The Liberty Incident

Perception vs. Reality

Which F-15 is larger? The F-15 in the foreground is an 8 ft model. Its apparent length is greater than the apparent length of an actual aircraft (63 ft, 9 in) seen above it. The juxtaposition of cars, people, and street signs offer a visual clue that the model is not to scale. If both aircraft were seen against a blue sky, that is, without contextual information, it would be impossible to determine the actual size of either aircraft. It is similarly difficult to estimate the size of ships at sea.

Photograph courtesy of Atlantic Models, Miami, FL

This document gives other historical examples of Misidentification of Ships by attackers. It includes profiles of the Bismarck, the Sheffield, the Liberty, and the El Quseir.

Download Misidentification of Ships
(Adobe Acrobat Format, 84 K)


The free Acrobat Reader can be
downloaded from the Adobe web site
Download Adobe Acrobat