Monday, October 29, 2007

Fallout from "Dumb vs. Dumber"

Since I published “Dumb vs. Dumber” in May 2007 that article has made an influence around the World, even in some unexpected and misunderstood ways. The effects are noticeable in three main ways. In the fact that ordaniary people are now doing their research and drawing their own conclusions rather than believing everything they hear, that governments and militaries are uncensoring many of their naval bases, and that other satellite map servers and groups are beginning to use satellite mapping.
The first effect is usually a given, and the reactions of some people show that people can still draw wrong conclusions. Most important however is the fact that in “Dumb vs. Dumber” people now know where to look to obtain information while conducting satellite map searches. One reason for them being able to do this is thanks to easy mass dissemination through the internet. This has helped contribute to the second effect.
Thanks to my being able to send this around the World, including to people in positions of influence, many countries soon stopped uncensoring their naval bases, some total, some limited, which I will describe in detail here. Of the nations I mentioned who censored in May 2007 only 3, the Netherlands , Finland , and Brunei continue to censor. Here I will discuss those countries and bases which have been uncensored.
Arguably the most important nation to stop censoring it’s naval facilities is Israel . When one views Israel ’s naval hq at Haifa the reason for censorship becomes clear. Not only does one get a fuzzy picture, but one will see one Eliat class FFG, 2 Dolphin class SSK’s, and 4 Saar class PT’s. While representing half of Israel ’s naval strike force this force is adequate only for Coast defense and Limited offensive operations, in other words relatively weak in comparison to Israel ’s land and air forces, which have a reputation for toughness. Such a force can easily be overwhelmed by Egypt , and Turkey , which recently stopped censoring it’s naval facilities.
The Golcuk naval base at Izmit, whre most of Turkey ’s Navy is based, one will see 10 FFG’s, 7 SSK’s, one FF, and several LS and PT craft based there. Unquestionably this is a formidable force and based in a strategic location where maximum damage could be inflicted. Looking north one will see the DD Gayret and the SSK Hizireis in Izmit as Museum Ships. This is in addition to the numerous LS and PT craft one will find scattered throughout Izmit. At Aksaz on the Mediterranean one will see 4 SSK’s and numerous PT craft based there. At Canakkale on the Mediterranean entrance to the straits separating Europe and Asia one will see a few PT craft there. While not maintained as Golcuk is these bases can provide support for Turkish forces. Unlike Israel , which censored to conceal weakness, Turkey censored to conceal strength.
One other Middle Eastern nation which stopped censoring is Oman . At Oman’s main Naval base at as-Suwayq one will regularly see the 2 Al Qahir class FF and an assortment of LS and PT craft, comprising only a coast defense force with limited support capability. Oman ’s other bases at Salalah and Hasab confirm this, where one will occasionally see a naval vessel there. As israel , Oman had censored to conceal weakness.
Two nations that censored to conceal strength were Denmark and Sweden . Of the two Denmark has done a total uncensorship, while Sweden partial. The Danish navy base at Korsor shows 3 the Niels Juel class FFG’s, the Esbern Snare LS, and several PT craft. At Fredrikshavn one will see 2 Thetis class FF’s, the Absalon LS, and several PT craft. Though relatively small considering Denmark’s location this is a force strong enough to make a decisive influence, much like Turkey’s, at a strategic location, can iflict serious damage. One reason for Denmark ’s censorship is apparent at Copenhagen . At the old naval base at Copenhagen one will see the FFG Pedar Skram and the SSK Sealen preserved as museum ships, no active warships present. This is also apparent at Aalborg where one will see the SSK Springeren and the PT Sobjornen as Museum Ships. At Ebeltoft the Jyland, Danish Flagship at Helgoland in 1864, is preserved as a Museum ship, as is a Russian SSG at Nakskov.
Despite major censorship what is visible of the Swedish Navy shows excellent technology. At Musko and Berga one will see a Goteborg class FF and the HMS Visborg LS underway, as well as a Goteborg class FF and numerous PT’s in port. Though not a whole view these ships are well armed and well built to match most naval vessels afloat. Like Denmark , Swedish censorship was to conceal strength, we may yet see further loosening of Swedish censorship.
Two countries that used censorship for curious reasons are Mexico and Nigeria , for unlike the navies mentioned above theirs was in a state of flux. This is apparent when viewing Mexico ’s ships at Lazaro Cardenas. Here one will see the Netzahualcoyotl DD, and several FF and PT’s docked there, some modern, some like the Netzahualcoyotl aging. These ships are good for coast defense but not for offensive purposes. The same is apparent at Manzanillo. There one will see one DD, 2 FF, a lone LS and several PT craft, good enough for defense, but not for offense. At Tampico one will see 3 Sierra class FF’s, a lone LS, and an assortment of PT craft. Veracruz has 2 Allende class FF’s and a few PT craft. At Mazatlan one will see a lone FF and a few PT’s. Overall, Mexico ’s navy is one that is strong defensively, but limited offensively.
The same applies to Nigeria . At Lagos one will see the DDG Aradu docked near 3 FF’s, 2 LS, and a PT craft. Long believed to be inoperable due to engine problems the Nigerian navy has recently made every effort to make this ship operable, as was seen in 2005 when the Aradu participated in the Trafalgar celebrations. Here the Aradu appears very battleworthy. Docked further North is an FFG, 3 FF’s, and numerous PT craft. The weaponry of all appears in good order and if anyone questions the readiness of those ships they should remember the effort on the Aradu. Overall, Nigeria ’s censorship was to conceal that a strong Coast defense force and limited offensive force was having problems.
