1958 Mars Bluff Nuclear Bomb Incident

In 2003 Walter Gregg, then 82, said "Not too many people can say they've had a nuclear bomb dropped on them. Not too many would want to." The 1958 Mars Bluff nuclear weapon incident deserves to be remembered.

This is original content based on research by The History Guy. Images in the Public Domain are carefully selected and provide illustration. As very few images of the actual event are available in the Public Domain, images of similar objects and events are used for illustration.

You can purchase the bow tie worn in this episode at The Tie Bar:

All events are portrayed in historical context and for educational purposes. No images or content are primarily intended to shock and disgust. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Non censuram.

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Script by THG

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  • Thank God Mitzi was fine 😂

    GrumpyCatKingGrumpyCatKing3 өдрийн өмнө
    • Yes, we were all relieved to hear it.

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered3 өдрийн өмнө
  • I have to wonder just how much damage would have occurred to that area if the bomb was active. Talk about loosing your shit !

    Packrat’s What If.Packrat’s What If.9 өдрийн өмнө
  • When you said "The nuclear core was carried separate from the weapon", I thought you meant the neutron source that the Plutonium would be imploded around. Couldn't understand why there was no radiation afterwards, then finally realized that the 'core' contained both the plutonium and the neutron source. At least they designed that right. Being the navigator was not a job with a high life expectancy even when not crawling around in the bomb bay without a parachute. Sitting in the nose, the navigator ejected downwards (used in at least two jets - B-47, and F-104.) In the event of a problem at low altitudes, the chances of the navigator ejecting and surviving were lower than the pilot and copilot who ejected upwards.

    jfan4revajfan4reva9 өдрийн өмнө
  • *Great coverage of the event, as usual. Sad to hear our Government, even back in those days were so callous as to not reimburse the Gregg's for their house,, barn and livestock, should have made 100% restitution*

    Gailm RutlandGailm Rutland11 өдрийн өмнө
  • 12:21 I can't believe the air force was so cheap they didn't compensate the home owner properly for his loss.

    im1who84uim1who84u11 өдрийн өмнө
  • The crew later became politicians

    Robert StackRobert Stack13 өдрийн өмнө
  • Usually you are so thorough, but the black/white film snippets have incorrect aspect ratio.

    Peter LarsenPeter Larsen14 өдрийн өмнө
  • Think back to Slim Pickens last scene in Dr. Strangelove. Yee-ha!!!

    Robert QuebergRobert Queberg14 өдрийн өмнө
  • America we are bored there is no one to fight anymore, I know we will bomb ourselves.

    Janet MernerJanet Merner14 өдрийн өмнө
  • Great story but why no mention of the nuclear material decontamination? Presumably plutonium? Vaporised by the high explosive? Maybe not an issue in the 50s but a horrific question now. Where did it go?

    Chris NashChris Nash15 өдрийн өмнө
  • I live about 20 miles NW of Columbia, SC, and when I go to North Myrtle Beach I drive thru Mars Bluff to US 301. This story is still told like it happened yesterday.

    Mike RichardsonMike Richardson16 өдрийн өмнө
  • Just another case that shows you can never trust the US government (as if one were needed). Love my country, fear my government.

    M.F.M.M.F.M.17 өдрийн өмнө
  • For their is no condonation who loves the Lord...🤔just know the Truth ...you will not Diss me Again passive oh yeah and Stupid🦁🇱🇷 bet kindness for weekends 🎻 long Done

    Diddle HaleDiddle Hale20 өдрийн өмнө
  • Have you done a video on the bomb drop that happened near Goldsboro NC ? I have been near where that one was lost. Great video you've made

    Daniel MitchellDaniel Mitchell20 өдрийн өмнө
  • Funny. Condemnation. From Russia. Who later exploded a bomb meant to be 2 times as powerful and still rocked houses hundreds of miles away.

    Justin DoughertyJustin Dougherty21 өдрийн өмнө
  • Sounds like a bad design inside of a bad design along with bad training.

    Norcanex S.G. LLC.Norcanex S.G. LLC.25 өдрийн өмнө
  • Problem Solving 101: If at first it doesn't work, use a bigger hammer.

    Steven WeaverSteven Weaver27 өдрийн өмнө
  • BOJ building, Hiroshima. 13,600 metric tons TNT. 770 meters direct line distance. Sadovsky's formula gives us .73 Atm. overpressure, or 10.84 psi. That building should not exist. You been had.

