Scorpion: un sommergibile che il governo italiano avrebbe definito sicuro?

Questa e' la relazione sulle cause dell'affondamento dello Scorpion, il
sommergibile che poteva causare a Taranto una tragedia nucleare nel 1968.

Fonte: Internet

USS SCORPION SSN-589 - Court of Inquiry Findings
The following is my traniscrtption of an information package I received
from on 27 Dec 1996. Occasionally in the document there will be blanked out
area that represent details regarding the search and do not impact the
scope of the investigation.

There are a few typo's and errors. This is mainly due to the very poor
quality of the findings we received. If anyone has a better copy and can
help me correct some of the errors please let me know. 
26 Oct 1993


Changed world security situation allowed Navy to review the records on
these two tragic accidents with an eye toward as much disclosure as
possible...safeguarding only that operational or technical information
about submarine operations and design still requiring protection. 

NAVY intended general release BUT felt obliged to respond first to Freedom
of Information Act requests which had been received while review of
material was underway... that happened yesterday. 

Navy News Desk at CHINO has copies of the materials if you're have been put on PRESS LINK with caption data. 

material does not contradict any previously released info, but does offer
some additional details of the accidents themselves, and considerable data
on the environmental monitoring the Navy has conducted at the two sites
over the years. 

Basic conclusion is that neither the presence of these two nuclear
propulsion plants on the ocean floor nor the two nuclear weapons which were
aboard USS Scorpion have posed any radiological threat to the surrounding
environment. No sample from wither site has ever shown any evidence of
release fob radioactivity from the reactor fuel. 


On reconvening in November, after SCORPION was located, the court focused
its attention on "what if as opposed to "what might have been" While
mindful of earlier evidence, a conscious effort was made to prevent undue
influence by old concepts and preconceived notions in a search for the most
probably cause of the tragedy. Emphasis was placed on complete familiarity
with all photographic evidence. Close coordination was maintained with the
Naval Research Laboratory Evaluation Group in order to focus the scientific
expertise of its members on areas of greatest productivity. The end result
has been a greater depth of study than might otherwise have been possible
in the time allotted. The Court reviewed it SE original report in the light
of new evidence and has concluded that all findings of fact, opinions, and
recommendations previously submitted are still valid except that part of
fact number 29 which relates to the identification of an uncharted sunken
hull to be a small merchant ship,not a World War ID type submarine as
previously identified. 

The Court, after inquiring into all additional facts and circumstances
connected with the loss of SCORPION, having considered the new evidence and
having reconsidered the previous evidence, and finds additionally as
follows and submits the following supplementary opinions and recommendations: 


1. That the acoustic signals attributed to SCORPION were relocated at
stations in Argentina, Newfoundland and the Canary Islands. Individual
acoustic signals and stations recording them are outlined on the next page
entitled "Table of Factual Data Acoustic Events." 

2. That acoustic event number on has been determined by experts to be the
result of high energy release, rich in low frequencies with no discernable
harmonic structure. 

3. That the Technical Director. testified that the first SCORPION acoustic
event looked different and sounded different from subsequent events, but he
was unable to determine whether the initial event was an explosion or an

4.That, in the opinion of experts SCORPION acoustic events six and seven
and eight appear to be from similar sources as indicated by their relative
spectra and strong harmonic frequences. 

5. That the Director of Research Naval Research Laboratory alter analyzing
available acoustic data indicated that SCORPION acoustic events one ,three
, four, five, six, seven, eight , nine, and 13 were probably the events,
and events town, 10,12 and 15 probably echoes of events one, eight, nine
and 13 respectively reflected from Plato Sea Mount. He further stat ted he
had not completed his analysis of event 11 and that event 14 

6. That when an explosion occurred in wared and does not vent,a bubble is
formed that pulses, The size of the charge and the depth of the detonation
can be correlated with the frequency of the bubble pulsation. 

7. That a contact explosion of a charge of about ____________on the outside
of a submerged submarine hull would instantly rupture the pressure hull and
create a hole equivalent to several feet in diameter. 

8. That recent experiments conducted by the Naval Ordnance laboratory and
further testimony by experts in underwater explosive confirmed that it is
possible to detonate an explosive device against a submerged air tilled
container or a submarine without observing a bubble pulse. 

