Talk:1968 Thule Air Base B-52 crash

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Alvin[edit]

The article states that DSV Alvin was involved in the search, but the article on that vessel makes no mention of this. Also the BBC articles on the incident contradict this statement by mentioning another submersible. Socrates2008 (Talk) 10:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Weapons Recovery[edit]

I cleaned up the article since info in the BBC article of 10 Nov 08 has no basis in fact. I will add specific references to documents later, but for starters all four weapons were destroyed on impact (USAF Nuclear Safety, Vol 1, June 1968). The nuke safety document details components recovered on the sea ice in great detail. Additionally, declassified documents and messages clearly show the location of weapon components on the sea bed (which match up with the location of debris on the sea ice). There is no missing weapon, since all four Mk28FI's were destroyed on impact. Items recovered included four boost reservoirs (which in themselves prove beyond a reasonable doubt that all four weapons were destroyed), one intact secondary, and parts equalling two secondaries. A portion of one weapon's case, which measured 1x3 feet was also located underwater near the area of 78252's reservoir, proving destruction of the "missing" weapon. It's very likely that additional parts have been recovered over the decades, but there is no documentation that has been declassified showing this. How anyone can claim that there is a missing nuclear bomb is absurd, to say the least. Silverplate463 (talk) 21:56, 11 November 2008 (UTC)Silverplate463

Something wrong with other language items?![edit]

Hello! I'm german and so is the language of my wiki. Within the other language menue appears in the german version links not to the versions of the B-52 crash but links to the other language:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Location_map%2B I don't know how to fix it! Please help! Arnold —Preceding unsigned comment added by Paule00 (talkcontribs) 01:31, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Tampers are natural uranium[edit]

Although I don't have primary sources for the statement that the lost item was the uranium tamper of a weapon, I inserted the word "natural" because many sources state that the uranium tampers in nuclear weapons, both primaries and secondaries, are made from natural (unenriched) uranium. They could even be made from depleted uranium. The important thing is that the tampers are not enriched in U-235 and so cannot sustain a chain reaction. Otherwise it might not be clear to the reader why the item was considered less sensitive. Karn (talk) 00:35, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your contributions here. The statement about the missing part(s) being a "tamper" is unreferenced, so there's a vital link missing in this logic/assumption. Secondly, the statement about what the tamper is made of is also unreferenced, and does not agree with the scientific data about how the different radioactive contaminants have decayed sinced the incident (i.e. uranium was not the only radioactive element present). Please add references for the above two points, otherwise these edits will need to be reverted to maintain the current GA status. Thank you. Socrates2008 (Talk) 06:19, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Further Reading[edit]

Added reference to military service of Oskins and Maggelet, who are retired Air Force nuclear weapons technicians with 35 years combined experience in the career field. They have extensive knowledge of the crash, the B28FI, and the cleanup (whereas the so-called military historians editing the page do not). ````Silverplate —Preceding unsigned comment added by Silverplate463 (talkcontribs) 02:04, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Reverted your change, because the note you added was unsourced and because the reference itself was rejected in the last FAC review as a self-published one that does not meet Wikipedia's verifiability criteria (this is why it's listed in the "Further reading" section rather than being used as a reference). Also, that source concurs with this article anyway - see here where it states that "No parts of the fourth secondary have been identified" Socrates2008 (Talk) 03:28, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Dead links[edit]

manifold link[edit]

Which is the better link, Manifold (disambiguation) or Manifold (automotive)? Both contain further links to inlet manifold and exhaust manifold. To my mind, the automotive page is off-topic and the general page covers everything that the automotive page covers. Regardless, both inlet manifold and exhaust manifold make no mention of jet engines, so perhaps a different link entirely is required. Also, is bleed air taken off the jet inlet manifold or the exhaust? I'd assume inlet (compressed gases get hot and don't have combustion products) but I don't know for sure. Thanks.  Stepho  talk  05:50, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Oops, found a partial answer minutes later :( Bleed air covers the details and would perhaps be a better link than any of the three automotive articles.  Stepho  talk  05:57, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

The original source does not mention the words "bleed air", so I believe it would be WP:OR to assume that it's the same thing, even though it may appear that way. Socrates2008 (Talk) 12:22, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
The source says at the bottom of page 5 (two pages before the map on page 6, each 'page' being two scanned sides of pages) "This drew hot air from the engine' manifold into the heating system. The temperature of the air bleeding off the manifold..." (emphasis mine). The bleed air article describes this process in a gas turbine engine. Manifold (automotive) leaves it to the reader to guess whether the inlet or exhaust manifold article is more appropriate - yet neither of the automotive manifold articles mention gas turbine engines, let alone their manifolds.  Stepho  talk  13:59, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
There are a number of different sources that vary slightly, but I think that one looks good enough so let's go ahead and change it. Socrates2008 (Talk) 08:30, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for changing that. I clicked on 'edit' just now and found that the link had been removed seconds before :)  Stepho  talk  08:56, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

