October 10, 2006
The Sacred Honor of the Great Speckled Bird
Over at Millard Fillmore's Bathtub, Ed Darrell, with apophenically good timing, brings us the story of the USS Pueblo, captured in January 1968 by the North Koreans and held for eleven months. Despite mistreatment, the Pueblo's crew took advantage of their hosts' cultural confusion to register their disdain of the attempts to turn their capture to the DPRK's propaganda advantage, such as when they convinced their captors that photographs taken to show how well they were being treated would be enhanced if the crew gave the middle finger salute that was a well-known Hawaiian good luck sign. Pressured to sign a confession of American wrong-doing, the Pueblo's captain, Lloyd Bucher, made sure to fill it with florid absurdities and double meanings, such as swearing its truth "on the sacred honor of the Great Speckled Bird". His description of the mission briefing was worthy of Spike Milligan:
Our first stop was Hawaii where I visited the kingpin of all provocateurs, including spies. None other than Fleet General Barney Google. He was all I had been told, sly, cunning, closed mouthed, bulbous nosed, smelling of musty top secrets and some foul smelling medicine that kept him going twenty hours a day in pursuit of the perfect spy mission. He talked haltingly with me but persuasively about our forthcoming mission. “By God, Bucher, I want you to get in there and be elusive, spy them out, spy out their water, look sharp for signs of electronic saline water traps. You will be going to spy out the DPRK. By the sainted General Bullmoose we must learn why they are so advanced in the art of people’s defense.”Mr Darrell has more.
Surely we had to find out how come such a newly created government could lead its peoples so quickly into the number one position. As we went about detecting this valuable information, particularly the oceanic salinity, density, ionic dispersion rate, humpback whale counts, both low and high protoplasmic unicellular uglena and plankton counts. This information was of the highest value to our own scientists for the development of war mongering at sea when no one was looking.