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40 Years Ago, the US Lost a Nuclear Bomb

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the chrome-dome-down dept.

The Military 470

Hugh Pickens writes "A BBC investigation has found that in 1968 the US abandoned a nuclear weapon beneath the ice in northern Greenland after a nuclear-armed B52 crashed on the ice a few miles from Thule Air Base. The Stratofortress disintegrated on impact with the sea ice and parts of it began to melt through to the fjord below. The high explosives surrounding the four nuclear weapons on board detonated without setting off the nuclear devices, which had not been armed by the crew. The Pentagon maintained that all four weapons had been 'destroyed' and while technically true, investigators piecing together fragments from the crash could only account for three of the weapons. Investigators found that 'something melted through ice such as burning primary or secondary.' A subsequent search by a US submarine was beset by technical problems and, as winter encroached and the ice began to freeze over, the search was abandoned. 'There was disappointment in what you might call a failure to return all of the components,' said a former nuclear weapons designer at the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory. 'It would be very difficult for anyone else to recover classified pieces if we couldn't find them.'"

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470 comments

gentlemen: (0)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719095)

The system works.

Re:gentlemen: (4, Insightful)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719135)

You only say that because you think they're trying to steal your previous bodily fluids.

Re:gentlemen: (5, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719153)

I think I meant precious. Previous bodily fluids are creepy.

Re:gentlemen: (5, Funny)

Poltras (680608) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719775)

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room!

Re:gentlemen: (1)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719583)

Unless you're one of the poor sods living nearby who was hired to clean up the radioactive debris without anyone actually mentioning that the debris might be hazardous...

But... yeah. Coulda been worse.

Report to Number 1 (5, Funny)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719097)

Operation Thunderball is a success.

24 episode (1)

OffTheLip (636691) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719103)

If this scenario didn't occur on the TV show "24" it well could have. Life imitates art or vice versa?

Re:24 episode (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719133)

I can turn off the annoying 24h clock IRL.

*di-dunk* *di-dunk* *di-dunk*

Re:24 episode (1)

loafula (1080631) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719157)

Yes, life imitates art. 24 is about 35 years too young for it to be vice versa.

Re:24 episode (2, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719351)

Yes, life imitates art. 24 is about 35 years too young for it to be vice versa.

Actually it is vice-versa in this case, or I just came down with a bad case of dyslexia.

Re:24 episode (2, Funny)

sukotto (122876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719361)

Only if Jack ties the suspect to a chair and forces him to watch Jack torture his wife and children.

So, where is it? (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719113)

Mother Russia now has your bombs.

Re:So, where is it? (5, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719183)

Nonsense.

But, of course, this means that Greenland possesses WMDs and must be destroyed.

Re:So, where is it? (5, Funny)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719235)

And AGAIN the US knows this because they left them there themselves ;).

Broken Arrow? (3, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719129)

Just send in Christian Slater to recover it. It'll only take him a few hours, with the additional bonus that movie footage of the recovery mission will make for a great action movie once the evil John Travolta tries to steal it.

Re:Broken Arrow? (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719977)

Just send in Christian Slater to recover it. It'll only take him a few hours, with the additional bonus that movie footage of the recovery mission will make for a great action movie once the evil John Travolta tries to steal it.

Hey, cut John Travolta some slack. He just wants to get his hands on a thermonuclear weapon so he can give Xenu a taste of his own medicine.

Greenland eh? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719137)

Wonder if Sarah Palin can see it from her house.

Re:Greenland eh? (1, Funny)

vil3nr0b (930195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719421)

Only with designer glasses and from the country of Africa.

Re:Greenland eh? (0, Redundant)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719699)

Probably, but she's too busy keeping a watchful eye on Russia.

Re:Greenland eh? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720009)

Wonder if Sarah Palin can see it from her house.

Aren't the Palin jokes kind of like kicking a puppy at this point? She scared the hell out of me and cost McCain any chance he had of getting my vote (what happened to McCain 1.0?) but it's over now....

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Trailer to a movie? (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719161)

Heh... this sounds just like a trailer to a monster movie of some kind... something like Godzilla is going to rise up out of a Greenland Fjord and go about ransacking... what's a town in Greenland?

Re:Trailer to a movie? (4, Informative)

repvik (96666) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719189)

The capital is "nuuk", which would be pretty fitting.

Re:Trailer to a movie? (5, Funny)

lupinstel (792700) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719963)

Gjordzilla??

