This film is based on the discredited Ken Sewell Theory in his book "Red Star Rogue" ; the claim that the K-129 was attempting an unauthorized missile launch against the US (specifically, Pearl Harbor) in 1968. Further, he claimed that the K-129 was emulating a Chinese Golf class (that they had received from Russian before the Sino-Soviet split) in an attempt to start a nuclear war between the US and China. For a number of reasons, this is preposterous. Not the least of which is that the Chinese never got the Golf operational until well into the 1970's, and the US was aware of that fact.
If you read the blurbs on the film, it is almost exactly the Ken Sewell version of the story
We spent three and a half years researching what really happened to the Golf class SSB K-129 and the CIA operation to recover the submarine by the Glomar Explorer for the documentary film & The Polmar/White book on Project Azorian. In the process we discovered that the dive by the bathyscaphe Trieste II
, which Sewell claimed in "Red Star Rogue" was a dive on the K-129 wreck just 300 miles from Hawaii was in fact a dive by Trieste II
to attempt to recover a lost satellite reentry vehicle with film footage from the first Hexagon satellite. See the March 2013 SCR (coming soon) for details of this operation. The K-129 was over 1500 miles from Hawaii, well out of the 755 nm range for the R-21 missiles. The exact position of the K-129 wreck is 40.06N and 179.57E.
An additional book by former CIA Mission Director Dr. David Sharp has confirmed and elaborated further on the mission. http://www.amazon.com/CIAs-Greatest-Covert-Operation-Nuclear-armed/dp/0700618341/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361985156&sr=8-1&keywords=david+sharp+cia
Further, the CIA has declassified portion of the mission, and links to that are here: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb305/index.htm
Ken Sewell went on to claim in another book ("All Hands Dwon) that the USS Scorpion was sunk by the Soviet Navy. This in in direct conflict with the examination of the Scorpion wreck as well as all available evidence. I covered this extensively in the September 2012 (Vol. 90) issue of the SCR. Mr. Sewell's books are clearly written to be provocative and appeal to the theory that these two submarines (K-129 and Scorpion) sank due to nefarious Cold War activities. In both cases, the preponderance of evidence is simply that there were operational problems that led to the losses.
It is enormously discouraging to spend thousands of hours researching and assembling evidence and interviews, finally put together a documentary and then have a "Conspiracy Theory" film come out of Hollywood. BTW, the "Project Azorian" documentary film will be finally shown in the US on the Military Channel beginning in April, and is also available on Netflix.
The "Phantom" film may be fun to watch, but I can guarantee you that it is based on fiction, despite claims to be "Inspired" by actual events!