May 182007
 

On the morning of Memorial Day, May 27, 1968, dozens of family members of the crew of the USS Scorpion gathered at Pier 22 at the Norfolk Naval Station awaiting the 1pm arrival of the submarine returning from a routine three-month deployment to the Mediterranean. The families waited for hours in the wind and rain clutching umbrellas and comforting shivering children. But unbeknownst to them, the Scorpion had sunk five days earlier, killing all ninety-nine men onboard.

What veteran military reporter Ed Offley has found out decades later is that the Navy already knew the Scorpion’s fate on that morning but hid the facts from family members, the press, and the public. To this day, family members and the public remain in the dark about what one American admiral has called “one of the greatest unsolved sea mysteries of our era.”

Ed Offley is a Military Reporter for The News Herald in Panama City, Florida. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia (’69) and served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. His new book is Scorpion Down—Sunk by the Soviets, Buried by the Pentagon: The Untold Story of the USS Scorpion.

  7 Responses to “CRN: Author Ed Offley on Scorpion Down

  1. I’ve read the book and was quite impressed. However, I was not able to find any independent corroberation on the web.

    I went to a bulletin board where ex-SOSUS personnel post and their opinions. The ratio is three posts thinking the book is BS versus for every post that thinks it’s plausible. People who were posting included a guy who was stationed with Vince Collier, seaman that was in the class where the SOSUS “Scorpion death” recording was played. The man posting said Vince was quite a talker, but never mentioned hearing the “death” recording.

    Other ex-SOSUS personnel posting said that they remembered seeing US and Soviet subs mameuvering live as the paper tape was being produced from the sensors.

    It’s a good book, but it would be nice if someone came forward to corroberate it.

  2. Scorpion Down.. a week or so prior to the sinking of the Scorpion, i remember hearing about a russian bomber mysteriously crashing near an air craft carrier.
    To me the timeing was too much to dis regard.. I assumed it was tit for tat..

  3. Bingo.. the Scorpion was already sunk sooooooo it would seem that maybe we were retaliating for our sub… which we knew went down..
    maybe we were in a heightened state of alert.
    The russian badger t-16 went down on the 25 of may.

  4. To Don Mikulec,— I was wanting to visit the “bulletin board” where the Ex-Sosus members posted the reply about Collier, to see if it was as you say it was, but you didn’t provide that info. Interesting… especially since I was in the class 8222 as well, I remember Vince as being one of the
    people who helped others study, and was well liked among his peers. I didn’t graduate with 8222, I had pneumonia, which caused me to miss enough days that I was set back into 8223, and I wasn’t there for the replay of the tape. However, I do not believe that any of our instructors would have played a “graduation trick” on us, considering the seriousness of our job. That sort of behavior would have been the end of anyone’s career as an instructor. You might as well make fun of the death of someone’s child. Some things you just didn’t do at OTA school.

  5. To Don Mikulec,— I was wanting to visit the “bulletin board” where the Ex-Sosus members posted the reply about Collier, to see if it was as you say it was, but you didn’t provide that info. Interesting… especially since I was in the class 8222 as well, I remember Vince as being one of the
    people who helped others study and was well liked among his peers and instructors. I didn’t graduate with 8222, I had pneumonia, which caused me to miss enough days that I was set back into 8223, and I wasn’t there for the replay of the tape. However, I do not believe that any of our instructors would have played a “graduation trick” on us, considering the seriousness of our job. That sort of behavior would have been the end of anyone’s career as an instructor. You might as well make fun of the death of someone’s child. Some things you just didn’t do at OTA school. After I read the book, I am pretty well convinced that it is as close to accurate as is possible, until the Navy finally de-classifies it, and comes clean.

  6. This doesn’t surprise me a bit. I am not an alarmist or conspiracy theory nut of any kind….but when you get firm documentation/confirmation like this…it makes you wonder what else have we been kept in the dark about?

  7. I was a Sonarman 3rd class stationed aboard the U.S.S. Thomas A. Edison SSBN 610 at the time the Scorpian failed to return to Norfolk. At that time we were on a shake-down cruise after undergoing an overhaul at Charleston Naval Shipyard, and were in the area of her transit route. We were instructed to search with our active sonar, which we did for approx. 48 hours. Needless to say we did not find her. Your list of Naval vessels failed to include our boat. Minor detail, but a detail nonetheless.

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