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Nuke transportation story has explosive implications


Douglas Caddy
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Charles,

That's okay. I have never been inside a B-52H so am unfamiliar with the display systems and if they do have some type of visual warning system inside. Happy to accept your source's statement on this for the while.

The flight characteristics section though, well, I think they are wrong - for the reasons I mentioned in my initial post. I'll see if I can locate any B-52 pilots who have flown with the AGM-129 and see what they say.

Thanks for the clarification.

Evan,

I'm eager to learn as much about this incident as I can.

My declaration that "it was intentional" should be read both literally and as a rhetorical device utilized in a discussion regarding the honing of instinct and refining of intellect applied to analyses of intel ops.

In re the display systems: My inference is that what was being described to me is an active alert -- as opposed to an indicator that is manually engaged once N-weaponry is aboard. In other words, a system that automatically detects the presence.

But I certainly may be off on this one. Time may tell.

In the mean, my instincts and more refined perceptions -- for whatever the hell they're worth -- are focused on the unlikelihood of simultaneous breakdown of redundant security systems, both in this case and on 9-11.

Charles

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Salla and Wayne Madson won't give up on the idea that Lon Cheney's covert crew were going to use the six nukes in a pre-emptive strike against Iran, without telling anybody else about it.

Wayne's also got a military intel background (NSA maybe), but if his "investigation" shows Cheney was moving nukes around for tactical considerations, then we're really in deep xxxx. I don't believe it.

These guys just shot themselves in the foot, Cheney didn't shoot them.

BK

Bill,

Once again, I'd point to a third alternative to explain this situation if it is indeed sinister.

Who would benefit from promoting the idea that America's nuclear arsenal is so vulnerable to plunder?

That "Lon Cheney" (great!) and other phantoms of the bunker are ready, willing, and able to stage a nuclear provocation, perhaps even on their own soil?

(And no, I'm not referencing Salla, Madsen, and like-minded folk who some would charge with opportunism in the wake of accident.)

That one or more officers in this "accident"-prone command structure should be cashiered?

As I've noted elsewhere: If "follow the money" was the indispensable investigative mantra during Watergate, then "question the timing" takes on identical significance when probing intel ops -- the category in which I'm certain this event should be filed.

Charles

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Salla and Wayne Madson won't give up on the idea that Lon Cheney's covert crew were going to use the six nukes in a pre-emptive strike against Iran, without telling anybody else about it.

Wayne's also got a military intel background (NSA maybe), but if his "investigation" shows Cheney was moving nukes around for tactical considerations, then we're really in deep xxxx. I don't believe it.

These guys just shot themselves in the foot, Cheney didn't shoot them.

BK

Bill,

Once again, I'd point to a third alternative to explain this situation if it is indeed sinister.

Who would benefit from promoting the idea that America's nuclear arsenal is so vulnerable to plunder?

That "Lon Cheney" (great!) and other phantoms of the bunker are ready, willing, and able to stage a nuclear provocation, perhaps even on their own soil?

(And no, I'm not referencing Salla, Madsen, and like-minded folk who some would charge with opportunism in the wake of accident.)

That one or more officers in this "accident"-prone command structure should be cashiered?

As I've noted elsewhere: If "follow the money" was the indispensable investigative mantra during Watergate, then "question the timing" takes on identical significance when probing intel ops -- the category in which I'm certain this event should be filed.

Charles

Charles,

How is this Bent Spear incident an intel op?

Other than Wayne Madsion's "investigation" - in which one of his intellegence sources - and thus a questionable and possible disinformation source, says that the missles were being transferred to middle east for covert op - there is no other speculation that this was anything other than a bunch of Animal House slackers moving misslies around.

It reminds me more of the great Michigan Cattle Feed disaster, in which half the cows in Michigan were accidently fed a fire retardant instead of a food suppliment, and now most of the people of Michigan who ate the meat or cheese or drank the contaminated milk have a % of this fire retardant in their system.

The problem was discovered to have occurred at a wholesale distribution center where an illiterate worker picked up the wrong batchs because he couldn't read the labels, so instead of delivering the food supliment he delivered fire retardant.

It wasn't caught until the cows started dying and wasn't detected because the FDA doesn't test for fire retardant, so even the diseased cows went to market.

My point here is that the Nuke Warhead labels were not checked, and they got mixed up in the bunker where both conventional and nukes were kept.

If the incidents occurred as we are learning about it - then it was a SNAFU, not a covert op got caught.

Besides Cheney has the whole Med Fleet full of nukes to use, he doesn't have to sneak any in.

Now I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, but I'm sure we're going to hear from the 70 airmen, half dozen officers and three colonels who were busted over this, and get their sides of the story.

BK

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Bill,

I think we agree that it serves no purpose to see sinister shapes in every snapshot of shrubbery.