Obligatory... (5, Funny)

mnslinky (1105103) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719173)

From a unnamed news source:

The pentagon assures us that the nuke is currently protected by sharks, with what are described as high-energy weapons. Our correspondent has confirmed the high-energy weapons are, indeed, lasers.

Re:Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719479)

I laughed so hard at this entire thread. You guys are great.

Hey, 50 years ago, they lost one, too! (5, Informative)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719175)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tybee_Bomb [wikipedia.org]

And it's far more conveniently located (somewhere off the coast of Georgia). No need to go diving somewhere in the Arctic!

Re:Hey, 50 years ago, they lost one, too! (3, Informative)

jmyers (208878) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719383)

Or the Broken Arrow incident in North Carolina.

http://www.ibiblio.org/bomb/ [ibiblio.org]

Re:Hey, 50 years ago, they lost one, too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719593)

There's also the Palomares incident [wikipedia.org] , as well as 40 year old rumours that a 5th bomb was never recovered [rense.com] and is still on the bottom of the Mediterranean, having recently started leaking radiation.

Re:Hey, 50 years ago, they lost one, too! (5, Informative)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719677)

There's also the Palomares incident,

Well, they eventually accounted for all of the bombs. The guy who claimed salvage rights ... well, that's pretty fscking brilliant.

Re:Hey, 50 years ago, they lost one, too! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719441)

And it's far more conveniently located (somewhere off the coast of Georgia). No need to go diving somewhere in the Arctic!

Not anymore it's not. ;)

Re:Hey, 50 years ago, they lost one, too! (1)

medintern (883740) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719569)

Yeah, I am not so sure why this story is so newsworthy. Tybee Island has more population near it. We in Georgia have laughed about the Tybee bomb for a while.

Re:Hey, 50 years ago, they lost one, too! (5, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719647)

Also -
  • Goldsboro, North Carolina - nuclear weapon lost when B-52 broke up mid-air
  • Off Whidbey Island, Washington - nuclear depth charge lost when aircraft crashed
  • Over the Mediterranean Sea - B-47 lost without trace carrying two nuclear weapons
  • USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) in the Pacific Ocean - an A4E armed with a hydrogen bomb rolls off the deck of the carrier in 16,000ft of water

Quite a few nuclear weapons have been lost over the years.

Re:Hey, 50 years ago, they lost one, too! (1)

JJNess (1238668) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720103)

Meanwhile 5 US pilots retired very, very rich on sandy beaches of foreign countries...

Re:Hey, 50 years ago, they lost one, too! (5, Funny)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719751)

From Wikipedia:

The 12-foot (4 m) long Mark 15 bomb weighs 7,600 pounds (3,500 kg) and bears the serial number "No. 47782".

I thought I'd gotten lucky, but the one I found had the serial number "No. 47783". Damn.

Re:Hey, 50 years ago, they lost one, too! (2, Informative)

Cythrawl (941686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719957)

Actually the US lost 11 over the cold war period, and Mother Russia far more.

The United States lost 11 nuclear bombs in accidents during the Cold War that were never recovered, according to the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

An estimated 50 nuclear warheads, most of them from the former Soviet Union, still lie on the bottom of the world's oceans, according to the environmental group Greenpeace.

One of the most celebrated accidents took place over Palomares, Spain, in January 1966 when a U.S. B-52 collided with a KC-135 tanker during midair refueling and released all four of its hydrogen bombs in the ensuing explosion. Seven of the 11 crewmen aboard both planes were killed.

Imperialism Gone Mad (4, Funny)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719193)

This sort of national irresponsibility needs to stop, right now.

I realise these events happened a little while ago now but nonetheless just what the hell did the USA think it was doing flying nuclear bombs around outside their own borders in the first place, this was, it can now be seen, a completely indefensible and irrepsonsible course of action and one for which the USA should now make a full apology.

The best course of action now is for the USA to hand over full documentation of the accident to a responsible and trustworthy country, France for example, and let them conduct an investigation to first of all try and find this nuclear timebomb and second of all to assign blame and set up the process for trying those who are guilty and punishing them appropriately.

Now the USA is at least out of the hands of the mad cowboy and we've good reason to hope Obamas administration will behave far more honourably we can hope their will be no repeats of this disaster but nonetheless until we in the rest of the civilised world can be sure of that the EU should impose regular nuclear inspections on the USA just to double check the same terrible mistakes are not being made today.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (0, Troll)

Detritus (11846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719263)

The wogs begin at Calais.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719277)

the 'Mad cowboy ' is still in charge till january. have a nice day.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (2, Insightful)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719343)

"Completely indefensible and irresponsible?" Those nuclear bombs stationed outside US borders (and the US nuclear stockpile in general) were probably the only thing keeping the Soviets from rolling their tanks all the way to Paris. And if you think US imperialism is bad, try living under the Soviet version.

