The Taking of K-129
How the CIA Used Howard Hughes to Steal A Russian Sub in the Most Daring Covert Operation in History
"In the early hours of February 25, 1968, Russian nuclear-armed submarine K-129 left Siberia on a routine combat patrol to Hawaii. Then it vanished. As the Soviet Navy searched in vain for the lost vessel, a small, highly classified American operation found it--wrecked at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The sub lay three miles down, but the potential intelligence assets on board--the nuclear warheads, battle orders, and cryptological machines--presented an extraordinary opportunity. So began Project Azorian, a top secret mission that took six years, cost an estimated $800 million, and would become the largest and most daring covert operation in history. After the US Navy declared retrieving the sub "impossible," the mission fell to the CIA's burgeoning Directorate of Science and Technology, which commissioned the most expensive ship ever built [the Hughes Glomar Explorer] and told the world that it belonged to the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, who would use the mammoth vessel to mine rare minerals from the ocean floor. In reality, a vast network of spies, scientists, and engineers attempted a project even crazier than Hughes's reputation: raising the sub directly under the watchful eyes of the Russians, at a time when nuclear annihilation was a constant fear and the opportunity to gain even the slightest advantage over one's enemy was worth massive risk."--Jacket.
New York, New York :, Dutton,, 
431 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm