What makes ships go in circles?

It seems that the ship moving in a circle has become an increasingly popular and mysterious phenomenon.

At the beginning of the afternoon of May 31, senior officers on the Willowy tanker were summoned, informed that their ships and the other four ships in the vicinity were moving in a mysterious way, unable to drive and Of course it will crash into one place.

The immediate assumption is that the current is strong . However, there is no such flow where the ships are going - south of the Atlantic, west of Cape Town, South Africa.

Researchers who follow the bizarre moving circles near the Chinese coast believe that they are probably the result of manipulating GPS - a system designed to track - that all commercial ships are Must use according to international law.

An automated identification system, called AIS, is a technology that generates unique identifiers from each train - along with the ship's GPS position, cruise and speed - to other nearby ships.

These signals are collected by satellites, used to track suspicious behavior, including smuggling, illegal fishing and especially oil smuggling.

Picture 1 of What makes ships go in circles?
A strange thing happened to tankers moving near Cape Town, South Africa, on 5/31/2020. (Photo: Sky News).

The circles detected near the Chinese coast are thought to have been caused by GPS interference, which coincides with U.S. sanctions on Iran, according to Phil Diacon, CEO of Dryad Maritime Intelligence Company. Global.

However, according to a global data analysis by the environmental organization  SkyTruth and the World Fishing Monitoring , a number of bypassing incidents also occur at places quite far away from Chinese ports.

SkyTruth finds the true locations of ships thousands of miles away, or routes that feature circular movements .

However, the location of the ships, once again, is often actually near the oil terminals or at locations where GPS disruptions have been previously reported.

But this is not the case with the Willowy.

At about 1:00 am on May 31, the crude oil carrier, flying the Liberia flag, operated by Singapore, suddenly swung to the starboard and began to actually travel in a circle.

The ship could not sail and the crew reported that four other ships in its vicinity were also caught in a similar spiral.

"GPS interference can have serious consequences, with half of the casualties at sea being linked to maritime mistakes," Diacon told Sky News.

It has been suggested that the GPS interference technique was used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to trick commercial ships into their waters. In addition, China's electronic warfare capability has been proposed as a potential cause for the phenomenon that some ships appear thousands of miles away where they should have been.

The crew on the Willowy ship are aware of these problems but there is no risk in the Western Cape Town - a long way from the contested Hormuz Strait or the South China Sea - could be a good cause.

But the European Space Agency discovered something else there.

No one knows why, but the Earth's magnetic field - having lost nearly 10% of its power over the past two centuries - is growing particularly weak in a vast region extending from Africa to South America, affecting satellites and spacecraft.

Known as the South Atlantic , the region's magnetic field has rapidly shrunk over the past 50 years. And in the last 5 years, a second ultra-low intensity center has developed in southwestern Africa, very close to where the Willowy ship moves.

One speculation regarding this weakening is that it is a sign that the Earth is heading for a polar reversal - in which the poles from the North and the South reverse.

This change is not immediate, but will happen over the course of several centuries, in which there will be many poles from the north and south across the globe.

The impact will be huge for ocean-going navigating ships - making them not only circle, but not even realize.

Fortunately, the age of the dominant magnetic compass has been around for centuries.

Modern ships like Willowy use something called a gyroscope , which finds the true North is determined by the Earth's gravity and rotation instead of the north pole.

The gyroscope is used in conjunction with the ship's other systems to detect the true north, determine the ship's progress and control it. If it fails, it can cause exactly the problems Willowy has.

The crew, along with the company's onshore supervisors, once investigated and determined that the ship's main gyroscope actually malfunctioned.

The ship was safely restored when switching to a secondary gyroscope, along with an old-fashioned magnetic compass, Executive Ship confirmed to Sky News .

When asked what caused the incident, the company described it as a "random incident " and added that "repairs will be made at the next port, where the cause will be determined by a technician." ashore".

But what about the other ships in Willowy's vicinity, circling and likely to crash into one place?

A spokesman for Executive Ship explained to Sky News : "The original reason can only be understood by the strong current".

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