Project Azorian: The CIA and the Raising of K-129

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9781591146902: Project Azorian: The CIA and the Raising of K-129

In early August 1974, despite incredible political, military, and intelligence risks and after six years of secret preparations, the CIA attempted to salvage the sunken Soviet ballistic missile submarine K-129 from the depths of the North Pacific Ocean. The audacious effort was undertaken with the cover of an undersea mining operation sponsored by eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes. Azorian incorrectly identified as Project Jennifer by the press was the most ambitious ocean engineering endeavor attempted by man. It can be compared to the 1969 moon landing in its level of technological achievement. Following the accidental sinking of a Soviet missile submarine in March 1968, U.S. intelligence agencies were able to determine the precise location and to develop a means of raising the submarine from a depth of 16,560 feet. Previously, the deepest attempt to salvage a submarine had been accomplished at 245 feet. The remarkable salvage effort of the K-129, which contained nuclear-armed torpedoes and missiles as well as crypto equipment, was conducted with Soviet naval ships a few hundred yards from the lift ship, the Hughes Glomar Explorer. While other books have been published about this secret project, not one was based on interviews with the participants or on classified government documents. The authors conducted interviews with men who were on board the Glomar Explorer and the USS Halibut, the submarine that found the wreckage, with U.S. naval intelligence officers, and with the Soviet submarine division commander. The authors had access to the Glomar Explorer s logs and other documents from U.S. and Soviet sources. The book is based, in part, on the research for Michael White's documentary film Azorian: The Raising of the K-129, released in late 2009. The research for the book and the documentary forced the CIA to issue a report on Project Azorian in early 2010, with one-third of the document censored. In this book, the untold story of the CIA s Project Azorian is finally revealed after decades of secrecy.

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From the Inside Flap:

In early August 1974, despite incredible risks and after six years of secret preparations, the CIA attempted to salvage the sunken Soviet ballistic missile submarine K-129 from the depths of the North Pacific Ocean. The audacious effort was undertaken with the cover of an undersea mining operation sponsored by eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes.

"Azorian" incorrectly identified as Project Jennifer by the press was the most ambitious ocean engineering endeavor attempted by man. Following the accidental sinking of a Soviet missile submarine in March 1968, U.S. intelligence agencies were able to determine the precise location and to develop a means of raising the submarine from a depth of 16,400 feet. The remarkable salvage effort of the K-129, which contained nuclear-armed torpedoes and one nuclear tipped missile as well as crypto equipment, was conducted with Soviet naval ships a few hundred yards from the lift ship, the Hughes Glomar Explorer.

While other books were previously published about this top-secret project, not one was based on interviews with the participants or on withheld government documents and film. The authors conducted interviews with men who were on board the Glomar Explorer and the USS Halibut, the submarine that found the wreckage, with U.S. naval intelligence officers, and with the Soviet submarine division commander and other Soviet officials and engineers. They also had access to the Glomar Explorer's logs and other documents from U.S. and Soviet sources.

The book is based, in part, on the research for Michael White' documentary film Azorian: The Raising of the K-129, released in late 2009. The research for the book and the documentary forced the CIA to issue a brief report on Project Azorian in early 2010, with one-third of the document censored.

About the Author:

Norman Polmar is an internationally known analyst, consultant, and award-winning author specializing in naval, aviation, and intelligence issues. He has served for almost eleven years on the Secretary of the Navy s Research Advisory Committee (NRAC) and has written more than forty books, including eight editions of the Guide to Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet. He is a resident of Alexandria, VA. Michael White has worked in film and television for over thirty-five years. His career in special and visual effects began in 1976 at Pinewood Studios, and in 1990 he moved to Vienna, which he has used as a base to work around Europe as a director of well over fifty commercials and some twenty corporate films.

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