Unearthed Relic: Cold War-Era Rocket, Once Armed with Nuclear Warhead, Discovered in Deceased Homeowner's Garage

Unearthed Relic: Cold War-Era Rocket, Once Armed with Nuclear Warhead, Discovered in Deceased Homeowner's Garage

  • 05.02.2024 23:43

In a surprising turn of events, a Cold War-era rocket with the potential to carry a nuclear warhead was unearthed in the garage of a recently deceased homeowner in Washington. The rusted and inactive missile triggered an immediate response from the local police bomb squad, summoned last Thursday to assess the situation. Fortunately, the experts swiftly confirmed that the remnants of the military-grade rocket were inert, posing no threat to the surrounding area.

According to Bellevue police, a neighbor revealed that the late homeowner had acquired the decommissioned equipment at an estate sale. The National Museum of the US Air Force in Ohio tipped off the authorities after the neighbor expressed interest in donating the rocket. Subsequent investigations identified the object as a Douglas AIR-2 Genie, an unguided air-to-air rocket designed to carry a 1.5-kiloton W25 warhead during the Cold War era.

Bomb squad members confirmed that the object was inert and contained no rocket fuel – essentially meaning that the item was an artifact with no explosive hazard," stated the Bellevue police. With the missile deemed non-operational and no interest from the military, the historical relic was left in the possession of the neighbor. Plans are underway to restore and display the unique piece in a museum.

The Douglas AIR-2 Genie, first tested in 1956 and deployed in 1957, gained notoriety with its inaugural and only live test, where it was fired from a fighter jet at 18,000 feet and detonated over Yucca Flats in Nevada. The rarity of this find left the local police department in Bellevue astonished, prompting them to share an image of the peculiar discovery on social media. In a light-hearted nod to Elton John's classic hit "Rocket Man," the department tweeted, "And we think it's gonna be a long, long time before we get another call like this again.

In a remarkable twist of history and technology, the discovery of the Cold War-era rocket in the garage of a deceased Washington homeowner has concluded with a mix of relief, fascination, and plans for preservation. The vigilant response of the local police bomb squad ensured public safety, swiftly confirming that the missile, once capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, was now inert and posed no danger.

The revelation of the rocket's origin as a Douglas AIR-2 Genie, an air-to-air missile with a W25 warhead, added a layer of historical significance to the find. With the military expressing no interest in reclaiming the relic, the responsibility for its future fell to the neighbor who plans to restore and display it in a museum.

As this unique chapter comes to a close, the rare artifact not only serves as a testament to Cold War military technology but also sparks curiosity about the era's innovations and the role such weapons played. The image of this unexpected discovery, shared by the Bellevue police on social media, serves as a reminder of the surprises that history occasionally unearths, leaving both authorities and the public with a tale to tell and a nod to the timeless lyrics of "Rocket Man.