Category Archives: USS Scorpion

“SUBMISS” 27 May 1968

Monday 27 May 1968, Memorial Day, at 1PM USS Scorpion was due to arrive pier 22 Norfolk, Virginia.

From COMSUBLANT (commander submarines Atlantic) the following flash message was sent at 3:15PM, 27 May 1968, to all ships and naval commands of the United States Navy Atlantic Fleet.

Executed Event SUBMISS at 271915Z for USS Scorpion ETA NORVA 271700Z ….. All submarine units surface or remain surfaced until this message is cancelled. Units in port prepare to get underway on one hour’s notice …..

What this meant was the USS Scorpion was due to arrive in Norfolk at 1PM (5PM Greenwich Mean Time). By 3:15PM the Scorpion had not yet arrived and all means by the navy to contact the Scorpion had failed.

This message ordered all US submarines in the Atlantic to surface. The navy wanted to insure the Scorpion was the only submarine missing.

The rest of the message was an order to all naval units (submarine, surface, and air) to prepare to leave port and search the Atlantic Ocean for the Scorpion.

Over the next 8 hours more than 40 surface ships and submarines would put to sea. More ships, from Florida to Maine, would put to sea by sunrise. Soon every plane, ship, and submarine in the United States Navy’s Atlantic Fleet would be scouring the Atlantic Ocean looking for the USS Scorpion and her 99 man crew.

Since the end of World War II there had only been one United States Naval operation this big — the Cuban Missile Crisis.

These two photos are of the Scorpion. The bottom one is one of the last photos taken of the Scorpion.

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USS Scorpion The Most Probable Cause For The Loss

If you are a regular reader of my articles you know I present events like the loss of the USS Scorpion and the most popular or probable causes of the event. I try to treat each theory fairly. However, I always keep my most preferred theory to myself.

I do that for a reason. You are intelligent and I want you to form your own opinion. Whether we agree or not is irrelevant. I view my job as to present as much of the facts and evidence as possible, to allow you to form your own intelligent opinion.

I do, fairly often, get requests for what my opinion or theory is. Even in private, I decline to answer that question. I do not want anyone to simply take my word for it, I want you to decide for yourself. Only once did I bow to pressure and make public my personal thoughts (that was about the submarine H.L. Hunley). Now for the second time I will bow to pressure and state my opinion as to the cause of the loss of the USS Scorpion.

First I want to say my opinion is based on circumstantial evidence and not a thorough examination of the debris field and the ship itself. Only a thorough examination of the debris field and the ship itself will ever provide the conclusive evidence as to the loss of the USS Scorpion. The United States Navy has made that impossible by withholding some of the pertinent information.

There is no real reason to continue to withhold that information. The last sister ship of the Scorpion was taken out of service and decommissioned decades ago. Taking a look at the many theories and the causes they point to, there no longer exists a reason to withhold information as well.

The theory one of Scorpion’s own weapons caused the accident. The weapons the Scorpion carried were taken out of service and no longer used by the navy long before the last sister ship of the Scorpion was decommissioned.

The theory that the Soviet Navy somehow caused the loss of the USS Scorpion. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) has not existed for almost three decades. That nation does not exist now.

The theory that cost cutting measures caused the loss of the USS Scorpion. The decision to reduce the Scorpion’s last overhaul from 36 months to 6 months was a bad decision. To be fair though, it was a decision made because of the escalating costs of the war in Vietnam. A war where, except for the navy S.E.AL.S., navy river boats, and naval air, the navy had very little role. Yet our submarine force was a major expenditure on the navy.

I also want to point out that after the loss of the Scorpion, naval cost cutting ideas involving the submarine force were all canceled. No more abbreviated overhauls. Also those submarines that had not under gone conversion to the Subsafe program were immediately scheduled to enter the shipyard to undergo Subsafe conversion. (I will add a postscript to this article that explains the Subsafe program as a refresher for those of you who know, and as an introduction for those who do not.)

