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Thread: USS Scorpion

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    wʜɪтe яussɪaи Tashah's Avatar
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    USS Scorpion

    Scorpion Down - Sunk by the Soviets, Buried by the Pentagon: The Untold Story of the USS Scorpion ~ Ed Offley / Basic Books / 2007 / 482 pp.

    Mr. Offley is a graduate of the University of Virginia, served in the US Navy in Vietnam, and since then has been an investigative military reporter.

    On Wednesday, May 22, 1968, the submarine USS Scorpion (SSN 589) failed to return to Pier 22 at the Norfolk Naval Station. The nuclear missile sub, and its crew of ninety-nine were never heard from again. The wreckage was eventually found... 11,100 feet below the surface of the Atlantic. The US Navy has maintained to this day that the Scorpion suffered a major malfunction underwater and never recovered.

    Using recently declassified US and Soviet naval documents, Mr. Offley shows that the US Navy has long covered up what really happened. SSN 589 was struck amidships by a torpedo fired from a Russian Echo II submarine.

    Why did the Soviets attack the Scorpion? According to Soviet documents and interviews, this was payback. The Soviets firmly believed that one of their missile subs, K-129, sank in the Pacific with all hands after it had been rammed by the USS Swordfish (SSN 579). Ten days after the K-129 vanished, the Swordfish limped into the US Seventh Fleet headquarters at Yokosuka, Japan. The Swordfish had suffered severe mast damage and docked for repairs. The damage was so severe that the Swordfish was not seaworthy for one and a half years.

    Mr. Offley also discovered another disturbing item during his interviews with former Soviet Navy officials. During the Six Day War, the Soviet command had dispatched an Echo-II class nuclear sub (K-172) to the Mediterranean. The K-172 commander, Captain Nikolai Shashkov, described his orders as "to be ready to make a rocket strike on the coast of Israel." K-172 was armed with eight SS-N-3 Shaddock cruise missiles each armed with a 300-kiloton nuclear warhead. Upon receipt of a coded signal from Soviet Navy headquarters in Moscow, Shashkov was to surface the K-172 and and fire his eight missiles at Israel. The trigger point, Shashkov explained, was if Israel or its Western allies invaded Syria. In the end, the fatal order never arrived and K-172 ended its patrol and headed home. Captain Shashkov has testified that to his amazement upon returning to port, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was on the docking pier to greet the K-172.

    אשכנזי היהודי • Белый Россию

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    Banned Billo_Really's Avatar
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    Re: USS Scorpion

    That report is all the more sobering when thinking about todays' US position on Iran.

    I certainly hope more records are released about this incident. We have been told for many years it was "ice freezing in the ballast lines" that was the reason it sank. One can only wonder how many other similar incidents have occured since then.

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    Cool Re: USS Scorpion

    Very timely topic.

    Book claims Soviets sank U.S. sub during Cold War

    Scorpion Down • The Untold Story of the U.S.S. Scorpion

    The perfect Christmas gift…for stirring up the cold war juices in anticipation of giving Soviet ally Iran a kiss.

    "For this reason I have made the decision on the resumption of flights of Russian strategic aviation," he added.
    Putin made the remarks as he observed the final stage of the "Peace Mission 2007" anti-terror drill, sponsored by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), in the Chebarkul military range near the Ural Mountain city of Chelyabinsk, with leaders of other SCO member states.
    The anti-terror drill, staged by the six member states of the SCO, have been carried out first in China's Urumqi, and then in Chelyabinsk, from August 9 to August 17.
    The SCO groups Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China and Russia. Mongolia, Pakistan, India and Iran hold observer status at SCO meetings. Russia resumes long-range bomber patrols

    I originally went in the military with orders to go to school for Fire Control Technician Submarines, and then due to the need for more AT’s I switched.

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    Re: USS Scorpion

    Explain why SOSUS failed to detect any Soviet subs, which during that time were as noisy as someone beating on a steel trashcan, or detect the squeal of a torpedo in the water at the time the Scorpion was lost?

    The only thing detected by SOSUS was the detonation noise in the vicinity of the Scorpion plus the boat was facing east when it was headed west after its deployment was over. That and the inherent unreliability of the Mark 37 torpedo.
    The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

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    Cool Re: USS Scorpion

    Quote Originally Posted by Mendacious View Post
    Explain why SOSUS failed to detect any Soviet subs
    It was Nixon's fault...

