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(History Channel)   On this day in history, in 1966, the United States gave Spain the surprise gift of three hydrogen bombs   (history.com) divider line
    More: Vintage, Nuclear weapon, 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs, B-52 bomber, U.S. bombers, last accident, American nuclear bombs, Cold War, town of Palomares  
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2266 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Jan 2022 at 1:50 PM (17 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



45 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-01-17 1:04:17 PM  
To be fair, we were more surprised than they were.
 
2022-01-17 1:52:32 PM  
They fell mainly from the plane.
 
2022-01-17 1:56:37 PM  
Now THAT'S a spicy-a meatball!

/ Am I doing this right?
// C'mon, it's Spain.
/// It's not like I can work a bullfighting joke in here...
 
2022-01-17 1:57:43 PM  
If you want to scare yourself shiatless, I have a book and a documentary for you.  The book is Command and Controlby Eric Schlosser, about the US's nuclear weapons program -- and all the accidents in it, and nuclear weapons and material just going missing.

One of the main stories in the book was made into a documentary, aired on PBS' American Experience series, also called "Command and Control", the story of the explosion of a Titan nuclear missile in Arkansas in 1980.  A guy doing routine mission dropped his wrench and pierced one of the missile's fuel tanks.  There was a very strong risk that the missile would explode in a way that would detonate the warheads on the missile.


And there are still thousands of these things out there.
 
2022-01-17 2:01:26 PM  
Oh, you shouldn't have!
I'll treasure them forever!
On-topic, OK?
 
2022-01-17 2:01:39 PM  
BROKEN ARROW
 
2022-01-17 2:01:44 PM  
Don't forget the gifts to Quebec, British Columbia and South Carolina. Fortunately those bombs had no trigger and no payload.

The one dropped on Quebec was heard in five villages even without a nuclear warhead in it. Gives you an idea of what an elephant drop might be like without parachutes.

I know about the Spanish bombs although I was not reading the newspapers at age five.
 
2022-01-17 2:01:48 PM  
Before the first atomic weapon was tested it was a very real concern among its creators that it might ignite the atmosphere and kill all life on earth. Dodged that bullet.
 
2022-01-17 2:01:57 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-17 2:02:14 PM  
Fortunately, there was no ring to it.
 
2022-01-17 2:03:07 PM  

jake_lex: If you want to scare yourself shiatless, I have a book and a documentary for you.  The book is Command and Controlby Eric Schlosser, about the US's nuclear weapons program -- and all the accidents in it, and nuclear weapons and material just going missing.

One of the main stories in the book was made into a documentary, aired on PBS' American Experience series, also called "Command and Control", the story of the explosion of a Titan nuclear missile in Arkansas in 1980.  A guy doing routine mission dropped his wrench and pierced one of the missile's fuel tanks.  There was a very strong risk that the missile would explode in a way that would detonate the warheads on the missile.


And there are still thousands of these things out there.


I read that book about a year ago. Wish I hadn't. The Arkansas thing was scarier then about any horror book I've ever read.
 
2022-01-17 2:03:15 PM  

tricycleracer: BROKEN ARROW


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-17 2:03:17 PM  
Nobody Expects the Spanish Thermofusion!
 
2022-01-17 2:04:20 PM  
The Nina, the Pinto, and the Santa Kablooie.
 
2022-01-17 2:04:30 PM  

jake_lex: If you want to scare yourself shiatless, I have a book and a documentary for you.  The book is Command and Controlby Eric Schlosser, about the US's nuclear weapons program -- and all the accidents in it, and nuclear weapons and material just going missing.

One of the main stories in the book was made into a documentary, aired on PBS' American Experience series, also called "Command and Control", the story of the explosion of a Titan nuclear missile in Arkansas in 1980.  A guy doing routine mission dropped his wrench and pierced one of the missile's fuel tanks.  There was a very strong risk that the missile would explode in a way that would detonate the warheads on the missile.

And there are still thousands of these things out there.


In fairness, there aren't thousands of hypergolic-fueled ICBMs out there any more, at least not in the US arsenal.  (China still has a few).  Drop a wrench on a Minuteman and nothing happens

That said, US bomb security is pretty good, and we've still had a pile of scary accidents.  (Spain wasn't even the scariest- see the Goldsboro NC crash) Now imagine what the state of the Russian arsenal looks like
 
2022-01-17 2:05:53 PM  
That article was interesting, yet expected after all the failures and pitfalls of the US nuclear program. But what truly made me take a step back, was the article about 3 articles down from that, about how we took Hawaii. I never knew any of that. We were certainly never taught that in school, and I've never seen any movies or anything concerning it. Apparently the US was as bad to the Hawaiian people are they were to every other type of people. Sigh.
 