    Club ProjectsClub Projects28 өдрийн өмнө
  • I could wish the Big They took better care of their bombs. Anyway I have an idea for a show. Yorke Island BC. The site of a WW2 gun emplacement. 3 big artillery pieces were manned at that time taking the very reasonable precaution of guarding the strait. It has a look that is perhaps ahead of its time. It looks very much like cold war bunkers I have seen on other videos. After WW2, There was of course over 40 years heavy business in submarines. That narrow part of the strait was undoubtably tricky to navigate. As a child, I actually saw a submarine heading northwest in that direction. I think it reasonable that it was not rare that this happened. In fact a common strategic thing to do. It stands to reason a base for both monitoring foreign navy activity and having a place for our own ships and submarines to go quickly in the event of a problem at that latitude might have been thought useful. At least for a while. Anyway I never heard of it. Not a word. Not WW2 stuff or anything but a simple story of caretakers. It could be just my imagination but the look of those structures and the large underground rooms is eerie. mnthe.info/bill/video/kaqbmmq2qId3jYA

    Jeff OlstadJeff Olstad28 өдрийн өмнө
  • First time viewer. Really enjoying the "Just the facts" delivery.

    Johnny NimbleJohnny NimbleСарын өмнө
  • The USAF quotations are absolute gold! "Jiggling with a hammer" - Ground crew speech for beating the daylights out of it with the biggest hammer/sledge in the back shop. "Lost a device" - Aircrew speech for accidental dropping of an unarmed nuclear weapon.... Absolute gold!

    David BergerDavid BergerСарын өмнө
  • That is galling in the extreme; The fact the United States Air Force would not properly reimburse those folks after they dropped an atom bomb on their house 💥🏠

    Gary WGary WСарын өмнө
  • Good thing the bombardier was not wearing a cowboy hat, like Major Kong in Dr. Strangelove (1964). The whole thing might have turned out different! As far as compensation is concerned: The U.S. government acts, as if it were their own money. But it is "we, the people" who pay for it all, and when we get damaged, we deserve to be compensated. I saw this several time in Germany, where U.S.Army convoys frequently damaged private property and destroyed many invaluable historic buildings. The Army practically never paid, and insisted that the German government paid for everything. I know that, because I was a manoeuvre damage control representative in the 1980s. I never got promoted, because they did not like my attitude of he who breaks it should pay for it! So, they screw it all up, and leave everybody else with the bills!

    Owen LaPrathOwen LaPrathСарын өмнө
  • Lol this guy is giving me Aquarius Vibes! Sitting there in a dinner jacket and bowtie. I love it

    Spookay It's MeSpookay It's MeСарын өмнө
  • Sad I missed this when it came out but I lived in Florence SC for a few years and there are a few clubs and civic groups that make reference to the incident. The largest is the Atomic Mountain Bike Club and both local breweries have an Atomic or Mars Bluff beer on occasion. Thank you for the video.

    S SquaredS SquaredСарын өмнө
  • What happened to the plutonium core,? It should of been dispersed but the detonation. Maybe still buried in the crater.

    Roxanna MasonRoxanna MasonСарын өмнө
  • The Air Force did it again in 1961 when a B-52 came apart over Faro, NC releasing two Mark 39 H-Bombs (3-4 Megaton). Three members of the aircrew died in the accident, but five managed to eject and parachute to safety. The site is about 10 miles NE of Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, NC. One of the bombs was recovered more or less intact, but the parachute on the second one, intended to slow the bomb's descent so that the aircraft would have time to fly away if it was ever dropped with intent, failed and it buried itself between 20 feet (tail) & 180 feet (thermonuclear, i.e. fusion secondary). Although the safety interlocks apparently failed on that weapon so that it had armed, impact at an estimated 700mph was enough to rapidly disassemble the weapon before its conventional explosive charge could detonate thus preventing an actual nuclear explosion. The fusion secondary was never recovered, although the Plutonium core, the "pit" that is the heart of a nuclear weapon, WAS recovered. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1961_Goldsboro_B-52_crash

    John SessomsJohn SessomsСарын өмнө
  • It IS amazing that nobody was killed: a bomb carrying several hundred pounds of explosives lands only a few score yards from a house and no deaths is miraculous.

    Hornet ScalesHornet ScalesСарын өмнө
  • Damn! I am So glad that I chose Uncle Sam's Misguided Children.

    human cattoyhuman cattoyСарын өмнө
  • All history should be remembered, that's how we learn

    aviatom1aviatom1Сарын өмнө
  • I love learning this kind of stuff. Thanks!!

    Rico CantrellRico CantrellСарын өмнө
  • Locking pin seating appliance. “Bigger Hammer!”