In previous articles I have published some of the more widespread and popular theories. Also, using unclassified sources, I have tried to give the reader as accurate an understanding of the conditions at the time. Both the conditions of the world and the ship. The climate of 1968 was radically different than 2018, politically, technologically, and for the military in general and the navy specifically. To judge events and people against the 21st century in those and other areas would not only be unfair, but will prevent us from arriving at the true cause and responsibility for the event. I encourage you to do further research on your own into that unique period and event. It is simply not possible for me to cover in detail the time period in which this tragedy took place.

One quick note. A reminder from one of my previous articles on the USS Scorpion. The Scorpion had not yet under gone conversion to the Subsafe program. One of the system changes during Subsafe conversion is to the emergency blow system (EMBT). This system failed on the USS Thresher five years earlier. That left the Scorpion with two other ways of expelling water from the main ballast tanks. The normal blow, which as the name implies, was the normal method for this class of submarine to surface by blowing main ballast tanks. And the low pressure blow. This method involves the submarine driving to the surface and then blowing the ballast tanks dry with low pressure air.

At the time of the loss of the USS Scorpion the EMBT system had not been updated to comply with Subsafe. The shipyard said the system worked effectively and properly and was fit for service. The United States Navy said the system did not work effectively and properly and ordered the system to be danger tagged out of service.

I am not going to cover in this article other ships near the Scorpion or any mission she was on or may have recently completed when this tragic event occurred. I am only going to cover the series of events which caused the USS Scorpion to exceed its maximum diving depth, eventually coming to rest 10,000 feet below on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, where it is today.

At its operating depth for this patrol (300 feet or less, see other articles). The Scorpion began flooding through torpedo tube valves. As I previously wrote about, the Scorpion had already reported, a problem with substantial seawater leaks through these valves. On return to Norfolk at the conclusion of this patrol the Scorpion was to go into the shipyard. These valves were on the work schedule to be repaired or replaced in the shipyard.

As soon as the valves began to allow flood waters to enter the Scorpion the flooding alarm would have been sounded and the nature of the emergency stated. All those personnel who had just gotten off watch would have reported to the torpedo room to combat the casualty. All those personnel preparing to relieve those currently on watch, would have reported to the adjacent watertight compartment as the backup damage control party. The entire ship would have immediately began taking necessary steps to stop the flooding and regain safe operation and control of the ship. Those on watch would have began taking the ship to a shallower depth and began making preparations to surface the ship if necessary.

Due to the water flooding into the ship, Scorpion became heavy and began slowly sinking because of the extra water weight.

As ship’s personnel lost control of the ship’s depth and it began going deeper, those on watch would have attempted all available means to surface the ship.

These actions failed.

As the ship continued its descent passing below 300 feet (its officially reduced safe operating depth) the shaft seals began leaking. This was a recurring problem that had been previously fixed and was also scheduled for work in the shipyard.

As the ship continued to descend the sea pressure outside the hull would have increased causing the flow of water into the torpedo room and engine room to increase.

All hands would have been actively doing all within their power to stop the two flooding casualties and regain control of the ship. The damage control party would have been in the torpedo room and the backup damage control party would have been in the engine room.

At some point, probably at or below the theoretical crush depth of the submarine. The watertight bulkhead (wall) between the axillary machinery space and the engine room collapsed, causing the engine room to “telescope” inside the machinery space (one compartment was shoved inside the other by the sea pressure outside the Scorpion). At or shortly after that event the bulkheads for the operations compartment would have collapsed flooding the last dry compartment of the submarine.

The ship would have continued its descent to the ocean floor carrying its crew on eternal patrol.

The physical condition of the operations compartment as it now rests on the bottom indicates the casualty did not start in the operations compartment. But that the bulkheads collapsed under extreme pressure. Probably below the ship’s designed crush depth.

The physical condition of the torpedo and engine rooms as they are now, resting on the bottom, the bulkheads for these two compartments did not collapse which indicates the area inside these compartments was equal or almost equal to outside sea pressure.

Actually, based on what little photographic evidence the navy has made available, the casualty could have started as I believe in the torpedo room. Or the casualty could have started in the engine room.

What I am certain of is that both compartments had flooding which exceeded the ability of the crew to stop. And, though not the only possible source, the torpedo tube valves and the shaft seals are the most likely candidates for the source of the flooding.

