My totally uninformed impressions of submarine sinkings in the 1960s:
In addition to Offley’s newspaper articles in the past, there are two, what I as a neophyte consider, definitive works on Scorpion. Sherry Sontag, a newspaper reporter, wrote Blind Man’s Bluff and John Craven, director of the Navy’s Special Projects Office, wrote The Silent War. Craven, constrained by security requirements, expended a lot of effort confirming and/or denying Sontag’s book. He did however state that she appeared in most cases to have good sources.
Craven arrived at the Pentagon War Room within hours of the Navy’s announcement that the Scorpion was missing. SOSUS, according to Sontag, was filtered to exclude whales, underwater exploration explosions, etc. and did not pick up anything at all associated with Scorpion. I have always thought that this was unusual. Offley states in his timeline that NIS raided all the SOSUS stations within hours of the sinking and confiscated all data. Craven does not discuss this. However, Craven and Captain Kelly, father of SOSUS, immediately locate two independent Naval Research hydrophones with relavent data, one in the Canary Islands and one in the Bahamas and, with five blips, pinpoint the site of the sinking. The Pentagon, using data from SOSUS that no Soviet threat was within 50NM at the time, discounts Soviet involvement. This, reported from John Craven, who was active in the Pentagon decision making process.
Anyhow, can’t wait to read the book. All his newspaper articles in the past, if I remember correctly, have alluded to some sort of cover up.
Craven’s real expose was a Soviet sub which sunk just months prior to Scorpion just north of Hawaii. A conventional nuclear-missile carrying Golf class sub, referred to as K129 by families of crew members, Craven was instrumental in locating it off station and where the Soviets were not searching. He “confirms” that in his opinion it was a rogue sub surfaced that had fired a nuclear warhead at Pearl Harbor. The Captain was unaware of the missile’s fail safe system which caused it to explode, sinking the sub, rather than going through the launch cycle. This was the sub that Howard Hughe’s Glomar Explorer either salvaged or did not, depending on which story one reads. Craven was totally flabbergasted that the sub was a special class, sometimes referred to as a November class and that the salvage operation was code named Red September and that Tom Clancy, apparently out of the blue, came up with Hunt for Red October.
Interesting stuff. Apparently the Cuban Missile Crisis and General LeMay’s antics were not the only things that put us on the verge of WWIII.
Stories about the demise of the Scorpion are as rampent today as they were in the late 60's and into the 70's. Legends were born from the sinking of the SS(N) 589. To give you a hint, begining in the early 70's, sonar was equiped with an alarm that was tied to the signiture profile of the various torpedos deployed at that time. Very much like the threat alarm in aircraft. I know, coincidental. Yeah.
Scuttlebutt was rampent about the Scorpion. Everyone had an opinion but most were linked to a pressure wave incident, ie: torpedo detonation in the water. MK 37's were tempermental and high maintenance but never a threat outside of a tube. We had a set of drills specifically designed for a MK 37 events. Even if you had a hot run in a tube, the wep. wouldn't arm itself.
The unspoken consensus was the detonation of a Soviet torpedo close aboard. Of course that's just more speculation and has no substantiation. Of course this speculation gains more credence when you view the the debris field from the 90's survey of the site. The Ops compartment is obliterated. The bow, machinery and engineering sections are intact except for implosion damage. All compartment watertight doors appear to have been dogged down. Not a normal running configuration. Fore to aft WTD's were only dogged for GQ and Collision alarms.
Okay, I've just become an official conspiracy nut! Just a little fodder for the discussion.
The problem I have with conspiracy theorists is that they come to their conclusion first then base their "evidence" around the conclusion. A little backwards and not especially objective or scientific. A good storyteller can make just about anything convincing.
And then there is the WP article over the weekend from the former FBI ballistics expert working in conjunction with Texas A & M who states that the previous bullet tests were flawed and that multiple bullet batches is probable.