The CIA recently declassified (note to the Obama Administration – this is when you can actually talk and discuss sensitive national security secrets, not while they are still classified. See 18 USC § 798 – Disclosure of Classified Information) information regarding a mission to recover surveillance imagery from the Hexagon platform back in the early 1970s.
The Hexagon platform (already declassified) conducted photoreconnaissance missions and then ejected film capsules that parachuted to Earth for recovery by the US Government. On July 10, 1971, a capsule was released from the first Hexagon mission and was coming in for a landing over the Pacific Ocean. The capsule’s parachute failed and it slammed into the ocean surface, suffered damage, and the parts sunk in 16,000 feet of water.
Due to the sensitivity of the material and to test our recovery capabilities in case future failures occur, the US Navy and CIA conducted a rescue mission. The mission would employ the Trieste II Deep Sea Vehicle (or DSV-1). The submersible made three attempts to retrieve the capsule finally succeeding on April 25, 1972. As the sub surface, however, the film broke into a number of pieces leaving only 25 feet of film recoverable. More details of the mission can be found here and the FOIA website for it is here. It’s an interesting read.
The FOIA site (and others) have drawn the parallel to the 1968 movie, Ice Station Zebra (originally set to star Gregory Peck and David Niven fresh off the success of the 1961 movie, The Guns of Navarone. Due to scheduling conflicts and some objections by the DoD, the delays caused a recast that gave us Rock Hudson and Patrick McGoohan in the main roles). However, given the timeline that the movie preceded these events it turned out to be foreshadowing more than an echo.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.