Seth Rich

Exploration of Conspiracy Theories from Perspective of Esoteric Traditions

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:39 pm

MJK wrote:There is a book, 'Red Rogue Star' I believe, that airs a theory that K-129 took on extra personnel that hijacked the sub. Allegedly they locked the regular crew down and attempted to launch on Pearl Harbor, an attempt that failed when built in safety checks detected the attempt and destroyed the missile and sub by firing rocket engines out of sequence. A false flag implicating the Chinese supposedly was the plan hatched by a powerful insider in Russia, the Soviet leadership clueless. It made for a good read anyways.

I have a pal who is as close to an expert on Cold War Subs as I'm going to get to. He's a NYT Best Seller on that topic, though not recently. I sent him an email outlining the K-129 taking on "passengers/crew. For research on his book, he went to Russia and interviewed retired Sub Commanders. I'm thinking his reply may echo their thoughts on K-129 and Glomar.

He said, The way he heard the story was: K-129 had missiles with a range of 900 miles. The Russians knew the US Navy would not let her get closer than 1000 miles. When K-129 got within 800 miles of Pearl, the navy sank her". He doesn't know how it was done. "I’ve heard several stories. That’s how the Glomar Explorer knew where she was."

The common story is that, the US discovered her through an investigation of SOSUS data. It may be the case or a propaganda vector. I have no idea and no way to know. But, the two stories conflict and PR machines on both sides are likely at work.

One more bit, and I'll post a citation: John P. Craven, former Chief Scientist at NRL, says that K-129 was missing one nuclear torpedo from her inventory. He thinks that's what sunk her. Craven designed the mods for the Halibut of Ivy Bells fame. And, I believe it was Craven and his team that located K-129 using SOSUS data.

Best, kd
Last edited by kinderdigi on Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:59 pm

Dispelled Myths of Soviet Subs

Text:, Igor Kozyr

In the era of Cold War the Western information space was full of numerous fantastic stories about Soviet submarines. Having taken shape in books and websites, those tales still keep Americans and Europeans on the trot. tries to demolish the foremost fables of Western "folklore" of 1950-80's.
DD-784 McKean headed by Cmdr Weatherwax which scuppered a Soviet submarine. There were few guys skeptical about veracity of the story and the state affiliation of wrecked sub, because reports of unidentified submarines were on-air since the very fist days of Korean War. All ship commanders were authorized to use any weapons in case of unknown submarine appeared in close proximity.

On December 18 destroyer McKean (otherwise known as Mighty Mac) sailed off Japanese port Sasebo under call sign RancherMcKean dropped series of depth charges and made a fire by bomb launcher. A recon aircraft observing the zone reported about submarine's outline profile disappeared after explosion of depth charges. Later on, the aircrew spotted air bubbles and oil spills in the incident site. Crew of McKean and personnel of destroyer USS Frank Knox (DDR-742) also noticed that stain. Submarine's profile appeared again and the ship dropped another depth-charge pattern. Afterwards Frank Knox sailing the stern tack Mighty Mac also dropped bombs. That day USS McKean released 54 depth charges. In the evening, having completed the fifth attack and used up battle reserve, Mighty Mac headed for Sasebo to replenish it. Minesweeper USS Endicott (DMS-35) remained in the zone and also dropped series of depth charges; destroyer USS Taussig (DD-746) was dispatched there as well. Few hours later McKean returned with extra load of depth bombs apart from standard battle reserve. Having carried out three additional attacks in the morning of December 19, commanding officer of the destroyer concluded that the sub had lied on the seabed. Pilot of ASW aircraft patrolling operational area reported of torpedo's trace near McKean's aft. Allegedly, the torpedo was launched by the second submarine. However, nobody on the ship saw the trace.

There were rumors among mariners of 7th Fleet that on December 20 salvage ship ASR-10 Greenlet was dispatched to the assumed shipwreck site of the Soviet submarine. Assertedly, the ship managed to get codebooks of the sunken sub and even a couple of new binoculars. It was said that the crew of McKean

However, having checked declassified military archives, we found out that Pacific Fleet had in service only 10 deployable submarines of pre-war projects at that time. To exclude potential provocations, Pacific Fleet command took all possible measures (even cancelled exercises in regions controlled by US naval task force). The fate of all those PF subs including C-121 and C-123 handed over to China in 1951 is no longer a secret.

The American writers refer to other two similar incidents with presumable participation of Soviet subs. For instance, former sonarman of destroyer USS Renshaw (DD-499) said that English-American task unit consisting of aircraft carriers Sicily and Glory being supported by six destroyers had detected and scuppered a Soviet submarine after 28 hours of pursuing in the Yellow Sea. As for the veteran, that happened on July 29, 1951.

Some people say USS Hubbard destroyed a Soviet sub.
Hubbard where the author used to serve. Really, in the period of December 14-16, 1952 Soviet Navy lost Whiskey class submarine S-117 sailing from Sovetskaya Gavan to the port of Kholmsk. Detailed description of all circumstances of lost SchukaS-117 headed for Tatarskiy Strait to attend a tactical drill could show up in the conflict zone is untenable.

The submarine had been prepared for the scheduled torpedo firing drill but by no means for conducting warfare, since the latter implies not only completion of combat training course but at least loading of wartime ammo reserve. Much less could S-117 lay on the seabed due to navigation error; in this case the sub must have set the opposite course and sail about 500 miles without attempts to define her location. Finally, if the crew wanted to run off to Japan, there would be no point to sail to the Yellow Sea.

In mid-50's there was a next peak of political standoff between the two systems: anti-Soviet protests in Hungary and Poland, Suez crisis of 1956, Syrian events of 1957… As is known, US military leaders developed several scenarios of aggression against the Soviet Union much earlier, in 1946--military tension already heated by news of Egyptian navy's warships bought from the USSR. By the early 1956 Egypt was about to receive two Project 30-bis destroyers Smelyi and Skoryi, four Project 254 minesweepers, ten PT boats, two Project 613 and one XV-series submarines. In December 1955 the subs were transferred to Gdynia for training Egyptian crews. And no later than August 1956 there was a report [refuted later] in NATO comm links that 3 Soviet subs had left the Baltic Sea heading for the Atlantic. Afterwards, US Navy representatives in Paris and London informed allies about 4 Soviet submarines detected along with supply vessel, and also about possible presence of a Soviet sub near Sardinia Island in the very heart of the Mediterranean; the sub was allegedly spotted by patrol aircraft. Naval commands of France and the UK were skeptical about fidelity of information given by the Americans, although could not ignore such data. Fear of Soviet submarines impelled Allies to dispatch their Fantoms

As a matter of fact, the only Soviet submarines appeared in the Mediterranean were two Polish-flagged Project 613 subs left Gdynia in October 1956. They were supposed to be handed over to Egypt, sailed up-top through Denmark straits and reached Gibraltar. However, upon receiving information that combat actions had been ceased the subs returned back to Poland. This time NATO observers noticed that event authentically.

Project 613 (Whiskey-class) submarine flying Polish flag. Photo from magazine Morza, Statki I Okrety, 1998, No. 2

In 1968 four submarines wrecked worldwide: Israeli Dakar (Jan 15), French Minerve (Jan 27), Soviet K-129 (March 8), and USS Scorpion (May 27). Accident with French sub sunken during naval drills off Toulon was the only shipwreck which did not generate wild guesses. The version that Dakar was scuppered by Soviet ASW ships in the area of joint naval exercise of Soviet 5th Squadron and Egyptian warships was disproved in 1999; the wrecked sub was found on the seabed between Cyprus and Crete with evident signs of technical breakdown. However, it is still suggested that Soviet submariners were involved in shipwreck of US nuclear sub Scorpion allegedly torpedoed in revenge for scuppering Soviet K-129 by USS Swordfish.

Not once I had a chance to discuss this matter with veterans of Northern Fleet 1st Submarine Flotilla, as well as with such competent submariners as Admiral of the Fleet G.M. Egorov and Admiral V.N. Ponikarovsky who are familiar with operational planning documents and submarine commanders' reports of that period. With one accord they reject the version of possible face-off between Soviet and American subs. It should be pointed out that the fact of torpedo use would have been plain not only for the crew and the fleet command but for a great many people involved in the sub maintenance and patrol records review. So, suggestion that hundreds of people privy to such secret and no longer tied by nondisclosure obligations have been keeping their mouths shut for 40 years looks absolutely unpersuasive. One can only regret that Russian government and the Navy command have not issued an official denial of this version so far. Such behavior implies a sort of secret agreement between Russia and the U.S. as for confidentiality of information related to wrecked K-129 and USS Scorpion. By the way, as it was said by US spokesman at 6th plenary session of U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs (USRJC POW/MIAs) held in 1993, there were no US submarines within a radius of 300 miles when K-129 laid on the seabed. Nevertheless, CIA's Operation Jennifer intended to salvage K-129 in 1974 is still partially classified continuing to generate various rumors.

In his "Red Star Rogue" Kenneth Sewell proposes incredible version of K-129 wreck. K-129K-129 was performing anything but standard patrol; she was supposed to pretend a Chinese Project 629 sub and deliver nuclear missile strike upon the main US naval base in the Pacific. Such attack would definitely unleash a war between China and the U.S. How could the Americans be convinced of Chinese origin of the strike? It would be judged by the surface launch about 400 miles away from the target; that was typical for Chinese Project 629 subs. By that time K-129 had undergone modernization under Project 629A and was capable to perform submerged launches on distance up to 1,400 km. Besides, according to US intelligence, nuclear warheads of Soviet missiles R-21 were armed with plutonium derived from Chinese uranium ore.

It is extremely hard to imagine that presence of Chinese plutonium in the warhead and surface launch in close proximity to the target could be a persuasive cover story for such tremendous provocation. Not to speak about the quite an array of signs indicative of pre-combat mobilization measures; those signs are well known for all intelligence officers, so it's impossible to prepare for hostility secretly. We should keep in mind another fact. In 1968 the U.S. had several intelligence satellites at disposal; one of them detected K-129 sailing off. In his letter to me, Kenneth Sewell underlined that he had been consulted by top-level officials from US intelligence who wished to remain anonymous; they shared important off-the-record classified information with him… What a weighty argument!

For all that, the most known spoof is invasion of Soviet submarines into Swedish territorial waters. Submarine S-363 took the ground in October 1981 near main Swedish naval base Karlskruna due to navigational error. That event became a catalyst for hysteria and diplomatic scandals lasted for over 25 years.

S-363 at gunpoint of Swedish commandos.

According to statements of Western military experts, Soviet submarines were firstly detected in Swedish territorial waters as early as 50's; since mid--38 appeared near Swedish sea border on October 10 was immediately interpreted as an attempt to contact the jammed up compatriots. Next day bottom-based magnetic intrusion detectors located unidentified submarine near Harshfjarden and detonated a 600-kg mine. On October 12 an explosion thundered again, near Horse Bay this time…

sounds similar to submarine noise were made by sea otters…

Swedish ASW helicopter searches Soviet submarine near Karlskruna naval base. At least five official boards tried to find out the true inwardness of abovementioned violations of Swedish territorial waters. The first board was headed by ambitious rightist Carl Bildt in 1982, the last one was conducted by reputed diplomat Rolf Ekeus in 2001. In the course of inquiry the number of proven incidents with unidentified submarines had been gradually decreasing. In the reign of Americanist Carl Bildt who had shifted Prime Minister Olof Palme, there were 6,367 references mentioned in official reports about submarines and raiders detected since 1981 till 1994, apart from tracks on the sea bottom made by mysterious caterpillar-based submersibles. Summary of last commission contained only 10 proved cases of violation of Swedish sea border by unknown underwater objects. Only strange bottom tracks and several tape records of obscure noises remained as evidentiary material. As for record of 1982, a special board of Swedish defense research institute reported on May 19, 2008 that the "trouble-maker" appeared to be Swedish training sailer Amalia; skipper affirmed that the ship was really sailing at the search zone with newsmen on board wishing to see ASW operation with own eyes.

Sirena, Protei, Triton and various caterpillar-based submersibles designed for search of sunken objects. The admiral made no references to some facts; sea endurance of the most advanced vehicles does not exceed 6 hours, and caterpillar-based submersibles are controlled by a special surface ship. Instead, the author mentions opinion of retired Soviet naval officers, for example, a ship's doctor; and obscurely comments Soviet doctrine of early 50's, revealing its aggressive background and insolent attitude towards Sweden's neutralism.

Such reasoning full of technical discrepancies, fictional inductive inferences, and agiotage around unchecked or unproved things seems irrelevant to current political environment. However, as it seen from examples given above, mythology of cold war still remains an effective ideological tool and popular method of public conscience impact. ... tm?print=Y
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:21 am

The John Walker Spy Ring and The U.S. Navy’s Biggest Betrayal

By: John Prados

USNI News | September 2, 2014 1:28 PM

Notorious spy John Walker died on Aug. 28, 2014. The following is a story outlining Walker’s spy ring from the June 2010 issue of U.S. Naval Institute’s Naval History Magazine with the original title: The Navy’s Biggest Betrayal.

