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Mr. Offley stated in his new book, “Scorpion Down,” that among other evidence, two Navy officials told him they heard sonar recordings revealing that a Soviet submarine sank the U.S. submarine with a torpedo in an Atlantic underwater dogfight.

“Since I was head of the branch within ONI responsible for the analysis and final evaluation of all SOSUS data of interest from 1963 through 1992, I would have directed any such search and seizure effort, and I did not,” Mr. Rule stated in an e-mail.

Mr. Rule said Mr. Offley’s account is not true. The ONI never received sound surveillance system data on the Scorpion event, he said, and all data on “explosive/implosive acoustic events” relating to the Scorpion were detected by U.S. Air Force sensors in the Canary Islands and provided to a Navy board of inquiry.

c Bill Gertz covers the Pentagon. He can be reached at 202/636-3274 or at