In 1954 the British government developed a secret plan to test the possibility of inducing earthquakes and tectonic movements by exploding massive hydrogen bombs on a known seismic faultline. The place they chose was Loch Ness, which lies directly over the Great Glen Fault. Code named "Operation Pangea's Box" after the giant ancient super-continent Pangea, the results would have been nightmarish...
Some of the plans have recently been revealed under the 50 year rule but secret documents shown to this website add more details and demonstrate a startling disregard for the local population, flora and fauna of the Highlands of Scotland and Loch Ness. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) used divers to position four 100 megaton thermonuclear bombs at 3.3 mile (5km) intervals in trenches excavated deep into the rock beneath Loch Ness (some of these caves have since been discovered but this is the first time their origin has been revealed). The document makes clear that an enormous explosion was expected to result which would have caused a 200ft (60 metre) high wave of water to pour out of Loch Ness, destroying an area from Fort Augustus to Drumnadrochit and killing at least 3000 people. It was also expected that radiation would kill all wildlife in and around the loch, including the Loch Ness monster, but this was regarded as “a price well worth paying to keep Britain ahead with its allies in the cold war”.
Locals are understandably outraged by the news, which follows hard on the heels of devastating news of biological weapon tests off the coast of Stornoway. In that case, as reported by Scotland’s Sunday Herald newspaper and the BBC, live Rhesus monkeys and guinea pigs were placed in cages on barges moored just offshore and bombs filled with plague germs were detonated nearby. The animals were observed to see how quickly they contracted the disease and died but a fishing boat unwittingly strayed into the test zone and a mass cover-up by the Admiralty was rapidly organised to hide the government’s shame.
“We have known about anthrax tests on islands off the north west of Scotland", said one local spokesperson who did not wish to be named, "and we know there was an idea to explode a nuclear warhead over Wick in the 1950s to test the effects on a city but this is even worse. They actually planted the bombs and were ready to explode them. This would have killed everybody in my village and wrecked the tourist industry for generations.”
If the bombs had gone off the Admiralty were hoping to induce a huge earthquake beneath Loch Ness possibly causing the north side to drift slowly away from the rest of Scotland and move out into the Atlantic Ocean. This would be a reversal of its tectonic movement since the super continent Pangea split up millions of years ago and would prove that hydrogen bombs could be used to change the shape of whole continents.
Fortunately Operation Pangea’s Box was called off at the last moment; if it had proceeded it could have triggered a catastrophic Super Volcano (the existence of which was not known in the 1950s).
In a bizarre twist of history a Wellington bomber sent to recover the bombs crashed into Loch Ness.
Nobody from The Highlands of Scotland Tourist Board was available for comment at time of going to press.