Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Five men standing beneath a nuclear detonation

Five men, 18,500 feet below an air burst detonation in the Nevada desert during the 1950s. That and it was baby nuke. In other words a small tactical device, not a strategic, city-killing weapon.

Five Men Agree To Stand Directly Under An Exploding Nuclear Bomb : Krulwich Wonders... : NPR:

'via Blog this'

Footage via NPR

Having grown up in Nevada I heard all kinds of stories about the days of above-ground detonations, when people in Las Vegas and the surrounding towns would go up their rooftops to watch the scheduled blasts. Lots of related memories of bright fireball with otherworldly colors growing into the signature mushroom of 1950s on the northern horizon. Then the children and most adults would go indoors as advised by the government, and a few brave or foolishly brave individuals would stay outside watch the drift of glowing clouds of ionized gasses if the blast had taken place in the evening or at night.

Of course, the people in the downwind towns this ended up being the start of a long nightmare of cancers, dying loved ones, and a decades-long battle with the federal government for compensation.

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