An inert Cold War-era nuclear rocket was found in a Washington garage.
The rusted Douglas AIR-2 Genie was designed to carry a 1.5 kt W25 nuclear warhead.
As it does not pose any threat, the rocket is set to be restored and displayed in a museum.
A rusted Cold War missile was discovered in a deceased man's garage in Washington state, The Seattle Times reported.
What seemed like an ordinary rocket caught the attention of the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, prompting them to alert the Bellevue Police.
The museum was made aware of the missile when someone called to offer to donate the rocket, purchased at an estate sale, said reports
A bomb squad identified the relic as a Douglas AIR-2 Genie. The unguided air-to-air rocket was designed to carry a 1.5 kt W25 nuclear warhead.
Fortunately, the lack of warhead and rocket fuel rendered the missile harmless, with no explosive hazard.
Bellevue Police Department spokesman Seth Tyler quipped that the rocket was essentially a "gas tank for rocket fuel," per the BBC.
The police's bomb squad was dispatched to the man's residence. On X, Bellevue Police humorously noted, "And we think it's gonna be a long, long time before we get another call like this again," referencing Elton John's Rocket Man.
— Bellevue, WA Police (@BvuePD) February 2, 2024
Markings are still visible on the side of the military-grade rocket, the Bellevue Police Department reports.
"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.
The AIR-2 Genie was the world's first nuclear-armed air-to-air weapon, per Boeing. It was officially launched in 1957, and a nuclear Genie's first and only live firing took place that year.
It was used by the US and Canada during the Cold War and was the US Air Force's most powerful interceptor missile ever used.
Development of the rocket started in 1954, and production ceased in 1962. At the time, 1,000 Genie rockets had been built.
In 1965, Thiokol, an American rocket and missile propulsion systems company, began developing a motor for the Genie with a "longer lifespan and wider firing temperature limits," per Boeing.
Upgraded Genie rockets were designated AIR-2B after the mid-1970s.
The last two AIR-2 rockets from the US Air Force's inventory during the early 1980s.
The Cold War era lasted between 1947 and 1991.
Last year, a UK couple's garden ornament turned out to be a live bomb from the 19th century.
For decades, the couple form Wales had believed it to be a harmless "dummy" bomb, but a bomb disposal team confirmed it was a 64-pound naval projectile and removed it from the premises for demolition.
Business Insider contacted the Bellevue Police Department for comment.
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