It must be remembered that for any emergency aboard a submerged submarine, the crew only has seconds to regain control if the submarine is going to survive. Sound recordings by the navy of the sinking of the USS Scorpion show that the entire emergency, from start to implosion of the bulkheads, took approximately 90 seconds.

Each member of the crew would have continued to do everything within his power to regain control of the ship until he was permanently incapacitated. Gratefully, this was not a long period of time and the men did not have to endure a long period of suffering.

Were Soviet ships nearby? Was there a fire or electrical problem onboard? Was there a problem with some other system including the weapons? The answer to these questions is maybe, maybe not. But if any of those problems did exist, it is not what took down the Scorpion.

As the Scorpion descended below its actual crush depth the engine room and torpedo room were at or near outside sea pressure inside those compartments. Inside the operations compartment was no where near sea pressure as the ship descended below crush depth.

Based on information currently available from the United States Navy I believe this is the best possible explanation for what happened to the USS Scorpion and the 99 men of her crew.

I believe the crew did everything possible that a highly trained submarine crew could possibly have done. Circumstances simply overwhelmed them.

“Good and faithful job sailor, rest your oars.”


The Subsafe program was instigated after the loss of the USS Thresher on 10 April 1963. A board of inquiry was convened to investigate the loss of the ship. The board went far and beyond its requirement, to determine the loss of the USS Thresher. It looked at every aspect of the design, construction, and operation of nuclear powered submarines.

The board included a recommendation in its final report, large and wide sweeping changes to every aspect of the design, construction, and operation of nuclear powered submarines. These findings became the foundation of a new system – Subsafe. The intent was to stop any future preventable accidents from happening to United States submarines. The navy then required that all submarines go through a conversion in the shipyard to bring all the ship’s equipment and systems up to Subsafe standards.

After the submarines in the Thresher class (the first ship in this class) had gone through Subsafe conversion it was determined that the changes were sufficient from the original design to name it a new class. The USS Permit, formerly the second ship in the Thresher class, was now the first ship in the new class. This new class of submarine was now called the Permit class.

The loss of the USS Thresher sent shockwaves throughout the submarine community worldwide of friend and foe alike. Navies around the world watched the United States Navy and adopted programs similar to Subsafe for their own submarine forces. The loss of the USS Thresher has saved the lives of thousands of men and women who continue to take those damnable ships beneath the ocean. The loss of the USS Thresher and the USS Scorpion had effects which continue to impact the safety of submarines around the world to this day.


There are many people, particularly submarine veterans who want the United States Navy to do a proper investigation and come clean with all it has on the loss of the USS Scorpion. The following is just one of many articles that back this up.


