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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Oil Exploration & The Vietnam War

Conspiracy theories 'R' us. The other day at Thursday lunch, Don told us a good, nay, a great one. Dennis, slacker that he is, hasn't uploaded the recording yet, so I guess it falls to me to tell the tale.

It's a story about the Vietnam War and why it ended when it did. Oil companies were looking for oil under the continental shelf off the coast of South Vietnam. They couldn't go in and do regular seismic exploring because, well, there was a war going on. But they could use the seismic waves generated by the bombing to map the structure of the ground underneath the continental shelf, and they did. When they had completed their mapping, they had no further need of any more seismic wave generators, so the bombing was called off. Shortly thereafter the war ended.

Like any good conspiracy theory there is just enough truth in it to make you wonder if this could possibly be what really happened. It might make you wonder for a minute anyway. People were definitely looking for oil, although it is only recently that they seem to be making any real progress in producing oil.


Anonymous said...

I am in the middle of a book by Clara Black which ties together the French Occupation of Vietnam and the search for oil in a very indirect way. This book was first published in 2005. Based on this hint I decided to search Google to see if there really was a connection and voila.

Anonymous said...

I was a Navy Pilot during the Vietnam War flying P-3's. We flew patrol missions along the coast of Vietnam looking for gun boats. Prior to each mission we received a secret brief telling us the location of the oil exploration rigs. We were forbidden to go anywhere near them, talk about them or photograph them if we accidentally came across one.I never gave it a second thought until recently. It's now becoming clear what it was all about.

Charles Pergiel said...

Here's another page on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Oil discoveries were made in the Gulf of Tonkin prior to our invasion in the 60s. Mobile first struck oil there in 1975. Its a fact -- google it.