Dobson’s book follows the formerly classified events that took place in 1961 when four pilots ejected out of a B-52 aircraft carrying two thermonuclear bombs at 9,000 feet after the plane was struck multiple times by lightning and lost a wing. One pilot died, three others survived, and the two nuclear bombs fell at a velocity of 700 mph and crashed into Goldsboro, N.C.
The condition of the fail-safe mechanism on the bombs was unknown, and there was no guarantee that they could be deactivated. The destructive power of each bomb was large enough to create a 100% kill zone within a radius of eight miles. Twenty-two-year-old Lt. Jack ReVelle, a bomb disposal expert, was charged with the dangerous mission of deactivating the bombs.
Information about the event was kept classified until 2013. The incident took place during President John F. Kennedy’s fourth day in office.
“It’s scary to think that the incident that happened in Goldsboro so many years ago could still very well happen today,” said Permut. “It was only until very recently that the truth about this event was uncovered, leaving me to wonder how many other secrets the government is still keeping from us, today.”
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Mike Alfieri and Sterling Macer will produce with Permut. ReVelle will participate as a technical consultant. They are currently looking for a writer to adapt the story.
Permut’s producing credits include “Blind Date,” “Face/Off,” “Struck by Lightning,” “Charlie Bartlett,” and “Youth in Revolt.”