Nation: THE FERRET FLEETS

Blandly classified as an "environmental research" vessel, the U.S.S. Pueblo is actually one of more than 80 immensely sophisticated ELINT (for electronic intelligence) ships in the U.S. Navy. That ferret fleet is intended as a counterforce to Russia's 60-vessel ELINT armada, made up mostly of converted trawlers and hydrographic craft, all bristling with antennas and sensitive snooping gear. Just as the Pueblo and her kin prowl the international waters off China, North Korea and the Soviet Union, Russian trawlers are stationed off California, South Carolina, Florida's Cape Kennedy, Guam and Alaska. A Soviet...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!