Atomic Bomb Movie
Atomic Cafe
Bikini Islanders - 60 Years After
Marshall Islands - Sue Over Nuclear Arms
Nuclear Savage
Radio Bikini
Radio Kazakhstan
 

 

Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie

The Incredible History of America's Development of Nuclear Weapons
Contains Top Secret Atomic Bomb Footage Declassified for this Motion Picture

"'Trinity and Beyond' is a factually solid, visually stunning, informative documentary."
Emanuel Levy, Daily Variety

"Seeing a cannon fire a bomb in the Nevada desert or a detonation in space is enough to recommend this disturbing but explosively thought-provoking cinematic experience."
David Hunter, Hollywood Reporter

The Top Secret, strange and visually compelling history of the design, production and testing of Atomic Hydrogen Bombs

Narrated by William Shatner
The Atomic Bomb Movie features an original score performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra

The Atomic Bomb Movie features an interview with Dr. Edward Teller, the "Father of the Hydrogen Bomb", and one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century.

This award-winning production also features an amazing explosion segment that must be seen with 3D glasses to truly take in its full impact.

The Atomic Bomb Movie is an extraordinary production that provides an important understanding of events, and the creations of technologies, that have changed the world forever.

The Atomic Bomb Movie features extremely rare film segments from top secret government archives and startling footage of nuclear bomb tests conducted by Great Britain and China, plus the largest atomic explosion ever created, by Russia.

Whether being exploded under the ocean, suspended by a balloon, shot from a cannon or even detonated in space, these weapons are capable of devastating destruction - the quality of these images is as startling as they are remarkable.

Renowned special effects filmmaker Peter Kuran offers up amazing film footage chronicling this era in human history, during atmospheric testing of Atomic and Thermonuclear Devices by the United States. The quality of these images is remarkable and required the development of a new film restoration system to preserve these haunting images for generations to come.

Dakota Test (Redwing)

The Nuclear Battlefield - Below

The M65 280mm Atomic Cannon

The Atomic Cannon, an M65-280mm, is 42 feet long and weighs 42,500 lbs. It can throw a shell 20 miles

The first atomic cannon went into service in 1952, and was deactivated in 1963. A single 280mm shell was fired seven miles at the Nevada Test site on May 25, 1953 as part of the Grable Series - Upshot/Knothole. The shell detonated 500 feet in the air and yielded a 15 kiloton explosion (there's an amazing government film of the cannon firing and the mushroom cloud footage, included in the Atomic Bomb Movie).

Twenty Atomic Cannon were manufactured; at least 8 appear to have survived the Cold War and are on public display today. The largest atomic cannon sits in a public park in Junction City, Kansas, on loan (permanent) from the Smithsonian. You can find the others at:

Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Arizona
 Rock Island Arsenal, Memorial Field, Rock Island, Illinois
 Atomic Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
 Fort Sill Museum, Oklahoma
 Virginia War Memorial Museum, Newport News, Virginia
Watervliet Arsenal, Watervliet, NY -- where they were all manufactured

The Popularity of the Atomic Cannon in the 1950's - Below Examples of Children's Models

Bikini Marshal Islands Pacific Atoll - Operation Crossroads

In July 1946 on Bikini Atoll, the United States tests two Atomic Bombs - code named "Operation Crossroads"
These were the only the fourth and fifth atomic bombs ever detonated on Earth

“An outstanding achievement on all levels… an extraordinarily perceptive, haunting and informative documentary. It presents itself with quiet conviction but its under-lying passion burns in our minds and souls… an enviable artistic contribution.”
- Los Angeles Times

“A remarkable documentary collage… The awesome beauty of the explosions."
- London Times

The Most Terrifying and Unbelievable Story of the Nuclear Age

Radio Bikini is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning (and Oscar nominated) documentary film about an operation to test nuclear weapons conducted by the United States. Staged at a remote Pacific atoll called Bikini in the summer of 1946, the tests (Operation Crossroads) were also one of the first great ‘media events’ of the modern age.

Using rare and mostly never-before-seen archival footage, the film unfolds through the eyes of the elderly chief of the Bikinians, Kilon Bauno, and a former American serviceman, John Smitherman, who was there. Radio Bikini combines ‘live’ radio broadcasts from Bikini in 1946 with footage of the entire operation, recreating a feeling of the event as it happened in a way that is both haunting and surreal.

