Just as East End residents believed it was finally safe to go in the water this week, an area man reveals that the Hamptons Police Department did not, in fact, receive a $2.664 billion Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine to bust local boaters for speeding, BUI and other safety infractions.
“There was just something about this story that didn’t ring true,” says Landon Jones, the intrepid young man, 22, who discovered the hoax about a small town police force receiving a $2.664 billion nuclear submarine for free as part of a federal program to outfit local police departments with surplus military equipment.
As part of his investigation, which took the better part of 20 days following the original June 2 story, Jones said he carefully deconstructed the story, first by examining the photograph of the sub partially submerged and surrounded by bathers about 20 yards off a Hamptons beach. “For starters, the sub in the picture is not a Virginia class,” Jones says, comparing it to various reference books and printed schematics he found online. “I also did a wake analysis, the kind CIA guys and Special Forces do, but I taught myself,” Jones says. “It seems pretty clear a Virginia-class sub could not reach the speed required to make a wake like this with so many people and boats around.”
The young sleuth points out that a $2.664 billion Virginia-class submarine is 377 feet long with a 34-foot beam, adding, “I think that might run aground so close to the beach.”
Further, Jones says the second article claiming the $2.664 billion nuclear submarine made its first arrest also seemed dubious to him because the picture (this time of an actual Virginia-class sub) lines up perfectly with a public domain stock photo on Wikipedia. The picture, which is the second image that comes up in a Google search for “Virginia-class submarine” is in fact an exact match with the supposed arrest photo, but Jones says DansPapers.com claims Wikipedia had “reverse Photoshopped” the image to appear as though their graphics team had altered it. DansPapers.com editors say they did not simply add the words “Hamptons Police” to the side of the sub and insert a small boat into the water next to it.
“How could I be sure without making some calls?” Jones says, explaining that DansPapers.com, which is famous for creating satirical and hoax stories, stands by the assertion that Wikipedia “pulled a switcheroo” on them.
Hammering the final nail in DansPapers.com’s elaborate and convincing hoax that local police received a $2.664 billion nuclear attack submarine for free as part of a program to arm police with military surplus weapons and vehicles, Jones says he learned the sub would cost in the realm of $50 million in upkeep per year and require a crew of some 140 submariners. “I couldn’t reach the Hamptons Police Department, or find them in a phone book, but I’m almost certain they don’t have enough officers to man a Virginia-class sub,” Jones says confidently. “And while our government loves to waste our tax dollars—just look at that Obama guy—I don’t think our police could afford $50 million per year, even if this is the Hamptons,” he continues. “Plus, what small-town police department has someone with the expertise to deal with the nuclear reactor and 90 percent enriched uranium?” Jones asks. “I’m just not buying it. The whole thing stinks if you ask me.”
If Jones’ findings and keen observations aren’t enough to convince readers, he suggests looking it up on Snopes.com.