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...? ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
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
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.