Summary: How many near-death scratches do we humans need before we change?
History text books list that two atomic warheads dropped to end World War II as President Harry S. Truman made the historic decision to use these bombs to halt the deadliest war of all time. Further readings will also conclude that our nation dropped a practice round outside Alamogordo, New Mexico in order to study the results and see the devastation. But did you hear the one that dropped in South Carolina?
No joke. In 1958, our Air Force failed to strap in an Atomic Warhead solid enough that it actually fell out of a plane hitting the ground in Mars Bluff damaging a couple of homes, a church, and ruining a family garden—fortunately the bomb had not detonated (the pilots actually did not know the bomb had fallen off the plane until landing, when they discovered the disappearance).
But there have been other near disasters. In 1961, a B-52 dropped a pair of 24 megaton bombs on a farm in North Carolina. 5 years later, another B-52 carrying four 20 megaton bombs hit the coast of Spain leading to one of the wildest searches ever. Our navy used over 30 ships for a couple of weeks in a desperate search for a missing bomb—which was later discovered on the floor of the Mediterranean.
Did you know that in 1980, a fix-it guy dropped a wrench which bounced off the ground with enough force to penetrate a hole in the Titan II missile while she sat on her silo in Arkansas. The top of the silo and the tip of warhead flung over 600 feet in a massive air disaster!
Finally, did June 3, 1980 seem like a normal day to you? Well, this was the day that the movie “Wargames” actually also came true when the Strategic Air Command in Omaha detected a submarine invasion by the Soviets were already in progress. Within minutes, hundreds of American warcrafts were in the air preparing for a counter-invasion, only to find out that the reports of the attack were false and our computers were mislead by a 46 cent computer chip.
Have you ever had a near disaster? I have. About a decade ago I was driving to work when a student rushing to high school cut off my van. Out of instinct and in an attempt to dodge the collision, I turned a quick left only to clip the driver of another car in a head on collision. Fortunately I was turning so the force of the contact managed to spin my car around in a circle rather than bringing my vehicle to a quick and most likely deadly halt. But, like a Hollywood movie, while my car was spinning 180 degrees around in a circle, I found myself back in my original lane only to get myself in a second head on collision with the truck driving up behind me. What could have been a life-altering disaster, ended up just being a couple of scratches. I praised the Lord that day.
How many near-disaster scratches do we humans need before we change? Seriously, how many safety precautions should be in place so that there is no chance of nuclear disaster? And in case you hadn’t noticed, I left out the detail of my accelerated speed at which my car was traveling, and the fact my seatbelt was off.