Join AOGHS and support historical content on this website. The CIA approached reclusive industrialist Howard Hughes to build a recovery ship under his company Global Marine Development.
On August 9, the same day that Richard Nixon resigned as President, the CIA and Glomar team lifted the remains of the sub into the ship’s gigantic moon pool. Subsequently, it was able to localize the latitude and longitude of the Soviet submarine, and the U.S. Navy conducted a deep-sea reconnaissance mission that took over 20,000 photographs of the sunken Soviet K-129 submarine.  Subsequently, during September 1976, the GSA transferred Hughes Glomar Explorer to the Navy for storage, and during January 1977, after it was prepared for dry docking at a cost of more than two million dollars, the ship became part of the Navy's Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet.. The mission was put under the control of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) rather than the U.S. Navy, and thus began Project Azorian.
Plan to Salvage Soviet Sub". "Notice of Availability for Donation of the Test Craft Ex-Sea Shadow (IX-529) and Hughes Mining Barge (HMB-1). The USS Halibut, a nuclear powered submarine used for deep-ocean espionage against the Soviet Union, identified the wreck of K-129 in August 1968. But, the Glomar's most pioneering feature was a moon pool, located in the center of the ship, and away from prying eyes. , As K-129 had sunk in very deep water, at a depth of 16,500 feet (3.125 miles or 5.029 kilometres), located 1,560 miles (2,510 km) NW of Hawaii, a large ship was required for the recovery operation. And in the midst of this fear of nuclear war came an opportunity for the U.S. to obtain and deconstruct a Soviet nuclear bomb and perhaps, obtain associated codes and technical guidance manuals. Photo courtesy American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The expression, “we can neither confirm nor deny,” as a government “nonresponse,” grew out of frustrated attempts by journalists and researchers to learn more about the Glomar Explorer mission. After almost 20 years in storage, condition of equipment inside the ship surprised Electronic Power Design CEO John Janik. professional. It was an intelligence coup made possible by cooperation, trust and silence.
 The ship arrived at the ship breakers at Zhoushan, China, on June 5, 2015. Hughes provided the necessary cover, asserting that the Glomar Explorer and its crew were conducting marine research at extreme ocean depths and mining manganese nodules lying on the sea bottom. They routinely deployed to within missile range of the U.S. west coast. The Maritime Executive Even though all the systems were intact, this was by no means an ordinary ship.”. communication issues, the CIA Recruitment Center does not accept resumes, nor can we return Image Courtesy TedQuackenbush (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. After all, if the Soviets were to learn the true intent of the operation, they may launch an effort to protect their interests. All that was left in the grabber arms was about 40 feet of the submarine, and included in that section were the remains of six Soviet seamen.
US. Operation Matador was now in play, but the media found out about the secret mission and the story became front-page news. The consortium's prime contractor was the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. This was viewed as an extraordinary feat. The operation became public in February 1975 when the Los Angeles Times published a story about "Project Jennifer". In June 1974, just before the Glomar set sail, thieves had broken into the offices of the Summa Corporation and stolen secret documents, one tying Howard Hughes to CIA and the Glomar Explorer. For threats outside the U.S., contact
The CIA Special Activities Division entered into a contract with Howard Hughes’ company, Global Marine Development, Inc., for the construction of the Hughes Glomar Explorer. The most up-to-date CIA news, press releases, information and more. The bodies of six Soviet crewmen were recovered from the salvaged section of K-129.
Sontag, Sherry, Christopher Drew with Annette Lawrence Drew. Los Angeles Times broke the story: “CIA Salvage Ship Brought Up Part Of Soviet Sub Lost In 1968, Failed To Raise Atom Missiles.” The article, written by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, abruptly ended the advanced vessel’s spying career. The story spread. It was assumed an explosion took place as the sub was recharging its batteries, which give off hydrogen gas, and was most likely ignited by a spark from the engines. The ship would be named the Glomar Explorer, a commercial deep-sea mining vessel ostensibly built and owned by Hughes. These acoustic records indicated that a “good-sized bang” had occurred on March 8, 1968, in the North Pacific and identified the probable location of the missing K-129. You may unsubscribe at any time. Office of Public Affairs Third Party: Have someone you trust travel to a less restrictive environment and deliver your local law enforcement or FBI Field Based on a series of interviews with about 80 stakeholders - including seafarers, vessel operators, port state control officials, industry associations and NGOs - the research team said that their data "confirms existing literature and suggests that recording malpractices are widespread." After complete integration of the system, we will be able to optimize work with regulatory authorities, improve our terminals visibility to what is coming to them [and] receive updates from the sea carriers online,” said Brian... By The U.S. was losing five hundred guys each week fighting the “global spread of communism” in Southeast Asia. When the Soviet ballistic-missile combat submarine K-129 sank in 1968, the CIA and Howard Hughes decided to go after her. By September, all of the bodies were recovered and were buried at sea with full honors.
The conversion of the vessel from 1996-1998 was the start of a 30-year lease from the U.S. Navy to Global Marine Drilling at a cost of US$1 million per year ($1.5 million per year in 2019).
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