Report of Captain Winslow, U.S. Navy,
commanding U.S.S. Kearsarge.
U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
Source: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series 1, vol. 3 (Washington Government Printing Office, 1896): 59.
Supplementary report of Captain Winslow, U. S. Navy,
Cherbourg, France, June 19, 1864
SIR: I have the honor to inform the Department that the day subsequent to the arrival of the Kearsarge off this port, on the 14th instant, I received a note from Captain Semmes, begging that the Kearsarge would not depart, as he intended to fight her and would not delay her but a day or two.
According to this notice, the Alabama left the port of Cherbourg this morning at about 9:30 o'clock.
At 10:20 a. m. we discovered her steering toward us. Fearing the question of jurisdiction might arise, we steamed to sea until a distance of 6 or 7 miles was attained from the Cherbourg breakwater, when we rounded to and commenced steaming for the Alabama. As we approached her within about 1,200 yards she opened fire, we receiving two or three broadsides before a shot was returned. The action continued, the respective steamers making a circle round and round at a distance of about 900 yards from each other. At the expiration of an hour the Alabama struck, going down in about 20 minutes afterwards, and carrying many persons with her.
It affords me great gratification to announce to the Department that every officer and man did his duty, exhibiting a degree of coolness and fortitude which gave promise at the outset of certain victory.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. WINSLOW,
Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.
commanding U. S. S. Kearsarge,
of the engagement between that vessel and the C. S. S. Alabama.
U. S. S. KEARSARGE,
English Channel, July 30, 1864
SIR: In obedience to the instructions of the Department I have the honor to make the following supplementary report of the action between the Kearsarge and the Alabama: On the morning of the 19th ultimo, the day being fine, with a hazy atmosphere, wind moderate from the westward, with little sea, the position of the Kearsarge at 10 o'clock was near the buoy which marks the line of shoals to the eastward of Cherbourg, and distant about 3 miles from the eastern entrance, which bore to the southward and westward. At 10:20 o'clock the Alabama was descried coming out of the western entrance, accompanied by the Couronne (ironclad). I had, in an interview with the admiral at Cherbourg, assured him that in the event of an action occurring with the Alabama the position of the ships should be so far offshore that no question could be advanced about the line of jurisdiction. Accordingly, to perfect this object, and with the double purpose of drawing the Alabama so far offshore that if disabled she could not return, I directed the ship's head seaward, and cleared for action with the battery pivoted to starboard. Having attained a point about 7 miles from the shore, the head of the Kearsarge was turned short round and the ship steered directly for the Alabama, my purpose being to run her down, or if circumstances did not warrant it, to close in with her.
Hardly had the Kearsarge come round before the Alabama sheered, presented her starboard battery, and slowed her engines. On approaching her, at long range of about a mile, she opened her full broadside, the shot cutting some of our rigging and going over and alongside of us. Immediately I ordered more speed, but in two minutes the Alabama had loaded and again fired another broadside, and following it with a third, without damaging us except in rigging. We had now arrived within about 900 yards of her, and I was apprehensive that another broadside, nearly raking us as it was, would prove disastrous. Accordingly, I ordered the Kearsarge sheered, and opened on the Alabama. The position of the vessels was now broadside and broadside, but it was soon apparent that Captain Semmes did not seek close action. I became then fearful, lest after some fighting he would again make for the shore. To defeat this, I determined to keep full speed on, and with a port helm to run under the stern of the Alabama and rake, if he did not prevent it by sheering and keeping his broadside to us. He adopted this mode as a preventive, and as a consequence the Alabama was forced with a full head of steam into a circular track during the engagement.
