Friday, December 5, 2008

Day 168: Ooops, broken arrow

U.S. airforce dropping bombs in Afghanistan, 2001. image: Britannica Student Encyclopedia

The image above is a real image of intentional bomb dropping. I realized as I googled for images of falling bombs today that we often don't actually see this part of our reality. The U.S. drops bombs everyday, but we don't usually see it happening.

Yesterday I learned a new phrase appropriated by the military, the "Broken Arrow". This is when a bomb falls out of a plane UNintentionally, sometimes on our own land. I was surprised to learn that there have been quite a few of these instances (details here). You might be surprised too.

But don't worry, "There never has been even a partial, inadvertent U.S. nuclear detonation despite the very severe stresses imposed upon the weapons involved in these accidents. All `detonations' reported in the summaries involved conventional high explosives (HE) only. Only two accidents, those at Palomares and Thule, resulted in a widespread dispersal of nuclear materials." - from the Global Security website

Then, there are the bombs that fall but are never found. See the New York Times, November 11, 2008 story, Has Anyone Seen a Stray H-Bomb?

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