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At least eight vessels, including the USS Saratoga, USS Yorktown, USS Shepard, and two Klingon vessels, were disabled on the probe's way to Earth. There, it disabled Earth Spacedock and settled over the planet with intentions on communicating with the Earth's whale species.When the probe received what it was looking for, it retreated back into deep space. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
Before retreating, Section 31 had a cloaked vessel nearby and downloaded information and components on its propulsion systems. This information later led to the development of the X-Project. In 2384, the whale probe attempted to destroy the USS Phoenix-X after having learned that components were stolen from the probe nearly a century earlier. A high-pitched frequency was used by Wallace to warn the probe away, while Section 31 used this second opportunity to steal more components from the probe to be used in the Phoenix-X's transwarp engines. The additional components eventually enabled the Phoenix-X to travel to the Andromeda galaxy. (Star Trek: Phoenix-X: "Experimentalism", "Forbidden Crossing Part I, II & III")