NewsLost and undetonated: US nuclear weapons languish in world's oceans

Lost and undetonated: US nuclear weapons languish in world's oceans

USS Ticonderoga, a ship that is connected to one of the lost nuclear loads.
USS Ticonderoga, a ship that is connected to one of the lost nuclear loads.
Images source: © Flickr

5:28 AM EST, February 26, 2024

The world plays a dangerous game. According to the "Daily Mail", many nuclear devices have vanished without a trace since the invention and subsequent production of nuclear weapons. Many more such occurrences are speculated to have happened. They are known by a common code name.

Since 1950, occurrences known as "Broken Arrow" incidents related to accidental discharges, thefts, unplanned detonations, or loss of weapons have been publicized several times. Officially, Washington acknowledges the loss of three of these bombs, which remain undetonated.

This is likely just a small fraction of the global "unowned" arsenal. It is probable that nuclear powers may be concealing instances of lost nuclear capability.

One of these lost American bombs is known to rest at the base of the Philippine Sea, as indicated on the "Daily Mail" website. This is in reference to a megaton thermonuclear B43 bomb that went missing during the Vietnam War in 1965 due to a bizarre accident. The bomb was being transported by an A-4E Skyhawk naval plane that attempted to land on the deck of the USS Ticonderoga aircraft carrier.

Nuclear devices lost at sea: The USA confirms several incidents

Witnesses reported watching a Skyhawk suddenly plummet into the ocean. They were quoted as saying, "We just watched helplessly. It was terrifying. We were watching a man die that we couldn't save".

Another perplexing incident occurred in 1958, near Tybee Island, near Savannah, Georgia, during a military exercise. A B-47 bomber collided with another vehicle during the exercise and jettisoned a nuclear weapon over the Wassaw Sound waters to prevent the bomb from detonating during an emergency landing. The Mark 15 bomb, which weighs 7600 pounds, had an explosive power of up to 3.8 megatons.

Despite searching for two months, the bomb was never recovered. The locals have since dubbed it the "Tybee bomb". Whether or not this bomb contained a plutonium core remains a contentious issue.

Another case of lost nuclear weapons occurred during a catastrophe in 1968, when the nuclear submarine, USS Scorpion, sunk. It plummeted to the ocean floor in the Atlantic Ocean, leading to the loss of 99 lives. Two torpedoes with nuclear warheads were lost along with the submarine.

As reported by the "Daily Mail", some conspiracy theory enthusiasts suggest that the Scorpion was actually targeted and sunk by a Soviet vessel.


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