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  • Sinking of The Russian Submarine K-129

    01. 03. 2007 10:34 PST

The story of K-129

The following scenario was described by author Kenneth Sewell utilizing declassified
documents from the United States and Soviet Union, and from interviews with
intelligence personnel from the CIA, DIA, and KGB. This is not fiction, but a theory
based on several facts.

China develops nuclear technology and detonates its first atomic bomb.

Soviet Union delivers a Golf I model submarine to Communist China. The Golf I
ballistic missile submarine was required to surface to fire its three missiles. China
copied this design with minor improvements and deployed their own. Russia modifys
its existing Golf I class submarines to Golf II, which has the ability to launch its
missiles while submerged.

Soviet Union delivers (7) R-11 'Sark' Naval ballistic missiles to communist China,
without warheads. These missiles have a 350 mile range and are launched from the
Golf class ballistic missile submarine. China quickly adapts its nuclear technology to
fit onto the Chinese copy of the R-11 missile. Russia has begun deploying the newer
R-13 'Seb' missile with 800 mile range.

February 24, 1968
Records show that the submarine, K-129, had returned from a previous cruise only
weeks before and was not due to sail again for 6 months. Shortly after shore leave
started, the submarine was ordered back to sea.

K-129's crew was augmented by an additional 11 men just prior to sailing. This was
highly unusual as the already cramped submarine would have been hard pressed to
support the additional crew members.

While enroute to its patrol zone, K-129 did not issue two mandatory radio
communications to headquarters, nor did it respond to requests from headquarters
to immediately report.

March 7, 1968
A Soviet Golf II class ballistic missile submarine sank 350 miles north of Hawaii.
This submarine, K-129, was over 400 miles from its normal mission box of operation.
Positive identification of this subs identity was obtained by tracking via the SOSUS
system, heat sensative satellite surveillence, and tracking by American attack
submarines, and later by physical recovery of parts from the submarine.

American Satellites detected a large heat plume at this location. Analysis of the heat
signature was consistent with the burning of Soviet missile fuel, however, no follow
on heat trail that would have indicated a missile launch was detected after the initial
plume so no launch warning was issued to NORAD, but it was recorded.

March 21, 1968
Soviet Navy launches a 40 ship search for K-129 but in the area of its normal mission
box, not at the location later identified as the point where K-129 actually sank.

A few weeks later, A U.S. Oceanic research vessel, R/V Teritu, detects an oil slick.
Analysis of this oil slick determined high levels of radiation from Chinese fissionable
material* and high grade diesel oil of the type used in Chinese and Soviet
Diesel/Electric submarines.

*Soviet warheads prior to 1965 were sometimes manufactured using fissionable
material obtained from China before the breakdown of friendly relations.

August 1968
USS Halibut, A United States Spy submarine, located the wreckage of K-129 and
began taking detailed photographs of the damage to the sub, 3 miles below the
oceans surface. Damage to K-129's conning tower, where the launch tubes were
located, was clearly seen. The missiles were visible and clearly a non nuclear
explosion had occurred in #1 missile's warhead which detonated fuel in missiles #1
and #2. This fuel detonation caused a break in the sub K-129's keel and blew a hole
out of the bottom of the sub and in the conning tower, causing it to sink rapidly .

The majority of the bodies were found in section 2 of the submarine, Senior officers
quarters and ward room. No escape hatches existed in this section and only a few
crew members would normally have been in this location during normal operation of
the submarine. This would have been the last place a crewman would go if the sub
were sinking.

A Russian Osnaz squad consists of 11 men. The Osnaz is a highly trained group
chosen from highly dedicated members of the Soviet Spetsnaz and are under the
authority of the KGB, not the Army or Navy. The identity of the 11 additional sailors
on board K-129 has never been revealed.

The explosion on K-129 was consistent with a fail safe detonation of the
warhead in the R-13 missile. This fail safe will only detonate during an unauthorized
launch attempt and is caused by an invalid launch code being entered. This fail safe
system is a near duplicate to the fail safe designed in the United States because this
information was given to the Russians for the same reason we used it, To prevent
an unauthorized attempt to launch, and to destroy the platform if such an attempt
was made.

Nearly all of the crew of K-129 was located in the middle two compartments. It is
possible they were being held there by a KGB Osnaz team.

Russian launch codes required authorization sections from the Navy, Politburo, and
KGB before being considered valid from the missile. It is possible that the Captain of
K-129 gave an invalid code to prevent a launch or the Osnaz team failed to disable
the fail safe devices prior to the attempted launch.

But why would a Russian submarine attempt to launch a missile in the first place?
Russia considered China a larger threat then the United States in 1968.

Some other interesting facts behind the sinking of K-129:

The explosion of K-129 was on the surface. If the missile exploded during an
attempted launch then why didn't the explosion occurred underwater? The Golf II
class had an underwater launch capability.

Why was the submarine 350 miles North West of Hawaii? If the target was Hawaii,
the K-129's R-13 missiles could reach it from 800 miles away.

The Golf II submarine was an upgrade to the Golf I. There is no external difference
between the two submarine classes.

The Chinese were using a copy of the Golf I given to them by the Soviet Union.

The Golf I cannot launch underwater.

The R-11 missile, copied by the Chinese, only has a range of 350 miles.

The warhead contained in the R-13 missiles in the K-129 were made with material
obtained from China.

It is theorized that members of the KGB foresaw the collapse of the Soviet Union
economy and attempted to start a nuclear war between the United States and
China. Such an attack would have destroyed China and left the United States
severely weakened. Russia would have been able to complete the occupation of
China with nearly 1 million Soviet troops and have had access to the raw materials
located in that country as nearly all nuclear targets would have been along the
Pacific coast, away from the Russian homeland.

Scary to think about.


