Today I visited the USS Pampanito, a museum u-boat at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. I was especially interested in the encryption machine that is allegedly on display on this ship. My trip ended up as a disappointment.

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Kommentare (11)

  1. #1 Thomas
    29. Februar 2020


    Since the image is quite blurry: Was it an ordinary or a crypto Underwood ( that you saw on board?

  2. #2 RPGNo1
    29. Februar 2020

    20 $ corresponds to about 18 €. A heavy sum.

    If you visit U 995 in Laboe, you pay 5 € as an adult.

  3. #3 gedankenknick
    29. Februar 2020

    @RPGNo1 #2
    But I cant remember there is an Engima-Device in U995 at Laboe. Not even a fake-enigma… 😉

  4. #4 Klaus Schmeh
    29. Februar 2020

    Thanks for the comment. I have never heard of the “Crypto Underwood”. Perhaps because it’s not really a cipher machine but a machine that translates Jappanese Morse code to European Morse code.

  5. #5 RPGNo1
    29. Februar 2020

    Well, I definetely wouldn’t pay 18 € to visit a submarine. With or without a cipher machine (fake or real). 🙂

    BTW, the visit of Wilhelm Bauer (former U 2540, Type XXI uboat) costs 3,50 €.
    The entrance fee for HMS Otus is Sassnitz is 8 €.

  6. #6 Doc Cool
    29. Februar 2020

    The audio guide needs an update to: “The device that looks like a typewriter is an ordinary typewriter looking a little like a SIGABA”

    Yes, kick it out of your travel guide.

  7. #7 Richard SantaColoma
    29. Februar 2020

    I’m sorry for the loss of your $20 and the disappointment, but the story is actually pretty funny! I will also bet that you are the first person who even noticed this was just a typewriter… 99.9% of the visitors probably look at that old Underwood (I have a nicer one on my piano), and think, “Wow… a real cipher machine!”.

    And for the massive fees they collect, perhaps they ought to cough up the $$$ and buy one of their own.

  8. #8 Klaus Schmeh
    1. März 2020

    Nils Kopal via FaceBook:
    What a disappointment… sorry for you Klaus :/

  9. #9 Klaus Schmeh
    1. März 2020

    David Allen Wilson via FaceBook:
    The guide should have refunded you. But then again, I’d be a little leery of having a museum piece next to so much humidity and salt.

  10. #10 Klaus Schmeh
    1. März 2020

    Nils Kopal David via FaceBook:
    Allen Wilson you are right. I also think, best would be to put a replica for exibition on the ship. And not a typewriter and write that it is a Sigaba

  11. #11 Jerry McCarthy
    England, Europa...
    1. März 2020

    This reminds me a little of a visit I made to one of the houses, Max Gate, of the famous Dorset-based writer Thomas Hardy.

    In his writing room, which was supposed to contain “his” typewriter, there was what was obviously a Romanian typewriter (with Romanian alphabet). I was puzzled. I asked how it came to be that he would have used a Romanian typewriter.

    They were now puzzled too, and found their “expert” to talk to me. She admitted that it was “just a typewriter that they had in their stores”, but she commented that nobody had mentioned it in some five years, so they thought they’d got away with it 🙂 .

    Hey ho…