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Check Six – 1961: Remembering the night two atomic bombs fell – on North Carolina

February 6, 2021
US Air Force photograph

From the National Geographic website

Sixty years ago, at the height of the Cold War, a B-52 bomber disintegrated over a small Southern town. An eyewitness recalls what happened next.

Billy Reeves remembers that night in January 1961 as unseasonably warm, even for North Carolina. But it got a lot hotter just before midnight, when the walls of his room began glowing red with a strange light streaming through his window.

“I was just getting ready for bed,” Reeves says, “and all of a sudden I’m thinking, ‘What in the world…?'”

The 17-year-old ran out to the porch of his family’s farm house just in time to see a flaming B-52 bomber—one wing missing, fiery debris rocketing off in all directions—plunge from the sky and plow into a field barely a quarter-mile away.

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