Wog Day 1964 (Photos on Next Page)
Through the centuries a superstitious mankind has worshipped
paid homage to different varieties of "super-beings" or gods. Religions
of all types have sprung into sometimes short-lived greatness, usually
on the heels of societies which attained a margin of power in what was then
considered the civilized world--societies such as that found in Rome at
the peak of her greatness.
In ancient Rome all natural and unnatural elements were
believed to be
under the control of a god named Jupiter who made his home on
Mount Olympus in Greece.
Jupiter had a brother, Pluto, who became god of the underworld
and lived in Hades.
There was also a third brother--Neptune--who lived in the sea
ruled over all the waters and creatures in his realm. His staff was a
trident and his chargers were dolphins and sea horses. Neptune's wife,
Salacia, was goddess of salt water.
To Neptune was attributed all that took place in or on the
whirlpools, wierd sights, and strange forms of life.
Superstitious mariners prayed to and gave offerings to the god
of the sea
for deliverance from the mysteries of the ocean.
Coupled with this belief in Neptune was a conviction that the
flat, a conviction that extended from the days of Rome through the
Dark Ages until the time of Columbus, de Gama, and Magellan. Mariners
believed that at a particular line the unknown was encountered, and a drop
into nothingness might await the unwary.
Ceremonies were held when a ship crossed certain lines or
points in the oean,
ceremonies that were designed to test the strength of seamen on theri first cruise.
The Vikings were among groups that made use of these often brutal tests.
One of the lines of mystery and fear was the equator, which
has come to
denote the boundary of the modern Neptune's realm. When he first crosses
this line, the "Pollywog" (initiate) must pay homage to Neptunus Rex, and is
subjected to various tests and "tortures" to determine his eligibility to enter
Neptunes's domain. His initiation completed, the "Pollywog" becomes a
"Shellback" and is capable of communicating the secrets of the deep to
others who must cross the center parallel.
On May 20, 1064 Ranger, outbound from Alameda, California on a
antisubmarine warfare mission, entered the reealm of the ruler of the deep.'
Then began the ritual.........................(Photos of Wog Day Next Page)