Twenty-five years ago the FBI finally shut off the biggest espionage leak in U.S. Navy history when it arrested former senior warrant officer John A. Walker.

To hear the United States’ most notorious naval spy tell it, were it not for his ex-wife, Barbara – the weak link his Soviet handlers had warned him about – his espionage might have continued. As it was, however, John Walker’s ferreting went on far too long. A few more years and, had he been employed in a conventional job, he could have retired on a pension. Indeed, he already enjoyed a U.S. Navy pension after retiring in 1976 as a senior warrant officer.

The Navy, in which John Walker served for 20 years, was enormously damaged by his espionage. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger concluded that the Soviet Union made significant gains in naval warfare that were attributable to Walker’s spying. His espionage provided Moscow “access to weapons and sensor data and naval tactics, terrorist threats, and surface, submarine, and airborne training, readiness and tactics,” according to Weinberger. A quarter-century after John Walker’s arrest, it is illuminating to revisit the story of his naval spy ring, both for what it reveals about espionage versus security and for how it highlights the ambitions and frailties at the heart of spying.

Building a Naval Career
John Anthony Walker Jr. was born in 1937, the middle son of a Warner Brothers film marketer and an Italian-American mother. Nicknamed “Smilin’ Jack,” he attended Catholic school and became an altar boy; however, his childhood was traumatic. His father descended into a hell of alcoholism and lost his job. Bankrupt, the family moved near the boy’s grandparents in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The entrepreneurial John Jr. secured a paper route, sold home products door to door, and worked as a movie usher, and on his 16th birthday bought a car with his savings.

In late 1955 Walker joined the Navy as a radioman and served on board a destroyer escort before joining the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal (CV-59). While on shore leave in Boston during the winter of 1957, he met Barbara Crowley. They married soon afterward, and children followed, three daughters by 1960. After qualifying at submarine school, Walker was assigned to the Razorback (SS-394) for a Pacific deployment. While serving in her, Walker, then a petty officer, received his top secret cryptographic clearance and passed the Personnel Reliability Program, a psychological evaluation to ensure that only the most reliable personnel have access to nuclear weapons.

His submarine participated in surveillance missions off the Soviet port of Vladivostok and in the flotilla observing the July 1962 Starfish Prime high-altitude nuclear test. Walker’s efficiency reports were uniformly excellent, and he was assigned to the Blue Crew of the Polaris ballistic missile submarine Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619), then under construction at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. On board the boat, Walker impressed the executive officer enough that when he was named to command the Gold Crew of the Simon Bolivar (SSBN-641), he recruited the petty officer to lead his radio room. Walker first qualified on maintenance of cryptographic equipment in early 1963. Along the way, he passed his high school general education degree exams as well as Navy promotion tests, rising through grades to chief petty officer and warrant officer. These were the makings of a fine enlisted career. Ten years in, John Walker had served with some distinction on board half a dozen vessels, was a plank owner on a pair of “boomers,” had attained warrant officer rank, and had run the radio shop of a nuclear missile submarine.

Life, however, grated on Smilin’ Jack. Walker disliked the impersonal nature of his big ships, and his membership in the tight-knit crews of smaller vessels was long behind him. The lengthy underwater patrols in the ballistic missile subs, during which there were just a handful of brief communications with home, tried him.

Those cruises were also hard on his family, which by now included a son, Michael Lance. Meeting the kids all over again after a patrol was difficult for everyone, and according to Walker, he discovered Barbara philandering with family members, ignoring the household, and – shades of his father – drinking more and more. Walker seems to have despised the Navy for encouraging alcoholism among Sailors and their families. He invested his savings in land outside Charleston, South Carolina, planning to build a car park to give his wife a constructive outlet. He later opened a bar on the property instead, but the marginal venture left Warrant Officer Walker strapped for cash. Casting about for some means of righting his financial boat, he drove a cab and shuttled rental cars among cities, but it was not enough.

A Second Career
Espionage became Walker’s way out, though in his telling political disaffection also played a role. He suspected John F. Kennedy’s assassination had been engineered by government and corporate leaders intent on preventing the President from toning down the Cold War. In his memoir, Walker recounted his intellectual evolution from 1950s John Bircher to Cold War denier. He said he began to realize the Soviets were not the aggressive adversary Americans feared. “The farce of the cold war and the absurd war machine it spawned,” he commented, “was an ever-growing pathetic joke to me.”

One bracing fall day in October 1967 Chief Warrant Officer Walker, then assigned as a watch officer at Atlantic Fleet Submarine Force headquarters in Norfolk, decided to correct the military balance – and balance his checkbook – by leaking top secret information to Moscow. Taking the first step, he photocopied a document at headquarters and slipped the copy in his pocket. The next day he hopped into his red 1964 MG sports car, drove to Washington, walked into the Soviet Embassy, and asked to see security personnel.

Yakov Lukasevics, an internal security specialist at the embassy, had no idea what to do with the American who came bearing documents and said he wanted to spy. The papers, however, needed to be evaluated, and so he telephoned the KGB rezident , or station chief, Boris A. Solomatin. KGB rezidenturas (stations) were wary of walk-ins, persons who spontaneously offered their services. The Soviets even used the term “well-wishers” to denote such persons. And the idea of an American striding right into the Soviet Embassy in Washington, which was under constant FBI surveillance, immediately suggested a trap.

“I have an interesting man here who walked in off the street,” Lukasevics told Solomatin. “Someone must come down who speaks better English.”

Another KGB man presently spoke to Walker, who identified himself and said he wanted to earn money and “make arrangements for cooperation.” The KGB officer then took the documents upstairs to Solomatin. As it happened, the 43-year old rezident was a naval buff, having grown up in the Black Sea port of Odessa. Solomatin recognized that some of Walker’s documents concerned U.S. submarines, vessels that particularly plagued the Soviet Fleet. Of greater importance, the National Security Agency (NSA) document Walker had purloined before leaving work listed the following month’s settings for the American KL-47 encryption machine. The Soviets had already received some NSA papers from a different spy, and after comparing markings and format realized Walker’s settings document, called a key list, was genuine.

On the spot Solomatin decided to take a chance. For a KGB station chief personally to meet a prospective agent was unprecedented, but Solomatin spent the next two hours talking privately with Walker. The American favorably impressed him by saying nothing about love for communism, which most phonies emphasized. This was strictly business. Walker received a few thousand dollars cash as a down payment and was smuggled off the embassy compound in a car. Thus began the Navy’s most damaging spy case.

Solomatin, who had not previously paid special attention to the U.S. Navy, now boned up on the subject.

He kept a very tight rein on the Walker operation, assigning Oleg Kalugin, his deputy for political intelligence (Line PR), as the American’s manager and Yuri Linkov, a naval spy, as his case officer. Kalugin spent weeks driving around the Washington area to identify and carefully record spots for “dead drops,” places Walker would deposit packages of intelligence and pick up cash and instructions. During a meeting outside a northern Virginia department store within a month of Walker’s embassy visit, the warrant officer handed over a bigger pile of Navy documents, and Linkov gave him the locations for his first few drops-offs plus more money. Those were the only face-to-face meetings the KGB had with John Walker for a decade. Some versions of the tale maintain that his espionage began in 1968; however, Solomatin, Kalugin, and Walker all agree that it began in October 1967 at the Soviet Embassy.

Only a handful of other KGB officials ever had anything to do with Walker. A stovepipe fed his material to the deputy chief of the First Directorate, the KGB’s foreign intelligence unit, and just a couple of assistants. Awarded the Order of the Red Banner for Walker’s recruitment, Solomatin was promoted to deputy chief of intelligence. In 1968, when the KGB created the Sixteenth Directorate, its counterpart to NSA, the Walker case passed from Line PR to the new agency, but the tight security surrounding it was preserved.

Whether the KGB had an immediate use for Walker’s KL-47 key list is still not clear. In early January 1968, however, the spy delivered to the Soviets a KW-7 encryption machine key list that would quickly prove useful. Later that month, North Korea captured the spy ship USS Pueblo (AGER-2) in international waters and with it a KW-7 device along with manuals and other documents. According to historian Mitchell B. Lerner, a leading authority on the affair, within two days of seizing the Pueblo , North Korea dispatched an aircraft to Moscow containing almost 800 pounds of cargo, presumably from the spy ship. The KGB quickly dispatched a team of intelligence experts to the port of Wonsan, North Korea, where the vessel had been taken. U.S. intelligence detected transmission of an enormous fax to Moscow, presumably the texts of manuals for cryptographic equipment on board the Pueblo .

Thereafter, Moscow had continued access to American naval communications until the U.S. system was entirely changed.

Life As a Spy
John Walker’s trickle of intelligence meanwhile became a flood. According to Walker’s account, he mostly supplied the Soviets with old key lists – much less zealously guarded – and the KGB never pressed him for current or future ones. In fact, the Soviets advised Walker to avoid future material as well as maintenance manuals. Also, their plan for clandestine drops provided for only two per year, and he claimed that the KGB never demanded more frequent exchanges, which means their take of current/future material had to be limited to a couple of months annually.

Walker also maintained that much of what he gave the Soviets concerned such obsolescent systems as the World War II – vintage KL-47, which featured a seven-rotor encryption machine similar to the German Enigma, and the KW-37, an early online, or automated, encryption system. As for the later-generation KW-7 system, Walker said he only provided the Soviets with its key lists for random future dates. Probably few commentators accept his version of what he handed over. If his claim that the KGB showed no desire for current or future keys is accurate, it puts an interesting light on Soviet gains from his espionage.

Walker nevertheless provided a huge array of other secret Navy and U.S. documents to America’s Cold War adversary. These included operational orders, war plans, technical manuals, and intelligence digests. The KGB devised and furnished its spy with an electronic device that could read the KL-47’s rotor wiring and gave him a miniature Minox camera. At Norfolk, he used his status as an armed forces courier to smuggle documents from headquarters to his bachelor officer quarters (BOQ) room, where he photographed them. There was such a stream of papers he had to be selective. Walker estimated that photographing just 20 of the hundreds of messages that crossed his desk during a watch would have required more than 100 rolls of film over six months, yet initially everything he left at a dead drop needed to fit inside a single soda can.

Later, while on training duty at San Diego, Walker had less access to top secret documents and had to rely on a classified library. Smuggling out material meant getting it past multiple checkpoints staffed by Marine guards. He also forged the papers required to show renewal of his security clearance. This spy enjoyed amazingly good fortune.

But John Walker’s luck ran out with his family. He sometimes spent nights at the BOQ instead of the family’s home. Barbara Walker had suspected her husband of sexual adventures – true, as it happened – and looked through his things. Family financial problems that had seemed insuperable were suddenly solved. Walker pointed to his moonlighting as the source of his money, but Barbara remained unconvinced. And then, within a year of her husband becoming a spy, she found a grocery bag in which Walker had secreted a pile of classified documents. Confronted with the discovery, he admitted to his espionage and took Barbara along to one of his dead drops in a dubious attempt to involve her in his crime. From the beginning, the KGB had warned Walker never to reveal anything to his wife or other family members. Though Barbara did nothing immediately, the seeds of John Walker’s downfall were planted.

On the West Coast and while assigned to the combat stores ship Niagara Falls (AFS-3), the spy’s journeys to drop his gleanings to the KGB became much more onerous. One 1972 drop required a flight from Vietnam to the United States, a brief cover visit home, and then rejoining his ship in Hong Kong. When Walker returned to Norfolk to work at Amphibious Force Atlantic headquarters in the summer of 1974, the problems were ameliorated, but the transfer conflicted with his desire to remain afloat and away from Barbara.

The naval spy’s solution was to retire from the Navy. He believed that he could then work more effectively as a network manager, delivering to the Soviets information gathered by others. By the time he separated from the service, Walker had already begun dabbling in private investigating. Later, he took a job at Wackenhut and then opened his own firm. He also divorced Barbara, but not before again bringing her along to one of his drop sites.
Building the Ring

John Walker’s network began with an old Navy friend, Senior Chief Petty Officer Jerry Whitworth, also a radioman, who had left the service but re-enlisted in the fall of 1974. He then volunteered for a billet at Diego Garcia, a previous duty station. Whitworth was active by the summer of 1975, when Walker put in for retirement. The more experienced spy forwarded many packets of Whitworth’s intelligence to the KGB. Possibly the best resulted from his tour on board the Niagara Falls in the same post Walker once held. When the ship went into dry dock, Whitworth was reassigned to Naval Communications Center Alameda. There, however, he found that clandestinely photographing documents was harder. Walker bought a van, for which the Soviets reimbursed him, in which Whitworth could do his camerawork while it sat in a parking lot near work.

With Walker free to travel after his retirement and Whitworth delivering the goods, the spymaster offered the Soviets more frequent intelligence deliveries. Again the KGB specifically refused, although it invited Walker to a face-to-face meeting in Casablanca in the summer of 1977 during which his Soviet contact denounced his recruitment of a new agent. Walker agreed to annual clandestine meetings in Vienna and not to bring in any more agents. He later claimed that during one of the sidewalk encounters in the Austrian capital he was secreted away and debriefed by a group of men who included KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov. Others claim that Andropov personally oversaw Walker’s espionage, which was unlikely.