The effect of this maneuver was such that at the last of the action, when the Alabama would have made off, she was near 5 miles from the shore, and had the action continued from the first in parallel lines, with her head inshore, the line of jurisdiction would no doubt have been reached. The firing of the Alabama from the first was rapid and wild. Toward the close of the action her firing became better. Our men, who had been cautioned against rapid firing without direct aim, were much more deliberate, and the instructions given to point the heavy guns below rather than above the water line and clear the deck with the lighter ones was fully observed. I had endeavored with a port helm to close in with the Alabama, but it was not until just before the close of the action that we were in position to use grape. This was avoided, however, by her surrender. The effect of the training of our men was evident. Nearly every shot from our guns was telling fearfully on the Alabama, and on the seventh rotation on the circular track she winded, setting fore-trysail and two jibs, with head inshore. Her speed was now retarded, and, by winding, her port broadside was presented to us, with only two guns bearing, not having been able, as I learned afterwards, to shift over but one. I saw now that she was at our mercy, and a few more guns, well directed, brought down her flag. I was unable to ascertain whether they had been hauled down or shot away, but a white flag having been displayed over the stern, our fire was reserved. Two minutes had not more than elapsed before she again opened on us with the two guns on the port side. This drew our fire again, and the Kearsarge was immediately steamed ahead, and laid across her bows for raking. The white flag was still flying, and our fire was again reserved. Shortly after this her boats were seen to be lowering, and an officer in one of them came alongside and informed us that the ship had surrendered and was fast sinking. In twenty minutes from this time the Alabama went down, her mainmast, which had been shot, breaking near the head as she sank, and her bow rising high out of the water as her stern rapidly settled.
The fire of the Alabama, although it is stated that she discharged 370 or more shell and shot, was not of serious damage to the Kearsarge. Some thirteen or fourteen of these had taken effect in and about the hull, and sixteen or seventeen about the masts and rigging. The casualties were small, only three persons having been wounded; yet it is a matter of surprise that so few were injured, considering the number of projectiles that came aboard. Two shot passed through the ports in which the 32's were placed, with men thickly stationed around them, one taking effect in the hammock netting and the other going through the port on the opposite side; yet no one was hit, the captain of one of the guns being only knocked down by the wind of the shot, as supposed. The fire of the Kearsarge, although only 173 projectiles had been discharged, according to the prisoners' accounts was terrific. One shot alone had killed and wounded eighteen men and disabled the gun; another had entered the coal bunkers, exploding, and completely blocked up the engine room, and Captain Semmes states that shot and shell had taken effect in the sides of the vessel, tearing large holes by explosion, and his men were everywhere knocked down.
Of the casualties in the Alabama no correct account can be given. One hundred and fifteen persons reached the shore, either in England or France, after the action. It is known that the Alabama carried a crew (officers and men) of about 150 into Cherbourg, and that while in the Southern Ocean her complement was about 170; but desertions had reduced this complement. The prisoners state that a number of men came on board at Cherbourg, and the night before the action boats were going to and fro, and in the morning strange men were seen who were stationed as captains of the guns. Among these there was one lieutenant (Sinclair), who joined her in Cherbourg.
The Alabama had been five days in preparation; she had taken in 350 tons of coal, which brought her down in the water. The Kearsarge had only 120 tons in, but as an offset to this, her sheet chains were stowed outsidestopped up and down as an additional preventive and protection to her more empty bunkers. The number of the crew of the Kearsarge, including officers and sick men, was 163 and her battery numbered seven gunstwo 11-inch and one 30-pounder rifle, and four light 32-pounder guns.
The battery of the Alabama numbered eight guns one heavy 68, of 9,000 pounds, one 110-pounder rifle, and six heavy 32-pounder guns. In the engagement the Alabama fought seven guns and the Kearsarge five, both exercising her starboard battery until the Alabama winded, using then her port side with one gun, and another shifted over.
The collateral events connected with this action have already been laid before the Department. I enclose a diagram, showing the track which was described during the engagement, by the rotary course of the vessels.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.
