A diver looking for sea cucumbers off Pitt Island, near Haida Gwaii got the shock of his life when he spotted what he thought was an UFO. It wasn’t until he described it to some old-timers that he found out he had stumbled across a lost nuclear bomb.
After spending several hours looking for sea cucumbers, Sean Smyrichinsky decided to hop on his underwater scooter and make one last pass at his dive area before calling it quits for the day.
It was then that he spotted something strange on the ocean floor. “I found this big thing underwater, huge, never seen anything like it before,” Smyrichinsky related from Cortes Island, reports the Vancouver Sun.
“I came up telling all my buddies on the boat ‘Hey, I found a UFO. It’s really bizarre.’ And I drew a picture of it because I didn’t have a camera,” he added. “It resembled, like, a bagel cut in half, and then. around the bagel these bolts molded into it.”
After asking around for a few days, Smyrichinsky ran into a couple of fishermen. He related the story of his unusual find. “Nobody had ever seen it before or heard of it, (because) nobody ever dives there,” he said. “Then some old-timer said ‘Oh, you might have found that bomb.’
The bomb the old-timer was talking about was a Mark IV nuclear bomb that has been missing since February 13, 1950, in the crash of an U.S. Air Force B-36 bomber, en route from Alaska to Texas. Smyrichinsky immediately looked it up on Google Images, and there it was. It was the object he had found on the ocean floor.
“It was a piece that looked very much like what I saw,” he said, according to CBC News. “The plane that was carrying the bomb, it crashed 50 miles south of where I found that object.”
Major Steve Neta of the Canadian Armed Forces confirmed the location of Snyrichinsky’s “UFO” coincided with the site of the 1950 crash. Neta also said the Mark IV was a dummy bomb, weighing almost 11,000 pounds (4,900 kilograms), just like the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, killing 39,000 to 80,000 people.
The Mark IV dummy bomb was packed with TNT but records indicate that its core was packed with lead, not plutonium. so according to Neta, there was little risk of a nuclear explosion. “Nonetheless, we do want to be sure and we do want to investigate it further,” he said.
The Royal Canadian Navy is on its way to investigate the bomb and crash site. Experts will then determine whether to retrieve the bomb or leave it where it is resting.
In the book, Lost Nuke, The Last Flight of Bomber 075, published earlier this year, author Dirk Septer retells the story of that last flight, summarizing it as a “Cold War Drama:
“Just before midnight on February 13, 1950, three engines of a US Air Force B-36 intercontinental bomber caught fire over Canada’s northwest coast. The crew jumped, and the plane ditched somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Almost four years later, the wreck of the bomber was found accidentally in a remote location in the coastal mountains of British Columbia, three hours’ flying time in the opposite direction of where it was supposed to have crashed.
“After years of silence, the United States finally admitted to losing its very first nuclear bomb; the incident was its first Broken Arrow, the code name for accidents involving nuclear weapons. But was the bomb dropped and exploded over the Inside Passage, or was it blown up at the aircraft’s resting place in the mountains?”
Original article: www.digitaljournal.com/