2022-01-17 2:06:04 PM  
¿Sorpresa buttsecks?
 
2022-01-17 2:08:57 PM  
You'd think at some point the president would be like "holy fark, what the actual fark are we doing, land those farking planes and stop parading hydrogen bombs around the world like they are some kind of Olympic Torch" but nope, we just acted like this was normal and to be expected. Yes yes, none of them were armed and safety measures are in place but a broken arrow should never have been a thing unless "arrows" are actively being shot at people.
 
2022-01-17 2:13:33 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: jake_lex: If you want to scare yourself shiatless, I have a book and a documentary for you.  The book is Command and Controlby Eric Schlosser, about the US's nuclear weapons program -- and all the accidents in it, and nuclear weapons and material just going missing.

One of the main stories in the book was made into a documentary, aired on PBS' American Experience series, also called "Command and Control", the story of the explosion of a Titan nuclear missile in Arkansas in 1980.  A guy doing routine mission dropped his wrench and pierced one of the missile's fuel tanks.  There was a very strong risk that the missile would explode in a way that would detonate the warheads on the missile.

And there are still thousands of these things out there.

In fairness, there aren't thousands of hypergolic-fueled ICBMs out there any more, at least not in the US arsenal.  (China still has a few).  Drop a wrench on a Minuteman and nothing happens

That said, US bomb security is pretty good, and we've still had a pile of scary accidents.  (Spain wasn't even the scariest- see the Goldsboro NC crash) Now imagine what the state of the Russian arsenal looks like


That's the scariest part, the US safety standards are actually fairly decent and we still have scary farking accidents. I'd hate to see what Russian nuclear accidents have been occurring behind the scenes. I think the only thing keeping other nuclear powers under control is they only have enough to cause significant damage not end all life. I can only image the kind of shiat that would occur if N. Korea had a big enough nuclear stockpile to rival the US or Russian stockpiles.
 
2022-01-17 2:20:25 PM  

covfefe: They fell mainly from the plane.


I think he's got it.
 
2022-01-17 2:23:05 PM  

jake_lex: If you want to scare yourself shiatless, I have a book and a documentary for you.  The book is Command and Controlby Eric Schlosser, about the US's nuclear weapons program -- and all the accidents in it, and nuclear weapons and material just going missing.

One of the main stories in the book was made into a documentary, aired on PBS' American Experience series, also called "Command and Control", the story of the explosion of a Titan nuclear missile in Arkansas in 1980.  A guy doing routine mission dropped his wrench and pierced one of the missile's fuel tanks.  There was a very strong risk that the missile would explode in a way that would detonate the warheads on the missile.


And there are still thousands of these things out there.


Yeah, too many wrenches are a huge threat to humanity.
 
2022-01-17 2:30:57 PM  

jake_lex: If you want to scare yourself shiatless, I have a book and a documentary for you.  The book is Command and Controlby Eric Schlosser, about the US's nuclear weapons program -- and all the accidents in it, and nuclear weapons and material just going missing.

One of the main stories in the book was made into a documentary, aired on PBS' American Experience series, also called "Command and Control", the story of the explosion of a Titan nuclear missile in Arkansas in 1980.  A guy doing routine mission dropped his wrench and pierced one of the missile's fuel tanks.  There was a very strong risk that the missile would explode in a way that would detonate the warheads on the missile.


And there are still thousands of these things out there.


Fantastic book. It is amazing that, despite all the incompetence that was (an probably still is) going on around the nuclear arsenal, no weapon has exploded accidentally.
 
2022-01-17 2:32:04 PM  

special20: covfefe: They fell mainly from the plane.

I think he's got it.


By Georgia, we gave it another one.
 
2022-01-17 2:39:03 PM  

vilesithknight: That article was interesting, yet expected after all the failures and pitfalls of the US nuclear program. But what truly made me take a step back, was the article about 3 articles down from that, about how we took Hawaii. I never knew any of that. We were certainly never taught that in school, and I've never seen any movies or anything concerning it. Apparently the US was as bad to the Hawaiian people are they were to every other type of people. Sigh.


That's classified TOP SECRET (CRT). You weren't supposed to see that.
 
2022-01-17 2:40:43 PM  
some lucky metal detector guy might find that NC one.
 
