Neither Confirm Nor Deny
At the height of the Cold War in the late 1960s, the Soviet nuclear submarine K-129 sank in mysterious circumstances. Despite a massive secret search, the Soviets never found their missing submarine – but the Americans located it. The CIA hatched Azorian, the code name for a six year operation to bring up the sub and its secrets, in plain view of the Soviets. They did this using a cover story involving ocean mining fronted by the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. Using the Hughes Glomar Explorer, a vessel built specifically for the salvage job, the Americans brought the ship up from the ocean floor. When their cover is later blown by press coverage, the CIA crafted a response that has become all too common in making journalists roll their eyes: we can neither confirm nor deny.
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Last updated 29th August 2017