9. That the implosion of internal tankage due to pressure may or may not
result in the detection of a bubble pulse. 

10. That a series of calibration shots was conducted in the vicinity of
______________approximately on month after the loss of SCORPION and
attempts were made to record these signals at acoustic stations that
recorded the acoustic events attributed to SCORPION. The results are
summarized as follows. 

11.That the purpose of the calibration secrets was to verify predicted
sound velocities in order to improve the accuracy of the search datum fix.
In addition, the calibration series provided raw data concerning signal
strengths and characteristics of known charges detonated at various depths
for comparison with acoustic signals attributed to SCORPION. 

12. That the acoustical data which was considered to relate to the sinking
of SCORPION was refined and a position determined at _____________ which
was designated as Point Oscar. 

13. That the calibration shots fired at 1500 feet were recorded indicating
similar energy levels at ______________ Argentina. The first SCORPION event
was recorded at Argentina 

14. Taht an attempt was made to determine the depth of the initial SCORPION
acoustic event by comparing the shape of the acoustic signal envelope with
the envelopes signals from calibration charges exploded known depths Due to
the many variables in volved the results were inconclusive. 

15. That the weight of expert testimony based on a comparison of data from
analysis of the SCORPION acoustic events and the calibration serier
indicated that the first Scorpion event was either very small which is not
compatalb with the recording at the Canary Islands ) or it was at 500-700
feet or less 

16. That the director of research Naval Research Laboratory stated that by
measuring the time difference of two vertical multi paths of scorpion
acoustic signal number one he estimated the signal depth to be 400 plus 0
minus 150 feet. 

17. That witness concluded that one of the strongest factors indication
that the intial SCORPION acoustic event was at a shallow depth is the
requirement to reconcile hydrodynamics considerations with the 9 second
delay between the first and second true acoustic events remaining from
SCORPION. This consideration is independent of the analysis of acousitc

18. Thaty during the months of August and September an artificates was
discovered to the south and east of Point oscar. Individual pieces numbered
about 50 and were distributed in a medium pattern up to two miles from
Point Oscar. None of the artifacates with cerranty could be associated with
a submarine. 

19. That at about 03002 on 30 October 1968 while viewing films on board
USNS MIZAR Captain James T. Traylor USN Commander Submarine Squdron TEN and
Commander Task Unit 4.2.1 Senior Officer Search Force) deceted who he
considered what was later identified as portions of SCORPION. 

20. That after determining that the film showed portions of a lot marine
hull,the Senior Officer impounded that film, and all subsequently exposed
films and contained them in his custody until he delivered them to the
appropilate naval authority. 

21. That the depth of water at the position at which SCORPION was found was
determined to be 11 100 feet and the minmum depth of water in the general
vicinty was 9,600 feet. 

22. That the bottom where SCORPION rests its level except where disturbed
by the impact of the hull. The sediment is clayey silt and a core sample
showed globigerina throughout the sample (Supp. Ex. 40. ) 

23. That during June and October in the vicinity of ____________ the Senior
Officer Search Force observed vareiable surface currents at a velocity of
.3 to .7 knots. The currents at the bottom are classified as insighificant
by the Naval Oceanographic Office. 

24. That the major wreckage a submarine was found in a area at about 800
feet diameter centered at position ____________ And that this wreckage has
been identified as that of SCORPION by the Commander Submarine Force,U.S.
Atlantic Fleet and there competent authorities. 

25. That the distribution of debries is probabaly octatalaly defined but
based on the plot repaired by the Senior Officeer Search Force from
photographs and navigational data, the debries field stands for about 3000
feet in a Norht West South East direction from the present location of the
after hull section. The wigth of the field is about 1800 feet. 

