- ISBN/SKU: 978-1-59114-668-1
- Binding: Paperback & Ebook
- Era: 20th Century
- Number of Pages: 264
- Subject: Espionage
- Date Available: September 2012
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"In describing an effort similar in ambition to that of the moon landing, this book is a masterpiece of scholarship. It delves into all details of the planning, execution and aftermath of Project Azorian, which is the correct name of the long misidentified operation. It is an endeavor the likes of which may not be seen again for a long time."
— Signal Magazine online, 1 December 2012
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.
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 redacted.
Norman Polmar is an internationally known analyst, consultant, and award-winning author specializing in the naval, aviation, and intelligence areas. He has written or coauthored fifty published books. A columnist for Proceedings and Naval History magazines, he resides in Alexandria, VA.
Michael White has worked in film and television for more than thirty-six years. His career in special and visual effects began in 1976 at Pinewood Studios. After an extensive film career in England, in 1990 he moved to Vienna, which he uses as a base to work internationally as a documentary director and producer. His film Web site is www.projectjennifer.at.
Praise for Project Azorian
"As well as being probably the final word on AZORIAN, Polmar and White add plenty of fresh detail, such as the CIA’s embarrassment when the Hughes Glomar Explorer discreetly docked in Valparaiso just as a military coup was launched to topple Chile’s President Salvatore Allende. In another awkward moment the local union in Long Beach picketed the ship and harassed visitors to enforce a demand for the crew’s union membership. The authors also recount the temporary disappearance of souvenirs, including a Soviet hammer and sickle naval belt-buckle which was returned when the management made an appeal to the sailors. Such side-plots bring to life a beautifully illustrated, fascinating account of one of the Cold War’s strangest events which performs the very helpful function of neatly disposes of a dozen well-embedded intelligence myths."
— International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Volume 24, Issue 3, 2011
“Here, the untold story of the CIA’s Project Azorian is finally revealed after decades of secrecy.”
— The Washington Times
“This is a must read for all of you that were or wished you were in the exciting, dangerous, previously highly-classified, submarine component of the Cold War.”
— Naval Historical Foundation