Sunday, 22 September 2013

1961: The Year the USA Almost Nuked Itself

A new book by by Eric Schlosser, quoting the supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia national laboratories, claims that two USAF hydrogen bombwhich would have been 260 times more powerful than the bombs which were dropped Japan in 1945were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on Jan. 24, 1961 when a B-52 bomber came apart in mid air. One of the bombs was activated and ready to detonate when the parachute opened and the trigger mechanisms were then primed for detonation. If the explosion had of occurred at least five million residents of the Carolinas, North Florida and East Georgia could of been causalities.

A recently declassified document featured in Schlosser's book, entitled Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, stated that a basic solid-state electric switch prevented an East Coast nuclear holocaust from taking place. According to Parker F. Jones a former technician working at the Sandia National Laboratories in 1969, the MK39 Mod 2 bomb did not have the proper fail safe device needed for use with the B-52 bomber.” When the B-52 disintegrates in the air it is likely to release the bombs in “a near normal fashion.” The bomb which almost exploded had four safety mechanisms, one of which inoperable when in-flight, and two others failed when the B52 broke up. “One simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe!” said Jones.

Schlosser discovered the document, quoting Parker F. Jones through the Freedom of Information Act who also discovered that at least 700 “significant” accidents and 'near-miss' incidents involving 1,250 nuclear weapons were recorded between 1950 and 1968.

1969 Report Here >>>

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