Fact Check

Amateur Divers Find Long-Lost Nuclear Warhead

Rumor: Amateur scuba divers discovered a long-lost nuclear warhead off the coast of Georgia.

Published Feb. 27, 2015


Claim: Amateur scuba divers discovered a long-lost nuclear warhead off the coast of Georgia.


Example: [Collected via e-mail, February 2015]

Please verify that a nuclear warhead was recently found off the coast of Georgia.

On 12 February 2015, the entertainment web site World News Daily Report published an article claiming that a couple of amateur scuba divers had discovered a long-lost nuclear warhead off the coast of Georgia:

A couple of tourists from Canada made a surprising discovery while scuba diving in Wassaw Sound, a small bay located on the shores of Georgia. Jason Sutter and Christina Murray were admiring the marine life of the area when they stumbled upon a Mark 15 thermonuclear bomb that had been lost by the United States Air Force more than 50 years ago.

The couple from London in Ontario, was on a two week vacation in Georgia and Florida to practise their favorite hobby, scuba diving, when they decided to dive near the shores of Tybee Island. While admiring the plants and fishes near the sea floor, they noticed a large cylindrical item partially covered by sand. They investigated the object and found out that it was actually a sort of bomb or missile, so they decided to contact the authorities.

"I noticed an object that looked like a metal cylinder, which I thought was an oil barrel" says Jason Sutter. "When I dug it up a bit, I noticed that it was actually a lot bigger and that there was some writing on the side. When I saw the inscription saying that it was a Mk-15 nuclear bomb, I totally freaked out. I caught Chritina by the arm and made signs to tell her we had to leave. We made an emergency ascent, went back to shore and then we called 911."

However, World News Daily Report is an fake news web site that does not publish factual news material. A disclaimer on the site states that all of the information contained therein is for "entertainment purposes only."

While the above-quoted story is a work of fiction, the photograph included with the article was real. The picture originated with DPA, Germany's largest press agency, and was first published by the international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) on 15 January 2014 in an article entitled "Wartime ammunition still rotting in German waters."

Last updated: 27 February 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.