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A Fast Paced Mystery
June 25, 2009
By J. Gordon "Nebraska U" (Leeds, AL)

Never Forgotten is the thrilling story of a small American company's quest to find an Israeli submarine, the INS Dakar, that mysteriously disappeared in the Mediterranean thirty years earlier. The author, David Jourdan, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and the co-founder of Nauticos, a company dedicated to deep ocean exploration, weaves together an utterly fascinating and easy to follow technical detective story predicated upon a series of probable outcomes concerning the submarine's fate. But in following those hunches, Jourdan has bet the family farm, agreeing that the company would not be paid its proposed fee unless the submarine was actually found. For Nauticos, at the time, the risk was huge.

When the Dakar disappeared in 1968, rumors ran rampant throughout the Middle East and conspiracy theories flourished. There was speculation that the submarine had been captured by the Egyptians; or that she had been secretly laden with nuclear weapons; or that the Israelis themselves had caused the ship to disappear in order to further some nefarious political agenda. Adding to the rumors, the French submarine Minerve disappeared two days later. For the Dakar's families, the ship's mysterious disappearance meant decades of emotional trauma and endless speculation.

In describing the operations of the Dakar, a modified World War II British T-class submarine, Jourdan contrasts his experiences aboard a modern American nuclear submarine and brings to life the reality of living within the confined spaces of a submarine. One feels the claustrophobia, the stress, and the dangers. Each element of the story is supported by captivating historical narratives about the Mediterranean and undersea exploration. And through his prose, Jourdan brings to life a whole cast of characters; from Tom Dettweiler, a graduate of Purdue and the University of Miami who headed up the search effort; to Dr. Marcella Sorg, a forensic anthropologist from the University of Maine who conducted studies to determine what happened to the crew; to Captain Yaacov Ra'anan, the Dakar's reserved and experienced commander; to Chava Barkay, the wife of the ship's first officer who vowed that he would never be forgotten. The book is a compelling, fast paced read.


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