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USS Scorpion

I have written other articles and one poll on the USS Scorpion (you may search my archives to find them), so I will not rehash those articles now. May 27, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of the loss of the USS Scorpion and the 99 men aboard her. The last time the Scorpion left port it’s underway was momentarily delayed so that a crewman could leave the ship to fly back to Norfolk, Virginia on emergency leave. He was on pier 22 that rainy Memorial Day 50 years ago, waiting with the families for the return of his ship and his shipmates. I salute the 100th member of the crew as well, and thank him for his many years of service to the submarine service. What actually sank the USS Scorpion has still not been settled. Unlike the USS Thresher, which was lost 5 years before the Scorpion, the United States Navy still considers the loss of the Scorpion a matter of national security and keeps part of the official record classified to this day. Decades after all the material on the loss of the USS Thresher as been declassified. The USS Thresher is in 15,000 feet of water off the coast of New England, and is in the condition you would expect of a submarine which imploded. However, much of the USS Scorpion looks recognizable. Though the engine room was forced inside the machinery room and the sail (conning tower in the Hollywood movies) was separated from the ship, large portions of the sub look as it did when she was tied up in port. What we do know about the USS Scorpion is that her last overhaul was supposed to be three years. But, was cut to less than a year as a cost saving measure by a Defense Department dealing with the increasing costs of the war in Vietnam. (After the loss of the USS Scorpion this cost saving measure was discontinued). We also know that the Navy has a few dozen photographs and no video footage of the wreckage on its archive website. The navy claims this is all the film it has on the Scorpion wreckage. Dr. Robert Ballard in his memoirs details the weeks he spent (just before finding the Titanic) taking still and video film footage of the USS Scorpion for the navy as well as checking on the integrity of nuclear material at the site. (All of the nuclear material is safe and has not contaminated any of the ocean or sea floor). None of Dr. Ballard’s still or video photography is even acknowledged by the United States Navy to exist, and certainly not allowed to be seen by the families or the public. The time has come for the United States Navy to declassify all the material the navy and the United States government has on the Scorpion. Not to fuel another book or movie, not to fuel the public’s morbid curiosity, not to satisfy the thousands of submariners who have never forgotten the Scorpion or her crew, but to give closure to the families and loved ones of the entire crew of the USS Scorpion. Wives, daughters, sons, siblings, mothers, fathers, and loved ones will never be able to visit the grave of their loved ones. But they do deserve the closure of knowing the entire story of the final chapter of the USS Scorpion and their loved ones still on eternal patrol. If the navy does not want to release that information to the public, I as a submarine veteran, support that, but only on the condition that they DO release that information to the families. Any submariner will tell you the things we did under the sea were only possible because of the support we received from our loved ones back home. The families deserve the full unabridged story, even if that story cannot yet be made public. Mr. President, Mr. Secretary, Chief of Naval Operations – it has been 50 years. The time has come for you to give closure to the families. To the families of the USS Scorpion and USS Thresher, I want to tell you that your loved ones live on in the heart of every sunmariner world wide. I have personally heard the stories of submariners from the Soviet Navy, British Navy, Canadian, Navy, French Navy and others. They always speak of the exact moment and what they were doing the moment they heard of your loss. They all speak of the shock and the difficulty in believing that such an event actually happened. They also speak of changes in the design, construction, and operation of submarines after that loss. Then they go on to tell of specific incidents where those changes were responsibly for their own submarines being able to return to port after an emergency while submerged at sea. Your husband’s, your daddies, your brothers, your sons; they did not die in vain. They have saved the lives of unknown thousands of their brothers and sisters, some of whom continue to go to sea on submarines. We will never forget your loved ones. And as long as men and women continue to wear dolphins (submarine warfare pin) WE will always be your family. May God bless and keep you all.


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USS Scorpion SSN-589 Part Two

USS Scorpion SSN-589 Part Two.

Is the navy hiding something about the loss of the USS Scorpion? The conclusion to my article on USS Scorpion. The navy searches for the overdue Scorpion. What caused the Scorpion to sink? What about the navy’s investigation into the loss, and a look at the views of two authors with different opinions about the loss.

To read part one click here:

To read part two click here:

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USS Scorpion SSN-589 Part Two

USS Scorpion SSN-589


All of the information in this article comes from unclassified sources. In those instances where the I know more accurate information due to my security clearance and service in the United States Navy submarine force I have used the published unclassified information instead. I do this to protect the lives and missions of those men and women currently serving in the United States submarine force.

USS Scorpion

USS Scorpion SSN-589 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


As stated in part 1 the USS Scorpion had been attempting to contact SUBLANT without success, but did contact the Naval Communications Station Nea Makri, Greece (which forwarded the messages to SUBLANT).

Sometime after 21 May 1968, SUBLANT supposedly sent messages to USS Scorpion that required the Scorpion to respond. SUBLANT received no response from the USS Scorpion.

It is true that submarines at sea operate on a radio silence order. However, it is not unusual for submarines to be required to send radio messages (position reports, mission reports, and etc.). When the USS Scorpion was declared overdue a SUBMISS report was issued to all naval ships at sea in the Atlantic Ocean that required all United States submarines to surface and send a radio message with their position, to SUBLANT. This SUBMISS report would be used to account for all American submarines making sure no other submarines were missing, and as preparation for coordinating naval ships to conduct a search for the missing submarine.

Submarines do not ignore orders to respond to radio messages. If a submarine is on a particular mission which requires their position to be covert, they will clear DATUM (withdraw to an area near commercial traffic lanes) and then respond as required. United States submarines never ignore a message from higher authority that requires them to send a message in response.

