A U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane with 31 men aboard is reported missing in the Sea of Japan. The North Koreans are boasting that they have “shot down an American spy plane.” The information triggers a unique, massive, multinational sea and air search for possible survi-vors of the EC-121. The cast includes improbable rescuers—Russian warships which happen to be in the area and volunteer their services.

By Bill Streifer and Irek Sabitov