A submarine veterans group is calling for a new investigation of the unexplained accident that sank the U.S. nuclear attack sub USS Scorpion more than 40 years ago.
According to USA Today, last month, the Navy denied a proposal by marine disaster experts to investigate the shipwreck, triggering the latest call for finally determining what sank the Scorpion.
“One can hope that the Navy will listen to us,” says Thomas Conlon of the U.S. Submarine Veterans, a 13,800-member organization of former submarine servicemembers dedicated to memorializing lost submariners. The organization sent a letter Nov. 5 to the secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, with the “request that the United States Navy officially reopen the investigation of USS Scorpion (SSN 589).”
In May, an expedition team led by former U.S. naval officer Paul Boyne proposed to the U.S. Navy Heritage and History Command in Washington that it would send an undersea robot to resolve unanswered questions about the tragedy. After a summer of contentious correspondence, the Navy office denied the permit citing the lack of an archaeological plan for the investigation.
In a follow-up letter sent last week, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Barry Bruner warned Boyne against undertaking any unauthorized dive of the wreck, citing the “Sunken Military Craft Act” law. “That law allows the Department of the Navy to make the determination on whether or not a requested dive might potentially disturb, remove or injure a sunken military craft,” U.S. Navy Cmdr. Brenda Malone says.