The USS Scorpion was going into the shipyard at Norfolk after it returned from patrol. The torpedomen were disarming the torpedoes during the transit back to Norfolk, in preparation for offloading all weapons at the Norfolk Naval Base, before entering the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. As USS Scorpion neared the coast of the United States, she would have sent a message to SUBLANT with additional information concerning the work to be done on Scorpion while in the shipyard (any additional services or work not already scheduled, that the ship would require, as well as any additional services that would be required at the Norfolk Naval Base). Also, as the USS Scorpion approached Norfolk, Virginia on 27 May 1968, on the surface, the ship would have sent a message with their expected rendezvous time at the position where the Scorpion would meet the pilot boat, so they could pick up the harbor pilot for entering the Norfolk harbor. None of these expected messages from Scorpion were sent from the Scorpion.

Officially, the first concern by the navy for Scorpion was when Submarine Squadron Six (the squadron Scorpion belonged too) did not receive a message from Scorpion about the harbor pilot. It was at this time that the squadron first contacted SUBLANT. As the arrival time of Scorpion passed (1 PM Norfolk time), Scorpion’s submarine squadron again contacted SUBLANT. At 3:15 PM Norfolk time (1915Z or 7:15 PM in military time at Greenwich mean time) SUBLANT sent out a flash message on the Fleet Broadcast System. This message went out to all naval bases and naval ships in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The message was:

“Executed Event SUBMISS at 271915Z for USS Scorpion ETA NORVA 271700Z … All submarine units surface or remain surfaced until this message cancelled. Units in port prepare to get underway on one hour’s notice …”

What this means in civilian language is, USS Scorpion was expected in Norfolk, Virginia at 1 PM local time on the 27th (5 PM Greenwich mean time) and did not arrive. At 3:15 PM local time on the 27th (7:15 PM Greenwich mean time) all submarines at sea were ordered to surface and send a position report to SUBLANT. All naval ships in port should get ready to go to sea in one hour. SUBLANT was taking the first step towards having all ships in the Atlantic Fleet scour the ocean for the USS Scorpion.

Bow section of the sunken Scorpion containing ...

Bow section of the sunken Scorpion containing two nuclear torpedoes on the sea floor. US Navy photo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On 30 October 1968, the USNS Mizar found the USS Scorpion 240 nautical miles southwest of the Azores in 9,000 feet of water. The controversies have grown ever since.

Scorpion Sunk

Scorpion Sunk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

US Navy photo of Scorpion wreck (bow), by Bath...

US Navy photo of Scorpion wreck (bow), by Bathyscaphe Trieste (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Navy photo of Scorpion's stern (wreck)

Navy photo of Scorpion’s stern (wreck) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sail Scorpion

Sail Scorpion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


According to author Ed Offley (in his book Scorpion Down), the navy started a secret search to find the sunken Scorpion days before it was expected at Norfolk. Stephen Johnson (in his book Silent Steel), says this is ludicrous because SUBLANT was not surprised that Scorpion ignored a message requiring Scorpion to reply. Unfortunately neither of these men are submariners or submarine veterans. If they were, they would know that Scorpion would not ignore a message that required them to send a radio response. They would also know that SUBLANT would not automatically assume Scorpion was sunk because it failed to respond to such a message.

It would have been possible for SUBLANT to believe Scorpion was having problems with its radio (remember when Scorpion got to Rota, Spain all its radio equipment was down), or that Scorpion was disabled and on the surface. If SUBLANT believed either of those possibilities it would have been normal for SUBLANT to have ships in the area of Scorpion’s intended track (back to the United States) redirected to Scorpion’s track to look for Scorpion, as they passed through the area. However, this did not happen.

Mr. Offley makes the case that a Soviet Echo II class submarine stalked and sank the USS Scorpion. If we are to follow this train of thought, then Scorpion picked up an Echo II class Soviet submarine trailing it. The Scorpion could not get away from the Echo II, and radioed into SUBLANT that it could not break trail. Then SUBLANT sent the Scorpion (with the Echo II following it) on a highly sensitive mission to spy on a Soviet task force near a SOSUS hydrophone array near the Canary Islands. Really. Not a very good way to conduct clandestine surveillance on a Cold War adversary.