The US (USAF?) does need a major overhaul of its nuclear handling policies; this crap would've never flown under SAC. You can pin that one on Clinton, and it's certainly stupid to blame this particular incident on Mr. Bush--he's done more than his share of stupid things, but not this. Most of those responsible are probably dead by now anyways.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (2, Interesting)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719373)

Ooops, forgot... when I blame Clinton, it's for eliminating SAC and starting the ball rolling the latest incidents (live warheads flown on bombers without knowledge, missile crews asleep, etc.). Obviously he's not responsible for this particular incident, either.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (4, Funny)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719429)

The US (USAF?) does need a major overhaul of its nuclear handling policies; this crap would've never flown under SAC. You can pin that one on Clinton,

Yes, because everybody knows Clinton was in power in 1968.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720073)

I think you missed where he said "latest incidents". Thankfully SAC is coming back, albeit by a different name.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (1)

captbob2002 (411323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719581)

Um, SAC still existed in 1968. I am also pretty sure Clinton wasn't in the white house at that time.

Strategic Air Command - Peace is our profession - war is just a hobby

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (4, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719819)

Those nuclear bombs stationed outside US borders (and the US nuclear stockpile in general) were probably the only thing keeping the Soviets from rolling their tanks all the way to Paris. And if you think US imperialism is bad, try living under the Soviet version.

- you may believe this, but this is just a bunch of propaganda that was pushed into the throats of the US citizens to make sure they shut the fuck up and only cheer as the US pushed their weaponry into every possible hole in the world.

Stalin was a maniac, that can be said with certainty, however after his death the USSR quickly got away from the idea of 'spreading the communism' onto the rest of the world and just tried to survive in its own planned economy. It was already the biggest country in the world (even now Russia is almost twice as large as the next contender, Canada) and holding onto that territory with hundreds of nations living on it was a challenge in itself, adding more territory with people who had completely different mentality would not work and it was understood.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25720011)

Ahh. so that's why they invaded Afghanistan then? Didn't want more territory?

Bullshit.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720015)

So that invasion of Afghanistan was just a glitch in the Soviet SatNav?

Wake up and smell the Bolsheviks!

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (1)

Meumeu (848638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719895)

Those nuclear bombs stationed outside US borders (and the US nuclear stockpile in general) were probably the only thing keeping the Soviets from rolling their tanks all the way to Paris.

We have our own nukes thank you very much...

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719937)

The US (USAF?) does need a major overhaul of its nuclear handling policies; this crap would've never flown under SAC. You can pin that one on Clinton,

Blow me. Bush has had eight fucking years to fix any "problems" left over from the Clinton years. I know you're chronologically challenged casting the blame here but seriously, eight fucking years. What about the nukes the Air Force "lost" last year? The ones where they didn't even know the weapons were uploaded onto a B-52 and flown across the country? That Clinton's fault, too? And Bush being such an incompetent fuckwit, can we blame Clinton's penis on that?

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719397)

It would be very difficult for anyone else to recover classified pieces if we couldn't find them

That really reassures me because, there is no way a madman/terrorist/rouge leader, who has no nuclear warheads, would be more determined than the US ,that has plenty, to find it.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719961)

The best your terrorist can do is make a dirty bomb with the fissile material. He can't detonate it, and if he tampers with it, he will damage the carefully-machined shell. And if all he's looking for is highly-enriched uranium, there are easier ways to go about it. Also, they're probably right. If the well-funded and paranoid cold war era war machine could not find it, a terrorist is going to have a hard time.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719401)

"to a responsible and trustworthy country, France for example"

I actually find myself speechless...

France being the #4 arms exporter (if you exclude the EU as a whole) in the world http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_industry#World.27s_largest_arms_exporters

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (4, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720041)

"to a responsible and trustworthy country, France for example"

I actually find myself speechless...

