We dig boats. But we’re so busy mooning over sexy hulls, under sail and over diesel, we’ve overlooked all those other cool hulls, the ones painted gray and named after states and admirals and presidents — the rockin’ fleet of the U.S. Navy.
Recently, a certain vessel went up for auction and had no bidders. It’s the real Philadelphia Experiment, not the one promulgated by Hollywood and conspiracy nuts. Behold the Sea Shadow, matey.
Beautiful she’s not, but still – no bidders? Not one?
Some kook in NYC just paid $160,000 for a rock covered in seagull crap called “Rat Island,” and the stupid thing submerges at high tide. Yet here is the first “stealth ship,” designed and built by Lockheed Martin and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), and nobody wants her?
She’ll do 14 knots, handle fairly heavy seas and might just vanish if you push the wrong (or right) button. Seafaring men can have the same sweet, unreachable remoteness of the Grand Banks without having to leave the harbor. Original price, only $195 million. She was even the inspiration for the ship in 007’s Tomorrow Never Dies. You can’t beat that with a Jedi Light Saber.
She’s headed for the scrap heap. Unless someone – maybe a museum – offers more than her scrap value, acetylene torch-wielding goons will defile her and send her piecemeal to a smelter.
Her rudder (if she has one) might become a guardrail on the L.I.E. Her binnacle may end up as stays in Lady Gagas’s corset. Or fillings in Madonna’s molars. Oh the ignominy!
We’re certain the Sea Shadow would be a money-making attraction at any waterfront venue. If interested, contact our pals at the Department of the Navy.