KTTH OPINION

Suits: Is there a nuclear bomb in Bellevue? There’s not

Feb 5, 2024, 6:32 PM | Updated: Feb 6, 2024, 9:24 am

Bellevue rocket...

This missile was found in the garage of a deceased Bellevue resident. (Photo courtesy of the Bellevue Police Department)

(Photo courtesy of the Bellevue Police Department)

An inert rocket of the type used to carry a nuclear warhead was recently found in the garage of a home of a deceased resident in Bellevue, police said.

The Bellevue Police Department (BPD) responded last Thursday to a report of a military-grade rocket in the garage of a home. Police said an Air Force museum in Dayton, Ohio, had called Wednesday evening to report an offer to donate the item, which a neighbor said had been purchased at an estate sale.

Bomb squad members inspected the rusting object and found it was a Douglas AIR-2 Genie (previous designation MB-1), an unguided air-to-air rocket that is designed to carry a 1.5 kt W25 nuclear warhead. There was no warhead attached and there was no rocket fuel — “essentially meaning that the item was an artifact with no explosive hazard.”

“Well, it’s … by definition, by definition it’s not a rocket anymore anyway,” Bryan Suits said Monday on AM 770 KTTH.

According to the Air Force Armament Museum Foundation, the unguided air-to-air rocket was used by the U.S. and Canada during a period of the Cold War when interception of Soviet strategic bombers was a major military concern. In July 1957, a Genie was launched at 18,000 feet from an F89J interceptor and detonated over Yucca Flats, Nevada, the first and only test detonation of a U.S. nuclear-tipped air-to-air rocket.

“By the way, for the record, is there a nuclear bomb in Bellevue? There’s not,” Suits said.

More from Bellevue: Neighbor discovers military-grade rocket in man’s garage

The department noted in its Bellevue Beat Blog that since the item was inert and the military did not request it back, police left the item with the neighbor to be restored for display in a museum.

“And we think it’s gonna be a long, long time before we get another call like this again,” BPD wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

For more on the rocket, including Bryan discussing a bit of Cold War history and missiles’ past as valuable tax write-offs, head here or click below.

Contributing: The Associated Press; Bill Kaczaraba, Steve Coogan, MyNorthwest

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