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USAF Almost Nuked North Carolina In 1961 – Declassified Document 586

Posted by Soulskill
from the south-carolina-would-be-a-more-understandable-target dept.
Freshly Exhumed sends in a story about how close the United States came to accidentally attacking itself with nuclear weapons just a few days after John F. Kennedy took office. "A secret document, published in declassified form for the first time by the Guardian today, reveals that the U.S. Air Force came dramatically close to detonating an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima. The document, obtained by the investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, gives the first conclusive evidence that the US was narrowly spared a disaster of monumental proportions when two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on 23 January 1961. The bombs fell to earth after a B-52 bomber broke up in mid-air, and one of the devices behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: its parachute opened, its trigger mechanisms engaged, and only one low-voltage switch prevented untold carnage."
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USAF Almost Nuked North Carolina In 1961 – Declassified Document

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You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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