Brinksmanship due to a possible prankster? Could be, according to The Guardian:
A heckling radio ham known as the Filipino Monkey, who has
spent years pestering ships in the Persian Gulf, is being blamed today for sparking a major diplomatic row after American warships almost attacked Iranian patrol boats.
The US navy came within seconds of firing at the Iranian speedboats in the Strait of Hormuz on January 6 after hearing threats that the boats were attacking and were about to explode.
Senior navy officials have admitted that the source of the threats, picked up in international waters, was a mystery.
And now the US navy’s journal, Navy Times, has claimed that the threats, which were broadcast last week by the Pentagon, are thought to have come from an infamous radio prankster.
It said the Filipino Monkey, who could be more than one person, listens to ship-to-ship radio traffic and then interrupts, usually with abusive insults.
Rick Hoffman, a retired captain, told the paper: “For 25 years, there’s been this mythical guy out there who, hour after hour, shouts obscenities and threats. He used to go all night long. The guy is crazy.
“Could it have been a spurious transmission? Absolutely.”
An unnamed civilian mariner told the Navy Times: “They come on and say Filipino Monkey in a strange voice. You’re standing watch on bridge and all of a sudden it comes over the radio. It’s been a joke out there for years.”
…Commander Lydia Robertson, a navy spokeswoman, admitted: “We don’t know for sure where they [the threats] came from. It could have been a shore station.”
I put in a long excerpt because we don’t usually get stories like this in the MSM. Keith Olbermann did allude to the prankster in his “Worst Persons in the World” segment, but not by name — and should we not all learn the name of this great threat to world peace?