CSS Alabama (1862-1864) --
CSS Alabama, a 1050-ton screw steam sloop of war, was built at Liverpool, England, for the Confederate Navy. After leaving England in the guise of a merchant ship, she rendezvoused at sea with supply ships, was outfitted as a combatant and placed in commission on 24 August 1862. Commanded by Captain Raphael Semmes, Alabama cruised in the North Atlantic and West Indies during the rest of 1862, capturing over two-dozen Union merchant ships, of which all but a few were burned. Among those released was the mail steamer Ariel, taken off Cuba on 7 December with hundreds of passengers on board.
Alabama began the new year by sinking USS Hatteras near Galveston, Texas, on 11 January 1863. She then moved into the South Atlantic, stopped at Cape Town in August, and went on to the East Indies, seizing nearly 40 more merchantmen during the year, destroying the majority and doing immense damage to the seaborne trade of the United States.
The Confederate cruiser called at Singapore in December 1863, but soon was back at sea to continue her commerce raiding. However, Alabama was increasingly in need of an overhaul and only captured a few ships in 1864. On 11 June of that year, Captain Semmes brought her to Cherbourg, France, for repairs. The Union steam sloop Kearsarge soon arrived off the port, and, on 19 June the Alabama steamed out to do battle. In an hour of intense combat, she was reduced to a sinking wreck by the Kearsarge's guns. As Alabama disappeared beneath the surface, her surviving crewmen were rescued by the victorious Federal warship and by the English yacht Deerhound. Her wreck was located by the French Navy in the 1980s.
CSS Alabama was a screw sloop-of-war built for the Confederacy in 1862 by John Laird Sons and Company, Liverpool, England. Launched as Enrica, it was fitted out as a cruiser and commissioned 24 August 1862 as CSS Alabama. Under Captain Raphael Semmes, Alabama spent the next two months capturing and burning ships in the North Atlantic and intercepting American grain ships bound for Europe. Continuing the path of destruction through the West Indies, Alabama sank USS Hatteras along the Texas coast and captured her crew. After a visit to Cape Town, South Africa, Alabama sailed for the East Indies where the ship spent six months cruising, destroying seven more ships before redoubling the Cape en route to Europe.
On 11 June 1864, Alabama arrived in Cherbourg, France and Captain Semmes requested permission to dock and overhaul his ship. Pursuing the raider, the American sloop-of-war USS Kearsarge arrived three days later and took up a patrol just outside the harbor. On 19 June, Alabama sailed out to meet Kearsarge. As Kearsarge turned to meet its opponent, Alabama opened fire. Kearsarge waited patiently until the range had closed to less than 1,000 yards. According to survivors, the two ships steamed on opposite courses moving around in circles as each commander tried to cross the bow of his opponent to deliver a heavy raking fire. The battle quickly turned against Alabama because of the poor quality of its powder and shells, while Kearsarge benefitted from the additional protection of chain cables along its sides. A little more than an hour after the first shot was fired, Alabama was reduced to a sinking wreck, causing Semmes to strike his colors and send a boat to surrender. According to witnesses, Alabama fired 150 rounds at its adversary, while Kearsarge fired 100. When a shell fired by Kearsarge tore open a section at Alabama's waterline, the water quickly rushed through the cruiser, forcing it to the bottom. While Kearsarge rescued most of Alabama's survivors, Semmes and 41 others were picked up by the British yacht Deerhound and escaped to England. During its two-year career as a commerce raider, Alabama caused disorder and devastation across the globe for United States merchant shipping. The Confederate cruiser claimed more than 60 prizes valued at nearly $6,000,000.
One hundred and twenty years after its loss, the French Navy mine hunter Circe discovered a wreck under nearly 200 feet of water off Cherbourg, France. French Navy Captain Max Guerout later confirmed the wreck to be Alabama's remains.
