The Hughes Glomar Explorer represented the most audacious, expensive intelligence operation in CIA History. Initiated in 1971, with cooperation from eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, the project built a specialty ship designed to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from it’s final resting place, 11,500 feet deep in the Pacific Ocean. The ship got underway in 1974 with a cover story of mining manganese nodules from the ocean floor as a commercial venture. The crew, who wore this uniform patch, were successful in raising a portion of the submarine’s bow, which contained a ballistic nuclear missile, classified code logs, and the bodies of several Soviet crewmembers. The crewmembers were given a respectful burial at sea, and the intelligence collected proved a gold mine for the United States.