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   Undertoad  Thursday Apr 29 03:27 PM

4/29/2004: Baker detonates underwater



Lurker mmmmbacon sends this along and I found it as captivating as (s?)he does. Like most of us I've seen a lot of historical images of mushroom clouds, but I can't remember one where the "stem" looked like that. To imagine being anywhere near it! I'll just paste in mmmmbacon's fine description, too, thanks a lot!

It's a picture of the second of the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests at the Bikini atoll, on July 25, 1946, the first nuclear operations conducted in the Marshall Islands. Two bombs were exploded; one an atmospheric burst (named Able) on July 5th, and the second, an underwater detonation (Baker), which is what the picture is of. The ships in the picture are unmanned target ships, of which Able sank five and Baker sank eight. Looking at the picture, I can't imagine how they weren't all sank. The blast caused a tidal wave to pound the atoll and significant damage was done from that.

The ships that didn't sink were decontaminated by navy personell at a time when radioactivity was poorly understood. This became a controversy as many questioned whether navy personnel's lives were endangered. All the water from the blast was radioactive.

Scuba divers today enjoy the Bikini atoll for all the ships that were sank in Operation Crossroads.

Here's a good background page:
http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq76-1.htm

Sound good oil paintings of Baker.
http://www.history.navy.mil/ac/bikini/bikini5.htm

Here's two great online galleries of lots of nuclear test blasts.
http://www.wps.com/archives/wxvax7.esa.lanl.gov/
http://www.zvis.com/nuclear/nukimgdht.shtml



Griff  Thursday Apr 29 03:51 PM

Thanks, you've been excellent hosts! You can have your island back now.



jaguar  Thursday Apr 29 03:54 PM

Thanks, you've been excellent hosts! You can have your island^H^H^H^H^H^Hcrater back now.



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Apr 29 04:50 PM

Bada boom. Big bada boom. And the best is yet to come.



MAdMoNKEY  Friday Apr 30 01:28 AM

I bet the scuba divers enjoy the 3-eyed fish as well...



Nothing But Net  Friday Apr 30 01:39 AM

Hey, I've seen this before. It's really a picture of Rush Limbaugh doing a belly flop.



Troubleshooter  Friday Apr 30 09:03 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by MAdMoNKEY
I bet the scuba divers enjoy the 3-eyed fish as well...
Last I heard that area was known for having a profound black-tipped shark population. They were doing studies that were pointing to social structure in the shark species.


chrisinhouston  Friday Apr 30 10:21 AM

The other white meat!

One of the more interesting land tests was Operation Plumbbob conducted in 1957. A little town was erected around the blast site complete with animals such as pigs and rabbits. 710 pigs were exposed to shot Priscilla, all died from blast and radiation.


Jerry Kendrick, a surviving veteran of the tests was quoted as saying:

"The rabbit's eyes were considered similar to a human's eyes so they put rabbits at various distances from the blast with their heads aimed toward the blast, but they forgot rabbits go to sleep. They would get bored, they would be there for a day or two before the blast," Kendrick said. "The communications unit had to string a little light electrical wire and tape it to the nose of all the rabbits and it would send a little pulse across to the rabbits and wake them up."

The pig's skin was considered similar to that of human skin, so piglets were used in Operation Plumbbob, Kendrick said.

"They made little uniforms with T-shirts and everything and put them on all the pigs and little tan uniforms and they had several tests," Kendrick said. However, the nuclear explosion was delayed 42 days due to weather. The piglets grew during that time and a tailor had to be sent back out to sew the uniforms again the night before the blast, he said.

Here is a picture from the air of the BBQ cookoff!



Turtleknee  Friday Apr 30 03:50 PM

Here is the same picture, but a little further back.

No tourists sittling on the beach watching the show though.



xoxoxoBruce  Friday Apr 30 04:57 PM

Imagine how many fish are in that column.

And welcome to the Cellar, Turtleknee.



BigV  Friday Feb 11 05:13 PM

picture book of the beginning of the end

Even the tiny thumbnails in the gallery here are powerful. I am simultaneously filled with revulsion and unable to tear away my gaze. What have we wrought?

http://www.michaellight.net/100suns/



Griff  Friday Feb 11 06:06 PM

Pretty heavy stuff V. Those soldiers who were used like that really got to me.



onetrack  Friday Feb 11 07:13 PM

Nuclear weapons ..

The scary parts about the nuclear programs are ...

