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Bonus Video: exclusive interview with Fmr. Sec. of Defense, Robert McNamara
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.
In 1958 at the height of the Cold War Air Force Col. Howard Richardson pilots his B-47 Stratojet bomber on a training mission 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 about 7,000 feet over the water near Tybee Island. 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. 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."
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