The Day The U.S. Almost Bombed North Carolina with a Nuclear Weapon
January 23rd came very close to being one of the most terrifying days in American history when a U.S. military plane accidentally dropped two nuclear bombs not far from the country’s capital. The “accident” would have resulted to a loss of hundreds of thousand of lives if it weren’t for a rather spastic safety device.
The incident was called the Goldsboro incident.
On Januray 23, 1969, a B-52 bomber carrying two hydrogen bombs was on a routine flight when it exploded. As a result, the nuclear bombs were dropped below, over Goldsboro, North Carolina.
If those bombs had gone off, most of North Carolina would have been annihilated.
The two bombs, which were the nuclear equivalent of 8 millions tons of TNT, would have a blast radius stretching all the way to New York City. Major cities like Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Atlanta would have been affected as well.
The U.S. government did not hide the incident, rather they use it to prove to America that nukes can’t be easily detonated by “accident” because of the number of safety measures they have in place.
But a document recently ferreted out reveals that the government were actually horrified by those same safety measures — of the four safety mechanisms installed in one of the bombs, three had failed!
After investigation, it was later discovered that only the flimsiest of safety mechanisms (and a lot of luck) stood between the U.S. and a major catastrophe — a simple dynamo technology, a low voltage switch.
The jostling of the fall could have (and theoretically should have) shorted out the low-voltage switch. But it didn’t. LUCKILY, IT DIDN’T. Disaster was averted.