France being the #4 arms exporter (if you exclude the EU as a whole) in the world http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_industry#World.27s_largest_arms_exporters [wikipedia.org]

Yeah, and France's rather recent history of illegal underwater testing of nuclear weapons, the reason for the huge zone of floating dead animals in the South Pacific, also doesn't speak well of them here.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719411)

Dude... this was FORTY YEARS AGO. Johnson was president. The Soviets were a real threat, and the reason we had bombers outside our borders was because we were being responsible about protecting our friends from Soviet aggression. The Soviets did the same thing, more or less, protecting their friends from Western aggression.

The chances that anyone responsible for the incident is even still ALIVE are slim, so maybe you should stop jerking your knee into your chin.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (1, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719433)

"just what the hell did the USA think it was doing flying nuclear bombs around outside their own borders in the first place"

Whilst I agree it doesn't seem right, it's not a lot different from some other defence strategies. Us Brits, IIRC, have a number of nuclear submarines out and about around the world at any one time. This is for MAD purposes. You may learn where our nuclear bases are and take them out in the same nuking run as you take our cities.

But if we have subs with ICBMs on random paths through the ocean then good luck buster.

MAD indeed.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719545)

A masterful troll, sir. I salute you.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719547)

Wow, the USA answers to no one. Go get back in your UN ship and F*&k Off.
Other countries have made bigger and stupider mistakes.

Who do you think you are to tell another country what to do, the UsA. Haha

Hand over full documentation hugh, to france hugh, wow your a friggin moron.

Since when did Barack Obama start posting on slash dot as CmdrGravy?

P.S. I do not like Bush, or McCain, or Obama, or many leaders the US ever had, and if you think the US media has been harsh on Bush look at what the Russians say about Putin.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (1)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719709)

Wow, the USA answers to no one. Go get back in your UN ship and F*&k Off.

Now wait a minute.

As long as the rest of the world funds your economy, you DO answer to the rest of the world.

The consequences of not doing so may not be inmediately obvious, but by the time they are, it is way too late to change things.

Get a fucking clue.

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720081)

As long as the rest of the world funds your economy, you DO answer to the rest of the world.

That's a double edged sword. What happens to the rest of the World if the American consumer stops buying your exports?

Re:Imperialism Gone Mad (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719931)

Wow, you completely slept through the Cold War, didn't you?

A matter of time. (5, Funny)

Polarina (1389203) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719237)

It's only a matter of time before Al-Qaida finds the lost bombs.

Re:A matter of time. (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719257)

you still believe in Santa too?

Re:A matter of time. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719317)

what?! santa claus is not real??

Re:A matter of time. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719543)

Don't be ridiculous. Santa Claus has frickin' website [northpole.com] . Although a little known secret is that Mr. Claus actually lives in Marietta, GA, and his real name is Jim, all of which can be confirmed by doing a whois on northpole.com.

Re:A matter of time. (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720053)

Santa is an Al Qaeda operative.
It was originally planned for him to fly his sleigh into the twin towers,
but some of his reindeer broke down the night before.

Fox is a great source for this kind of balanced hard hitting news.

Re:A matter of time. (4, Funny)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719425)

Yeah because no one is going to notice a bunch of middle eastern men running around Thule Airbase drilling holes in the ice?

Also considering how much alcohol they consume up there any extremists are going to have a real hard time keeping their cover.

Re:A matter of time. (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719579)

A crack Al-Qaida dive team is being trained in Afghanistan even as we speak. Of course, they're in for a rude shock when they see an ocean...

Re:A matter of time. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719885)

This sounds like a job for Indiana Jones !

Experimental nuclear waste storage? (5, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719241)

Perhaps this can somehow be used to demonstrate that nuclear waste can be safely disposed of in the ocean floor? There have been serious proposals for disposing of waste in holes drilled hundreds of feet beneath the seabed in especially deep water.

I know this is unpopular with the anti-nuclear crowd, but a "real demo" may provide useful data.

Re:Experimental nuclear waste storage? (2, Interesting)

dasunt (249686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719533)

Perhaps this can somehow be used to demonstrate that nuclear waste can be safely disposed of in the ocean floor? There have been serious proposals for disposing of waste in holes drilled hundreds of feet beneath the seabed in especially deep water.

You don't need to drill -- just find soft seafloor and shape the waste to imbed itself into the ground.

The major technical problem is that a few decades down the road, you might want to reuse the waste. Sea floor retrieval is slightly more problematic.

Re:Experimental nuclear waste storage? (5, Informative)

jsoderba (105512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719557)

Thermonuclear bombs are composed of a small amount of mildly radioactive uranium-235 and tritium, and larger amounts of minimally radioactive uranium-238 and stable lithium deuteride. The fission products that make up the most dangerous form of radioactive waste are far more dangerous, so this bomb would not provide much useful data about waste disposal.

