back to article US Air Force announces plan to assassinate molluscs with hypersonic missile

The United States Air Force (USAF) has issued a strangely specific threat to certain mollusc species living in the area of an upcoming weapons test. US military website The Warzone recently spotted that in an environmental report relating to future tests at the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site around Kwajalein …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That smells a bit fishy to me....

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      I bet the USAF clams up about the environmental damage of the test. And you'll probably only be able to get the results via snailmail...

      1. jake Silver badge

        That was a pearl of a comment.

        I had to type that three times, the ol' fingers kept saying perl ...

      2. stewwy

        You can't get it by snailmail, it's a test to see if they can kill it off.

    2. macjules

      That is a lot to shell out for.

    3. sanmigueelbeer

      Reason for Purple Heart: Injuries sustained due to shelling.

    4. Korev Silver badge

      What's wrong with Limpet Mines?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They are only for sinking Greenpeace boats.

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          You say that as if it were a bad thing.

          1. kiwimuso


            It is - if it's your harbour/waters!!!!

  2. IGotOut Silver badge

    This is the US military...

    ...everything is a viable target.

    1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: This is the US military...

      Up to the moment it is not living anymore

      1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

        Re: This is the US military...

        Not true - the Dept of Defense is great at beating a dead horse!

        (More accurately, the beatings move down the line when the management at suppliers, having learn from being beaten by the DoD customer, start beating their own engineering staff. I've been that horse before. And I've also beaten my own suppliers before, not realizing they were acting dead by refusing to make promised changes.)

        Not really joking, so I can't use "joke alert" -->

  3. Chris G

    I don't know what the clams have done but the snails have been boasting about being faster than a US sessile missile.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope that they won't harm any cetaceans living in the area.

  5. Dr_N

    Part of US Military/Foreign Policy...

    ... It'll be for shellfish reasons

  6. Barrie Shepherd

    Where's Greenpeace when they are needed to protect from a direct threat?

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Watching out for French frogmen.

  7. drand

    Keeping schtum

    "The Register has asked the affected species for comment, but none has yet been forthcoming."

    Seems they've clammed up.

    This article is just to provoke the puns, no?

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Keeping schtum

      Yeah, I wanted to ask about that...

      How exactly does one ask Tectus niloticus for a comment? Do they have an embassy? Or did you just leave a message on David Attenborough's phone?

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: Keeping schtum

        Maybe the Register should have asked PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)? You know the organisation that sued a wildlife photographer claiming that as an ape 'took its own photograph' PETA was entitled to the royalties, not the man who provided the camera, set it up, and left it where the ape could find it.

    2. Snapper

      Re: Keeping schtum

      Damn! You beat me to the most obvious punnet!

  8. jake Silver badge

    One word:


  9. Brex

    What about "President" Biden?

    What about the fake C-in-C? Has he clammed up as well?

    1. jonathan keith

      Re: What about "President" Biden?

      *opens book on final number of downvotes*

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about "President" Biden?

      Back to 8Chan with you, QMoron.

    3. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      Re: What about "President" Biden?

      Seriously? I firmly believe that the election was stolen, but given the lack of relevancy in this post, I'm downvoting you.

      1. Cav Bronze badge

        Re: What about "President" Biden?

        You believe something for which there is zero evidence then. It was simple: Biden told his supporters to vote by post, Trump did the opposite. Comparison of the numbers of postal votes requested by those identifying as Democrats and those Republicans confirms that the advice was followed. Counting physical votes takes far longer than electronic votes. So Trumps win mirage of election night evaporated as the postal votes were counted. Trump is just too stupid to understand that.

        1. aks

          Re: What about "President" Biden?

          I use postal voting as it's the only way available to me but it's so open to fraud that I'd ban it even though I'd lose my vote.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    up to 90 giant clams being killed

    Why are they using giant clams as targets and how do they get them to Mach 5 in the first place?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why are these tests not performed around US shores?

    There are better molluscs to be obliterated there...

  12. HammerOn1024

    Some things...

    ... are in the way of the impact blast; non-explosive but a hypersonic impact will have the same effect as a warhead. That's what.

    Now on to more important things: "... type will have been in continuous service for almost a century." I'll put a Vegas bet down that the B-52 will see 100 years!