In 1988, a non-profit organization, the Association CSS Alabama, was founded to conduct scientific exploration of the shipwreck. Although the wreck resides within French territorial waters, the U.S. government, as the successor to the former Confederate States of America, is the owner. On 3 October 1989, the United States and France signed an agreement recognizing this wreck as an important heritage resource of both nations and establishing a Joint French-American Scientific Committee for archaeological exploration. This agreement established a precedent for international cooperation in archaeological research and in the protection of a unique historic shipwreck.
The Association CSS Alabama and the U.S. Navy/Naval Historical Center signed on 23 March 1995 an official agreement accrediting Association CSS Alabama as operator of the archaeological investigation of the remains of the ship. This agreement will be in effect for five years and is renewable by mutual consent. The signing of the agreement establishes a precedent for international cooperation in archaeological cooperation and the protection of a unique historic shipwreck. Association CSS Alabama, which is funded solely from private donations, is continuing to make this an international project through its fund raising in France and in the United States, thanks to its sister organization, the CSS Alabama Association, incorporated in the State of Delaware
USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) --
USS Kearsarge, a 1550-ton Mohican class steam sloop of war, was built at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine, under the 1861 Civil War emergency shipbuilding program. She was commissioned in January 1862 and almost immediately deployed to European waters, where she spent nearly three years searching for Confederate raiders. In June 1864, while under the command of Captain John Winslow, Kearsarge found CSS Alabama at Cherbourg, France, where she had gone for repairs after a devastating cruise at the expense of the United States' merchant marine. On 19 June, the two ships, nearly equals in size and power, fought a battle off Cherbourg that became one of the Civil War's most memorable naval actions. In about an hour, Kearsarge's superior gunnery completely defeated her opponent, which soon sank.
After searching off Europe for the Confederate cruiser Florida, Kearsarge went to the Caribbean, then to Boston, where she received repairs before returning to Europe in April 1865 to try to intercept the ironclad CSS Stonewall. With the end of the Civil War, she remained in the area until mid-1866, when she was placed out of commission.
Kearsarge returned to active service in January 1868 and was sent to the the Pacific coast of South America. During 1869, she cruised across the ocean as far as Australia, then returned to Peru. The next year, Kearsarge sailed north to Hawaii, then moved on to Mare Island, California, where she decommissioned in October 1870. In 1873-78, she was back in commission, cruising in Asiatic waters until September 1877, then transiting the Suez Canal to return to the U.S. East coast, where she decommissioned in early 1878.
Two more tours of duty awaited Kearsarge during the next decade and a half. She operated in the North Atlantic and Caribbean areas in 1879-83, then went back to Europe and Africa until late 1886. From 1888 onwards, she was stationed in the West Indies and Central American areas. While en route from Haiti to Nicaragua on 2 February, she was wrecked on Roncador Reef. An effort to salvage her proved fruitless, and USS Kearsarge was stricken from the Navy List later in the year.
The FReeper Foxhole Remembers the Sinking of the C.S.S. Alabama (6/19/1864) - June 19th, 2003
On This Day In History
Birthdates which occurred on July 15:
