Feeds

US lost Cold War bomb under Greenland ice

Dude, where's my nuke?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The US secretly abandoned a nuclear weapon forty years ago after it was lost beneath the ice in northern Greenland, according to a BBC report.

The Beeb's claims are made citing declassified documents obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act and people involved in the unsuccessful search.

The US military's Thule Air Base was considered to have particular strategic importance in the Cold War, equipped with radar to scan for a possible Soviet Union missile attack from over the North Pole.

Because the Pentagon believed the base was a likely target for a Soviet strike, the military had nuclear-armed bombers circle over the site ready for an attack on Moscow.

In January 1968, a B-52 bomber carrying four nuclear devices crashed several kilometers from the base. The explosives surrounding the weapons detonated without setting off the nuclear devices, which hadn't been armed by the crew, the BBC said.

Military personnel and Danish workers spent months afterward searching the ice for tiny pieces of radioactive debris. But despite the Pentagon's claim that all four weapons were "destroyed," in piecing together the fragments only three nukes were actually accounted for.

The documents also allegedly report a suspicious blackened section of ice with re-frozen shroud lines from a weapon parachute.

Scientists fearing the burning parts had melted through the ice sent a Star III submarine to search the ocean floor. In order to maintain that all had gone well with cleanup, the true purpose of the mission was hidden from Greenland officials, the broadcaster claims.

But the underwater search was unsuccessful due to a combination of technical problems and the ice freezing over for the winter. The military eventually abandoned the recovery, believing it unlikely any classified elements could be recovered by another country and that the radioactive material would soon enough dissolve in the ocean.

Now where have we heard this story before...? ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.