A MATTER OF RISK: The Incredible Inside Story of the CIA's Hughes Glomar Explorer Mission to Raise a Russian Submarine by Roy D. & Wayne R. Collier Varner

A MATTER OF RISK: The Incredible Inside Story of the CIA's Hughes Glomar Explorer Mission to Raise a Russian Submarine

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another run-through on the Glomar Explorer, this time from the ""inside"" but with many CIA secrets still safe. Perhaps the deepest secret is whether the half-billion dollar job was worthwhile; from what we know, it wasn't. And what's worse, we were playing Russian roulette the whole time our gigantic sub-raiser was out there. Co-author Collier was recruiter of personnel for Howard Hughes' Summa Corporation's Global Marine Development, Inc., which built Explorer in total secrecy to recover a sunken, old-fashioned Russian submarine; it had exploded and sunk three miles to the seabottom north of Hawaii. We had already lost our codes and code-machines to the Russians when the North Koreans captured our sub Pueblo. We needed their computer codes and machine. Explorer was supposed to drop a fantastic claw down to raise the sub. But--in this book's most exciting moment--the sub broke while still only a mile above seabottom and the claw recovered only a fifth of it, including the captain's coded log (unbreakable without the lost machine). Despite the fact that security was blown, the CIA ordered the Explorer to return for the rest of the sub--an espionage coup that the Russians could not possibly permit to happen. The order was canceled on the day of sailing. The authors detail the hiring of the crew and their training, the building of Explorer and its claw; and dramatize the recovery. They doubt the value of CIA brinksmanship and the present hush-up. If you liked King Kong, you'll love the claw; otherwise, so-so.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1978
Publisher: Random House