In fact, we serve the truth poorly when we jump the gun(s) in such a fashion.

To be clear:

1. The purpose of my original post was to counter a charge of paranoia by explaining how, based upon the history so many of us have struggled to reveal, analyze, comprehend, and/or just plain accept,events such as those under consideration here warrant immediate suspicion and, in certain instances, a "guilty until proven innocent" perspective.

2. I have not signed on to the commonly held (among those suspecting perfidy) theory that this was all about "Cheney" looking to false flag an N-strike. As I attempted to make clear previously, there may be any number of sinister reasons for staging this provocation (if that's what it was) that have nothing to do with the Middle East misadventures.

3. Finally, we are reduced to taking the bad guys' word for snafu. Yes, screw-ups happen. But yet again I'll ask if the excuse that multiple redundant safety measures simultaneously failing passes the laugh test.

Best,

Charles

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I still find the sequence of events totally believable, because I see similar mistakes every day. I maintain a close liaison with our Flight Safety Cell, and am responsible for alerting my boss to any significant Air Safety Occurrence Reports (ASORs), so this incident is no surprise to me (stand fast its nuclear nature).

The big screwup IMO is the initial storage & handling procedures. As I said earlier, I believe storing of special & conventional weapons together was asking for trouble. The control procedures for special weapons has proven totally ineffective. From that point on, it's an often-seen sequence of events in aviation (failure to properly carry out tasks).

The problem for most people is that we won't really see much of the results. Yes, we see people have been sacked / disciplined. I'd imagine there will be an announcement regarding a review of special weapons accounting / storage / handling procedures (this might even involve a panel external to the USAF / DoD).

Matters regarding nukes, though, will not be publicly released. I doubt we'll know what other flaws in the procedures were found, and we won't know how they were corrected. Matters regarding nukes will always come under the umbrella of National Security, and even the most basic material will be of a classified / codeword nature.

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Too many "mistakes" occurred here to make the cover story at all believable. Add this to W's " WW 111" talk just a few days ago. There is a war between the neocons and our military. (imho)

Dawn

Dawn,

I agree that there is a serious dispute between the JCS/CENTCOM and the "Neocons," who want to continue the aggression into Iran, but there is no "cover story" for this incident, an accident, rather than a blown covert op.

Unless all the facts aren't in.

BK

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Bill,

I think we agree that it serves no purpose to see sinister shapes in every snapshot of shrubbery.

In fact, we serve the truth poorly when we jump the gun(s) in such a fashion.

To be clear:

1. The purpose of my original post was to counter a charge of paranoia by explaining how, based upon the history so many of us have struggled to reveal, analyze, comprehend, and/or just plain accept,events such as those under consideration here warrant immediate suspicion and, in certain instances, a "guilty until proven innocent" perspective.

2. I have not signed on to the commonly held (among those suspecting perfidy) theory that this was all about "Cheney" looking to false flag an N-strike. As I attempted to make clear previously, there may be any number of sinister reasons for staging this provocation (if that's what it was) that have nothing to do with the Middle East misadventures.

3. Finally, we are reduced to taking the bad guys' word for snafu. Yes, screw-ups happen. But yet again I'll ask if the excuse that multiple redundant safety measures simultaneously failing passes the laugh test.

Best,

Charles

Charles-

Sorry if you were offended by the "paranoid" comment. It was in response to "At what point in one's never-ending eagerness to be lied to does one become the xxxx? At what point does one's failure to discern the truth become a perfect failure?" and "Waishu" comments directed at me.

When it comes to CT theorists, I define paranoia as, assuming its always a conspiracy, jumping to conclusions before the facts are known, and describing anyone who disagrees a disinfo agent, xxxx, etc. Your comments about me, labeling any and all in government as the "bad guys'" with a "guilty until proven innocent" perspective on things certainly has you standing VERY close to that definition. IMO

I do not want to get into a p-contest with you over semantics or name calling. What others on this board have never accepted about me (and others) is that I’m actually interested in the true facts about these things and where they lead. FACTS being the important word. Not supposition, not speculation, not idle opinion.

We only know what has been reported about this incident. We know the specifics of what occurred. We know that the investigation has found that the personnel responsible for handling the weapons did not follow correct procedure. We know the air crew did not follow correct procedure. We know several careers have been ruined or severely damaged. Some may even face criminal charges.

IMO it points to a big time screw up. You’d have us believe its what – a big scare? Wouldn’t one or more of these people blow the whistle to save their butts?

The only things we have that point to some larger conspiracy are based on opinion, speculation and pre-conceived notions of who the “bad guy’s” are.

