On September 1, 1983, a Soviet fighter plane shot down a South Korean commercial airliner, KAL 007, killing all 269 persons aboard. Why did the jet stray hundreds of miles off course and fly for hours over Soviet territory, including sensitive nuclear and submarine installations? And why did the Soviets decide that that plane had to be brought down? These are the major questions this book addresses. It is the first book-length exploration of all the available information, and it weighs each of the hypotheses that has been advanced here and abroad to explain the dramatic episode, which led to a Soviet-American confrontation just as relations between the two super powers seemed to be on the verge of improvement. This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press's mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1985.