Navy Dolphins and other cool military secrets

A while back I heard rumors that the navy had used specially trained dolphins to plant explosives on soviet submarines during the cold war. Anybody have any info on this?

What about other unusual military weapons? I’ve heard things ranging from microwave ray guns to laser weapons mounted on military 747’s used to shoot down sattelites.

Well, many world navies currently make use of Laser Dazzle Sight (LDS) non-lethal weapons. The Royal Navy’s Type 22 frigates have two fitted, if I recall correctly. They’re used to blind the pilots of attacking aircraft.

I have no cite, but I remember the US accusing Russia of using LDS weapons to blind the pilot of a P-3 Orion during the mid-1990s.

Check out the IMDB ( for a George C. Scott movie called “DAY OF THE DOLPHIN”. I’m too lazy to look it up for you, but it was about the dolphins to which you refer.

A recent thread had several assertions that the entire NASA/Moon landing stuff was just a vehicle to experiment with all sorts of really cool (and really expensive) military inventions.

NOSC in San Diego had a couple of dolphins for research purposes, but nothing silly like planting explosives. The process of training dolphins to do that would be way too expensive, and the results far too unreliable. SEALS are cheaper, and much more reliable.

IIRC, NOSC was teaching the dolphins to locate ordnance and other high value objects lost at sea.

One of the possible ‘Star Wars’ concepts in the Reagan years was a directed-energy weapon mounted on a converted KC-135. Nothing ever came of it, as DEWs were found to be grossly inefficient for that purpose.

…And Seals can bounce beach balls on their noses, which is much cuter than anything Dolphins do. (Rimshot) :wink:

Back to the original topic, a book you might try is Dirty Little Secrets, by James Dunnigan. He mentions some interesting technological side-notes in there, including the Dolphin-training program.

If you’re interested in older unusual experimental military stuff, try, which has a bunch of German secret projects from the Second World War. (Check out the Horten XVIII, for starters, then the A9/A10 rockets. Yikes!) “Hikoki 1946” at is a similar site about experimental Japanese aircraft.

I’ll keep an eye out for any other useful info online.


In a related vein, during WW II, the Soviets trained dogs, by placing the dogs’ food under tanks, to crawl under German tanks with explosive charges strapped to them. That part I’m sure of without a search.

Additional bits I seem to recall, but haven’t verified, were that they had problems with the dogs not disinguishing between German tanks and their own, and that they may have attempted to train the dogs to distinguish between gasoline burning tanks (German) and diesel burning (their own).

I’ve heard that one too. Anthony Beevor’s Stalingrad describes it as a fairly ineffective tactic, since the dogs either didn’t run under the German tanks or the Germans shot them first. On the other hand, it gave the German panzer troops a nasty surprise and hinted at how hard the Russians were prepared to fight.

USN dolphins and other sea critters.

Now that is an awesome link!

A man named Suverov wrote book titled “Speznaz” where he made mention of this and many of the training and equipment of the Soviet Special forces.

Was an interesting read

I could tell you some military secrets…but then I’d have to kill you.

Here’s an interesting link…I saw this on CNN too, and it’s “official”.