The Story of the Lost Nuke
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The Story of the Lost Nuke

2014, History  -   11 Comments
Ratings: 7.01/10 from 75 users.

It's one of the worst case scenarios in the nuclear age, and it occurred on February 13, 1950. Flying over restricted airspace across the Canadian border, a United States Air Force bomber experienced massive engine failure, and the crew were forced to abandon their craft in mid-air. The plane went down in the remote mountain ranges of British Columbia. Several crew members went down with it, as well as its perilous cargo: a Mark IV nuclear bomb.

The Story of the Lost Nuke valiantly attempts to retrace the frightful events of that flight, the astonishing aftermath of the crash, and the possible cover-up which remains active to this day. The filmmakers set out to find answers to a series of mysteries that endure even after more than fifty years. Surviving crew members refuse to divulge relevant details, and integral segments of official military documents remain sealed or redacted from public view. For decades, speculation has swirled that the plane was hosting a mission involving nuclear detonation during the dawning of the Cold War. But the official story contends that the flight was merely a training run, and that the bomb lacked the plutonium core required for a nuclear explosion.

However, cries of conspiracy have only been amplified by the disappearance one key flight member - the weaponeer who was in charge of the bomb - and the curious lack of evidence among the rubble found at the crash site that an armed nuclear weapon even existed onboard. Could the weaponeer have stayed on board and attempted to defuse the bomb prior to its crash?

The film features the efforts of investigators who view detailed photographic evidence, as well as the twisted sheets of debris that remain stationed at the rigged mountainous region where the crash occurred all those years ago.

During the course of the film, the audience happens upon a series of exciting clues right alongside the featured team of investigators. The Story of the Lost Nuke is a rare example of documentary filmmaking that manages to change the course of the history it investigates.

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Jim Beam
6 years ago

Gary, they don't tell YOU the truth because you can't write a proper sentence.

6 years ago

Government don't tell the truth
Because we can't handle the truth

7 years ago

Read the book a few years ago. Interesting story.

7 years ago

I'm certainly skeptical of the government's willingness to level with the public on anything, especially matters of "national security" or international relations -- but I also found the entire tenor of this documentary suspect and the participants singularly lacking in plausibility. Good photography, bad presentation and suspect motives.

8 years ago

Values mater. So does freedom.
Very interesting but it's unbelievable the Lost Nuke was not found.

Bryant Grimlie
8 years ago

This may be technically true, since the bombs were no longer complete, but declassified documents obtained by the BBC under the US Freedom of Information Act, parts of which remain classified, reveal a much darker story, which has been confirmed by individuals involved in the clear-up and those who have had access to details since. The documents make clear that within weeks of the incident, investigators piecing together the fragments realised that only three of the weapons could be accounted for.

8 years ago

Seriously naive person, maybe you go and check the last time the Pentagon/government told us the truth about anything.

8 years ago

Interesting documentary, but this story really doesn't need the exaggerations that the director & narrator have put in. Unnecessary questions or suggestions, that are not all too plausible or difficult to refute. And where is really the controversy? The fact that they didn't know or disclose whether someone has been flying the plane till the very last moment? Or the ludicrous suggestion that they might have first dropped the bomb (and have it explode) over the Pacific? Well... if the bomb couldn't have been dropped due to a faulty bomb bay door, they couldn't have triggered the bomb while still finding an intact aircraft in Canada... If the bomb bay was not faulty in the first place, they would've been able to drop the bomb in the ocean without its required trigger, without that, good luck having an a-bomb explode on impact with the water. In that case, it would've just sunk to the bottom. And if it would've still exploded, mid-air or on impact with the water, do they really believe no one would have heard anything about it? Notwithstanding that sound travels far over water and we have a nuclear bomb going off in the middle of the night... the Soviet Union's sensors would've probably picked up something fishy, just like the West's sensors have been able to pick up Soviet (or other country's) nuclear trials in those years.

So, the most probably scenario is that the bomber went down with the bomb. The bomb didn't explode. They had a task force seal of an area that's pretty much uninhabitable/transferable anyway, they finally find the aircraft (after four years), bring back all the sensitive material (incl. the bomb and trigger) and blow up the rest of the aircraft - according to standard Cold War procedure of downed military hardware. What's so sensitive about that... As if it's so suspicious that USAF blows up a downed plane. We're talking Cold War technology here, sure they are not going to let it just stay there as a nice museum piece for people to visit... But taking an inoperable (and HUGE) B-36 back bit by bit? Too much work and costs involved. And how are you gonna blow it up? With lots of explosives, the more the merrier, the fewer bits can possibly be used by whomever would be interested in its tech. Controversial much? Not really.

Why not have the story just be interesting in its own right, rather than trying to pimp it with unreasonable suspicion? Isn't the fact that there was a Broken Arrow incident in the first place interesting enough...? Srsly ppl...

8 years ago

interesting doc