1573 Inigo Jones London, architect; restored St Paul's cathedral
1606 Rembrandt van Rijn Leiden, Netherlands, painter (Night Watch)
1704 August Gottlieb Spangenberg founder of Moravian Church in N America
1779 Clement Clarke Moore US, author ('Twas the Night Before Xmas)
1796 Thomas Bulfinch mythologist (Bulfinch's Mythology)
1850 St Frances Xavier Cabrini [Mother Cabrini], 1st US saint
1875 Frank "Pop" Morgenweck basketball hall of famer (elected 1962)
1902 Jean Rey Belgium, pres of European Commission (1967-70)
1933 Julian Bream, guitarist, born
1935 Alex Karras Gary Ind, NFLer (Detroit Lions)/actor (George-Webster, Mongo, Blazing Saddles)
1944 Jan-Michael Vincent Denver, actor (Hooper, Tribes, Buster & Billie)
1945 Gene Upshaw NFL offensive tackle (Oakland Raider)
1946 Linda Ronstadt Tucson Az, singer/leftwing nutcase (Different Drum)
1952 Jesse Ventura, [James Janos], wrestler/actor/blowhard (mayor-Brooklyn Pk-MN Gov. MN.)
1960 Kim Alexis Lockport NY, model (Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover)
1962 Brigitte Nielsen Eisinore Denmark, actress(?) (Red Sonja, Rocky IV)
Deaths which occurred on July 15:
0668 Constantius II, emperor of Byzantium, dies at 37
1274 John F Bonaventura, Ital/French theologist/dominican/saint, dies
1291 Rudolf I, King of Germany and Holy Roman Empire, dies
1381 John Ball, English priest/ideologist of Boer uprising, hanged
1738 Baruch Leibov, converted Russian Naval officer to Judaism, executed
1862 David Emanuel Twiggs, US Confederate gen-mjr (Monterrey), dies at 72
1869 A J Hayne black captain of Arkansas militia, assassinated
1881 William "Billy the Kid" Bonney killed by Pat Garrett
1883 Tom Thumb, famous small person (40"), dies of a stroke at 44
1904 Anton Pavlovich Chechov, Russian writer (Uncle Vanya), dies at 44
1931 Clive Cussler (author: Raise the Titanic, Deep Six, Sahara, Cyclops)
1940 Robert Wadlow world's tallest man (8'11.1"), dies at 32
1948 John J Persing US General (WW I), dies at 87
1958 Julia Lennon mother of Beatle John, dies in an auto accident
1982 Wendy Caulfield 1st Green River victim, found near Seattle
1983 Eddie Foy Jr actor (Eddie-Fair Exchange), dies of cancer at 78
1991 Bert Convy actor (Snoop Sisters, Win Lose or Draw), dies at 57
1997 Gianni Versace, designer, shot to death by Andrew Cunanan at 50
2003 Tex Schramm (83), owner Dallas Cowboys dies
15-Jul-2003 1 | US: 1 | UK: 0 | Other: 0
US Lance Corporal Cory Ryan Geurin Al Hillah Non-hostile - accidental fall
15-Jul-2004 1 | US: 1 | UK: 0 | Other: 0
US Staff Sergeant Paul C. Mardis Jr. Walter Reed Medical Ctr. Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
A Good Day http://icasualties.org/oif/
Data research by Pat Kneisler
Designed and maintained by Michael White
Go here and I'll stop nagging. http://www.taps.org/
(subtle hint SEND MONEY)
On this day...
1099 1st Crusaders capture, plunder Jerusalem (dead numbered about 3,000)
1205 Pope Innocent III states Jews are doomed to perpetual servitude and subjugation due to crucifixion of Jesus
1410 Poland & Lithuania defeat Teutonic Knights at Tannenberg
1662 Charles II grants charter to establish Royal Society in London
1779 US troops under Gen A Wayne conquer Ft Stony Point, NY
1795 "Marseillaise" becomes French national anthem (Marseillaise, isn't that French for surrender?)
1806 Zebulon Pike began his journey to explore the Southwest
1815 Napoleon Bonaparte captured
1830 3 Indian tribes, Sioux, Sauk and Fox, signs a treaty giving the US most of Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri
1856 Natal established as a British colony separate from Cape Colony
1862 CSS Arkansas vs USS Cardondelet and Queen of the West engage at Yazoo R
1863 Confederate raider "bloody" Bill Anderson and his Bushwackers attack Huntsville, Missouri, stealing $45,000 from the local bank.