    Wanda PeaseWanda PeaseСарын өмнө
  • That House needs a Blue plaque on the front we do this in the UK if some one famous or important has happened in that house it's only an idea

    Blue PhoneBlue PhoneСарын өмнө
  • I know a lot of real stories in a foreign country I live on as today, they know I know and they're always watching over me. One day I will tell the truth, so help me God!

  • “Hot, air-fried chicken for everybody!!”

    mebeingU2mebeingU2Сарын өмнө
  • And then, Damascus, Arkansas, 1980. Not much difference, except that fiasco happened in a missile silo and involved a socket. It was bigger than the 10mm socket that vanished someplace in your garage and you still haven't found, but still...

    artistmacartistmacСарын өмнө
  • One reason the B-47 had to be able to jettison the bomb was that it had no way to jettison fuel if an engine failed. Later jets were built with the ability to do that. Most recent commercial jets can land fully loaded, sparing them the necessity of jettisoning fuel. But they require a detailed inspection of the landing gear before they can fly again.

    Michael W. PerryMichael W. PerryСарын өмнө
  • One would have expected the Government would have been glad to up grade his home .

    O DO DСарын өмнө
  • One minor change, USAF didn't design or change any nuclear weapons. Lanl and LLNL did the changes.

    Dave GoldsteinDave GoldsteinСарын өмнө
  • Not a hammer it's a forcing tool. That's how you always work on nuclear weapons.

    Gary AckerGary AckerСарын өмнө
  • B47 looks like a shark from front...

    vintagevmaxvintagevmaxСарын өмнө
  • The Government: “It was just an accident. Get over it. You weren’t hurt......that bad.” 👍👍👍

    Roy RiceRoy RiceСарын өмнө
  • Fascinating no one was hurt ,thank God ! Didn't know the specific details of this incident until now. . WOW

    Felipe GamboaFelipe GamboaСарын өмнө
  • Interesting, my Mother as well as my Uncle both worked at the Clinton works in Oak Ridge where the " Gadgets " were made for Nagasaki & Hiroshoma... I find these early nuke stories fascinating.....

    Eskimo MosulEskimo MosulСарын өмнө
  • Of course the government pilfers billions from people in the form of taxes and then use it to build more military hardware than we need and when they fuck up and destroy a working man's house, they don't fully cover the cost to rebuild it! This is the madness that is running our government today folks! Trump used our jet to fly to his golf courses whenever he wanted when it cost millions or the taxpayers hard earned money. It would have been cheaper for the government to build a golf course nearby for Trump to use. So why is the working man so patriotic in this country? I'm not sure he is anymore!

    earthstewardudeearthstewardudeСарын өмнө
  • I personally blame Zuckerberg for blowing up Washington DC.

    Fred FlintstoneFred FlintstoneСарын өмнө
  • It's 100 seconds to midnight. When the nukes fly it will probably be by accident. I wonder if only one goes off if that will be enough to domino a nuclear war. I hope not.

    rand mayfieldrand mayfieldСарын өмнө
  • It's a miracle that we're still alive today considering the major fowl ups in the past.

    Josh RandleJosh RandleСарын өмнө
  • I'm a huge fan of this channel. This is fascinating stuff.

    Adventure SeekerAdventure SeekerСарын өмнө
  • Yep. The world is riddled with broken arrows. :-/

    AntisodaAntisodaСарын өмнө
  • They sued the federal government and received $54,000 ,the equivalent of about half a million today dollars.

    Brian WBrian WСарын өмнө
  • It must be hard to be a patriotic American when you hear about the Air Force dropping a bomb on a poor farmers home - and they’re too cheap to just pay the guy what they owe him. No doubt the whole thing would have been covered up, if they hadn’t been too incompetent to even do that.

    Gillian MiddletonGillian MiddletonСарын өмнө
  • Good thing this happened back in the day when ppl didn't solely exist indoors lol

    Fred KrazéFred KrazéСарын өмнө
  • I went to Wallace Greg Elementary School (K-3) and Mars Bluff Elementary school (4th-6th gr) in the 70's and heard about the incident but never knew the whole story. I now wonder if Wallace Gregg was Walter Greg's relative...

