Saturday, 20 December 2008

Nuclear bomb off Greenland coast

A Nuclear bomb lies off the coast of Greenland

Evidence indicating that a lost atomic bomb from a B52 plane which crashed in Greenland in the late 60's remains lying off the coast is not news to Greenlanders, despite a lot of media attention recently.

A BBC investigation claimed they have discovered information about an undiscovered A-bomb from an American B52 bomber plane that crashed in 1968 near the now closed USA air force base near Thule, Greenland.

The BBC reported this week that the fourth bomb may still lie on the seabed off Greenland's western coast. After the plane crash, the Pentagon insisted that all four of the atomic bombs were destroyed.

According to CPHPost, Greenlanders call the incident 'The Thule Crash', and Danish employees at the base already knew about the fourth nuclear bomb back in 1999, says Jens Zinglersen, chairman of the association representing employees affected by radiation connected with clean up work at the crash site.

Zinglersen worked at the Thule base in 1968 when the American B52 plane crashed on the ice nearby. It had been carrying four nuclear weapons, but the high explosives in a security casing surrounding the bombs detonated, melting the unarmed nuclear devices.

However, during the process of obtaining compensation for the radiation stricken workers in the 1990s, the employees’ association got access to the American National Archives, where they found evidence of the undiscovered fourth bomb.

‘We all knew then that there might be something out there,' said Zinglersen. 'Why else would they have sent a submarine out from the base that summer looking for something in the sea?’

Zinglersen said that they brought the information to the media in 2000, but that their discovery was overshadowed by news of the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk, where 118 sailors died. The documents obtained by the BBC are the same documents seen by the organization in 1999.

'The BBC is known as a very credible source and we hope that it will push the case proceedings forward as the media focuses on the issue. We want the full truth to come out,' said Zinglersen.

Greenland's minister for foreign affairs, Per Berthelsen, said he was also well aware of the fourth bomb. He added that the government takes any new information about the Thule case seriously, but said nothing new has been brought to light by the BBC investigation.

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