U.S. left nuclear warhead in ocean

This 2015 video is called US H-Bomb Lost Under the Arctic Ice in Greenland.

From the British (Conservative) Daily Mail:

Revealed: How U.S. left nuclear warhead lying at bottom of ocean after B52 crash in 1968

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:38 AM on 11th November 2008

A U.S. nuclear warhead was abandoned under the ice in northern Greenland after a B52 bomber crashed in 1968, an investigation has found.

The Pentagon believed the former Soviet Union would destroy the base as a prelude to a nuclear strike against the U.S. and began flying nuclear-armed B52s continuously over Thule in 1960 in order to retaliate.

Thule Air Base has been a major strategic asset to the U.S. since it was built in the early 1950s, as it allowed a radar to scan the skies for missiles fired over the North Pole.

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

On January 21, 1968, one of the missions went wrong and a bomber crashed into the ice a few miles from the air base. …

Explosives surrounding the four nuclear warheads had detonated, but had not set off the bombs themselves because they had not been armed by the aircraft crew.

The Pentagon had maintained that all four weapons had been ‘destroyed’, but declassified documents obtained by the BBC under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act reveal investigators realised only three of the weapons could be accounted for.

One talks of a blackened section of ice which had refrozen with shroud lines from a weapon parachute.

The document reads: ‘Speculate something melted through ice such as burning primary or secondary.’

By April, a decision had been taken to send a Star III submarine to the base to look for the lost bomb, which had the serial number 78252, but the Danish government was not informed of the real reason behind the mission.

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.

It states that the operation should be referred to Danish officials as a survey of the ocean bottom underneath the impact point.

But the underwater search was beset by technical problems and, as winter encroached and the ice began to freeze over, the documents recount something approaching panic setting in.

The abandoned weapons contained uranium and plutonium and could have revealed classified elements of nuclear warhead design. Eventually the search was abandoned, with officials believing the radioactive material would dissolve in such a large body of water, making it harmless. …

A nuclear scientist has told the Daily Mail: ‘We really don’t know what has happened to this bomb.

‘It’s not going to explode but the possibility remains of very large contamination with all of the dangers that involves.’

So not even the Danish government, the ‘official’ colonial masters of Greenland, were informed. Let alone the people of Greenland, who today, fifty years later, and much later after, will have to live with the health hazards of those deathly Cold War nuclear toys.

It won’t be long before this “top-secret U.S. military base” melts out of the Greenland ice sheet.

Lehman Brothers’ uranium: here.

5 thoughts on “U.S. left nuclear warhead in ocean

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