In late 1980, a visit to Alameda by a Naval Investigative Service (NIS) team to solve a rape case frightened Whitworth. He not only became skittish but also pecuniary, deliberately ruining a batch of his photographs in an attempt to get the KGB to pay twice. Whitworth carried off a foot-high stack of documents from his last post on board the Enterprise (CVN-65) with the intent to continue delivering his stream of classified information after leaving the Navy, which he did in October 1983. Among the materials the Soviets obtained from him were cable traffic plus photographs of, and some key lists for, the KW-7, KY-8, KG-14, KWR-37, and KL-47 cryptographic systems. Though older crypto setups predominated, the take included data on the newest U.S. secure phone system.
Aware of Whitworth’s increasing reluctance to spy and despite Walker’s promises to the KGB, in 1983 the spymaster solicited his son, Michael, a freshly minted yeoman on board the Nimitz (CVN-68) who worked in the ship’s administration office. (In 1979 he had attempted but failed to draw in his youngest daughter, Laura Walker Snyder, who was then in the Army but pregnant and planning to leave the service.) Michael copied more than 1,500 documents for the KGB, including material on weapon systems, nuclear weapons control, command procedures, hostile identification and stealth methods, and contingency target lists. He also included such ordinary items as copies of the Nimitz ship’s newspaper.

Owing money to the spymaster, Arthur L. Walker, John’s older brother who was a retired Navy lieutenant commander working for a defense contractor, played the game. He produced repair records on certain warships plus damage-control manuals for another. John Walker’s rationalizations aside, this “family of spies” approach to espionage was a security breach waiting to happen, since suspicion of any family member would likely result in questioning of others, and the master spy was perfectly aware that Barbara Walker harbored nothing but ill-will toward him.

End of Walker’s Espionage

A most troubling aspect of the Walker affair is how it could have gone on for 18 years without authorities uncovering the leak. There is no indication that counterintelligence was even aware of, much less moving to combat, the Walker network. Norfolk FBI spy catcher Robert W. Hunter claimed he knew that an “elusive master spy . . . was out there,” but no attention focused on Walker until he was given away.

John Walker’s operational security finally cracked in 1984, and fissures opened at every seam. That May Jerry Whitworth, afflicted with guilt or anxious to make a deal, opened an anonymous correspondence with the FBI in San Francisco using the name “RUS” and offering dark secrets. Whitworth, however, could not bring himself to follow through, and the FBI special agents involved were unable to track him down. In the end the RUS letters would be connected to John Walker, but only after the fact.

Then Barbara Walker denounced her ex-husband to the FBI. In November, after daughter Laura convinced her to speak to authorities, Barbara told the FBI field office in Boston that she had important information, and on 29 November a special agent from Hyannis interviewed her. The spy’s ex-wife told him of her growing suspicion of her husband as far back as the 1960s, his admission to spying, and her accompanying Walker to dead drops near Washington. She described actions in those deliveries that dovetailed with KGB techniques.

The agent, however, noted in his report that Barbara appeared to have been drinking when she greeted him at her door and that during the interview she drank a large glass of vodka. She was also evasive when asked why she had not reported the spying earlier. He surmised that her allegations could be the result of her alcohol abuse and ill feelings toward her ex-husband, graded her information as meriting no follow-up, and sent the report to Boston, where it was filed away.
A month later, an FBI supervisor making a routine quarterly check of inactive files noted the Barbara Walker report and forwarded it to the bureau’s Norfolk office because the alleged espionage centered there. Joseph R. Wolfinger, special agent in charge at Norfolk, obtained headquarters’ approval to open an investigation. On 25 February he assigned the case to Robert Hunter, who had brought the Boston report to his attention.

The pieces then quickly fell into place. Laura Walker Snyder was interviewed about her father’s attempt to recruit her and added details to her mother’s account, though both Laura and Barbara were recognized as having personal problems that would make them not fully credible witnesses. In early March, headquarters authorized a full field investigation, code-named Windflyer, involving its foreign counterintelligence unit. The Naval Investigative Service also came into play since Michael Walker, a suspect by then, was an active-duty Sailor. Laura Snyder telephoned her father at the behest of the FBI, which recorded the conversation in which he evinced interest in her rejoining the military or perhaps the CIA. The FBI tapped Walker’s phones, and the NIS interviewed hundreds of persons who had known him and obtained a confession from Michael on board the Nimitz .
The end for John Walker finally came on 20 May when the FBI arrested him after confiscating 127 classified documents from the Nimitz that he had left at a dead drop. A search of his home turned up plentiful evidence of the spy ring, including records of payments to “D” (Jerry Whitworth), who turned himself in to authorities on 3 June. Brother Arthur was also arrested.

In exchange for limits to his charges, John Walker made a deal to discuss his espionage in detail and plead guilty, and Michael also copped a plea. Arthur Walker was tried in August and found guilty. Whitworth went before a court in the spring of 1986. At his trial John Walker retaliated for the RUS letters, which would have betrayed him, by painting his friend’s participation in the starkest terms. Found guilty, Whitworth was fined $410,000 and given 365 years in prison. As for the Walkers, Arthur was sentenced to three life terms plus a $250,000 fine, John received a life term, and Michael 25 years. In February 2000 Michael Walker was released for good behavior. John and Arthur Walker, meanwhile, will be eligible for parole in 2015.

Assessing the Damage

Many observers believe the Walker spy ring created the most damaging security breach of the Cold War. Director of Naval Intelligence Rear Admiral William O. Studeman declared that no sentence a court could impose would atone for its “unprecedented damage and treachery.” Secretary of the Navy John H. Lehman tried to overturn John Walker’s plea agreement but was restrained by Secretary Weinberger. Oleg Kalugin, the KGB officer who had first managed Walker, wrote that his was “by far the most spectacular spy case I handled in the United States.”

Walker and his colleagues compromised a huge array of secrets. Jonathan Pollard, another naval spy apprehended during 1985, the Year of the Spy, gave Israel a greater quantity of documents (estimated at 1.2 million pages), but the Walker material, with its cryptographic secrets, has to be judged as the worse loss.

Soviet spy chief Boris Solomatin offered a more nuanced perspective when author Pete Earley interviewed him in Moscow nearly ten years after Walker’s arrest. Refusing to compare the Walker case with that of former CIA counterintelligence officer Aldrich Ames, another high-profile spy for the Soviet Union, he observed that agents must be judged on the content of the information they deliver. Ames provided the names of Russians spying for the United States and thus affected the KGB-CIA espionage war. Ames’ information “would have been used to identify traitors,” he said. “That is a one-time event. But Walker’s information not only provided us with ongoing intelligence, but helped us over time to understand and study how your military actually thinks.” John Walker had been the Soviets’ key source on Navy submarine missile forces, which Solomatin viewed as the main component of the American nuclear triad. The KGB spymaster also noted that Walker helped both superpowers avoid nuclear war by enabling Moscow to appreciate true U.S. intentions – a goal the American articulated as one of his aims.

Among the still-murky aspects of the Walker affair is the question of what impact his intelligence had on the Vietnam War. While on board the Niagara Falls , Walker served in the combat theater, so he is believed to have compromised the Navy’s theater cipher settings. Oleg Kalugin maintained that the North Vietnamese benefited from the Walker intelligence. Observers claimed Moscow gave Hanoi data enabling North Vietnam to anticipate B-52 strikes and naval air operations. Solomatin, however, disputed that.

As deputy chief of the KGB’s First Directorate, Solomatin himself helped decide what intelligence went to Hanoi, as well as the Soviet Union’s other allies. He asserted that little was shared and it was given in the most general terms, precisely to avoid exposing the KGB’s prize agent. The logic is inescapable. A CIA operation would have been run the same way.

Even without the B-52 charge, the John Walker spy ring was enormously damaging to United States security. In the history of Cold War espionage only a handful of spies operated as long as Walker (British intelligence official Kim Philby and FBI agent Robert Hanssen are the obvious comparisons), and none had comparable access to military secrets.

No spy ring ever functioned as long as Walker’s without the other side becoming aware of a leak. While some specific secrets compromised during the Cold War, such as information about the atomic bomb, were intrinsically more valuable than Walker’s, no agent supplied such consistently high-grade intelligence over an equivalent time frame. As Boris Solomatin noted: “You Americans like to call him the ‘ spy of the decade.’ Perhaps you are right.”


Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB (Basic Books, 1999).

John Barron, Breaking the Ring: The Bizarre Case of the Walker Family Spy Ring (Houghton-Mifflin Company, 1987).

Howard Blum, I Pledge Allegience . . . The True Story of the Walkers: An American Spy Family (Simon & Schuster, 1987).

Peter Earley, Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring (Bantam, 1988).

Peter Earley, “Boris Solomatin Interview,” Crime Library on

Robert W. Hunter and Lynn Dean Hunter, Spy Hunter: Inside the FBI Investigation of the Walker
Espionage Case (Naval Institute Press, 1999).

Oleg Kalugin, The First Directorate (St. Martin’s Press, 1994).

Mitchell B. Lerner, The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy (University Press of Kansas, 2002).

Ronald J. Olive, Capturing Jonathan Pollard: How One of the Most Notorious Spies in American History Was Brought to Justice (Naval Institute Press, 2006).

John Prados, The Soviet Estimate: U.S. Intelligence Analysis and Soviet Strategic Forces (Princeton University Press, 1986).

Frank J. Rafalko, ed. A Counterintelligence Reader: vol. 3, Post World War II to the Closing of the 20th Century (National Counterintelligence Center, 2004).

John A. Walker Jr., My Life as a Spy: One of America’s Most Notorious Spies Finally Tells His Story (Prometheus Books, 2008).

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:25 am

Rogue Crew Theory:

"One theory, set out in American scientist John Craven’s 2001 book The Silent War, was that the submarine had been trying to launch a nuclear strike before the missile exploded and sent it to the bottom of the ocean.

Craven, an expert on naval technology, discovered that one of the nuclear torpedoes was missing. On that he built a theory involving a rogue crew trying to start World War III."

Did mystery Russian sub K-129 set out to start World War III? | 2017-03-07T13:00:00.000Z

IT was a cat-and-mouse game beneath the ocean waves. The Soviet submarine K-129 was on a secret mission in the Pacific, trying avoid America’s network of underwater listening posts. But something went wrong and when the sub failed to check in with Soviet authorities as ordered, the Soviets launched a search.

Noticing unusual activity in the area the US checked data from its listening posts (SOSUS or sound surveillance system) and noticed something had registered on their equipment on March 8, 1968. The conclusion was that a Russian sub must have sunk due to some unknown accident.

The sinking, 39 years ago today, would inspire one of the most unusual covert operations ever run by the CIA and created a lingering mystery about what the Russian sub was up to.

The K-129 was a diesel-electric Project 629 submarine, capable of carrying ballistic missiles, based at Kamchatka with the Soviet Pacific Fleet.

Commanded by Vladimir Ivanovich Kobzar, a captain first rank with an unblemished record, the sub had conducted two successful 70-day patrols in the north Pacific in 1967 before leaving on a new mission in February 1968, which it was scheduled to end in May.

media_cameraAn aerial starboard bow view of a Soviet Golf II class K-129 ballistic missile submarine.

After conducting dive tests and reporting that all was well, the K-129 missed an expected contact when it crossed the 180th meridian, the dividing line marking its patrol area. Nothing more was heard by the Russian base.

This was the height of the Cold War and the sub was operating close to Hawaii, making it important to maintain radio silence.

But what the Americans heard on their underwater monitoring network SOSUS was a “bang” consistent with the noise of a submarine exploding, or perhaps, imploding.

While the wreckage of the K-129 eluded the Soviet searchers, who eventually gave up their mission and listed the submarine as missing at sea, the US was able to use the SOSUS readings to determine where the Soviet vessel might be resting.

For months the submarine USS Halibut scanned the ocean floor using state-of-the-art sonar, eventually finding the wreckage at a depth of 4900m about 2500km northwest of Hawaii in August 1968.

Halibut surveyed the wreckage, taking thousands of photos, which showed how much of the vessel was still intact. Navy intelligence knew the sub might still contain codebooks, clues about Soviet sub technology and possibly even nuclear missiles.

The CIA were especially keen to get their hands on the codebooks and began formulating a plan to raise the sub in a huge undertaking which was codenamed Project Azorian. In 1972 they approached reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes to ask if he could help with both the equipment needed to raise the sub and a cover story to explain what they were doing.

A massive ship was built, named the Hughes Glomar Explorer, at the direction of Hughes for his Global Marine Development Inc. The cover story he provided was that the ship was being developed to mine manganese nodules from the ocean floor. It seemed plausible enough.

The Glomar Explorer was essentially a large platform from which a claw-like capture vehicle could be launched through a central pool with doors on the bottom that could open. The pool was large enough to contain the sub once it was brought from the ocean floor.

media_cameraHoward Hughes’ Hughes Glomar Explorer, the ship that was used to retrieve the sunken Soviet nuclear-armed submarine as part of Project Azorian in 1974.

