USS Greenville Collision -
Who Hit Whom? The Mysteries
Of The Ehime Maru
From Steve Waterman

"I am now convinced that Ehime Maru was not just observing (spying) but actively sub-chasing."
By Robert D. Morningstar Morningstar Aerospace
The primary question for investigators is "What was the Ehime Maru, one of the world's most advanced (and 'stealthy") high tech fishing vessels, doing in a U.S. military operations area warning zone?
Many Questions To Be Answered
The tragic events which occurred off Hawaii on February 9th, 2001, involving a collision between the attack submarine, U.S.S. Greenville, and a Japanese fishing vessel, the Ehime Maru, are a signal event in U.S.-Japanese relations. Although the media has already leaped to a foregone conclusion of criminal negligence on the part of the captain, crew and passengers of the U.S.S. Greenville, many questions remain regarding the sinking of the Ehime Maru.
The primary question for this investigator is "What was the Ehime Maru, one of the world's most advanced (and 'stealthy") high tech fishing vessels, doing in a U.S. military operations area warning zone bearing down at top speed on a submerged U.S. Navy attack sub?"
Piranha Attack By Media
The piranha-like attack of the press and news media on the captain, Commander Scott Waddle, the crew of the U.S.S. Greenville, and a group of civilians aboard the sub, members of the U.S.S. Missouri Memorial Association, was so vicious, slanted and one-sided that I felt compelled to communicate my concerns about fairness and due process to the National Transportation Board. I brought to the attention of the NTSB important information regarding the Ehime Maru.
Original Message
From: Robert D Morningstar To: (name withheld) @ntsb gov Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2001 Subject: Submarine-Fishing Boat Collision
Dear Sir:
I'm writing in regard to the recent accident which occurred off Hawaii recently and which is the subject of a current NTSB investigation. I really hate it when the Navy makes a captain swing in the wind to save face in international politics.
On behalf of Commander Waddle getting a "fair shake", I would like to point out that the Japanese government often disguises spying operations and R operations as "fishing explorations" or student projects. The development of stealth technology at sea is not unheard of in our day and age. The fishing vessel could very easily have been "stalking" the submarine. Was it really correct for the Japanese fishing vessel, an advanced oceanic laboratory, to be operating in a U.S. Navy military operations area warning zone?
However, the major point I am going to make is in regard to the type of propeller on the fishing vessel. If this propeller was milled using an advanced propeller milling technology, which our country shared with the Japanese in the 1980's, it is possible that the frequency produced by such a propeller could be stealthily quiet. Furthermore, if its frequency was a harmonic of that of the submarine's screw, its frequency could have been cancelled out by the frequency of the submarine's propeller resonating through the sea at harmonic levels. It is possible that the Japanese were testing an undersea noise-canceling technology similar to those we have in aviation headsets. The sound of the screws of the sub and the fishing vessel could have been made to cancel each other out.
Another distinct possibility exists, i.e., that the fishing vessel had turned off its engines to listen for the submarine (or whales) and was in fact tracking it but not expecting it to breach suddenly through the surface as it did. (Author's note: this can now be ruled out as it is known that the Ehime Maru was moving at nearly top speed when she struck the submarine.)
All these avenues should be investigated before condemning the captain of the USS Greenville, Commander Scott Waddle.
Sincerely, Robert Morningstar
P.S. During the 1980's, we developed and shared an advanced CAD/CAM propeller milling technology with Japan which made our submarines super-quiet and which could not be easily heard by the Russians. Law prohibited its transfer to Eastern Block nations. The Russian's propellers were loud, clunky things, which we could hear from the East Coast coming through Gibraltar easily. In 1987, Toshiba Corporation illegally transferred this technology to USSR by way of a Norwegian intermediary. Since then I have avoided doing any business with or using Toshiba products, computers or otherwise."
Friends And Patriots
After posting a copy to a friend in Louisville, Kentucky, I was surprised to receive his response requesting permission to post the letter more widely. I agreed and posted the letter to AFPN (American Friends and Patriots Network) and other organizations. The response was heartening, encouraging me to pursue the investigation further. Many Navy supporters (and some critics) bombarded me with questions and comments. Many of them were very cogent and insightful. One of the most interesting came from a retired Navy officer, who wrote:
"Robert, This morning's Newark Star Ledger showed the damage to sub. It was a large dent, portside, approximately amidships, around her waterline. She was obviously hit by the trawler, not vice-versa. Let's raise the trawler to see if she had a standard fisherman's prop, and see if she sustained bow damage from the collision.
(Name withheld on request)
This intriguing observation drew my attention to the actual damage suffered by each ship. My question remained: "What was the Ehime Maru doing 2 miles into a 4-mile wide U.S. Navy military operations area warning zone?" An e-mail correspondence began between this officer and myself. In a series of e-mail exchanges we pursued the details and discussed the damage seen in videos released by CNN.
Suspicions Confirmed
The many friends and patriots who responded to my letter to the NTSB regarding the collision between the USS Greenville and the Ehime Maru will be interested to know that we have confirmed my original suspicions regarding the propulsion system of the Ehime Maru.
