Chris Muir's Day By Day

Friday, September 20, 2013

When the Air Force Nearly Nuked NC

Back in 1961:

A doomed Air Force B-52 accidentally dropped two hydrogen bombs on North Carolina in January 1961, and one came perilously close to exploding and scattering deadly radioactive fallout over the Eastern Seaboard, according to a recently declassified report.

The 4-megaton Mark 39 bombs -- each packing 260 times the explosive power of the weapon that decimated Hiroshima -- broke loose over Goldsboro, N.C., as the bomber went into a tailspin and crashed.

All four safety mechanisms designed to prevent accidental detonation worked properly on one bomb, which landed in a meadow, but three failed on the other, and only a low-voltage switch kept it from exploding upon impact in a field in Faro, N.C., said the 1969 report.


4 comments:

Rev. Paul said...

Well, that would certainly change the meaning of "catching some rays at the beach", wouldn't it?

Old NFO said...

At least ONE worked... Sometimes multiple redundencies are a GOOD thing!!!

Murphy's Law said...

Now if only one had dropped into eastern Massachusetts. I could have forgiven that one going off in the land of Kerry, Warren, Frank and countless Kennedys.

fatfred said...

The second bomb fell into swampy ground near Kinston NC. It could not be found so the gov. bought the land and fenced it off. The land is checked for radiation every year.