K129 and the Glomar Explorer

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As a spook ship I suppose Glomar Explorer's security might have been a bit tighter than on Glomar Challenger. I went down to look at that when it was in Leith, and, thinking it was open to the public, went up the gangplank and wandered around a bit. Didn't seem to be anyone about, but eventually I bumped into this girl with a clipboard. "Oh hello, We're in the wardroom. Come along and get yourself a coffee. We'll start in 5 minutes" Ok, I thought, I could do with a coffee. Room had maybe 20 people in it who didn't seem to know each other. Can't remember but I don't think I spoke to anyone. Eventually a geezer turned up and welcomed us on board, and asked us to introduce ourselves, so I did. "Ed Lithgow, Edinburgh University". No alarms or sirens. Then, after a brief intro to the ship and the up-coming research cruise they started talking about cabin allocations and apologized for me not being on the list yet, "Its often out of date" and I thought I'd better own up. Always rather regretted that, though. It would have been interesting to see how long I could get away with it. The ship sailed that evening and it might have been a while before they could put me ashore. You never know, I might have turned out a talented oceanographer. OTOH, if that was a spook ship too I might have been buried at sea.
 
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I saw a TV special on this several years ago, History channel maybe? An amazing clandestine mission to say the least.
 
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One of the enduring mysteries of this entire saga of big-money cold war intrigue is how easily the CIA was able to locate this wreck in 16,000' of water when the Soviets couldn't find their own boat despite having deployed substantial assets to search for it. Almost as though the CIA knew where to look from the start.
 

OVERKILL

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
One of the enduring mysteries of this entire saga of big-money cold war intrigue is how easily the CIA was able to locate this wreck in 16,000' of water when the Soviets couldn't find their own boat despite having deployed substantial assets to search for it. Almost as though the CIA knew where to look from the start.
That's somewhat covered in the 2nd video.
 
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An interesting story. I have memories of stories about mining the sea floor for manganese nodules, probably from Popular Science or Popular Mechanics magazines, I read them as a kid. The stories quickly faded and turned into a sort of "what ever happened to mining the sea floor?" thought. On the subject of deep sea stuff, here's a good read on the smallest nuclear powered submarine. It originally caught my eye because a picture of it showed the conning tower is little higher than a man. It has some interesting capabilities, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_submarine_NR-1 Ducked, great story, gave me a good chuckle, my wife thought it was funny too.
 

ZeeOSix

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
... to locate this wreck in 16,000' of water ...
That's over 7,000 PSI on the hull ... bet that was fun being in a tube that's about to implode.
 
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Well, a little over 6900 by my calculations but I could be wrong. The boat's crush depth would have been reached long before the wreck hit the bottom. An awful way for the crew aboard to die, although it would have at least been quick.
 

OVERKILL

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
Well, a little over 6900 by my calculations but I could be wrong. The boat's crush depth would have been reached long before the wreck hit the bottom. An awful way for the crew aboard to die, although it would have at least been quick.
If the missile went off to sink it, I wonder how many that killed before the sinking?
 
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Originally Posted By: Rick in PA
Ducked, great story, gave me a good chuckle, my wife thought it was funny too.
"There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries."
 
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Originally Posted By: Rick in PA
On the subject of deep sea stuff, here's a good read on the smallest nuclear powered submarine.
"and burned chlorate candles to produce oxygen" - Seems a bit primitive in context. I suppose an oxygen generator must be a bulky item.
 

ls1mike

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
One of the enduring mysteries of this entire saga of big-money cold war intrigue is how easily the CIA was able to locate this wreck in 16,000' of water when the Soviets couldn't find their own boat despite having deployed substantial assets to search for it. Almost as though the CIA knew where to look from the start.
Read "Blind Man's Bluff" Lays it out in detail. USS Halibut. Halibut
 

ls1mike

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Originally Posted By: Ducked
Originally Posted By: Rick in PA
On the subject of deep sea stuff, here's a good read on the smallest nuclear powered submarine.
"and burned chlorate candles to produce oxygen" - Seems a bit primitive in context. I suppose an oxygen generator must be a bulky item.
Not really that big at all. In fact some of the Casinos have them. Keeps the patrons wide awake. smile
 
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Originally Posted By: ls1mike
Originally Posted By: Ducked
Originally Posted By: Rick in PA
On the subject of deep sea stuff, here's a good read on the smallest nuclear powered submarine.
"and burned chlorate candles to produce oxygen" - Seems a bit primitive in context. I suppose an oxygen generator must be a bulky item.
Not really that big at all. In fact some of the Casinos have them. Keeps the patrons wide awake. smile
I've never been to Vegas, (which is OK), but I understand some of the casino's are quite large.
 
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The documentary I mentioned earlier is “ Project Azorian, the raising of K129”. It’s available to Amazon Prime members for free. I’m watching it now. It has a lot of the engineers that worked on the project and explains how they overcame the many challenges of attempting to recover such a huge object from 3 miles deep in the Pacific as well as keeping the mission secret. It’s a fascinating documentary to watch.
 
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I am aware of the Halibut and the role it might have played. Another point of confusion to me is how the CIA managed to keep secret the construction of a ship designed and intended to raise a Soviet boat laying under three miles of water. There was ample Soviet penetration of the CIA during this period, so how was a megabuck project and deployment kept secret? Had the Soviets known what the ship was really about, they would have stopped it, even if it took as crude a method as running one of their large ships into it. Oops, sorry! The really intriguing part of this entire episode is how the CIA managed such a huge project with no leaks at all.
 
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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
I am aware of the Halibut and the role it might have played. Another point of confusion to me is how the CIA managed to keep secret the construction of a ship designed and intended to raise a Soviet boat laying under three miles of water. There was ample Soviet penetration of the CIA during this period, so how was a megabuck project and deployment kept secret? Had the Soviets known what the ship was really about, they would have stopped it, even if it took as crude a method as running one of their large ships into it. Oops, sorry! The really intriguing part of this entire episode is how the CIA managed such a huge project with no leaks at all.
Maybe the soviets were distracted by the upcoming fake moon mission. smirk
 
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