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Cold War-Era Missile Designed to Carry Nuclear Warhead Found in Deceased Man’s Garage

Washington police said an Air Force museum contacted them after a man called and offered to donate the missile, which belonged to his deceased neighbor

<p>Bellevue, WA Police Department</p>

Bellevue, WA Police Department

  • A police department in Washington state discovered a Cold War-era missile in the garage of a home in Bellevue

  • Police said a patrol division and the department’s bomb squad were alerted to the object after an Air Force museum in Ohio contacted them

  • The missile did not have a warhead attached nor was there any rocket fuel, so there was no risk for an explosion

A police department in Washington state recently got an unusual call, which led to the discovery of a Cold War-era missile in a deceased man's garage.

Bellevue Police said that a patrol division and the department’s bomb squad were alerted to the object after the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, contacted them and said that a man had called the institution and had inquired about donating a rocket belonging to his neighbor.

When officers arrived at the home, bomb squad members determined that the missile was a Douglas AIR-2 Genie (previous designation MB-1) unguided air-to-air rocket, according to police.

Fortunately, there was no nuclear warhead attached nor was there any rocket fuel, so there wasn't any risk of an explosion, authorities said.

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Bellevue police went on to clarify that the missile posed no threat to public safety.

“Because the item was inert and the military did not request it back, police left the item with the neighbor to be restored for display in a museum,” police said.

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The man who had originally contacted the museum told police that his deceased neighbor had purchased the missile at an estate sale.

The unguided air-to-air rocket was used during the Cold War as a means to intercept Soviet strategic bombers, according to the Air Force Armament Museum Foundation (AFAMF).

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More than 3,000 were made before production ended in 1962, per the AFAMF.

After the unusual call, the police department shared a sense of humor about the situation by making an Elton John "Rocket Man" joke.

"And we think it's gonna be a long, long time before we get another call like this again," Bellevue Police posted on X.

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