The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods – a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”. Since today’s focus is on the USS Fitzgerald collision, we’ll start with that.

USS Fitzgerald Collision

Something Fishy

Reader T.P. sent in this article that explores the concept of the collision being a deliberate act of sabotage or terrorism. The container ship was apparently running without lights and transponder (against maritime rules). The article, however, is based upon an alleged email from a Navy mother whose son was aboard ship. For now, this has to be classified as a rumor, but it’s an interesting angle in today’s world.

Possible Explanation

Reader T.P. also sent in this article from a retired navy destroyer captain with some plausible explanations of just how such a collision could occur with no evil intent. This article has some very good information on right-of-ways, radar, lights, and maritime traffic. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

History of Collisions

Reader T.J. sent in this compiled list of collisions along with some of his thoughts:



USGS seismology reports that a swarm of earthquakes swept through the Yellowstone region with more than 60 registering last Friday. Some of the earthquakes measured as much as 5.0 on the Richter scale. While the swarm is not worrying officials who are stating that there isn’t significant danger yet, its report does bring up the claimed oddity that the U.S. has apparently made contracts with at least four countries to house displaced U.S. citizens in the even of a volcano eruption. I haven’t seen the basis for the agreements claimed by the article yet, but it’s odd that the U.S. would consider outsourcing this aspect of a potential emergency. Thanks to Reader B.K. for the link.

Digital Security

The BBC is reporting that nearly 200 million US citizens have had personal data exposed by a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee. The data also consisted of 1.1 terabytes of birth dates, home addresses, telephone numbers, and political views of almost 62% of the entire U.S. population. The data was apparently accessible on a public Amazon cloud server. This is especially relevant as an excellent reminder that there is no such thing as an anonymous cloud. Consequently, every bit of data is stored on someone’s computer – somewhere. Hence, do you know where your data is? Finally, do you know who has access to that data? Thanks to D & D for the link.

Internet Connectivity

Major outages were reported all across the U.S. on Monday of this week. Reader DSV sent in this link detailing that AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon were all having service outages, and the reason is still unknown. There is a link in this article to “downdetector”, which can show you where the reported outages are.


  1. I was running Yachts from Mexico in 1997 and 1998 to
    California and it was not uncommon to see ships running with no running lights. I learned might has right. The rules of the road don’t matter. These sailors have all the most up to date equipment and they think because they have the right of way they can’t move out of harms way.
    There Captain and XO will no doubt be booted out of there job as well as several others on the bridge. It’s sad today’s Navy is so screwed up. In my day the Captain had the duty to “MAN” his ship and be responsible.

  2. There is an hours discrepancy in the time of collision among other things. As to who’s at fault. The container ship running with it’s transponder on. I’ve seen the ships recorded tract. I doubt this accident will be a port / starboard incident as ships lose their rights in maneuver and the tract clearly shows several of those. The time issue is critical.
    Ship are not cars and do not maneuver as such. This “nimble” destroyer may not have had a chance. In WW2 a turning BB ran over a DD that could not get out of the way in time. A HMAS carrier did the same post war.

  3. I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy (actually I don’t, 99% of them are bunk), but this was a case of poor leadership and command at sea. As a prior service member I can tell you, the officers corp is not immune to bouts of incompetence, laziness, arrogance, and poor decision making. That’s what happened here. As a result, as mentioned above, the Captain, XO, and a few other unfortunate souls on duty at the time (collateral damage), will see themselves relieved and their Naval Careers effectively ended via letters in there jackets. It’s not the first time. It won’t be the last time.

  4. I was in the Navy through the 1970 & 80s. I left the Navy as an Operations Specialist First Class (Radarman). I spent most of my sea time on USS Oklahoma City CLG-5. In my days the chances of a container ship hitting a Navy ship in open waters were slightly less than zero. In my day Combat Information Center tracked every surface contact within radar range – 15 to 20 NMs. Every approaching vessel was tracked and a Closest Point of Approach was calculated and those that would come within 1 – 3 NM were reported verbally and on a vertical plot board to the Officer of the Deck or the Captain with updates on any changes. “Iron Mike”(auto pilot) has been in use for 60 or 70 years and expected on freighter. A freighter cannot make radical course changes while a Destroyer is very maneuverable. I have to conclude that there was MASSIVE failures on the USS Fitzgerald. This is almost like saying that the bridge abutment jumped right in front of my car.

  5. It’s important to note that the USS Fitzgerald is a guided missile destroyer.

    This will severely handicap our anti-ballistic missile defense in the pacific. (Such as North Korea or China)

    If it was intentional, it was clever and should be worrisome.

  6. Whoever had the con on that destroyer was asleep at the wheel. And they have the blood of the deceased sailors on their hands. The freighter had the right of way.

  7. Such a collision at sea is impossible to happen by accident. Even on a black night there are people on the Navy ship seeing the sea around them. Electronic and otherwise. The container ship is another story.

  8. Regarding Yellowstone – when ever there are earthquake swarms the alarmists come out with it is about to erupt. The current swarm to my investigations are not volcanogenic – but are likely associated with Red Canyon Fault. This fault is highly active and with the Hebgen lake fault – cut loose with a 7.2 in 1959.
    Yellowstone is wired to the max with instruments to detect volcanic precursors. A surprise eruption is unlikely.

  9. I’d say, from my readings and understandings, this may be a case of the perfect storm. Total lax on the part of those in charge of the Naval ship, total intent on the part of the muslim manned container ship. With the wieght being on the container ship. Now if one considers the Russians ability to black out our Navy’s ship last year with a jet fly by, maybe there is more to this story.

  10. Here’s a good analysis of the Fitzgerald collision. In the comments is the suggestion: What if the Crystal, shortly before the collision, on autopilot and with no one (qualified) on deck, made a pre-programmed 20 degree turn to port, changing status from “overtaking” to “crossing”.

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