As the drama of this bizarre experiment unfolds, we witness glimpses of the U.S. Government’s never-completed attempt to produce a propaganda film about it. Ultimately, Radio Bikini is an allegorical portrait of a naive world at the dawn of a new era.

Produced by British film maker Robert Stone

1988 (Color and B&W) 56 minutes

This documentary is an outstanding achievement on all levels. Stone conveys an enormous body of facts, figures, attitudes and effects in the most organically subtle fashion.

Delving into historic archives, Stone has unearthed some sobering, formerly classified material that serves as the body of Radio Bikini. The U.S. government spared no expense to capture every possible second from every conceivable angle (apparently half the world's supply of film stock was consigned for it) of what was to be the definitive propaganda film of the era. It was never made but footage wound up in the newsreels. Now, more than 40 years later, the it is used for a purpose contrary to its original intent.

In 1946, the United States, fresh from victory in the Pacific, staged two nuclear explosions near the remote Pacific island of Bikini. It was the first attempt at scientifically analyzing the effects of nuclear weaponry. The resonant fallout from the experiments form the basis of Radio Bikini, an extraordinarily perceptive, haunting and informative documentary.

Operation Crossroads, the code name assigned the experiment, was anything but covert. About 42,000 servicemen and observers were on hand for the two July detonations that were filmed and broadcast throughout the world. It was a demonstration of American might and a huge media event to foster the idea of the U.S. as responsible and concerned guardians of this powerful new device.

In hindsight, Crossroads was the most chilling experiment of all time.  Apparently there was a belief in 1946 that you could reason with radioactivity, in sharp contrast to the expectations of officials who anticipated something apocalyptic.
The sentiment at home was overwhelmingly gung-ho for the operation, though the incident also attracted the first anti-nuke demonstrators (footage Stone also incorporates). One of their placards reads: "Wrong Road to Peace," and it's these jarring images and the inflection of "we leave this to the judgment of history" and other official words of rationalization that echo all the way to the present.
Radio Bikini is one of those clever documentary projects that means to tell its tale almost exclusively through the footage and voices of those involved in the incident as it happened. There are only two staged interviews in the entire film; the rest of the imagery and narrative comes directly from military and newspaper archives, voices and scenes combined and compiled out of existing material to make it the event telling the story.

It is, thankfully, through the work of filmmaker Robert Stone that we can finally see the Bikini island tests for what they really were. Radio Bikini makes the point clearly and often that America was scared after World War II: afraid that its power could be instantly usurped once another nation got the bomb and used it; afraid that Nagasaki and Hiroshima was not enough to dissuade enemies. And mostly afraid that, in a couple of devastating demonstrations of mankind's manipulation of the atom, the age old ways of making war and defending one's nation had become obsolete.

So the Bikini tests were meant to prove that soldier and earth scorcher could co-exist, that even after immense explosions of heat, force, and radiation, with metal twisted and test animals obliterated, human beings could enter Ground Zero and casually assess the damage (and by extrapolation, continue fighting the rest of the war). Unfortunately, the thickheaded naďveté of such a supposition resulted in hundreds of lives being lost or forever changed (even at the biological level) as direct contact with radioactive water and material meant a quicker death for those unfortunate fellows following orders. Radio Bikini is a eulogy for everyone and everything that was lost during those dark days of 1946. The world has never really fully recuperated.

The Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands is picked as the Location for Two Tests
An Airburst Bomb and an Underwater Explosion
Hundreds of military men, scientists, soldiers, and journalists travel to the remote paradise to witness the destructive power of nuclear energy

There were two big obstacles, however. There were the Bikini Islanders, who were relocated to neighboring islands. Then there was the issue of recording the tests. Again, the US military rises to the challenge and collects 750 cameras, half the world's supply of film, and several hundred soldiers to act as "location managers". As the testing begins and the bombs burst above and below, the soldiers sit back and assess the damage—even as the fallout settles all around them.