    Explain that ball of light that floated down through the plane like a fairy angel. Maybe it is like the summary of psychological experimentation on enlisted personnel from the operations officer to the commanding officer…that should have been in the safe with the IFF book that used to be in a drawer too, but hey, I see fairy angels. There are valid reasons to keep secrets locked up, like knowing some guys might literally gut an officer and gentleman like a fish if they knew what he did to them is one reason, avoiding global thermonuclear war is a good reason to keep a secret, and a flight across country to Maine for lobster is a very good reason to keep a secret if you want to go too. Don’t take my word for anything, I showed up wearing cut off shorts and flip flops on my last day as a drunken sailor.

    I know nothing...consider it fiction and it is still timely. The commies might nuke us for invading Iran, could they be that nuts? We better think about it.

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    wʜɪтe яussɪaи Tashah's Avatar
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    Re: USS Scorpion

    Quote Originally Posted by Mendacious View Post
    Explain why SOSUS failed to detect any Soviet subs, which during that time were as noisy as someone beating on a steel trashcan, or detect the squeal of a torpedo in the water at the time the Scorpion was lost?

    The only thing detected by SOSUS was the detonation noise in the vicinity of the Scorpion plus the boat was facing east when it was headed west after its deployment was over. That and the inherent unreliability of the Mark 37 torpedo.
    Recent revelations by many former US Navy personel (now retired) address this inconsistancy.

    After graduating from boot camp in San Diego in 1982, Seaman Vince Collier was ordered to Norfolk to attend a sixteen week course in Sosus interpretation (Class 82-22) at the Ocean Systems Technician "A" School. A few days before class graduation, Collier states that Ocean Systems Technician (OT-Analyst) First Class Richard Falck announced he had a surprise for the class. He inserted a Sosus data tape into the lofargram interpreter and the actuator started printing out a Sosus 'event'. The class immediately identified two submarine blade/turbine signatures, one American and the other Russian. Twenty minutes into the presentation, the students were astounded... the gram writer clearly showed a torpedo launch from one of the subs. When the torpedo hit, the seismic explosion blackened the lofargram paper. When the visual display returned to normal, only one sub signature remained. Falck explained to the class that the Sosus data just viewed was the accoustical death of the USS Scorpion. Falck was proud that the class was able to interpret the Sosus data correctly.

    When interviewed by Offley in early 2007, Richard Falck (retired in 5/93) corroborated Collier's testimony. He also stated that the Sosus data viewed was marked USS Scorpion.

    Collier and numerous other Sosus analysts also maintain that the Sosus data examined by the US Naval Court of Inquiry was tampered with. Numerous OT Technicians have verified that within hours of the Scorpion incident, Naval Intelligence officers came aboard the respective Sosus facilities and confiscated all tapes and evidences. What this implies is that two Sosus versions of the Scorion 'event' exist... a true rendering and a tampered rendering. All Sosus data information on the Scorpion is now archived as Top Secret materials.

    The US Navy officially reported that it took four months to locate the wreckage of the Scorpion. According to Offley, the reality is that the sub was located on May 27... five days after it was destroyed. The Russians told the US Navy where to look.

    אשכנזי היהודי • Белый Россию

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    Re: USS Scorpion

    This is an interresting story.

    That remembers me the US A-Bomb that fell into the ocean off Spain.

    I just read the article about the USS Scorpion on Wiki, there was a link to a list of every submarine accident. And there were a lot more than I thought

    ...at least in Silent Hunter III, when you are sinking, you can press "esc" and clic on "start the mission again"!

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    Re: USS Scorpion

    Interesting....I served on the Sculpin, SSN590 (sistership), as a Reactor Operator, early (67-69) in my Navy career. My last tour of duty (74-77) and my only shore tour, was at ComOceanSysLant in Norfolk, the central hub for SOSUS in the Atlantic, my duties included SOSUS equipment maintenance. You would think that somewhere during either the duty aboard the Sculpin, or at ComOceanSysLant, I would have heard something about the Scorpion event.
    BTW, the Scorpion was a Fast Attack sub, not a missle sub. The "mast" story about the Swordfish is also suspect. Perhaps the writer meant periscope. I suspect the "unseaworthy for 1 and a half years" is untrue.
    The damage to the Swordfish does not sound like enough force was applied to the Russian sub to sink it, assuming there was a collision. Submarine hulls are very, very thick. Any damage to a hull's intergrity would have seen it sent, or towed, back to the USA for repairs.
    Last edited by UtahBill; 08-23-07 at 09:23 AM.
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    Re: USS Scorpion

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    Thanks Bill. I know next to nothing about submarines and the Scorpion incident happened well before my time. One never knows quite what to believe in these cases since the general public has limited knowledge on subs and apparently that's how the Navy likes it.

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