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US nearly detonated an atomic bomb over North Carolina-secret document

Montecresto

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The bomb that nearly exploded over North Carolina was 260 times more powerful than the device which devasted Hiroshima in 1945. Photo: Three Lions/Getty Images
A secret document, published in declassified form for the first time by the Guardian today, reveals that the US Air Force came dramatically close to detonating an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/20/usaf-atomic-bomb-north-carolina-1961
 

sbrettt

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The bomb that nearly exploded over North Carolina was 260 times more powerful than the device which devasted Hiroshima in 1945. Photo: Three Lions/Getty Images
A secret document, published in declassified form for the first time by the Guardian today, reveals that the US Air Force came dramatically close to detonating an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima.


US nearly detonated atomic bomb over North Carolina

I read about this in MotherJones. I think the plane spiraled out of control due to an airborn fueling mishap... Pretty scary stuff.
 

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I read about this in MotherJones. I think the plane spiraled out of control due to an airborn fueling mishap... Pretty scary stuff.

Wow! I mean we don't think about that much, but yes such an accident would be a catastrophe. Is it necessary to train with hot bombs? Maybe because of that incident, they don't anymore.
 

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Makes me wonder if they would have blamed the Russians and used it as a pretext for WW3
 

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Wow! I mean we don't think about that much, but yes such an accident would be a catastrophe. Is it necessary to train with hot bombs? Maybe because of that incident, they don't anymore.

I'm surprised that this incident isn't more well known. It's kind of a big deal that they almost wiped an entire state off the map. Possibly rendering the entire east coast uninhabitable for decades due to radioactive fallout.
 

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Makes me wonder if they would have blamed the Russians and used it as a pretext for WW3

I don't know about that, but I think they definitely would have lied about it if there was any plausible deniability.
 

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Let the speculation begin!
 

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I don't know about that, but I think they definitely would have lied about it if there was any plausible deniability.

That we can be certain of.
 

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The title is misleading, both bombs fell to the ground.
 

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I'm surprised that this incident isn't more well known. It's kind of a big deal that they almost wiped an entire state off the map. Possibly rendering the entire east coast uninhabitable for decades due to radioactive fallout.

I think you overstate things by an order of magnitude. A major city devastated yes, the state of North Carolina no. The entire eastern seaboard uninhabitable from one bomb definitely not. Nuclear weapons are indeed very powerful, just not that powerful. The biggest we ever made was 25MT's the biggest we ever detonated was 15mt accidently which resulted in a 1.42km fireball. Most of our weapons are 1mt or less which would have a .5km fireball.
 

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I think you overstate things by an order of magnitude. A major city devastated yes, the state of North Carolina no. The entire eastern seaboard uninhabitable from one bomb definitely not. Nuclear weapons are indeed very powerful, just not that powerful. The biggest we ever made was 25MT's the biggest we ever detonated was 15mt accidently which resulted in a 1.42km fireball. Most of our weapons are 1mt or less which would have a .5km fireball.

I think you're underestimating the dangers out radioactive fallout. Hey! don't forget about the Tsar bomb.
 

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The title is misleading, both bombs fell to the ground.

My apologies, I have been admonished by moderators that my thread title must exactly word for word match the sources title.
 

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I think you overstate things by an order of magnitude. A major city devastated yes, the state of North Carolina no. The entire eastern seaboard uninhabitable from one bomb definitely not. Nuclear weapons are indeed very powerful, just not that powerful. The biggest we ever made was 25MT's the biggest we ever detonated was 15mt accidently which resulted in a 1.42km fireball. Most of our weapons are 1mt or less which would have a .5km fireball.

The article said 260 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, maybe he was going off that.
 

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Hate to burst your bubble, but these bombs do not go off with impact. There was never any danger if it accidentally going off.
 

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Hate to burst your bubble, but these bombs do not go off with impact. There was never any danger if it accidentally going off.


No bubble busted. It's not as though anyone wished they had gone off. And the article made clear that the closeness of the would be disaster was one "switch" away.
 

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I think you're underestimating the dangers out radioactive fallout. Hey! don't forget about the Tsar bomb.

You're overestimating the dangers and this wasn't a Tsar Bomb.

Also, nuclear weapons don't detonate like automobile gas tanks in hollywood films. "One low voltage switch." I.E. The switch that arms the device. That's like saying only one little switch is between me and total darkness right now: the light switch.

****ing nuclear sensationalism.
 

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So sensational the DOD decided to classify it for over 50 years.
 

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You're overestimating the dangers and this wasn't a Tsar Bomb.

Also, nuclear weapons don't detonate like automobile gas tanks in hollywood films. "One low voltage switch." I.E. The switch that arms the device. That's like saying only one little switch is between me and total darkness right now: the light switch.

****ing nuclear sensationalism.
LOL I know it wasn't the Tsar bomb. Not sure what you're talking about with the switches? I take the ability to wipe massive amounts of people out in a matter of seconds pretty seriously, call it sensationalism if you want.
 

Montecresto

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LOL I know it wasn't the Tsar bomb. Not sure what you're talking about with the switches? I take the ability to wipe massive amounts of people out in a matter of seconds pretty seriously, call it sensationalism if you want.

Exactly, just saying there's zero tolerance for accidents when your handling atomic/hydrogen/nuclear bombs.
 

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Hate to burst your bubble, but these bombs do not go off with impact. There was never any danger if it accidentally going off.

I'm sorry, but you're wrong. See, I watched the great John Travolta film "Broken Arrow," so I know how nuclear weapons work.
 

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The bomb that nearly exploded over North Carolina was 260 times more powerful than the device which devasted Hiroshima in 1945. Photo: Three Lions/Getty Images
A secret document, published in declassified form for the first time by the Guardian today, reveals that the US Air Force came dramatically close to detonating an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima.


US nearly detonated atomic bomb over North Carolina

So the redundant safety systems worked...
 

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You could have read about this bomb in many places like Wikipedia quite a while ago. A reporter found a recently declassified document and decided that the whole incident must have been hushed up all these years. Untrue. The Guardian specializes in expose reports.

For your information this Wiki article lists all known military accidents. List of military nuclear accidents - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
You will find the one mentioned in this thread on Jan 24 1962 as the Goldsboro B-52 crash.

Redundant safety systems are designed with the hope that there are always at least one more device than failure. In the case of this crash the pilot arming switch operated as the final safety device even though several others failed.
 
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