|Baker test portion of Operation Crossroads|
Operation Crossroads was a series of nuclear weapon tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in mid-1946. Its purpose was to investigate the effect of nuclear weapons on naval ships. The series consisted of two detonations, each with a yield of 23 kilotons: Able was detonated at an altitude of 520 feet (158 m) on July 1, 1946; Baker was detonated 90 feet (27 m) underwater on July 25, 1946. A third burst, Charlie, planned for 1947, was canceled primarily because of the Navy’s inability to decontaminate the target ships after the Baker test. Crossroads Charlie was rescheduled as Operation Wigwam, a deep water shot conducted in 1955 off the California coast.
The Crossroads tests were the fourth and fifth nuclear explosions conducted by the United States (following the Trinity test and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). They were the first of many nuclear tests held in the Marshall Islands and the first to be publicly announced beforehand and observed by an invited audience, including a large press corps.
The test resulted in the radioactive contamination of all the target ships by the underwater Baker shot. It was the first case of immediate, concentrated local radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion. (The fallout from an air burst is global, held in the stratosphere for days and widely dispersed.) Chemist Glenn Seaborg, the longest-serving chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, called Baker “the world’s first nuclear disaster.”Ah yes, the world’s first nuclear disaster. The other way to look at this disgusting, horrific fuckup is what most consider to be the first and only destruction of an entire Naval flotilla. From a book entitled The Archeology of the Atomic Bomb:
The tests involved assembling a fleet of 242 ships, 42,000 men, 156 airplanes, and tens of thousands of tons of equipment, ordnance, and material at Bikini, as well as relocating the 162 residents of the atoll–beginning an odyssey that has earned for these displaced people the sobriquet of “nuclear nomads” of the Pacific. Observers from Congress, from other nations (including the Soviet Union), and representatives of “U.S. press, radio, pictorial services, magazines, etc.” made these tests the most public and the most reported of any nuclear weapons tests.I won’t even go into how this fuck-up literally ruined the lives of the 162 residents of Bikini Atoll. Suffice it to say, We took them from an island that they lived quite well and happily on, and dropped them on a piece of shit island/atoll where they couldn’t even fend for themselves.
Since I don’t fancy Fox News’ approach to journalism, I will give the link to the Official Report here. It’s actually a scan of the original report, in book form, written in 1947 under the watchful eye of the Commander of Joint Task Force One…bfd, if you ask me.
Video of Operation Crossroads Bomb Blast (opens a new window)
The video above is a seven second movie. Seven seconds that changed the lives of thousands of people and cost the US Military millions o’ bucks in that they had to scuttle the entire flotilla of vessels.
One must remember that the US really didn’t know squat about the power of such a blast, being rookies in the nuclear bomb arena. We had no friggin clue as to the damage, both to humans and warships, that would be caused. The event was treated as a huge party, the military invited press from around the nation to actually watch the blast, and then file reports to their respective news agencies, from Bikini Atoll. The original Time Magazine article, written by a journalist that was at the blast, can be read here.
The following video is seven minutes long and one of the old time, movie reel-type of reports filmed before, during and after one of the Operation Crossroads blasts:
One would think..at least I do, that we would of learned a few fucking things since 1946, about the power and destruction that nuclear energy wreaks upon humans, animals and the environment.
Apparently, we haven’t learned a fucking thing..except how to lie and obfuscate when it all goes to hell in the proverbial handbasket.