Old rusted rocket found in man’s garage turned out to be a nuclear missile

  • A museum called the police after a man tried to donate an old rocket to them
  • The bomb squad swooped in and discovered it was a relic from the Cold War era
  • When in use the rocket had a blast radius of multiple city blocks

Published on Mar 08, 2024 at 4:25 PM (UTC+4)
by Andie Reeves

Last updated on Mar 08, 2024 at 8:03 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Alessandro Renesis

A nuclear warhead was just unearthed in a man’s garage.

Besides their vehicles, most people use their garages to store things like golf clubs and lawnmowers.

But this Ohio resident clearly had some extra room and used his to keep a relic from the Cold War.

As you do.

READ MORE: F1 driver’s stolen Ferrari found in London three decades later

This all started when Bellevue police officers received an unusual tip-off from a museum.

The National Museum of the US Air Force in Ohio sounded the alarm when they received a phone call from a man trying to donate what sounded like an old nuclear warhead.

One that he happened to have in his garage.

Naturally, the museum didn’t want to take any chances and asked the police to check out the unusual and potentially dangerous item.

They swooped in with a bomb squad and discovered a Douglas AIR-2 Genie rocket.

This rocket was designed to carry a 1.5 kt W25 nuclear warhead which was developed during the Cold War era.

With a yield of 1.5 kilotons of TNT, this device had a blast radius extending several city blocks.

While it was a powerful tool during the 1950s and 1960s, the W25 warhead has since been retired from service.

The owner of the rocket was said to have been ‘extremely irritated’ by all the fuss.

He’d simply wanted to donate it to the museum after receiving it from his neighbor who had bought it in an estate sale.

“He was gracious enough to let us have a look at it and we determined that it was safe,” Bellevue Police Department spokesman Seth Tyler said.

The police declared the device posed no threat, stating that it was “just basically a gas tank for rocket fuel”.

Because there was no warhead attached to the device, the man was permitted to keep it.

He’ll be restoring it so that it can be delivered and displayed at the museum.

The police couldn’t resist a reference to Elton John’s Rocketman lyrics in an official post on X.

“And we think it’s gonna be a long, long time before we get another call like this again,” they said.

We often hear about barn finds with rare cars, and sometimes people also retrieve things like rare watches, but a nuclear warhead?

Well, there’s a first time for everything.

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Andie Reeves

Andie is a content writer from South Africa with a background in broadcasting and journalism. Starting her career in the glossy pages of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, Andie has a broad portfolio, covering everything from sustainability solutions to celebrity car collections. When not at her laptop Andie can be found sewing, recording her podcast, taking board games too seriously or road-tripping in her bright green Kia.