Reading between the lines of Evan’s last post I really have to wonder how many times the AF has had incidents where one or more of these mistakes were made but not all. For example, the armed missiles were placed on the aircraft but the flight crew noticed. We’ll probably never know. It may very well be that if we knew how many times, we might me supprised that this hadn't happened years ago.

Now, as others have said, and I agree, if credible evidence comes our way, we’ll gladly review it and adjust our conclusions accordingly.

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Too many "mistakes" occurred here to make the cover story at all believable. Add this to W's " WW 111" talk just a few days ago. There is a war between the neocons and our military. (imho)

Dawn

Dawn,

I agree that there is a serious dispute between the JCS/CENTCOM and the "Neocons," who want to continue the aggression into Iran, but there is no "cover story" for this incident, an accident, rather than a blown covert op.

Unless all the facts aren't in.

BK

Bill et al: Another opinion below.

Dawn

A response to the B-52 story found on www.timebomb2000.com

Having served in the U.S. Air Force during the mid to late seventies, I spent four years working on B-52H bombers at Grand Forks AFB, ND. I know from direct experience that their is no way in HELL, that nuclear weapons could ever be accidentally/mistakingly transported without 'hard' orders.

We use to routinely prep B-52H for sorties using conventional and nuclear ordinance. How did we know whether it was conventional or nuclear, because one was loaded with just the regular munitions crews, the other was loaded with an accompanying 'shot to kill' MP escort group. Security was probably greater than what one would expect at Fort Knox's.

I have every faith that these Air Force ground and flight crew knew exactly what these munitions were. I also believe that their is some serious discontent and mistrust by some military brass with regard to the Executive Branch of our government. Having talked about this very subject with several active duty military friends, the consensus among them is they no longer feel it is within their obligation to blindly follow orders. They believe - and rightfully so - that they are often used as 'sacrificially sheep' when something politically bad occurs.

Hence, it is no surprise that the ultimate plans for these knowingly loaded nukes was leaked. Unfortunately, many innocent and dedicated service members will and have become the scapegoats/sacrificial sheep for this executive branch order.

The positive message I get from this story and from my military friends is that for some of our honorable service members - country and their Constitutional oath to serve and defend America from enemies, foreign and domestic, still rings true. Not to mention their commitment in avoiding that historical warfare SIN, "I was just following orders ..."

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Having served in the U.S. Air Force during the mid to late seventies, I spent four years working on B-52H bombers at Grand Forks AFB, ND. I know from direct experience that their is no way in HELL, that nuclear weapons could ever be accidentally/mistakingly transported without 'hard' orders.

We use to routinely prep B-52H for sorties using conventional and nuclear ordinance. How did we know whether it was conventional or nuclear, because one was loaded with just the regular munitions crews, the other was loaded with an accompanying 'shot to kill' MP escort group. Security was probably greater than what one would expect at Fort Knox's.

This is what I would expect, and I consider the crux of the matter. As I said earlier, I would like to know about the storage procedures. If they THOUGHT they were conventional, then no-one would expect any increased security.

To the best of my knowledge the AGM-129 only carries a nuclear warhead when it is a 'warshot'; at all other times it would purely be a training (dummy) load. Expecting to have a training load fitted for a routine proficiency sortie, no-one would have given it a second thought... except that it appears that checking the warhead status (live / inert) was supposed to be part of the loading / preflight checks and was never carried out.

If more people with direct experience can confirm that special weapons were not to be stored with conventional weapons, then we can ask more questions.

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3. Finally, we are reduced to taking the bad guys' word for snafu. Yes, screw-ups happen. But yet again I'll ask if the excuse that multiple redundant safety measures simultaneously failing passes the laugh test.

I don't think the multiple safety measures all failed simultaneously. That, to me, implies that this was the first time they all failed. I think many of the safety measures had been failing for quite some time. This is just the first time that the failures resulted in an incident like this.

I think this quote from Steve Ulman sums up how I envision this happening.

Reading between the lines of Evan’s last post I really have to wonder how many times the AF has had incidents where one or more of these mistakes were made but not all. For example, the armed missiles were placed on the aircraft but the flight crew noticed. We’ll probably never know. It may very well be that if we knew how many times, we might me supprised that this hadn't happened years ago.
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While doing some more reading on this I came upon this Washington Post article. Probably the one Bill was referring to.

It addresses several of the questions raised here.

1 – By normal AF procedure the un-armed missiles we not supposed to be stored in the same place as the armed ones. For some reason, this was not being done at Minot. (In my opinion, this is probably the biggest single factor involved in the screw-up)

2 – When the tech’s remove the actual warheads from the missiles, they replace it with an inert mass equal to that of the warhead so that the missile will hang on the pylon correctly. Therefore, the pilots would have no clue as to the missiles contents’ based on flight characteristics.

3- Because they were supposed to be transporting inert missiles, the normal nuke security protocols are deemed not necessary.

