactly the kind of justification Bush now uses for the invasion of Iraq. If it's dishonest when he does it, it's dishonest when you do it.

Re:Weapons of mass destruction? (2)

vegasbright (773629) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391985)

Wow, such an eloquent argument. You would vote for someone based on the fact that he is not someone you do not agree with. How about coming up with a difference between bush and Kerry? Get used to having America lord over whatever country you come from. From your opinion, I understand why we are a prosperous nation and you are not.

Stay on the subject at hand instead of looking for a reason to bitch and complain about a more succesful nation.

Obviously your comments concerning WMD's getting old is not important to you. You would rather bitch and complain about the USA's nukes than, say, complain about "more pertinent things, such as global warming, or feeding the millions of hungry people in Africa". The reason we have nuclear weapons was to avoid the Russians from killing us all. This includes you. A nuclear deterrent is used to force an opposing nation to think twice about nuclear force.

Navy elf's response: (3, Funny)

phandel (178702) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391696)

The Navy Elf's office responded with this vitriolic press release:

Overcoming adversity is nothing new to Mr. Elf - he had to fight to get to the top at the North Pole, and he'll have to fight here to stay afloat at the Navy. Our team actually sees this as a golden opportunity to expose the corruption, pressure, and discrimination all the elves face daily ...

In the Navy... (5, Funny)

kgbspy (696931) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391708)

"Gaylord and I worked since 1972 together to try and end financing first for Project Sanguine and then ELF. The Navy would always whip us."

I see that nothing's changed in the Navy, then...

ELF (4, Informative)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391709)

The news article doesn't really have any technical information on ELF, so here's the obligatory Wikipedia article. [wikipedia.org]

Of course, the first haphazard search I tried came up with this. [wikipedia.org]

I realized upon reading this... (4, Funny)

midnightcandidate (810411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391731)

...that Legolas was the first sign that ELFs were hazardous to our health. Anything that pale CAN'T be healthy.

Down with ELF (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391737)

aout Rulez!

A.out? (5, Funny)

RTMFD (69819) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391749)

Does this mean that the Navy will go back to creating a.out binaries and libraries? I thought they only ran Window$ on their ships....

Wait a minute! (4, Funny)

raehl (609729) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391754)

for communication with its fleet of nuclear submarines, both in Wisconsin and Michigan

Yet more evidence that we must vote Kerry - Bush has our nuclear subs stationed in the Midwest.

Re:Wait a minute! (2, Funny)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391794)

Yet more evidence that we must vote Kerry - Bush has our nuclear subs stationed in the Midwest

Nah moderators. This is NOT insightful. Rather it is Funny. This is the same mistake people are always making when George W Bush comes up. :-)

Re:Wait a minute! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391822)

Yet more evidence that we must vote Kerry - Bush has our nuclear subs stationed in the Midwest.

What idiot modded this insightful? Can you stop hating Bush for a second and return to reality? This is obviously a FUNNY post.

Re:Wait a minute! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10392002)

Its scary how many navy bases are in Kasnas.

In other news... (2, Funny)

Skadet (528657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391756)

In other news, Santa has eleminated all ELF positions from his North Pole outpost: "Improvements in toy-making technology and the changing requirements of Today's Santa made the ELF system no longer necessary," said the news release. A North Pole spokesman said the decision to shut down ELFs came out of an assessment concluding that improvements in technology made ELFs unnecessary.

Improved fishing anyone? (2, Insightful)

ogre7299 (229737) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391757)

I have a cabin on Blaisdell lake about 20 miles from the ELF station. Hopefully this means fishing will get better!

This is an obvious improvement... (3, Funny)

raehl (609729) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391761)

Everyone knows Dwarves have better technical aptitude, are more comfortable in confined spaces, and have higher strength and constitution to boot.

Don't confuse me with a conspiracy theorist when.. (4, Interesting)

icecow (764255) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391765)

Don't confuse me with a conspiracy theorist when I say there's absolutely no reason to conclude the technology is being scraped.

Years ago the military was highly interested in non-lethal weapons that were based on a wide number of bizarre technologies including wretched smells, sonic weapons (that would make you crap your pants, or knock someone over like a 'rubber mattress hit them'), electomagnetic frequences (that cause nausea, sleepiness) and all kinds of other reality-weirder-then-fiction technologies.

Then one day seemingly in the midst of much progress they just dropped the whole thing--the budget went poof.

Since then many of the technologies have been witnessed and it's not really too hard to find info about it on the web.

I picked an example that was more over-the-top sounding then neccesary, however my point is the military's perogative is to keep their cards hidden and have the upper hand. I wish there was a way to say that more matter of factly and still drive in that point.

Re:Don't confuse me with a conspiracy theorist whe (1, Troll)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391863)

That's all well and good, except this is a lot more in line with shutting down excess air bases than it is with "shutting down" non-lethal weapons research. The ELF system is very much a Cold War relic, and like other Cold War relics (DEW system, excess missile and air bases) the military is slowly decommissioning it.

There's no reason to believe the technology is being scrapped; however, there is every reason to believe the facilities are being decommissioned. Somewhere, just in case, I'm sure the Navy will maintain documentation and maybe even surplus equipment, but the radio towers are being taken down. Thinking the Navy is trying to hide an actively pursued ELF program is like thinking they're stockpiling 286s - sure, it could be true, but they have no reason to do such a thing when newer technology exists and is as or more effective.

