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Author Topic: Vandalism at the Batfish  (Read 9845 times)
MWALLEN
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« on: April 20, 2008, 08:43:40 AM »

Just wondering if other museums suffer from any type of vandalism?

We had put up doors (wood frame w/ plexiglass windows) in the officers area as we have put out items (plates, books, magazines, etc...) to give it that "lived in" look.  Before the doors, things would come up missing.

Well apparently last week, some of the doors have been forcibly (sp?) removed from the bolts on top holding them to the wall and from the bolts holding them from the floor...and again items have been removed.

Was wondering what other boats do to prevent this.  This is a source of frustration as  spent many days making those doors...and several of us have spent our own money purchasing these items...only to have some low-life theif destroy and take these items.

I'm going to talk to Vaughn next time about making some iron-type doors by maybe welding some rebar and figuring a better way to secure these doors to prevent this in the future.

Thanks for your input.

Mark A.
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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke
Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2008, 10:56:49 AM »

 Angry

We need to make some more fake cameras like what is in the control room with a flashing LED run by a battery.  When they see the cameras, they'll think twice about stealing in the future.

An additional idea is to buy those cheap alarms that you can stick/screw to a door frame and door.  As soon as the door is ajar, a high-pitch alarm sounds - like 120 dB.  Even a violent vibration will temporarily set it off.  The noise alone should cause them to depart the sub quickly... or at least that area. They'll think twice about looting another part of the sub, too.

This is something to keep in mind when the reenactors are aboard, also.  If they leave out uniform items and other militaria, it will end up taking a walk during tours - espically if we're all topside scraping paint and laying wood.  I think this is one reason why Correy is asking the reenactors to bring a small brass lock with them.  I'm not worried about a jacket or a large wool blanket.  Pins, hats, photgraphs, magazines, etc. are easy to hide, though.

This may be a local cultural thing, too.  Batfish has been looted since she was brought up the river.  It's almost like a rite of passage or coming of age.  Kids think it's cool if they're one of the people that got away with stealing from the suibmarine.  If they hear their dads, uncles, friends, etc. telling their stories of thievery, they'll want to do it, too.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 10:59:39 AM by Mark Sarsfield » Logged


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Rick
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2008, 12:02:47 PM »

I do not want to take away any of the seriousness of this issue.  Vandalism and theft is a big risk that we take when we open the sub to the public.  I do want to say that this is the 1st time that I have had any problems with theft and vandalism since I arrived. 

The idealistic side of me would like to say that everyone that comes to the park are genuinely interest in learning about the park and the and military history as a whole.  However the realisting side is that 0.5% of the people that we have  come to the grounds do not respect the issue.  I have a very good Idea as to who did this vadalism.  I also am taking actions to correct the situation. 

For the reinactors:  You need to realize that this is a public facility and people do come through.  Though the occurances are rare you need to be aware of the potential danger people going through thing.  People have sticky fingers and a natural curiosity.  I have sat and watched pople try and open doors and cabinets to look inside (usually kids) with authority figures in plan view (ie park staff and parrents).  Kids are especially bad at thsi.  and most of the will argue after the fact.   

For the restoration crew:  The door designs are very good.  I thnk a little redesign of the orriginal door will work.  Reinventing the wheel is not a good idea.  We need to replace the latches on the bottom of the doors.  they seem to be a little under developed for our purposes.  Also the top bolds on the goats locker were pulled out of the wood.  Find some way to strenghthing that point.  I am also going to move the master key to a more secure location.  I do not want to annouce that location on the internet for security reasons.

I worked with a sherifs office for 4 years before coming out ot OK.  I have seen people do some strange things.   The biggest thing I learned is that any lock can be broken and any security systme can be bypased.  It is only through the constant evolution of our own security system that we can keep ahead of the vandals/thieves. 

Keep up the good fight and remember what we are here for.
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Travis McLain
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2008, 02:32:33 PM »

That really sucks. I was in hopes we could eventually do away with the doors, but I guess not. We should definately put up some more fake cameras though. We should check with the other museums, to see how they have secured their officer's area, because from what i have seen many of them also have plastic up so people can not get into the rooms.
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MWALLEN
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2008, 03:02:46 PM »

Quote
For the restoration crew:  The door designs are very good.  I thnk a little redesign of the orriginal door will work.  Reinventing the wheel is not a good idea.  We need to replace the latches on the bottom of the doors.  they seem to be a little under developed for our purposes.  Also the top bolds on the goats locker were pulled out of the wood.  Find some way to strenghthing that point.  I am also going to move the master key to a more secure location.  I do not want to annouce that location on the internet for security reasons.