USS Saratoga Aircraft Carrier
The Saratoga had it's bottom blown out by the underwater Baker Test
It sits on the bottom of Bikini Lagoon to this day

Test Able atomic bomb was dropped from the B-29 Superfortress "Dave's Dream" and detonated at an altitude of 158 meters at 9am, on July 1st, 1946. This airburst was meant to duplicate the conditions of the Hiroshima bomb drop, but  time over water.  The bomb missed the target ship, the USS Nevada (BB-36) battleship, by 650 meters.

The ships sunk by this blast included: the USS Gilliam and USS Carlisle attack transports which sank immediately; the USS Anderson and USS Lamson destroyers which sank within hours of the blast; and the Japanese IJN Sakawa light cruiser which sank the following day. A further 14 ships sustained serious damage.

Test Baker atomic bomb was detonated 27 meters underwater beneath the landing craft LSM-60 on July 25th, 1946. The ships sunk by this blast included: LSM-60 amphibious (no identifiable part of LSM-60 was ever found and it was presumed vaporized by the nuclear fireball), USS Arkansas battleship, USS Pilotfish submarine, USS Saratoga aircraft carrier, YO-160 yard oiler, HIJMS Nagato battleship, USS Skipjack submarine, USS Apogon submarine, and ARDC-13 dry-dock.

Underwater Test Baker - Bikini Atoll

Bikini Island is still too radioactive to sustain human and plant life!

Islanders Afraid to go Home - 60 years after Bikini Atoll H-bomb
Basic distrust of United States persists, 6 decades after 1954 Hydrogen Bomb Test
The World Heritage Committee, on August 1, 2010 at its 34th session in Brazil, inscribed the Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site on the World Heritage List

The Marshall Islands marked 60 years since the devastating US hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, with angry exiled residents saying they were too fearful to ever go home!

15-megaton "Bravo" Hydrogen Bomb - March 1st, 1954

Castle Bravo - Automatic Scientific Instrumentation Facilities

Part of the intense Cold War nuclear arms race, the Bravo test was a thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
It vaporized one island and exposed thousands in the surrounding area to radioactive fallout.
As those who remembered that terrifying day gathered in the Marshall Islands' capital of Majuro, along with younger generations, to commemorate the anniversary, many exiles refused to go back to the zones that were contaminated, despite United States safety assurances.

"I won't move there," Evelyn Ralpho-Jeadrik, 33, said of her home atoll, Rongelap, which was engulfed in a snowstorm of fallout from Bravo and evacuated two days after the test. "I do not believe it's safe and I don't want to put my children at risk."

Rongelap Atoll Demonstration

People returned to live on Rongelap in 1957 but fled again in 1985 amid fears, later proved correct, about residual radiation.

One of the more than 60 islands in Rongelap has been cleaned up as part of a United States-funded $45 million program, but Ralpho-Jeadrik said she has no intention of going back.

"I will be forever fearful. The United States told my mother it was safe and they returned to Rongelap only to be contaminated again," she said.

New York Times_1946

Bikini Atoll Map

King Juda & Wife_1946

It is not just their homes which have been lost, said Lani Kramer, 42, a councilwoman in Bikini's local government, but an entire swathe of the islands' culture. "As a result of being displaced, we've lost our cultural heritage -- our traditional customs and skills, which for thousands of years were passed down from generation to generation," she said.

Bikini islanders have lived in exile since they were moved for the first weapons tests in 1946, when Kramer's own grandparents were evacuated.

When United States government scientists declared Bikini safe for resettlement, some residents were allowed to return in the early 1970s. But they were removed again in 1978 after ingesting high levels of radiation from eating local foods grown on the former nuclear test site.

"After they were exposed like that I can never trust what the United States tells us," said Kramer, adding that she wants justice for the generations forced to leave.

USS Apogon Submarine

Operation Crossroads - Nuclear Test Fleet

The Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal had awarded more than $2 billion in personal injury and land damage claims arising form the nuclear tests, but stopped paying after a United States-provided $150 million compensation fund was exhausted.

At a ceremony to mark the anniversary, Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak called on the United States to resolve the "unfinished business" of its nuclear testing legacy, saying compensation provided by Washington "does not provide a fair and just settlement" for the damage caused.

The United States embassy in Majuro said on its website: "While international scientists did study the effects of that accident on the human population unintentionally affected, the United States never intended for Marshallese to be hurt by the tests."
Attending the week-long commemorations is 80-year-old Matashichi Oishi -- one of 23 fishermen aboard the Japanese Lucky Dragon boat, which was 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the bomb when the test occurred.

