Spanish Village Hopes to Profit From H-Bomb Infamy

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2009 9:19 AM CDT
A US military diver guides the deep-sea vessel Alvin into the water near Palomares after a U.S. B-52 bomber crashed with a tanker plane during aerial refueling, Jan. 17, 1966.   (AP Photo/National Archive Record Administration )

(Newser) – Being the site of one of the world's worst nuclear accidents is an unlikely thing to build a tourist trade on, but the people of Palomares plan to give it a shot, the Wall Street Journal reports. Four hydrogen bombs fell on the tiny Spanish village after a US bomber collided with another plane overhead in 1966. And after decades of being the butt of glow-in-the-dark jokes, villagers now hope to cash in with a nuclear museum and theme park.

The bombs failed to detonate, but plutonium and uranium was scattered over fields, leaving traces of radioactivity that linger today. The townspeople enjoy normal health, however, and hope Miramax will choose to film its upcoming movie about the incident—tentatively titled Muchas Gracias, Bob Oppenheimer—in the village. "We'll welcome them with open arms," the town's mayor says, especially if they cast Penelope Cruz.