According to published characteristics of these two submarines, the Scorpion had a maximum speed of 33 knots and the Echo II had a maximum speed of 24.2 knots. To break trail the Scorpion would merely have to drive at its maximum speed for several hours because the Echo II class submarine would be unable to keep up. SUBLANT would not send a submarine that was being trailed to perform a covert surveillance mission. What SUBLANT would have done is to clear an underwater lane for Scorpion and ordered her to flank speed (33 knots) for several hours to break trail. Then Scorpion would be ordered to slow down and insure they had lost the Echo II before going on its new mission.

Mr. Johnson also disagrees with Mr. Offley’s Scorpion/Echo II scenario. Mr. Johnson states that an Echo II (one of the Soviet Navy’s best submarines at the time) was too slow and noisy to engage Scorpion, and that the best Soviet underwater weapons were also ineffective against the Scorpion because all Scorpion had to do was to out run the weapon.

Mr. Johnson is correct, but that does not mean the most capable always win. If this were true, a handful of Greeks could never have held off a Persian army that outnumbered them by more than 100:1. Also, what about France and Germany in 1940; France had the largest, best trained, and best-equipped army in the world in 1940. Germany, on paper, was no match for any European nation and certainly no match for France. Yet, the Germany Army overran France so swiftly that even the German Army was surprised at how fast they defeated the French military. The Soviet submarine commander would also know he was at a disadvantage, and would wait for an opportunity that gave him the best odds. Ask any submariner or submarine veteran and they will tell you that any adversary is treated as a real threat to their own ship, no matter the odds.

So, how was it that SUBLANT supposedly knew the Scorpion was sunk in the mid Atlantic Ocean? Well, Mr. Offley states the Soviet Union sank the Scorpion as revenge for sinking one of their Golf class submarines. Then they told the United States government what they did and where the Scorpion was located. First, the US Navy did not sink a Golf class submarine. Second, if the Soviet Union wanted to sink an American submarine, they would not do that while the American submarine was in international waters, that would be an act of war. The Soviet Union would wait for an American submarine that was in Soviet Union territorial waters and sink that submarine. In this scenario, it would be the Americans that committed an act of war, and the Soviet Union would be only defending its own territorial waters.

Mr. Johnson also, does not believe that the Soviets told America where the Scorpion was located. Mr. Johnson points out that when the above mentioned Golf class submarine was lost, the Soviets could not find it. So how could they find the Scorpion? What Mr. Johnson does not say is that the Soviets were looking more than 1,000 miles to the north of where the Golf class submarine had sunk. Simply put, the Soviets were looking where the Golf class submarine was supposed to be on patrol. However, the Golf class submarine was out of its patrol area. There are theories on the loss of this Golf class submarine, but officially we will never know why a Soviet submarine with nuclear ballistic missiles was more than 1,000 miles south of its patrol area and why it sank off the coast of Hawaii. I recommend reading both books.


The USS Thresher and the USS Scorpion, both nuclear powered submarines, sank five years apart from each other. The USS Thresher was on sea trials after coming out of the shipyard the day before. The USS Scorpion was returning to its homeport after conducting classified operations. The formal inquiry into the loss of the Thresher was very thorough.

The Thresher board clearly stated a conclusive determination of the reason for the loss was not possible. Then the board listed the possible causes for the loss and the probability for each possible cause. The board even went so far as to examine inquiry reports for other submarine accidents that could explain Thresher’s loss. The formal report on the flooding incident on the USS Barbel is included in the record of the investigation into the Thresher’s loss.

The investigation into the loss of the Scorpion was not as all inclusive as the investigation into the Thresher. Also, large parts of the investigation and report into the loss of the Scorpion was immediately classified as secret. The declassification of parts of the investigation and the report has been very slow; even now 44 years after the accident (and 21 years after the last Skipjack class submarine, the USS Scamp, was decommissioned) many parts of the report and investigation remain classified. As best as can be determined, no other submarine accidents were looked at for possible explanations to the loss of the USS Scorpion.

