~ Free Event ~

Saturday, September 8   11 AM – 1 PM

Location: San Diego Archaeological Center


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Fifty-five years ago, USS THRESHER (SSN 593), the most advanced nuclear submarine of its time, imploded at a depth of 2,400 feet.  It was the first nuclear submarine disaster and remains the worst with 129 lives lost.  Disputing the Navy’s official report, Captain Jim Bryant, U.S. Navy (Retired) will present his research on how and why the sinking occurred, including recently available acoustic information recorded during THRESHER’s last dive and interviews of several people involved with THRESHER.

This presentation and discussion will be held in two parts.  Part 1 will present the theory of submarine operations and design, stressing the importance of buoyancy and depth control, and a short history of THRESHER with the events leading to its loss.  Part 2 will detail the factors that caused its sinking, which strongly challenge the Navy’s findings, and describe the lessons learned from this disaster. Refreshments will be provided.

Captain Bryant received a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned an Ensign in 1971.  Bryant was selected by Admiral Rickover for the naval nuclear propulsion training and subsequently served on five nuclear submarines that culminated with commanding USS GUARDFISH (SSN 612) from 1987-1990.  Three of these submarines were homeported in San Diego, CA.  During his 23-year career, he participated in Cold War Missions in the Gulf of Aden; North, Norwegian, Bering and Arabian Seas; and the Seas of Japan and Okhotsk and assisted the Royal Navy during the Falkland’s War as a Staff Officer in London, UK.  After a tour in the Pentagon, he retired from the Navy in 1994 and started a small business.  Bryant also researched the sinking of the nuclear submarines THRESHER and SCORPION.

In 2015 he returned to San Diego, took courses in Archaeology, and became a volunteer at the San Diego Archeological Center.  His research on the loss of THRESHER refutes the Navy’s version of the disaster and resulted in several articles in newspapers and in the March and July 2018 editions of U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings Magazine.

He is a third generation Californian and enjoys Prehistoric Archeology, hunting and fishing.  He is married to Monica and they live in the Point Loma area of San Diego.