The USA Nearly Nuked Itself In 1961 – Could Have Killed Millions

/ 4 years ago

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A secret document recently declassified and uncovered by investigative journalist Eric Schlosser reveals that the U.S military nearly nuked North Carolina in 1961 in an incident that could have killed millions. The Guardian reports that the two bombs which were accidentally dropped on Goldsboro, North Carolina on January 23rd had a payload of 4 megatons each. The bombs were released as a B52 bomber broke up in mid air from entering a tailspin after experiencing difficulties. One bomb was not triggered at all thanks to a fully functional safety mechanisms working properly but on the second bomb the only thing that stopped its triggered detonation was a vulnerable low voltage safety switch because all three other safety mechanisms had failed.

Had the detonation of taken place millions could have died and lethal radioactive fallout would have reached large cities like Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and even as far as New York. According to the newly declassified document a senior engineer at Sandia national laboratories stated that “one simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe”.

“The US government has consistently tried to withhold information from the American people in order to prevent questions being asked about our nuclear weapons policy…We were told there was no possibility of these weapons accidentally detonating, yet here’s one that very nearly did.” Stated Eric Schlosser.

Image courtesy of Three Lions/Getty Images

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