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-   -   Secret compartment on Navy ship (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=84836)

snopes 29 March 2013 01:54 AM

Secret compartment on Navy ship
 
Comment: The ship's name changes, but I first heard this working in the
Shipyard in Bremerton Washington in 1974.

Another cool story that went around is when the USS America was built,
there was a mistake in the blueprints that didn't provide for any doorways
to be built into one of the machine shops. So, they installed a complete
machineshop, drill presses and all, and welded shut the walls around it.

A year or so later, when the ship was in service, some crewmen figure out
that there a a big unaccounted for space they were walking around and
around, but couldn't find a way in. So they got a cutting torch and cut an
access hole. Lo and behold, they found a complete workshop, with a big
sign saying, "Merry Christmas!"

JoeBentley 29 March 2013 09:06 PM

Unlikely.

A full compartmental inspection is part of too many different procedures, INSURV, pre-underway checkoffs, hell even the twice daily setting of material condition yoke, for a space of any appreciable size, to say nothing of a full workspace, to go unnoticed.

UEL 30 March 2013 04:50 PM

I was just going to say that the regular serial number and equipment checks would also cause some questions. Especially if several thousands of dollars (or more likely 10s of thousands) of specialised equipment was unaccounted for after construction on the ship.

jimmy101_again 30 March 2013 04:56 PM

What UEL and Joe said. But, ...

I can see some pretty odd things happening during WW2 when Liberty Ships were being built in three weeks and more than one was being launched every day. Regular construction controls couldn't have been very strong with a build schedule that fast.

JoeBentley 30 March 2013 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimmy101_again (Post 1725405)
I can see some pretty odd things happening during WW2 when Liberty Ships were being built in three weeks and more than one was being launched every day. Regular construction controls couldn't have been very strong with a build schedule that fast.

Yeah but by the same reasoning this would also be the circumstances where dockworkers would be least likey to waste time on what basically amounts to a "Ha gotcha" prank.

Wintermute 02 April 2013 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UEL (Post 1725403)
I was just going to say that the regular serial number and equipment checks would also cause some questions. Especially if several thousands of dollars (or more likely 10s of thousands) of specialised equipment was unaccounted for after construction on the ship.

Isn't the equipment added much later to the ship? During contruction I wouldn't think you would be adding extra equipment. I thought that all happened well after construction.

Hero_Mike 02 April 2013 09:13 PM

Wouldn't some equipment be so large (when assembled) that it's easier to install *fully assembled* within a ship during construction, as opposed to disassembling (into small enough pieces to get to the "bowels" of the ship) and reassembling it after? Maybe not necessarily large, but if precise or complex assembly is involved - things like machine tools, for example.

Kibu 07 May 2014 06:38 PM

It's more plausible that after a refit a room was closed off, than for it to have been built that way. This isn't overly common, but from time to time it does happen. A good example of this might be the Queen Mary. After her accident during world war two, where she struck a cruiser, a whole section of the bow needed repaired. During the refit and repair, much of the bow section was walled off, sealing it in and making a kind of watertight compartment. When the ship became a museum/hotel, the people renovating it opened this area and found tools (hand type) and chalk marks from the shipyard that rebuilt her.

blinkingblythe 20 November 2016 04:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 1725116)
Comment: The ship's name changes, but I first heard this working in the
Shipyard in Bremerton Washington in 1974.

Another cool story that went around is when the USS America was built,
there was a mistake in the blueprints that didn't provide for any doorways
to be built into one of the machine shops. So, they installed a complete
machineshop, drill presses and all, and welded shut the walls around it.

A year or so later, when the ship was in service, some crewmen figure out
that there a a big unaccounted for space they were walking around and
around, but couldn't find a way in. So they got a cutting torch and cut an
access hole. Lo and behold, they found a complete workshop, with a big
sign saying, "Merry Christmas!"

So if they could simply cut a wall open to access it, why not just add a hatch from the beginning?

Graham2001 12 December 2016 12:28 PM

The story reminds me of one I read many years ago, supposedly there was a hospital in Africa where they knocked down a wall (in preparation to building an exension...) and discovered an entire ward sealed behind it that '...everyone had forgotten about...' when the hospital had been built.

It was in a book of 'strange stories' and even back then I realized that it was bogus.


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