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The article should state why the accident was classified Top Secret until 1960. From whom was the US keeping the news? Comet Tuttle (talk) 20:03, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
IIRC Somewhere in the sources it is claimed that one reason was to prevent the Japanese learning of the invasion plans. And I guess, once something is classified, it stays so for a standard period of time. It does also say somewhere that more information was released after the attack. MickMacNee (talk) 22:02, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
The military has a long history of hushing up or suppressing details of events that could either a.) assist enemies from assessing combat results or b.) military systems development. Also, the effect on morale has sometimes been a consideration. If memory serves, the details of the airships Akron and Macon were not declassified until many decades after they had ceased to be viable weapon systems. Someone has to take the trouble to instigate for, and take responsibility for, the declassification process. In some cases, this does not happen for extended periods. And in some cases, it is a result of the brass simply trying to obscure their own culpability for poor decisions that could negatively reflect on their own careers.
Also, communities with large military presences and/or payrolls may be quietly complicit in NOT publicizing military developments and events that they may share some benefits from, even if they are locally known. My own research into military aircraft accidents has shown that the local press in northwest Florida ceased to mention any crashes from ~1943 until 1946, despite the large number of accidents that occurred at/around Eglin Field in that period. Also, outside of a single reference in Chuck Hansen's "The Swords of Armegeddon", quoting an item in the 7th Bomb Wing Association's History of the B-36 at Carswell Air Force Base, when a Carswell Peacemaker accidentally dropped an unarmed (non-fissile) obsolete nuclear gravity bomb in the summer of 1951 while on the IP to an Eglin water range due to a corroded D-2 bomb release switch, I have found NO local press account of the event, even though the HE in the weapon exploded over/on a non-target location. I know - I have looked - and it is NOT there. Mark Sublette (talk) 22:07, 23 April 2010 (UTC)Mark SubletteMark Sublette (talk) 22:07, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
A ludicrous assertion has been made in this article, and that is that the reason that the West Loch Disaster is not as famous as the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is that it was kept secret for so long. OOOOk. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in more than 2,000 deaths of American military personnel, for West Loch, 400 seems about tops. More than that, the attack on Pearl Harbor sank several important American Military Vessels, including at least one battleship. West Loch disaster, the craft destroyed were relatively lightly armed landing craft. More than that, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II, as Franklin D. Roosevelt stated, "this is a day that will live in infamy.
I'm going to fix it again. Don't change it back. Unless you have some legitimate counter arguments, of course. If so, reply here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 04:14, 24 April 2010
I really do very much encourage more commentary on this. Surely, some other editors must have a perspective about this. So please jump in. I'm open to all perspectives.Tesint (talk) 22:57, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
My perspective is that a) that it is sourced, b) that the assertion that it is not true is original research at best, pure POV at worst, c) I think it is wholly absurd that anybody could think that something being classified top secret for 15 years would not have an effect on how well known it was. It should be self-evident to anybody who has done any research on the topic, that the level of coverage out there is a fraction of what you would expect for a disaster of such magnitude, and d) it can maybe be reworded to more accurately reflect what the source(s) say, but other than that, it's staying - edit warring to remove it will not be tolerated, as should be clear by now with it being reinserted by multiple people. If the IP persists in screwing with the page, I'll simply request semi-protection, and/or a block of the IP for edit warring to remove sourced content. MickMacNee (talk) 23:13, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I have changed the wording so the secrecy is "in part" responsible for how little known the incident is compared to the other disaster. Obviously the secrecy is not the only reason for its lack of infamy DiannaaTALK 03:40, 28 April 2010 (UTC)