26. Info based on the photographs edivence pressented to the court and the
evaluation and reports of technical experts on this same photographics
edivence, the conditions of the major sections of SCORPION'S hull are
summarized as follows: 

I. After Hull Section 

a. The forward portion of the Engine Room is imploded , collapsed and/or
telescoped into or around the Auxiliary Machinery Space. 

b. There is a clean siplunterential break of the Engine Room at or near the
amine cylinder juncture frame 57. 

c. The tail section with upper ruddre and port surfaces attatches is
visible from about frame 86 to the end of structure about frame 101 and
appears structucatly undistorted. 

d. The propellor with shaft attached, is separated from and located well of
jull sections. 

e. The light tank plating and framing around the Auxiliary Machinery Space
appears to be relatively undamaged. 

f. The visible portion of the forward end of the after hull section
terminates at about frame 88 in an apparent clean cross lateral fracture. 

II. Forward Hull Section 

a. The forward hull portion extends from the extreme bow or forward
perpendicular to about frame 28 or 30 on the starboard side. the after edge
break appears irregular rather shactruacumratential. It appears to progress
around the heavy periscope and mast insert area on the top centerline at
about frame 21 tp 32 amd then to angle starboord about frame 31 to the port

b. From about frame 26 forward the axis of the bow structure is straight
but the remaining structure after frame 26 is bent to port about 15 degrees. 

c. The forward escape trunk upper access hatch is detached.

d. The Bridge Fairwater (Sail) is separated from the hull section

e. The outer hull plating between frames 22 and 27 is distorted primarily
on the port side with one distored area on the starborad side about frame 25.

III. Missing Hull Section 

A large segment of pressure hull from about frame 38 to frame 34 port and
from about frame 29-30 starboard has not been identified in the
photographic evidence avaiable.

IV. Bridge Fairwater ( Sail ) 

a. It is lying on its port aide separated from the hull sections.

b. The leading edge, top and after edge above the level of the fairwater
planes, exhibit no structural damage.

c. The starboard fairwater plane appears to be undamaged and in normal

d. The sail plane access door appears normal but the deck access door is

e. The leading edge of the fairwater below the top of the deck access door
is displaced aft and / or to port.

f. The Bridge clamshell appears to be rigged for dive.

g. The fairing for No. two pariscope is exerded and the upper section
(deplumer ) is missing

h. The VLF loop antenna ( football ) appears undamged and extended in
normal position.

i. The AN/BRA-9 helical antenna is extended, discreted and the fairing

27.That photographic evidence depicts disturbed botom areas with loarge
unidentifiable items that appear to be portions of hull structure separated
from the major hull sections Supp. Ex.32-35. 

28. That Gamma radiation readings taken at the ocean floor and of the
bottom core sample taken at SCORPION's location give little or no
background readings. Water samples taken in close proximity to the Reactor
Compartment of SCORPION gave only normal background readings. 

29. That the court studied photographic evidence of THRESHER remains and
evaluations of implosion testing of U.S. and British submarine. 

30. That the estimated collpse depths to SCORPION'S principal pressure hull
compartments, tanks,trunks, and bulkheads are as follows: 

31. That the photographic evidence does not portray, in the evaluation of
the structural expenrt, any of the failure conditions expected or
previously experienced in the hydrostatic collapse (implosion) of submarine
hyll structures. 

32. That the testimony of experts indicates tht the telescoping of the
Engine Room forward would be a high evergy event, would occur in a fractin
of a second and bubble pulse may or may not be detected. 

33. That evidence presented did not establish that there was or that there
necessarily should be visible evidence of burning or scorching. 

34. That there is no evidence that the loss of SCORPION was the result of
an unfreindly act. 

35. That is probable that the high order detonation of a torpedo in the
Torpedo Room would cause sympathetic detonation of other torpedo warheads
stowed in the near vicinity. 

36. That, during an oxygen fire in the stern room of USS SARGO (SSN-583) on
14 June 1960, two MK 37 torpedo warheads detonated low order. The pressure
hull of SARGO was not ruptured. 

37. That, in the opinion of expert witnesses, the high order detonation of
one or more torpedoes in the Torpedo Room could destroy or severly damage
the Torpedo Room bulkhead, frame 26, and could damage the surrounding hull

38. That, in the opinion of the structural experts, the hydrostatic
collapse of the Operations Compartment would damage or destroy structure in
the vicinity of the forward conical transition section, frames 26 to 28. 

39. That an explosive shock loading in the vicinity of the Operations
Compartment would be expected to cause longitudinal whipping of the hull
which could induce high bending moment stress in the vicinity of the cone
cylinder juncture, frame 67. 

