The U.S. government uses the phrase "broken arrow" to refer to an accident involving a nuclear weapon, and as Nuclear Rescue 911: Broken Arrows & Incidents makes chillingly clear, there have been many more such mishaps than the public realizes. Between 1950 and 1980, there were 32 accidents that involved a nuke, dire situations that featured crashing bombers, disappearing submarines, and even a deadly fiasco in Arkansas triggered when a hapless technician dropped a socket wrench down a missile silo. While some of these events were calamitous, none of them, thankfully, actually set off a nuclear explosion. This film, however, makes the point that some of these misfortunes came astonishingly close to wiping out millions of people. Using a combination of news footage and stock archival footage to portray real events, and a narration delivered by Adam West of Batman fame, the documentary is appropriately sober and tends not to be sensationalistic. Credibility is established by some interviews with participants in the various accidents, and a former Department of Energy spokesman appears throughout to provide details about particular events. An interesting DVD bonus item is an alarmingly upbeat 1950s vintage film short the U.S. Air Force made to showcase its safety procedures in handling nuclear weapons at the height of the cold war. -- Robert J. McNamara
Wait. We're making a mistake.
Giles? You have something you wish to share with us?
Yes. Aviation Week has been following the development of the B3 for years. They have "stringers" - guys camping out in lawn chairs all night by the Whiteman perimeter fence, watching just in case one of these things take off. There gonna know that one took off last night, and they're gonna know that it didn't come back. Now, we put out a press-release saying a C141 went down in Utah, they're going to put two and two together, Aviation Week is going to run a story, everyone's gonna know what really happened, and we're all going to look extremely stupid. We're better of telling the truth.
The truth? How did you get this job?
It's still my money.
And if we succeed, you and your associates will get a ton of it.
*IF* we're successful?
Look, Mr. Pritchett, I will deliver the weapons to the destination. But I can't depend and I can't guarantee that those assholes in Washington won't do something stupid like... not pay.
What if they don't?
Well, if they don't, the southwest will be a quiet neighbourhood for... about ten thousand years.