MARTIAL bottlenose dolphins-guard state

It's no secret that the war - the engine of progress. In order to achieve military superiority, people are willing to use any means, even enlist the animals. As a result, the light appeared completely unique units dolphins saboteurs.

The idea of ​​the transformation of marine mammals in the soldiers did not appear anywhere, and in Russia. Back in 1915 in the General Staff of the Navy asked the trainer Vladimir Durov, who proposed to neutralize underwater mines using seals.

The War Department became interested, and for three months in the Balaklava Bay 20 animals were trained. During the demonstration exercise they are easily detected under water dummies anti-personnel mines and mark them with special buoys. But the use of seals in combat and failed.

The Germans were concerned about the appearance of unusual special forces, and one night all the "marine engineers" have been poisoned. Military Intelligence Service began an investigation of this dark crime. Unfortunately, it could not complete. Revolution broke out, and the case of the death of martial seal closed. Since coming to power of the Bolsheviks there was a danger that the secret methodical literature for the preparation of pinnipeds saboteurs would be the enemy, so most of the documents had been destroyed.

Fighters saboteurs

Repeatedly to the domestication of marine mammals and their use for military purposes they returned half a century later, during the Vietnam War.

This time, the Americans have achieved tremendous successes. Along with seals and sea lions, they began to attract the dolphins underwater. Their first baptism was patrolling the largest naval base in Vietnam - Cam Ranh. By 1970, in the operation "Quick Search" participated six animals trained on the base of San Diego. The inhabitants of the sea help to catch more than 50 swimmers saboteurs trying to attach to the sides of the American ships magnetic mines. Moreover, as argued the military, there were occasions when the sea lions alone destroyed swimmers using mounted on the nose of knives or needles of poison. According to the stories of former Special Forces soldiers the Black Sea Fleet, while the deaths of two Soviet diver-bomber.

Obviously, it inspired the Soviet experts to resume work with marine animals. In 1967, in the bay of Sevastopol Cossack it opened the first Soviet military oceanarium. On allowance was delivered 50 bottlenose dolphins. In the 1970s, the works connected to several dozens of scientific institutions of the USSR. "Dolphins and seals prepared in several areas: security and patrolling areas, the destruction of saboteurs, search and detection of various underwater objects," - says the chief coach of the Sevastopol military Oceanarium Vladimir Petrushin.

Education has long held by the turned templates: action - reinforcements. The animals develop skills desired behavior. For the job they got fish. However, to understand the meaning of what is happening, dolphins take the initiative themselves offered certain algorithms cooperation. Soon we managed to achieve good results.

"I was present at the military exercises, when the Dolphins were looking for subversives in the Sevastopol Bay, - the head of the group of marine mammals Research Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences Lev Mukhametov. - An unforgettable spectacle. Entrance to the port there is a very narrow, only 700 m. On the shore there were constant plaid cages in which the animals were kept, and. Bottlenose dolphins using their natural sonar, even sitting locked up, are able to notice any underwater object at a distance of about half a kilometer. So, to find swimmers, they push for a special pedal. The air rises rocket and heard the alarm. Then the beast got up so that the pointed nose of the approximate location of 'guest'. Then he pushed the pedal to the other, and the cage door open. Dolphin rushed to the violator and neutralize it. " In September 1973, he visited the Aquarium of the Pacific Navy Commander Admiral Gorshkov, who was pleasantly surprised by what he saw. Marine mammals found saboteurs in 80% of cases. Several things were worse with night swimmers - 28-60%. However, without departing from the coastal aviary. In the open sea the probability of detection close to 100%.

"Hidden from the dolphin is simply impossible - says the coach Vladimir Petrushin. - Yes, and fight him under water man with no hands. We are regularly carried out military exercises. Swimmers GRU task was to penetrate the protected area, but at this time we let the animals. As a result, there was no breakthrough. Sometimes swimmers prefer to just get out on the old abandoned buoy or breakwaters, and basking in the sun, while in the area of ​​"hostilities" hosted the Dolphins. Because of this, there is a lot of misunderstanding, because we somehow thought that there are people in the area, and demanded that the animals to look for them. And they show that there is no one. And just before the demobilization gereushniki admitted that all this time they just fooled command and did not think to carry out their mission ».

