What has come to light sounds like something we really shouldn’t have to bat an eye at: Captain Kirk has made lewd videos on the bridge of the Enterprise! Unfortunately that’s not the actual fact of the matter here. Instead it’s about the Captain if the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise, and it involves the XO news, videos shot to improve morale and discuss happenings on-board the city at sea. Captain Owen Onors is accused of creating the lewd videos between 2006 and 2007, while the carrier was involved in Iraq and Afghanistan war support, and he was the XO, or second-in-command.
The video in question somehow got off-board and surfaced on a website, and eventually made its way to http://hamptonroads.com/2010/12/raunchy-videos-starring-enterprise-skipper-come-light . It is unclear how the videos were transferred to The Virginian-Pilot, nor why they were publicised on their website.The video shown on the website is a compilation of the videos for the year, and contains cursing, simulated masturbation, implications of sex between crew members, male and female alike, anti-gay slurs, and several shots of crew members in the shower (half or nearly nude males and females from the neck up).
The XO videos were reported to the Navy Inspector General just this week, and apparently others had complained about them at the time, but were brushed aside casually. The XO even makes light of their concerns in one clip. Still, it is unclear why videos made and transmitted across Navy channels to the fleet would not be reviewed and okay-ed by the Captain. Videos of this sort were banned quietly after 2007, but the recent releases apparently came for an on-board computer, possibly stored either accidentally or just ignored until they were found.
Reports by the media portray Onors as having exposed himself on the bridge, implied sex with a donkey, and showering with female officers. Unfortunately, like all media sources, these descriptions blow the situation out of proportion. The exposure was a part of a millisecond clip, slowed down to show him crossing and recrossing his legs while in a robe, the sex with a donkey was stated, and the showering with female crew members involved fully clothed women standing wit a cardboard cut-out of the XO. References to gays included put-downs of uniforms, aircraft personnel, and various hand gestures. What boggles the mind is that the Navy throughout history has been rife with actual instances of homo-erotic play, inferred and otherwise. The jovial joking of a crew at sea has been taken to new heights through video, but cannot ever compare to the hazing rituals and daily misery of serving on-board a ship. One wonders if morale boosters such as these videos have been publicized on purpose, to unseat the captain, as revenge, or as blackmail. It is unfortunate that some felt the need to sully the finest ship in our Navy and perhaps the most popular and well-known of our aircraft carriers.
At this time an investigation is to take place, meaning that the XO, now Captain of the Enterprise, may be left on the docks when the ship leaves port in just a few weeks. As such, any investigation into his honor or judgement will cripple his ability to lead, and he will likely have to retire quietly and early.