Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ground Zero

On July 19, 1957, five men stood at Ground Zero of an atomic test that was being conducted at the Nevada Test Site. This was the test of a 2KT (kiloton) MB-1 nuclear air-to-air rocket launched from an F-89 Scorpion interceptor. The nuclear missile detonated 10,000 ft above their heads.

A reel-to-reel tape recorder was present to record their experience. You can see and hear the men react to the shock wave moments after the detonation.

The placard reading "Ground Zero; Population Five" was made by Colonel Arthur B. "Barney" Oldfield, the Public Information Officer for the Continental Air Defense Command in Colorado Spring who arranged for the volunteers to participate.

The five volunteers were:
Colonel Sidney Bruce
Lt. Colonel Frank P. Ball (technical advisor to the Steve Canyon tv show)
Major Norman "Bodie" Bodinger
Major John Hughes
Don Lutrel
and George Yoshitake, the cameraman (who wasn't a volunteer)
Bruce. Died 2005 age 86
Ball. Died 2003 age 83
Bodinger, not sure, may be still alive
Hughes, Died 1990 age 71
Lutrel. Died 1987 age 63
Yoshitake. Still alive as of 2010

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