It appears to have been a case of early-after-the-event-confusion with both surface
ships, the USS SEAWOLF, a nuclear submarine and the SEA OW, a diesel submarine
operating in the immediate area of the THRESHER event.
What was indisputable then and remains so now is the Sound Surveillance System
acoustic data which confirmed the THRESHER pressure-hull collapsed in less than
0.047 seconds at 09:18:24R or local time at the loss site, at a depth of 2400-feet,
almost twice THRESHER's "test depth" of 1300-feet. None of the crew survived
that event. Death was instantaneous; they never knew collapse was occurring
That acoustic signal was detected by 13 Sound Surveillance System hydrophone
arrays at ranges as great as 1300 nautical miles. Many of those hydrophone arrays
also detected reflections (echoes) of the collapse from the mid-Atlantic Ridge.
Nothing other than implosive collapse - the total destruction of the THRESHER
pressure-hull - could have produced an acoustic signal of that magnitude.
Bottom line: the acoustic data makes it indisputable that THRESHER was lost at
09:18:24R on 10 April 1963. Any assertion that the THRESHER crew survived beyond
that time has no basis in fact and amounts to an unfortunate and irresponsible
I'll do my best to address other questions you may have.
Thanks for the reply. What are your thoughts as to the cause of the sinking? How often does the Navy return to the site for radiological surveys? Your right about the recently released files..they didnt tell us much. Only thing I can assume is that the Navy is still hiding info on the performance of subs sonars (at that time). Your thoughts?
The acoustic data indicates the 593 had no propulsion capability after 0909.0R because they attempted to blow ballast
48 seconds later which they would not have done if they could have driven to the surface.
So, the reactor scrammed but not from flooding - as conjectured by the Court of Inquiry. Flooding at test-depth
would have been an incredibly n noisy event and no such energy was detected nor did the 593 ever mention flooding
via UQC to her escort ship, the SKYLARK.
Further, the Navy has never acknowledged that the 593 UQC transmission of the number 900 at 0917R was her depth
below test-depth of 1300 feet or 2200-feet at that time.. She imploded circa 90 seconds later at 2400-feet (from
Bottom line: from the SOSUS data, we know the 593 had no propulsion after 0909.0R but we don't know why.
PS: Have no idea how often does the Navy return to the site for radiological surveys.