  • Re : Sinking of The Russian Submarine K-129

    01. 07. 2007 09:11 PST

wow.....never even hurd of this, thank you for taking my mind of maths homework(i
do mean that)

  • Re : Sinking of The Russian Submarine K-129

    01. 06. 2007 20:05 PST

K-129 or Kursk incident

dont tell me US didnt have a sub tracking them if they could....

i dont know much.. other than Sub Commanders do think they are good (and they
are), but some might think they are better than they are... and submerged its hard
to see how close you really are to a collision

nice info... but i would like to know what parts came from what source....

USSR sources is most likly to imply others as the bad guy.. so is Chineese and US....
and i never knew the cubans had Nukes themself

EDIT: ignore the cuban comment.. dont know where i got that from.. cuba wasnt
even mentioned

  • Re : Sinking of The Russian Submarine K-129

    01. 06. 2007 18:14 PST

Even before the USSR came into existence, the Russian empire, ruled by a conservative
regime, had controlled a lot of lands
that are no longer part of modern-day "Russia."

But yes, racism/nationalism would have been frowned upon in a leftist state, possibly to
the point of death in one so corrupt as the USSR.

patriot =/= nationalist. Technically, patriotism is incompatible with communism (as the
state is removed and there are no longer competing groups of people) but any patriotism in
the USSR's situation would be support of the country; the USSR. Nationalism, on the other
hand, would be favoring one's own ethnicity over all others. I acknowledge, however, that
Russia was only the dominant SSR, and the lands of the former Russian empire/USSR were
not inhabited solely by Russians.

And on-topic, I must be skeptical due to the lack of information regarding the incident.

  • Re : Sinking of The Russian Submarine K-129

    01. 05. 2007 19:00 PST

nice nice, I really liked it... but I have one doubt about what you said: "ordering the
deaths of over 1 million of his own countrymen. " I highly doubt they were russian...
it was a death sentence to be patriotic of your real nation and many
patriots/nationalists died for freedom and support of their real country and not a
fasho-commy regeam that made a slave from you. But overall everyone in USSR is
called "russian"... even though many many of them were not. Sucks having such a
strong naighbour that takes you over for your countries riches and then does
geneside against your people for being to patriotic and nationalistic... eventually
they were all made into "glorious russian people"... by pure blooded murder. Shame.

  • Re : Sinking of The Russian Submarine K-129

    01. 05. 2007 09:01 PST

bump, kinda like seeing your responses.

  • Re : Sinking of The Russian Submarine K-129

    01. 04. 2007 00:34 PST

Nice work Shogun. A great little piece of information. Look forward to the next one.

  • Re : Sinking of The Russian Submarine K-129

    01. 04. 2007 00:22 PST

yes lockheed we do fear a hydrogen weapen and FYI a base thats 60 miles away,
(which my SF uncle worked there before) has several B61 free fall hydrogen
weapens that were built in 1997. if all detonated in sequence you will all see a new
ocean frontier.......

  • Re : Sinking of The Russian Submarine K-129

    01. 04. 2007 00:13 PST

good read man that was pretty good info, i know of another time where the russians had the
2 keys turned and the ICBM ready to go but it was stopped. A NATO nation told them they
where putting a satellite up but the info wasnt relayed to that base lucky they second
guessed themselves and called it in. Pretty sure there are many other incidents that have
yet to be released, kinda leaves you in awe knowing that at any moment you could be wiped
off the face of the planet from a hydrogen weapon.

  • Re : Sinking of The Russian Submarine K-129

    01. 03. 2007 19:26 PST

"However, the sub they mention, USS Swordfish, was over 2000 miles away at the
time K-129 sank."

lol! if you get caught doing something you shouldnt have been doing, its always a
good thing to be good at lieing. the guy who told the above one apparently sucked
at it :D

  • Re : Sinking of The Russian Submarine K-129

    01. 03. 2007 17:22 PST

A few other tidbits.

6 months after the K-129 scenario was developed, President Lyndon Johnson
reactivated the Sentinel ABM system previous cancelled two years previously.

Russia blames the K-129 sinking on an American attack submarine ramming the sub.
However, the sub they mention, USS Swordfish, was over 2000 miles away at the
time K-129 sank. Nevertheless, a few months after K-129 sank, on May 24, USS
Scorpion sank under suspicious circumstances. A U.S. Navy inquiry states a
malfunctioing torpedo caused the scorpion to sink. Others in the U.S. Navy suspect
that a soviet sub, aided by intelligence gathered from the Spy, john walker, along
with decryption equipment salvaged from the spy ship USS Pueblo (Captured by
North Korea in January 1968 and examined by Soviet Technicians) may have sunk
the Scorpion in retaliation for K-129.

1 year after the scenario of K-129 was developed it was reportedly leaked to
Russian intelligence. Within 1 year 14 major Russian politicians were 'Sick', 'retired',
or 'in hospital' at the annual May Day celebration in Red Square. 1 year after this, in
1970, the system which the Soviet Union used to authorize a nuclear launch was
changed. Whereas codes were previously sent from the Army/Navy unit, Politburo,
and KGB, now all the codes were to be sent from a single command authority
outside the control of the KGB and Politburo. No launch codes were to be kept
onboard Soviet submarines. Control of the actual nuclear weapons was removed
from the control of the KGB and given to the respective Army, Navy, and Airforce
units responsible for using them in the event of war.

U.S. Intelligence suspects that Mickail Suslov was the man behind this plot to start a
nuclear war. Suslov, a veteran of the Stalin purges and the Hungarian revolt is
reportedly responsible for ordering the deaths of over 1 million of his own
countrymen. He would have been perfectly capable of killing millions more of Non
Russians in a nuclear war. He reportedly died in 1983 ( not sure on this date)
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