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The US has lost at least three nuclear bombs somewhere that no one can find

The US has lost at least three nuclear bombs somewhere that no one can find

The US has lost three nuclear bombs and still can't find them.

The US has lost three nuclear bombs and still can't find them.

We're the first to say it's easy to misplace things: your keys, your phone, your nuclear bombs.

Well, actually, that last one is pretty iffy, but that's what happened on January 17, 1966.

The planes were said to have collided in mid air.
US Air Force Photo / Alamy Stock Photo

At around 10am some fisherman were minding their own business in the Alboran Sea when they saw a white parcel fall from the sky.

Now, this is the part where Chicken Little would say 'the sky is falling', but it absolutely wasn't a cloud.

As the parcel descended into the depths of the sea, the same incident occurred in the Spanish village of Palomares: plane pieces fell from the sky, and shrapnel plunged into the ocean. Locals would later learn that two US military planes had crashed in the air, leaving aircraft debris and cargo scattered across Palomares.

So, what exactly fell into the ocean? You guessed it: nuclear bombs. While three were eventually recovered on land, one was lost at the bottom of the ocean, and that's definitely not something you want to find on a snorkeling trip.

The last thing you want to find on a deep dive.
R-Type / Alamy Stock Photo

However, that's not the only time the US has lost a literal nuclear weapon — there's been a fair few incidents when bombs have been dropped or lost by mistake. Another similar incident occurred on March 10, 1956, on a plane headed to Morocco.

The plane, which was carrying nuclear weapons, was due for a midair refuelling but didn't show up. An international team was sent to search for the wreckage but nothing was found, likely leaving the dangerous cargo at the bottom of the sea.

Just nine years later, on December 5, 1965, a navy plane was lost while being moved during a military exercise. The Navy A-4 Skyhawk was aboard the USS Ticonderoga when it rolled off an elevator. The pilot and the nuclear weapon inside sank into the sea and, again, the status of that weapon is still unknown.

Lost weapons are likely lurking at the bottom of the sea.
military cold war / Alamy Stock Photo

While misplacing nukes, weapons and planes happens more than you might think, many are recovered.

Still, these three remain in the ocean. As if we weren't already scared of sharks and jellyfish, now there are actual bombs to think about when you dive from a party boat.

And while other countries have misplaced weapons at one point or another, Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Non-proliferation Program said: "We mostly know about the American cases."

Featured Image Credit: AB Historic/RBM Vintage Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, US News, Life