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Old 09-05-2007, 10:22 AM   #1
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Newcuelair flyover

I hate it when this happens...

"...five nuclear weapons were mistakenly loaded aboard a B-52 bomber and flown cross-country last week."
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:25 AM   #2
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C'mon, it happens to everybody. Just yesterday I spend an hour looking for my keys. Turns out that I accidently loaded them in my wife's car. I got them back. No harm, no foul.

Seriously, nuclear warheads and car keys are on the same importance level.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:49 AM   #3
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I hate it when this happens...
Man, for a brief relapse there I almost wanted my security clearances back to go read the messages! But that's just great, another #$%^ing codeword to be added to the OPREP-3 binder: "Nuclear weapons mistakenly shipped to unintended receiver, trace in progress."

Every boomer sailor in the fleet is thinking right now "Man, I'm glad that wasn't me" followed by "Thanks a lot, guys" in appreciation for all the courier & transport training that they'll have to endure for the next decade.

Personally I believe that the squadron commander, facing yet another ND winter, felt it would be the only way he'd ever get out of Minot.

Reminds me of those "actual" emergency action messages that were transmitted during an exercise... or the time the SUBPAC command center quartermaster had to take a head break and gave his two-person-control launch codes to the watch officer...
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:19 AM   #4
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For all its faults, this would never have happened in SAC. Those responsible would have been killed, then eaten. And everyone would have been responsible except at the very top.
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:28 AM   #5
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Paranoia alert: Iran? see those stories about how we have plans in place to hit 1200 Iranian targets? Hey Mahmoud - how's your intelligence? see the story about the b52 loaded with - oops - nukes? We're so well heeled we sometimes forget the 45 in our pocket and the club on our shoulder. enjoy your dinner. Paranoia off
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:49 AM   #6
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Paranoia alert:
Well, consider that REW, StR, and I have a lot more stories than this and we're not even that well connected to the gossip network anymore...
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:59 AM   #7
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For all its faults, this would never have happened in SAC. Those responsible would have been killed, then eaten. And everyone would have been responsible except at the very top.
Spoken by someone who has obviously been SACumcised. Don't you know Gen. Lemay is chomping his cigar in half in his grave.

Note: The vehicles the shipping company used to transport the 'packages' have well over 200,000 miles on the odometer (CNN Money says "Drive your car to death!"). The newest B-52 in the USAF inventory was built in 1962 and all are older than the aircrews flying them...and most of their parents!
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:13 PM   #8
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Paranoia alert: Iran? see those stories about how we have plans in place to hit 1200 Iranian targets? Hey Mahmoud - how's your intelligence? see the story about the b52 loaded with - oops - nukes? We're so well heeled we sometimes forget the 45 in our pocket and the club on our shoulder. enjoy your dinner. Paranoia off
I t hink that any time you can attribute something like this to a screw up without stretching too far, it is a far more likely explanation than some sort of wacky conspiracy theory. Occam's razor, baby.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:30 PM   #9
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I t hink that any time you can attribute something like this to a screw up without stretching too far, it is a far more likely explanation than some sort of wacky conspiracy theory. Occam's razor, baby.
Oh for sure - screwups happen. but perhaps it is expedient to promulgate news of that screwup - a nudge here, a comment there - so are the scales tipped.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:40 PM   #10
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Oh for sure - screwups happen. but perhaps it is expedient to promulgate news of that screwup - a nudge here, a comment there - so are the scales tipped.
The Iranians play the same game, doing demonstartions of missiles hitting floaing targets in the Straits of Hormuz. Too bad both of our presidents are idiotic, religious zealots who understand nothing but force and threats.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:44 PM   #11
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...Note: The vehicles the shipping company used to transport the 'packages' have well over 200,000 miles on the odometer (CNN Money says "Drive your car to death!"). The newest B-52 in the USAF inventory was built in 1962 and all are older than the aircrews flying them...and most of their parents!
Time marches - second boat i was on, the nuke cruiser Long Beach, was decommissioned 12 years ago - 1961 - 1995. It was pretty shiny back in 72.
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:14 PM   #12
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A B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear warheads and flown for more than three hours across several states
I bet they were blue states.
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:32 PM   #13
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Weren't B-52's specifically designed to carry nuclear weapons? Just doin' their job.
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:42 PM   #14
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Weren't B-52's specifically designed to carry nuclear weapons? Just doin' their job.
Good point-- all the under-instruction handlers probably got all their quals signed off.

