The recent controversy over an incident in the Strait of Hormuz involving five Iranian speedboats was punctuated by an allegation that an Iranian voice warned a U.S. ship, “I am coming to you. You will explode in a few minutes.” But the voice “may have come from a locally famous heckler well known to Navy crews.” The Navy Times reports:
In recent years, American ships operating in the Middle East have had to contend with a mysterious but profane voice widely known as the “Filipino Monkey,” likely more than one person, who listens in on ship-to-ship radio traffic and then jumps on the net shouting insults and epithets.
Rick Hoffman, a retired captain who commanded the cruiser Hue City and spent many of his 17 years at sea in the Gulf was subject to the renegade radio talker repeatedly, often without pause during the so-called “Tanker Wars” of the late 1980s.
“For 25 years there’s been this mythical guy out there who, hour after hour, shouts obscenities and threats,” he said. “He could be tied up pierside somewhere or he could be on the bridge of a merchant ship.” […]
“He used to go all night long. The guy is crazy,” he said. “But who knows how many Filipino Monkeys there are? Could it have been a spurious transmission? Absolutely.”