Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 039: A Whale of a Tale II – This Time It’s Personal!

BREAKING NEWS:  More information has been forthcoming regarding Ensign Blair’s Miraculous rescue of his Navy Ship in a Typhoon

Today RFM informs NEW additional forthcoming details along with hashing up some old ones…. ha ha ha ha ha ha muaaaahhhhhhhhhh.

Ensign Frank Blair (shown in photo above) told Elder Larry Wilson a miraculous story about his inspired resolution to issues aboard his navy ship in the midst of a typhoon during the Korean War.  The trouble is the details of this story are less believable than the tale of the crew of the S.S. Minnow.  Below are a list of issues with Ensign Blair’s story.

#1 – his story has a captain leaving the bridge during a typhoon to make way to Ensign Blair’s cabin. This seems to break navy code

#2 –  his story has the Captain permitting Ensign Blair to go out on the deck to “gather info” during a typhoon w/ 45′ foot waves. This would be against good judgement and dangerous.

#3 – Notice the reason for the fact finding mission in #3 is made null and void by the fact that Captain and Engineer are already discussing a solution to the problem (their gauges told them the issue) when Ensign Blair shows up to the Bridge.  That God in essence sent Ensign Blair on the deck to risk his life to gather info hence discovering a problem the Captain and Engineer already knew. In other words his walking the deck was unnecessary as the gauges on the bridge communicated the same info. The issue was not knowing the problem, but rather deciding a solution.  Why would God put Ensign Blair in such unneeded risk to learn something already known?

#4 – Also the newspaper clipping (shown above and dated August 19, 1955) has him serving on the U.S.S. Marion County. While Elder Wilson tells us the Ship has three engines, it actually only has two.

#5.) Ensign Blair claims to see the propellers (also called screws) from the deck after securing himself to the the deck in a typhoon, at night, with 45′ waves. The propellers or screws as they are called are below the boat tucked away from the outside edge. Think through what angle he would have to be at leaning off the side of the boat to see the crews as they come up out of the water in a typhoon. Think about what it would take to secure himself and manually lengthen or shorten the rope he is tied to. This story is absurd and false.( See sketch below)

#6 – While the newspaper (above) tells us Ensign Blair was a Chaplain, Elder Wilson tells us that there was no Chaplain and Ensign Blair, the upright religious sailor that he was, filled in.  Who informed the Newspaper that Blair held the officer title of Chaplain?  If Ensign Blair himself, then such is a deceptive and dishonest move as to claim a title one did not officially and legitimately hold would raise eyebrows.

#7 – Elder Wilson refers to the propellers as “giant propellers” but as you can see on the image below this style ship had very small propellers, due to the need to get up on land to drop tanks off.

#8 – Elder Wilson starts this story with “During the Korean War”.  Except as seen in the newspaper clipping above (which was dated Aug 19, 1955), Ensign Blair did not begin his 2 year military stint until after the Korean War had ended (Korean War ended July 1953).

Taken in its totality…. This faith promoting story from General Conference… well…. It simply didn’t happen.  Sorry.  God Magic still unconfirmed!!!

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7 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 039: A Whale of a Tale II – This Time It’s Personal!

  1. Bill needs to talk to Frank Blair directly. Also, I’ll bet there are sailors or officers alive that served on his ship that could verify the events (or non-events) of that typhoon.

  2. I think we should be gracious to Brother Blair on at least two counts. First, I don’t think he lied. It is far more likely that he is telling the story as he remembers it. He just remembers something that did not happen the way he remembers it. Second, while his time of service seems to have occurred after the cease fire for the Korean War, he is still clearly eligible to join the Korean War Veterans Association, which accepts those who served before January 1955. I don’t think he is stealing valor to say he served during the Korean conflict. I’m glad I wasn’t there at that time.

    Of course, Elder Wilson had a responsibility to analyze critically any miraculous story he uses to bolster faith. He did not do that, apparently.

  3. Also, would there be any light to show the screws spinning? I doubt the screws are lit up (I can’t see any in the photo) and a storm would be really dark. Lightening is the only thing I could think of

  4. Leaders have a propensity to want to capture the limelight. I think Paul Dunn enjoyed having people listen in rapture. Bruce McConkie certainly did. Could it be pride that influenced Elder Wilson over and above his desire to be accurate?

    It seems that from Joseph Smith on, story telling is considered acceptable provided it builds faith. The ends justify the means it appears, even if the story is fabricated.

    I have a feeling RFM that this podcast, and the work of Bill, will put a dampener on stories. It would be interesting to just keep a tally of who many stories are told each subsequent conference. I bet you will see the numbers dwindle…or at least the miraculous nature certainly dwindle.

  5. My brother was serving in the Karean war in the 60s… just because a war is verbally over doesn’t mean it is completely…

  6. Please do an episode on the recent Cook face 2 face event. I would be very interested in your take.

    Thanks

    D

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