4 – They had already transferred more than 200 missiles to Barksdale and knew the drill by heart. This explains “Why Barksdale?” IMO, this also starts to explain some of the lapses that day – ‘Checklists, We don’t need no stinking checklists! We’ve made over 16 of these flights and we KNOW what we’re doing’

Also, in reading about the W80 warhead, I believe Charles is correct about the flight crew having the capability to know if the missiles were actually armed with the warheads. The W80 is a “variable-yield” device, with a yield that can be set in a range between 5 and 150kT. This yield setting can be made in-flight, therefore the flight crew must be able to communicate with the warhead and I would imagine there are obvious indicators when the communications link is working or not working. However, I doubt very much if the flight crew would even turn on the equipment necessary to arm the warheads seeing as though they thought they were carrying inert missiles. Therefore, there wouldn’t have been an indication one way or another.

Questions I have that might also address the above - If they were carrying inert missiles, would the crews even have bothered to connect the missile’s avionics cables to the pylon? The pylon’s avionics cables to the plane?

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

All sarcasm and vitriol aside, I most sincerely wish to impress upon one and all that an event such as this MUST immediately activate our own hard-earned, multi-layered warning systems.

Under these and similar circumstances, I would argue, the only sane and defensible interpretation of events MUST be guilty until proven innocent.

Consider it to be a post-Dealey Plaza survival skill.

Charles

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

All sarcasm and vitriol aside, I most sincerely wish to impress upon one and all that an event such as this MUST immediately activate our own hard-earned, multi-layered warning systems.

Under these and similar circumstances, I would argue, the only sane and defensible interpretation of events MUST be guilty until proven innocent.

Consider it to be a post-Dealey Plaza survival skill.

Charles

Exactly Charles! But, those who see things from the opposite side of the Alice In Wonderland mirrors and smoke will not understand that, at all!

There were just too many errors in a row to take a face value so easily...the hallmark of a covert operation! Any one, maybe....but the whole row...it then is like Dallas, or 911 and not believable anymore, until someone can explain how something with a statistical chance of one in million can happen.

-The nukes and non-nuke missles were NOT to be stored together.

-There were different colored nosecones on the two different types!

- There is an inspection window in the real [nuked] nosecones.

- They apparently only checked one side of the plane...certainly not proceedure.

- We don't know all the details, but I'll bet they were supposed to sign off on things every step of the way, and every step of the way things were going strange.

-We are talking about the most deadly weapons of mass destruction that somehow went astray...the 'excused' that they were still guarded is a joke....

-Add to it that the base they went to is the staging ground for things going to the Middle East.

There were probably many more steps involved....the pilots signing off and other signing off falsely on their deadly shipment.

Exactly, those of us who know what happened in Dallas and how we were lied to from the top, know not to take a quickie investigation or a few people slapped on the hands explains things.....

I can certainly understand why some might want to go the road of "guilty until proven innocent" - sometimes it can be correct. But that's not the way I think about these things - nor do I think it is the proper way to go - I guess we'll have to disagree on that one Charles.

Oh and by the way, I don't start by thinking "innocent until proven guilty" either - I generally start at the beginning without a pre-conceived notion of"guilt" or "innocence" (in this case true/false) and start weighing the facts. After weighing the facts I make my decision regarding the subject.

However, sometime people state things as facts that are not facts - for example in Peter's post:

-The nukes and non-nuke missles were NOT to be stored together. FALSE

-There were different colored nosecones on the two different types! FALSE

- There is an inspection window in the real [nuked] nosecones. TRUE

- They apparently only checked one side of the plane...certainly not procedure.TRUE

- We don't know all the details, but I'll bet they were supposed to sign off on things every step of the way, and every step of the way things were going strange.TRUE

-We are talking about the most deadly weapons of mass destruction that somehow went astray...the 'excused' that they were still guarded is a joke....I agree. Although, IMO some of the chemical /bio weaponry is more deadly - certainly more horrifying.

-Add to it that the base they went to is the staging ground for things going to the Middle East. So what? So are many other bases. Barksdale is also the designated base for the decommissioning of the AGM-129 cruise missile - Now if they had been flown someplace else you'd have my attention.

(Peter- Please read the WP article I linked to so that you can understand my selection of true/false)

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....Under these and similar circumstances, I would argue, the only sane and defensible interpretation of events MUST be guilty until proven innocent.
There were just too many errors in a row to take a face value so easily...the hallmark of a covert operation! Any one, maybe....but the whole row...it then is like Dallas, or 911 and not believable anymore, until someone can explain how something with a statistical chance of one in million can happen.

Maybe its just another stack of Swiss cheese where the holes line up. A really big stack.

American citizens are always reduced to speculating about these types of things. They are never given all the facts.

National security.

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