ince the end of World War II and until the end of the Cold War over 2,000 nuclear bombs have been detonated. It is amazing to think that out of that number only two have been used to actually kill, however, no one really talks about the soldiers who had to witness all the nuclear tests only miles away from the blast zone.
What does a nuclear explosion feel like?
Over the years many veterans have opened up to all the secret nuclear tests they have witnessed without having much idea about their use or most importantly their effects on the human organism. The reason only a few chose to speak about this is that many of them have passed away from cancer which the rest believe to have been caused by being witness to so many nuclear tests.
“More and more I heard about guys that had prostate cancer and lung cancer and all kinds of cancers,” (Quote by Frank Farmer)
Frank Farmer is one of the more seasoned veterans who witnessed 18 atomic detonations in 1958 while station on a ship in the Pacific. He said that the soldiers (just like him) were told absolutely nothing about when the detonations would take place or in what way these would affect them. Whilst some divisions allowed their soldiers to witness the nuclear explosion, most were told to face the other way whilst burying their eyes into their arms.
“It’s so bright you actually see your bones in your hands.” (Quote by Frank Farmer)
All of the soldiers were shocked into silence by how frightening not only the sound, but the actual explosion felt. Despite the blast zone being miles away, they were still able to fill the nuclear blast that transformed your eyes into a live x-ray that allowed you to see your bones even with your eyes closed. The light from the flash was so bright that it allowed their eyes to see only the bones of those around them. This has been stated by each and every veteran that had been interviewed over the years.
Those that chose to stand up would be hit by the blast so hard that they would be pushed to the ground about 10 feet from where they were originally standing. Many soldiers had broken bones from the nuclear blast. The heatwave came like a flash where you would feel like you are on fire for a split second.
Douglas Hern who is also an atomic veteran that had witnessed nuclear testing in the pacific had researched the records of his late comrades and discovered that none of them have died from natural causes, most of them died from cancer that is undeniably caused by so much radiation.
“During a 10 year test period in the Pacific, there were over 22,500 personal. In 2013 we estimated that 18,500 have died from leukemia, cancer carcinomas, and other sorts of cancers.” (Quote by Douglas Hern)
Who is paying the price?
Some veterans have even attested that the radiation they have suffered during the nuclear tests has affected their children. Lincoln Grahlfs who steered a tugboat near the atomic test sites in the Marshalls during July 1946 has chronically labored with boils. His late daughter had died from a brain tumor. His granddaughter was born with a deformed foot and he believes that those radiations have affected them all.
“I wish somebody had warned me that if I had children, they might be born with some defects, but nobody did.” (Quote by Lincoln Grahfls)
It is hard to describe the actual terror that had been put into the minds of those soldiers who have witnessed the detonation of atomic bombs. Most of them have attested to many sleepless nights due to the disturbing experience that had affected not only their physical health but also their mental health.
Here is a video from Motherboard of an interview taken in 2018 of various atomic veterans that describe their experience during their service.
The most atrocious thing out of them all is that this was done by the American government knowing well what the implications of extended exposure to traditions were, but it seems that they didn’t care about their soldiers. Some historians speculate that during the early period of the Cold War soldiers were brought to witness nuclear tests in order to analyze how they are affected, making them the test subjects of their own government.