I've known for some time the joke about the American military ship insisting that another ship moves out of their way just to discover it was a lighthouse. I've always thought it was simply a joke, but today this video appeared in my Facebook feed.

It's the same story, but it's seemingly an authentic radio recording of the event.

Is this radio recording staged? Did the event take place?

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    I suppose this is the same one as the canadian vs us navy ship? Snopes has a pretty decent write-up on that: snopes.com/military/lighthouse.asp – Nanne Jun 12 '15 at 13:08
  • @Nanne Sounds like an answer to me. – DJClayworth Jun 12 '15 at 16:07
  • I've even heard it as a British ship and an Irish lighthouse. It follows the "Little guy showing the big guy how dumb he is" trope – Will Jun 12 '15 at 16:45
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    In what way is this recording "seemingly authentic"? It could be any two guys and some radio noise. – Nate Eldredge Jun 13 '15 at 4:17
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    How come an aircraft carrier is alone in the waters, what happened to the support ships? Have they already sunk after colliding with the lighthouse (somehow without distress calls or the carrier even noticing them missing from radar), which is oddly manned with a radio operator? – Bent Jan 14 '17 at 9:43
up vote 8 down vote accepted
+50

It's fake.

Until the last couple of lines, the script matches almost exactly the snopes disproven internet joke: http://www.snopes.com/military/lighthouse.asp

That includes number of degrees, direction of suggested change, number of support ships, etc. According to snopes it's been bouncing around the internet since 1996, but was published in various books of jokes before that. The joke itself goes back to at least 1931, and probably a lot further than that.

The navy says it never happened: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/nav_legacy.asp?id=174

Edit: And some of the differences in the script look like they were taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvRYd8U7qGY (the bit about the dog, food, beers), which is expressly fictional.

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