1864 Troop train loaded with Confederate prisoners collided with a coal train killing 65 and injuring 109 of 955 aboard
1869 Margarine is patented in Paris, for use by French Navy
1870 Georgia becomes last confederate to be readmitted to US
1870 Hudson's Bay & Northwest Territories transferred to Canada
1870 Manitoba becomes 5th Canadian province & NW Territories created
1876 Baseballs 1st no-hitter, St Louis' George W Bradley no-hits Hartford
1888 Bandai volcano (Japan) erupts for 1st time in 1,000 years
1890 A Charlois discovers asteroid #294 Felicia
1904 1st Buddhist temple in US established, Los Angeles
1909 Ty Cobb hits 2 inside-the-park HRs
1911 46" of rain (begining 7/14) falls in Baguio, Phillipines
1912 British National Health Insurance Act goes into effect
1916 22.22" of rain falls in Altapass NC
1916 The Boeing Co., originally known as Pacific Aero Products, founded in Seattle
1918 2nd Battle of Marne began during WW I (Casualties: French (95,000), British (13,000), United States (12,000), estimated German casualties 168,000)
1922 1st duck-billed platypus publicly exhibited in US, at NY zoo
1929 1st airport hotel opens-Oakland Ca
1932 President Hoover cuts own salary 15%
1933 Wiley Post began 1st solo flight around the world
1937 Buchenwald Concentration Camp opens
1940 1st betatron placed in operation, Urbana, Il
1941 Florey & Heatley present freeze dried mold cultures (Pencillin)
1942 The first supply flight from India to China over the 'Hump' was flown to help China's war effort.
1944 Greenwich Observatory damaged by WW II flying bomb
1946 British North Borneo Co transfers rights to British crown
1948 Pres Truman nominated for another term
1952 1st transatlantic helicopter flight begins
1954 1st coml jet transport plane built in US tested (Boeing 707)
1958 Pres Eisenhower sends US troops to Lebanon; they stay 3 months
1960 Balt Orioles' Brooks Robinson goes 5 for 5 including the cycle
1964 Barry M Goldwater (Sen-R-Az) nominated for president by Republicans (John Chancellor ejected from the convention for blocking an aisle during a demonstration by the delegates.)
1965 US scientists display close-up photos of Mars from Mariner IV
1968 "One Life to Live" premieres on TV
1969 Rod Carew ties the record with his 7th steal of home in a season
1971 Pres Nixon announces he would visit People's Rep of China
1975 Soyuz 19 & Apollo 18 launched; rendezvous 2 days later
1976 36-hr kidnap of 26 schoolchildren & their bus driver in Calif
1982 Body of Wendy Caulfield, 1st Green River victim, found near Seattle
1982 Senate confirms George Shultz as 60th sec of state by vote of 97-0
1983 8 killed, 54 wounded, by Armenian extremists bomb at Orly, France
1987 John Poindexter testifies at Iran-Contra hearings
1991 US troops leave northern Iraq
1992 Arkansas Gov. Bill "Willard" Clinton becomes Democratic presidential nomination at the party's convention in New York City.
1996 MSNBC begins Microsoft internet-NBC TV
1996 Prince Charles and Princess Di sign divorce papers
1996 An Algerian court sentences 128 Muslim terrorists to death in absentia for their involvement in guerilla activities. Another 67 were sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment
1998 3 days of ceremonies to bury Russia's last czar and his family, who were killed by the Bolsheviks, begins in the city of Yekaterinburg
1999 The Religious Liberty Protection Act was signed by 107 House Democrats and 199 Republicans
2000 China reports that an attack force of 700,000 ducks and chickens, trained to hunt and eat insects at the sound of a whistle, were placed in the locust-plagued fields of Xinjiang province
