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Project Azorian

Project Azorian was a CIA project to covertly recover the sunken Soviet ballistic missile submarine, K-129.  The K-129 went down with all hands approximately 1,600 miles northwest of Hawaii on 8 March 1968 at a location that was unknown to the Soviets.  However, using underwater surveillance technology, the U.S. Navy was able to determine where the submarine sank within about 6 miles.  Subsequently, the U.S. Navy submarine Halibut was able to find and photograph the K-129, more than 3 miles down on the ocean floor. This enabled a covert recovery operation, which was launched in June of 1974, using a remarkable ship built specifically for this task, the Glomar Explorer.

Project Azorian was one of the most exciting, complex, secretive, expensive and potentially rewarding intelligence gathering operations of the 20th Century.  The marine technology it employed in the attempt to recover the submarine was like nothing seen before or since.

There are three significant connections between Project Azorian and Monterey. This presentation will highlight these connections while reviewing the history of this incredible and extraordinarily dangerous episode of the Cold War.  In addition, the speaker will present a novel theory on the root cause of the K-129 disaster.

Mike Clancy is an oceanographer and former Technical and Scientific Director of the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey.


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Jun 19 2024


1:30 pm - 2:30 pm


MPC LF-103
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Najm Akbar

I am Muhammad Najm Akbar. Call me Najm.
Born in Multan, Pakistan, I had my initial education there.
In the United States, I have graduated twice from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, MA 1995 and MALD, 2011, and have a graduate degree in History from Fresno State, 2022. Middlebury awarded me an MA in Teaching of Foreign Language, in 2009.

Alia and I have lived In Monterey since 2005. Our children are married and engaged in their professional lives in New York.

Our biggest delight is our two granddaughters, the eldest turns four soon, and the youngest is about a year and a half old.

I remained part of the Pakistan Foreign Service for two decades and at the Defense Language Institute taught Urdu for thirteen years until 2018.

I joined the MPC pool of adjunct history instructors in 2022 and have taught courses in Gentrain, World History, US History, and History of World Religions. 

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