A cover was made over the ship to conceal its activities. But in June 1974 just before the Glomar Explorer sailed, thieves broke into one of Hughes’ offices and stole documents linking him to the CIA. Soon rumours of the operation began to leak out. The operation proceeded as planned but when the K-129 was being raised it broke apart and part of the sub was lost. Attempts to raise the lost portion had to be cancelled as news broke of the covert operation, some newspapers claiming that it was a waste of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.

The CIA issued a statement that they could “neither confirm nor deny” the stories about the recovery effort.

In the end the CIA did not get their code books, but instead recovered two nuclear torpedoes and the bodies of six Soviet crewmen, who were buried at sea. But rumours that there was more to the story refused to go away.

One theory, set out in American scientist John Craven’s 2001 book The Silent War, was that the submarine had been trying to launch a nuclear strike before the missile exploded and sent it to the bottom of the ocean.

Craven, an expert on naval technology, discovered that one of the nuclear torpedoes was missing. On that he built a theory involving a rogue crew trying to start World War III.

News Limited Copyright © 2017 ... 176691ad3b

Russia unveils the mystery of sunken K-129 submarine


Russian authorities got from U.S. a videotape and other archival materials on the fate of the Soviet K-129 submarine.

At a ceremony in the Far Eastern port of Vladivostok, U.S. officials gave Russia's Pacific Fleet archive and museum copies of formerly classified documents, including two ship logs related to the K-129 incident and to U.S. efforts to salvage the sub from the sea floor in the central Pacific.

Also turned over was a videotape of a secret burial-at-sea for six Soviet sailors whose bodies were recovered when the United States tried to salvage the sub.

"We have a debt to servicemen. If I were to go missing, I would want someone to work - like what I am doing - to communicate to my mother and father what exactly happened with me," U.S. Lt. Col. Michael O'Hara said in comments shown on Russia's NTV television.

O'Hara works with the US-Russian Joint Commission on POW/MIAs, a body created 15 years ago to help account for all U.S. military personnel who went missing during the Cold War.

Roger Schumacher, the Washington-based deputy director supporting the Joint Commission, said much of the material donated Monday had been handed over previously to Russian defense, government or intelligence experts.

Other items related to the K-129 sinking that were given over earlier included the sub's bell and a photography camera apparently used by a sailor on board the ship, he said. U.S. underwater photographs of the sunken sub have not been given to the Russians, despite repeated requests.

It was unclear whether Monday's ceremony would help assuage the persistent suspicions that Russian naval officials and relatives have had about the fate of the K-129 - a Golf-II class, nuclear-missile armed, diesel-electric submarine that had 98 seamen on board when it sank in 16,000 feet (4,880 meters) of water northwest of the Hawaiian island of Oahu on March 11, 1968.

Russian officials long have suspected that the K-129 was struck by an American submarine, the USS Swordfish. But the U.S. Navy says the vessel suffered a catastrophic internal explosion.

Retired Capt. 1st Rank Pavel Dementiev said the sub's captain, Vladimir Kobzar, and his commanding officer, Rear Admiral Viktor A. Dygalo, were both experienced and talented naval officers.

"There is just one version - that (K-129) collided with an American submarine," he said in televised comments.

Russian doubts about the U.S. explanation of the K-129's fate re-emerged in 2000 with the sinking of the nuclear submarine Kursk. Many military officials suspected that the Kursk collided with an American or British submarine. U.S. and British officials denied the allegations, but the U.S. officials acknowledged that two U.S. submarines were close enough to record the sound of enormous explosions aboard the Kursk.

Russian suspicions about the Swordfish were based on records indicating it underwent nighttime repair of a bent periscope at Yokosuka, Japan, on March 17 - six days after the K-129 sank - and Moscow has requested the Swordfish's deck logs, to trace its movements. The Pentagon has explained the Swordfish repairs in Japan by saying the ship had collided with an ice pack and was 2,000 miles (3,218 kilometers) away from the Soviet sub when it sank.

Russian officials also say that the U.S. salvage operations in 1968 and 1974 removed highly sensitive equipment _ possibly including nuclear warheads. During the 1974 efforts, the CIA-financed Glomar Explorer salvage ship tried raising the sub, but it broke apart and only some sections were recovered.

Schumacher said excerpts from the deck logs of the Swordfish and the USS Halibut, a nuclear submarine that was in the area at the time of the sinking, were turned over to Russian officials in 1995.

U.S. officials had earlier provided the burial-at-sea videotape for the six crew members whose remains were recovered during the 1974 salvage efforts. The videotape, parts of which were broadcast by Russian TV Monday, had reportedly been shown to relatives of crew members at an earlier date.

Also turned over to Russian officials Monday was a list of nine U.S. reconnaissance aircraft lost and believed shot down by Soviet forces in and near the Russian Far East between 1951 and 1956, Schumacher said. U.S. officials are hoping the Russians will help provide details as to the whereabouts of the crashes and the fates of the 77 crew members.

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:06 pm

"New eyewitness account

Red November: Inside the Secret US – Soviet Submarine War, contained an inside account of the Project Azorian by Joe Houston. He was the senior engineer who made the leading-edge camera systems that were used by the Glomar Explorer squad to take images of K-129 on the ocean floor.".......

Project Azoria – recovery of the sunken Soviet submarine K-129

Ian Harvey

The Vintage News

Project Azorian, also known as Jennifer by the press after its own Top Security Compartment, was the code name for a project of the U.S Central Intelligence Agency, also recognized as the CIA. This project was for the 1974 recovery of the sunken Soviet submarine K-129 from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean floor.

They used the ship Hughes Glomar Explorer, which was built for this mission. The sinking in 1968 of K-129 happened around 1,560 nautical miles northwest of Hawaii. Project Azorian was one of the most challenging, pricey, and secretive intelligence operations of the Cold War, at the cost of around $800 million, or $3.8 billion in 2016 money.

USS Halibut SSGN-587

In addition to designing the lifting cradle and the recovery ship, the U.S. used concepts that were developed by Global Marine. Thus they were able to utilize precision stability equipment that would keep the ship almost stationary above the target. This was to be done while lowering nearly three miles of pipe. They worked with scientists to develop methods to preserve paper that had been underwater for years, with the hope of being able to read and recover the submarine’s code books. One of the reasons this project was undertaken was due to speculation that a functional nuclear missile, as well as cyptological documents, were at the location.

After the Soviet Union had completed their unsuccessful search for the K-129, the US started their own search. They used sonic data from four AFTAC sites, and the Adak SOSUS array was able to locate the wreck of the submarine inside five nautical miles.

The USS Halibut submarine used the Fish, a sonar that was made to be able to withstand extreme depths to observe seafloor objects. The recovery operations started in international waters around six years later with the alleged commercial purpose to mine the sea floor for manganese nodules. This was done by Howard Hughes and the Hughes Glomar Explorer. While the ship was trying to recover part of the ship K-129, a mechanical failure occurred with the grapple which caused two-thirds of the recovered section to break off.

The Wreck of the K-129

Golf II class ballistic missile submarine K-129, hull number 722

During April of 1968, Soviet Pacific Fleet were deployed to the North Pacific Ocean and engaged in some’ unusual’ search operations. The activity was assessed by the Office of Naval Intelligence, also known as ONI. This was a possible reaction to the loss of a Soviet submarine. The Soviet surface ship searches were centered on locations known to be Soviet Gold II Class SSB strategic ballistic missile diesel submarine routes. These submarines transferred three nuclear missiles with an extended sail/conning tower and were regularly deployed inside missile range of the U.S west coast.’

The American SOSUS (Sea Spider) hydrophone network located in the northern Pacific was asked to review the recordings in the hope of detecting an explosion or implosion connected to such a loss. The Naval Facility Point Sur , located south of Monterey, California, was able to isolate a sonic signature on a low-frequency array (LOFAR) that recorded an implosion event that happened on March 8th, 1968.

Using NavFAc Point Sur’s time and date of the occurrence, NavFac Adak and the U.S West Coast NAVFAC had also been able to isolate the sonic signature. With five SOSUS lines, Naval Intelligence was able to locate the site of the K-129 wreckage to the area of 40.1° N latitude and 179.9° E longitude.

After searching for weeks, the Soviets were not able to locate their sunken ship. Gradually, the Soviet Pacific Fleet operation returned to a normal level. During the month of July in the year of 1968, the U.S Navy started “Operation Sand Dollar”. They deployed the USS Halibut from Pearl Harbor to the site of the wreckage. The objective for Sand Dollar was to locate and photograph the K-129. During 1965, Halibut was configured to use deep submergence search equipment.

The U.S. inventory submarine at the time was the only one specially-equipped this way. SOCUS provided a search locus that was 1,200 square miles, and the wreck was around 3 miles deep. Halibut was able to locate the wreck after three weeks of visual search that used robotic remote controlled cameras.

Halibut is documented to have spent the next several weeks getting 20,000 close-up photos to record every aspect of the K-129 wreck. This was a feat for Halibut; they received a special classified Presidential Unit Citation that was signed by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. Another wreck from 1968 was of a U.S. nuclear-powered submarine known as Scorpion. This was in the Atlantic, and it took five months to find.

A sister ship of the K-129, Golf II class

In 1970, based on a photo, Defense Secretary Melvin Laird and Henry Kissinger, then the National Security Adviser, had proposed a secret plan. This was to recover the wreckage so that the U.S. could study Soviet nuclear missile technology, and also to possibly recover the cryptographic materials. The proposal had been accepted by President Richard Nixon, and the CIA was assigned to attempt the recovery. They would then build the Glomar Explorer, and employ its cover story.

Global Marine Development Inc. was the development and research arm of Global Marine Inc, a pioneer in deep water and offshore drilling operations. This company was contracted to design, create, and operate Hughes Glomar Explorer in order to secretly salvage the sunken Soviet submarine from the floor of the ocean. The ship was made at the Sun Shipbuilding yard close to Philadelphia.

The billionaire businessman Howard Hughes (whose companies at the time were contractors on several classified U.S. military weapons, satellites, and aircraft contracts) had agreed to lend his name to the project to help the cover story that the ship was mining manganese nodules from the ocean floor. Hughes and his companies had no kind of involvement with the project. The K-129 wreckage was photographed at a depth of over 16,000 feet. At this depth, the salvage operation would be beyond the capability of any ship salvage operation that has ever been attempted. On November 1, 1972, work started on the 63,000 short ton, 619 foot long Hughes Glomar Explorer, also referred to as HGE.


The Hughes Glomar Explorer made use of a large mechanical claw. Lockheed titled the equipment “Capture Vehicle”, but it was affectionately called Clementine. The capture vehicle was made to be lowered to the floor of the ocean.

It would grasp around the targeted section of the submarine and then would lift that section into the ship’s hold. One of the requirements for this technology was to keep the floating base stable and locked in position over a fixed point 16,000 feet below the surface of the ocean.

The capture vehicle was lowered and raised on a pip string similar to those that were used on oil drilling rigs. Section by section, steel pipes that measured 60 feet long were strung together to lower the claw through a hole in the middle of the ship. This design was made by Western Gear Corporation of Everett, Washington. With a successful capture by the claw, the lift would reverse the process while 60-foot sections were drawn up and removed all at one time. The salvaged “Target Object” would then be drawn into a moon pool, and the doors would then be closed to form a floor for the salvaged section. This would allow for the entire salvage process to happen underwater, away from the view of spy satellites, aircraft, and other ships.

Setting sail 3,008 nautical miles away from Long Beach, California on the date of June 20th, 1974, Hughes Glomar Explorer arrived at the recovery site on July 4th. They conducted a salvage operation for over a month. Throughout this period, at least two Soviet Navy ships arrived at the Glomar Explorer’s work site. The ocean tug SB-10 and the Soviet Missile Range Instrumentation Ship Chazma paid them a visit.

It was discovered after 1991 that the Soviets were told about the operations and were aware that the CIA was planning some form of a salvage operation, although the military command did not believe it was possible for them to perform the task and disregarded other intelligence warnings. Later down the road, Soviet Ambassador Donrynin started sending urgent messages warning that the operation was about to happen. The Soviet military engineering specialists reevaluated their position and alleged that it was possible to recover the K-19 ships inside the area where it was ordered to report any strange activity. The lack of knowledge as to exactly where the K-129 was located prevented them from stopping any salvage operations.

It was stated by U.S. Major General Roland Lajoie – and this was according to a briefing he had gotten from the CIA – that during the recovery operation Clementine had a catastrophic failure which caused two-thirds of the raised portion of the K-129 to sink right back into the ocean floor. Past employees from Hughes Global Marine and Lockheed, who had worked on the operation, stated that several of the claws that were intended for grabbing the submarine fractured. This happened possibly because they were made from maraging steel – this is a very strong steel, but it’s not very flexible compared to other types of steel.

The section that was recovered had two nuclear torpedoes, so Project Azorian wasn’t a complete failure. They also recovered the bodies of six crewmen, who were given memorial services with military honors. They buried them at sea inside a metal casket, due to radioactivity concerns.

