Eighty-four-year-old Captain Alfred S. McLaren, USN (Ret.), Ph.D., is the Indiana Jones of the sea—a veritable Captain Nemo more at home in the depths of the ocean than he is landlocked at 8,000 feet where he lives in the mountains between Boulder and Nederland.
A former nuclear attack submarine officer and the veteran of more than 20 Cold War submarine operations, he and his crew of the USS Seadragon completed the first submerged transit of the Northwest Passage, during which time they played the first baseball game at the North Pole, according to his book Silent and Unseen: On Patrol in Three Cold War Attack Submarines (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2015).
Later, as commander of the USS Queenfish, he led a North Pole expedition that completed the first under ice survey of the entire Siberian Continental Shelf.
Now at an age when most retired Navy veterans are content to hang up their life jackets, McLaren, a former research and teaching professor at the University of Colorado, is “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” planning a variety of new projects.
He’s currently working on a third book covering his command of the USS Queenfish from 1969 to 1973, and another book about his expeditions to the Titanic and the German battleship the Bismarck.
“Retirement isn’t in my vocabulary. There’s still too much I want to achieve. I am still thoroughly enjoying the rich smorgasbord of life.”