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Still Waters

US plane in 1961 'nuclear bomb near-miss'

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A four-megaton nuclear bomb was one switch away from exploding over the US in 1961, a newly declassified US document confirms.

Two bombs were on board a B-52 plane that went into an uncontrolled spin over North Carolina - both bombs fell and one began the detonation process.

The US government has acknowledged the accident before, but never made public how close the bomb came to detonating.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...canada-24183879

http://www.theguardi...sified-document

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A four-megaton nuclear bomb was one switch away from exploding over the US in 1961, a newly declassified US document confirms.

Two bombs were on board a B-52 plane that went into an uncontrolled spin over North Carolina - both bombs fell and one began the detonation process.

The US government has acknowledged the accident before, but never made public how close the bomb came to detonating.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...canada-24183879

http://www.theguardi...sified-document

Well, it wasn't close enough to Myrtle Beach so that's good. My favorite place in the world.

Edited by CRYSiiSx2

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If it had went off the area would of been a total loss and radiation would of spread far and wide.

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Yep...I imagine Goldsboro would be a name every American would come to speak with dread... but then again it might also have caused everyone to rethink nuclear weapons in general. 4 million tons of tnt equivalent. 4 million. Depending on the wind it could have made a huge part of the east coast uninhabitable.

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There will be more of these being declassified.

Where people work they commit errors, if they work a lot they commit many errors and errors lead to accidents.

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Had a nuke fall off a weapons loader at my base back around '90 or so. Closed off the whole flight line for a half a day or so. Course that wasn't nearly as interesting as the one time a bored airman started spinning the little propeller in the detonation cap of a Mark 84. Half of the guys around him jumped and tackled him. When they sent him to mental health he explained that he didn't know that spinning it might cause it to blow up!

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Ooooh almost. BUT THEY DIDN'T.

And that is what makes all the difference that matters.

Edit: They are the most heavily trained outfit on earth. An 'almost' is insignificant. They are trained to expect and destroy 'almost's''.

Edited by Timonthy

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Had a nuke fall off a weapons loader at my base back around '90 or so. Closed off the whole flight line for a half a day or so. Course that wasn't nearly as interesting as the one time a bored airman started spinning the little propeller in the detonation cap of a Mark 84. Half of the guys around him jumped and tackled him. When they sent him to mental health he explained that he didn't know that spinning it might cause it to blow up!

Hey, yer not to scare people!

At my base they crashed a forklift into the rack and the whole shebang came crashing down.

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If I am corrects, nukes are now designed where they can handled roughly. Only a certain way they can be set off...

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If I am corrects, nukes are now designed where they can handled roughly. Only a certain way they can be set off...

yep, but that is now and not then.

On the other hand, cracking the casing may not make the thingy blow up... but I certainly would not want to be anywhere near when it happens.

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where was the health & safety brigade.............?

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where was the health & safety brigade.............?

missed in inaction, as usual.

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Scary ****.

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Alls well in Love and War ! ITs the War part we need to address these days . Who needs it anymore ?

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Yeah, that would have, obviously, been bad.

I'm rather impressed that back then they had 4 "safety" switches(whatever that actually means), though in this case apparently 3 failed.

These days, the initial detonation module is actually removed and seperated by several meters from the nuke itself, and only inserted into the nuke by a special miltary officer when given orders to "arm"

Takes maybe less than 1-minute to do the "arming", but is apparently much safer than a fully armed nuke with "safety" switches.

Edited by pallidin
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In the end, the system worked as designed and did not detonate. Can it still detonate today? I have no idea. But really, so far it shows the system worked.

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In the end, the system worked as designed and did not detonate. Can it still detonate today? I have no idea. But really, so far it shows the system worked.

Like Hell !!

3 out of 4 safety mechanisms failed. That IS NOT good, and shows that the total system did not work. A 3/4th's failure. Totally unacceptable.

Sure, no detonation, but WAY too close. In part that's why the docs were classified for the event.

That's also why they completely changed the method in which a nuke is "armed"

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Iam shocked that they even let this out of the bag.

I bet there are tons of classified stuff they will never tell us

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They should find that switch, Mount it and put it in a museum to show how close the US came to disaster, even the world. . Amazing story. God bless the man who decided four was better than three!

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Amazing story. God bless the man who decided four was better than three!

Yeah, I wholeheartedly agree.

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Iam shocked that they even let this out of the bag.

I bet there are tons of classified stuff they will never tell us

They have to, there is the Freedom of Information Act, after 25 or 50 years (depending on the sensitivity) they have to...like it or not.

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They have to, there is the Freedom of Information Act, after 25 or 50 years (depending on the sensitivity) they have to...like it or not.

Not to "split hairs" as your point is well taken, but consder the following:

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal freedom of information law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government. The Act defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure procedures and grants nine exemptions to the statute.[1][2] It was originally signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, despite his misgivings,[3] on July 4, 1966 as 5 U.S.C. § 552 and went into effect the following year.[4]

...and...

On December 29, 2009, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13526, which allows the government to classify certain specific types of information relevant to national security after it has been requested.[26] That is, a request for information that meets the criteria for availability under FOIA can still be denied if the government determines that the information should have been classified, and unavailable. It also sets a timeline for automatic declassification of old information that is not specifically identified as requiring continued secrecy.

Source: http://en.wikipedia....miting_the_FOIA

Edited by pallidin

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Not to "split hairs" as your point is well taken, but consder the following:

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal freedom of information law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government. The Act defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure procedures and grants nine exemptions to the statute.[1][2] It was originally signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, despite his misgivings,[3] on July 4, 1966 as 5 U.S.C. § 552 and went into effect the following year.[4]

...and...

On December 29, 2009, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13526, which allows the government to classify certain specific types of information relevant to national security after it has been requested.[26] That is, a request for information that meets the criteria for availability under FOIA can still be denied if the government determines that the information should have been classified, and unavailable. It also sets a timeline for automatic declassification of old information that is not specifically identified as requiring continued secrecy.

Source: http://en.wikipedia....miting_the_FOIA

Yes,but how are they going to justify that a grunt running a forklift into a bomb rack 25 years ago is still national security relevant?

They might have punched holes in our rights, but they are not yet that big.

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Yes,but how are they going to justify that a grunt running a forklift into a bomb rack 25 years ago is still national security relevant?

Q, I don't think that type of mundane detail qualifies under a "remain classified" exemption of the FOIA.

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Q, I don't think that type of mundane detail qualifies under a "remain classified" exemption of the FOIA.

and that is what I mean, piece by piece we will lean how the SAC managed to loose those bombs in Spain, near explosions, accidents with nukes and chemical weapons, how they managed to fly unwittingly armed a-bombs around on training missions... unless there are so many scandals about that no journalist cares about them anymore. Then we will have to look it up in history books.

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