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A four-megaton nuclear bomb was one switch away from exploding over the US in 1961, a newly declassified US document confirms.
Two bombs were on board a B-52 plane that went into an uncontrolled spin over North Carolina - both bombs fell and one began the detonation process.
The document was first published in the UK's Guardian newspaper.
The US government has acknowledged the accident before, but never made public how close the bomb came to detonating.
The document was obtained by journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act.
Schlosser told the BBC such an explosion would have "changed literally the course of history".
The plane was on a routine flight when it began to break up over North Carolina on 23 January 1961.
As it was breaking apart, a control inside the cockpit released the two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs over Goldsboro.
One fell to the ground unarmed. But the second "assumed it was being deliberately released over an enemy target - and went through all its arming mechanisms save one, and very nearly detonated over North Carolina," Mr Schlosser told the BBC's Katty Kay.
Only one safety mechanism, a single low-voltage switch, prevented disaster, he said.
reply to post by cody599
Just throwing out a conspiracy here Cody.....(after all, it is ATS)
What I find unusual about this information coming out at this time, is the fact that it came out AFTER Lindsy Graham's comment on a nuke hitting South Carolina! There was a firestorm of questions to his office about WTF he meant by saying that in the days after his comment. NOW, nothing is being said at all and we have this bombshell dropped on us???
Yea, I know, it is a stretch for sure. But with all of the lies we are being told, I just thought I would bring that little conspiracy to add to your OP.....
only just released