It is no secret the United States is currently engaged in a new Cold War with China, a multi-front power struggle destined to decide which superpower will control the world in the XXIst century. The latest escalation of tensions occurred on October 2nd, when the USS Connecticut –a nuclear powered fast-attack submarine– suffered a collision with an ‘unidentified object’ “while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region.”
U.S. defense officials told CBS News correspondent David Martin the collision occurred in the South China Sea, one of two adjoining bodies of water where the U.S. and its allies have repeatedly challenged China’s territorial claims. China on Friday demanded more information on the U.S. Navy accident that took place somewhere off its east coast.
The US Navy reports no casualties or severe injuries among the crewmembers of their vessel, while the Chinese demand to know whether the incident poses any environmental threat to the region. Meanwhile the million dollar question –which nobody seems to be asking– is what was this unidentified object the nuclear submarine collided with.
Grail members of my generation –the ones who recall the sound of dial-up and broke their thumbs with 8-bit graphics– will perhaps remember the movie The Abyss, one of James Cameron’s early movies in which the maverick filmmaker had the chance to masterfully combine his two passions in life: science fiction and underwater exploration.
The movie starts with an American nuclear submarine suffering a catastrophic collision with a USO (unidentified submarine object) which launches the two superpowers of the era (the USA and the USSR) at the brink of nuclear Armageddon. Caught in the midst of it are a team of ragtag deep-sea oil drillers assisting a team of Navy Seals on a daredevil rescue mission, who end up uncovering the shocking truth that humanity has been sharing our planet with a highly advanced non-human species –a species that has grown tired of our childish shenanigans.
The Abyss is not only a highly entertaining movie which manages to insert real-world concerns and cutting-edge scientific concepts into its fast-pacing (and sometimes deeply emotional) plot, but it was also one of the first movies to incorporate stunning CGI visual effects –which managed to age fairly well–heralding the dawn of a new era in cinema.
To the Fortean movie fan, on the other hand, it is impossible not to draw tantalizing (yet still confirmed) parallels between James Cameron’s fictional story, and the unfolding revelations which began in December of 2017. Since the seminal news article published on The New York Times which disclosed the existence of a secret UFO program deep within the bowels of the Pentagon, all eyes have turned their gaze to the encounters of anomalous objects reported by US Navy aviators. Some of these witnesses, like Commander David Fravor (Ret.) have hinted in several interviews that these events seem to be deeply connected to our oceans, and recent TV shows like Unidentified or Netflix’s Top Secret UFO Projects: Declassifiedhave attempted to alert the audience –with varying degrees of sensationalism– on how the most dramatic cases of possible interaction with alien intelligences occur under our oceans, instead of over the surface.
But incidents like the USS Connecticut also raise the possibility that China’s military arsenal has improved to disturbing levels. If we discount natural factors and before we raise the alien card, we need to consider the possibility of man-made submarine drones, which every major superpower is hurriedly trying to develop, and could be small enough to foil sonar detection –although in the case of this recent collision, still big enough to damage a nuclear submarine and hinder the crew.
Chances are this event will end up having a mundane (a.k.a. BORING) explanation if we do ever learn more about it in the future –for which I’m not holding my breath. But I do confess the nerdy 80’s kid inside me still would love to watch Anderson Cooper trying to report on a giant frozen tsunami on the 8 o’clock news.