Viewing the cities many countries have chosen to begin uncensoring parts of cities. Bulgaria is a case in point. Unlike earlier, where one could only see a few PT’s around the area the Naval base is now uncensored. Now one has an unobstructed view of the Smeli FFG, 2 SSK’s and several LS and PT craft, as well as the WWI PT Drazki preserved as a Museum Ship. At Atiya, recently uncensored views of the Navy base there shows the new FFG Drazki, the Mulniya FF, the Sirius, Antares, and other LS, and several PT craft. Overall, a strong defensive force in flux as a joint operations and offensive force.
Among the cities that stopped censoring the most important are Vladivostok and New London . Vladivostok’s Golden Horn now is uncensored and one can now see the CG Varyag, 4 DDG’s and several LS and PT Craft there, the first 5 among Russia’s most powerful ships and an integral part of Russia’s Naval forces. Another bonus is that the Kronstadt base at St. Petersburg is now uncensored, allowing people to see an assortment of SSK, FF, and PT craft as well as the D-2 Narodovoletz SSK preserved as a Museum Ship. At the New London naval base in Groton one now has an uncensored view of 4 SSN’s docked there, as well as the Nautilus, the world’s first SSN, preserved as a Museum Ship. Ningbo also stopped censoring part of it’s base and one now sees several Chinese SSK’s stationed there, formidable for defense or offense. Busan, though people can view South Korean FFG’s docked there, still censors the shipyards where new warships of the South Korean navy are built.
I will not go into detail into the locations which have chosen to update satellite images, such as Toulon updating images to allow people to see the CVN Charles de Gaulle, Norfolk updating to let people see the Harry S. Truman and George Washington CVN’s docked there, or India updating Mumbai to show the new INS Kolkata DDG in service and a second unit under construction, or the Swedish built SSK’s Singapore has in port. One thing I have learned is that different satellite services have now been showing images of areas that have been censored by others.
In researching “Dumb vs. Dumber” my main tool was wikimapia, which is a google satellite map overlayed with wiki tags linking up to wikipedia pages. There were several reasons for using wikimapia. One, it is easier to go to different locations because of the tags. Second, the top of the page tells you where you are, unlike google which keeps the name of the place you search. Third, it is easier to print up a clearer image from a wikimapia page than on a google page, as google does not allow satellite images to be in a printable format and direct print images are not too clear. There is a major downside, as wikimapia is run by a nerd racket of a few members which tend to put up slanderous, defamatory, and false information about places and people, myself included. Not only did the owners tolerate this but they even censored me from defending myself against these attacks. In other words, the quality of the information on wikimapia is questionable as they control and they take advantage of the pluses their system has, i.e. the conveniance of ready information, and concealing the problems from people, i.e. that information not being correct and accurate and not allowing independent opinions. Nevertheless, I soon found that some services like Microsoft Windows live and Yahoo Maps showed places that were not available on a google/wiki satellite map.
The most notable was Wilhelmshaven. When viewing it I noticed 4 German DDG’s, several Bremen class FFG’s, a Type 212 class and 2 Type 206 class SSK’s, and numerous LS and PT craft based there. This comprises Germany’s best warships and is a very strong offensive and defensive force. At Eckernforde, north of Wilhelmshaven one will see a Bremen class FFG, a Type 212 class and 3 Type 206 class SSK’s, and a few PT craft. Though not as large as Wilhelmshaven Eckernforde posses many impressive Naval vessels which comprise a strong offensive and defensive force. Most notably these ships are not visible on google, yet they are visible on Microsoft.
In viewing other locations not much is different than in google, the only difference is that most targets in America, Britain, Canada, Australia, Italy are visible, many countries like Russia, Thailand, Egypt, Singapore, Turkey have only one location visible, while other countries locations are not visible. One other place of note is Odessa. There, one will view several Ukranian PT Craft not visible on google/wikimapia What can be seen at these locations often is different than what is seen on google. Microsoft is clearly in the early stages of developing satellite map imaging, nevertheless they provide another independent and objective view of locations.
Another provider that has satellite images is Yahoo. Though they are limited like Microsoft they do have 2 targets of interest. In Goteborg, Sweden, and Horten, Norway one has an excellent view of the Naval facilities in those countries, including the ships preserved as museums. Other points of interest are many. One of them is at Casablanca, where one will see a NATO naval squadron led by the German DDG Mecklenburg-Vormpen. At Rio de Janiero one will see the old Brazilian CV Minas Gerias along with many Brazilian naval vessels. Karachi shows more Pakistani naval vessels, Ferrol, Mumbai and Simonstown less, and a better image of the French SSBN’s at Cherbourg. Other than that, Yahoo has the same targets as Microsoft. One other problem is the printing, as with google the images are too small.
Overall, there are more resources than most people realize to judge the strengths of the World’s navies. It is how we use them and continue to use them, either for free information dissemination or to censor info as many print sources have done in the past. After all, such resources must not be wasted or fall prey to some nerd racket. The choice is ours.


