US & Canada

Object found off British Columbia coast not missing nuke

'Lost nuke' bomb replica Image copyright Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada
Image caption 'Lost nuke' bomb replica

An object found off the coast of Canada which the military believed may have been a missing decommissioned nuclear weapon is actually just a piece of machinery.

The military investigated and found that it was not the missing weapon that disappeared in 1950.

The object was found in October by a diver searching for sea cucumbers near British Columbia.

Sean Smyrichinsky said he found a large metallic device shaped like "a bagel".

"I found something really weird, I think it's a UFO," he joked at the time.

A fellow diver suggested it could be the missing nuclear weapon that was lost when American B-36 Bomber 075 crashed in 1950.

He alerted the Canadian military, who said it may well be the missing bomb. The American military says the bomb was filled with lead, uranium and TNT but no plutonium, so it wasn't capable of a nuclear explosion.

On 22 November, the Royal Canadian Navy diverted HMCS Yellowknife to investigate, along with assistance from the diver.

After investigating the wreckage, the military determined that the object wasn't a bomb at all, just a piece of steel machinery.

"We are pleased that HMCS Yellowknife was able to locate the object and determine that the object was not an unexploded military munition," said Commander Michele Tessier in a statement.

Although the military and the diver both had reasons to believe the object was the missing nuke, aviation historian Dirk Septer was sceptical from the outset.

"It could be anything," Mr Septer said shortly after the discovery. "Whatever he found, it's not the nuke."

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