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America's Lost H-Bomb Program


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About this Lesson

  • Type: Video Tutorial
  • Length: 51:52
  • Media: Video/mp4
  • Use: Watch Online & Download
  • Access Period: Unrestricted
  • Download: MP4 (iPod compatible)
  • Size: 202 MB
  • Posted: 10/19/2011

This lesson is part of the following series:

America's Lost H-Bomb (2 lessons, $7.92)

This is half of a two-video series on America's Lost H-Bomb. Click through above to check out the two-video series (which is the same price as either individual video).

DVD Available and Download to Own at:

Includes an exclusive interview with Fmr. Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara regarding the deployment of nuclear weapons. A free video bonus as part of the program: ""American's Lost H-Bomb.""

During a military training mishap in 1958, a Mark 15, Mod Zero nuclear weapon was lost a few miles from the shores of Tybee Island, Georgia. The bomb was twelve feet long and weighing 7,600 pounds. It’s a big bomb, but it was never found. After studying the flight path of the plane that dropped the bomb, weather conditions of the night of the accident and tidal patterns of the last 50 years, a multi agency task force searched the shoals.

February 5, 1958 – the height of the Cold War. Air Force Col. Howard Richardson pilots his B-47 Stratojet bomber on a training mission in which Reston, Virginia doubles as Moscow – which Richardson is to level, in simulated fashion, with the bomb on board. F-86 Sabre jets scramble to intercept the B-47, but they’re too late and Richardson hits his virtual target. Next Richardson races toward the South Carolina border – friendly airspace in the exercise – still trying to elude the fighter jets on his tail.

Over South Carolina, an F-86 suddenly emerges from cloud cover and slams into the B-
47. Col. Richardson flies out over the ocean and radios for permission to jettison the bomb. Just before 3am, about 7,000 feet over the water near Tybee Island, Richardson orders the hatch opened – and thermonuclear bomb Number 47782 drops silently into the darkness. The crew reports seeing no explosion. Richardson lands safely – wondering if the bomb did the same.

The day after the accident, a massive search begins, led by Navy Lt. Cdr. Art Arseneault. Military personnel and civilian experts use hand-held sonar, magnetometers, sonar – even dragging nets and grappling hooks along the muddy shallows. Navy warships and Air Force jets provide security. For three months, they search for any sign of the bomb – yet find nothing. The Pentagon lists number 47782 as “irretrievably lost.” Amazingly, it’s only one of 11 nuclear bombs the US cannot find at the time. These missing weapons are labeled “Broken Arrows.”

A 2001 Air Force report estimates that, if the bomb were ever found, it would take five years and $11 million to recover it. In 2004, the government sent a 20-person team to collect water and sand samples, and countless instrument readings from the sound. The data were sent to federal laboratories for analysis, but the results were inconclusive. The bomb is still there, but no one is sure where, and in what state.

Produced by Marabella Productions LLC
© 2007 Discovery Communications, Inc. - All Rights Reserved
NTSC Widescreen - 52-minutes
PLUS an exclusive interview with Fmr. Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara

About this Author

Longtail Distribution Network
Longtail Distribution Network
168 lessons

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