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Tybee Bomb

Jan 17, 2001

The nuclear weapon was dropped into Wassau Sound after two air force planes collided in 1958. It was never recovered. A recently uncovered document from the sixty’s says the weapon could cause a nuclear explosion but the man who wrote that now says he was wrong.

This new statement from the defense department seems to strengthen the position that the Tybee bomb won't explode. At least it can't go nuclear.

The confusion on what this weapon is capable of.. Came up first in 1966. The joint committee on atomic energy asked the defense department to account for all of the lost US nuclear bombs in the world.

WJ Howard then assistant secretary of defense came up with a list of four. Two were complete weapons that could cause a nuclear explosion, two were not. At the top of the list of complete weapons the Tybee bomb.

Now.. Thirty-four years later Mr. Howard says he made a mistake. In a letter to Congressman Jack Kingston, under secretary of defense Dave Oliver, says Howard now agrees it was not possible for the Savannah weapon to be anything but a mark 15- mod zero not a complete weapon.

Mr. Howard says that's an accurate statement, he simply made a mistake.

Even though this letter says the bomb can't cause a nuclear explosion it does nothing to address environmental concerns raised by Congressman Jack Kingston and others. There's clear evidence from the air force that the weapon contains at least uranium and some believe there's plutonium on board as well. So, the push to get it out of Wassau Sound continues.

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Revised: September 08, 2003 .