Good thing, too, because all their instructors just got disqualified!
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:58 PM   #15
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The Iranians play the same game, doing demonstartions of missiles hitting floaing targets in the Straits of Hormuz. Too bad both of our presidents are idiotic, religious zealots who understand nothing but force and threats.

But why is it that I am not afraid one bit of the Iranians.

I don't know but religious freaks are destroying a great beautiful planet.
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:44 AM   #16
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Joe: Howard, did you see those nuclear bombs anywhere?

Howard: Huh? I thought you had them.

Joe: no, last time I saw them was on that B52......OMIGOD didn't that leave yesterday?

Howard: Oops!

This is a human factors thing. Anyone can make an error. But it is inexcusable that there is obviously no more redundancy in the military's system for handling nukes than there is for the average Joe or Howard in holding on to their car keys.

If that thing had crashed on takeoff I would be charcoal now.....
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:40 PM   #17
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This is a human factors thing. Anyone can make an error. But it is inexcusable that there is obviously no more redundancy in the military's system for handling nukes than there is for the average Joe or Howard in holding on to their car keys.
Many years ago, in SAC, I had to sign for some nukes. No details, but we had much more in place than just handling car keys. I don't know what the situation is now, since SAC no longer exists, but based on this incident I hope they scrub their procedures really well. I'm much more worried about the Russian nukes, even they can't account for them all.

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If that thing had crashed on takeoff I would be charcoal now.....
Unlikely, these weapons are designed so it's almost impossible to have an accidental nuclear explosion. But it would not be pretty.
More than 40 years on, Spain revisits a nuclear accident | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:07 PM   #18
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(AP) - Additional information has been leaked regarding last week's bizarre incident mistakenly arming a USAF cold-war era bomber with six nuclear warheads and flying the weapons from Minot AFB for more than three hours across several states.

Unidentified sources within the 82nd Bomb Wing report the B-52 Wing Commander at Minot AFB, Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper, was behaving strangely in the hours leading up to the unauthorized flight. Gen. Ripper was reported to be very concerned about the "loss of essence" and the introduction of a "foreign substance into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual." Sources were unclear as to the basis of his concerns, but speculate it may have something to do with fluoridation of the water supply.

The commander of the aircraft carrying the weapons has also been identified as Major T. J. "King" Kong from Muleshoe, TX. Sources tell AP upon learning he was carrying live nuclear warheads, Major Kong remarked, "Hot damn! I had no ideer 'em thangs wuz real!"
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:31 PM   #19
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(AP) - Additional information has been leaked regarding last week's bizarre incident mistakenly arming a USAF cold-war era bomber with six nuclear warheads and flying the weapons from Minot AFB for more than three hours across several states.
LOL

Major T. J. "King" Kong: Survival kit contents check. In them you'll find: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days' concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:48 AM   #20
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This is a human factors thing. Anyone can make an error. But it is inexcusable that there is obviously no more redundancy in the military's system for handling nukes than there is for the average Joe or Howard in holding on to their car keys.
If that thing had crashed on takeoff I would be charcoal now.....
Oh, how soon we forget. Considering the way nukes were flung around in the 1950s & 60s it's a miracle that "background" radiation is as low as it is. I can't quote you the classified pubs but I can refer you to "UNCLAS summaries" like this one:

The Case of the Missing H-Bomb

I don't mean to pick on the USAF, but for some reason all their mishaps were leaked to the press before being classified beyond FOIA. Submariners never allow their incidents to surface.*

One coda to the nuclear weapons in Spain was the persistent rumor that the U.S. subsidized Contadina tomato sauce for decades of reparations. Of course that may no longer be the case.

*But here's an unclassified one. In the 1980s Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific decided to donate a 1960s Polaris missile to the USS BOWFIN Submarine Museum (right across Pearl Harbor). The missile was housed in a four-story silo building where the students could practice maintenance & casualty response. However no one could locate the original records to verify that the missile no longer contained any fuel or nuclear warhead(s). The missile guys had to borrow neutron detectors and other sampling equipment from the nuclear engineers to scan the hatches before popping them open. Luckily the warhead compartments were empty, so it was concluded that the missile had never contained any warheads. (As far as we know.) I still smile every time I walk by it at the museum...
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