In 1968 at the height of the Cold War, K-129, a Russian submarine on patrol in the North Pacific was lost. The Russians searched for the sub and could find no trace of it. The US looked for the sunken submarine and found it in 16,800 feet of water. Did the submarine carry nuclear weapons and was the krypto equipment recoverable? The CIA wanted to know.
Using Howard Hughes as a cover, the CIA built a 650-foot ship, the Hughes Glomar Explorer. The goal was to secretly raise the submarine from the ocean floor - some 3 miles deep - without the Soviets knowing. The mission, codenamed Project Azorian, was one of the most complex, expensive and secretive intelligence operations of the Cold War.
Local resident, Charlie Canby, a naval architect and marine engineer, worked on the design of the ship and sailed on the Hughes Glomar Explorer in the capacities of an ordinary seaman and welder. He was the Resident Naval Architect on the actual recovery mission in 1974.
On February 15th, Canby will tell the story of this 6 year mission through artifacts and a slideshow lecture including the conceptual design of the ship and the recovery mission itself. He will also detail the mysteries of why the Hughes Glomar Explorer anchored four times at the Isthmus (Two Harbors)!