I thought that when I put these us that the locks at the bottom of the door would be enough to deter people.  I guess next time down, if it hasn't been addressed by then, I'll re-evalute the design and try to figure something else out.
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Rick
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2008, 05:06:19 PM »

Travis, 
Most of the other museums have paid tour guides.   We do not have that luxury.   Maybe a few years down this is a possiblity, but we need more income first..
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Rick
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2008, 05:08:04 PM »

Mark A
I thnk some beafier locks at the bottom will help.   and secure the hooks at the top better. 
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Tom Bowser
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2008, 05:38:47 PM »

On the Drum we use metal Pipe (1/2') or 1" angle iron and lexan glass held with srews and nuts or tamper proof screws. On the screw on covers we have had to pop rivet them in place. I had a patrol chart stolen out of the plotter in the conning tower and it was fastened down with straps and screws. I see kids and adults trying to force locks and lockers and valves and anything else they think might move, they steal the lenses from the Christmas tree and any colored lense on an electrical cabinet that is lighted. We are giving up on our plan to light gages and cabinets, it just isn't worth the hassle.

I hate to say it but the biggest problem is the scouts. Most of them carry those handy little pliers with screw driver blades and when you have 250 of the little twerps running thru the boat unsuppervised they are going to take it apart. We only have one guard on duty on the weekend for the whole park and I take some time off occasionally so you can imajine what it is like. Good luck.
Tom Bowser
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Travis McLain
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2008, 05:40:39 PM »

Travis, 
Most of the other museums have paid tour guides.   We do not have that luxury.   Maybe a few years down this is a possiblity, but we need more income first..
I know most of them only allow guided tours in order to keep things there, but some still have doors up to prevent people from getting in there, I know the Drum has plastic barriers up (saw them in Lance's photos.

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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2008, 05:56:22 PM »

True,  One of my favorite comments that I do get back is that we are the most open boat in the museum fleet.  I see a decision point comming up.   How secure do we need to keep our museum?   do we totally block things off or do we allow people to touch and feel.  It is my experience that interactive museums do far better then the static museums.  There has to be a balance thought.  Maybe a preservation plan is in order here....
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Tom Bowser
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2008, 06:03:37 PM »

We are trying to leave some things open and let them play with things that are extremely hard to break or if it does break it will just cease to function and will not detract from the history of the boat. We only put out copies of photos etc and even those are behind glass. I really envy the boats with their verical ladders, limited number of visitors and that are closed most of the year and then have guided tours only. With the amount of traffic we have and only closing one day a year and the limited number of employees and only one volunteer it is difficult.
Tom Bowser
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Travis McLain
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2008, 07:32:02 PM »

True,  One of my favorite comments that I do get back is that we are the most open boat in the museum fleet.  I see a decision point comming up.   How secure do we need to keep our museum?   do we totally block things off or do we allow people to touch and feel.  It is my experience that interactive museums do far better then the static museums.  There has to be a balance thought.  Maybe a preservation plan is in order here....

I think the ways things are now is fine, we just need to make our present things stronger, so they can not be tampered with. things such as the doors in the officer's area.
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"Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue" Adm. Nimitz on the Marines at Iwo Jima.

"USS Batfish relentlessly tracked down the enemy and in three separate, brilliantly executed attacks, launched her torpedoes with devastating speed and skill and demolished three Japanese submarines."
Mark Sarsfield
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2008, 07:55:12 PM »

Give the battery operated alarms a try, too.  They can be mounted out of view, but will make ears bleed when molested.  (We'll need to wear "mickey mouse ears" when we go to open one of the doors, until the alarm can be deactivated).

Tom, that's a shame to hear about lenses going missing and a warning to us in the future if and when we start to light panels up, again.  The 1MC will be easy to protect with some chicken wire over the controls.  It seems to work well with the light switches.
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Mark Sarsfield
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Lance Dean
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2008, 08:02:13 PM »

....and I take some time off occasionally so you can imajine what it is like. Good luck.
Tom Bowser

Tom is a liar!  He NEVER takes time off!   2funny

Seriously, stealing from the sub was what struck me the most when I visited the Drum back in October last year.  I absolutely could not believe that anyone would steal things that could not be replaced.  I mean, we were all kids once, but even back then I don't think I could steal from a museum!  And with the advent of collectors and eBay today, you never know what someone's intentions are these days.
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Tom Bowser
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2008, 08:34:40 PM »

We are especially alert for people from other museum boats- just kidding. The big problem is the parents and scout leaders do not try to educate their brats that these are museums and historic vessels and of course the kids and parents don't take time to read, if they can. They think it is just a movie set. Opp's I guess it is, I will have to quit using that phrase.

I do take time off, I haven't had to use my GPS to find my trailer in about a month now, hey maybe my memory is getting better.
Tom
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