Azorian: The Raising of the K-129


For over six years, the wreck of the Soviet submarine "K-129" had lain in the dark abyss and shifting silt of the North Pacific. From its loss in March 1968 until its exposure in March 1974, the world was unaware that the Russians had lost a strategic missile submarine with its three one megaton thermo-nuclear warheads, and two nuclear- tipped torpedoes. The Soviet Government was equally unaware that the US had located and photographed the wreck and was preparing the largest marine salvage operation in history to raise the K-129.

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Episode Description


Part One

Project AZORIAN, which was eventually known inaccurately to the general public as Project Jennifer, was the CIA's audacious attempt to recover the K-129 wreck using a specially designed salvage vessel named the Hughes Glomar Explorer. Representing the most modern missile-carrying submarine then in the Soviet inventory, the K-129 offered the US a cornucopia of unique intelligence targets, ranging from nuclear weapons to cryptographic systems and other equipment. But retrieving it required $1.8 billion (in today's dollars) and more than six years to design and build the equipment that could do the impossible.


Part Two

To this day, Project AZORIAN is the deepest salvage operation ever attempted and was so far beyond the cutting-edge of 1970s technology that the Soviets considered it to be impossible. A brief flurry of press attention in 1975 resulted in a special presidential gag order being put in place by then President Gerald Ford. This security provision has effectively blocked normal declassification systems and Freedom of Information Act requests to this day. Finally, however, some mission members and senior engineers of Project AZORIAN have stepped out of the shadows to help tell this dramatic story in their own words. Utilizing extensive, accurate CGI reconstruction of the salvage attempt, plus never before seen film of the actual recovery itself, and based upon contemporaneous documents, AZORIAN: The Raising of K-129 provides the first factual and documented account of this unique event ever made available outside the confines of US Intelligence agencies.