This historic film shows techniques used to conduct deep ocean mining of the sea floor, which were pioneered in the 1960s.
The potential for this type of mining (particularly of manganese nodules) was never fully realized.
Ironically, the program did end up providing the cover for the USNS Hughes Glomar Explorer (T-AG-193), a deep-sea drillship platform built for the United States Central Intelligence Agency Special Activities Division secret operation Project Azorian to recover the sunken Soviet submarine K-129, lost in April 1968.
Hughes Glomar Explorer (HGE), as the ship was called at the time, was built between 1973 and 1974, by Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. for more than US$350 million at the direction of Howard Hughes for use by his company, Global Marine Development Inc.
This is equivalent to $1.67 billion in present-day terms.
She set sail on 20 June 1974. Hughes told the media that the ship's purpose was to extract manganese nodules from the ocean floor.
This marine geology cover story became surprisingly influential, spurring many others to examine the idea.
But in sworn testimony in United States district court proceedings and in appearances before government agencies, Global Marine executives and others associated with Hughes Glomar Explorer project unanimously maintained that the ship could not be used in any economically viable ocean mineral operation.
-> see BBC article by David Shukman
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