40. That the configuration of the cone cylinder juncture at frame 67 makes
this a high stress point due to normal hydrostatic loading and that this
area is constrained by the applied stresses to collapse less than sections
forward or aft of the juncture point. 

41. That the hydrostatic collapse of the Engine Room bulkhead due to
flooding forward of frame 64 would probably occur at about an ____________
pressure head; that such a failure in to the Engine Room would, through the
bulkhead stiffing and main girder reinforcements, induce additional large
bending stresses in the ------------ juncture, frame 67; and that the
stress loading would tend to bend the cone cylinder juncture outward
relative to the platform ------- frame 67. 

42. That the Chief Scientist for the Navy & Strategic Systems Project and
Deep Submergence System Project testified that it was his
opinion._____________ that an intact submarine which passes through
collapse depth will produce one very large complicated multiple bubble
pulse type signal and that there would not be a large number of other mahor
events associated with that collapse. He further testified that the large
number of accustic signals associated with SCORPION is characteristic of
the signals foram a submarine going through deep depths after experiencing
substantial flooding. He therefore concluded that the first SCORPION event
was not the type of signal associated with an intact submarine passing
through collapse depth. 

43. That the Commander Submarine Force, U.S.Atlantic Fleet has postulated
that SCORPION was lost as a result of a flooding type casualty which
originated at a depth of ______ feet or less; that for undetermined reasons
the flooding caused the ship to sink near or beyond the hull designed
collapse depth, that the Engine Room telescoped into or around the
Ausiliary Machinery Space at a depth of about _______ feet, and, that this
was the initial acoustic event. 

44 That the Technical Director, NRL, estimated the average sinking rate
between acoustic event one and acoustic event six to be in excess of 16
feet per second. 

45. That NSRDE Report, S-301-H-01 of October 1968, predicted for SCORPION,
fully flooded and intact, an impact trajectory Velocity of about 35 knots
(58+ feet per second) at a depth of 11,000 feet based on the initial
conditions ________ foot depth trajectory velocity _____ knots, full rise
on the fairwater and stern planes a three degree down pitch angle, and a
rate of change of depth of 22 feet per second. 

46. That the Chief Scientist of the Navy's Strategic Systems Project and
Deep Submergence Systems Project testified that in his opinion SCORPION
probably did not break apart prior to inpact with the bottom. 

47. That the Court attempted to utilize the ship motion sumulator
facilities at the Naval Ships Research and Cevelopment Center (NSRDC) to
provide the Court with evaluation and guidance indices of possible actions
and events associated with SCORPION's loss but was unable to obtain such

48. That, following the finding of SCORPION, an evaluation group was
established by the Chief of Naval Operations at the Naval research
Laboratory (NRL). The membership of this group was drawn from naval
activities which had the diverse scientfic and technical compentence
considered essential to the effective analysis of the available data (Supp.
Ex. 25). 

49. That the NRL Evaluation Group did not as a group attempt to make a
conjecture regarding the cause for the loss of SCORPION. 

50. That an officer who had served in a sister ship of SCORPION and who had
been Ship Superintendent for SCORPION during two shipyard availabilities
(1965 and 1967) assisted the NRL Evaluation Group in the identification of
debris. In testimony before the Court he reduced his level of confidence
about identification of some of the parts. Specifically, he expressed doubt
about his identification of a torpedo handling track from the Torpedo Room,
whis is Annotation number one on Supplementary Exhibit 28, and stated that
items from other than the Operations Compartment did not seem to be present. 

51. That the identified debris from inside the ship is associted with the
operations compartment. 

52. There aare no objects identified in the debris field which can be
definitely associated with the Torpedo Room. 

53. That neither the Senior Officer, Search Force, nor any of the numberous
experts who viewed the photographic evidence could identified in
Supplemantary Exhibit 26 as number two periscope. This item appears to have
a flange on the end which does not exist on a periscope but is present on
the mast of the AN/BPS-9 radar. 

54. That the twisted pipe-like object bent forward and to starboard from
the aftemost portion of the bow sections is identified in Supplemantary
Exhibit 26 as number two periscope. This item appears to have a flange on
the end which does not exist on a periscope but is present on the mast of
the AN/BPS- radar. 

