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Desperate times breed desperate measures, and the 1980 Iran hostage crisis was a desperate time for the United States, especially after one rescue mission in the Iranian desert met with disaster.
It's now known that the U.S. planned a second rescue attempt. For it, the U.S. military made radical modifications to a transport plane to make it take off and land almost like a helicopter, Jane's Defense Weekly disclosed Monday.
The military modified a huge C-130 Hercules, adding rockets so that it could take off and land in little more than its own length. At the time of the project, 53 Americans were being held hostage in Tehran, and the first rescue mission, "Eagle Claw," had ended with an aircraft collision that killed eight U.S. soldiers.
Thus began a near-miracle of hastily organized high-tech tinkering called "Credible Sport."
"It was a desperate response to a very desperate situation," said Nick Cook of Jane's Defense Weekly.