In any event we don't really need more research. We already know that the best solution is to put it in a geologically stable and dry mountain.

Re:Experimental nuclear waste storage? (4, Funny)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719607)

Nobody wants Godzilla showing up in 50 years.

It's just too terrifying a possibility.

Especially if there's a commercial tie-in & jingle.

Re:Experimental nuclear waste storage? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720007)

I'm going deeper undergrou.....

oh god, there goes £15,000 of therapy down the drain!

Re:Experimental nuclear waste storage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719761)

There are already plenty of "real demo" examples, unfortunately, where the location of the nuclear materials on the sea bed is well known. For example, there are a few [wikipedia.org] sunken [wikipedia.org] nuclear [wikipedia.org] submarines, complete with small nuclear reactors and a couple of nuclear torpedoes, on the bottom of the ocean. The U.S. ones are regularly monitored.

The amount of radioactive material in a nuclear weapon is, surprisingly, not that much (a primary or secondary is fairly small in size) and not that radioactive compared to a reactor that has been in use for a while. It would be pretty hard to find it.

Re:Experimental nuclear waste storage? (1)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719927)

You can't demonstrate anything if you can't show what you've done under what conditions. Kind of tough to reproduce the results.

There are however, other events where we intentionally disposed of radioactive waste in the sea. When Apollo 13 was coming home from its ill-fated mission, NASA had to figure out what to do with the power supply on the lunar lander. They ended up jettisoning it so that it would hit the Marianna's Trench. If it eroded, there was plenty of sea water to dilute the radioactivity to background levels. If it's buried in the sediment, it'll be millions of years before it resurfaces in a volcano.

In the early days of nuclear submarines, the Navy intentionally, and unintentionally, sank some radioactive waste in the ocean. That disposal would probably serve as a better experiment because we know where the waste is and could go measure the radiation gradient. It wouldn't surprise me if the Navy has been doing that experiment all these years. Having said that, burying highly radioactive waste may not be the smartest thing to do. An option is to burn the waste in a specially designed reactor and extract energy from the process while disposing of the problem. President Carter shut down all research along those lines in the 70's when he shut down the PUREX [google.com] work. Carter wanted the world to get by using less energy. It was a favorite topic of his which he and his wife would proselytize about from Camp David - a retreat they reached by helicopter. Funny how politicians like making rules they don't have to live by.

15 minutes ago, I lost one (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719251)

down the tuhlet

The six-step plan (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719305)

  1. Hide one of them
  2. Take off with the three others and a dummy
  3. Cause a plane crash
  4. Find parts of the three
  5. Claim the fourth is beneath the ice
  6. Profit

Re:The six-step plan (1)

tb3 (313150) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719459)

A plan worthy of SPECTRE! The ransom should be $500 Billion in uncut diamonds.

I knew it! (1)

pngmangi42 (1312017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719329)

Ever since I left Greenland, I've been feeling like I was forgetting something. Thank you, BBC for reminding me!

Did Denmark know or not? (3, Interesting)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719367)

One of the BBC articles maintains that the US did not tell Denmark about both the nuclear bombs used in Chrome Dome missions, and the fact that they lost one.

Greenland is a self-governing province of Denmark but the carrying of nuclear weapons over Danish territory was kept secret.

But the real purpose of this search was deliberately hidden from Danish officials.

One document from July reads: "Fact that this operation includes search for object or missing weapon part is to be treated as confidential NOFORN", the last word meaning not to be disclosed to any foreign country.

The other article says:

Denmark did not co-operate with the parliament's petitions committee, and is still refusing to release key environmental radiation records made of Thule at the time.

The Danish government had always denied that nuclear-armed US planes were flying over Danish-controlled Greenland - until the crash occurred.

And according to Ms Wallis, it is still trying to brush a difficult issue under the carpet.

Which at least implies that the Danish government knew but was trying to keep a lid on it.

So which is it?

This is not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719385)

This is nothing new (just because BBC finds something does not mean that it's news).

More or less everyone know that they dropped 4 bombs before the crash, and that they only found around 3 during the clean up.

mod dqown (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719389)

wow (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719435)

the ice began to freeze over

Damn, Greenland is cold!

Re:wow (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720099)

Damn, Greenland is cold!

Not for much longer ;)

We can get it back... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719445)

It'll only cost you ONE MILLION DOLLARS, er, ONE BILLION DOLLARS!

