Tuesday, 4 December 2012

old snopes home

We all know this particular story, yes?
Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a Collision.
Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.
Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.
Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln the second largest ship in the United States' Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that YOU change your course 15 degrees north, that's one five degrees north, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.
Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.
It's transparently an urban legend. I was looking into it for reasons you needn't worry too much about. I found on Snopes that in March 2008, Mike McConnell told the Johns Hopkins Foreign Affairs Symposium that he had been in the signals business, and that he knew his stuff, and that this was an actual recording.

Mike McConnell had been Director of the National Security Agency and also the Director of National Intelligence. On the one hand, I find this story a bit disturbing. On the other hand, isn't it reassuring that the guys who are supposed to be running the conspiracies really are just these guys? No. Not entirely, no. Now I think of it, actually, definitely it is not reassuring. The Director of National Intelligence should be more aware of the shape of widely accepted mistruths than I am, and he should also be less willing to say they are true in public.

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