"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
You could have read about this bomb in many places like Wikipedia quite a while ago. A reporter found a recently declassified document and decided that the whole incident must have been hushed up all these years. Untrue. The Guardian specializes in expose reports.
For your information this Wiki article lists all known military accidents. List of military nuclear accidents - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
You will find the one mentioned in this thread on Jan 24 1962 as the Goldsboro B-52 crash.
Redundant safety systems are designed with the hope that there are always at least one more device than failure. In the case of this crash the pilot arming switch operated as the final safety device even though several others failed.
I saw that too. But did you see The Manhattan Project?
The Manhattan Project Official Trailer #1 - John Lithgow Movie (1986) HD - YouTube
Now I have also had classified briefing on such things. I worked in the nuclear theater when I was in the military for six years.
If the bomb was going to explode on accident, it would have been from the shock of hitting the ground. That clearly means it wouldn't be "over" the land, city, or what ever. For maximum effect, these bombs are designed to trigger in the air, above their target.
I simply cannot stand to read BS from sites like the guardian, common dreams, etc. because of this complete lack of professional journalism. The mainstream journalists are bad enough, but these whacho sites seriously cross ethical lines of honesty regularly.
If the switch had manages to somehow short on impact as well, and the detonation explosive went off, it still would not have been a nuclear explosion. That same impact would have misaligned detonation explosives, which must go off precisely to compress the sub-critical mass to a critical mass. Chances are, the core would still remain intact, and at worse, it would have been a dirty bomb. Not a megaton range explosion.
The reason it was probably never a big deal was because that low voltage switch was probably a safety pin installed on the bomb to prevent this sort of thing from happening. You can drop a bomb from 50,000 feet and it will not go off unless the safety switches are uninstalled. Not really much news to see here, just some anti-government/military garbage.
- There was never a good war, or a bad peace.
- Idealistically, everything should work as you planed it to. Realistically, it depends on how idealistic you are as to the measure of success.
- Better to be a pessimist before, and an optimist afterwords.