No more nuking the whales... (4, Funny)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391772)

The Navy is no longer interrested in nuking the whales, they feel that confusing the hell out of them provides for hours of humour. In canada we feel different. Our submarines let the water in so we can speak to them directly :D Much more natural don't you think?

Conspiracy Theories (5, Interesting)

Baby Duck (176251) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391775)

A lot of classic conspiracy theories revolve around ELF and VLF.

The basic recurring premise ranges anywhere from a single person to an entire town (Eugene, OR) being bombarded with V/ELF and studying the effects. The results are hardly "mass-destructive", but rather annoying: nosebleeds, headaches, premature arthritis, sore throats, unexplainable bruised, etc. Supposedly, a US official working in the US Embassy in Moscow contracted a fatal rare blood disease, and hidden V/ELF transmitter was found hidden in the walls, aiming right for his desk.

The theories allege the military and intelligence agencies were interested to see if purposefully exposing subjects would be effective as a form on mind control. I don't mean mind control in the literal sense where someone says "Go kill your neighbor" and the subject says ok and snaps to it. More like putting someone's mental state into disarray, hoping in the confusion the person would be more susceptible to suggestions and persuasive tactics.

These "experiments" flat out don't work. There's no science to back it up. But the point is someone with authority believed they could work and spent a lot of taxpayer money trying. And that's the real shame.

Please take this with a grain of salt. There's no need to go into a huge exposition trying to debunk these stories. You save it. I'm just repeating these unsubstantiated tidbits. Reports like these fueled many an X-Files episode. The producers/writers didn't come up with these things out of thin air. They're interesting to read. Not to "find out what happened", but to get an insight into the background stories X-Files sometimes use.

Re:Conspiracy Theories (2, Interesting)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391875)

Who says these "experiments" were ever tried? The ELF/VLF systems have significant communication uses; the money was spent on them for that purpose, not for some hypothetical, very possibly never conducted, "experiment".

Re:Conspiracy Theories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391929)

Drone X9728ASE8
Report to your local barber chair for reindoctrination.

fuck 4 goat (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391805)

these challe8ges create, manufacture cycle; take a sudden and Recent article put want them there. gloves, condoms AAl servers. Coming

for a minute there i was .. (2, Funny)

2mcm (775747) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391811)

worried .. i thought they were talking about the linux exectable format.
no, no need no worry this is about an unimportant thing in a for away place called real world.

Free electric fencing anyone? (3, Interesting)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391842)

A different kind of ELF hazard. From here. [fas.org]

B.2.2 Extremely Low Frequency Biological/Ecological Monitoring and Interference Mitigation
The ELF ecological monitoring program is an independent evaluation of the possible hazards ELF RF transmissions may have on the environment. Sampling and gathering of data was completed at the end of FY93 with review and comments on the resultant data by the National Academy of Sciences expected during FY96. The ELF interference mitigation efforts fund the procurement and maintenance of devices used to ground electrical voltages induced in long metal inductors (e.g., wire fences, cable lines) in areas adjacent to the Wisconsin and Michigan ELF radio transmitters.

ELF/VLF (5, Insightful)

Ramsey-07 (737166) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391879)

ELF, 30-3000 Hz VLF, 3-30 kHz Oh I'm sorry did all of you overlook the fact that the /entire/ country of USA, and most of the rest of the world is /dependant/ upon 50, 60 and *enter your countries standard here* hertz frequencies? They are emitted daily from antennas in your street or above your street, in and around your house completely covering your family like a big fudging faraday cage!! The earth terminals which save your life /and/ rid the household of static electricity sure as hell look like a mighty fine dipole to me! Especially when you multiply it by, oh, every house in the world with electricity. Lets take a look at a rather interesting report: http://www.freep.com/news/statewire/sw104732_20040 926.htm/ [freep.com] " CONTROVERSY: A federal judge in Wisconsin halted construction of the system in 1984, saying more environmental and health studies were needed. A federal appeals court in Chicago overturned that decision. The Navy said it spent more than $25 million to study the impact of ELF's electromagnetic fields, which were described as similar in nature and strength to those produced by power distribution lines. POLITICS: Within years after ELF was built, Wisconsin politicians, including U.S. Sens. Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold and the congressman who represented the Clam Lake area, Rep. Dave Obey, called for its closure."

ELF/VLF (1)

Ramsey-07 (737166) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391890)

While I'm assuming that mains AC operating frequency is not brainwashing us, consider that it /may/ make us gullible, you have to admit, for the human race to sit-down and work a 9-5 job for the rest of his life /within/ a matter of 100 years does sound pretty fucked up...

The greater good? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10391948)

I would much prefer the ELF communication system compared to the accidental release of a nuclear weapon due to a miscommunication. I guess those protesting felt differently.

We have elves in the Navy now? (3, Funny)

Ghostgate (800445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10391988)

I did not realize that. Personally, I'm glad to hear the armed forces are becoming more tolerant.

SIZE is NOT everything! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10392014)

People initially flocked to Gmail due to the size its space. People have stayed and continue to use Gmail because its a so GOOD. The user interface is unparalleled. THe whole concept of having conversations makes the inbox free of clutter, ...blah...blah..

I guess I am ranting about what all /.ers already know, but I think I have made my point.
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