2002 US Senate votes 97-0 for a bill to crack down on corporate accounting abuses (BOLD AND RECKLESS move alert!)
2002 Pakistani court sentenced British-born Islamic terrorist Sheikh Ahmed Omar Saeed & 4 others to death for the kidnap and murder of U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl
Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"
Brunei : Sultan's Birthday
Japan : Bon Festival/Feast of Lanterns/Black Ship Day (1853)
Pakistan : Mohammed's Ascension
National Therapeutic Recreation Week (Day 6)
Ice Cream Cone Day
Tapioca Pudding Day
Cow Appreciation Day-give Maureen Dowd a hug
National Eye Exam Month
Anglican : St Swithin's Day
Muslim-Pakistan : Mohammed's Ascension
RC : Commemoration of Bl Anne Mary Javouhey, French virgin
Luth : Commemor of Vladimir, 1st Christian ruler of Russia
Old Catholic : Feast of St Henry II, Holy Roman emperor (1014-24)
RC : Commemoration of St Bonaventure, bishop/confessor/doctor
1099 The Muslim citizens of Jerusalem surrendered their city to the armies of the FirstCrusade. The Crusaders then proceeded, through misguided religious zeal, to massacrethousands of unarmed men, women and children.
1779 Birth of Clement C. Moore, American Episcopal educator. His fame endures today,not as a theologian, but as the author of a completely mythical poem: 'Twas the Night BeforeChristmas' (1823).
1814 Birth of Edward Caswall, English clergyman and hymn translator. Today we stillsing Caswall's English versions of the hymns 'Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee' and 'WhenMorning Gilds the Skies.'
1823 In Rome, the church known as St Paul's Outside the Walls was destroyed by a fire.Its original edifice was erected in AD 324 by the Roman emperor Constantine.
1951 The First Southern Baptist Church to be constituted in the state of Wyoming wasformed in Casper by a group of families principally related to the oil industry.
Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.
GOT RUDE NEIGHBORS?
HERE'S HOW TO GET RID OF 'EM!
By ROMAN LYNCH
FED UP with noisy, rude, inconsiderate, sloppy neighbors? Don't pick up and move -- make them move instead!
That's the philosophy of Dr. Harlan Merkin, an expert in psychological warfare employed by the Defense Department.
"After putting up with a family of thoroughly irritating idiots next door for several years," says Merkin, "I finally decided to apply my professional skills to a personal situation."
Merkin's techniques worked like a charm -- his neighbors from hell bolted within two weeks. And now the Harvard-trained psychologist shares some of his favorite methods of "moron vanquishing" exclusively with Weekly World News.
1 Make frequent, unexpected visits to your neighbors -- in your underwear. Says Merkin: "Going out nude would get you in trouble, but it's perfectly legal -- and almost as disturbing -- if you turn up asking to borrow a cup of sugar in your tighty whities. For added effect write something creepy on your bare chest in lipstick, like: 'Love to love you, baby' or 'I'm too sexy for my shirt.' Note: This works best if you're a paunchy middle-aged man. If you're an attractive woman, it won't work at all. In fact, it might have the opposite of the desired effect."
2 Get a big, powerful stereo if you don't already have one and build a hidden room to house it. "Place the speakers in windows facing your neighbors," says Merkin. "Make sure there's no illumination from behind the windows so no one can see in from outside.
"At about 3 in the morning, play the worst music you can find at top volume. Anything from Motley Crue to Michael Bolton to John Tesh should do the trick. Keep your eyes peeled for the arrival of the police. As soon as you see the flashing blue lights approaching, turn off the stereo. When the cops ring the doorbell, answer the door acting like they just roused you out of a sound sleep.
"Explain that your neighbors are nut-cases and that you don't even own a stereo or boom box of any kind. Insist that the cops take a look around your house to prove you're telling the truth. About five minutes after the officers apologize for bothering you and leave, crank up the tunes again. If your idiot neighbors keep calling the law, the cops will eventually just ignore them, and they'll have no choice but to put up with the racket. Sleep deprivation will soon drive them to the brink of insanity."
3 Spend an afternoon driving around scooping up as much roadkill as you can. Wait until your neighbors are asleep, then plant the rotting animals under and around their house, close to the surface. Be sure to replace the sod neatly so your digging is not apparent. "This works especially well in the summer," says Merkin. "The stench is often unbearable -- just like your neighbors, who will soon hightail it outta there."
Thought for the day :
"A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works."