Project Azorian: The CIA and the Raising of the K-129

Front Cover
Naval Institute Press, 2012 - 264 pages
2 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
Despite incredible political, military, and intelligence risks, and after six years of secret preparations, the CIA attempted to salvage the sunken Soviet ballistic missile submarine K-129 from the depths of the North Pacific Ocean in early August 1974. This audacious effort was carried out under the cover of an undersea mining operation sponsored by eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes. "Azorian"--incorrectly identified as Project Jennifer by the press-- was the most ambitious ocean engineering endeavor ever attempted and can be compared to the 1969 moon landing for its level of technological achievement.

Following the sinking of a Soviet missile submarine in March 1968, U.S. intelligence agencies were able to determine the precise location and to develop a means of raising the submarine from a depth of 16,560 feet. Previously, the deepest salvage attempt of a submarine had been accomplished at 245 feet. The remarkable effort to reach the K-129, which contained nuclear-armed torpedoes and missiles as well as crypto-logic equipment, was conducted with Soviet naval ships a few hundred yards from the lift ship, the Hughes Glomar Explorer.

While other books have been published about this secret project, none has provided an accurate and detailed account of this remarkable undertaking. To fully document the story, the authors conducted extensive interviews with men who were on board the Glomar Explorer and the USS Halibut, the submarine that found the wreckage, as well as with U.S. naval intelligence officers and with Soviet naval officers and scientists.

The authors had access to the Glomar Explorer's logs and to other documents from U.S. and Soviet sources. The book is based, in part, on the research for Michael White's ground-breaking documentary film Azorian: The Raising of the K-129, released in late 2009. As a result of the research for the book and the documentary, the CIA was forced to issue a report on Project Azorian in early 2010, even though they tried to withhold all of the details from the public record by redacting one-third of that document. In this book, the untold story of the CIA's Project Azorian is finally revealed after decades of secrecy.

What people are saying - Write a review

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gglockster - LibraryThing

Provides wealth of previously unknown information concerning K-129. A bit short and left the impression that there is still more to the story Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bespen - LibraryThing

I had heard of the Hughes Glomar Explorer before. The kind of science books I read as a kid often featured engineering feats such as the HGE, I can still remember the blurb about the ship being built ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2012)

Norman Polmar is an internationally known analyst, consultant and award-winning author specialising in naval, aviation and intelligence issues. He has served for almost eleven years on the Secretary of the Navy's Research Advisory Committee (NRAC) and has written more than forty books, including nine editions of >em>The Naval Institute Guide to Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet.

Michael White has worked in film and television for over thirty-five years. His career in special and visual effects began in 1976 at Pinewood Studios, and in 1990 he moved to Vienna, Austria which he has used as a base to work around Europe as a director of well over fifty commercials and some twenty corporate films. His website is

Bibliographic information