Friday, March 18, 2011

Savannah’s Broken Arrow

In military language, a Broken Arrow is a lost atomic weapon. There is one of these Cold War relics buried in the ocean very near Tybee Island, about twelve miles from downtown Savannah and very near our RV park!

“In February 1958, a B-47 Stratojet bomber from Homestead Air Force Base in Florida had a midair collision with an F-86 Saberjet fighter southeast of Savannah and had to jettison an H-bomb in order to land safely.  It was dumped in the dead of night from 12,000 feet somewhere along the southern shore of uninhabited Little Tybee Island.” After the collision the pilot requested and was granted permission to jettison the bomb in order to eliminate chances of it exploding upon landing or crashing. A search failed to locate the bomb and it has not been found or located to this day. This bomb is twenty times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima.

The US Air Force argues that the 7,600 pound device was unarmed, lacking a plutonium trigger but concedes that it does contain 3 tons of enriched uranium and a detonator equivalent to 400 pounds of high explosives. Statements from retired members of the flight crew and the crew that loaded the bomb onto the aircraft dispute this statement, saying the bomb was in fact “complete” with a plutonium trigger. Trigger or not, the bomb is a significant threat to the people and environment of the Savannah area. The military should pick up after itself!


Here is a map of the area. The pushpin is our RV park and the bomb is supposedly buried in the marshes near Tybee Island. The military has been unable to find it in over sixty years. A local resident has found slightly elevated radiation in the water close to nearby Wassaw Island so it is possible the pilot was slightly off in his calculations of where he dropped it.

Map picture

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