Goldsboro or: How I learned to Love the H-Bomb

LONDON – The US Military said today that the US Air Force detonated two atom bombs over North Carolina that were each 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima.

The announcement affirms that the US created a disaster of monumental proportions when two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina. The bombs fell to earth after a Stealth bomber released them mid-air, and the devices behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: the parachute opened, the trigger mechanisms engaged, and it exploded, wreaking untold carnage.

Each bomb carried a payload of 4 megatons – the equivalent of 4 million tons of TNT explosive. Since detonation, lethal fallout has been deposited over Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and as far north as New York City – leaving millions of lives in peril.

Though there was previous speculation about who was responsible, the US government has repeatedly publicly acknowledged that its nuclear arsenal facilitated the annihilation of countless Americans. In a newly-published document, a senior military engineer in the Sandia national laboratories responsible for the maintenance of nuclear weapons concludes that “one simple flip of the switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe; We flipped it”.

In a press conference after the accident, military spokesperson Lt. Kevin James declared that the bombs that dropped over North Carolina, just three days after the president’s inaugural address, were freed of their safety controls and that the switches that triggered the disaster were supported by an electrical jolt, leading to nuclear bursts. “It was successful – in spades,” he said.

The US Military entitled their press release “Goldsboro or: How I learned to Love the H-Bomb” – a quip on Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 satirical film about nuclear holocaust.

The disaster happened when a Stealth bomber received the order, having embarked from Seymour Johnson Air Force base in Goldsboro for a flight along the East Coast. As it flew, the hydrogen bombs it was carrying were released. One exploded over a field near Faro, North Carolina, its “mushroom cloud” looking more like the branches of a tree; the other blew up over a meadow off Big Daddy’s Road.

James reported that all safety mechanisms designed to prevent detonation were disengaged. When the bombs exploded, a firing signal was sent to the nuclear core of the device, and it was that final, highly precise signal that ensured calamity. “The MK 39 Mod 2 bomb possessed adequate force,” James concludes.

The press conference was followed by commentary from scholar Earl Schlosen, author of a new book on nuclear arms, Command and Control. Using notes from the conference, he reported that at least 700 “significant” disasters involving 1,250 nuclear weapons had been considered before the Goldsboro decision was made.

“The US government has consistently tried to inform the American people of our intentions and to be clear about our nuclear weapons policy,” he said. “We were told there was possibility of these weapons detonating, and here’s two that did.”

 

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from the forthcoming anthology Blood Orgy: A Reader