Frontier Former Editor

July 9, 2008

If the night’s a bomb …

Filed under: B-52, cool stuff, music, old times — Tags: , — Frontier Former Editor @ 11:00 pm

then call in the B-52s.

Bet Nixon never thought he’d hear that outside the context of Cambodia.

September 6, 2007

Dr. Strangelove? More like the Nutty Professor.

Thanks to Stepher (via Bagel) and Drudge for this cup of morning BWAHAHAHAHA!

agm-86.jpg

photo courtesy Federation of American Scientists

 Nuclear warheads mistakenly flown on B-52, landing at Barksdale AFB


A B-52 bomber mistakenly loaded with five nuclear warheads flew from Minot Air Force Base, N.D, to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30, resulting in an Air Force-wide investigation, according to three officers who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the incident.The B-52 was loaded with Advanced Cruise Missiles, part of a Defense Department effort to decommission 400 of the ACMs. But the nuclear warheads should have been removed at Minot before being transported to Barksdale, the officers said. The missiles were mounted onto the pylons of the bomber’s wings.read article here

What I love is the name of the website – The Town Talk.

Mrs. Humphreys recently went to visit her daughter and son-in-law in Metairie. The Daughters of the American Revolution on Thursday held their annual tea party. A B-52H brought five special visitors to town in time for the parish church rummage sale.

And here’s our special visitor . . . . (makes it sound like an out-of-wedlock birth, eh?)

Jump in my Stratofortress

It’s as big as a whale

And we’re about to set saillllllllll

It’s small comfort, but the U.S. military really does try to make it as hard as possible for folks to arm these little party favors. Having had an immediate relative who was part of an arming party for tactical nukes, I can say with some measure of knowledge that they don’t have electrical power to the warhead arming and detonation circuits unless you physically open one up and connect the ‘device’s’ battery properly. It’s not exactly the sort of task one can do unauthorized without being noticed and probably shot and killed unless you have a whole lot of people in on a conspiracy. (Where’s SPECTRE when you need them?)

But last week’s little spectacle makes one wonder just how far up ther collective ass, the heads of Minot AFB’s nuke weapons, armorer and flightline safety staffs were that day. Not to mention the watch staff and involved aircraft commander from the bomb wing in question.

As for their indestructibility, yeah, they’re pretty damned tough if mishandled. But there have been some really ‘fun’ incidents, like . . .

 “January 24, 1961, Goldsboro, North Carolina

In what nearly became a nuclear catastrophe, a B-52 bomber on airborne alert carrying two nuclear weapons broke apart in midair. The B-52 experienced structural failure in its right wing and the aircraft’s resulting breakup released the two weapons from a height of 2,000-10,000 feet. One of the bomb’s parachutes deployed properly and that weapon’s damage was minimal. However, the second bomb’s parachute malfunctioned and the weapon broke apart upon impact, scattering its components over a wide area. According to Daniel Ellsberg, the weapon could have accidentally fired because “five of the six safety devices had failed.” Nuclear physicist Ralph E. Lapp supported this assertion, saying that “only a single switch” had “prevented the bomb from detonating and spreading fire and destruction over a wide area.”

Despite an extensive search of the waterlogged farmland where the weapon was believed to have landed, the bomb’s highly enriched uranium core was never recovered. In order to prevent any discovery of the lost portion of the weapon, the Air Force purchased an easement which required that permission be obtained before any construction or digging could begin in the area. Three crew members were killed in the crash.

The accident was apparently so serious that it was reported to newly-elected President John F. Kennedy. According to Newsweek, President Kennedy was informed after the accident that “there had been more than 60 accidents involving nuclear weapons” since World War II, “including two cases in which nuclear-tipped anti-aircraft missiles were actually launched by inadvertence.” As a result of the Goldsboro accident, the U.S. placed many new safety devices on its nuclear arsenal and the Soviet Union was encouraged to do the same.”

Thank you, Department of Defense, for making me feel safe at night.

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