1. The W-54, one man nuclear weapon .. it only weighs 50 pounds .. but did you see the pics of the destructive result??

I could just imagine Muslim terrorists dreaming and planning, of how they can get hold of one ...

"Brothers in Allah .. just one, is all we need! .. to be in Paradise with 72 virgins, in an instant!!" ..

Also .. in the military classification list, known as FSC's (Federal Supply Classes) .. there are 14 types of nuclear weapons listed .. including the cute items such as ..

"1095 - Miscellaneous Weapons'' .. (uh-huh .. that one over there, is just a miscellaneous nuke .. mmm??) ..

"1120 - Nuclear depth charges .. the mind boggles .. they need a Nuke to nail a sub??? ) ..

"1125 - Nuclear demolition charges .. the mind boggles again .. "What are we scorching today, Sarge??" .. "Oh, I think we'll just blow Washington off the face of the map, to deny any usefulness to the enemy" .. (hmm .. maybe not such a bad idea .. .. )


2. What about the tests they didn't .. or maybe couldn't .. photograph??
Has anyone heard about the nuclear tests made in outer space, in the early 60s, via the space program rockets??

3. Does anyone realise that the U.S. Govt still spends US$96 million a DAY .. yes .. US$96 million .. of which 2/3rds is spent on operation and maintenance of the nuclear arsenal?

The rest is spent on cleanup, (including weapon dismantling and storage of dangerous components) .. arms control verification, and ballistic missile defense research ..

http://www.brook.edu/fp/projects/nucwcost/pantex.htm



Roosta  Friday Feb 11 07:47 PM

I saw a programme on telly a few years back that said that there is about 25 briefcase sized nuclear weapons missing and in circulation in the world. Frightening stuff....



tw  Friday Feb 11 09:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roosta
I saw a programme on telly a few years back that said that there is about 25 briefcase sized nuclear weapons missing and in circulation in the world. Frightening stuff....
Not so frightening. Such weapons are easily detected by routine scanning equipment. Second, people assume they are activated simply by pushing a button. You have PC problems. Those are trivial compared to triggering a suitcase bomb. And third, those weapons degrade quickly to uselessness if not maintained. Technology and materials not found in any dentist's office or janitorial supply house.

What made so many surface to air missiles useless to terrorists? Batteries went dead.

Worry little about the nukes. Worry far more about biological and conventional weapons. History should make that obvious. Destructive weapons using the simplest technology and not stuff hyped in movies should worry you more.

That is the genius of the 11 September attacks. Even Tom Clancy was predicting such an attack. And yet they walked right in, even with fake NJ Drivers Licenses, to attack the WTC, Pentagon, and a field outside Johnstown. Where were all the expensive, hyped, high tech weapons? How did they slaughter so many school children in (forgot the name) last September? Guns hidden underneath a floor. There is the greater danger in part because we hype the wrong threat.


xoxoxoBruce  Friday Feb 11 09:28 PM

Human shields or waiting for the pigs to cook?



onetrack  Friday Feb 11 10:28 PM

Nuclear problems ..

Granted, there are simplistic terrorist means to inflict damage .. but the terrorists desire is for a ''high impact" hit on America .. could you imagine the rejoicing in Muslim terrorist centres if they managed to pull off a nuclear hit in the heartland of America??

Give me a list of weaponry that has not been captured and used against it's makers and builders .. and the list wouldn't run to three headings ..

I find the following gentlemans site, quite fascinating, too ..

http://www.mmmfiles.com/archive/pantex.htm

Particularly, the part about an estimated US$300 Billion just to clean up the radioactive waste generated from plutonium production alone ..

The construction and operation of nuclear devices seems to be quite within the realm of terrorists .. who can buy items needed to repair PC's .. and nuclear weapons .. off many of the willing shadowy worldwide sellers who can supply them with all the technology they need ..



wolf  Saturday Feb 12 02:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV
Even the tiny thumbnails in the gallery here are powerful. I am simultaneously filled with revulsion and unable to tear away my gaze. What have we wrought?

http://www.michaellight.net/100suns/
Well that's just cool. I ordered it. I'll let you guys know what it's like.