55. That the arrangement of the prinicipal parts of SCORPION as shown by
the photographic mosic (Supp. Ex. 26 ) is in general agreement with the
plot made by the Senior Officer , Search Force based on the navigational
track of the towed sled. (Supp. Ex. 22 ) 

56. That the Cartographer who prepared the photographic mosaic expressed
doubt about the aspect of the bow section. He stated that the scale of the
mosaic was arrived at arbitrarily, is not the same for all pars, and
consequently introduces visual distrotions. 


The finding of SCORPION's hull doesf not lessen the tragedy of her loss nor
does it lessen the obligation to identify and correct any practice,
conditon, or deficiency subject to correction. 

The photographic evidence made available, on finding SCORPION , reduced the
areas of speculation regarding the cause of her loss and provided impetus
to refocused scientific analysis of all avai lable data pertaining to this
tragedy. After careful weighing of all resulting evidence the Court finds
that there is still no incontrovertible proof of the exact cause or causes
for SCORPION's loss. 

1. That the submarine located on the bottom at is SCORPION. 

2. That, having weighed all new evidence and having reexamined all previous
evidence in the light thereof, the following key facts and techical
opinions are considered cardinal in estimating the most probable scenario
for the lo;ss of SCORPION. Theses are: 

a. The first ascustic event 

(1) Originated at a depth of feet or less; 


(3) Had no bubble pulse frequency recorded. 

b. The casualty, which initiated the first acoustic event 

(1) Represented and incident that was cataclysmic in nature; 

(2) Occurred forward of frame 44;and 

(3) Resulted in uncontrollble flooding. 

c. There is a 91 second time interval between the first acoustic event and
the next true acoustic event (Event No. 3 ) . 

d. The remaining true acoustic events, 4 through 13, were recorded over a
time span of 74 seconds. 

e. The Engine Room at about frame 67, telescoped into or around the
Auxiliary Machinery Space. 

f. The pressure hull structure between about frames 29 to 38 has been

g. The visible hull plating of the remaining hull sections show an absence
of massive damage thereto. 

3. That the following is a logical general scenario related to the acoustic

a. Ship is at a depth of 250 feet or less. position of watertight doors
open if normal cruising, shut if in an emergency situation.Casualty occurs
which results in flooding from sea (Acoustic Event 1). . If not
incapacitated, personnel intiiate recovery action, but in any event, ship
begins to lose depth control due to inability to control or counteract

b. The flooding most probably occurred as a result of a casualty in the
area of the Operstions Compartment or Torpedo Room. 

(1) If the initial casualty was in the area of the Operstions Compartment,
on reaching a depth of feet the Reactor Compartment bulkheads rupture. If
the tunnel doors were shut, the forward and after bulkhead collapse in
quick succession. If open, the Reactor Compartment below the tunnel
reptures. The Torpedo Room may or may not flood during this period
depending on the nature of the initial casualty and whether the TorpedoRoom
watertight door was open or shut. 

(2) If the initial casualty was in the area of the Torpedo Room, extent of
flooding would depend on whether the Torpedo Room bulkhead was damaged and
whether the watertight door was open or shut. 

c. The Engine Room door would probably now be shut whether or not it was
shut before the flooding casualty occurred. 

d. On reaching a depth of feet: 

(1) If the initial csaualty was in the area of the Operations Comprtment
and if the Torpedo Room door had been shut, the Torpedo Room bulkhead
collapses into the Torpedo Room and the forward escape hatches blow out. 

(2) If the initial casualty was in the Torpedo Room, and the bulkhead had
not previously been reptured and the door had been shut, the Torpedo Room
bulkhead now collapes into the Operations Compartment and the forward
excape trunk hatches blow out. 

(3) If the bulkhead had been previously ruptured or weakened, it could have
collapsed at a lesser depth. 

