Nuclear bomb dropped in waters off Georgia 60 years ago has yet to be found

Staff writer

A nuclear warhead known as the "Tybee Bomb" has been lost in the waters off of Georgia for the past sixty years.

The seven-thousand pound bomb ended up in the waters near Tybee Island, after it was deliberately released from a B47 bomber when a training mission went awry in 1958. An F-86 fighter jet collided with the B-47 causing the F-86 to crash after the pilot was forced to eject from the plane. The damaged B-47 remained airborne, plummeting 18,000 feet before Major Howard Richardson regained control. The crew requested then jettisoned the bomb, in order to reduce weight and prevent the bomb from exploding during an emergency landing, which they later completed safely at the Hunter Air Force Base.

Though the US Navy attempted to find the device, it was never found and the airforce has since recommended leaving the bomb undisturbed, a state believed to be harmless to people and far safer than any recovery attempt.

The US Air Force has also contended that the bomb lacks the plutonium necessary for it to be a viable nuclear weapon.

However, according to a report by the Savannah Morning News earlier this year it did contain four hundred pounds of conventional explosives and highly enriched uranium. As such, this bomb and numerous other munitions which have been dumped into the waters off the East Coast of the US have received increasing attention for the dangers they pose as activities including seismic testing and offshore drilling could disturb the hazardous materials.

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