Aletho News


Who is Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution? Oceanographer or defense contractor?

R/V Neil Armstrong arrives at Woods Hole Oceanographic …
By Richard Hugus | August 28, 2019

WHOI is the acronym for the ‘Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’, based on Cape Cod, Town of Falmouth, village of Woods Hole, Massachusettts. On August 2, 2019 WHOI applied to the town of Falmouth for the clearing of 2.7 acres of woodland and the construction of a 3 story, 50,000 square foot building on what it calls its Quissett Campus, about a mile north of Woods Hole village. Woods Hole residents, the town of Falmouth, and a regulating authority called the Cape Cod Commission are now in the position of having to evaluate the proposed project and decide on approving it. Documentation and promotion of the project provided by WHOI to the Falmouth Planning Department, and summarized by the Falmouth Enterprise, says its new building — the New Quissett Facility — “is proposed as a ‘technology accelerator . . . by creating this facility the NQF will become the epicenter of autonomous vehicle, sensor, and technology innovation at WHOI and around the world and could lead to a net increase in regional economic activity.”

Mention of “autonomous vehicle and sensor technology” brings up the question of military research into and use of underwater drone and warfare technology and WHOI’s role in developing that technology.  Though operating for years in the midst of a pleasant residential and tourist area, few people are aware that WHOI is a defense contractor. The Institution was created in 1930 and  was devoted solely to defense work during World War II.  In all available documents submitted to the Cape Cod Commission for its recent building projects, and in all currently available representations of its activities to the public, WHOI describes itself as a scientific and educational institution dedicated solely to studying the ocean. In its documentation for the Quissett project, WHOI calls itself “the world’s largest non-profit dedicated to ocean research.” The omission by WHOI of its significant military research and development amounts to deception. WHOI receives major funding from the Office of Naval Research, which  “coordinates, executes, and promotes the science and technology programs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps.” These programs are highly unlikely to be peaceful and benevolent. The US Navy and Marines are, afterall, in the business of war.

Source: (C4ISR-Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance)

A July 20, 2018 Department of Defense listing of Navy/Office of Naval Research contracts states: “Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is awarded a $7,719,478 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for development and demonstration of advanced ocean battlespace capabilities . . . This contract was competitively procured . . . for science and technology projects for advancement and improvement of Navy and Marine Corps operations, including Ocean Battlespace Sensing . . . The Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity . . .”

Ocean Battlespace Sensing has to do with submarine and mine warfare. There is no information on WHOI’s web site about this nearly $8 million grant, or about what it is doing in the area of ocean battlespace sensing and submarine warfare. On April 7, 2016 when the new research vessel Neil Armstrong first arrived in Woods Hole, Dr. Frank Herr, head of the U.S. Navy’s Ocean Battlespace Sensing department (so-called “code 32” above), was among the notables addressing a gathered crowd. WHOI Director Mark Abbott also spoke, telling him and others, “We’re very proud to have been selected by the Office of Naval Research to operate the Neil Armstrong.” Navy-owned ships and advanced ocean battlespace work are not what we normally associate with a “non-profit organization dedicated to ocean research, exploration, and education”  — WHOI’s stated activities. Defense-related activities are clearly a part of WHOI’s operations, but they are consistently edited out of the public image WHOI promotes.

The Next Level – Drone Wars,

As another example: according to an April 22, 2019 report by the DoD Defense Logistics Agency: “Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is awarded an $8,421,581 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the research effort entitled, “Project Sundance.” Except for the announcement of this contract, there is no information available anywhere on the web, or at WHOI’s own web site,  about what Project Sundance is, leaving one to wonder if the project is classified — i.e., something the public is not entitled to know about.

Finally, in 1985, WHOI achieved fame when one of its scientists, Robert Ballard, discovered the wreckage of the Titanic. It wasn’t until years later that we got the full story. According to The National Geographic (November 21, 2017), the Titanic discovery only happened by the way in what was actually a top secret military operation to find two wrecked US Navy nuclear submarines. Remote sensing technology and an underwater submersible vehicle developed in Woods Hole and used aboard the WHOI research vessel, Knorr, was used in the discovery. National Geographic tells us the Knorr’s true mission: “the military wanted to know the fate of the nuclear reactors that powered the ships . . . this knowledge was to help determine the environmental safety of disposing of additional nuclear materials in the oceans.”

Ballard held the rank of Commander in the US Navy and was working as a liason to WHOI from the Office of Naval Research at the time of the discovery. Research on disposal of nuclear waste in the ocean is hardly in keeping with WHOI’s stated mission, “to advance knowledge about our planet, but also to ensure society’s long-term welfare and to help guide human stewardship of the environment.” Moreover, by making it look like this was just a fun adventure undertaken by WHOI to solve the mystery of the Titanic, a hoax was perpetrated on the public.

WHOI, the proponent of this new building project, is not being fully honest in the descriptions it gives of its mission and operations in Woods Hole. This calls WHOI’s credibility and full disclosure into question, and prompts further questions about the military-related role of the proposed new facility — “the epicenter of autonomous vehicle, sensor, and technology innovation.” The mentioned technology may well have uses in oceanographic research, but it may equally well have to do with “ocean battlespace sensing” — i.e., marine warfare. WHOI advertises itself as a humanitarian scientific institution without mentioning the clearly relevant fact that a significant part of its funding and research is from and for the US Department of Defense. It is not possible to fully evaluate a building proposal from an institution that is involved in secret projects because Cape Cod residents have no way of knowing if they are being given all the facts. Indeed, they have good reason to believe they are not being given all the facts,

The US military and its supporting contractors are the main source of wars of aggression and misery in the world today. It would be unethical to support expensive new facilities, paid for with our tax dollars and with what is left of our open space, for one of those contractors on Cape Cod. Yet war and militarization are so normalized in the American landscape, it is as if this is not even an issue.

August 29, 2019 - Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism, Militarism, Nuclear Power |

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