"the secondary of one of the nuclear weapons"[edit]

This bit of jargon in the lead, "the secondary", is impossible to understand. It links to Teller–Ulam design#Basic principle, which doesn't clearly explain what a "secondary" is. Can somebody with a little domain knowledge please restate this in plain language? --beefyt (talk) 03:01, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Notes 5 says "The "primary" and "secondary" refer to parts of the weapon", while the Teller–Ulam design article has a nice picture, and a statement that says: "The basic principle of the Teller–Ulam configuration is the idea that different parts of a thermonuclear weapon can be chained together in "stages", with the detonation of each stage providing the energy to ignite the next stage. At a bare minimum, this implies a primary section which consists of a fission bomb (a "trigger"), and a secondary section which consists of fusion fuel." Socrates2008 (Talk) 11:35, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Andrewa (talk) 03:43, 23 January 2013 (UTC)


1968 Thule Air Base B-52 crashThule accident – Submitted on behalf of Socrates2008. For some odd reason, the bot didn't like the original request. Favonian (talk) 22:08, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Original request

There seems to be a precedent for naming this article the Thule accident rather than the default naming scheme of the aviation accident task force. Would like to invite other editors' opinion on this before the article is listed on the front page on 21 Jan. (e.g. 1 and 2) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Socrates2008 (talkcontribs) 10:55, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Oppose: The proposed title is so vague as to be meaningless. "Thule accident" could be about anything: someone slipping on ice and breaking a leg, for example. I can understand the desire to move away from the over-exact title we use at present, but there is no point going from one ridiculous extreme to the opposite ridiculous extreme. Would suggest 1968 Thule air crash or 1968 Thule nuclear accident would be preferable. Skinsmoke (talk) 01:54, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree with your sentiments about the "Thule Accident". The current name complies with the aviation task force naming std, so it's probably best to leave it as is. Thanks. Socrates2008 (Talk) 22:51, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment So long as there is no confusion, the shorter name is usually preferable. But whether the simple Thule accident redirects to he unintuitive 1968 Thule Air Base B-52 crash or the unnatural 1968 Thule Air Base B-52 crash redirects to the intuitive Thule accident isn't going to stop people from finding the article in the search box. I support the move, but it won't matter either way unless there's a second Thule accident article. μηδείς (talk) 08:28, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the current title is perfectly adequate. Mjroots (talk) 19:53, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Removed inflation calculation[edit]

Just wanted to leave a note here that I removed the inflation calculation of the 1995 50,000 Kroner compensation. The automatic calculation was set to use the inflation rate for the Deutschmark (DE), which is incorrect (should be DK). It was displaying an equivalent to 60,000 Kroner, when the Norges Bank calculator reports it as being closer to 70,000 Kroner today. Unfortunately, the inflation calculator template doesn't support the Kroner. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 03:04, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Socrates2008 (Talk) 06:44, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

WP:BOLDITIS[edit]

Can someone please kill the WP:BOLDITIS? WP:BOLDTITLE says not to force an article's title into the first sentence, and that's exactly what's been done here. The TFA blurb suffers from this as well, and I've posted at WP:ERRORS to get eyes on it there. I'm not sure what the best way to fix it here or there is, and really I have no specific preference on how it should be fixed; I just care that it is fixed. jcgoble3 (talk) 03:50, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Fair enough - how about this:
"On January 21, 1968, an aircraft accident (sometimes known as the Thule affair or Thule accident (pronounced /ˈtuːliː/ TOO-lee)) involving a United States Air Force (USAF) B-52 bomber occured near Thule Air Base in Greenland. The aircraft was carrying four hydrogen bombs on a Cold War "Chrome Dome" alert mission over Baffin Bay when a cabin fire forced the crew to abandon the aircraft before they could carry out an emergency landing at Thule Air Base. Six crew members ejected safely, but one who did not have an ejection seat was killed while trying to bail out. The bomber crashed onto sea ice in North Star Bay,[a] causing the nuclear payload to rupture and disperse, which resulted in localised radioactive contamination." Socrates2008 (Talk) 07:17, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
I most strongly agree and have made the suggested change to the first sentence. Given I had added mention of the conventional explosion I left the latter sentences as they were. μηδείς (talk) 07:42, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Looks much better. Thanks. jcgoble3 (talk) 20:57, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Nuclear disaster?[edit]

Why are we quoting sources calling this a "nuclear disaster"? There was no nuclear reactor, nuclear explosion, or nuclear reaction involved. Radioactive spill might be justified. The source we are quoting is just an on-line "12 worst" photo gallery of the "celebrity-then-and-now" type. μηδείς (talk) 06:31, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

