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10 Times The World Almost Ended

2. Broken Arrow

There was another nuclear "incident" that occurred in August of 1950 that may have had the potential to end the world. "Broken Arrow" refers to said incident, which happened during the Korean War. Basically, a B-29 headed for Guam crashed at an air base in California. This accident caused the detonation of tons of explosives -- 5,000 pounds of explosives to be exact. Nineteen people lost their lives on that day, but it could have been much worse. Had the B-29 been armed with its fissile capsule, an estimated 100,000 people may have died.

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1. Computer Chip Declares Nuclear War

A malfunctioning computer chip is to blame for the 1980 end of the world scare. The chip malfunctioned in computers belonging to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and freaked out the Air Force in doing so. The computers -- which normally read "o" -- read "2," and instilled fears of 220 incoming missiles. Although the United States was prepared with bombers ready to take off in a moment's notice, the chip simply needed to be replaced.

National Security Archive GWU

National Security Archive GWU


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