Sunday, September 22, 2013

Almost Nuked

The Guardian reports that, but for one last fail-safe device, a four megaton hydrogen bomb would have detonated over Goldsboro, North Carolina in January 1961 after being released by a disintegrating B-52 bomber.  The article does not discuss why a B-52 disintegrated in mid-air which is somewhat of a side story to the much larger one of losing an American city and unleashing lethal fallout as far north as New York city. The article clearly notes that only one of four safety devices worked as intended.  A copy of the classified report adds a certain amount of black humor to the affair.  Humor which is only possible well after the fact that a nuclear weapon almost exploded here in the Homeland.  Of course, the US wasn't the Homeland back then but was definitely home and that was definitely an all-too-near nuclear miss.

The whole affair was awfully close to home for me.  Goldsboro is less than 150 miles from where I was living at the time.  I imagine I would have gotten a hefty dose of that radiation in my early teens.  It would have been pretty ugly. 

Or maybe duck and cover would have saved me.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov (Russian: Василий Александрович Архипов) (30 January 1926 – 19 August 1998) was a Soviet Navy officer. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he prevented the launch of a nuclear torpedo and thereby prevented a nuclear war.[1] Thomas Blanton (then director of the National Security Archive) said in 2002 that "a guy called Vasili Arkhipov saved the world".[1]

1968 Thule Air Base B-52 crash

Tybee Bomb lost in Wassaw Sound in Georgia in 1958

All on record and available at wiki.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Syrbal/Labrys said...

I remember those drills all too well. When that little incident happened, I was in Germany, where we got daily news of the Russians building the Berlin Wall, and the Cubans loading up on missile sites!

Fun times! No wonder my parents' generation drank!

10:13 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home