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Q: Communication ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Communication
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: miket67m-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 20 Nov 2006 08:05 PST
Expires: 20 Dec 2006 08:05 PST
Question ID: 784228
I am looking for some examples of where a message was incorrectly communicated
to disasterous effect, ideally where it was passed person to person.
Subject: Re: Communication
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 22 Nov 2006 08:04 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Dear miket67m-ga

Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question. Here?s
a short list of some more notable incidents that I hope you find

In 1963 the submarine USS Thresher sank killing all 129 men aboard.
During a test dive one of the communications officers aboard the
submarine-rescue vessel Skylark radioed the Thresher and asked ?Are
you in control??. The response from the submarine was ??exceeding test
depth?.  The Skylark assumed that this meant the test was successful
and the Thresher had not only been able to reach its goal of 1000 feet
but was able to successfully go beyond it. In truth the message
??exceeding test depth? was an urgent (and final) call for help
because the Thresher had lost power and was spiraling to the ocean
floor. This misinterpretation may have been a significant contributing
factor in the resulting loss of human life.



The infamous errors by three novice radar operators near Pearl Harbor
on December 7, 1941 could be one of the most notable modern blunders
involving a misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

?Pvts. Eliot and Lockard were manning the radar at Opana Point. They
noticed a large blip on the scope and call in to the as-yet not fully
functional Fighter Information Center. Pvt. McDonald took the call and
located the sole officer at the Center and asked him to call the
operators back. Lt. Kermit Tyler, having ending his first tour of
training at the newly established Fighter Control Center, received the
report and, thinking it was a flight of B-17s due in from the
mainland, told the operators to "forget it." The report went no higher
than that.?


Likewise, a series of misinterpretations were significant factors in
the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and ultimately the tremendous loss
of life when the sailors and crew were left to fend off the sharks for
many hours before being rescued. In the beginning, Captain McVay
received orders that he understood gave him discretion concerning
whether or not to zigzag while under way. A military tribunal would
later say that McVay?s orders were ?TO zigzag? rather than ?DISCRETION
to zigzag?. McVay order the ship to cease the zigzag maneuver due to
poor visibility and the ship was eventually truck by Japanese
torpedoes and sank. A radioman sent an SOS message to Commodore Jacob
H. Jacobson whose aid reportedly found him intoxicated in his bed.
Jacobson obviously misunderstood the magnitude of the message and
ordered that there should be no response unless additional messages
were received, possibly thinking that this was a Japanese trick to
lure rescue vessels to the area. In addition, the US Navy intercepted
Commander Hashimoto?s message that he has sunk the Indianapolis yet
still no one reacted properly. To further complicate matters, Admiral
King had standing orders that combatant ships' arrivals in port were
NOT to be reported to prevent the enemy from knowing the location of
our ships. This order was erroneously interpreted to mean that
non-arrivals also were not to be reported, thus the Indianapolis was
not reported missing at it?s scheduled arrival at Leyte. Of the 1197
mean aboard the vessel, 833 of them died (about 500 of them were lost
to the sharks in the hours ?after? the ship went down). Captain McVay
was eventually court-martialed and although he was effectively
exonerated some time later when Admiral Nimitz restored him to duty,
the death toll of the Indianapolis would continued to grow when in
1968 when McVay tragically took his own life with his Navy issue



Here?s an incident that wasn?t necessarily disastrous in terms of the
loss it may have directly ?caused? but it did prove to be devastating
in terms of it?s effect. In the course of the Sago Mine disaster some
of the rescuers, wearing oxygen masks themselves, sent back a barely
audible coded message about their find once they reached the victims.
Because the information was misinterpreted the families were told that
one miner had perished and the others had survived when in fact all
had perished but one.


I hope you find that my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have
any questions about my research please post a clarification request
prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher


Defined above



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miket67m-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thanks that was really helpful.

Subject: Re: Communication
From: frde-ga on 21 Nov 2006 02:14 PST
There is the old First World War saw:

'Send reinforcements we are going to advance'

'Send three and fourpence we are going to a dance'
Subject: Re: Communication
From: miket67m-ga on 21 Nov 2006 21:44 PST
This is the sort of thing I am looking for and it would be helpful to
know what the context was - who said it and so on.
Subject: Re: Communication
From: pinkfreud-ga on 21 Nov 2006 22:03 PST
The "send reinforcements" story, while amusing, is apocryphal. I don't
think anyone believes that it actually happened.

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