Here’s my conversation with Josh Dean, author of a book with a very intriguing title: “The Taking Of K-129: How The CIA Used Howard Hughes To Steal A Russian Sub In The Most Daring Covert Operation In History.” No, it’s not a novel — it’s a true story, and I won’t be surprised when it’s turned into a movie.

Among the questions I asked him:

  • How did the US know the Soviet submarine had sunk, considering how different technology was in 1968?
  • What information did the US gain from the retrieval?
  • What was the Howard Hughes part of the plot?
  • Has the US ever lost a nuclear sub?
  • Considering the CIA lied to the American public, how do you know your intelligence sources told you the truth?
  • Was the equipment used to lift the sub off the ocean floor ever used again?
  • Did the CIA recover the whole sub, or is some of it still under the Pacific?
  • How do you answer conspiracy theorists who say the Soviet sub was poised to attack the United States?
  • Could this happen today?

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