Some other crew members have reported that code books and other items of interest to CIA employees on the ship were recovered. Also, images of inventory printouts suggest that different submarine components like hatch covers, instruments, and sonar equipment were also recovered. The documents from White also state that the ship’s bell was recovered and later returned to the Soviet Union as part of a diplomatic effort. The CIA considers that project to be one of the best intelligence rebellions of the Cold War.

The whole salvage operation was taped by a CIA documentary film crew, but this film is still classified. A small portion of the film that showed the recovery and the burial at sea of the six bodies was given to the Russian Government in 1992.

The New York Times contains the story

Jack Anderson has been credited with breaking the story of the Hughes Glomar Explorer and garnering a nationwide audience. He rejected a plea from the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Colby, to contain the story.

Anderson stated that he released the story because Navy specialist have told us that the sunken sub had no real secrets and that the project was a waste of taxpayer money.

Glomar Explorer mothballed in Suisun Bay, California, during June 1993.

During February of 1975, investigative reporter and former New York Times writer Seymour Hersh planned to publish a story on Project Azorian. In 2005, Bill Kovach, the New York Times Washington bureau chief, stated that the government offered a convincing argument for delaying publication. Exposure during that time, while the project was still in progress, could have caused an international incident. The New York Times published its article in March of 1975. This was after the story appeared in the Los Angeles Times, and it included a five-paragraph explanation to several twists and turns in the path of the publication of the story. CIA director George H.W. Bush reported on many occasions to U.S. President Gerald Ford on media reports and use in the future of the ship. The CIA came to the conclusion that it was unclear what, if any, action was done by the Soviet Union after finding out about the story.

Freedom of Information Act request and the Glomar response

After stories became public about the CIA’s attempts to stop the publications about Project Azorian, a journalist, Harriet Ann Phillippi, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the CIA for any records about these suppression attempts.

The CIA had refused to either deny or confirm the existence of such documents.

1998 release of video

A video that showed the 1974 memorial service for the six Soviet seamen was forwarded from the U.S. to Russia during the early 1990s. Parts of the video were shown on television documentaries about Project Azorian. This included the 1998 Discovery Channel special called “A Matter of National Security”. It was based on Clyde W. Burleson’s book, The Jennifer Project. It was again aired on PBS Cold War submarine episode called NOVA in 1999.

2010 release of 1985 CIA article

During the month of February in 2010, the CIA released an article that was from the fall 1985 edition of the CIA internal journal called Studies in Intelligence. This was followed by an application from Matthew Aid at the National Security Archive to declassify the content under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

Exactly what the operation was able to salvage remained unclear. The report was written by a participant that was not identified in Project Azorian.

2010 release of President Ford cabinet meeting

Throughout the aftermath of the publication of The Project Jennifer story by Seymour Hersh, U.S. President Gerald Ford, Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger, Philip Buchen, John O. Marsh Jr., Lt.General Brent Scowcroft, Ambassador Donald Rumsfeld, and William Colby all discussed the leak and whether the Ford administration would respond to Hersh’s story. During a cabinet meeting on March 19th,1975 (the same date The New York Times published their story), Secretary of Defense Schlesinger had said that this operation was a major American achievement. The operation is a marvel of maintaining secrecy.

With the words “major American achievement” and “marvel” being used to describe Operation Matador, it’s clear that the Secretary of Defense pointed out that some form of success should be confirmed publicly. William Colby, the director of the CIA, stated that he thinks we should not put pressure on the Soviet Union for a response. The result of the meeting was to stonewall; this caused the Los Angeles Times to publish a story by Jack Nelson the next day that was four pages long and had a headline of, “Administration Won’t Talk About Sub Raised by the CIA”.

Conspiracy theory

Time magazine also had a court filing by Morton H. Halperin and Felice D. Cohen on behalf of the Military Audit Project that suggested a project goal of raising a Soviet submarine. This itself might have been a cover for another secret mission. They listed as possibilities for the actual purpose of a secret mission as tapping undersea communication cables, the installation of an underwater missile silo, and repair and installation of surveillance systems to monitor submarine and ship movements.

New eyewitness account

Red November: Inside the Secret US – Soviet Submarine War, contained an inside account of the Project Azorian by Joe Houston. He was the senior engineer who made the leading-edge camera systems that were used by the Glomar Explorer squad to take images of K-129 on the ocean floor. The team needed pictures that would offer precise measurements to create the grappling arm and other systems that were used to bring the sunken submarine up to the surface.

Houston was working for the mysterious Mr. P (John Parangosky) who actually worked for the CIA Deputy Director Carl E. Duckett – they were the two leaders of Project Azorian. Duckett later worked with Houston at a different company. It was said that the CIA might have recovered more from the K-129 wreckage than admitted to the public. Reed also detailed how the mini-sub technology that was used by the submarine Halibut to discover K-129 was also used for the later “Operation Ivy Bells” mission to wiretap the underwater Soviet communication cables.

The documentary film titled Azorian: The Raising of the K-129 was produced by Michael White and released in the year 2009. There were three principals who participated in the making of the Hughes Glomar Explorer heavy lifting system and the Lockheed capture vehicle (claw or CV). They gave on-camera interviews. These individuals were also on the ship during the operation and were intimately involved with the recovery mission. The individuals are Raymond Felfman (Lockheed Ocean Systems senior staff engineer), Charlie Johnson (Global Marine heavy lift engineer), and Sherman Wemore (Global Marine heavy lift operations manager).

These three and others were not on board during the recovery, but they were cleared on all aspects of the operation. It was confirmed that only 38 feet of the bow was eventually recovered. The intent had been to recover the forward two-thirds of K-129 that broke off from the rear section of the submarine and was selected to be the Target Object (TO). The capture vehicle was successfully able to lift the TO from the ocean floor. But while on the way up, a failure to part of the capture vehicle caused the loss of control at 100 feet, which included the loss of the sail of the TO.

In October 2010 a book based on the film titled Project Azorian: The CIA and the Raising of the K-129 by Michael White and Norman Polmar had been published. The book has extra documentary evidence about the effort to locate the submarine and the recovery operation. ... ine-k-129/
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:16 pm

Confirmed: The CIA's most famous ship headed for the scrapyard

Public Radio International

Listen to the story.

The Hughes Glomar Explorer was more than just a giant ship — it was a giant secret, possibly the biggest and strangest covert operation the CIA pulled off during the Cold War. But now, 40 years after its original mission, it’s finally headed to the scrapyard.

The ship, now called GSF Explorer, had been retrofitted for oil drilling and exploration since it left US Navy service in 1997. But with the price of oil falling worldwide, its owner Transocean has decided to scrap it, along with several other vessels.

The ship’s origin story began in March 1968, when a Soviet Golf II class ballistic missile nuclear submarine, the K-129, sank in the Pacific Ocean. This was at the height of a high-risk cat-and-mouse game between the USA and the USSR. After the Soviet Navy failed to pinpoint the location of the wreckage, the US Navy found it. So the CIA decided to raise it off the seabed. They called this mission “Project Azorian,” and its details have been an official secret for decades. It took three years for retired CIA employee David Sharp to get permission to publish in 2012 his account of the mission and his role.

Sharp was at the engineering meetings where they tried to come up with a way to do what was at the time considered impossible, to pull up a huge object from an ocean depth of nearly 17,000 feet, or three miles.

“I think given a better background in marine engineering, we likely would not have tried” what they did, Sharp says. Luckily, the CIA also brought in skilled contractors like the deepwater drilling experts Global Marine (whose truncated name “Glomar” adorns the vessel).

What they designed may never be seen again: The Hughes Glomar Explorer itself was massive — too wide to fit in the Panama Canal — and it was built to heave up and down on waves while its center held steady, lifting an enormous claw with the K-129 wreckage inside. Every piece of this hydraulic lifting apparatus was its own engineering nightmare, from the gymbals with bowling-ball-sized ball bearings, to the heave compensators and derrick that had to handle 14 million pounds of submarine, claw, and heavy pipe string. Lockheed engineers designed the “claw” itself, more accurately called a “capture vehicle,” and got it into the HGE via an elaborate submersible barge (echoes of which a few people detected during the 2013’s not-as-awesome Google Barge mystery).

Credit: Historic Naval Ships Association

It would be impossible for the US military to build such a huge and complicated ship, or to bring it out on the high seas, without getting the attention of the Soviets. Hence the true wonder of Project Azorian: its commercial cover story, one that puts the movie “Argo” to shame. From about 1970-74, the CIA managed to convince the world that billionaire inventor Howard Hughes had decided to invest millions to mine “manganese nodules,” balls of heavy metals that lie on the ocean floor. Via fake press releases, events, technical specs and front companies, the CIA convinced the world that Hughes was leading a new ocean-mining rush.

In the end, the expensive mission was only a partial success: the ship’s lifting apparatus broke apart about 9000 feet below the surface, and the majority of the K-129 fell back to the floor of the ocean. It was impossible to retrieve without building a new claw, and before that could happen, details of the mission broke in the press. That didn’t stop the CIA from trying to keep it under wraps for as long as possible, leading to its notorious “Glomar Response” to Freedom of Information Act requests: the non-answer “we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the materials requested.” That answer has held up in court over the decades and proliferated among federal and even local government agencies.

It was also the inspiration for the extra-dry humor of the CIA’s first tweet.

Hughes Glomar Explorer entered popular culture in other ways, as conspiracy theories have swirled around the K-129 and the mission to retrieve it. One of them is promulgated in the 2005 book “Red Star Rogue” by Kenneth Sewell and Clint Richmond. The book became the basis of the 2013 drama "Phantom," which features Ed Harris and David Duchovny as Soviet military officers who sip vodka in a very un-Russian way.

In 2006, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers declared Hughes Glomar Explorer an historic landmark. “Grasping and raising a 2,000-ton object in 17,000 feet of water in the central Pacific Ocean was a truly historic challenge, requiring a recovery system of unprecedented size and scope,” ASME wrote.

Americans can remember the whole affair for its daring, hubris, disappointment and secrecy. But for the loved ones of the Soviet sailors who died on the K-129, the words “Hughes Glomar Explorer” are more bitter. The Soviet government tried for 30 years to keep the fate of the submarine a secret from the families. After the USSR fell apart, both the Russian and US governments decided to make a clean slate of it, and then-US Defense Secretary Robert Gates delivered some of the intelligence on Project Azorian to the Russian government, along with artifacts from the chunk of the submarine the CIA managed to retrieve.

Gates also released a secret video of a funeral at sea for the remains of six Soviet sailors that were pulled up from the ocean floor. It remains one of the strangest artifacts of the entire Cold War — the other being ship itself, but it appears that one will not be with us for much longer.

Giant floating Museum of Secrecy, anyone?

Hear more of Julia Barton's reporting on the Hughes Glomar Explorer over at Radiolab from WNYC.

©2016 Public Radio International

There's a photo of The Barge in this piece. ... -scrapyard
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:21 pm

K-129 vs. USS Scorpion in 1968 Another theory:
(stackexchange is an opinion page)

Did the U.S. and Soviet Union have a submarine battle in 1968?

There are books and articles about the Soviet submarine K-129 and the USS Scorpion in 1968, with various stories of attempted nuclear attacks and reprisals. Is there a factual narrative about these events (or non-events, if that's the case)?

According to a 1999 article by Mark A. Bradley in Proceedings, the U.S. Naval Institute's professional journal ("Why They Called the Scorpion "Scrapiron," July 1998), on May 20, 1968, the Scorpion was ordered to intercept a Soviet flotilla near the Azores that included one Echo-II-class nuclear-propelled submarine, a submarine rescue vessel, two hydrographic survey ships, and eventually, a guided-missile destroyer, capable of firing nuclear surface-to-surface missiles, and an oiler. There was concern that the Soviet vessels might try to investigate or interfere with NATO underwater listening devices known as SOSUS which had been set up in that area. The court of inquiry that investigated the Scorpion's loss first considered the possibility of an underwater dog-fight between Scorpion and the Echo II sub. The court, armed with SOSUS data that would have detected such a fight, found that there was no evidence to support the theory of a battle loss. Moreover, by the time of her last report, there was no other Soviet or Warsaw-Pact, plus the panel concluded that the Echo, which was designed for launching missiles while surfaced, would not have been a match for the Scorpion.

The court also considered the possibility that one of the boat's own torpedos had exploded. In December 1967, the Scorpion had a problem when a Mark 37 torpedo accidently activated while in its tube. The danger was avoided when the boat expelled the torpedo before it could detonate. But the court initially found no direct evidence that the boat was sunk by one of its own torpedos.

After pieces of the Scorpion were recovered by the deep submersible Trieste II, a Technical Advisory Group of scientists and former submariners poured through physical evidence and SOSUS data and came up with a surprising fact -- the Scorpion had been heading east, instead of west toward Norfolk, when the first cataclysmic explosion detonated. The advisors, headed by Dr. John Craven, estimated that the first sound to register on SOSUS had been caused by at least 30 pounds of TNT, exploding 60 feet or more below the surface, and theorized that the Scorpion had been engaged in a hastily ordered U-turn in a desperate attempt to disarm a hot-run torpedo that exploded and caused uncontrollable flooding. In an article published in The Virginian-Pilot & Ledger-Star, Craven indicated that the hot-run scenario was the only one that fit all the evidence.

