US Poseidon submarine the SSBN James Madison hit a Russian sub that was waiting outside the port to take up it’s trail
WORLD War Three could have engulfed the planet following a collision between two nuclear submarines off the coast of Scotland, it has been revealed.
New declassified CIA documents show the potentially catastrophic incident was covered up for more than 40 years.
The crash between an American submarine carrying 160 nukes and a Soviet vessel was so serious that it could have sparked a chain of events that led to World War III and nuclear apocalypse, one expert has warned.
The incident took place in shallow waters near Holy Loch, Argyll, about 30 miles from Glasgow, on November 3, 1974.
The US maintained a nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, which it operated between 1961 and 1992, and for years the Pentagon remained tight-lipped about the accident.
But, given the terrifying consequences of the crash, rumours about what happened had been circulating among defence circles for decades.
Now CIA files reveal all, showing how the collision happened just outside the port.
Marked “secret eyes only”, a cable was sent hours after to Henry Kissinger, who was then the US Secretary of State to President Gerald Ford.
The document says: “Have just received word from the Pentagon that one of our Poseidon submarines has just collided with a Soviet submarine.
“The SSBN James Madison was departing Holy Loch to take up station when it collided with a Soviet submarine waiting outside the port to take up trail.
“Both submarines surfaced and the Soviet boat subsequently submerged again.
“There is no report yet of the extent of damage.
“Will keep you posted.”The document was among 13 million pages of unclassified documents that have been placed online this month by the CIA.
Other revelations to come from the newly released papers include a memo that detailed how the CIA wanted Britain to hand the Falkland Islands over to Argentina and how the spy agency carried out secret experiments on Uri Geller aimed at ‘weaponising’ his psychic abilities.
The revelation comes days after it emerged that Trident, Britain’s submarine-based nuclear deterrent, malfunctioned during a test in Florida last June.
The SNP said last night that the 1974 incident highlighted the danger of housing nuclear submarines in UK waters.
Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert employed by the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, believes there could have been disaster “if the crew on one of the submarines had misinterpreted the collision as an attack and decided to defend itself and sink the other submarine”.
Mr Kristensen, a former special adviser to the Danish Ministry of Defence, added: “The James Madison was a ballistic missile submarine armed with 16 Poseidon missiles with 160 nuclear warheads.
“The worst case scenario would probably have been if the collision had triggered explosions that ignited the ballistic missile fuel and ejected or destroyed the warheads.
“The submarines could also have capsized with loss of all on board, leaving ‘hot’ nuclear reactors in relatively shallow waters close to rich fishing grounds.”
John Large, the chartered engineer who led the nuclear risk assessment team during the raising of the stricken Russian submarine Kursk in 2001, described the collision as a serious event.
“You could have got a fire, which would have been a disaster,” he said. “If you had a fire in one missile silo you could have a discharge of quite a considerable amount of plutonium into the marine environment. It would have caused serious contamination.”
It is understood that the US submarine was left with significant damage to its hull and was taken into dry dock at Holy Loch for inspection and repairs. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.thesun.co.uk/news/2699823/world-war-3-us-russian-nuclear-submarines-crashed-british-coast/amp/
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