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  1. #1
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    evilsatan's Avatar
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    Default Declassified report: Two nuclear bombs nearly wiped out North Carolina

    (CNN) -- On a January night in 1961, a U.S. Air Force bomber broke in half while flying over North Carolina. From the belly of the B-52 fell two bombs -- two nuclear bombs that hit the ground near the city of Goldsboro.

    A disaster worse than the devastation wrought in Hiroshima and Nagasaki could have befallen the United States that night. But it didn't, thanks to a series of fortunate missteps.


    Declassified documents that the National Security Archive released this week offered new details about the incident. [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]: "Multi-Megaton Bomb Was Virtually 'Armed' When It Crashed to Earth."
    Or, as Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara put it in back then, "By the slightest margin of chance, literally the failure of two wires to cross, a nuclear explosion was averted."


    The Goldsboro incident

    The B-52 was flying over North Carolina on January 24, 1961, when it suffered a "failure of the right wing," the report said.

    As the plane broke apart, the two bombs plummeted toward the ground. The parachute opened on one; it didn't on the other.

    "The impact of the aircraft breakup initiated the fuzing sequence for both bombs," the summary of the documents said.

    In other words, both weapons came alarmingly close to detonating.

    Weapon 1, the bomb whose parachute opened, landed intact. Fortunately, the safing pins that provided power from a generator to the weapon had been yanked -- preventing it from going off.

    Weapon 2, the second bomb with the unopened parachute, landed in a free fall. The impact of the crash put it in the "armed" setting. Fortunately -- once again -- it damaged another part of the bomb needed to initiate an explosion.


    Catastrophe averted

    The incident was first detailed last year in the book "[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]" by Eric Schlosser. The documents released this week provided additional chilling details.

    Eight crew members were aboard the plane that night. Five survived the crash.

    "I could see three or four other chutes against the glow of the wreckage," recounted the co-pilot, Maj. Richard Rardin, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].

    "I hit some trees. I had a fix on some lights and started walking."

    The MK39 bombs weighed 10,000 pounds and their explosive yield was 3.8 megatons. Compare that to the bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki: They were 0.01 and 0.02 megatons.

    But Rardin didn't know then what a catastrophe had been avoided.

    "My biggest difficulty getting back was the various and sundry dogs I encountered on the road."

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    2 Thanks given to evilsatan

    Over Carl (13th June 2014), WRATH OF BOD (12th June 2014) 


  2. #2
    DF Jedi Zippeyrude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Declassified report: Two nuclear bombs nearly wiped out North Carolina

    Just wow.

  3. #3
    DF PwNagE ss30's Avatar
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    Default Re: Declassified report: Two nuclear bombs nearly wiped out North Carolina

    Shit, I wonder how much damage 3.8 megatons would have done?

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    DF PwNagE WRATH OF BOD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Declassified report: Two nuclear bombs nearly wiped out North Carolina

    i wonder how many have actually gone of in mishaps that we where never told of?

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    DF Jedi DavidF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Declassified report: Two nuclear bombs nearly wiped out North Carolina

    I wonder if they had went off how different the whole world would have been with the damage caused to your god fearing american. Looks as if there was no danger to any of the highly populated areas but Im sure the american outlook would have been a lot different. Also CNN have reported that there has been 32 near misses including in Spain and England......wow indeed.

    *Edit meant to post link to CNN report - [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

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    DF Jedi blacksheep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Declassified report: Two nuclear bombs nearly wiped out North Carolina

    Setting off a nuke is relatively complicated I think these stories are a little overhyped. Plutonium needs extremely well timed charges and a neutron source and uranium slightly easier but still the neutron source needs to be timed with the reaching of critical mass of fuel to create anywhere near the yields mentioned.

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    DF Jedi AspectUK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Declassified report: Two nuclear bombs nearly wiped out North Carolina

    Quote Originally Posted by blacksheep View Post
    Plutonium needs extremely well timed charges and a neutron source and uranium slightly easier but still the neutron source needs to be timed with the reaching of critical mass of fuel to create anywhere near the yields mentioned.
    Even sober, reading that makes my ears bleed .. like WTF??

  8. #8
    DF Jedi blacksheep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Declassified report: Two nuclear bombs nearly wiped out North Carolina

    Uranium, in theory, you can just bash two big bits together (sphere with a hole in it and a rod to go in) but you get a much higher yield (kilo tonnes) if there's a large neutron burst as it happens. Plutonium you really need the neutron burst and accurate timings of bringing all the materials together.

    A hydrogen bomb (using fusion) actually doesn't get the extra energy from the fusion of the hydrogen atoms but the huge burst of neutrons that are released.

    Yes it could make a mess (as there's conventional explosives in there too) like a dirty bomb but nowhere near a proper nuke going off.

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