The Filipino Monkey

Following up on last week's post about the confrontation between US and Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf, the mysterious threat that the U.S. ships received -- the one in which they heard someone say "I am coming to you... You will explode after... minutes" -- is now being attributed to the "Filipino Monkey."

The Filipino Monkey is apparently a prankster who interjects obscenities and threats into ship-to-ship radio communications in the Persian Gulf. Or rather, it's many pranksters. The name "Filipino Monkey" now serves as a generic term for rogue radio operators in the Middle East.

I became intrigued by the Filipino Monkey phenomenon, so I did some research into it and posted what I found in a brief article in the Hoaxipedia.

Apparently the "Filipino Monkey" dates back to around 1984 during the Iran-Iraq War. It was probably originally one person, but he soon spawned many imitators.

It's a surreal prank, to say the least. You have heavily armed military ships engaging in tense standoffs, and during these very serious situations you suddenly have an idiot bursting on the radio with exclamations such as, "Come and get my ba-NAAAAAAN-a!"

Military Pranks Radio

Posted on Tue Jan 15, 2008


Just sounds like a pervert to me. 😊
Posted by Maegan  on  Tue Jan 15, 2008  at  06:38 PM
My money's on Raoul, that sick puppy. Or Karl Rove
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Tue Jan 15, 2008  at  07:28 PM
"Come and get my ba-NAAAAAAN-a!"

Well, that's all the provocation *I* need to bomb the crap out of a country.

Where's Major Kong when you need him?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jan 16, 2008  at  02:46 AM
Right after the 'incident,' a lot of people (most from a certain political party) were calling for immediate hostilities against Iran. When the Navy admitted that the Iranians zip around in little boat every time ANYBODY goes through the straight, and have been doing it for years, these people fell back on the 'threatening' radio message as a reason to bomb Iran anyway. Now that we know the message almost certainly came from some nit-wit prankster, I wonder if they'll let it drop. Probably not.
Posted by D. Esker  on  Wed Jan 16, 2008  at  12:47 PM
Not surprisingly, I've seen reference to the incident on several occasions by MSM as "the threat by Iran to blow up our ships", and I don't just mean Fox(Faux) News. That's in between breathless updates on Britney and OJ, that is. Turds with legs, all of them
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Jan 16, 2008  at  10:09 PM
Okay, to say that Raoul is the Monkey is too wrong, okay? Yes, I have the equipment, yes I have the time, but does Raoul want to fool the ships? No way, okay? For if these ships would hear the voice of Raoul, they would be lulled into peaceful repose, awaiting the fervent pleasure of my Ramonian Love Tickles, yes? Be sides, my banaaaana is not for the coming and getting, so don't go there, you stupids. Raoul Delivers! Ha ha hah, I am sorry, but that was very necessary and now I feel better. Rrrraoul
Posted by Raoul  on  Thu Jan 17, 2008  at  06:33 PM
An ex-Navy man here has suggested that the wakes shown in the footage do not correlate with the speed of the boats. Can anybody here verify this?
Posted by Richard Tonkin  on  Mon Jan 21, 2008  at  01:42 AM
I am a ship Captain and have been sailing large vessels into the Persian Gulf for many years. The abuse of VHF radio is widespread in this region. Many of the ships crews at sea are now Filipino and this radio abuse was seemingly started by them. Filipino monkey is often a call used by other nearby vessels when apparantly Filipino officers are conversing on VHF. The level of abuse and "unseamnship" beahviour that can be witnessed is as wearing as it is distressing. A call such as you will die in x minutes most likely refers to some fool indicating the projected collision time of a target he had on his radar plotting system. Such calls are not rare. Propogation of VHF radio in this part of the world is frequently subject to freak conditions with transmittion ranges far exceeding the norm. Hence a call between 2 vessels on a collision course , with the usual abusive VHF procedures, need not have to be within visible distance of the incident. As for the fast craft, using a VHF hand held radio whilst a power boat is operating at high speed would likely make any transmission incoherant.

As for the Straits of Hornuz, there is a constant level of small fast boats crossing the straits between Oman and Iran. Some of these boats are obviously just powerboats. Given the popularity of powerboat racing and the wealth of many UAE and Omani residents this may be understandable. There may well be smugglers and Iranian Naval units operating in the Straits, but identifying such small high speed targets with any degree of certainty is at best challenging. A challenge that perhaps requires a little more reasoned consideration, than the understanable stress the US navy officers and crew are operating under in this part of the world, allows.
It is an unfortunate fact that under stress most people observe what they expect to see or hear.
Posted by Captain Bonzo  on  Sat Mar 08, 2008  at  12:20 PM
From personal knowledge I can verify the origin of this term. I was a radio operator at Jeddah Port in the 1980s. One of our Saudi operators was trying to contact a vessel, but kept doubling (when two persons accidentally transmit on the same channel at the same time, blocking both transmissions) with a Filipino operator on another vessel. He lost his temper and said "get off the channel you Filipini monkey" (sic). Many ships' operators are Filipino and many were listening on the calling channel. The Saudi operator was deluged with abuse by many vessels. (I should also say that our operator has a very deep distinctive voice). Every time he was on duty for the next few days, he was abused or fed misleading information. Whenever he aked who was abusing him, he got the response "this is the Filipino Monkey". We had to transfer him to a desk job. The term entered the local culture. It spread to international status with the first Gulf War.
Posted by circumpunct  on  Thu Jul 24, 2008  at  08:48 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.