A military-grade rocket designed to deliver nuclear warheads was being kept in a man’s garage, it has been discovered.
The Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, called Police in the city of Bellevue on Wednesday, after a resident had said they wanted to donate the rocket to the museum.
They said it belonged to a neighbour who had died after buying the rocket from an estate sale.
Police sent a bomb squad to inspect the missile and they determined it was an unguided air-to-air rocket, able to carry a 1.5 kt W25 nuclear warhead, called a Douglas AIR-2 Genie.
But there was no warhead attached and no rocket fuel inside so the bomb squad concluded there was no explosive risk.
The rocket was determined inert, essentially meaning that it was an artefact.
— Bellevue, WA Police (@BvuePD) February 2, 2024
The military did not request the rocket back and the neighbour was able to keep the rocket to be restored and displayed in the museum.
Bellevue Police posted about the story on social media, referencing Elton John’s song Rocket Man with the caption: “We think it's gonna be a long, long time before we get another call like this again."
People joked in the comments, with one saying: “Doesn't everyone have a minutemen missile in their closet?”