Former President Ford hid the explosion with the US and Soviet Union submarines
The crash between nuclear US and Soviet submarines near Glasgow could have “triggered explosions” but was hidden by President Ford's US Government at the time.
The alarming incident is explained in a secret US military cable which former President Ford's national security adviser – Brent Scrowcroft – sent to Henry Kissinger, the then US Secretary of State titled "Secret Eyes Only".
Within the military cable, Mr Scrowcroft wrote on November 3 1974: "Have just received word from the Pentagon that one of our Poisedon submarines has just collided with a Soviet submarine.
“The SSBN James Madison was departing Holy Loch to take up station when it collided with a Soviet submarine waiting outside the port to take up trail.
“Both submarines surfaced and them is resented Soviet boat subsequently submerged again. There is no report yet of the extent of damage. Will keep you posted."
Defence Secretary visits UK nuclear submarine
Fri, January 22, 2016
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visits HMS Vigilant, one of the UK's four nuclear warhead-carrying submarines at Royal Navy’s Faslane nuclear base on the Clyde.
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Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visits HMS Vigilant at HM Naval Base Clyde, also known as Faslane in Scotland
The document was among millions of pages that featured unclassified documents published online last month by the CIA.
Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert employed by the Federation of American Scientists in Washington told the Times a disaster could have occurred “if the crew on one of the submarines had hin-insterpreted the collision as an attack and decided to defend itself and sink the other submarine”.
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Mr Kristensen added: “The James Maddison was a ballistic missile submarine armed with 16 Poseidon missiles with 160 nuclear warheads.
“The worst case scenario would probably have been if the collision had triggered explosions that ignited the ballistic missile fuel and ejected or destroyed the warheads.”
Former President Ford, left, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, right
John Large, the chartered engineer who led the nuclear risk assessment team during the raising of the stricken Russian submarine Kursk in 2001, described the collision as a serious event.
He said: “You could have got a fire, which would have been a disaster. If you had a fire in one missile silo you could have a discharge of quite a considerable amount of plutonium into the marine environment. It would have caused serious contamination.”
It is believe the US submarine was heavily damaged from the collision and was repaired at the Holy Loch base.