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Suburban Surprise: Washington Man Finds Potential Nuclear Missile in Garage

Man's Donation Offer Leads to Potential Nuclear Missile
Source: Bellevue Police Department

Police found a rusty rocket in a Bellevue, Washington garage.

Feb. 9 2024, Published 1:02 p.m. ET

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The infamous line from Prince's song "1999," stating that "everybody's got a bomb," may have just taken on a startling reality.

A shocking discovery was recently made in a residential neighborhood: a potential nuclear missile in a man’s garage in suburban Seattle.

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The homeowner recently reached out to the United States Air Force Museum in Ohio offering to donate what he believed to be a rocket he inherited from his deceased neighbor, who had acquired it at an estate sale.

Unbeknownst to him, it was far more than just a rocket.

Upon investigation by the Bellevue, Washington Police Department bomb squad, it was revealed that the homeowner possessed a Douglas AIR-2 Genie — a military-grade, unguided air-to-air rocket designed to carry a 1.5 kiloton W25 nuclear warhead.

Fortunately, the rocket lacked a warhead and contained no fuel, rendering it inert and non-threatening. It was essentially an artifact with no explosive potential, according to a police blog post.

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While the discovery was unusual, the decision to publicize it sparked some debate.

Police spokesperson Seth Tyler expressed bewilderment at the attention garnered, describing it as "releasing a news release on a rusted piece of metal."

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The homeowner, taken aback by the international interest, plans to restore the rocket for museum display.

The Genie rocket, manufactured by Douglas Aircraft prior to its merger with Boeing in the 1990s, had a limited lifespan and was considered the most powerful interceptor missile ever deployed by the U.S. Air Force.

The W25 warhead associated with it was retired in 1984.

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