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back to article US lost Cold War bomb under Greenland ice

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 …

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Coat

Huh?

I cant think of anything like that..... hey whats that coming out of the sea??? OH MY GOD

GGGGOOOODDDDDZZZZIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAA

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Silver badge

Cue wingnuts ...

Cue the "no nukes" wingnuts, who have absolutely no idea how many grams of radioactive material is naturally present in a cubic mile of sea water, much less how many grams of radioactive material may or may not have been lost in the accident, much less how easily said material is likely to dissolve in seawater ...

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Pirate

What's a bomb here or there?

You win some, you lose some.

Where's the problem?

I'm sure the nuke will show up when global warming really kicks in!

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Silver badge

so when global warming hits greenland

we can expect the ice-sheet that contains the nuke (or at least the expensive bits from it) to melt away.

Not so much a "broken arrow" more like a melting icicle?

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Flame

You mean

the WATER freezing over.

/pedant

Also, this should be jumped on as an explaination for that ice caps melting- rouge nukes sitting there heating it all up. Nothing to do with oil based CO2 at all.

*listens to V8 burble away with a clear conscience*

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Anonymous Coward

And you thought it was all fiction?

This is just one of the many weapons lost during the 60s and 70s, not all of which where recovered. It was believed at the time that some may have fallen into unfriendly hands but as usual this was more speculation than hard fact.

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I..

..for one welcome our nuke-wielding, high-yielding polarbear / penguin overlords/terrorists.

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Rouge Nukes

>ice caps melting- rouge nukes

New from Max Factor...

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Silver badge

"...[searching] .. for tiny pieces of radioactive debris"

mmm. If the lensing explosives went off I doubt there'd be sod all of the nuke core left behind but dust. Even the term "without setting off the nuclear explosives" is dubious, as such an explosion can occur at a very low yield; not kilotons or tons but even sub-tons (which would probably just have gassified the core and spread it wider), but I guess they'd have had physical interlocks to prevent even that.

I'm no expert.

@jake:

grams of radioactive material in seawater - lots, but it's diluted. I will eat many kilos of salt over time. Just not all today.

How much radioactivity lost - Let's ask them, shall we? Given the huge importance of this event I'm sure they'll have best-guess records which they want open.

Solubility of material, well, there's wiki if you want to look. I recall an natural uranium reactor, oklo in Gabon, which ran for several hundred thousand years with water running through it. I guess not very soluble then. Probably less so in cold conditions.

Perhaps you can help us wingnuts with some researched facts rather than spouting off with questions? Questions are after all the easy bit.

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Go

1 of 22

The U.S since 1947 has lost 22 nukes which it has not recovered , the isreali's supposedly have lost 1 as well and the russians well they sell them on ebay

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Paris Hilton

Godzilla - massive thighs, tiny head.

Must've been a British female Godzilla with a body like that.

Paris, because she's not pear-shaped.

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Re: 1 of 22

"the isreali's supposedly have lost 1 as well"

Isn't that just a plot device for The Sum of all Fears?

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Pirate

@Alexander

There is no evidence to support your numbers. What evidence there is says that the US lost 9 nuclear weapons (4 without their fissile cores) plus an undisclosed number might have been aboard the USS Scorpion (SSN-589) which sank in the Atlantic in 1968 (but as an attack sub could also have carried zero nuclear weapons).

http://www.cdi.org/Issues/NukeAccidents/Accidents.htm

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Rob
Bronze badge
Pirate

Rumour has it....

.... the WWII ship that sunk nearby Canvey Island in the Thames esturary channel mouth has a nuke on board, it was supposedly being delivered to by the US to the UK so we could drop it on Hitler.

Rumour also goes on to say the reason no-one is sure is that it was carry other munitions and in it's present state is too fragile for divers to go near, if it goes off they reckon it will definately take out Canvey and Canvey would then take out a large chunk of London (maybe all of it, who knows, lots of refineries on that little island).

All I know is at low tide you can still see the top of the ship poking above the waves.

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Black Helicopters

meanwhile at "The War Against Terror" HQ

TWAT HQ Chief of Staff, Agent Blackadder turns to his overpaid assistance, Agent Darling, "Well Daring, does that constitute a weapon of mass destruction? and if so, can we invade?"

