22 October 1969, Guardian: Sandia National Laboratories: Goldsboro Revisited, or How I Learned to Mistrust the H-Bomb (PDF)

20 September 2013

Goldsboro revisited: account of hydrogen bomb near-disaster over North Carolina -- declassified document

This document was written on 22 October 1969 by Parker F Jones, the supervisor of the nuclear weapons safety department at Sandia national laboratories. The document has recently been declassified having been acquired under freedom of information provisions by the investigative reporter Eric Schlosser for his new book Command and Control. It is published here for the first time.

In the document, Jones gives his response to a passage in a book by Dr Ralph Lapp, a physicist involved in the Manhattan Project that developed the first nuclear bombs, that describes the accident in 1961 in which two hydrogen bombs were dropped inadvertently over North Carolina. An extract of Lapp's book is reprinted on the left hand column of the first page of this document, and Jones's expert response is printed on the right hand column.

The second page of the document is all in Jones's words, giving his expert opinion on the serious nature of the accident and how close America came to catastrophe.