T O P

In 1961 a B-52 carrying a nuclear weapon crashed into a swamp in Goldsboro NC, a few towns from where I lived as a kid. According to documents released in 2013 one of the bombs was close to detonating

In 1961 a B-52 carrying a nuclear weapon crashed into a swamp in Goldsboro NC, a few towns from where I lived as a kid. According to documents released in 2013 one of the bombs was close to detonating

TheSanityInspector

I think that bomb had like four fail-safe measures, and all but one malfunctioned.


TheDrunkSemaphore

Another way to read this is The bomb had a fail safe, no one was in danger. Failsafes aren't HP bars and we didn't get knocked down to 1HP. The failsafes were all different and designed for different things


DefTheOcelot

Okay but three of them did not work. They weren't just not triggered, they were triggered and broke. If I sell you a car and the steering wheel, the brakes and the headlights suddenly fall off, it's not hunkey-dorey because the emergency brake miraculously still works


superhole

No, but it is hunk dory when your your 4 primary mirrors have broken and you have your 5th still usable. Just go get it repaired at your convenience.


pepepicapapaspapa

You can't tell me what to do


DefTheOcelot

If your car's mirrors kept falling off 4 at a time, would you drive across state with it?


superhole

If you have redundancies, it's perfectly fine. Everything is working as intended.


DefTheOcelot

BUT ITS NOT If you experience kidney failure and one survives, that's not as intended, it's just barely tolerable on the smallest margins Like sure it didn't blow up but that doesn't mean things went correctly, it's still miraculous


superhole

You know what redundancies are, right? It's literally a backup in case the first fails. The bomb did not explode, so the safeties worked fine.


octopod-reunion

If this is something you’re interested in, you should read Normal Accidents by Charles Perrow, and learn more about complex high-risk systems. It’s a field that has huge influence in aviation, medical care, nuclear power, etc. The tl;dr of the book is…. redundancies do not make everything fine.


Ali80486

Also I'd recommend the 99% Invisible episode with Tim Harford https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/cautionary-tales/transcript/ which basically says Safety Systems Do Not (Always) Make You Safer


superhole

No, but they are backups for when the main fails. The bomb did not explode when accidentally dropped, the safeties worked, everything was fine.


insaneHoshi

Yes? is that even a question, i got places to be.


Quixophilic

can you *fucking* imagine the fallout. Ya think the military would have owned up to it or blamed the Russians?


eggycrayfish197

It was the damned commies i swear it!


Whizbang35

“The commies…in a US plane, at a US base, in North Carolina!?” “…Yes!”


magical_swoosh

"May I see it?"


Whizbang35

“…No.”


AutisticHistoryLover

That would've been a gigantic and potentially world-ending(this was in a pretty high-tension time, even by Cold War standards. Gary Powers's U2 was shot down in 1960 and this was only a couple years before the Ciuban Missile Crisis) oops, if it was detonated and taken as something other than an accident.


scootiegoorby

Commies can’t nuke us if we do it first!


Ordoutthere

Well the best part about it is we don’t have any idea how many the USSR dropped


pet_russian1991

google says it was more than 100


Penguin-Monk

I live there! We have a nice little sign to commemorate it.


CapableSuggestion

My family is from there, I had no idea. I do t think they do either or else maybe they would have told me about it??


pet_russian1991

that's not even the worst case, they once dropped a hidrogen bomb not on a swamp, nor a forest, but in the \*middle\* of a city, it almost detonated, it was so close we can consider it half-detonated, thankfully (or not depending on wether or not you wanted to live in Fallout) the last system saved it from detonating


CadaverMutilatr

How do you half-detonated? Like how do you half-pop a balloon? Jokes aside, I get what you mean. Trigger was pulled but gun didn’t fire kind of thing I imagine


DefTheOcelot

I don't think its the case but hydrogen bombs have three stages of detonation A conventional explosive, a fission explosion, and then the fusion explosion.


CadaverMutilatr

Ahhh good point. Been awhile since I covered nuclear bombs in my conceptual physics class lmao


pet_russian1991

yeah, that kind of think, the very last system stopped the explosion, and it was NOT supposed to stop it


AceBalistic

Which city did this occur in? If you mean Savanna, Georgia, then it was dropped half a mile into the bay, not directly in downtown though.


