The lighthouse station called Arctowski is probably the most southerly lighthouse in the world. Built at the Polish research station in Antarctica named after Henryk Arctowski, the famous 19th century Polish geographer and Antarctic explorer. Situated on King George Island in the South Shetlands group, its geographical position is 62o10'S, 58o28'W.

The following is the transcript of the actual radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland:

Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.

Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES' ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH, I SAY AGAIN, THAT'S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.

Canadians: This is a lighthouse, over...

via Michael

No idea if this is really a true story, but very funny. Does anyone else have a source for this?

UPDATE: Snopes says it's false. (Here's the US Navy denial.) Thanks Six Picas. I broke the first rule of blogging. Check Snopes first. Shows how out of it I am these days. ;-)

13 Comments

I broke the first rule of blogging. Check snopes first. ;-) Thanks Six Picas.

If only there were a way in the post-snopes world that a story that good could be elevated from legend to history.
That's a fun story, a favorite.

It's a great joke, nonetheless.

If you guys haven't watched the Swedish (English language) commercial for GPS/navigation tools, that uses exactly the same transcript, it is well worth its 1 min 10 s:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3973889613267850293&q=silva

Funny nevertheless. Love the fact there is a video to dramatise it. Think it should be elevated to history.

But you have heard of this story? An old one but a good one.

"Human error, not Microsoft Windows NT, was the cause of a LAN failure aboard the Aegis cruiser USS Yorktown that left the Smart Ship dead in the water for nearly three hours last fall during maneuvers near Cape Charles, Va., Navy officials said. "

also see http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,13987,00.html

This story is published in the book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" page 33. The Canadians and Americans labels are not used of course.

I think at a time when the US is being so irresponsible Internationally, jokes like these tend to use Americans as the brunt of the joke. It is a funny way to point out how American arrogance always comes back to bite the US in the rear end.

I am not sure why a Canadian light house is used in this version of the joke though. Seems as though a Canadian probably thought it was a funny and accurate depiction of their nations status in the world, which it is not.

The book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" sights its source as The Naval Institute magazine called "Proceedings," author Frank Koch.

I have no idea if this source is real or not, just letting you know where this story is published and what the author of the book says his source is.

Of course it's a joke, and an old one, but a really neat one. Incidentally, I believe there's a Sci Fi version in the SJ Games "Transhuman Space" RPG.

It is a story that goes back to the days before wireless communications, back to the days of signal lights.

Chris: I also read it in the Spanish version of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". But long before that I heard the same story with an USA warship and a Galician light house (USA arrogance vs. Spanish couldn't-care-less-attitude, in this case).

I also met this story on the net, it was about galician coast floating lighthouse and AC taskforce, unfortunately I lost the text. Last responce was very funy, something like:
We are only 3 including the dog and the diner and we are lighthouse.
If somebody have this source pls. mail me.
kddobrev@abv.bg

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