In this major work of historical reporting, Ed Offley reveals that the sinking of the Scorpion has never been a mystery, but rather a secret buried by the U.S. government in a frantic attempt to keep the Cold War from turning into a hot war. The Soviets had torpedoed the Scorpion in reprisal for the destruction of the Soviet missile sub K-129, which the Americans had sunk in the Pacific just 10 weeks earlier. But why does the U.S. Navy continue to hide the real story of what happened on that fateful day in 1968?
In Scorpion Down, military reporter Ed Offley tells the true story for the first time and dramatically recounts a little-known episode that nearly brought about World War III. And he conclusively demonstrates that the Navy's official account of the Scorpion incident, from the frantic open-ocean hunt for the wreckage to a court of inquiry's final conclusions, is nothing more than a carefully constructed series of lies.
©2007 Ed Offley; (P)2007 HighBridge Company
It was well done, however the constant mispronunciation of Submariner is irritating
ED Offley offers a detailed conspiracy theory that the USS Scorpion (SSN - 589) was sunk by a torpedo fired by a Soviet Submarine during a secret mission in May 1968.
The author provides some convincing evidence that the submarine was sent on an intelligence gathering mission after a successful patrol in the Mediterranean when the US Navy discovered a group of Soviet Surface ships and a submarine operating near the Canary Islands when the Scorpion was on its way home.
The theory is that the Soviet submarine reacted aggressively to the presence of the Scorpion and in retaliation for the Loss of the K129 in March 1968 (which they might have believed was lost due to a collision with the USS Swordfish) in the Pacific and proceeded to sink the submarine.
It is suggested that Soviets might of known that the Scorpion was sent to spy on their operation because of they had compromised the US Navy’s secret communication network. It’s argued that the North Korean’s captured the USS Pueblo in January 1968 under orders from the Russian’s to obtain it’s secret communication gear to make best use of the data and cryptographic keys flowing in from the Walker spy ring (which started operating in 1967) allowing them to ambush the submarine.
Offley claims that the US Navy knew almost immediately about the loss of the Scorpion and the fact that it was sunk by the Soviet Union due to the then Top Secret SOSUS listening posts in the Atlantic and launched a limited search operation before the Navy publically admitted it was overdue to return to its home port.
The reason why the US Navy did not publicise the sinking of the Scorpion was down to the fact that they were worried that the incident could lead to WW3 especially since tensions were already high due to America’s increasing involvement in South Vietnam and the loss of the K129. If the Americans were responsible for the loss of the K129 then they may have accepted the loss of the Scorpion and covered up the events leading up to its loss.
The account of the reasons for the loss of Scorpion is not very convincing, the evidence is circumstantial and lacks any kind of primary evidence. I find it difficult to believe that the Soviet navy ordered the sinking of the submarine or that a rogue commander of the Soviet sub acted without authorisation and care of the consequences and fired the torpedo. It would have been an open secret in the Soviet Navy which would have almost certainly have leaked out after the fall of the Soviet Union.
A thoroughly riveting account of the loss of the United States submarine "Scorpion".
Well worth your time and the money to purchase.
The narration is superbly done as well.
I recommend this book without reservation.
This book purports to be the true story of the Scorpion but fails to give any true answers. Offley continues unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about the Scorpion, he provides multiple conflicting Scorpion conspiracy theories combined to create one grand conspiracy theory of the sinking(thankfully no aliens are involved). He makes innuendos based on suspicions and memories decades after the fact and reports them as unquestioned facts. He uses official Navy logs that don't support any of his theories as proof that his theories are based in fact. Offley argues that the ship was in great condition and that a mechanical malfunction onboard was improbable. This ignores overwhelming evidence that the Scorpion was in fact overdue for an overhaul and extensive repairs as well as the damning evidence of the sailors derisive nickname of the Scorpion the USS Scrapiron. He does not provide answers on the loss of the Scorpion but self aggrandizement and a bashing of the government in general and the Navy in particular without any documents to support his theories. Please listen if you want a good laugh on conspiracy theories but if you want a factual and unbiased account of the Scorpion go somewhere else. I regret buying this tripe.
"Good insight into sub warfare during cold war"
Apparently a topic of decades long interest for the author, he presents a detailed history of submarine tactics during the cold war in an interesting (if occasionally repetitive) chronological manner. His continuous re-examination of the available facts surrounding the loss of the Scorpion, spanning many years, gradually fills in the gaps in the official record to present a credible scenario of the last hours of the sub's existence. The last twist in the story was so unexpected (at least to me) and yet made so much sense in the context of the cold war and the condition of the Soviet navy, that it makes the author's case for me.
As time passes, and more naval records become declassified, it is interesting to imagine what further twists this story will take when the next layer of this onion is pealed away.
A great story with some logical conclusions. Being in the Navy during that time period and involved in crypto/intelligence most if not all the information is well presented.
My only negative observation was the very poor edit job. As you listen most of the selection breaks were done in the middle of a word which sometimes made it difficult to understand.
"Where is the evidence from Russia?"
I found this book very interesting and it makes many good points about the loss of the Scorpion.
I was disappointed,however,that very little evidence from Russia was given by the author to make his case. Certainly,many Russians must have taken part in or known of the sinking but only one is cited and his statement needs support.
I feel the author has only proved that it is
probable and not certain that the Russians are responsible for the loss of the Scorpion.
A thoroughly riveting account of the loss of the United States submarine "Scorpion"
The narration is superbly done as well.
As a former Cold War submariner it brought back great memories of my involvement in these secretive times. Well done.
"Great Book when the author stuck to the facts"
Scorpion Down was good historical review telling the loss of one US submarine during the height of the cold war. I give it a passing review because the research and writing quality is great. I only wish the author and writers like him did not go by the supposition of any secret being inherently evil in intent. In defense if peace, or a specific country not all information should be public.
"the unseen world"
i found the book very interesting, to learn of the heroism of the crew members of the different subs. i would recommend this to anyone, but if you have family in the naval submarine service, remember they are the greatest.
This is two books in one: A condensed history of the history of submarine warfare and the investigative narrative of the scorpion.
The author has obviously spent a lifetime putting together the trove of information contained herein, and if you've bought the book for it's title you won't be able to put it down.
It's not a well edited book; there's a lot a fat that could be cut out, say from 15 hours down to 10, but the author's dedication to the subject is compelling enough to give it a pass.
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