SnorkyBorkylorky

They also lost an atomic bomb off the coast of Georgia


landon10smmns

There's also this incident near my hometown at Bunker Hill AFB (now Grissom) where 5 nuclear weapons caught fire. https://www.indystar.com/story/entertainment/2018/12/13/indianas-broken-arrow-time-5-nuclear-bombs-caught-fire/1831690002/


RandomGuyPii

tbh, its not like uranium burns, and stuff like c4 can be used to cook food without exploding


Melikemommymilkors

A similar incident happened off the coast of Spain which contaminated the soil and the US had to ship it all out [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1966\_Palomares\_B-52\_crash](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1966_Palomares_B-52_crash)


BMoney8600

Gotta love the government!


Ngineering

I think one was dropped accidentally neat Albuquerque as well.


YaBoiFast

The US *officially* accidentally dropped a total of 32. 6 of which are still missing.


Angel_Sorusian_King

How the fuck do you misplaced the most deadliest weapon on earth


BaconNet

How does one drop 6/10 of a nuke?


Jhawk163

Now just imagine radioactive mutant gators... An Australian can dream....


SeaboarderCoast

There's also a nuke just... *missing* off the coast of Tybee Island, Georgia. That son-of-a-bitch detonates, say goodbye to Savannah, Charleston, and a large portion of the surrounding area.


biggyofmt

The weapon lost was evidently a 3.8 megaton Mark 15. If detonated for airburst maximum radius, the blast radius would touch the outer edge of Savannah and likely do considerable damage. Charelston, 75 miles up the coast wouldn't be touched by the biggest nuclear weapon ever designed, much less entirely destroyed by this weapon. https://i.imgur.com/YlWlDqL.png Water is an excellent energy dissipation medium, so that radius would be very unlikely with the bomb at the bottom of the sound. In all likelihood, even a full nuclear detonation at full potential capacity would not do substantial damage, even to Savannah At this point, 60 years submerged in salt water, it's impossible that the explosives would be in a condition to cause a substantial nuclear yield. Additionally, Hydrogen bombs are partially fueled with Tritium, which has a half-life of 12.3 years. After 5 half-lives, the amount of material remaining is essentially 0, so that would reduce the yield substantially, even if the bomb were in a condition that a nuclear yield could be achieved in the first place.


converter-bot

75 miles is 120.7 km


SeaboarderCoast

Ah. I was assuming that the released radiation would be enough for the US to force-evacuate those cities for quite a number of years, or something like that. And I always though that Charleston was "right next door" to Savannah.


ForestFighters

The radiation from nuclear bombs is a side effect, it dissipates relatively quickly. I mean you still don’t want to be near, but people live in Hiroshima and Nagasaki without issue nowadays.


TeriFade

Say *hello* to radioactive Carolina gators and scorpions.


RasheenHyuga

Forcing the south to succeed all over again, blaming the fed.


BrightYato15

\*laughs in Japanese\*


Llamadom12

bonk


DrDunkelheit

Something similar happened in Spain in the 50's if I'm right. However, the very idea of having one of those things blowing up by accident is not amusing


Swiggyee

They just wanted to create a Shrek ripoff.


Angel_Sorusian_King

Irony is 1961 - 2013 is 52 years and plane is B-52 Why does America have nukes anyway? If their just gonna keep almost accidentally nuking themselves?


PepeJones15

In Spain happened something similar. A transport plane from USA dropped accidentally a nuclear bomb on a town near the beach, in Andalusia. Even now there's a giant geiger counter in the entrance of the town


theemptyqueue

I believe these incidents are called broken arrows


TheShipBeamer

There’s still a hydrogen bomb missing off the Tybee Island coast in Georgia :)


okram2k

Is this the one that couldn't be found because of background radiation or is that another one?


CunningLanguageist

To be fair, there’s a lot of things in the North Carolina swamp that probably deserve getting nuked


Imnotherp

something interesting happened in nc for once, I thought that was impossible


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