Hughes Glomar Explorer

kewl dude
22nd February 2010, 06:10
Scans from February 21, 2010 local newspaper attached.

Greg Hayden

22nd February 2010, 12:47
If I remember correctly other companies fell for the "cover story" and looked into undersea mining. When you read about the episode and the lengths they went to you can believe that the CIA were/ and are capable of anything.

22nd February 2010, 13:49
I recall a great many magazine articles that appeared around that time to the effect that many mining companies were keen on the future possibilities of undersea mining. The bottom of the ocean was, the authors asserted, littered with manganese nodules, a commodity supposedly much in demand for the production of steel. All that was wanted was for some enterprising corporation to figure out a way to scoop them up. The fact that nobody, so far as I am aware, has ever made any attempt to do so during the intervening decades would seem to indicate that the entire matter was fabricated rubbish.

Pat Kennedy
22nd February 2010, 14:56
In the seventies a multi national venture succeeded in mining a few hundred tons of Manganese nodules from the abyssal plain of the East Equatorial Pacific Ocean.
The nodules were rich in Nickel, Cobalt and Copper, but the costs of mining far exceeded the commercial market price of these metals obtained conventionally.
A company called Sumitomo mining is keeping its options open in case it ever becomes commercially viable to mine Manganese nodules from the sea bed.

22nd February 2010, 19:03
Now named the GSF Explorer she is currently on hire until March 2012 to a consortium led by Marathon Oil, to drill offshore off Indonesia.


22nd February 2010, 20:50
Yes, and all of us somewhat naive mariners fell for it too.

I was on an old steam tanker crossing from Kharg to San Francisco, when we came across the GH Explorer on the evening 8-12.

We interupted our 75th showing of Thoroughly Modern Millie to listen to the VHF conversation.

She alleged she was deep sea mining, and told us the Soviet tug standing close by was on charter to them.

The tug, from what I recall, forebore from comment.


22nd February 2010, 21:50
I remember it well I was the cadet on the same ship as randcmackenzie.

23rd February 2010, 09:03
She had civilian crew at the time. I worked with a Glomar superintendent on one of their drillships in the early 80's. Having heard that he had been on her ( what she had been up to was common enough knowledge by then ) I asked him about it one day.
He said ( paraphrasing here )... 'All I can remember is signing a bit of paper saying that if I ever said a word they would lock me up and throw away the key.......'
end of conversation...

kewl dude
18th November 2011, 22:42
UPDATE: SS Hughes Glomar Explorer

Posted yesterday on MARHST-L

Re: project azorian
richard pekelney via to MARHST-L

For more information on Glomar Explorer and HBM-1 from Azorian see:

Attached from the above site:

SS Hughes Glomar Explorer.jpg
HMB-1 with Tugs.jpg
fig2-12-Triple Ring Gimbal Bearing.jpg
Figure 2-39. Docking Leg System (3 of 3).jpg

Greg Hayden

29th February 2012, 00:08
I saw her several times in Long Beach Ca. in the mid 70's.