The hidden column of 3's - Navy's Master Utility List : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Item 1. Master Utility List updates for 9-14 and 9-23
For those of you who are familiar with the Navy's Master Utility List, it has been updated for the 14th and 23th of September 1999. Here is a link.

Of particular interest, download the excel spreadsheet for each report. Once you open it, go over to column R. It has a width of 0. Once you widen it, page down and check out the "3's". Curious. I would be interested in any interpretations. Note that the data in Column R does not appear in the HTML version of the document.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Master Utility List, it is a Navy document that tracks the Y2K readiness status of utilities near Navy installations. Probability of infrastructure failure is ranked from 0 (no chance of failure) to 3 (likely failure). Rankings are given for partial and full failure for electric, water, sewer and gas service.

Item 2. Contingency and Continuity of Operations Planning for Ashore Facilities - Updated October 4, 1999.
Link -

I thought the following quote from was interesting.

One of the more subtle reasons [emphasis added - Why the need for subtlety?] for the Command-wide COOP requirement is to force Installations to see if their mission can indeed survive general Y2K failure. Perhaps it cannot. We need to know, now. It is critically important for JCS & Navy planners to know if an Installations core mission would cease in the face of general Y2K failure, obviously.

Apparently, as of September 2, 1999 (the date of the file on the server) the Navy doesn't know how these installations will do in a general Y2K failure. So much for completed contingency planning.

-- Pete Berry (, October 07, 1999


85 days.


-- Jack (jsprat@eld.~net), October 07, 1999.

Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois............

-- lisa (, October 07, 1999.

There is no column R. What did you see?

It looks like problems in Northern Europe, the Mediteranian, Texas and Florida (the Bush boy's territory), Baltimore and Disney World!

-- jones (, October 07, 1999.

To see column R, stroke your mouse over columns Q and S, then do a right-click and select UNHIDE.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 07, 1999.

This is a rare chance to be online eyewitness to what may be the perpetuation of the Navy "coverup" we saw after Jim Lord posted the Master Utitilties List in the first place. I find this astounding. Proof that there really is a shell game -- and one that we can actually play at. Thanks -- many thanks for this interactive Y2K investigation. My thought: "R" stands for REALITY -- the one column missing from the spreadsheet, and hidden under the published alphabet soup. If I had any other interpretation it depends on your answer to the questions: 1) How were you alerted to the presence of a column "R" in the Excel file, or how did you find it; 2) Are there any other hidden colums on earlier versions of the MUL? Have you examined them. Again ... how the heck did you find this if not on a tip off?

-- Roch Steinbach (, October 07, 1999.

If you work with spreadsheets, it's naturally something you look for. You hide columns with working numbers or background computations in them, to make the presentation cleaner. But you need those numbers or calcs to make the sheet work.

The funny thing (if we really weren't intended to see these numbers) is that the people who published it were pretty clueless. Hiding the data in a zero-width column is about as dumb as Ollie North thinking he could cover his tracks by deleting email from his desktop. Not only that, but this is a report that HAD to have the fine-tooth treatment, with all kinds of spinmeisters signing off on it, after their last flub. And the sad part of it is that these clueless people are the ones trying to reassure us that everything is under control.

Yup, I feel lots better, now that the experts are on the job. This is like watching a 3-year-old who just discovered "deceit" and doesn't quite know how to work it yet.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 07, 1999.

Pete, Yeah, there's a couple hundred more problems like this listed over at the DOD page. Since you're on the subject of the Navy, here's a related example: "Report No. 99-204, Year 2000 Status of the Combat Control System Mark 2 Block 1 A/B (07/09/99)

Results: The Naval Sea Systems Command certified the Combat Control System Mark 2 Block 1 A/B as year 2000 compliant in October 1997, using criteria that were subsequently superceded. As a result, system level testing was still incomplete when the Combat Control System Mark 2 Block 1 A/B was reported as compliant in the DoD year 2000 database. Additional testing was performed after certification. Although the additional testing was sufficient to alleviate concerns about this particular system, the methodology used for its certification raises concerns that 127 other Naval Sea Systems Command systems certified as of September 1998 may have been prematurely and inappropriately certified." "Combat Control Systems"? - that don't sound like small potatoes!!

-- @ (@@@.@), October 07, 1999.

I am pretty easily entertained. Two things come to mind though: the first, obviously is that perhaps the info wasn't meant to be concealed, but accessed by interested officials. Well. Okay they would have their own secure lines of communication ... but yeah there it is, and the numbers, though few, are mostly "3"'s.

-- Roch Steinbach (, October 07, 1999.

Ok. I have as many prep's as the rest of you. But, possibly, just maybe, could this be a left over from a previous version of the report? And the government 'droid in charge of updating it didn't see it because s/he's incompetent at Excel? I mean, yes, I question my governments honesty and integrity these days. But I NEVER had any illusions about their level of competance. Dumb as a bag of hammers.

Watch six and keep your...

-- eyes_open (best@wishes.not), October 07, 1999.

Excuse my lack of computer skill, but is Hartford Conn listed again? And as either a total failure, or Unknown, which it was rated on the june and aug. navy reports.

-- bburke (, October 07, 1999.

If I read that correctly, R looks to be a "total estimate" for the facility.



-- Chuck, a night driver (, October 08, 1999.

Am I going to have to open that spreadsheet up again? I thought that column was for sewer systems' ranking. But, maybe I missed.

-- Dean -- from (almost) Duh Moines (, October 08, 1999.

I am inclined to think that is due to someone missing it when they made the file. I think it is old data left over from a previous copy. I have some of the excel spreadsheets from August, and they all have that hidden column. In all the copies I have seen so far (downloaded some of the newer ones now), all the numbers are the same (no changes). Now, it'll be amusing to see if that column gets wiped out in the next few iterations (it is still in the 10/5/99 file).

-- James Collins (, October 08, 1999.

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