(4) In any event, a bubble pulse results from this bulkhead collapse or
escape trunk blow out (Acoustic Event # 3. ) 

e. Shortly after the above event, due to a combined sea and air pressure in
the Auxiliary Machinery Space now equal to about feet of water, the Engine
Room bulkhead collapses into the Engine Room. This results in telescoping
of the Engine Room into the Auxiliary Machinery Space ( Acoustic Event #4).
This piston effect, driving forward against what is now a considerable
volume of water in the ship foward of the Engine Room bulkhead, could have
resulted in further severe damage rupture to the Operations Compartment
hull plating. The main shaft's probably extruded at this time but remains
attached to the ship. 

f . Ship is now completely flooded except for vbarious hard tanks and air
pockets and continues to sink rapidly in excess of 15 feet per second. On
passing approximatley feet, an internal tank inplodes (Acoustic Event #5). 

g. On passing feet, torpedo tubes or other tankage implode in fairly rapid
succession (Acoustic Events #6,#7 and #8 

h. As SCORPION continues to sink below feet, remaining true acoustic events
can logically be accounted for as follows: 

i. Ship, still in one piece although severly damaged amidships, continues
to sink, reaching a trajectory velocity of approximately 25-35 knots. Ship
hits the bottom with a relatively small trim angle. 

j. On impact, the ship breaks apart. The sail is probably separted from the
ship at this time. The main sections of the hullprobably bounce and skip
before coming to their final resting place. A considerable amount of debris
is spilled out during this process. The main shaft, either on inital impact
or shortly thereafter, is thrown clear with screw still attached. The bow
section plows deeply into the bottom in an upright position. The stern
section slews around and finally comes to rest on its starboard side.
During this movement , or perhaps on initial impact with the bottom, the
starboard stabilizer and stern plane snap off, sparate and are thrown clear. 

k. The pressure/depth ranges stated above reflect considerations to account
for flooding rates, damage conditons, and dynamics of ship motion.

4. That in aditotion to the cardinal points considered in constuction of
the above scenario, the following facts and apinions are pertinent in
support of a most likely cause of the loss of SCORPION; 

a. The initial casualty, which resulted in flooding, was most probably due
to causes other than characteristic implosion of amajor compartment. 

b. The visible structural damage in the Operations Compartment doe not
clearly indicate the failure mode but is more probably associated with an
explosion rather than an implosion. 

c. If an external explosion in contact with the pressure hull and initiated
the casualty, the resulting gas bubble could vent and the submarine and no
bubble pulse would be detected. 

d. The initial casualty resulted in flooding foward of the center or
gravity generating a down angle on the ship. By the time of telescoping of
the Engine Room, it is postulated that this down angle could approximate
60%. Subsequent to telescoping and complete flooding of the ship, the trim
angle would tend to decrease. 

e. (The two signals, 1.8 minutes apart, detected by SOSUS emaiated from
SCORPION and correspond to acoustic events number one and six or to event
number one and a combination of events five, six and seven. 

f. The Engine Rom was not flooded by ( the first event ) and was the last
compartment to flood. 

g. Except for the Engine Room, SCORPION was fully flooded before passing
hull collapse depth. 

h. The location of the initial casualty and the resultant flooding casued
the Engine Room bulkhead to collapse into the Engine Room initiating
failure of the cone cylinder juncture about frame 67. 

i. (Telescoping of the Engine Room into the Auxiltary MachinerySpace
produced a high energy, low frequency ascustic evnet and may or may not
have produced a detectable bubble pulse.) 

j. (Telescoping of the Engine Room corresponds most probably to acoustic
event number four: however, if the Toredo Room bulkhead was destroyed or
severly damaged by event number one, the telescoping could correspong to
event number three.) 

k. (Although the nature and magnitude of acoustic events sic, seven and
eight suggest the Engine Room telescoping analysis of the depth of SCORPION
at the times of these events mitigate against this conclusion.) 

l. The effective pressure applied to internal situctures could lag the
static pressure head due to flooding rates damage conditions, and dynamics
of ship motion. 

m.. can affect the signal reception capability as evidenced by the
calibration shots heard at Arentia when detonated at a depth of 1500 feet.
or greater, it could have occurred at about 

n. Separation of th hull in the Operations Compartment area occurred upon
impact withthe bottom, however, severe damage to this area resulted from
the initial casulty and was aggravated by the telescoping of the LLEngine
Room and the action of hydrodynamic forces while sinking. 
o. The detachment of the propellor and shaft was not an initiation casualty. 

