Find below an actual conversation recorded on channel 106 of the maritime emergency frequency off the Galatian coast of Spain between Spaniards and Americans the 16th of October, 1997. Apparently, it has been released only recently.
Spaniard: This is A-853, please alter your heading 15 degrees to the south to avoid collision. You are headed straight for us, at a distance of 25 nautical miles.
American: (background noise) We suggest you alter your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid collision.
Spanish: Negative. Repeat, please turn 15 degrees south to avoid collision.
Americans: (another voice) This is the captain of a ship of the United States of America speaking. We request that you turn 15 degrees north to avoid collision.
Spanish: We do not consider that doable, nor convenient. Please turn 15 degrees to the south to avoid colliding with us.
Americans: (very angry) this is captain Richard James Howard speaking, in command of the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln of the united states navy, the second largest warship in the american fleet.
We are escorted by 2 gunboats, 6 destroyers, 5 battleships, 4 submarines, and a number of other support vessels.
I do not “suggest”, I “order” you to change your heading 15 degrees to the north. if you do not comply, we take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of this vessel.
Please obey immediately and remove yourselves from our course!!!
Spanish: This is Juan Manuel Salas Alcantara speaking. We are two people. We are escorted by our dog, food, 2 beers, and a canary that’s asleep at the moment. We have the support of the radio station “Cadena Dial de La Coru” and channel 106 of the emergency maritime frequency.
We aren’t going to turn anywhere, seeing as we’re speaking from land. We’re in the lighthouse A-853 of Finisterra on the Galatian coast. We don’t have the foggiest clue about where we rank in Spanish affairs. You can take whatever measures you please and do whatever the **** you want to guarantee the safety of your piece of **** vessel, that’s going to crash into the rocks!
So we insist, once again, and we recommend you do the most sensible thing and change your heading 15 degrees south to avoid collision.
Americans: Roger that. Thank you.
⭕ The US Navy has unfortunately debunked this urban legend. Sadly, it never happened. This story is frequently told in Canada as well as in Ireland – in relation to a British Naval vessel and an Irish lighthouse. Presumably other countries adapt it to their own location with the lighthouse belonging to the smaller country. It’s considered as an urban myth/legend.
⭕ So not only is this good for a laugh, it’s also a valuable lesson on Internet urban legends. Even though the details are fictional, the dynamic of it rings true. There is the person in love with his authority always trying to win by bare assertiveness until forced to accept good advice for his own safety only when faced with a physical reality that can’t be overcome by force or intimidation. The use of a U.S. Navy ship’s captain in this situation makes the story seem especially plausible.
⭕ With GPS, radar, sonar, and whatever other secret technology the Navy uses, it would be pretty embarrassing to run into land. So the story above is a prank, a joke, it never happened! You can’t believe everything you read on the internet, but I’m not saying that the internet is all-bad. Without it, we wouldn’t have this blog site, of course, or many of the other very positive things it brings us. As valuable as the internet can be in helping to spread information, most people know that you can’t believe everything you read, and they should check the source before relaying every alarming story they read like the urban myth story above.
Subscribe to Oxford Junior