Russia Accused of Stealing the Arctic Dive Plan

The New York Times has a very interesting article today about a retired U.S. Navy officer, Alfred S. McLaren, who claims that the Russians stole his idea and plan for a polar dive under the Arctic ice cap, which of course resulted in the polemical flag-planting stunt, roiling relations with Canada:

Dr. McLaren’s plan drew on federal polar data and recommended specific sensors and methods to ensure a safe return. “I wrote the procedures for the dive,” he said in an interview. The Russians, he added, “went for the territorial claim.”

Don Walsh, a pioneer of deep ocean diving who worked on the Arctic plan with the Russians, backed the account.The divers, Dr. Walsh wrote in an e-mail message, “did not develop the original idea, the operational plan and they did not pay for it” because wealthy tourists picked up the bill.“I am sure,” he added, “that this example of how to steal your way to fame will become a legend in the history of exploration.”