1950s-1970s: Nuclear Bomb Tests

‘Images from the first 30 years of nuclear testing’
- The Atlantic

15 Responses

  1. Tracy Moavero

    Thanks for sharing these photos. If anyone if wondering, yes, many people who were on ships or near above-ground tests did become sick and die. I’ve worked with people who lived on Pacific islands or downwind of the Nevada tests, and they have heartwrenching stories of communities devastated by cancer. Kids in the Marshall Islands played in radioactive fallout as if it were snow. Island women gave birth to “jellyfish babies” who barely looked human and who died right after birth. If you want to learn more, look for “downwinders” and “atomic veterans” online. Above ground testing was banned in the 60s. While the US has had a moratorium on underground nuclear testing in place, it has still not ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

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  2. CharlesH.

    Looking at the pictures of the Trinity test make me wonder if anyone outside and far away from the test area noticed what was going on.

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  3. Dave Whyte

    The British Government are still denying there was any radiation from these bombs. When I asked for radiation levels at ground zero after detonation of atomic bomb Pennant in August 1958 I was told it was 1R.

    Pity the radiation levels reached for the bombs in these excellent photographs are not shown. No doubt they are not available for security reasons.

    I wonder what the authorities are still hiding?

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  4. Jinx

    I knew a fellow in the late 80′s, a Navy veteran who had been on the Atoll then. He told me how all the scientists had protective gear on, but all the sailors were bare chested, getting a lovely tan. He would go to the VA hospital, and every few years they would pull one of his teeth to check how much radioactivity was in his body.

    My grandfather’s DD214 shows that he was stationed on Bikini Atoll starting in November of 1945. He was a Naval photographer, and I always wonder when I see photos like these if he took any of them. Amazing shots of an amazing time.

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  5. Serra

    these are not the work of a deity, just us humans.

    To me, these are the defining images for 20th Century humanity. Lets hope they do not wind up defining the 21st Century as well.

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  6. Stanley H. Jackson Jr

    I am now 77 yrs old and served with Fox 2-5 USMC as one of the many hundreds of us who 55 yrs ago was in one of the 6′trench when Diablo was detonated July 1957. I was curious to see how many of us are still living and what illnesses or effects it may have had on them over the years. WOW what a ride that was.
    Jackie

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  7. Mike

    Okay, let’s admit it: “We’ll Meet Again” is playing in your head when you look at these photos.

    Thank you, Stanley Kubrick.

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  8. char

    Wow. We are fortunate these ‘tests’ did not annihilate all of us. Many westerns were filmed out in the deserts nearby some of these tests and I believe probably caused the deaths of a number of movie crews/stars. I wonder what the cancer rate in the towns surrounding these testing areas was? Unbelievable that no one calculated the magnitude of risks involved. Kind of like the HAARP experiment going on in Alaska now. They want to send some kind of mega sound waves out into the atmosphere just to see what will happen-and if you are into conspiracy theories-control the weather, etc.

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  9. Gene

    There were serious proposals (in the 1950′s) to use atomic bombs as excavation tools. It was calculated that a sea=level Panama Canal could be built using atomic explosives, within 5 years.
    Good thing it wasn’t done.

    Reply

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