Craven indicated, also, that photographs taken by Trieste II showed that the torpedo room-area on the Scorpion had not imploded, as had the rest of the boat, in the deep water.
Craven concluded that the torpedo room compartments had been the first to flood. Moreover, there was no visible outside damage, indicating that if a torpedo exploded, it did so inside the compartment, and not in the tube. Additionally, the photos showed that the water-tight doors to the torpedo-room compartment were open, appearing to have been blown out by an interior explosion.

Viewing this evidence, the court of inquiry concluded that the captain had armed his torpedos while observing the Soviet flotilla, and had ordered the weapons to be disarmed before the boat returned to Norfolk, following strict rules forbidding docking in Norfolk with armed torpedos. Bradley wrote: "the investigators theorized that something as simple as a short in a piece of testing equipment accidentally could have activated one of the Mark 37's batteries and triggered a hot run. Left with only seconds to react, Commander Slattery would have ordered the Scorpion into the abrupt U-turn she was making when the torpedo exploded."

The court of inquiry's theory was hotly contested by the Navy's weapons bureau which argued that had a torpedo blown inside the torpedo room, it would have set off a chain reaction of explosions from the other torpedos, yet, there was no evidence of multiple explosions either in the photographs or the sound evidence.

Other theories were considered, including a faulty trash ejection system in the galley, resulting in massive flooding, or a battery explosion.

Bradley, finally addresses that the Scorpion was supposed to receive a full SUBSAFE overhaul to make material and structural corrections deemed necessary following the loss of the USS Thresher. Pressing military requirements, however, prevented her from receiving a full overhaul -- one that should have taken 2 years and cost $20 million. Instead, when she left on her last patrol, she had 109 pending work orders:

"one being for a new trash-disposal unit latch—and she still lacked a working emergency blow system and decentralized emergency sea-water shutoff valves. She also suffered from chronic problems in hydraulics, which operated both her stern and sail planes. This problem came to the forefront in early- and mid-November 1967, when she began to corkscrew violently in the water during her test voyage to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Although she was put back in dry-dock, this problem remained unsolved. On 16 February 1968, she lost more than 1,500 gallons of oil from her conning tower as she sailed out of Hampton Roads toward the Mediterranean. By that time, many in the crew were calling her the "USS Scrapiron.”

(footnotes omitted).

Bradley relates a series of stories published in The Houston Chronicle about the poor material condition of the Scorpion when she deployed. It quoted Machinist's Mate Second Class David Burton Stone who wrote home saying that the crew had repaired, replaced, or jury-rigged every piece of the Scorpion's equipment. It noted, also that on March 23, 1968, Commander Slattery drafted an emergency request for repairs that warned, among other things, that the "the hull was in a very poor state of preservation"—the Scorpion had been forced to undergo an emergency dry-docking in New London, Connecticut, immediately after her reduced overhaul because of this—and bluntly stated that "Delay of the work an additional year could seriously jeopardize the Scorpion's material readiness." Among the captain's concers was a series of leaking valves that caused the Scorpion to be restricted to an operating depth of just 300 feet, 200 feet more shallow than SUBSAFE restrictions and 400 shallower than her pre-Thresher standards.

The Navy has never pinned blame for the Scorpion's loss, although it has fully rebutted the argument that there was a battle loss. Bradley concludes that the most likely cause was what Admiral Hyman Rickover had blamed: inadequate design, poor fabrication methods, and inadequate inspections. Bradley also blames the loss on the urgency with which the Navy sought to build and deploy its nuclear submarines to compete with a growing Soviet naval threat.

It is unlikely that a Soviet sub sank the Scorpion. At the time, Soviet subs were considerably more noisy and slower than American subs. To follow or shadow the Scorpion a Soviet Echo would have had to go at speeds that would have made it easily detectable by the sonar room of the Scorpion. To attack in such a situation would be extremely risky. When a submarine opens its torpedo ports, the noise is loud and distinctive, so the Echo would not have been able to make a "surprise" attack on the Scorpion. Of course, sometimes subs do open their doors at each other as sort of a "threat", just to see what the other guy will do. Nevertheless, if an Echo had been following Scorpion and opened its doors, Scorpion would have reacted in a defensive way.

It is unlikely the Soviet naval command would have ordered their sub to attack the Scorpion, because if the attack failed for some reason then the results would be incalcuable. Even if the attack succeeded, if the United States discovered what happened somehow or if the Scorpion had only been damaged, not destroyed, then the Soviets could have faced severe consequences.

The likelihood is that some accident occurred onboard and sunk the vessel.

There are many types of accidents that can sink a submarine. Virtually any fire is a life-threatening situation because the smoke will rapidly fill the submarine, reducing visibility to zero and asphyxiating anyone who does not have an oxygen tank. A similar kind of problem is a torpedo engine activation or battery fire. The Scorpion carried a lot of battery-powered torpedoes. They can overheat, burst the torpedo casing and start a massive fire. You have heard of laptops catching on fire? Imagine that 10,000 times worse.

(Kind of a joke that my answer, the correct one, gets -1 votes and an answer by someone who knows nothing about submarines gets 15 votes by proposing the ridiculous scenario that a Skate-class vessel sank a Golf II-class vessel by running into it submerged.)

site design / logo © 2018 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required. rev 2018.3.16.29465 ... le-in-1968
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby MJK » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:41 pm

A quick jog over to the Google results lists 98 lost on the K-129 while on the right side of the page are the specs for that boat which include a crew of 83. 15 extra guys on a sub is a big deal and part of the evidence presented to support the hijack theory. I doubt that there was a bunk for each of the regular crew, let alone 15 extra bodies. 20% more food/water/air consumption in a diesel-electric sub is also a big deal. Nobody but spooks get to fly standby or ride as straphangers on nuke armed subs. I can't recall the Russian who was allegedly behind this but the author made a compelling case for his theory.

I gotta read that one again I guess..
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:30 am

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:45 am

MJK wrote:A quick jog over to the Google results lists 98 lost on the K-129 while on the right side of the page are the specs for that boat which include a crew of 83. 15 extra guys on a sub is a big deal and part of the evidence presented to support the hijack theory. I doubt that there was a bunk for each of the regular crew, let alone 15 extra bodies. 20% more food/water/air consumption in a diesel-electric sub is also a big deal. Nobody but spooks get to fly standby or ride as straphangers on nuke armed subs. I can't recall the Russian who was allegedly behind this but the author made a compelling case for his theory.

I gotta read that one again I guess..

Yeah, big number and I'm sure they hot bunk on those boats. The spook thing and blame China make some sense.

I read both Sonntag's and Craven's books. Both are good.

Craven was a bright man, and a very creative guy. Getting an engineering wiz along with creative talent in one package is rare. Seymour Cray was that kind of guy, so was Hughes.

There is a submariners' club for enlisted only in Hawaii. Craven was the only officer ever asked to join and made a member. He was very proud of that membership.
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:09 pm

The USS Colorado (SSN-788), was commissioned on Saturday. It's a Virginia Class Attack Sub. It has a lot of high tech modular improvements that will be used in the boats being built currently (4 I think). The X-Box controller used for directing optical systems is a first, I think. It's a use of off the shelf technology that's very common in electronics design today.

Attack Submarine Colorado to Commission Saturday

By: Ben Werner

USNI News | March 16, 2018 2:37 PM

Nuclear attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN-788) is scheduled to be commissioned during a Saturday morning ceremony at the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn.

Construction of Colorado started in 2012 and is the 15th Virginia-class fast attack submarine, and the fifth Virginia-class Block III submarine to be built. Colorado will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship commissioned named for the state of Colorado.

“USS Colorado is a true marvel of technology and innovation, and it shows the capability that our industrial partners bring to the fight,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer in a press release. “Today’s world requires undersea platforms designed for dominance across a broad spectrum of regional and littoral missions, and I am confident Colorado will proudly serve in defense of our nation’s interests for decades to come.”

The Block III Virginia-class submarines have a redesigned bow with two large-diameter 87-inch Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. Block III hulls include the eight ships purchased between Fiscal Years 2008 and 2013. Three more Block III hulls are being built, according to the service.

The Virginia Payload Tubes simplify construction, reduce acquisition costs, and due to their added volume provide for more payload flexibility than the smaller 12 individual Vertical Launch System tubes in earlier built Block I and Block II Virginia-class submarines, according to the Navy.

Other Block III improvements include the traditional air-backed sonar sphere was replaced with a water-backed Large Aperture Bow (LAB) array, reducing construction and maintenance costs while providing enhanced passive detection capabilities, according to a Navy

Construction of ten Block IV submarines is underway, with a focus on making several small-scale design changes to increase the lifecycle of the submarine’s components. Doing so is expected to increase the availability of the Block IV submarines, compared to earlier blocks. The Navy plans for Block IV submarines to undergo three depot maintenance availabilities and 15 deployments during their service lives. Currently, the ratio of depot availabilities to deployments is 4:14, according to the Navy.

Earlier this week, the Navy announced sub builder General Dynamics Electric Boat was awarded a $696.2 million contract modification for long-lead materials for the first of the Virginia-class Block V attack boats. These will be longer than previously built Virginia-class subs, to accommodate four Virginia Payload Module tubes, which will each contain seven Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs). The Virginia Payload Module tubes are similar to the Virginia Payload Tubes, the Navy stated, because using a proven design should minimize both cost and design risks.

© 2012-2018 U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE

Some good photos and graphics: ... n-saturday

Anyone who has seen a consumer level drone will recognize the hardware. It was just adapted to handle the higher current motors.

Attack submarine Colorado, Xbox controllers included, to join the fleet

Jennifer Mcdermott, The Associated Press Published 11:15 a.m. ET March 16, 2018


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The U.S. Navy’s newest attack submarine, the USS Colorado, will go into service Saturday at the Naval Submarine Base in Connecticut.

Cmdr. Reed Koepp, the Colorado’s commanding officer, says it’s an exciting time for the crew, shipbuilders, the local community in Connecticut and the state of Colorado. The submarine is “ready to protect the homeland and project our power forward,” he added.
“We’re really looking forward to this Saturday when we can introduce the Colorado as an official naval asset,” Koepp said.

The 377-foot-long sub weighs about 7,800 tons submerged. It can fight submarines and surface ships, conduct surveillance and deliver Special Operations troops. It has two large tubes that can launch six Tomahawk missiles each.

The Colorado is the first attack submarine where sailors use an Xbox controller to maneuver the photonics masts, which replaced periscopes, Koepp said. Other submarines have joysticks. Using commercial off-the-shelf technology saves money, and young sailors report to the submarine knowing how to use it, Koepp said.

Koepp leads 130 men, including crew members from Brighton, Denver and Littleton, Colorado. Women serve on submarines but they haven’t been assigned to the Colorado. One-fifth of submarine crews are integrated.

It took submarine supply businesses nationwide and thousands of shipyard employees in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Virginia to build the Colorado, the 15th member of the Virginia class of submarines.

Attack submarines are built in a partnership between General Dynamics Electric Boat in Connecticut and Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. They cost about $2.7 billion apiece.

“Compared to prior generations of submarines, Colorado is bigger, faster and overall much more capable, and should serve as a compelling deterrent to our adversaries,” said U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, a Connecticut Democrat who will welcome the audience at Saturday’s ceremony.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, will give the keynote address. He plans to talk about the work the submarine’s crew will carry out and how proud he is of the state of Colorado’s role in the nation’s defense.

“This commissioning will be a special day for our country and for Colorado,” he said in a statement.

Annie Mabus, the daughter of former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, will give the order to bring the ship to life before the crew boards the vessel.

More than 2,000 Navy officials, politicians, shipbuilders, local community leaders and guests of the crew are expected at the ceremony. It will be livestreamed online. The submarine will remain in Groton after the commissioning.

It’s the fourth U.S. Navy ship named Colorado. The first Colorado, launched in 1856, saw action in the Civil War. The second escorted convoys of men and supplies to England during World War I and the third supported operations in the Pacific during WWII, surviving two kamikaze attacks and earning seven battle stars, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.

The first Colorado was named for the Colorado River because the state didn’t come into existence until 1876. The others were named for the state. ... 431719002/
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:39 am

Grand Finale for Infamous Glomar Explorer - Part 1

The ship that secretly raised a Soviet submarine is being scrapped

By Tony Munoz 2015-06-18 23:56:30

The Maritime Executive

By 2015-06-18 23:56:30

The story of the Glomar Explorer spans four decades and involves a Soviet nuclear missile submarine, the CIA and an eccentric billionaire. The tale is worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, but the real-life story of the Glomar Explorer eclipses any fiction Tinsel Town could concoct.

The vessel’s history is steeped in international intrigue. The $350-million drillship – an engineering marvel that was far ahead of its time – was built for Global Marine, a company owned by Howard Hughes, the eccentric American businessman. It was supposedly to be used to extract manganese nodules from the ocean floor and was constructed at Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock (remember Sun Oil Company – Sunoco?) in Chester, Pennsylvania. Its maiden voyage took place on June 21, 1974.

