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All NEW Escape Game Onboard the Battleship Wisconsin Based on Local Spy Story

Escape Ship: To Catch A Spy Opens May 3 at Nauticus

Norfolk, VA – It’s 1989. A Russian spy posing as an ambassador has just left his room onboard the Battleship Wisconsin. You have one hour to discover – and dismantle – his plans before it’s too late, using your critical thinking skills to solve puzzles, find clues and decipher codes.

That’s the scenario for Nauticus’ newest “escape room” concept, Escape Ship: To Catch a Spy, opening Friday, May 3. The storyline turned out to have parallels in real life, when research revealed that a spy posing as a college student and Navy reservist had actually resided in Hampton Roads.

Glenn Michael Souther, a U.S. Navy photographer who defected to the Soviet Union, lived in Norfolk prior to leaving America in 1986. He was one of the very few foreign agents and defectors given officer rank in the KGB, the Soviet Union’s foremost intelligence agency during most the Cold War. Souther had left the Navy in 1982 to study Russian literature at Old Dominion University while simultaneously working as a reservist, where his job in naval intelligence, processing satellite-reconnaissance photographs, allowed him access to classified intercepts circulating within the Navy’s communications network. When the Federal Bureau of Investigation started to suspect Souther might be working for a foreign intelligence agency, he disappeared. Two years later it was revealed that he’d been granted asylum in the Soviet Union, where he remained until his suicide at age 32.

Tickets for Escape Ship: To Catch a Spy are $20 per person (discounts for groups of eight) which will be open Friday through Sunday beginning May 3.  Book your experience at nauticus.org/escapeship. Escape Ship: To Catch a Spy is limited to eight people per experience and recommended for ages 14 and up. 

For more information please visit www.nauticus.org or call (757) 664-1000.


Located on the downtown Norfolk waterfront, Nauticus is a maritime science museum that explores the economic, naval, and natural power of the sea.  Nauticus features hands-on exhibits, marine life, 3D movies, a Stewards of the Sea exhibit that explores the Navy’s environmental efforts, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, the awe-inspiring Battleship Wisconsin–one of the largest and last battleships built by the U.S. Navy- and the Banana Pier Gift Shop. Nauticus is also home to the Sail Nauticus Sailing Center, the Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center, and the Victory Rover Naval Base Cruises.

Release date: April 25, 2019
Contact: Beth Bilderback (757) 664-1017