    Wayne IngramWayne IngramСарын өмнө
  • Seems like if you bomb a person's house and family that handing them a signed blank check is the only proper thing to do. That's part of the reason lawsuits are so crazy today. In a truly civilized society they wouldn't be necessary at all.

    bo dukebo dukeСарын өмнө
  • I hope these Air Force numbskulls were appropriately pilloried for this. Knowing the repression of the American HUAC Era, I'm guessing they weren't.

    yoinkhahayoinkhahaСарын өмнө
  • imagine a 7600 lbs atomic nuclear bomb gets dropped onto your home in south carolina while you were in the garage and your wife was near the impact of the bomb, injuring her and your child with a gash above her eye while building a mini kitchen with bricks and getting paid 56000$ us dollars in compensation

  • WOW Did you know I was born March 11 1959?1year after that happened that's good to hear. Thanks

    TIM WilliamsTIM Williams2 сарын өмнө
  • The guberment is like a condom gives you feeling of security whilst screwing you

    John ThompsonJohn Thompson2 сарын өмнө
  • Sleep well we're protecting the sky's....guberment

    John ThompsonJohn Thompson2 сарын өмнө
  • Everyone was so lucky no one was seriously injured or killed.

    Rabbi ShecklesgoldbergsteinRabbi Shecklesgoldbergstein2 сарын өмнө
  • Didn’t the USAF drop a bomb somewhere in Spain?

    Daryl CheshireDaryl Cheshire2 сарын өмнө
    • The Palomares incident. mnthe.info/bill/video/saqrtXfQd2pnp28

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered2 сарын өмнө
  • Real news.

    M ChopinM Chopin2 сарын өмнө
  • What about radioactive materials and dust? Didn't that get scattered around the site?

    Steve SloanSteve Sloan2 сарын өмнө
  • Ah, yes. The Smiling "B." Less well known as a telefunkin' B47.

    Steve SloanSteve Sloan2 сарын өмнө
  • I have a great fundraising idea... The tickets are 20$ a pop... Winner gets this guy to host a 3 hour birthday party at their house...🤗

    Brian JonesBrian Jones2 сарын өмнө
  • Just went and looked at the picture of the crater. How nice of the air force to dig that sweet family a small pond in their yard. In hindsight I was about 40 miles away from Elgin when they tested the MOAB and it shook the whole damn building.

    Michael SzczekotMichael Szczekot2 сарын өмнө
  • One does wonder why they never made full size mock up no bombs as with other ammo for training purposes. Knowing the Gov as I do I can hear the little birds singing , “CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP”. I once narrowly avoided having an M1D sniper rifle blow up in my face in the mid 70s. The cause, 1950 match ( uncrimped ) rounds. They were so old and handled so much that the bullets would occasionally pop off in the arms room. Rather than dispose of them they would scoop the powder back in and reseat the bullet. That’s likely where the half bang and bullet lodged just ahead of the chamber came from. Last round in the clip too and the clip didn’t hop up all the way free. Another 1/8” and the next round would have fully chambered and I’d have caught a face full of blown receiver made worse by the fact I shoot left handed. All that because they were using 26 YO ammo totally wrong for it’s intended purpose. The army has hundreds of real sniper rifles , Winchester Model 70s but we got 1940s M1 Garands rob ably because they had them on site in storage , duhhh. The gun had a 4x Weaver on a side mount so poor that I swore if I had to actually use it I’d go with the peep sight. A totally awful rifle for a sniper on a Special Recovery Team like SWAT guarding real nuclear warheads. So many things were like that in the late mid 1970s I made me wonder how messy everything else was in other areas. I think when Reagan came on board things straightened up considerably from what I heard later on.

    Merlin CatMerlin Cat2 сарын өмнө
  • They used to discourage the words “SPECIAL or DEVICE” in radio communications.

    Merlin CatMerlin Cat2 сарын өмнө
  • Someone wants to look like bill nye the science guy...

    FUBAR MOFOFUBAR MOFO2 сарын өмнө
  • I feel sorry for anyone involved with these weapons ,esp.killing people..

    Stan KeeblerStan Keebler2 сарын өмнө
  • Driving back from the 2017 eclipse I passed a history marker sign at the site of the incident. Having never heard of it and being a nerd about nuclear weapons I immediately googled it. Good thing it’s plutonium pit wasn’t emplaned! The Goldsboro NC nuclear incident is even scarier. It did have its plutonium pit installed but was never found. The government just bought the land and put a fence around it. The plutonium pit is still there to this day.

    Chris BarthChris Barth2 сарын өмнө
  • what happenend to the 75 that was behind you, i am curious

    Terry JohnsonTerry Johnson2 сарын өмнө
  • Well, at least the atomic core wasn't in the bomb.

    WitchidWitchidWitchidWitchid2 сарын өмнө
  • "What did you do in the Air Force, grandpa?" "I dropped a nuke on a house in South Carolina by accident."

    Mark MMark M2 сарын өмнө
  • The Airforce is cheap.....couldn't even pay the man of damages to his property? Low life behavior!!!

