Over the summer, I wrote about an old Nike-Ajax warhead that was uncovered during the demolition of a local arms plant. The bomb squad was called, and they determined it was just an empty casing — no explosives.

Talk around town was that the military had hidden Ajax missiles in garages and barns to protect the local tractor factory. I did a little research and even talked with a guy who wrote a book on early missile defenses. He said there were rings of Nike facilities around large cities like Chicago and in border states like Minnesota. They were large and obvious and not something one could hide in the lawn shed.

And, no, there weren’t any in our neck of the woods. Sorry, Deere.

I recently came across a piece by the National Security Archive about air defense missiles like the Nike-Herc, Falcon and Genie. It’s posted here (http://bit.ly/ePJhxm) complete with declassified documents.

The piece is about the Cold War strategy of intercepting Soviet bombers with nuclear-tipped anti-aircraft missiles spread out across the country.

Included in the reports are “broken arrow” weapon accidents (http://bit.ly/g2jqut ), where there were problems with the backyard nukes.