2022-01-17 2:49:06 PM  
 
2022-01-17 2:51:15 PM  
the name BROKEN AROW  has more appeal then the other one,,,


BENT SPEAR.

 
2022-01-17 2:52:35 PM  
As I've said before read this book and you'll realize it's a true miracle we're still alive.

Fark user imageView Full Size


And god only knows what kind of incidents the Russians had.
 
2022-01-17 2:57:08 PM  

vilesithknight: That article was interesting, yet expected after all the failures and pitfalls of the US nuclear program. But what truly made me take a step back, was the article about 3 articles down from that, about how we took Hawaii. I never knew any of that. We were certainly never taught that in school, and I've never seen any movies or anything concerning it. Apparently the US was as bad to the Hawaiian people are they were to every other type of people. Sigh.


Related to that, this a is good read.
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-17 3:02:39 PM  

RolandTGunner: vilesithknight: That article was interesting, yet expected after all the failures and pitfalls of the US nuclear program. But what truly made me take a step back, was the article about 3 articles down from that, about how we took Hawaii. I never knew any of that. We were certainly never taught that in school, and I've never seen any movies or anything concerning it. Apparently the US was as bad to the Hawaiian people are they were to every other type of people. Sigh.

Related to that, this a is good read.
[Fark user image 146x192]


Oh awesome, thanks for the tip. Just borrowed it on the Libby app
 
2022-01-17 3:11:36 PM  
Today, two hydrogen bombs and a uranium core lie in yet undetermined locations in the Wassaw Sound off Georgia, in the Puget Sound off Washington, and in swamplands near Goldsboro, North Carolina.

No they don't.

Well, maybe the last location wasn't scoured by Russian subs, but the other two sure have been.
 
2022-01-17 3:11:51 PM  

vilesithknight: RolandTGunner: vilesithknight: That article was interesting, yet expected after all the failures and pitfalls of the US nuclear program. But what truly made me take a step back, was the article about 3 articles down from that, about how we took Hawaii. I never knew any of that. We were certainly never taught that in school, and I've never seen any movies or anything concerning it. Apparently the US was as bad to the Hawaiian people are they were to every other type of people. Sigh.

Related to that, this a is good read.
[Fark user image 146x192]

Oh awesome, thanks for the tip. Just borrowed it on the Libby app


If you think what we did in Hawaii is bad wait until you learn about Puerto Rico and the Philippines..
 
2022-01-17 3:16:09 PM  

RolandTGunner: As I've said before read this book and you'll realize it's a true miracle we're still alive.

[Fark user image image 237x363]

And god only knows what kind of incidents the Russians had.


Have you ever been sitting at your benign office job and wondered "How in the fark do they keep a roof over this place?"

That is a fair assessment of the leadership of every nuclear nation on this planet.
 
2022-01-17 3:47:57 PM  
FTA: B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 jet tanker over Spain's Mediterranean coast, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares and one in the sea.
.
I thought that sounded a little bit light for a fusion bomb. I checked Wikipediaand they were each B28FI Mod 2 Y1 thermonuclear bombs. From Wikipedia "The Mod 2 nomenclature indicates the hardened version of the weapon designed to survive laydown delivery as the earlier Mod 0 and Mod 1 weapons could not survive the forces involved. The Y1 nomenclature indicates a W28 warhead with a yield of 1.1 megatonnes of TNT
 
2022-01-17 4:30:19 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: jake_lex: If you want to scare yourself shiatless, I have a book and a documentary for you.  The book is Command and Controlby Eric Schlosser, about the US's nuclear weapons program -- and all the accidents in it, and nuclear weapons and material just going missing.

One of the main stories in the book was made into a documentary, aired on PBS' American Experience series, also called "Command and Control", the story of the explosion of a Titan nuclear missile in Arkansas in 1980.  A guy doing routine mission dropped his wrench and pierced one of the missile's fuel tanks.  There was a very strong risk that the missile would explode in a way that would detonate the warheads on the missile.

And there are still thousands of these things out there.

In fairness, there aren't thousands of hypergolic-fueled ICBMs out there any more, at least not in the US arsenal.  (China still has a few).  Drop a wrench on a Minuteman and nothing happens

That said, US bomb security is pretty good, and we've still had a pile of scary accidents.  (Spain wasn't even the scariest- see the Goldsboro NC crash) Now imagine what the state of the Russian arsenal looks like


The good thing about the Russians was that the vast majority of their stuff would never have worked.that is why the missile gap was always a myth.  On paper the Russians had way more missiles and bombs than we did, but even new, they had trouble keeping was from getting into their silos and freezing, and they never had enough technicians available to go around.