Over the years, Global Marine executives and others have testified in federal court that the Glomar Explorer wasn’t really built to mine manganese but was designed and constructed specifically to get something much most precious to the U.S. off the seabed.
Project Azorian was the code name for the covert CIA project whose real goal was the recovery of a Soviet nuclear missile submarine, which was lost in 1968 about 1,500 nautical miles northwest of Hawaii. The U.S. Air Force had captured sonic recordings of an explosion that took place on March 8, 1968. 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.

President Nixon and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger approved the mission, which created significant engineering challenges as the 2,000-ton submarine lay at 17,000 feet on the ocean floor. At the time, the deepest-ever salvage operation had taken place at a mere 245 feet and recovered a satellite bucket weighing only a couple of hundred pounds.

In order to carry out the mission, a massive claw-like apparatus was built by Lockheed to fit the sub’s exact specifications. It was affectionately called “Clementine” and weighed 2,170 tons and consisted of two steel beams that were 179 feet long and 31 feet wide.

The Glomar Explorer itself was 618 feet long with a 115-foot beam, which was too large to transit the Panama Canal. So after sea trials it began its long voyage on June 21, 1974 around South America to Long Beach, which included a stop at Valparaiso, Chile to collect a few more Global Marine employees.

The evening before the ship was scheduled to arrive in Chile, a military coup overthrew the government. There were 178 people onboard the vessel including the crew and members of the CIA. It sailed out of port without incident, but it was a close call just the same.

The U.S. Navy had used a large network of hydrophones, which can distinguish military ships and submarines from ordinary maritime traffic, to locate the K-129 on the ocean floor. The camera onboard a Navy ship showed that the submarine had broken in two pieces. 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 Glomar Explorer finally reached its destination on July 4, 1974, but inclement weather delayed the salvage operation for several days. Around the same time as the recovery cage was being lowered into the ocean, the Soviet warship Chazhma arrived on the scene carrying a Kamov Ka-25 helicopter. A Soviet naval tug arrived as well to help in monitoring the U.S. ship’s operations.
The Glomar team had to carry on its operations with the Soviet Navy watching. To prevent the Soviet helicopter from landing onboard, boxes were stacked on deck, but what caused the most anxiety during the operation was debris that might float to the surface once the sub was lifted off the ocean floor.

Such a disaster almost took place on August 4 as the sub was being raised. At about 6,700 feet, the crew noticed that two-thirds of the vessel had broken off and only about 38 feet were left in the claw. 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.

As the CIA inspected the wreckage, several important documents and manuals were recovered. But the most pressing issue was the discovery of several bodies of the 98 crewmen who died in the sub’s explosion. While three of the crew members were identified, the rest were not. By September, all of the bodies were recovered and were buried at sea with full honors
The Glomar Explorer returned to Long Beach in September 1974 with a number of crates recovered from the sub. The sub itself was transported to the naval submarine base in Bangor, Washington. But the CIA wanted the rest of the vessel that remained on the ocean floor.

Operation Matador was now in play, but the media found out about the secret mission and the story became front-page news. The Soviet Ambassador to the U.S. demanded an explanation from the Ford Administration. While Secretary of State Henry Kissinger did not admit what the operation was about, the plan to recover the rest of the sub was scrapped.

In 1976, the U.S. General Services Administration considered leasing the Glomar Explorer, but the deal never came about. In September of that year, the U.S. Navy acquired the vessel, which was added to its auxiliary operations. The ship was laid up in Suisun Bay in the San Francisco Bay area but was kept a safe distance from other laid-up ships due to concerns about residual radiation.

Grand Finale for Infamous Glomar Explorer - Part 2

The ship that secretly raised a Soviet submarine is being scrapped.

By Tony Munoz 2015-06-18 11:03:41

The Maritime Executive

By 2015-06-18 11:03:41

GSF Explorer: A Drilling Pioneer

When the Glomar Explorer ended its military career in 1997 it headed to drydock for conversion into a dynamically positioned deepwater drillship. In this reincarnation, the vessel was capable of drilling in depths up to 11,500 feet (3,500 meters). At the time, this was 2,000 feet (610 meters) deeper than any existing rig.

The conversion was completed in two phases. The first, in Cascade General Shipyard in Portland, Oregon, saw the inclusion of 4.5 million pounds (2,040 tons) of steel to fill the moon pool and an overhaul of the vessel’s electrical, piping, ventilation and steering systems.

The primary challenge was to replace the retractable 200-foot (61 meters) gates under the moon pool with prefabricated double-bottomed sections, which were 770,000 pounds or 350 tons each and left a 74-foot by 42-foot (23 by 13 meters) drilling well.

It was the largest, most complex project the yard had ever undertaken. The ship was lifted in drydock and the gate fittings cut away and the gates lowered. The dock was then partially submerged so the gates could be pulled free, using winches and tugs. The new double-bottomed modules were then maneuvered under the ship and attached to temporary suspension brackets. The ship was then lifted to allow the modules to be welded on.

Don Wilkes of Global Marine was in charge of converting the vessel to commercial use for the company. “The ship had been laid up in San Francisco Bay for 15 years, but all of the electrical equipment and cabling looked brand new when we went through it,” he said. “It was quite unique. There was one floor in the forward accommodation area that was a secret location where the CIA stored its equipment. There was also a blackboard with a sketch of the grappling hook with the sub in it. That sketch told the big story of the operation, and there it was still on the blackboard. Pretty amazing stuff.”

Electronic Power Design (EPD), the largest electrical systems integrator in the U.S. today, was brought in to preserve as much of the existing equipment onboard the ship as possible. “The most expensive part of diesel electric ships, aside from the hull itself, is the electrical system,” Wiles stated. “Global Marine needed the specialized talents of EPD and its Chairman and CEO, John Janik, to mitigate costs enough to make the venture fruitful.”

“While the Glomar job was a pivotal point in our history,” said Janik, “Doing a poor job on the retrofit could have been the end of us as well.”

The ship had been sitting for almost 20 years. When the Global and EPD teams first came onboard, it appeared that everything had been frozen in time. The interior of the ship had been pumped with nitrogen for two decades. As a result, the electrical equipment and cables were in pristine condition.

“Everything was just as the CIA had left it,” explained Janik, “down to the bowls on the counter and the knives hanging in the kitchen. Even though all the systems were intact, this was by no means an ordinary ship, and the retrofit was going to be a tough job because the ship’s wiring was unlike anything we had ever seen before.”

The EPD team searched the electrical system, which did not go where it was supposed to go. Soon they discovered that it only went to the CIA’s covert control room. All of the wires had to be removed and all of the controls systems replaced. Eventually, the ship was totally retrofitted with new propulsion and drive systems including a new dynamic positioning system, new thrusters and motors – all the while making every effort to maintain the original switchboard system.

“The Glomar Explorer was decades ahead of its time and the pioneer of all modern drill ships,” Janik added. “It broke all the records for working at unimaginable depths and should be remembered as a technological phenomenon.”

The second phase of the conversion, which included a voyage around South America through the Straits of Magellan, took place at Atlantic Marine’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard. Here the completion work involved the fitting of drilling equipment including the derrick and the vessel’s azimuthing thrusters (11 thrusters capable of a combined 35,200 horsepower).

The conversion, completed in 1998, marked the beginning of a 30-year lease from the U.S. Navy to Global Marine Drilling for a fee of $1 million per year. But after a series of mergers, the vessel became part of the Transocean fleet and was renamed GSF Explorer. It was then reflagged from Houston to Port Vila in Vanuatu in 2013.

The drillship spudded its first well in the Gulf of Mexico’s Mississippi Canyon. The well was drilled for Chevron in about 7,800 feet (2,375 meters) of water – a world record at the time. In 1999, it left the Gulf of Mexico and set off for Nigeria, working there for a year for Texaco. It drilled the first well in the Agbami field, the second major deepwater oil field discovered off the Niger Delta, the first being Shell’s Bonga Field.

GSF Explorer then returned to the Gulf of Mexico until 2005. After that it was off to Malta for drydocking at Malta Shipyards and then on to the Black Sea, where it was the first deepwater offshore vessel in those waters. The top of the derrick had to be taken down in order for the ship to go under the two bridges leading to the Bosporus Strait.

The ship spent a few more years in the Gulf of Mexico before again leaving the U.S. It did another stint in Angola and then was deployed to Indonesia to drill in the deepwater Makassar Strait for a consortium led by Marathon Oil. There it used managed-pressure drilling technology to drill fractured carbonates, a system that enhances drilling capabilities and improves safety and efficiency through early kick detection.

It spent some time in Singapore, which was followed by a contract in India with ONGC. It finally ended up idled in Labuan, Malaysia. In April, 2015, Transocean made the decision to scrap the vessel. Very few vessels have had such a remarkable history as the Hughes Glomar Explorer. – MarEx

There are several great resources available on the Glomar Explorer. A trailor for a great documentary about Project Azorian/Project Jennifer is available here and a compreshensive book is available here.

© Copyright 2018 The Maritime Executive, LLC. All rights reserved.

Great photos and former crew comments.. ... gs.Z0cX91A
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:16 pm

Lockheed Is Proposing a Major 'Triple Intelligence' Upgrade for the U-2 Spy Plane

A new configuration with three types of sensor systems could make the planes even more versatile and keep them relevant for years to come.

By Joseph Trevithick

The Drive | March 20, 2018

The U.S. Air Force seems to have effectively abandoned plans to retire its fleet of U-2S Dragon Lady spy planes in the near future. Now, amid especially high demands for strategic intelligence and concerns about a gap in aerial battlefield surveillance capabilities, Lockheed Martin is pitching proposals to give the iconic aircraft upgraded sensors and data links, as well as the ability to carry three different intelligence gathering systems all on the same mission.

Our good friend Stephen Trimble, head of Flightglobal's Americas Bureau, was first to get the new details after getting an exclusive tour of Lockheed Martin’s Site 2 hangar, part of the company’s facilities in Palmdale, California earlier in March 2018. Site 2 is home to the firm’s U-2 program and is where it performs heavy depot maintenance on the planes for the Air Force. As a rule, the service sends each U-2 to the facility for a full overhaul approximately every 4,800 flight hours.

“My strategy is to put as much as we can within the [US military’s next six-year budget plan], because we’ve got room to grow,” Kyle Franklin, Lockheed Martin’s U-2 program manager, told FlightGlobal during the visit. This is a significantly different attitude than the company might have had even last year.

Since 2011, the Air Force has gone back and forth on the idea of supplanting the Dragon Ladies with RQ-4 Global Hawk drones. As recently as 2016, the service still planned to retire the U-2S no later than 2020.

Its latest budget request for the 2019 fiscal year, which it released in February 2018, suggests that this is unlikely to happen any time soon. The proposal includes funding for U-2S upgrades and sustainment through at least 2023. The Air Force even says it expects to grow the size of the fleet from 24 to 27 by the end of 2018, even though it says it will then retire one older aircraft by the end of the following year.

As such, Lockheed Martin is very clearly expecting to be involved in the U-2 program for the foreseeable future. The centerpiece of the company’s latest push is a newly proposed “Tri-Intelligence” or “Tri-INT” configuration for the planes.

This refers to an aircraft with three distinct sensor suites. These would be a multi-spectral camera, a radar imaging system, and a set of equipment to collect various different types signals.

At present, the Dragon Ladies can only bring two of these three distinct capabilities along on a single mission. This typically consists of the Senior Glass signals intelligence suit in the fuselage and “Super Pods” under the wings, and either the Senior Year Electro Optical Reconnaissance System-2 (SYERS-2) or Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System-2 (ASARS-2) in the nose. You can read more about these different configurations here.

The latest version of SYERS-2, the SYERS-2C, is a 10-band multi-spectral camera that has traditional electro-optical and infrared capabilities, but can also build images based on the electromagnetic signatures that different objects produce. The most up-to-date ASARS-2, the ASARS-2A, is a mechanically-scanned array radar that produces imagery based on the reflection of those waves.

The full Senior Glass system is actually capable of collecting intelligence on a variety of very different signals. The Senior Spear equipment, which fits inside one of the aircraft’s two Super Pods can spot and monitor enemy communications. The Senior Ruby gear, which goes in the other pod, can locate and categorize hostile radar emissions. An antenna farm along the belly adds additional capabilities, which could include spying on different data streams and the ability to more accurately geo-locating the source of a transmission.

Lockheed Martin’s Tri-INT arrangement would consolidate the signals intelligence systems into just one Super Pod, and potentially elsewhere along the fuselage, and fit a multi-spectral camera under the other wing. This could be the SYERS-2C, but the firm told FlightGlobal it would prefer to use United Technologies Aerospace Systems’ (UTAS) 10-band MS-177A, which sits inside a rotating turret and is therefore more flexible.