"I remember the brilliant flash in the west, the frightening sound that followed, and the extraordinary sky which turned red as far as I could see," he said.

The plight of the crew is well-known in Japan and on Saturday nearly 2,000 people marched to the grave of Aikichi Kuboyama -- the chief radioman of the boat -- in the port city of Yaizu, 170 kilometres southwest of Tokyo, to mark the anniversary.

Kuboyama died of acute organ malfunction nearly seven months after the test, while 15 other crew members later died of cancer and other causes.

Giant Tailed Stag Beetles_Bikini Atoll

United States nuclear experiments in the Marshall Islands ended in 1958 after 67 tests. But a United Nations report in 2012 said the effects were long-lasting. Special Rapporteur Calin Georgescu, in a report to the UN Human Rights Council, said "near-irreversible environmental contamination" had led to the loss of livelihoods and many people continued to experience "indefinite displacement".

The report called for the United States to provide extra compensation to settle claims by nuclear-affected Marshall islanders and end a "legacy of distrust".

Marshall Islands Sues over Nuclear Arms

The Marshall Islands was the site of Devastating Nuclear Tests in the mid-20th Century

The tiny Marshall Islands is dragging the United States and eight other nuclear-armed countries to the UN's highest court for failing to halt the nuclear arms race and rid the world of atomic weapons

Representatives of the Marshall Islands, site of devastating nuclear tests in the mid-20th century, filed... separate applications against nine states, the Hague-based International Court of Justice said in a statement.

China, North Korea, France, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Britain and the United States are accused of "not fulfilling their obligations with respect to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament." The government based in the Marshall Islands capital of Majuro said by not stopping the nuclear arms race, the countries continued to breach their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- even if the treaty has not been by signed by some like India and Pakistan.

The Marshall islands also included Israel, widely believed to be the sole -- if undeclared -- nuclear armed power in the Middle East.

Majuro's representatives said the Marshall Islands decided to sue the world's nuclear heavyweights as "it has a particular awareness of the dire consequences of nuclear weapons." Last month the Marshall Islands marked 60 years since the devastating hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, that vapourised an island and exposed thousands in the surrounding area to radioactive fallout.

The 15-megaton test on March 1, 1954, was part of the intense Cold War nuclear arms race and a thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The United States conducted repeated tests between 1946 and 1958 in the Marshall Islands, Majuro's representatives said in papers filed in court.
"During those 12 years, 67 nuclear weapons of varying explosive power were detonated in the Marshall Islands, at varying distances from the human population." Bikini Islanders have lived in exile since they were moved for the first weapons tests in 1946.

When US government scientists declared Bikini safe for resettlement, some residents were allowed to return in the early 1970s. But they were removed again in 1978 after ingesting high levels of radiation from eating local foods grown on the former test site.

The Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal had awarded more than 2 billion ($2.15 billion) in personal injury and land damage claims arising form the nuclear tests, but stopped paying after a $US150 million US compensation fund was exhausted.

Last month Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak called on the US to resolve the "unfinished business" of its nuclear testing legacy, saying compensation provided by Washington "does not provide a fair and just settlement" for the damage caused.
 

 

The United States “destroyed an entire country that we were not at war with, that we were at peace with. Not only did they blow up these islands, but they contaminated all these people. It’s a very unknown story here.”

As early as 1956, the Atomic Energy Commission had characterized the Marshall Islands as:
“By far the most contaminated place in the world”

Filmmaker Adam Jonas Horowitz spent 25 years collecting material – including original footage, archival clips, and unpublished secret documents – to create this unforgettable and ironic portrait of American cynicism, arrogance, and racism. Winner of festival awards in Paris, Chicago and Mexico City.” Nuclear Savage is a heartbreaking and intimate ethnographic portrait of Pacific Islanders struggling for dignity and survival after decades of radiation poisoning at the hands of the American military. Radioactive coconuts, leaking nuclear waste repositories, and densely populated slums were all the direct result of 67 Cold War U.S. atomic and hydrogen bomb tests that vaporized islands and devastated entire populations.

