Hold the presses! A mysterious Department of Defense-US Navy oversized load being hauled by truck goes off the road on Wednesday while traveling through rural Vermont. Susan Smallheer at The Rutland Herald/Times Argus smells a story, starts making calls — officials refuse to answer questions and won’t speculate.
Cruise missiles? “I’m not going to speculate,” said Colleen O’Rourke of the Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command.
The facts as known and reported Friday, July 8, by The Times Argus/ Rutland Herald:
The long, unmarked gray metal container originated in Williamsburg, Virginia, and was being hauled to New Hampshire by Crofton Specialized Hauling of Virginia, according to Lt. Kevin Andrews of the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles.
The reporter was stymied regarding the contents of the hauler, and the mystery deepened: Officials at the shipping company didn’t return messages Thursday. Andrews said the shipment entered Vermont on Route 279 in Bennington, and at the time of the crash, it had been making a turn from Route 103 to head north on I-91.
Security must not be all that good at Crofton Specialized Hauling in Virginia as they posted an image of the truck and what the “secret” cargo was on July 1 –– days earlier on Facebook. Seven days later and the paper never checked.
The cargo, it turns out, is a ship’s propeller shaft — or in Navy-speak, a “primary output shaft for a Navy cruiser”; for now reports are that it, along with the truck and driver, will stay in Vermont until repairs can be made.
Well, next time, Times Argus/Herald reporters, you may find it first on Facebook. And in case you are wondering, Crofton Specialized Hauling hasn’t posted anything more to Facebook about it — better check Twitter. And how about that next “secret” D.O.D/US Navy hauling contract…