Blogger Thrak said...

You are a vandal on Wikimapia, and you post slander, lies and bigoted information, which is in line with what a person would expect from a intolerant Iranian quasi-terrorist like you.
It's a shame the police were not able to put you in jail. It's where sewer scum like you belong.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Debunka said...

Agree wholeheartedly with thrak. This fool Zendran was banned from wikimapia for his obnoxious behaviour in stealing other peoples already correct tags, posting his own ridiculously incorrect tags and using obscene abusive language to insult people who challenged him. As for his articles "Dumb vs Dumber" and its postscript, well what can I say. Both are just the ravings of a totally deluded person, who really beleives he is some sort of important writer. The pics on Google Earth/Wikimapia are just updated with whats available, very little censorship is involved, its all just a figment of Zendrans weird imagination. This article is written by a man who makes mistakes like 1. tagging a Sacramento Class AOE as a Virginia Class CGN. 2. tagging the Italian research ship Carabiniere (a coverted frigate) as a Fremm Class Frigate(there's a 27 metre length difference here?) and he can't even tell the difference between a Ticonderoga Class CG and a Spruance Class DDG. I could go on, he has made over 100 such mistakes on Wikimapia. Basically his ship recognition skills and his written articles are just rubbish. Zendran now even beleives that his first article D vs D'er has made the worlds governments stop censoring the satellite pics of their naval bases. I'm afraid he is just one dulusional nutcase. And Petey my boy, no mention of High Resolution Jamming in the second "article". LOL.

12:14 PM  

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