One person involved in the investigation, Dr. John Craven, started with the theory that one of Scorpion’s own weapons sank the Scorpion. Armed with a theory, Dr. Craven then examined the evidence looking for support for his theory. Not a very good way to do research.


A TORPEDO SANK SCORPION: This is a popular theory, both one of Scorpion’s own weapons or the torpedo of another ship. There are SOSUS recordings of the loss of the Scorpion. The navy also conducted experiments with explosives in the area where the Scorpion sank and compared those SOSUS recordings with the SOSUS recordings from the loss of the Scorpion. Explosive charges that most closely resemble the actually sounds of the Scorpion’s demise are less than one tenth the power of any charge carried on any torpedo the US or Soviet navies had. Also, when you compare the time interval between the first acoustic event and the last acoustic event; it matches the expected time interval between the implosion of the operations compartment at crush depth and the Scorpion hitting the ocean floor.

FLOODING THROUGH THE TRASH DISPOSAL UNIT: One problem with this theory, but it is a big problem. Only one compartment imploded on the Scorpion, the operations compartment. An implosion is caused by the pressure difference between the pressure inside a compartment and the pressure outside the compartment, exceeding the strength of the hull. If the operations compartment was flooding, the pressure inside the operations compartment would be increasing as water flooded in and it would not implode. The torpedo room and the engine room did not implode, but the operations compartment did. Conclusion, there was flooding in the engine room and the torpedo room, but not the operations compartment. Therefore, there was no flooding through the trash disposal unit, which was in the operations compartment.

SCORPION WAS SUNK BY THE SOVIETS: Scorpion could not have been sunk by a Soviet torpedo or depth charge for the same reason it could not have been sunk by one of its own torpedoes. Also, the Scorpion could not have been sunk by a collision because there is no collision damage or external explosion damage on the Scorpion wreckage.

THE SCORPION LOST ITS PROPELLER SHAFT AND FLOODED THROUGH THE OPENING: The newest theory. The entire propeller shaft of the Scorpion, with its propeller attached, is near the Scorpion’s engine room on the ocean floor. There have been submarines that have lost their propeller or propeller shaft. However, no submarine has ever lost the entire propeller shaft. The entire propeller shaft of the Scorpion was pushed out of the ship when the engine room telescoped into the auxiliary machinery space. All of the equipment cannot occupy the same space. As the engine room telescoped into the auxiliary machinery space, compacting equipment together from the two spaces, the propeller shaft was pushed out of the ship. The engine room did not implode, so we know there was flooding in the engine room. The flooding could have come through the shaft seals around the propeller shaft, but the propeller shaft was still very much in the ship until the engine room telescope into the auxiliary machinery space. If not, the ship would have taken on so much water, and sunk so fast, that the torpedo room would also have imploded. Which it did not.

CONCLUSION: The Scorpion sank due to uncontrolled flooding. The flooding was either in the torpedo room or the engine room. The Scorpion had a leak through the propeller shaft seals which was repaired by the submarine tender. The captain of the Scorpion also wanted valves on the torpedo tubes replaced. It is possible that either of these caused the uncontrolled flooding. Then as the Scorpion descended into the depths, the other compartment began to flood through the already mentioned previous problem area. During the descent the submarine passed through the crush depth for the operations compartment, causing the total destruction of the operations compartment.

There are a thousand ways the Scorpion could have sank, however there is only one way the Scorpion actually did sink. Change anything in the sequence of events of the Scorpion’s loss, and you change the debris field as we see it today. The wreckage of the Scorpion, in the ship and in the debris field, will tell us exactly what happened to the ship and in what order. We need to examine that evidence slowly, thoughtfully, and thoroughly.

Several expeditions have gone to the USS Scorpion wreck site, collecting thousands of still photographs and hundreds of hours of film footage. Yet, the navy has released only a small fraction of this photographic evidence and maintains it has released all the photographic evidence it has. What the navy has released is less what was collected on just one expedition. The time has come for the navy to declassify everything it has on the loss of the USS Scorpion. The navy needs to release all the evidence, including photographic evidence it has in its possession. The time has come for us to recreate the events as they happened using all the evidence, so that these men may rest in peace and their families may find peace and closure.

To read part one click here:

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