By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux,
updated 7:58 PM EDT, Thu June 12, 2014
-- On a January night in 1961, a U.S. Air Force bomber broke in half while flying over eastern North Carolina. From the belly of the B-52 fell two bombs -- two nuclear
bombs that hit the ground near the city of Goldsboro.
A disaster worse than the devastation wrought in Hiroshima and Nagasaki could have befallen the United States that night. But it didn't, thanks to a series of fortunate missteps.
Declassified documents that the National Security Archive released this week
offered new details about the incident. The blaring headline read
: "Multi-Megaton Bomb Was Virtually 'Armed' When It Crashed to Earth."