We are always on the lookout for stories that betray the use of unconventional weapons. The Mayor of Ankara, Turkey served up a treat last week with no less than 10 consecutive tweets about his suspicion that seismic earthquake weapons have sent a soft warning shot across the bow to the Turkish economy.
On February 6th and 7th, the western province of Canakkale was visited by two moderate earthquakes, measuring 5.3 and 5.2 on the Richter scale. Nobody was hurt and no obvious damage made the international news. Now, the land of Byzantium is no stranger to earthquakes. So we really are puzzled as to why THESE particular quakes were the fodder of so much concern to the honorable mayor. The few news outlets that reported his remarks mostly did so with a hint of snark in their voice, like this Breitbart article [linked here].
What Is a "Seismic Vessel"?
I noticed that Mr. Melih Gokcek made specific mention of a "seismic vessel" straddling their waters. I had not heard that term before even though I am certainly familiar with Secretary Cohen's warning so long ago about earthquake weapons. TV documentaries about Nikola Tesla's experiments of such a device are easy to find on Youtube. So I did a little checking and, yes, there is such a thing as "seismic vessels." They are used often in oil & gas exploration to locate possible drilling sites.
This entry at MarineInsight.com [linked here] explains their utility quite easily:
Seismic vessels are ships that are solely used for the purpose of seismic survey in the high seas and oceans. A seismic vessel is used as a survey vessel for the purpose of pinpointing and locating the best possible area for oil drilling in the middle of the oceans. Companies engaged in the oil drilling process make use of such vessels so that they find the best possible subsea areas to drill oil.
For the purpose of seismic survey, seismic waves are the main components that are analysed. The process involves a seismic detector that shoots such seismic waves to a selected underwater point. The time taken for the waves to refract back to their origin point determines whether that particular subsea area is feasible for the oil drilling purpose.
Therefore, Mr. Melih Gokcek is quite within rational boundaries to state that there actually are vessels of this type trolling the Aegean Sea or any other place where undersea reserves of oil and gas are to be found. However, whether or not such broadcasts of seismic waves are known to trigger powerful earthquakes on land is somewhat debatable. Those of us who live in the U.S. are certainly aware that fracking operations can lead to earthquakes. Of course, these research boats are not engaged in that type of operation.
I saw that Dr. Farrell chimed in on the story. He noticed something that was curious to me as well: why is Mr. Gokcek unaware of the national origin of such a vessel? Ships are tracked much like airplanes and their location is known at all times. There are registries and national flags attached to all vessels. One such website that provides that data in real-time is VesselFinder.com [linked here]. I had a riotously good time this evening spying on various ships that are sailing those historic waves between Greece and Turkey. At the end of this blog, you'll see why I use the word "riotously."
A sample screen at the VesselFinder.com website is shown below. The site provides all kinds of data on each ship: its country of origin, its purpose, its recent ports-of-call, etc.
But for some reason, the identity of this particular seismic vessel (aka "research vessel") was unknown to the Mayor of Ankara.
At his own blog [linked here], Dr. Farrell offered up his high octane speculation:
So to my high octane speculative mind, Mayor Gokcek may have good reasons to suspect something is up. It seems clear that the mayor of Turkey's capital would not simply "spout off" on Twitter without the approval of higher ups. What is of interest here is that Mr. Gokcek is pointing to ships conducting seismic experiments in the region, and this to me suggests he has seen intelligence on the matter.
This raises the question of why the origin of the ships is not mentioned. There are two scenarios, granting the proposition for the sake of argument that Mr. Gokcek is correct. The first is that Turkish intelligence simply does not know, for whatever reason. The ships may be flying the flag of a particular country and Turkey may suspect that their real origin lies elsewhere, and thus is not known; or, Turkish intelligence does know, and for the moment, is keeping quiet about it. But in either case, Mr. Gokcek appears to be the "unofficial" mouthpiece of the moment, being used to air a suspicion, but keeping the Turkish government itself out of the picture in the old "plausible deniability" two-step.
There is another clue, however, in the article as to the origin of the ships: Mr. Gokcek wants the ships "to be taken under control of the authorities." This implies that the ships are not suspected to belong to any major power; after all, if Turkish authorities were to "take them under control", there would be immediate and perhaps serious repercussions. And that implies that the "foreign interference" that he alleges might be coming from somewhere else. And that brings up Secretary of Defense William Cohen's non-outlandish remarks to the fore once again, for recall, he maintained the technologies existed, and could be in the hands of "terrorists." And somehow, I just don't see ISIS (or whatever name it's going by at the moment) has the technological competence nor infrastructure to create and sustain the deployment of it. And that implies someone else may be on the seen.
In conclusion, I am still as puzzled as Mr. Gokcek about whether or not some nefarious research vessel in his waters is trying to launch a seismic Trojan horse in Turkey's neighborhood. However, while poking around the VesselFinder website I did discover one of these seismic research vessels located off to the south of the area where the earthquakes struck. This is indicated by the red square in the screenshot above.
For those of you who have been following my Antarctica saga, you'll understand why I threw my head back and laughed so hard when I checked the name of this particular little boat.
This particular research vessel, sitting off to the south of Behram, Turkey, in the Canakkale province which is home to the ancient city of Troy, is named ... can you guess?