My father was in the Air Force in the 1950s. He was based in Hawaii and was responsible for testing of cloud samples to determine when the Soviets were doing testing, as well as, I suppose, to see what the distribution patterns of fallout for our own nuclear blasts were.


wolf  Saturday Feb 12 02:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tw
Not so frightening. Such weapons are easily detected by routine scanning equipment.
Somehow I am not comforted by tw's reassurances.


xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Feb 12 07:44 PM

Smoke detectors for the home contain a minute particle of radioactive material.
Every once in a while, the local “Trash-to-Steam” plant (think incinerator heating water) has an alert. One of their radioactive material scanners will find a smoke detector in an incoming trash truck and sound the alarm.

This buoys my hopes that the proper authorities have the same or even better detectors to find any radioactive material big enough to hurt anyone.
Of course Homeland Security would handle that information expediently and in the proper manner to thwart any evil intent.



Elspode  Saturday Feb 12 09:22 PM

Having had my curiosity aroused by what appears to be an excellent book (if you get the mad notion to scan the whole tome, Wolf, count me in for a .pdf file copy of it...), I spent some time looking for info on space-based nuclear testing. It seems there's a video out on this topic, and my local library system has it, so I'm going to be reserving that very soon, along with some of the other videos by the same group of documentarians.



wolf  Saturday Feb 12 11:15 PM

I have a poster leftover from college of an atomic test. I never did know which one. This book may help me identify it. I really need to get that framed and hung.

The poster leftover from college of the rabbit that looks best under blacklight I will probably leave in the tube for now.



chrisinhouston  Sunday Feb 13 01:09 PM




CharlieG  Monday Feb 14 08:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by onetrack
The scary parts about the nuclear programs are ...

snip....

"1120 - Nuclear depth charges .. the mind boggles .. they need a Nuke to nail a sub??? ) ..

"1125 - Nuclear demolition charges .. the mind boggles again .. "What are we scorching today, Sarge??" .. "Oh, I think we'll just blow Washington off the face of the map, to deny any usefulness to the enemy" .. (hmm .. maybe not such a bad idea .. .. )

...snip...
RE Nuke Depth charges - they "went away" fairly quickly from what I understand. Remember, Sonar was NOT as good then as it is now, and the idea was that if you had a general idea where an boomer was, you could take it out "pre launch"

As for the Demolition Charges - those are the ones they usually call "Backpack nukes" - you can see them at the National Atomic Museaum in Albuqurque (sp) The exhibit explained that the initial idea was that IF the US was invaded, they wanted to be able to destroy the Hoover Dam and some others to deny the enemy the use of the water/and or electricity.

Just remember, most of the really "odd" nukes have been pulled from service, because the percieved need is gone, either because the threat isn't there anymore (Invasion - yeah, right) OR because we have come up with technology to do the same job with a lot smaller bang

One "interesting" then you can see in looking at "western" militaries, at least since the 1960s. They have been spending a LOT of money to develop SMALLER weapons that have less "collateral" damage. I mean, you've seen pictures of the "MOAB" and the "Bunker Busters" - they replace nukes to do the same job.

Just a point of view of someone who studies military history for fun


glatt  Monday Feb 14 09:52 AM

I've never heard of nuclear testing in space before. Not detonations of bombs anyway. I would be surprised if it is true.

I HAVE heard that electromagnetic pulses caused by a bomb detonated in orbit are strong enough to destroy all electric equipment on the continent below where the detonation occurred. Military equipment is hardened to shield it from such a pulse, but civilian equipment is not. One bomb, detonated in orbit at the correct altitude, would bring all of North America to its knees.

I don't recall hearing of that happenng in the past, so I am skeptical that detonations have ever occured in space. I'd be interested to hear what that video says.



Bitman  Monday Feb 14 07:49 PM

Funny, I have tons of responses to this stuff, none of it very insightful. Oh well.

  • W-54 suitcase at the 100suns site: http://www.michaellight.net/100suns/images_08.html
  • EMP effects can be huge. According to Wikipedia, "An air burst at the right altitude could produce continent-wide effects." But I've heard EMP guns are almost impossible, due to the excessively high energy they'd require.
  • Supposedly, President Shrub is (or was) looking to develop nuclear bunker busters. Haven't heard that rumor in a while now.
  • Biggest test I've heard of is a Soviet 50 megaton bomb. If the number doesn't look like much, go look at yields on the 100suns site, then read this again.
  • Piccy: http://www.zvis.com/nuclear/dimg.php3?tzarbo1,tzar
  • Just occurred to me: If it weren't for the radiation, we'd probably all be alot more personally familiar with nukes.



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