5. That the finding of SCORPION so close to the point computed from the
acoustic events leaves no doubt that these events did in fact emunilited
from the SCORPION. 

6. That currents in the area would have a limited effect on the
distrubution of debris, but light objects, dropped from near the surface,
would probably be carried in a southerly direction. 

7. That all photographs avaibable at this time, which pertain to the loss
of SCORPION, have been examined to dicover and analyze any clues which
might lead to an explanation for the loss of SCORPION. 

8. That no definitely identifiable human remains appeared in any photograph
reviewed by the court. 

9. An examination of the photographs of SCORPION's hull and associated
debris does not lead to the certain conclusion that the first ascoustic
event was caused by either and explosion or and implosion. 

10. That the fact that SCORPION was limited to an operating depth of feet,
though designed for a test depth of feet, supports the conclusion that she
was above feet when the initial casualty occurred. 

11. That the positions of the various mast, relative to the top of the
Bridge Fairwater, do not permit a certain conclusion as to mode of
operations or depth of the ship at the time of the initial casualty. 

12. That acoustic event number one was most probalby an explosion of the
large charge weight externalto the pressure hull. 

13. That the initial acoustic evnet produced a degree of damage and race of
flooding from which no submarine could be expected to survive. 

14. That, as established in the original report (fact 271 ), the only item
on board, forward of frame 44, with sufficient explosive energy to cause
the initial evnet, were the torpedo warheads. 

15. That in view of the lack of idetifiable debris from the Torpedo Room,
it is concluded that the Torpedo Room was not the location of a major
explosive event. 

16. That, while the sequence of events postulated by the Commander
Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet is considered possible, the weight of
evidence leads to the conslusion that such a sequence of evnets was not

17.That in the absence of evidence to the contrary it is assumed that
objects in the "artifact field" are associated with SCORPION. 

18. That some debris spilled out of the Operations Compartment of SCORPION
on h 

19. That the absence of air or oxygen flasks in the debris field indicats
that there was no severe damage to the ballast tanks in which they are
located and supports the opinion that the Engine Room telescoped into rater
than arund the Auxiliary Machinersy Space. 

20. That the identifiable debris does not lead to a determination of the
cause for the loss of SCORPION. 

21. That the damage to the stern planes and rudders was not a primary cause
of loss of SCORPION. 

22. That there is no conclusive photographic evidence that relates the
condition or position of the visible ship control surfaces to the cause for
the loss of SCORPION. 

23. That the lower trunk access hatches could fail catastrophically from
pressure inside the submarine and the resultantant water jet could detach
or destroy the upper hatches. 

24. That, since the Bridge Fairwater appears essentially undamged in the
vicinity of the bridge access trunk , implosion or collapse of the bridge
access trunk is improbable. 

25. That the Bridge Fairwater was probably loosened by the initial event
and sparated from the ship on impact with the bottom. 

26. LThat the outer hull ditrotion about frames 22 to 27 port most probably
resulted from the hydrodynamic forces attendant to sinking and from impact
on the bottom. 

27. That the ourte hull damage about frame 25 starbrard is most probably a
wrinkle due to distortion from sinking motions or bottom impact. 

28. That the visible structural failures shown in the photographs are not
indicative of deficient or defective materials or workmanship as a primary
cause of SCORPION's loss. 

29. That the information sought from the NSRDC ship motion simulator
studies has been adduced by other means and the lack of these studies does
not adversely affect the finding of the Court. 

30. That the additional evidence supports the finding that no radiological
hazard resulted from the loss of SCORPION. 

31. That the additonal evidence does not establigh that the loss of
SCORPION and deaths of those embarked were caused by the intent, fault,
negligence, or inefficiency of any person or persons in the naval service
or connected therwith. 


1. That, as part of the contunuing efforts to obtain additonal clues as to
the cause for this tragedy and to prevent others, a further examination of
the main hull sectins of SCORPION and the associated debris field be
conducted as and when practicable using the latest techniques available. 

2. That consideration to given to the research and study of large weight
contact explosions to determine the damage mechanism, to evaluate secondary
effects thereof and to provide currently unavailable data for future design
improvements for damage resistance to ghgh performance submarines. 

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