In 1968 a Soviet G-class submarine mysteriously exploded and sank to the bottom of the Pacific. With Cold War secrecy and speed, U.S. military intelligence raced to find a way to raise the sub. In the new preface to this edition of "The Jennifer Project," which was first published in 1977, author Clyde Burleson discusses some of the sources he could not reveal twenty years ago and provides an interesting swords-to-plowshares update. In one of the more remarkable episodes of high-tech espionage and engineering of the Cold War, the effort to raise the Soviet sub, code-named the "Jennifer Project," assembled a cast of players that included top military brass, the CIA, and the eccentric millionaire and inventor Howard Hughes. The Project was a monumental effort to create a tool that could reach three miles below the ocean's surface and pull the sub from primordial muck--in secret. Financed and built by Hughes and Global Marine under contract with the CIA, the ship created to pluck the sub from the ooze was a technological marvel. Two football fields in length and twenty-three stories high, the "Hughes Glomar Explorer" held in its hull a six-"million"-pound submersible "claw" for picking up sections of the submarine. The project cost the U.S. government hundreds of millions of dollars, but the intelligence community was betting that, if successful, reclamation of the Soviet submarine would mean accessing invaluable military knowledge as the two superpowers neared negotiations in the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty talks. "The Jennifer Project" revisits a fascinating period of high-level intrigue and invention that has remained unknown to many Americans.
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(235mm x 159mm x 13mm)
Texas A & M University Press
Publisher: Texas A & M University Press
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US Kirkus Review »
The gripping story - as much as is known - of the (Howard) Hughes Glomar Explorer, the fantastic $300M+ seagoing device for reclaiming a Soviet sub lying three miles deep in the South Pacific. The US "Sea Spider" underwater acoustic-detection system for monitoring traffic throughout the entire Pacific recorded the sub's actual demise (explosion of hydrogen fumes?) and 100 m.p.h. stern-first crash into primal ooze so deep and dark that no bacteria exist there (theoretically). Incredible new US sonar-TV devices gave high-resolution 3-D pictures of the sub in its Stygian blackness, using soundwaves reconstituted as laser lightwaves, that were better pictures than those sent back from the moon by our astronauts. The C.I.A. contracted with Hughes to design and build the unbelievable recovery ship. Its control device and "claw" for picking up the sub's sections weigh 6 million pounds!! It is the size of two football fields, 23 stories high, and is manned by a crew of 178 people - H-U-G-E. It had to be financed and built in supersecrecy. After the successful recovery - and a leak to the press - the C.I.A. admitted the whole affair but said it had all been a great failure. Burleson's arguments show that this cover story is riddled with holes. What to do with the ship now is only one of the areas he opens up. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Clyde W. Burleson
Clyde W. Burleson is the author of ten other books, including two novels. He currently resides in Houston, Texas.