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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