Well, according to the Navy Times, he could be anywhere in the world. Including, as luck would have it, a recent “sighting” alleged to be in the Strait of Hormuz:
The threatening radio transmission heard at the end of a video showing harassing maneuvers by Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz may have come from a locally famous heckler known among ship drivers as the "Filipino Monkey."
Since the Jan. 6 incident was announced to the public a day later, the U.S. Navy has said it’s unclear where the voice came from. In the videotape released by the Pentagon on Jan. 8, the screen goes black at the very end and the voice can be heard, distancing it from the scenes on the water.
"We don’t know for sure where they came from," said Cmdr. Lydia Robertson, spokeswoman for 5th Fleet in Bahrain. "It could have been a shore station."
A “shore station”? Like, oh, say, the PENTAGON? That’s on shore…
While the threat — "I am coming to you. You will explode in a few minutes" — was picked up during the incident, further jacking up the tension, there’s no proof yet of its origin. And several Navy officials have said it’s difficult to figure out who’s talking.
"Based on my experience operating in that part of the world, where there is a lot of maritime activity, trying to discern [who is speaking on the radio channel] is very hard to do," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead told Navy Times during a brief telephone interview today.
Indeed, the voice in the audio sounds different from the one belonging to an Iranian officer shown speaking to the cruiser Port Royal over a radio from a small open boat in the video released by Iranian authorities. He is shown in a radio exchange at one point asking the U.S. warship to change from the common bridge-to-bridge channel 16 to another channel, perhaps to speak to the Navy without being interrupted.
Further, there’s none of the background noise in the audio released by the U.S. that would have been picked up by a radio handset in an open boat.
See my earlier post for the videos in question. Listen closely to the background noises on both. It is quite obvious that the “I am coming to youuuuuuu” call can’t be coming from a boat.
So with Navy officials unsure and the Iranians accusing the U.S. of fabrications, whose voice was it? In recent years, American ships operating in the Middle East have had to contend with a mysterious but profane voice known by the ethnically insulting handle of "Filipino Monkey," likely more than one person, who listens in on ship-to-ship radio traffic and then jumps on the net shouting insults and jabbering vile epithets.
Navy women — a helicopter pilot hailing a tanker, for example — who are overheard on the radio are said to suffer particularly degrading treatment.
Several Navy ship drivers interviewed by Navy Times are raising the possibility that the Monkey, or an imitator, was indeed featured in that video.
How gallant of them to cover for the brass back in Washington. But really, fellas, you needn’t have bothered.
Rick Hoffman, a retired captain who commanded the cruiser Hue City and spent many of his 17 years at sea in the Gulf was subject to the renegade radio talker repeatedly, often without pause during the so-called "Tanker Wars" of the late 1980s.
"For 25 years there’s been this mythical guy out there who, hour after hour, shouts obscenities and threats," he said. "He could be tied up pierside somewhere or he could be on the bridge of a merchant ship."
And the Monkey has stamina.
"He used to go all night long. The guy is crazy," he said. "But who knows how many Filipino Monkeys there are? Could it have been a spurious transmission? Absolutely."
Could it have been a FAKE transmission–that is, not a transmission at all? Absolutely! Remember, it appeared only in a blacked-out stretch of video. There was no picture of the ship’s radioman reacting with startlement at the strange intrusion, as there would have been had it been an actual transmission. And we already know from the Iranian video that the actual exchange was a normal one between the patrol and the destroyer. There is NO break-in from a “Filipino Monkey” in that one.
A civilian mariner with experience in that region said the Filipino Monkey phenomenon is worldwide, and has been going on for years.
"They come on and say ‘Filipino Monkey’ in a strange voice. They might say it two or three times. You’re standing watch on bridge and you’re monitoring Channel 16 and all of a sudden it comes over the radio. It can happen anytime. It’s been a joke out there for years."
While it happens all over the world, it’s more likely to occur around the Strait of Hormuz because there is so much shipping traffic, he said.
Be all that as it may, there’s just one problem with this hypothesis: The “Filipino Monkey” didn’t identify himself as such here. All he said was “I am coming to youuuuuuuu…(garbled)…explode after a few minutes.”
I predict that in the years to come, “Filipino Monkey” will be code for “Another fine war-mongering hoax brought to you by the guys who gave us the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.”
Meanwhile, I feel music coming on: