200. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Meeting of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, 1030 to 1230, 3 April 1975


  • Admiral George W. Anderson, Jr., USN (Ret.), Chairman
  • Mr. Gordon Gray
  • Dr. John S. Foster, Jr.
  • Mrs. Clare Boothe Luce
  • Mr. Leo Cherne
  • Mr. Robert W. Galvin
  • Dr. Edward Teller
  • Mr. George P. Shultz
  • Dr. Edwin H. Land
  • Dr. William O. Baker
  • Mr. Wheaton B. Byers
  • Cmdr. Lionel Olmer
  • Cmdr. Maurice D. Fitzgerald
  • Mr. William E. Colby
  • Mr. John M. Clarke

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Project MATADOR.]

5. The Director then shifted the discussion to the MATADOR project. He gave the Board a full report on the background of the newspaper exposure,2 the break-ins, et cetera. Mr. Gray inquired whether the Director felt that the Soviets knew about the first attempt. The Director indicated he did not believe so. Mr. Shultz made an indirect comment on the fate of the Captain of the tugboat. Mrs. Luce asked numerous questions about the Hughes break-in incident, and the Director responded with an observation attributed to Mr. Duckett as to its being an inside job. Mrs. Luce observed that the circumstances were not ordinary, and the Director cited the blackmail scenario and the leak to the Los Angeles Times from the police department. The Director observed to the Chairman that the Board might want to think about whether we should go back for the remaining portions. He reported that the 40 Committee had decided to continue to prepare but to make no decisions on a go—no-go basis. Mr. Teller supported the idea that the Board [Page 906] should reserve its judgment on a return since the risk is high. He voiced the opinion that its importance is in contrast to our wish which is to keep a low profile. Mr. Foster asked whether the Soviets have approached the US, and the Director responded in the negative, pointing out that there had been some discussion on the edges but not officially. The Director opined that as long as we officially do not comment it is not likely that the Soviets would comment. Mr. Cherne observed that the Board would need an altogether fresh presentation in what the current risks are before it could independently judge whether there should be a return trip. Mr. Shultz observed that unless there were overpowering reasons not to go to get what is of value, there should be no need for the Board to comment on a decision to go by the 40 Committee. The Chairman registered concern over other aspects while Dr. Teller inquired that if there is a return will it be done in full light of publicity. The Director explained some of the administrative changes and movements being considered [1 line not declassified] Gordon Gray observed that the Congressional investigations would probably get into this matter. He reported that he had understood that Congressman Dellums3 had been on to the under-water programs earlier and that Congressman Daniels4 had been asked to turn him off. Mr. Gray was not certain whether the under-water activities Dellums had run across were related to MATADOR or other Navy programs. Neither the Director nor the undersigned was able to recall. (This matter is being pursued.) The Chairman asked whether there had been other precedents. The Director cited the Soviet raising of the British submarine from shallow water, and the recommissioning of it to the Soviet fleet. The Chairman concluded that the Board should take no action at all until after the 40 Committee deliberations. Mr. Land asked what the current view on recovery is now. The Director observed that he did not feel [less than 1 line not declassified] but that possibly some of the [less than 1 line not declassified] could be valuable. Mr. Shultz asked whether the Director felt that the Soviets would not tamper with any future recovery effort. The Director observed that this would not be easy short of war-like action. Both Dr. Land and Mrs. Luce exchanged views with respect to the potential political hazard of failure at this time with intelligence under investigation. Mr. Land, particularly, believed that the Board would need to know exactly how important and likely recovery of the items were, and what the risk of success or failure was. He observed that the exercise would mortgage world perceptions of US technological leadership if failure occurred. He questioned how valuable [less than 1 line not declassified] would be in this context. The Director re [Page 907] sponded to the various questions, reporting that he had supported the first attempt at recovery of the submarine. The content of the DCI’s response on a second trip reflected uncertainty about the validity of a return effort, although no specific position on the matter was taken. The Director then reported in some detail on what had been acquired in the initial exploitation. Documented reports were circulated in response to questions from Dr. Teller and Dr. Foster. Dr. Teller asked that a general advocate for a return trip should come before the Board and give details on both what had been acquired, and what value and risk there was to a return effort. The Director, in response to the Chairman, promised to make his recommendations on the matter to the 40 Committee available to the Board.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Project MATADOR.]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, Job 80M01066A: E[xecutive] R[egistry] Subject Files, Box 3, Executive Registry Subject Files—1975 Glomar Explorer—[codeword not declassified]. Top Secret; [codeword not declassified]/BYEMAN. Drafted by John M. Clarke of the CIA.
  2. See footnote 4, Document 196 and footnote 2, Document 197.
  3. Ronald Dellums (D–California).
  4. Dominick V. Daniels (D–New Jersey).