"Contrary to popular belief Sevastopol dolphins are not trained to kill people - continues Leo Mukhametov. - Otherwise they would simply began to attack on its own, because the difference in our diver from foreign animal difficult. Therefore, reaching a goal, they just tore off a saboteur flippers, mask and pushed it to the surface. But that was enough. Meanwhile, from the shore out a speedboat with riot police, who picked the hapless diver ».

Nevertheless combat weapons (knives, needles, paralyzing or poisonous substances, and even guns, worn over the nose and triggered on impact) in the arsenal of special forces were. However, experience has shown that after the attack fatal Dolphins experienced a lot of stress and often sabotaged further orders, that's why their goodwill towards people compose legends. Therefore, the Soviet and American experts have tried not to go to extremes. Another thing - the sea lions and seals. They have no qualms poked people with poisoned needles.

Since 1975, the combat unit of marine mammals atonement for the staff on duty in the Sevastopol bay, and together with a detachment of special forces carried the day and night patrols. Each change was a four-hour watch, leaving the position in a special channel at the Konstantinovsky Ravelin. But the office of military dolphin is not limited to the identification of enemy infiltrators.

Underwater search

In March 1973, the leadership of the Navy received a secret report at the disposal of the US Naval Center in San Diego, which stated that in two years the Americans managed to train a group of dolphins and two other orcas to find and raise the sunken torpedo combat. Similar experiments immediately began to carry out and in Sevastopol. In February 1977, the Black Sea Fleet had one more division - the search. It is glorified aquarium and brought great benefit to the fleet.

"The ability of dolphins to successfully find lost objects hit our coaches, - says Vladimir Petrushin. - They might even find the bolts and nuts shown once and then they scattered on the waters of the bay. " Sin was not to apply such outstanding talents in practice, the benefit and the reason for that was.

On specially designated landfill in the Black Sea were continuously firing ship. Although the command takes every precaution, the sailors lost several training torpedoes year. Find them divers was virtually impossible. Losing move torpedo sank and immediately burrow into the deep mud. Here is where the dolphins needed help.

"The bottlenose dolphin has a lovely acoustic radar, - says Leo Mukhametov. - In this case, it is much more perfect than all the technical equipment of this nature, it came up and made a man. Using sonar animals can not only find even the small fish in the water, but also to look into the ground to a depth of half a meter. And while they accurately determine from what made wreck: wood, concrete or metal ».

In practice, it looks like this. Dolphins on the muzzle put on special backpacks with audiomayakami and buoys with anchors. Finding a lost torpedo, they swam to her nose poked into the ground and dumped audiomayak with the displacer. And then comes in divers.

As claimed the military establishment and maintenance of combat service dolphins in Sevastopol paid off in a few years. A training torpedo cost about 200,000 Soviet rubles, and these animals are rescued hundreds of torpedoes! However, they found things which long ago forgotten themselves admirals. "I witnessed how during exercise our dolphin bumped into an automatic mini-submarine that was lost 10 years ago - says Leo Mukhametov. - He put the buoy, and when the subject is raised on the ship, the military joy knew no bounds, because the submarine has long despaired of finding, written off and got a good scolding from his superiors. And here all turned up a successful opportunity to mend ».

In the specialty search Dolphins reached the incredible craftsmanship. They've even mastered the underwater photography. Especially for the special unit was designed camera which can withstand depths of over 100 meters. The animals were taught to properly guide the lens at the target, freeze, and only at that moment release the shutter. One of the difficulties during underwater shooting was that powerful flash blinded the animals, so we had to teach them to close their eyes. Then the photos could easily determine what kind of discovery lies at the bottom, and whether or not to expend energy on its rise.

