Ill-fated American nuclear submarine that sank 650km southwest of the Azores on 22 May 1968, with a loss of all crew. It took five months to locate the wreckage, in water 2 miles deep. Initial investigations suggested a "hot-running" torpedo had accidentally armed itself and exploded, leading to the sinking. Later investigation revealed no torpedo damage, and the actual cause of the sinking is uncertain. What is now known differs significantly from the "official" version of events:

  • The Scorpion was not on a routine mission but was on a top secret mission to spy on a group of Soviet ships, including a Soviet nuclear submarine.
  • The Soviets had access to the top secret codes the Scorpion used to receive its orders, thanks to the spy John Walker
  • Soviet officials state that Soviet and American Navy officials agreed to never discuss the incident or the earlier sinking of Soviet sub K-129

Some people believe that the initial explanation was a coverup, and that
the Soviets knew the Scorpion was coming and sank it in revenge for the K-129 sinking. Others think that the Scorpion may have in fact collided with a Soviet vessel. Evidence declassified in 1993 seems to support the "enemy action" hypothesis.