- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What would happen to the U.S. economy if two nuclear bombs were detonated on American soil? The world almost found out in 1961, according to recently declassified government document.

A B-52 carrying a nuclear payload crashed on Jan. 23, 1961, which caused five of six mechanisms needed for detonation to lock into place, states “Command and Control,” a new book by investigative journalist Eric Schlosser.

The military website DefenseTech.org reported, “one single switch prevented one of these Mark 39 hydrogen bombs — 260 times more powerful than the one dropped over Hiroshima — from exploding.”

The U.S. government has acknowledged the crash took place, Defense Tech said.


“One simply, dynamo-techonology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe!” Parker F. Jones, the supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia national laboratories, wrote for a report on the crash in 1961, the U.K. Guardian said.

Defense Tech reports that one of the hydrogen bombs landed in fields near Faro, N.C.

“Yeah, it would have been bad news in spades,” Mr. Jones wrote.