It was a dark and stormy night.
No! Actually it was a foggy, misty morning on Lake Champlain.
The British navy sought American vessels to sink. This was during the War of 1812, long before radar. (I’m not sure how effective radar would show wooden ships. Perhaps if they had a copper sheathed hull???) The English naval officer spied it. Can you picture him, looking through his glass as the mist hangs heavy over the surface of the lake? It’s the proper size. The shape is obscured by the fog. Best to strike first.
He orders the guns to fire a salvo. The shots fly out. Smoke from the cannonade is added to the mist.
No response from the “American ship”. The officer checks his glass again. The enemy has not moved. It’s not afire. They adjust sail to come closer.