That Time A Rogue Russian Submarine With Nukes Might Have Tried To Spark War Between U.S. And China

Russia K-129

A Soviet Union submarine sank and ended up off the coast of Oahu in March 1968. However, no one knew why the diesel-electric ballistic missile submarine and its one megaton of nuclear weaponry sank.

Disappearing Sub

The K-129 was nowhere near the location it was supposed to be, and no one seemed to know why. Moscow knew something was wrong when the submarine missed its check-in while on patrol.

They were ready at all times to fire upon other countries. The U.S. Navy wanted to keep tabs on the Soviet subs, so they would tail them when they headed out to the Pacific Ocean.

K-129 left its port in Kamchatka in February 1968, diving into deep water. The submarine was not expecting this patrol to be different from their last two. However, by the time they reached the middle of March, the submarine had failed to check-in twice. Soviet naval authorities were worried.

Massive Search

The USSR was determined to locate the sub, launching an air, surface, and underwater search and rescue mission in response. The sheer amount of Soviet assets searching drew the attention of the Americans.

The Americans kept tabs on the situation and began to search independently. The USSR officially called the boat a loss, but the Americans did not give up.

They used the far superior technology at their disposal and located K-129 at the bottom of the sea. President Nixon gave the CIA and Howard Hughes the permission to bring the K-129 up from 16,000 feet.

Conspiracy Theory

One of the main conspiracy theories behind the sub was the USSR was attempting to start a war between the U.S. and China. One reason was because of where it was found.

K-129 was nowhere near where it should have been. Also, there were 11 extra passengers onboard with no clear description of why there were there. The third reason was how it sank.

The ship appeared to have had an explosion from inside the ship. The theory is that the 11 extra passengers were KGB operatives who tried to take over the ship.

If they had ordered the skipper to fire, he may have begun the failsafe sequence and destroyed the ship. If they had fired from where the sub was found, the U.S. would have believed it was China.

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