Raytheon’s ASARS-2B would go in the nose. Though this radar shares a basic nomenclature with the older unit, it is essentially an all-new, active-electronically scanned array (AESA) design that scans faster and is more powerful and precise, producing better imagery, quicker. It also has a ground moving target indicator capability to track moving vehicles or potentially help the pilot refine their search area based on those tracks. The Air Force already plans to spend more than $215 million on development of ASARS-2B between 2019 and 2023.

It is also in the process of adding the older seven-band MS-177 camera on the RQ-4 and wants to begin installing the improved A model, along with other upgrades to those unmanned aircraft, in the near future as well. Lockheed Martin could propose the Air Force expand its purchases of MS-177As to include additional units to go into upgraded U-2s.

Lockheed Martin will still have to either develop or otherwise locate a compact signals intelligence suite that offers equal or better capabilities to Senior Glass to complete its proposed Tri-INT U-2S package. Lastly, the updated planes would feature additional and modernized data links, including multi-function advanced data links (MADL) or similar functionality to allow the Dragon Ladies to communicate with stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, which can themselves vacuum up an impressive amount of intelligence data, and B-2 Spirit bombers in near real time.

Coupled with a device Lockheed Martin calls the “Einstein Box,” which acts as a gateway for various data streams, the high-flying spy planes could be able to fuse different information together and otherwise help provide other aircraft, personnel on the ground or at sea, or analysts back at base a more complex “picture” of the battlefield.

Having a U-2S that could perform all these missions without having to shift configurations would make the aircraft significantly more flexible. It could potentially give the Air Force the ability to gather more intelligence, and of different varieties, per sortie and reduce the total number of aircraft and flying time required to acquire the same scope of information.

Also, though it is an increasingly old platform, the U-2S continues to be able to use its ability to fly at altitudes above 70,000 feet, and its very advanced electronic warfare suite, to offer a capable defense against a variety of potential threats. Flying high, the aircraft can use a slanted flight pattern to peer into target areas with its long-range cameras and radars without having to expose themselves to the same level of danger as flying directly over them.

As a result, according the FlightGlobal, the Air Force still feels the Dragon Ladies can perform in “marginally contested” environments. This helps explain, at least in part, why the service has become increasingly convinced it cannot replace the planes outright with the lower-flying and potentially more vulnerable Global Hawk drones.

All of this could make the Tri-INT U-2S a particularly attractive option for the Air Force, especially given the voracious appetite of American commanders for strategic intelligence around the world. Growing tensions with Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran, among others, have stretched already limited resources even further.

“I don't have enough [aerial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets] because there isn't enough to go around,” U.S. Navy Admiral Harry Harris, head of U.S. Pacific Command, told members of Congress during a hearing on March 15, 2018. The senior officer specifically named the Air Force’s RC-135V/W Rivet Joint signals intelligence and WC-135 Constant Phoenix nuclear intelligence aircraft, as well the Navy’s P-3C patrol and EP-3E signals intelligence aircraft as “critical to intelligence collection” in his area of the world.

It seems hard to imagine American commanders elsewhere, particularly in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, would disagree. There’s no indication that this steady desire for more aerial intelligence is likely to decrease any time soon, either.

Having both Tri-INT U-2S spy planes, as well as RQ-4s, wil give the Air Force additional and complimentary assets for long-range intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. And the Tri-INT Dragon Ladies could potentially fill other functions beyond just strategic intelligence, further increasing the flexibility of the relatively small fleet.

Perhaps most immediately, an improved U-2S aircraft could become another part of the Air Force’s multi-faceted approach to replacing the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) battlefield management command and control aircraft. At present, the Air Force’s plan is to supplant these planes with a mix of different manned and unmanned aircraft by 2023.

The upgraded U-2S could offer another sensor node to feed information back to other battlefield management aircraft or ground exploitation control and intelligence exploitation elements, which could then analyze the information and pass it along to other elements as necessary. In particular, the ASARS-2B may be able to provide a similar type of functionality to the JSTARS’ mechanically-scanned AN/APY-7 radar, but with the benefits of its AESA design and the Dragon Lady’s significantly higher operational ceiling.

On top of that, the Einstein Box could allow the U-2S to act as a communications gateway, data fusion center, an relay akin to the Air Force’s Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) aircraft. In 2017, a Dragon Lady with the system performed exactly this mission in an experimental capacity during that year’s iteration of the annual Northern Edge exercise in Alaska.

The Tri-INT U-2S configuration could also serve as the starting place for further developments that add additional capabilities or further transform the Dragon Lady’s operating concepts. There is already a historical precedent for operating the aircraft in the maritime surveillance role and the Air Force has already employed the aircraft in a reconnaissance capacity in the Western Pacific thanks to its range and high-flying capabilities.

The desire to monitor China’s expanding maritime forces, especially in the South China Sea, as well as enforce sanctions and a potential blockade against North Korea, will only further increase the demand for long range, persistent over-water surveillance capabilities. A further improved U-2 could provide a readily available and flexible platform for those missions.

Over time and as new threats steadily make the U-2S increasingly more vulnerable, Lockheed Martin could exploit the aircraft's existing modularity to add in advanced active defensive technologies, potentially including laser defense systems the Air Force is already working on for fighter and other aircraft. Lockheed itself is involved in that project, being responsible for the directed energy weapon system itself.

The company could propose more radical changes to the aircraft, as well, and is presently under contract with the Missile Defense Agency to develop a high-flying, unmanned platform to carry an offensive laser weapon to potentially destroy ballistic missiles during their initial boost phase. Between 2014 and 2015, as it looked like the Air Force might retire the U-2, Lockheed Martin suggested it could build a pilot-optional version or a derivative with some low-observable features that uses as many existing components as possible.

These are exactly these kinds of characteristics that have kept the U-2 going after more than six decades and avoid ending up in the Bone Yard on multiple occasions since 1969. With all this in mind, it seems increasingly clear that the Dragon Ladies still have a lot of life left in them still.

Contact the author:

© 2018 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:29 pm

EXCLUSIVE: Seth Rich Investigator: A Fake FBI Informant Lured Me Into Parking Garage And Shot Me

Big League Politics | 2018-03-21T17:19:13+00:00

Lobbyist Jack Burkman, who has spent the past year and a half investigating the 2016 murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, tells Big League Politics in an exclusive interview that he was shot twice and hit by a black SUV after being led into a Virginia parking garage by a supposed FBI informant.

A fellow Seth Rich investigator has been arrested and charged for the shooting. Burkman says he did not definitively recognize the suspect during the shooting.

“The doctor said I’m the luckiest guy in the world. They think it was a .22. One inch in either direction it would have hit an artery, and the bullets could have gone up into my stomach. I’m lucky beyond comprehension. There were ten ways to die,” Burkman told Big League Politics. Burkman suffered a broken arm, broken wrist, and bruised ribs after being hit by an SUV following his shooting.

Numerous insiders believe that Seth Rich was the source of Wikileaks’ release of DNC emails in the summer of 2016. The release came out just days after Rich’s shooting death in Washington, D.C. The murder remains unsolved, and all street camera footage of the shooting has been seized by authorities. Disgruntled former DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile dedicated her anti-Hillary Clinton tell-all book to Seth Rich.

Burkman set out to find Rich’s killers, offering a $130,000 reward and creating a charitable organization called the Profiling Project to fund investigations. Burkman hired a former Marine named Kevin Doherty to be a top investigator for him. The two had a dispute about Profiling Project ownership issues. Burkman said that Doherty wanted co-ownership of the group, so Burkman dismissed him last July and sent him a cease and desist letter.

Burkman said that he never actually met Doherty, but only communicated with him through a secure Proton email account.

Last month, Burkman received a new round of emails on his Proton email account from a supposed FBI informant using a fake name.

“He approached me about a month ago as an FBI informant who had information that we wanted,” Burkman said. “We never met, we were just doing drops through a Proton email. He gave me fake resumes that looked real and fake credentials. What he was doing was luring me to this parking garage and he opened fire. He fired a .22, once in the leg, once in the butt.”

Burkman said the informant left him Seth Rich-related documents under a plastic cone in the parking garage, and waited until several “drops” before he shot Burkman.

“He left them [documents] in the KeyBridge Marriott Parking Garage under a little plastic cone. As I picked up the cone to retrieve the documents, I was shot,” Burkman said.

Burkman, who was with his dog, ran from the garage. Outside, a “dark blue or black SUV” was waiting for him.

“I felt it from behind, it felt like somebody had thrown a basketball at me. I grabbed the dog, ran out of the garage. As I was running out, suddenly this SUV appeared which apparently was him trying to run me over,” Burkman said.

The SUV hit him.

“The Arlington police quickly matched the car and get a warrant within 36 hours for his arrest. So kudos to them,” Burkman said.

Kevin Doherty has been arrested on firearm and malicious wounding charges.

“I didn’t see the shooter. I just saw a man driving the car,” Burkman said. “I didn’t recognize the man driving the car.”

“Did he have an accomplice? I don’t know. I never would have dreamt it was Kevin. The Commonwealth Attorney felt they had more than enough for probable cause and the judge agrees,” Burkman said.

The Arlington Police Department did not immediately provide information about the case over the phone, but Big League Politics will continue trying to interview them about the case.

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:50 pm

Lobbyist says he was nearly killed by man he hired to investigate Seth Rich’s death

By Rachel Weiner

Washington Post

As conspiracy theories swirled around the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, lobbyist Jack Burkman took the unusual step of launching his own private investigation. A man with military and security experience stepped up to help.

Now Burkman alleges that man, Kevin Doherty, nearly killed him.

Burkman, a conservative lobbyist who has also raised money for Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign official who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and protested gay athletes in the NFL, is used to controversy. But Doherty’s arrest Saturday by Arlington County police on charges of malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony caps a saga stranger than Burkman’s own conspiracy theories.

“It’s a horror story,” Burkman, of Arlington, said in an interview Monday afternoon. He is still recovering after being shot several times and run over by an SUV last Tuesday.

Doherty briefly worked for Burkman’s Profiling Project, which was formed to build a psychological portrait of Rich’s likely killer. While police have concluded Rich was likely shot during a random robbery, many conservatives have claimed he was killed as part of a political conspiracy. Burkman offered a six-figure reward for information on the shooting.

Burkman said Doherty presented an impressive resume — ex-Marine, ex-special agent — and did good work. But tension quickly developed. In Burkman’s view, Doherty began speaking to reporters out of turn and tried to take over the investigation.

Doherty served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1990 to 1994, rising to the rank of sergeant, according to a spokeswoman for Manpower & Reserve Affairs.

“He became somewhat angry because he thought the Profiling Project belonged to him,” Burkman said. In July, he cut Doherty loose and sent him a cease and desist letter.

“I just figured the matter was closed,” Burkman said. “But what happened is, I guess, he was simmering and simmering and simmering.”

In February, Burkman had moved on to a new investigation. He had put out a call for whistleblowers in the FBI, offering $25,000 for any information exposing wrongdoing in the presidential election.

Soon, he thought he had hit the jackpot. A man reached out, describing himself as a senior FBI official with information about then-agency deputy director Andrew McCabe, who at the time was under an internal investigation for his handling of probes into Hillary Clinton. (On Friday, McCabe was fired, after an internal investigation found he had dealt improperly with the media and then lied about it. He has denied wrongdoing.)

His source dropped off two packets of emails under a cone in a garage at the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn, Burkman said.

“I thought I had the story of the decade,” Burkman recalled. His wife, Susan, was more skeptical. She warned him that she didn’t think he was dealing with the FBI. But, he said, the emails “looked super real,” containing details about the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The last drop was supposed to be “the big one” — the full inspector general report on McCabe, which still has not been released. Instead, when Burkman bent over to pull the papers out from under the cone, he was shot in the buttocks and thigh. As he ran out of the garage with his dachshund in his arms, he was hit by an SUV.

He said the car backed up to hit him again.

“It looked like he was coming to kill me,” Burkman said. But he said a woman watching from a window of the hotel screamed. A guard came running and the SUV sped off, Burkman said.

Burkman spent three days in the hospital. His dog, Jack Jr., was uninjured.

Police would not comment on Burkman’s account of the incident.

But Burkman said authorities told him they tracked down Doherty through the SUV. Burkman said police came to him in the hospital with a photo of his former employee. He didn’t even recognize Doherty at first. When he heard his name, he was shocked.

Burkman had already met with police in January, when a masked man approached his house in an SUV and hit him in the face with pepper spray. No charges have been filed in that incident.

“We went through a thousand possibilities,” Burkman said. “Kevin was not on the list.”

Doherty does not yet have a lawyer in the assault case and is being held without bond, prosecutors said.

Girum Tesfaye, who represented Doherty on a drunken driving charge last year, also expressed surprise.

“From what I know of him it would definitely be out of character,” Tesfaye said.

Burkman said he is now traveling with security. But the experience has not soured him on conspiracy theories. His profiling project concluded that Rich was shot by a hired killer, and he wonders if Doherty was working for someone else.

He has not given up on investigating the death of Rich, whose family just sued Fox News for publishing a false story linking their son to WikiLeaks. Fox News retracted the story six days after it was published.

“This in my mind makes the whole Seth story stranger and stranger,” Burkman said.

Ellie Silverman contributed to this report. ... story.html
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