    Thommy SidesThommy Sides2 сарын өмнө
  • You know it's a bad day when........

    NBT 3NBT 32 сарын өмнө
  • When it comes to veterans and civilians the military spend more money on its "enemies"

    Kevin GuthrieKevin Guthrie2 сарын өмнө
  • That's when ya crawl out from the Fall Out and praise Atom your ass ain't vaporized. ☢️

    B FUB FU2 сарын өмнө
  • Great story. Thank you.

    William R GutrichWilliam R Gutrich2 сарын өмнө
  • Idaho Falls, SL1 nuclear accident deserves to be covered. My uncle, Ed Velario worked there when the incident occurred. If you visit the site today no mention is made of the first nuclear accident in the United States, but its impact on safety in the airline and medical community is still being felt. Please consider covering. Thanks, Toby Free.

    ferree1709ferree17092 сарын өмнө
  • Very good video. Great narration. You sound like a young andy rooney. Same pace and tone.

    bill dbill d2 сарын өмнө
  • The festive deposit ectrodactyly colour because tablecloth admittedly undress alongside a thoughtful castanet. melted, painful avenue

    emily wttemily wtt3 сарын өмнө
  • The b 47 was a hot bomber and accidents and fatalities were well documented. On October 9 1957 col michael McCoy lost control of his b47 bomber over Orlando, my home town, crashing near the corner of Lee road and Orange Blossom Trail. He had >2200 hours of experience flying. Pine castle AFB was renamed McCoy AFB and later Orlando international(MCO)

    Keith TaylorKeith Taylor3 сарын өмнө
  • Dude goes down to lock the bomb and grabs the emergency release. You just can't make this shit up. Who let Gomer Pyle on that damn flight crew?

    Bob WattersBob Watters3 сарын өмнө
  • Those bomb bay acrobatics remind me of the scene in "Dr Strangelove" when the B52 caommander goes down to release a bomb, except that in the movie its a live weapon and he is sat on it when it drops. Otherwise its in all respects the same. I have to believe Kubrick based that scene on this real incident and probably expected viewers of the time to know the case. It made a very much more powerful point to know that something like it actually did happen.

    alex spareonealex spareone3 сарын өмнө
  • "The bomb DID NOT have it's NUCLEAR core" so it was not a nuclear bomb. He says it in the video

    BanD1t SixxBanD1t Sixx3 сарын өмнө
  • Only govt is responsible enough to have guns. Rofl

    justgivemetheaccountjustgivemetheaccount3 сарын өмнө
  • It was aliens.👽

    Thɑт SpοkThɑт Spοk3 сарын өмнө
  • We bombed your house, Oops sorry.

    H PH P3 сарын өмнө
  • The accurate europe lamentably sail because booklet feraly tug from a absorbing alloy. petite, complex low

    Connor BirchConnor Birch3 сарын өмнө
  • "Simulated nuclear bombing over England" WTF? ??????

    Ronald VincentRonald Vincent3 сарын өмнө
  • Have you ever done a video on the The Church Rock uranium mill spill?

    Renshen1957Renshen19573 сарын өмнө
  • No picture of the crater? Then or now?

    James RogersJames Rogers3 сарын өмнө
  • The government at the very least could have given Walter Gregg a few of those seven thousand dollar hammers to compensate him for the loss of his house.

    Cher AmiCher Ami3 сарын өмнө
  • Dont like

    Enckidoo FallingEnckidoo Falling3 сарын өмнө
  • Did my like to he douche prager ad

    Enckidoo FallingEnckidoo Falling3 сарын өмнө
  • I have a blasting licence, we set off 20kg of ANFO as a surface charge strictly for a percussion test. We were standing around 400m (437yds) away. Standing far away you get experiences from the blast, you see it, you feel it through the ground and then you hear it. It was an obvious sensation through the ground and when the sound wave came it moved my hair and clothing and you can see the camera move back and forward as the wave past. This was 45lbs @ 437yds, and these people experienced 2000lbs @ within roughly 100yds. Not a pure percussion blast as the blast would of had some load blowing the bomb structure apart, but still, this would be such an aggressive assault on the senses, it's pretty much impossible to imagine.

    KingCosworthKingCosworth3 сарын өмнө
  • The Tybee Island bomb has never been found, I have heard ...

    Pierre DeCinePierre DeCine3 сарын өмнө
  • Very scary glad no one was seriously injured. Do you have an episode munitions accident near Walnut Creek?

    Bill PoulosBill Poulos3 сарын өмнө