Specialists of the US Navy began to listen kilometers tapes obtained from the bottom of the acoustic system stations SOSUS. In the cacophony of the ocean they found a fragment which was recorded "cotton".
The signal received from the bottom station on the elevation of the Imperial Mountains (part of the ocean floor) at a distance of over 300 miles from the alleged crash site. Taking into account the bearing accuracy SOSUS in 5-10 °, to "K-129" was defined as a "spot" size of 30 miles.
Soviet submarine sank 600 miles north-west of. Midway (Hawaiian Islands), the middle of the ocean trench at a depth of 5000 meters.
Official government's refusal of the USSR from the sunken "K-129" has led to the fact that she was "abandoned property", so any country, to locate a missing submarine, was considered to be its owner. Therefore, at the beginning of 1969, the CIA began discussions about the possibility of recovery of valuable equipment from the Soviet submarine from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
Americans interested in everything: the design of the submarine, mechanisms and tools, sonar, and documents. Special temptation suggestive penetrate the radio of the Soviet Navy, "split" the radio codes.
If it is possible to remove the radio communication equipment, you can use the computer to reveal information coding algorithms, the key to understand the laws of the development of codes of the USSR, ie, open the entire system deployment and management of the Navy of the Soviet Union. No less interesting is nuclear weapons on board the boat: design features of R-21 ICBM combat units and torpedoes.
By July 1969 was ready to clear plan for several years ahead, and work has begun to boil. Given the enormous depth at which sank "K-129", the success of the operation was estimated at 10%
For a start it was necessary to establish the exact whereabouts of the "K-129" and assess its condition. It took nuclear submarine special operations USS «Halibut» (Halibut).
Former missile was thoroughly modernized and saturated "eyeballs" oceanographic equipment: side thrusters, anchor gear with bow and stern mushroom anchor, diving camera near and far side sonar and deep-towed unit «Fish», equipped with photographic, video -Equipment and powerful searchlights.
When "Helibat" was at the design point, pulled the days of hard work. Every six days raised deep-sea vehicle to recharge in-camera film. Then she worked at a furious pace lab (the camera takes 24 frames per second).
And once on the table lay a picture with clearly defined rudder submarine. "K-129" lay down on the bottom of the ocean to unofficial reports at 38 ° 5 'N and 178 ° 57 '. d. (according to other sources - 40 ° 6 'with.. and 179 ° 57' in. d.) at a depth of 16,500 feet.
The exact coordinates of the "K-129" are still a state secret US. Following the discovery of "K-129", "Helibat" took another 22 thousand pictures of Soviet submarine.
Originally it was planned by a remotely operated underwater vehicles to open the enclosure "K-129" and retrieve the US intelligence materials on board the submarine without lifting most boats. But during the mission "Helibat" it was found that building "K-129" fractured into several large fragments, which made it possible to raise the entire interest to scouts compartments with five-kilometer depth.
Of particular value is the nose of the "K-129" in length 138 feet (42 meters). CIA and Navy appealed for financial support in the Congress, the Congress - President Nixon, and the project became a reality AZORIAN.
History GSF Explorer
Fantastic project required special technical solutions.
In April 1971, the shipyard Shipbuilding Dry Dock Co. (Pennsylvania, US East Coast) was laid ship MV Hughes Glomar Explorer. Giant, full displacement of 50,000 tons, was a single-deck vessel with a "central slot" on which was placed a huge A-shaped tower, located aft, fore and aft bunk chetyrёhyarusnoy superstructures.