Unique Scrapes and Scars
One of the most intriguing clues to the accident was to be seen in the unique scrapes, score marks and jagged metal we observed on the hull of the USS Greenville just behind the sail or conning tower.
The pattern indicated that the Ehime Maru had struck the submarine amidships, with her keel skating along the hull of the sub, and leaving two sets of unique marks. One was a straight linear scrape scored deeply into the metal of the submarine indicating where the keel had cut a groove much like an ice skate. The other was an intriguing. A strange arching, parabolic mark circumscribed the linear scrape. We could not at first explain the origin of the remarkable parabola. My colleague thought it might have been caused by propellers, I thought it might have been that that Ehime Maru skated on her keel onto the submarine then rolled on her left port bow. I theorized that in sliding off the rising submarine the hull of Ehime Maru had caused the parabolic scrape to the hull. Neither explanation was satisfactory. Only later did I realize another possible explanation for these unique marks.
Ehime Maru, launched in 1996, possessed one of the most advanced propulsion systems on earth. In addition to props and rudders which could be configured to many varieties and combinations of prop pitch and rudder angles, Ehime Maru also had "bow thrusters", which gave her near "standstill" capability coupled by her computerized fiber optic network to her GPS (Global Positioning System).
Ehime's Amazing Maneuverability
Ehime Maru had amazing maneuverability. But the most interesting thing I have discovered is that the Ehime Maru may have had a secret hydrofoil capability (see Emilio Largo's "Disco Volante" in James Bond's "Thunderball").
The reader may recall that in the 007 film the yacht, "Disco Volante", was camouflaged inside a cocoon which hid her hydrofoil. My analysis of the US Navy video shows a structure under the stern of Ehime Maru on which she came to rest. The stern of Ehime Maru is not touching bottom. This supporting structure bears a remarkable resemblance to a hydrofoil support system or, possibly, a "winged rudder" with props attached. This writer had the opportunity to ride in large, Russian-made hydrofoils from the Adriatic islands to Split, on the coast of Yugoslavia in 1972 so I am familiar with their construction, positions and appearance.
Is The Ehime A Hydrofoil?
If Ehime Maru were equipped with hydrofoils, the impact and violent collapse of a hydrofoil would explain the strange elliptical mark on the hull of the USS Greenville. It also explains how the Ehime Maru was able to leave the clean, linear scrape of the keel on the submarine's hull.
I am now convinced that Ehime Maru was not just observing (spying) but actively "sub chasing". In which case, it would have made no difference at all when or where the USS Greenville surfaced, the Ehime Maru would have been over or near the sub wherever Captain Scott Waddle and his crew chose to surface. Ironically, in the waters around Pearl Harbor, the fatal error may have been due to the element of surprise. No one on the Ehime Maru could have predicted or expected the sub to surface so rapidly. Possessing the world's most advanced sonar and electronic fishing gear, designed to track large and small schools of fish, Ehime Maru was most certainly able to track something so unique and fleet as a Los Angeles class attack submarine which is much bigger than a school of tuna. Instead of avoiding the submerged ship's track, Ehime Maru converged and crossed it at high speed. Could the captain of the Ehime Maru have confused the USS Greenville for a school of tuna (or were they after dolphins)?
Other mysteries remain. Why was it that Captain Waddle could neither see Ehime Maru visually nor pick up a radar signal with the periscope radar? Furthermore, the sonar signature picked up 71 minutes before the collision was so small that the sonar man originally believed it was a small boat. The Washington Times, quoting an anonymous source reported on February 21st: "The sonar's "signal-to-noise ratio" suggested the profile of a coastal fishing boat too small to be operating nine miles off the Hawaiian coast, said the source close to the Navy's ongoing investigation. The ratio is a measure of how much signal is discernible against a background of other ocean noises." (Author's emphasis)
An article in the New York Times reporting the accident on February 10th noted:
"When conducting drills in which the crew practices surfacing rapidly, officers are told to make sure the area is clear, and then to submerge and resurface within a short enough time so that no surface ship would be able to wander into the exercise zone... An emergency drill would ordinarily take only a few minutes, from a depth of perhaps 100 feet, a Navy official said. In that time, only a very fast craft could wander into a zone that had been found to be clear, and even that would be unlikely." (Author's emphasis)
Stealth Capability Of The Ehime Maru These details suggest to me that Ehime Maru had stealth capability and could disguise both her radar image and sonar signal to confuse technicians on other ships.
Why would a "fishing boat" need to do that? _____
This analysis was written on behalf of Captain Scott Waddle and in support of the crew and passengers aboard USS Greenville, all of who had the duty and the right to be there.
The Author
Robert D. Morningstar is a computer systems and imaging specialist living in New York City. He graduated from Power Memorial Academy (1967) and received degree in psychology from Fordham University ('74). Morningstar is also a private pilot and a FAA licensed Instrument Ground Instructor (IGI). In 1999, RDM was elected to The U.S. Naval Institute and to The Navy League of the United States in 2000. His biography has been listed in "Who's Who in the East" since 1990.
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