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Big Ship

Last Update: March 23, 2003

The U.S. Chief of Naval Operations on October 10, 1995, supposedly released this transcript1 of a radio conversation between a U.S. Navy ship and a Canadian source off the coast of Newfoundland in the fall of 1995. It is undoubtedly an urban legend.

  • Navy: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid a collison.
  • Civilian: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
  • Navy: This is the Captain of a U.S. Navy ship. I say again, divert your course.
  • Civilian: No. I say again, you divert your course.
  • Navy: This is the Aircraft Carrier Enterprise.2 We are a large warship of the U.S. Navy. Divert your course now!
  • Civilian: This is a lighthouse.3 Your call.

  • 1MSG#H0000115020ecb52EMHS, according to

    2The "aircraft carrier General Custer," according to, "THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS MISSOURI," according to, "the battleship USS Missouri," according to a source that is no longer on line, "A US NAVY FRIGATE," according to

    3The " Pudget Sound lighthouse," according to and other sources, also spelled "Puget Sound."

    "It turns out that the Navy story about the aircraft carrier Enterprise and the lighthouse is in fact a very old urban legend.... As an alert reader pointed out, the Enterprise/lighthouse story has probably been floating around (no pun intended) since the days of Lord Nelson and the HMS Victory. This, of course, explains why Nelson won the Battle of Trafalgar ... he had air support from the aircraft carrier Enterprise." Source: [email protected] at

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