Now It’s Getting Really Weird
Here’s Flipper’s latest shaggy dog story: VC the Swift Boat Dog.
A new four-legged angle — actually a dog named “VC” — has suddenly materialized surrounding Sen. John Kerry’s swift boat service in Vietnam.
In a 2004 presidential candidate questionnaire for Humane USA, Mr. Kerry was asked whether any pets have had an impact on his life.
“I have always had pets in my life, and there are a few that I remember very fondly,” Mr. Kerry replied. “When I was serving on a Swift Boat in Vietnam, my crewmates and I had a dog we called VC.”
“One day as our Swift Boat was heading up a river, a mine exploded hard under our boat,” he continued. “After picking ourselves up, we discovered VC was MIA (missing in action). Several minutes of frantic search followed, after which we thought we’d lost him. We were relieved when another boat called asking if we were missing a dog.”
Said Mr. Kerry: “It turns out VC was catapulted from the deck of our boat and landed, confused but unhurt, on the deck of another boat in our patrol.”
J.J. Scheele, program director of Humane USA, confirmed yesterday that her organization did, in fact, receive the above statement from the Kerry campaign.
No military records on Mr. Kerry’s Web site, which aides say is a complete accounting, mention a mine exploding under his boat or any dog. The only report of a mine detonating “near” Mr. Kerry’s PCF 94 was March 13, 1969, when Mr. Kerry says he was injured and a man knocked overboard.
UPDATE at 8/25/04 6:49:11 pm:
More on this very odd story, from March of this year, at ThoughtsOnline.
This can’t be believed, can it?
Kerry’s boat was “heading up a river”, which means the boat was moving. I assume Naval doctrine in those days called for ships to maintain a minimum distance from one another in order to minimize damage and casualties in the event one ship draws hostile fire, hits a mine, etc. How far away from Kerry’s boat was this other boat - 20 yards, 50 yards, 100 yards? Even if they weren’t strictly adhering to doctrine, there ought to have been some separation; there’s no reason I can think why one boat would be running upriver with another boat tied to its stern.
So, we have Kerry claiming that his ship hit a mine that generated enough explosive energy to propel this dog (the weight of the dog is unknown, so I can’t do the physics calculation… hey, I’m not a physics major so I couldn’t do the calcs even if I knew the weight of the dog) some 40 yards or so through the air, without hurting the dog? Unlikely.
Now, what are the odds of the dog being catapulted from Kerry’s moving boat and landing on another moving boat? It must have been the perfect combination of launch angle, distance, explosive force, trajectory and the like for that to have happened. I know for a fact that this is no easy thing to do: think how hard it is to win that silly carnival frog game - and that’s from a stationary platform. Maybe this happens in the movies, but not in real life. Wait a minute, in the remake of Starsky & Hutch, they tried launching a car into the air trying to land it on a moving boat. They failed miserably. So, I take it back, it doesn’t even happen in the movies.
And, Kerry’s account refers only to “picking ourselves up” after the explosion. There’s an explosion so forceful that it launches the dog into near earth orbit and all Kerry and his crew have to do is ‘pick themselves up’? Again, I’m no physics major, but wouldn’t it reasonable to think that an explosion with that much force wouldn’t have seriously damaged the boat? What about his crew - granted they’re all likely to have been bigger than the dog, and perhaps better able to absorb the shock, but none of them were hurt, knocked out, knocked overboard?