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Some things...

      Many years ago I saw a news story about a new pilot reporting to a B-52 base. What was newsworthy about this was that he was assigned to a specific B-52, one which his father and grandfather had once flown when they were pilots in the USAF. It was the, ahem, ‘family bomber’. The B-52 is already old enough to be on its third generation of pilots…

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Some things...

        And it's only had two new heads & five new handles.

        But yeah, I expect by now, we are in our fourth generation.

        And the ONLY reason is because the Congress can screw up procurement even worse than the AF.

        1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          Re: Some things...

          I wonder if there are any other aircraft that have seen such long term active service as anything other than museum pieces?

          There must be masses of data concerning long term metal fatigue of the airframe and skin, how technological upgrades can be introduced into such an old design. I also wonder whether it would be considered to be airworthy under current regulations. Frankly I had no idea B52s were still in service.

          I believe that Congress never 'screws up procurement'. They deliberate, consider all of the relevant information, have sub-committees, reports, hearings, and then vote along party lines.

          1. Bitsminer Silver badge

            Re: Some things...

            There's the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 "Beaver"


            First flew in 1947 and many examples are still flying. All metal construction.

            1. WolfFan Silver badge

              Re: Some things...

              There are still DC-3s which are still flying in commercial service. Two are based in a small airport near me. One was originally a C-47, from about 1943, but the other was an actual commercial DC-3 from sometime earlier.

      2. Snapper

        Re: Some things...

        I remember that! Must be 20 years ago, so a sprog pilot could be great-grandson pilot...

  13. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Inherently biased?

    I note the commentator failed to mention the Pocillopora verrucosa, and was particularly tight-lipped over the fate of the Favia mathaii. Does that not demonstrate an editorial bias against the coral polyp? I'll sea you in court ... anyone got Spongebob's number?

  14. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Come to think about it they don't have a face

    They have no face; no place for ears

    And no clam eyes to cry clam tears

    1. JDPower666

      A well deserved beer for anyone who gets that reference >

  15. Clausewitz 4.0

    Hypersonic capabilities of the mightiest air force

    QUOTE: "It is not known what the animals involved have done to induce the ire of the world's mightiest air force"

    TIP: Animals sometimes are really intelligent. While still struggling to keep up-to-date with their Russian counterpart in Hypersonic capabilities, we all recommend carefulness to all parts involved.

  16. BackToTheFuture

    Presumably any survivors will be taken to Guantanamollusc.

    Followed by an enthusiastic yet unsuccessful waterboarding session, although with the Pentagon already stating "We have this mindset that we want to fail early and often ...." the outcome will be reported as exceeding all expectations and another few billion dollars tossed in Project Thermadore's begging bowl.


    1. Clausewitz 4.0

      Easier said than done

      I heard they are trying the Guantanamollusc way for the past 6 years without success, spending millions of dollars, but molluscs are just more intelligent and resillient.

      Sounds more like USAF failure to me.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boffins awake!

    I imagine all those R V Jones types in dusty offices of Sinister Foreign Powers will have siezed on this disastrous leakage of classified intel. From the population density of snails and clams we can work out that the missile is going to devastate as much as 44 square metres, and they can't aim it well enough to hit dry land. Well Comrades, we can breathe a sigh of relief - for now!

  18. Manolo
    Black Helicopters


    I've heard through the scuba telegraph that Kwajalein is supposed to have the best scuba diving in the world.

    Clear warm blue water, pristine reefs teeming with life, part of one of the largest shark sanctuaries on the planet, wrecks.

    It's the kind of destination I dream of.

    But only accessible to US Navy personell on the island, unless you are personally invited to visit.

    Would be a waste if the Airforce starts blowing up pieces of reef. Why not go a bit northeast and dump your missiles in the Mariana Trench?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "No word on whether top brass considered just shelling them into submission"

    I sea what you did there!

  20. Anonymous Coward

    When you're missile can't hit much of anything . . .

    Aim for the ocean and count slow moving animals as targets.

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: When you're missile can't hit much of anything . . .

      The only clams that I know of which can move are bearded clams… I’ll go quietly….

  21. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Joined up testing

    Couldn't the Navy and Air Force collaborated and done a joint test - thereby sparing some sea-life?

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