Sometimes the assistance of the military and civilian agencies accessed. For example, at the request of archaeologists military dolphin sought and found the remains of ancient ships. With their help, raised from the bottom of the ancient Greek amphorae and other antiquities.

Frustrated biorobots

Naturally, all these tricks require ruthless intelligence. "Dolphins are very smart and funny creatures, and all the work given to them easily, - says Head of Laboratory Research Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Supin. - Some scientists seriously talk about they have the rudiments of intelligent activity - between the military this is the mind sometimes prevented ».

For a long time, analysts Navy hatched the idea to turn dolphins into suicide bombers, but to no avail. Some sixth sense of animals understand that they want to send to certain death, and refused to carry out the command. It was then that the military and think: Do not turn the dolphins living robots.

"The existing technologies and means for doing so, - continues Alexander Supin. - Passing through certain areas of the brain electrical current, you can create the illusion of loud noises or light flashes. If an outbreak should one hand, the animal is frightened and it swims to the other. Thereby and manages its movements to the right or to the left. You can also get it to stop or go faster. For example, in the direction Korablin a mine on the back. But these experiments quickly abandoned. " Too complex had brain surgery. Even the scientists have for the most part did not want to mutilate animals and burn them to the brain with electricity. Yes, and "biorobots" proved to be extremely painful creatures. Very soon, the military closed the project, although the experiments to implant electrodes into the heads of dolphins in a purely scientific purposes were conducted for a long time. For example, using them at the Research Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences managed to make a remarkable discovery: the dolphin was recorded one-hemisphere sleep. Soon, however, all invasive (with internal penetration into the body) experiments on dolphins in most countries have been banned.

Currently, no reputable scientific journal does not publish the results of experiments in which methods were used, crippling these animals.

Thunderstorm Gulf

In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Dolphinarium in Sevastopol fell under the jurisdiction of Ukraine. Literally immediately all military animal experiments were discontinued. A strong coach resigned and are now working mainly in the Moscow Dolphinarium. I was out of the aquarium survived that prepared the presentation to the public, but the situation continued to deteriorate. In 2000, the media leaked information that the three dolphins and beluga one another Soviet conscription were sold to Iran. Ukrainian officials are quick to say that "purely for peaceful purposes».

Meanwhile, the US military research is ongoing. To date, seven special bases the US Navy working on various programs 250 animals. Because of the increasing pressure of "green", and also for reasons of safety all these experiments were classified, so that little is known about them. According to US media reports, one of the units guarding the waters of a huge naval base in Bangor in Maryland, where the squadron is stationed Atlantic submarine nuclear missile. It consists of the most powerful submarine belonging to the class of "Ohio».

Training of members of the special squad has been tested in combat during Operation "Desert Storm." Off the coast of Kuwait's marine animals first cleared the area from the enemy frogmen, and then proceeded to mine detection. During the second Iraq war dolphins actively used for demining of the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr. In 2003, the Persian Gulf was delivered nine animals. With their help, the harbor was discovered more than 100 mines. Joint service of man and dolphin, especially in combat, much unites them. People tend to honor their comrades. For outstanding achievements one dolphin named Tuffy was recently officially promoted to sergeants of the US Navy.

Interest in military dolphin exhibit, India, Iran, Israel and several other countries. Meanwhile, according to the unanimous opinion of members of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, a much more productive use of dolphins is not military and peaceful purposes. For example, they can be very effective at inspection of underwater structures, particularly pipelines. Dolphin is able to observe any mechanical damage or stream of gas coming from the pipe, take pictures of them, fix the cables, which can be lowered into the water necessary equipment. Institute specialists are ready to offer their services for the preparation of the world's first civil division of dolphins, whose tasks will include the maintenance and monitoring of the European gas pipeline laid under the Baltic Sea.

And who knows, maybe the use of dolphins for peaceful purposes will be of great benefit to science and open to the two most intelligent species in the world new ways to cooperate fully. And it will agree, is much more interesting than the war.

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