--Dr. Evil

Meh. (3, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719513)

Chances are the device was no longer operational after the crash. And, if they are correct that "The high explosives surrounding the four nuclear weapons on board detonated", then the device is probably in a large number of very small pieces.

Double meh (2, Insightful)

patio11 (857072) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719929)

Why worry about a lost bomb which a first world nation can't get to without a major national project. First world nations don't need lost bombs to achieve nuclear capability.

You worry about nuclear material when it can be had for a case of cigarettes and a bottle of vodka by any idiot with a truck to cart it away. Though the seabed makes for a much better movie plot.

Rouge Nations (0)

Yacoby (1295064) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719577)

See, this is why we shouldn't allow rouge nations with little political stability and an insane president to have access to nuclear weapons.
I hope the UN considers sanctions.

Oh, wait. Sorry, were we talking about the US. Oh, that is fine then. Ignore what I said before.

Re:Rouge Nations (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719609)

What do nations that export makeup have to do with this discussion?

Re:Rouge Nations (4, Funny)

Hyler (99628) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719669)

Rouge [wikipedia.org] ?

Yes, yes, I know I'm going to get -1 Redundant on this but...

There they stand, redfaced.

I think you'll find... (2, Funny)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719887)

...that the US is actually now a bleu nation not a rouge nation.

If you can recover it (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719653)

You don't need, it as your technology is better then ours in the first place and your have your own bombs.

Rouge ou bleu? (1)

sking (42926) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719673)

Only blue nations should be allowed.

Only Bond Can Save Us (1)

Quantus347 (1220456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719675)

The "If we can't find them nobody can" defense? Come on, a properly motivated industrial mogul could do it, requiring the intervention of a single MI6 operative to avert planetary destruction.

So.... (1)

macyrlivyed2 (1396251) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719735)

So basically you can have a free nuclear weapon if you have the proper equipment to get it out of 40 feet of ice ? Wow! I'll have to start searching for my ice pick! Look out world!

Not the only one (5, Informative)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719765)

In 1966, a nuclear armed B52 crashed [google.ca] over Palomares Spain, scattering radioactive material from multiple bombs, each 100 times more powerful than those which destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The most serious reported [about.com] accident in the U.S. Military's nuclear history took place in Palomares, Spain on Jan. 17, 1966 when a B-52 loaded with four nuclear bombs suffered a mid-air collision with a KC-135 refueling plane. All four bombs were ejected from the B-52 in the crash. One was recovered on the ground and a second from the sea after a long and difficult search. However, the high explosive packages of the other two bombs detonated on impact with the ground. While the nuclear payloads of the bombs did not detonate, over 1,400 tons of surrounding soil and vegetation were contaminated with radioactive materials. The US conducted an extensive cleanup of the area under the scrutiny of the Spanish government.

Atmospheric Testing (3, Interesting)

KenSeymour (81018) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720109)

In my opinion, these accidental releases of radioactive material pale in comparison
to the atmospheric tests the US used to do before it was
banned [wikipedia.org] in 1963.

Here are some of the tests [vt.edu] .

more losses (5, Interesting)

spike21 (1404749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719815)

5 February 1958: An Air Force B-47 Stratojet from Homestead AFB was on a simulated combat mission when the plane collided with an F-86 Sabre near Savannah, Georgia. The B-47 was carrying one Mk 15 hydrogen bomb without its core at the time of the accident. The plane made three unsuccessful landing attempts at Hunter Air Force Base before the weapon was jettisoned over the Atlantic Ocean to avoid the risk of a high explosive detonation at the base. The bomb was dropped several miles from the mouth of the Savannah River in Wassaw Sound off Tybee Island. Though an intensive nine-week search was launched using divers and sonar equipment, the weapon was never found. Another unsuccessful search was mounted in 2001, and reports of radiation detected less than a mile from shore led to speculation of the bomb's discovery in 2004. Further investigation concluded the radioactivity was naturally occurring and the weapon remains missing. http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/weapons/q0268.shtml [aerospaceweb.org]

Famous Last words. (3, Funny)

Landshark17 (807664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719841)

"It would be very difficult for anyone else to recover classified pieces if we couldn't find them."

I'll take famous last words for $1000, Alex...


Also highly amused the quote at the bottom of the page is from Stanley Kubrick, director of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb.

Suggesting a new tag for kdawson... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719955)

isawthisondiggsoipostedit

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