Unearthing Cold War Secrets: The Inert Rocket Found in a Garage

An inert rocket, similar to those used during the Cold War to carry nuclear warheads, was discovered in the garage of a deceased resident in Bellevue, Washington.

The Bellevue police were alerted to the presence of the military-grade rocket by an Air Force museum in Dayton, Ohio, who had received an offer to donate the item. Bomb squad members examined the rocket, determined it posed no threat, and left it with a neighbor to be restored for display in a museum.

The Douglas AIR-2 Genie, previously known as the MB-1, is an unguided air-to-air rocket that was designed to carry a 1.5 kt W25 nuclear warhead. Although the rocket found in the Bellevue garage did not have a warhead attached or any rocket fuel, its historical significance was not diminished. The Air Force Armament Museum Foundation explains that the rocket was used by both the United States and Canada during the Cold War as a means to intercept Soviet strategic bombers. Interestingly, in July 1957, a Genie rocket was launched at an altitude of 18,000 feet from an F89J interceptor and detonated over Yucca Flats, Nevada, marking the first and only test detonation of a U.S. nuclear-tipped air-to-air rocket.

The Bellevue police acknowledged the uniqueness of the situation, humorously expressing that they believed it would be a long time before receiving another call of this nature. They concluded their statement on Twitter with a rocket emoji, highlighting the novelty and rarity of the discovery.

This incident serves as a reminder of the historical significance and the potential hazards associated with Cold War-era military technology. While the inert rocket found in the Bellevue garage posed no immediate threat, it is a testament to the advancements made in warfare during that period. It also raises questions about the potential dangers of keeping such items in private residences.

The fact that the rocket was purchased at an estate sale suggests that there may be other military artifacts and memorabilia scattered across the country, waiting to be discovered. It is crucial for institutions like museums and historical societies to actively seek out and properly handle these artifacts to preserve their historical value and ensure public safety.

In this particular case, the rocket will be restored and displayed in a museum, allowing visitors to learn about the Cold War era and the technological developments that occurred during that time. It serves as a tangible reminder of the tension and arms race between superpowers and the extraordinary engineering feats that were accomplished.

Through their careful handling of the situation, the Bellevue police have allowed this artifact to find its rightful place in history. As it stands, the rocket will continue to tell the story of the Cold War and the role played by air-to-air rockets in national defense. Despite the initial surprise and brief disruption caused by its discovery, the inert rocket in the Bellevue garage now serves as a valuable reminder of the past.

Posted in Crime & Law Tech & Science by Paul van der Maas

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