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Unknown Waters, Unknown Waters, 0817316027, 0-8173-1602-7, 978-0-8173-1602-0, 9780817316020, , , Unknown Waters, 081738006X, 0-8173-8006-X, 978-0-8173-8006-9, 9780817380069, , , Unknown Waters, 081735977X, 0-8173-5977-X, 978-0-8173-5977-5, 9780817359775,

Unknown Waters
A First-Hand Account of the Historic Under-ice Survey of the Siberian Continental Shelf by USS Queenfish (SSN-651)
Alfred S. McLaren

E Book
2009. 272 pp.
58 B&W figures / 12 maps
Price:  $19.95 d
Quality Paper
2019. 268 pp.
58 B&W figures / 12 maps
Price:  $19.95 t

Charting the Siberian continental shelf during the height of the Cold War
Unknown Waters tells the story of the brave officers and men of the nuclear attack submarine USS Queenfish (SSN-651), who made the first survey of an extremely important and remote region of the Arctic Ocean. The unpredictability of deep-draft sea ice, shallow water, and possible Soviet discovery, all played a dramatic part in this fascinating 1970 voyage.

Covering 3,100 miles over a period of some 20 days at a laborious average speed of 6.5 knots or less, the attack submarine carefully threaded its way through innumerable underwater canyons of ice and over irregular seafloors, at one point becoming entrapped in an “ice garage.” Only cool thinking and skillful maneuvering of the nearly 5,000-ton vessel enabled a successful exit.

Alfred S. McLaren is a retired US Navy Captain, recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal and two Legions of Merit, president emeritus of The Explorers Club, senior pilot of the SAS Aviator submersible, and president of The American Polar Society.
William R. Anderson was skipper of USS Nautilus (SSN-571) during that vessel’s 1958 achievement of the North Pole and historic Pacific to Atlantic crossing of the Arctic Ocean. He was subsequently awarded the Legion of Merit by President Eisenhower and, following his retirement from the Navy, elected to the U.S. Congress from Tennessee for four terms. He died in 2007 and was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

“As any serious student of the subject realizes, ‘intelligence’ is a term that goes far beyond espionage and the cloak-and-dagger shenanigans so beloved by the writers of spy thrillers. And indeed, some of more valuable achievements of the intelligence community during the Cold War fell far outside the parameters of what the laymen might call ‘spying.’
     Such was surely the case in 1970, when the nuclear submarine USS Queenfish (SSN-651) slipped under the Arctic ice pack and found its way 3,100 miles through uncharted waters to explore the continental shelf off the Siberian coast, site of many Soviet testing grounds and sensitive nuclear sites. The story- and it is a truly astounding one—is told by the Queenfish's captain, Alfred S. McLaren.”
Washington Times

“Dr. Fred McLaren, former submarine commander and prominent arctic expert, combines a rigorous operational background with extensive academic training to tell us about the early pioneering days in the Arctic Ocean when the Cold War made certain far north research difficult. A four year former President of the Explorers Club, he has achieved an international reputation in Arctic research. It is indeed rare to find a first hand accounting of this work written by a 'dreamer' and 'doer'. Highly recommended reading about a little-known chapter of US explorations of the far north.”
—Don Walsh, International Maritime Inc.

Unknown Waters, the story of the hazardous exploration by the USS Queenfish, is a splendid adventure. Captain McLaren’s spellbinding account of his unparalleled voyage into the unknown beneath the ice off Siberia constitutes a treasure house of knowledge never before conceived of a dark and forbidding part of the globe. Audacious as well as entertaining!”
—Clive Cussler, Chairman, National Underwater & Marine Agency

“Captain McLaren, a highly decorated submarine officer and one of the world’s foremost Arctic scientists, has written a riveting account of the first hydrographic survey of the Soviet Union’s Siberian coastline by a nuclear submarine. Unknown Waters is a valuable addition to the history of arctic operations by United States submarines describing hazardous operations in shallow, ice-covered waters with irregular bottoms and deep ice drafts. Dr. McLaren skillfully weaves into the exciting operations an interesting description of the seas and islands north of Siberia including early explorations of this Northern Sea Route so important to Russia.”
—VADM. John H. Nicholson, USN (Ret.), commanding officer, USS Sargo (SSN-583)

“This memoir is very engaging. . . . It provides a first-person view of submarine under-ice operations that appears in very few other works.”
—Gary E. Weir, author of Rising Tide: The Untold Story of the Russian Submarines that Fought the Cold War

Receipent of the 2012 Explorer's Club Medal, sponsored by The Explorers Club