Too Close an Encounter

It was a classic case of ships not quite passing in the night. Darkness had fallen, and the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk was plying the Sea of Japan after taking part in "Team Spirit '84" military exercises with South Korean forces. Suddenly, the 80,000-ton conventionally powered vessel seemed to shudder from stem to stern. Something solid had struck it. Crewmen rushed to the starboard side just in time to catch a glimpse of what had hit the ship. A submarine without running lights was slinking off into the black waters.

The next morning helicopters from the aircraft carrier identified the offending...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


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

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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