Object found off B.C. coast thought to possibly be lost atomic bomb identified as harmless steel

A metallic object discovered underwater off the coast of British Columbia and suspected of being a U.S. bomb has now been as an industrial hunk of steel.

The Royal Navy used an to check out the object, sitting on the in about eight of water south of Prince Rupert.

Cmdr. Stephan Gresmak said specialists determined the object was not an unexploded munition. “It was safe and there was no danger,” said Gresmak who is with Joint Task Force Pacific.

“It was determined to be a metal part of a larger machine assembly and appears to be a piece of industrial equipment,” the Canadian Forces noted in a news release.

There was speculation the object, found by a scuba diver was either a Mark IV atomic bomb or part of the device lost in 1950. The warhead, which did not contain radioactive material, was jettisoned from a U.S. Air Force B-36 bomber after the plane caught fire.

The bomber crew parachuted from the burning aircraft; five were reported dead and 12 were rescued. The wreckage of the plane was later found on Mount Kologet in the BC interior, about 300 km northeast of where the crew bailed out.

The U.S. military later sent a team to recover equipment from the plane but the whereabouts of the atomic bomb has been the source of intense speculation and various theories over the decades.

Earlier this month scuba diver Sean told the Vancouver Sun he recently discovered what he believed was part of the missing bomb. “I found this big thing underwater, huge, never seen anything like it before,” said. “I came up telling all my buddies on the boat ‘Hey, I found a UFO. It’s really bizarre.’ And I drew a picture of it, because I have a camera.”

A couple of days later he ran into some fishermen and told them about his discovery. “Nobody had ever seen it before or heard of it, (because) nobody ever dives there,” Smyrichinsky explained. “Then some old-timer said ‘Oh, you might have found that bomb.’”

Royal Canadian Navy
Royal Canadian NavyAn image of located by a navy robotic vehicle off the coast of B.C.

Gresmak said the navy left the metal object on the ocean floor. “It was about five metres wide and about one metre high so it’s a pretty large object,” he said.

“We determined based on the pictures we had seen it didn’t look the same as what it had been reported as.”

The Royal Canadian Navy sent HMCS Yellowknife, a maritime coastal defence vessel, to check out the underwater find. The crew had help from Smyrichinsky who confirmed what the underwater robot had found was the same object he had seen.

Navy officers said the hunk of metal had yellow paint on it.

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