ARMED FORCES: Silent Battle

Missing and given up for lost after an intensive six-day search last week was a Strategic Air Command RB-47E, a reconnaissance version of the B-47 jet bomber, and its six-man crew. Based in Britain, the plane, carrying a flock of cameras and a cabin full of electronic equipment, had sped north and east over Arctic waters on a mission that would have taken it into the Barents Sea 100 miles west of the Soviet island of Novaya Zemlya.

The official Pentagon explanation was that the plane was on a routine "electromagnetic survey" (i.e., weather and radiation studies), but the Air...

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