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Joke

i know where it is

I can tell the americans where it it's in my shed everything bloody else is. i got bits for cars i never owned bits of carpet that i never brought. tools i've never seen before. sure i saw a dead alien in there the other day so under can't be long untill a nuke appears in there i'll have a look and if i find it i'll send it back via royal mail.that well it won't get lost

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@Jake

It's highly unlikely that the radioactivity in seawater is being produced by a weapons grade fissile material.

But I take your point, coal fired power stations is my current favourite.

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Silver badge

@Rob

I think you're referring to the Montgomery <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Richard_Montgomery>. I hope you are because one of these is bad enough, a 2nd... would be twice as bad I suppose.

I've never heard the nuke-aboard rumour. Likely is cobblers.

According to wiki, it's got phosphorous and mustard gas bombs and "...3,173 tons of munitions containing 1,400 tons of TNT remain on the wreck". Tasty mix.

Am puzzled though - why did it have mustard gas, I thought this was convened illegal quite a while before the M sank.

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what defines lost

http://www.web.net/~cnanw/a3.htm

the numbers of actuall weapons is a bit ridiculus , most nukes lost by the U.S have been from airborne sources.

@AC

Things you must remember during the cold war tons of aircraft flew with live nukes onboard and SOP for an aircraft in trouble is to shed it's load before attempting to land no matter if it is nuclear or conventional weapons, the number of Nukes dropped where 59 IIRC and 12 ( lying in the oceans for the most part) not recovered add this to the navy's 8 missing nukes and we have 20 ok so sue me for the other 2 and as the scorpian was not on shakedown cruises , and overseas so it would have been armed just as the thresher was .

@SHAJE

Ye the whole last bit was meant ot be tounge and cheek.

And broken arrow means " damaged nuclear weapon as in leaking radiation" not lost

and even we brits have lost quite a few mostly in the falklands , frigates like shiny shef and conventry carried tatical nuclear weapons for anti sub work by helicopters and the is the main reason why the shefields burnt out hulk was scuttled rather brought back under tow to bligthy as the tatical nukes where damaged in the attack.

What defines lost is the point here. the Armed forces of the west only really say they loose nukes when one is lost in the system if a vessel with weapons on board goes missing they only register the craft as missing and not he contents.

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Happy

@Martin Lyne's penguin overlords

You must be referring to those new stealth long-range penguins as their ordinary brethren don't live farther north than the Galapagos Islands.

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Pirate

@Alexander

Again, there is nothing to support your numbers. Just because you state numbers does not mean your numbers are real. If you have a viable source, then cite it like I cited the CDI.

http://www.cdi.org/Issues/NukeAccidents/Accidents.htm

The Thresher had zero nukes aboard. The Scorpion probably had none because it was an attack sub, but the military likes to leave the world guessing.

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Joke

@Alan Esworthy

Of course they are long-range penguins... they run on nuclear power, FFS!

they can reach any place in the world within minutes and drop their lethal load of half-digested fish!

I for one, welcome them.

Evil penguin, or black chopper? I can't decide...

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Re:Bluegreen's post

With regards to the Dichoroethyl Sulphide (Mustard Gas) issue, the United States at the time, were not signatories to the Geneva Convention restricting the use of Chemical Weapons...

As such, the U.S Army Chemical Corp were responsible, at the time, for the transportation of U.S Chemical weapons, most notably, mortar bombs for the 4.7inch "Goon Gun" Mortar...

Said rounds were reportedly transported near to the battlefield, ready for use...

However, as the knowledge of the "Goon Gun", & it's related ordanance was classified, most U.S Army personell did'nt know of this weapons existance...

The result, of this policy, was reportedly 1000 U.S servicemen were either killed, or very badly wounded as a result of the Bari Incident, in which a Luftwaffe air raid on Bari Harbour, in response to a somewhat bombastic radio speech, by a high ranking Allied Officer caused the cargo of a U.S freighter, which included Goon Gun rounds, to "cook off", causing mustard gas to enter the sea & air...

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@Anonymous COWARD

Alexander's claim of 22 unrecovered weapons is probably a little on the low side as that is simply the number estimated from currently available sources.

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Ed

Martin Lyne

ROFLMAO

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Thumb Down

Pu

Plutonium being one of the most toxic substances known, is really something you want contaminating the ocean. Even if the cores were atomized, it's great to think of something like that (and its decay products, like radioactive cadmium) eventually getting into the food chain.

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