I have removed this claim--regardless of the inaccurate terminology, the source is not even an article and has no author. We can certainly restore a similar claim about it being a radioactive accident if we have a better source. We should probably also mention the conventional explosives detonation in the lead. μηδείς (talk) 07:08, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
General Hunziker called this a "major disaster", USAF "disaster control" teams were sent to the site, and some academic papers on the subject use the phrase "Thule disaster", so there is certainly precedent for calling this a disaster. Would it have been a "disaster" without the nuclear weapons? Socrates2008 (Talk) 08:01, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Oh, I am all in favor of calling it a disaster, just not a "nuclear disaster" since that implies some sort of nuclear reaction, a nuclear explosion, meltdown, criticallity, or so forth, which simply didn't happen here. "Weapons disaster" or "disastrous radioactive accident" or something like that would be great. Rhetorically, ending the lead section mentioning it was considered a major disaster (something like, one of the greatest radioactive disasters hidden from the public) is desirable. But it's simply false to call it a nuclear disaster. μηδείς (talk) 08:13, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I can't take the credit - and it's been in there since before the FAC review, so there have been lots of eyes on this. Ah, well. Socrates2008 (Talk) 10:11, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

N-1 ejection seats?[edit]

Was it normal that all the crew had an ejection seat apart from one, the co-pilot? At the moment the article just lets this go past without comment and in the context of this story it seems remarkable, and sad. It would be interesting to know if this was how the aircraft in general was designed, or was it a problem with this particular one, or a subtytpe, or something. Can anything be added to help with this, please? Thanks and best wishes DBaK (talk) 07:47, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

There was an extra pilot onboard for the long flight, who was in the co-pilot's seat at the time of the accident. Socrates2008 (Talk) 08:11, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! Would you please consider writing that up into the article somehow? Obviously I may have my priorities wrong but it was almost the first thing I asked myself about the incident. Thanks and best wishes DBaK (talk) 08:14, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
The new stuff on this is great, thank you. DBaK (talk) 08:58, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Thulegate[edit]

I am not disputing, Socrates, that the political scandal has been called Thulegate in the press. The claim's not been removed from the body. But the issue is one of encyclopedic usage. No one can dispute the usage or clarity of "political scandal". But literal-minded English-as-a-Second-Language speakers may find "Thulegate" quite opaque. Can you give some overriding reason why instead of plain language we should use journalese here? μηδείς (talk) 07:59, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Medeis here. It's fine that it explains in the text that it has been called Thulegate, though I doubt that this is the ONLY thing it has been called. "Political scandal" or even "Danish political scandal" would be a much better and clearer section head. I also feel that using the -gate tag in the section subhead makes us come over as a bit slick, lazy, and journalistic. "Thulegate" is good body copy but a bad section header. With best wishes to all DBaK (talk) 08:12, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
The term was coined in Denmark - not an English-as-a-first-language country - alluding to the Watergate scandal, and is infamous there under this name. Socrates2008 (Talk) 08:22, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough but why use it as a section head then have to explain it? That seems to lack clarity. If you call it "Danish political scandal" and then explain that in Denmark it was called Thulegate then you're getting the best of both worlds, with an instantly-clear section header followed by a record of the term used. But I am not ready for an actual fistfight over this! :) DBaK (talk) 08:29, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
You realize evidence from Danish makes it even less supportable, since this is the English Wikipedia? The major issue is that headers should be immediately clear to all readers, and Danes who speak English are not going to have a problem with "political scandal" (politisk skandale). We could even settle on "Thulegate" political scandal which makes evereything eminently clear. μηδείς (talk) 08:36, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Used the name as a hook in the article, as other terms like "Chrome Dome" and "Broken Arrow" are used similarly to try to draw people in. The suffix "-gate" was appears well established in the English language where it started, as well as here at Wikipedia. Socrates2008 (Talk) 09:03, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Request for earlier clarification of Greenland/Denmark[edit]

Another niggle, sorry. I will go and make tea in a moment and shut up! Might it be possible to get the fact that Greenland is a Danish territory earlier and more clearly into the article? At the moment it sort of slides in - in the lead we are one minute talking about Greenland and the next talking about the actions of the Danes. The fact of its status creeps in a bit apologetically waaaay down the page where it says "American and Danish officials (Greenland is a Danish territory) immediately launched ..." which feels a bit weak to me - I'd like it if we were quite upfront with this. Obviously if you know the story, or your geography, then it is less of a problem but I think many readers might be helped by our getting this over early, and clearly. What do you think? Cheers DBaK (talk) 08:25, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

OK now? Socrates2008 (Talk) 11:22, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Fine, thanks. I think that does it. I've taken out the lower one (in parentheses) now as it was just repeating the much-clearer lead. Cheers DBaK (talk) 11:32, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Definitely an improvement, I was going to request the same thing. Eight40 (talk) 14:40, 21 January 2013 (UTC)


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