Friday, June 13, 2008

U.S.S. Scorpion story revelled

The USS Scorpion was s U.S. Navy nuclear submarine stationed in my home town of Norfolk. On Memorial Day 1968 she failed to return to port after a NATO tour in the Med.

Lost at sea.

Thirty years later her story has changed as the Cold War cooled, unrelated threads came together, old solders told their stories (that were classified TOP SECRET in their day) and the Internet provided a mechanism for dozens of individual to connect and share their knowledge so that the pieces of the puzzle can now be assembled.

Ed Offley's book Scorpion Down tells the full story. I just finished listening to the book tape this week. The perfect book to read after The Hunt for Red October.

Well researched, Offley is a journalist, over a 30 year period. The first few chapters are engaging and he sets you up by telling the story chronologically, you learn what about the ship, the events leading up to her disappearance from the official Navy documents and news paper article published in 1968.

Subsequent chapters lay out the background in more detail. The submariners culture is described and we learn how the Navy operated in the later part of the 20th century. I found the middle of the book boring but all the information needs to be in the record. Mr. Offley collected a lot of stuff and there are many threads that need to be understood before you can appreciate how well they fit together. They fit together, I don't think this is conspiracy theory stuff here. [20 years ago the Scorpion disappearance was a conspiracy theory. Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that no one is out to get you.]

The final chapters are quit exciting. I couldn't believe the plot twists and turns that came to light decades after the incident.

Everything you know is wrong!

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