“Nuclear Savage” is a recent documentary film that explores American nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands, 1946-1958, and particularly the secret Project 4.1: an American experiment in exposing Pacific Islanders to overdoses of radiation – deliberate human radiation poisoning – just to get better data on this method of maiming and killing people. The public broadcasting establishment has spent more that two years keeping this story off the air.

“The term “savage” is used to refer to people from primitive cultures, but this documentary shows how savagery reaches new levels with the advent of advanced technology. In the 1950s, the U.S. conducted 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, vaporizing islands and exposing entire populations to fallout. The people of Rongelap received near fatal doses of radiation from one of these tests, and were then moved to a highly contaminated island to serve as guinea pigs to test the affects of radiation on humans for almost 30 years, where they suffered from recurring cancers and birth defects that have affected multiple generations. This cynical act by the U.S. government was conducted with such arrogant racism that without incredible archival footage and shocking secret documents, the story would seem unbelievable.”

In 1946, the U.S. evacuated the entire population of Bikini Atoll (167 people) and logged the first of 23 atomic weapons explosions that have made what’s left of the atoll (part of it was vaporized) a largely uninhabitable radioactive tourist destination [one report says 4-6 “caretakers” live there]. Most of the 167 original residents have died, but their descendants number more than 4,000. A 1975 federal lawsuit (seeking roughly $750 million in compensation promised but not paid by the U.S.) was denied review by the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2010, but the effort to make the U.S. provide just compensation continues.

In 1947, the United Nations included the Marshall Islands in a Trust Territory controlled by the U.S., whose obligations included the duty to “protect the inhabitants against the loss of their lands and resources.” Later in the year the U.S. evacuated the entire population of Enewetak Atoll, where it would explode another 44 atomic weapons, the last series in 1958.

The Atomic Cafe Documentary Film Footage (1982)

Nuclear Insanity at the Birth of the Atomic Age
The Goldmine of Absurdity

If this movie has a message beyond its obvious one (that nuclear war will be devastating and our civil defenses pathetic) it is a rather more subtle one. It acts as a reminder that, in the 1950s the government at least spent a good deal of its resources on addressing the possibility of nuclear war, however uselessly. Today, the government maintains a discreet silence about this awesome and awful subject.

The Atomic Cafe is a chilling memory of life in the first years under the mushroom umbrella. There was a brief national euphoria after Hiroshima and Nagasaki (because America had the atomic bomb, so there would never have to be another war). But soon the Russians had the bomb, too, and since they were godless communists, it was obviously only a matter of time until war broke out.

The makers of The Atomic Cafe sifted through thousands of feet of Army films, newsreels, government propaganda films and old television broadcasts to come up with the material in their film, which is presented without any narration, as a record of some of the ways in which the bomb entered American folklore. There are songs, speeches, politicians, and frightening documentary footage of guinea-pig American troops shielding themselves from an atomic blast and then exposing themselves to radiation neither they nor their officers understood.

''One of the most beautiful sights ever seen by man'' is the way one enthusiastic United States Army chaplain describes the detonation of an atomic bomb, an event about to be witnessed for the first time by his men in the Nevada desert.

The Atomic Cafe focuses on the late 40's and early 50's, but it could not be more timely. It provides some background for nuclear-war optimism today.

The unprovable assumption that nuclear wars can be fought on a limited scale without making the planet uninhabitable.

Produced and Directed by Kevin Rafferty, Music Coordinator Rick Eaker, Distributed by the Archives Project Inc, Running Time: 88 minutes

Even if the Detonation of an A-bomb is one of the Most Beautiful sights ever seen by Man
It may also be Man's last sight of Anything

One of the few public figures who seems to take the peril seriously in The Atomic Cafe is President Dwight D. Eisenhower, shown in a clip of a speech in which he stresses that science has ''outrun'' our social, political and intellectual institutions.

The Atomic Cafe proceeds in generally chronological order, beginning with the first successful Atomic Test (Trinity) at Alamogordo, New Mexico, and goes on to include President Harry S Truman's triumphant announcement of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, when he pledges that the weapon will be used ''in His ways and to His purposes''. After the war, the US prepares to test more atomic devices on islands in the Bikini Atoll. We witness the United States Navy relocating ''the friendly natives'' of Bikini in preparation. In the late 1940s, as the Cold War begins to escalate and the USSR develops nuclear weapons of its own, fear begins to spread about a potential Third World War that would be fought with such weapons. Watch a Government training film and see members of a happy, middle-class American family repairing to their bomb shelter fitted with a periscope. Then, as the conflict in North Korea grows, officials like Senator Lloyd Bensen come out in favor of using nuclear weapons against the Chinese.

