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The Loss of the USS Scorpion: Myths, Legends, & Reality

By Bruce Rule - Nov 14, 2014

The Loss of the USS Scorpion: Myths, Legends, & Reality

The subect of this posting is the title of an article written by Tom Dougherty, and previously disseminated in October 2012 in THE PERISCOPE, a monthly publication of the Los Angeles/Pasadena Base of THE UNITED STATES SUBMARINE VETERANS, Inc., and in the September 2012 issue of THE SUBCOMMITEE REPORT.

The article is available at the site linked below: (See pages 1 and 16-24)

Tom Doughterty was one of four individuals assembled by noted Naval historian Norman Polmar to coordinate various sources and technical data sets on the loss of the GOLF-II Class Soviet SSG on 11 March 1968 in the northwest Pacific, an effort that provided the basis for the book PROJECT AZORIAN: THE CIA AND THE RAISING OF THE K-129 by Michael White and Norman Polmar.

As was the case with the book, the linked article demonstrates Dougherty's unique ability to "synthesize" disparate technical inputs to produce assessments that convey the meaning of those inputs without passing beyond the ability of most readers to assess their validity and understand their implications.

I especially enjoyed Doughtery's excoriation of those who have written conspiracy theory books about the loss of SOCRPION which Tom characteried as "the equivalent of high tech, campfire ghost stories with the Soviet Navy as the bogey man..." This assessment puts those books – written for profit without regard to evidence contrary of their conspiracy theories – in perspective.

The article also provides a number of images of SCORPION and drawings – based on photographs of the wreck – that show the enormous destructive power of the pressure-hull collapse event including the "telescoping" of two stern sections a distance of 50 feet, one within the other.

In summary, Doughtery's article pulls all the various sources together to provide an accurate assessments of what can be documented and technically supported about the loss of the USS SCORPION (SSN-589) more than 46 years ago.

Exceptionally well done, Tom.

Russ, please archive.