This article first appeared in the December 1971 Flight Test News.

High on the Navy’s list of priority problems is that of ASW (anti-submarine warfare). To date the detection and localization of a submarine has proven to be a very difficult problem, indeed. However, the R & D Community may well be on the road to achieving one, or several, major breakthroughs in reaching a solution to this problem. At a recent symposium on this subject, the following valuable insights to some of these possible problem-solving techniques were presented (depending on one’s discipline):

1. The Physicist’s Method: Irradiate the ocean with neutrons, so that H20 becomes 4H20. Submarines will become excessively buoyant and cannot submerge. Their disposition can then be undertaken at leisure.

2. The Chemist’s Method: Place in the ocean large quantities of lysergic acid. The fish population becomes terrified at the prospect of loneliness and clusters about submarines in a frenzy of affection and admiration, thereby constricting the movement of submarines to a level of ineffectuality.

3. The Engineer’s Method: Construct a large filter system having a mesh of about 8 meters and pump ocean water through it at the rate of 15 x 106 liters/day. This will recirculate the oceans daily. Because of the mesh of the filter, only the submarines will be trapped.

4. The Mathematician’s Method: Construct a large Klein bottle that can contain the necessary numbers of submarines. Note that the submarines are initially outside of this bottle. However, the outside of a Klein bottle is also its inside. Therefore, the submarines are inside the bottle. (Two-dimensional submarines may be disposed of by a suitable Mobius strip.)

5. The Ballistician’s Method: Equip all antisubmarine warfare ships with green paint. On detecting a submarine spread the paint over the sea surface and remain quiet. The submarine rises to investigate, but its periscope becomes covered with green paint. It therefore believes itself to be underwater and continues to rise. When it has reached a convenient altitude, shoot it down with antiaircraft fire.

6. The Economist’s Solution: Induce the USA to use sea water rather than gold to support its currency. The French will immediately start to sequester it in their vaults in such quantities that by the time the supply and demand curves cross, all submarines will either be (a) aground or (b) securely locked up in French safe deposit boxes.

Contributor Anonymous

This article first appeared in the December 1971 Flight Test News.

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