Armed Killer Dolphins

Whatever are we to make of this:

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

To answer your first question: toxic dart guns.

EDITED TO ADD (12/5): Snopes, a reliable source in these matters, claims this to be a hoax.

Posted on December 5, 2005 at 7:33 AM25 Comments


Anonymous December 5, 2005 7:53 AM

I think there’s an open “blockquote” tag in your post.

And, where are the sharks with frickin’ laser beams?!?

bill December 5, 2005 7:54 AM

I think there’s an open “blockquote” tag in your post.

And, where are the sharks with frickin’ laser beams?!?

Dale December 5, 2005 8:25 AM

This article came out fairly quickly after Katrina and I have been idly curious about whether the US Navy ever found them. Since then there has been no mention in the press or any of the trade rags that I read, about them so I have assumed that they are MIA.

Biscuit December 5, 2005 9:38 AM

Reminds me of chatting to one of the Aussie commandos post Iraq invasion… Apparently he overheard some American sailors laughing about losing another flipper..
Thinking that they were laughing about a diver dying (Military slang being what it is), he and a few mates went over to let them know what they thought…
Turned out it wasn’t a diver they lost, it was the 3rd (or 4th) trained dolphin they’d put in the water (to find submerged mines) that’d just turned tail and swam off out to sea.

Always wondered if that was for real, and whether they actually found the cause of the dolphins not doing as they were trained.

jammit December 5, 2005 10:39 AM

I knew the military used dolphins as mine detectors, but I just figured the killer dolphin was just a joke. Even if the killer dolphins were real, I find it odd that the military keeps them armed all the time.

AndrewS December 5, 2005 10:45 AM

Only slightly on-topic, but I got to meet a Vietnam vet of the Dolphin persuasion. She was used to spot enemy divers around ships. That dolphin along with a lot of other marine mammals (including the beluga whale we had actually gone to see) were ‘kept’ in pens that were no more than three feet wide and six inches or so above the water. Just about every animal there could have gone awol without much trouble, but according to the researcher, they never did. And most of them were used for research in the open water, again, they could have left at any time.

another_bruce December 5, 2005 11:29 AM

this is rank b.s. we are asked to believe “experts who have studied the u.s. navy’s cetacean training exercises” who claim that 36 armed dolphins “could have” escaped…hey, the dolphins were not actively deployed at the time, they wouldn’t be wearing gun packs 24/7/365. somewhere out there are 36 unarmed dolphins who’ve had a bad experience with the navy for awhile and are grateful for the hurricane which enabled reunification with their buddies.

timmy303 December 5, 2005 11:59 AM

This is not a hoax. I was attacked in 1993 by armed dolphins in the Mississippi river and battered about the face and buttocks. I believe they had frickin’ laser beams on their foreheads.

AndrewS December 5, 2005 12:52 PM


“… pens that were no more than three feet wide and six inches…”

What I meant was that the walkways separating the pens from open water were no more than three feet wide and six inches high.

jbl December 5, 2005 5:50 PM

“Is it yet another Movie-plot threat, or did someone watch one too many episodes of “The Simpson”?”

Decades ago someone made a movie that used a dolphin as a weapon (in this case to deposit a mine on a boat). George C. Scott was in it. Nothing more about it sticks in my memory, and the dolphin thing was merely the McGuffin (and provided a twist at the end).

Michael Graham December 5, 2005 8:07 PM

At one time the Navy trained dolphins at Point Magu which was the main launch point for the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range. The dolphins were trained to help find missile components that fell into the sea (whether intentionally or accidentally).

I think the dolphins are now searching the caves around Bora Bora having been outfitted with “wet” suits.

BSlav December 6, 2005 10:31 AM

The only problem with this being a hoax is that days after the hurricane there was a piece on CNN about this with the trainers. They actually showed footage of trying to bring the doplhins in and were unsuccessful. Quote “We will try again tomorrow”. The dolphins they showed really had some sort of device strapped to them. Another movie plot? Not so if I believe my eyes!

Crna Ruka December 7, 2005 5:50 PM

Dolphins with cameras attached to pectoral fins helped the US Navy clear the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr during the 2003 offensive. Even though the dolphins (cameras attached) located the mines, and were not trained to destroy the mines, left field lunatics quickly attacked the practice as cruel and illegal stating the dolphins “had not consented or agreed to enlist in the US Navy.”

Coming from CCN a “news service” that has routinely heavily padded any actual news it’s ever broadcast with generous servings of extreme leftwing propaganda and blatant lies only further implies hoax. Having personally collected an extensive dossier on the organization I stand by that.

Discipline is imperative requirement for any effective military and is central for the US military, and while the use of animals to perform certain higher level tasks than those performed by horses or mules, such as K9s employed during the Vietnam conflict, suggesting the ‘US military trained armed dolphins’ and doing it in such fashion as to lead people, or “useful idiots” as Lenin called them, into believing now they’re armed dangerous and out there somewhere is ridiculous.

Though I often had suspicions the US Navy was hearing a different drummer than the rest of us, I’m confident even they wouldn’t arm dolphins. Any idea where the term “loose cannon” originated? What happens if there’s an illegal killing? They going to court martial the dolphin?

Chances are like most myths, legends and propaganda there is some basis in fact, for instance research into the use of dolphins for use as a sort of a living predator drone would be plausible, and even though it’s easy to see why it wouldn’t be practical, that wouldn’t stop Washington from throwing some money at it. If this is the case it changes nothing as far as hoaxing is concerned, CNN and others still would have purposely misled their viewers and readers by leaving out important facts. Facts, doing the story they most certainly would have known and with the obvious purposeful intentions causing the belief the evil and inept “Industrial Military Complex” has committed yet another unbelievably dastardly deed, this time by negligently allowing murderous robot-like dolphinian killing machines armed with military weaponry to escape into the oceans (they maliciously poisoned to construct the weapons they manufactured to arm the dolphins?).

I first heard this story immediately following the hurricane, it gave me a good laugh first few times I heard it, not because ‘armed’ dolphins escaped, but that there is people dumb enough to believe it was true.

Anonymous December 7, 2005 5:55 PM

dolphin dont need to kill there very nice animals but went it comes time to hunt there pray they gota do what they gota do so let dolphins free let them go if you just keep dolphins in a zoo or at seaworld your not doing them any good

sunny October 23, 2006 6:03 PM

How do all these people know it’s not true, it certinly could be. I belive it. of course every site I’ve been to on this subject, I’ve done some reserch this, refered to the same site,,6903,1577753,00.html, so it might have messed up, but the US can be pretty stupid so they might have actually done it.

Leave a comment


Allowed HTML <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre> Markdown Extra syntax via

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.