Raising a Russian Submarine in Plain Sight with Charlie Canby


In April 1968, at the height of the Cold War, a Russian submarine on patrol to the West coast of the United States sank. The Russians looked for the submarine and could not find it. Just four months later the US located and photographed the submarine in 16,800 feet of water!

The CIA wanted the submarine, its crypto equipment and nuclear tipped missiles. Under the most fantastic, faux, cover story ever of Howard Hughes mining for manganese nodules, the CIA built the Hughes Glomar Explorer, a 680-foot-long ship, and raised the submarine in 1974.

Charlie Canby, was a young graduated Naval Architect from the University of Michigan in 1969. Charlie worked on the design of the Hughes Glomar Explorer and later served on the ship as an ordinary seaman, welder and as the Resident Naval Architect on the recovery mission. His fast-moving presentation tells the story of locating the submarine, the CIA developing the cover story, details of the ship design and the recovery mission. The presentation is packed with fun anecdotal stories and incredible photos. 

This program was organized by Rich Abele #1172.