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Old 08-18-2015, 09:33 AM
 
1,519 posts, read 1,115,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taiko View Post
All Eskimos don't belong to the Inuit ethnic groups
I think the term "Eskimo" has been used in a variety of ways including:

A. A term for any native ethnic group from the far north (in Alaska that would include Inuits, Athapaskans, Aleuts and others that I dont know of).
B. A term intended to be synomynous with 'Inuit'.

As for the story, the writer could have been using the term "Eskimo Scouts" as a catch all for "native scouts". The "Eskimo" scouts that he referred to could well have been native scouts from non inuit groups such as Athapaskans, Aleuts etc. I wonder if there is any rivalry between these groups and the Inuit on the island? It strikes me as strange that the scouts, whatever their actual ethnicity, would initially blame the villagers for the deaths of the men in their unit.
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:34 PM
 
4 posts, read 10,363 times
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Sorry my account got so long. I sat down to write the reply out, and it kept going and going. My apologies.

Eskimo Scout refers to elements of the Alaskan Territorial Guard, which performs sovereignty patrols in remote areas, typically operating alone in small units for weeks at a time. During the Cold War, they operated with a great deal of independence and self-sufficiency from other units. They were nearly all natives of Inuit descent.

As for the 'whys', there are none, either at the time or today. The Soviet actions have no explanation, and I can attest that we certainly never performed any similar incursions into their territory. If anything, we were kept on a short leash in order to avoid antagonizing the Soviets. Our CoC was very adverse to doing anything that would raise tensions, with the exception of a few specific actions during large exercises at the time. Even then, we stayed well clear of their territorial claims.
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:46 PM
 
4 posts, read 10,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryptic View Post
It is also strange that the story relates that the Eskino scouts (I think they prefer the name 'Inuit') thought that the villagers were behind the deaths. I imagine that the village is a pretty clannish place. Even still, why would the villagers want to kill other Americans in general and Eskimo / Inuit scouts in particular? I wonder if there are rivalries between the various Inuit groups?
The village on Little Diomde had an almost 'creepy' vibe to it, probably because it was a very tight-knit, closed community. They were welcoming enough to outsiders, but we never got the feeling that we belonged there, and they sometimes seemed to begrudge our presence if we stayed too long. The idea that the villagers were responsible didn't make much sense, I agree, but it was one of the only explanations that took foul-play into account. We didn't really begin to suspect the Soviets until after the later incident. There was no evidence that they had been on the island, and the idea of them doing so was unbelievably, since they would risk starting a war.

It wasn't a suspicion that all of us shared, either. Just one that certain members of our team latched onto.
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Finland
24,257 posts, read 20,797,221 times
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Well, true or not, were you there or not, fact or fiction, I must admit that the story was great. Fun to read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ummagumma View Post
Interesting story but it defies common sense.

If I was a Soviet Spetznaz leader whose unit just killed an American scout (the killing itself serves no purpose unless it was an "oh ****" split second situation) I'd make sure all of his stuff remained intact so when the remains are eventually found suspects the foul play. Don't think these guys were in dire need of American rifles.

More importantly, what's there to warrant such activity ? Rock and ice and snow ? They have plenty of it in Siberia.
Maybe they had seen a commercial and wanted some KFC?

But seriously, to me the intelligence mission with looting makes sense. If even US Special Forces didn't know the existence of the 5.45mm AK74 until the very end of the Cold War, and as other intelligence was scarce as well, I could imagine that the other side would clinch to every info they can get. What mark of rifle or arctic equipment the Americans used and so on. Or maybe they just bumped into the scout and figured that the dead don't talk. After all, if it wasn't for the wolves, the body probably never would've been recovered.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medic18D View Post
The village on Little Diomde had an almost 'creepy' vibe to it, probably because it was a very tight-knit, closed community. They were welcoming enough to outsiders, but we never got the feeling that we belonged there, and they sometimes seemed to begrudge our presence if we stayed too long.
It might be a combination of clannishness and jealousy over fishing. I have read that fishermen on islands off Maine have a lot of unwritten rules about who can fish where, when and how much. Multi generational island families are given priority.

Outsiders are viewed with suspiscion on some islands and people who violate the unwritten fishing rules (or who simply appear to be interested in fishing an area) have had boats vandalized, gear destroyed, been nearly missed by "accidental" discharges, or nearly missed being run over by a "distracted" driver etc.

Last edited by Cryptic; 08-29-2015 at 12:09 PM..
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:58 PM
 
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Since the island is roughly 2 miles by 1.5 miles, I could have circumnavigated the island by the time it took to read this story.
Alaska resident since 1972. I call it hogwash.
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