On the soundtrack we hear ''Atomic Power'' by the Buchanan Brothers, ''Uranium'' by the Commodores, ''Atomic Love'' by Little Caesar, plus other rock-and-roll, blues, country and gospel numbers that were the way this nation's music industry responded to the dawn of the atomic era in the late 1940's and 50's.

The most heartbreaking scenes in the movie show grade and high-school students participating in civil defense programs. Two school girls proudly, if self-consciously, display the bomb-shelter provisions they made in their home-economics class: a dozen one-quart Mason jars filled with dehydrated potatoes, dehydrated milk, vegetables and dried fruit. But it is clear from their faces that they have no clue of how they would survive nuclear war, and little hope of doing so. Kids are lectured by authority figures in shots from educational films, but it must hardly have been reassuring to learn of your "chances" in a nuclear war.

Burt the Turtle, a cheerful cartoon character in a training film for children, demonstrates how he ducks and safely covers himself inside his shell whenever a firecracker explodes nearby - in this way to train children to crawl under their desks and hide their eyes as soon as they see the bright light of an Atom Bomb Detonation.

When changing winds blows radiation from a test toward a nearby town, residents are told to stay inside for an hour and not worry. And the list goes on. But, in one of the few examples of antinuclear footage used, spokesmen from Columbia University counter a government statement that people more than 12 miles from the center of a blast will be safe by noting that the firestorm would cover 2000 square miles, incinerating anyone in a fallout shelter in that area.

The Atomic Cafe proves that Authoritative, Official-looking Speakers don't always know what they're talking about!
Incidentally, the United States Postal Service had plans to issue emergency change-of-address cards in case of an all-out nuclear attack.

One gets the impression from all of these propaganda films that we should anticipate nuclear war as inconvenient but fun, like being snowed in on the farm for a weekend. Why should 85 percent of the population worry about the bomb one spokesman asks, when only 15 percent of the population would be killed in it? Or, to paraphrase the philosophy expressed in song in a Walt Disney film, ''Nothing is so awful that wishing won't make it seem not so bad.''

"Atomic Cafe"
Has been a popular name for Nightclubs and Coffee Houses

On August 29, 1949 at 7 am, the first Soviet nuclear bomb -- named First Lightning -- exploded in the steppe of eastern Kazakhstan, throwing up a huge mushroom cloud and dumping vast amounts of radioactive materials on the 1.5 million people living in the nuclear impact zone, which is the size of Belgium.

Kazakhstan Reels from Impact of Nuclear Tests, 20 Years On

The provincial and otherwise unremarkable town of Semey, whose name was changed four years ago, lies 150 kilometres (93 miles) west of the 18,400 square-kilometre (7,100 square-mile) nuclear testing site where the arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States began.

Although the site has been shut down for 20 years, Kazakhstan is still reeling from the effects of long-term nuclear testing. The Semipalatinsk region around the test site was subjected to the fallout from a total of 616 nuclear explosions over a period of 40 years.

The contamination at the site is scattered and levels have not changed significantly in the last 20 years.

Sitting in her tiny room at a home for the elderly in the eastern Kazakh city of Semey, Matushkina remembers the days when the loud blasts of nuclear tests several hundred kilometres away frightened everyone.

Almost every day, announcements on the radio at noon would say: 'Now there is going to be a test of nuclear weapons.' Everything would shake. The windows in my classroom were shattered by the shockwave from one of the blasts," Matushkina said.

Ahead of nuclear tests, the Soviet military warned the public to shut windows and stay at home or remain inside buildings, witnesses recall.

But one of those who decided to peep out of curiosity was Suakysh Iskakova, 77, a resident at the same home as Matushkina, who says she paid for it with her eye-sight. "When I was blinded from the blast, my uncle took me to see the doctor and the doctor said it was my own fault that I looked at the bright light from the explosion," Iskakova said.

 

 

Green Dragon Society