Maybe a third of their missiles, if they had months to get ready for an attack, would have gotten off the ground, and maybe half of those would have made it to the target area, and maybe half of what was left would not be duds.

America would have a lot of missiles failing to launch or get through, and a lot of duds on the other end, but nothing like the Russians would have had going on.

That is before you even include countermeasures.
 
2022-01-17 4:55:07 PM  
winedrinkingman:   ...Maybe a third of their missiles, if they had months to get ready for an attack, would have gotten off the ground, and maybe half of those would have made it to the target area, and maybe half of what was left would not be duds....America would have a lot of missiles failing to launch or get through, and a lot of duds on the other end, but nothing like the Russians would have had going on.

That is before you even include countermeasures.


Got it.  So whereas the United States would have only been annihilated by a factor of 7, we could have annihilated the USSR by a factor of 23 while jointly turning that somewhat pleasant blue planet into a smoldering cinder.  How reassuring.
 
2022-01-17 4:56:36 PM  
The Clash - Spanish Bombs (Official Audio)
Youtube Ul0uJfhywW8
 
2022-01-17 5:16:18 PM  

Kraig57: FTA: B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 jet tanker over Spain's Mediterranean coast, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares and one in the sea.
.
I thought that sounded a little bit light for a fusion bomb.


A fusion bomb is never a little light.
 
2022-01-17 5:18:00 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-17 5:25:21 PM  
Transportation of nuclear materials is currently overseen by the Office of Secure Transportation (OST), an agency that has attracted only minimal attention in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union. But a 2017 Los Angeles Times investigation suggested problems may lurk beneath the surface. OST is understaffed, with the average courier working about 75 hours a week. Turnover is extremely high. In 2010, a DOE investigation found "widespread alcohol problems" within the agency, including incidents that occurred while couriers were on secure transportation missions. The DOE conceded that these episodes "indicate a potential vulnerability in OST's critical national security mission."

The OST training center is in Arkansas.
I've met some of these guys (at a bar - imagine!)
Sleep tight.
 
2022-01-17 5:49:36 PM  

jake_lex: A guy doing routine mission dropped his wrench and pierced one of the missile's fuel tanks.  There was a very strong risk that the missile would explode in a way that would detonate the warheads on the missile.


No. Just, NO.

Detonation of a nuclear warhead requires a very precise explosion, one that is uniformly symmetrical so that you get proper compression of the core. It took the guys at Los Alamos and other locations quite awhile to develop Krytron switches and explosive lensing before you could get a high-yield bomb using plutonium (which was far easier and cheaper to produce than U-235).

Uneven detonation of the explosives surrounding the core will just blow that core into pieces, spreading plutonium over the area.
 
2022-01-17 6:00:21 PM  

Kraig57: FTA: B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 jet tanker over Spain's Mediterranean coast, dropping three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares and one in the sea.
.
I thought that sounded a little bit light for a fusion bomb. I checked Wikipediaand they were each B28FI Mod 2 Y1 thermonuclear bombs. From Wikipedia "The Mod 2 nomenclature indicates the hardened version of the weapon designed to survive laydown delivery as the earlier Mod 0 and Mod 1 weapons could not survive the forces involved. The Y1 nomenclature indicates a W28 warhead with a yield of 1.1 megatonnes of TNT


May have been what are known as "dial-a-yield" nukes.  70 KT may have been the minimum yield, but if you inject sufficient tritium into the core just prior to detonation, you can greatly increase the yield.

No need to use megatons when kilotons will do the job. Especially if you have plans to march your forces through the area after an atomic bomb has gone off there (think Fulda Gap).
 
2022-01-18 11:14:09 AM  

RolandTGunner: As I've said before read this book and you'll realize it's a true miracle we're still alive.

[Fark user image 237x363]

And god only knows what kind of incidents the Russians had.


Just grabbed it off Amazon.
 
2022-01-18 11:31:12 AM  

vilesithknight: The Arkansas thing was scarier then about any horror book I've ever read.


Look, the dude was already suited up before he realized his mistake. What was he supposed to do? Go back, undress, get the right tool, and then get dressed again?

All that to avoid a nuclear disaster that might have wiped a state capital off the map?

C'mon. HE WAS ALREADY DRESSED.
 
2022-01-18 12:12:19 PM  
There's a random nuclear warhead in Greenland because of the US too. Forget what happened but an unarmed nuke buried itself in a field, we couldn't dig it out. We also weren't supposed to have any nukes in Greenland.
 
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