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Thread: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

  1. #101

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Nuclear test veteran who flew through a mushroom cloud


    As soon as the doors on RAF flight navigator Joe Pasquini's plane opened on 28 April 1958 he got out and ran away from the aircraft as quickly as he could.


    It was the first time he had ever had to do so. But then, it hadn't exactly been a typical flight.

    That morning he and his crew had watched Britain's biggest nuclear bomb explosion. They had then
    deliberately flown their plane through the radioactive mushroom cloud it created.

    Their job was to measure how successful the explosion had been.

    When they got back, they were taken to a decontamination area, where they stripped off, handed in their radioactivity recording equipment and scrubbed themselves in the shower for half an hour.

    "After that we all felt like a few beers, and that's exactly what we did," Pasquini says.

    It was during the time of the Cold War, and although Britain's status as a world power was starting to fade, in 1947 it took the the decision to join the US and Russia as the third country capable of producing nuclear weapons


    In total, Pasquini flew through two mushroom clouds and saw three other nuclear tests from the ground



    Then 60 years ago, in October 1952, Britain conducted its first nuclear weapons test, exploding a bomb inside the frigate, HMS Plym.

    Others followed, but it was the nine tests - codenamed Grapple X, Y and Z - over the Pacific Ocean between May 1957 and September 1958 that confirmed Britain as a state with a nuclear weapon capable of obliterating entire cities.

    The hydrogen bomb that Pasquini and his crew saw that day was Grapple Y which - at three megatons - is still the most powerful nuclear bomb ever tested by the British.

    He had no idea what he would be taking part in when he was sitting in a crew room back in England and he got the call to go to Australia to be a part of the 76 Squadron.

    "I kicked it around for a few hours and thought, sure, Australia sounds interesting. I gave the guy a call again and said 'what are they doing?' and he said there's a Canberra squadron there and I said 'what do they do?' and he said, 'they do various things - they will tell you what they do when you get there."




    I think I saw the face of God for the first time - it was just incredible, it blew our minds”
    Joseph Pasquini Former RAF navigator





    Radioactive particles



    And so it wasn't until he reached Adelaide that Pasquini was briefed about the nuclear bomb tests.
    "I didn't like it, but it was too late at that particular time," he says. "This was a kind of experimental situation and basically everyone that was involved in the tests was a guinea pig."

    The military personnel involved in the tests were based on Christmas Island, which is a small dot on the map in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

    On the day of the test, Pasquini remembers being woken at about 02:00 in the morning, having breakfast and going to a briefing. He and the rest of his crew were in their aircraft by dawn. The weather was perfect, with only a few puffs of clouds in the sky.

    The outside of the aircraft, he says, had been coated in a white wax that was supposed to capture any radioactive particles that could be washed off later.

    'Bomb falling'

    His crew was one of five ordered to take samples of the bomb after it had exploded.


    Flying at 46,000 feet, he says they were excited about what they were about to see.

    "We were listening to the bomb aircraft counting down to drop time. As soon as they said 'bomb gone', 'bomb falling', we had to fly away."

    They were about 35 miles away from where the bomb was dropped.

    "It detonated at 8,000 feet. We had our eyes closed, but even with our eyes closed we could see the light through our eye lids. It took 49 seconds for the light to stop.

    "As soon as that happened, we immediately turned back. Fortunately being in the navigating position, I had a little window and I watched the whole thing develop and spread and then start climbing.

    "I think I saw the face of God for the first time. It was just incredible, it blew our minds away. These were things that had never been seen before, certainly not by English people."

    When the mushroom cloud had passed over them, Pasquini looked up at the window above him and had another surprise - radioactive rain.

    "It's the only time I've experienced rain at 46,000 feet," he says.

    It was then that the plane's internal measuring equipment maxed out, Pasquini says, exposing them all to high dosages of radioactivity.

    He went on to fly through another mushroom cloud during the Grapple Z tests, and saw three other nuclear bomb tests from the ground, having been stopped from flying after receiving more than the recommended dose of radiation.



    Feeling of betrayal

    Now 79 years old and living in the US, Pasquini has battled cancer seven times.

    The Londoner attributes his own illnesses and those of his children to the effects of the radiation exposure, as well as the cancers and illnesses of other nuclear veterans and their children.

    The Ministry of Defence says that the cancer rates in the veterans of the nuclear tests are no worse than in normal members of the population, and a group of veterans recently lost claims for compensation at the Supreme Court because their case had been brought to court too late.

    About 750 of the veterans and their relatives so far have decided to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

    Pasquini isn't one of them. The Official Secrets Act had meant that he wasn't able to speak about his experiences to anyone.

    But after hearing about the cause of his fellow veterans and their families three years ago, he made contact and gave evidence to help them with their case.

    Unlike the British government, the US authorities have paid compensation to their veterans of nuclear testing.
    Pasquini feels betrayed that the British government hasn't recognised their sacrifice in the same way.

    "We were doing it and we were all ready to die," he says.


    https://strangeneews.blogspot.com/20...k1n88ZETc90_-A

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  3. #102

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    What Does a Nuclear Bomb Explosion Feel Like?

    Published on Aug 29, 2018


    The existential threat of nuclear war is no longer a Cold War memory. With nine countries armed with around 15,000 atomic bombs up to 53 times stronger than those dropped in the Second World War, the stakes are arguably higher.

    Ahead of the International Day against Nuclear Tests on August 29, we met up British atomic veterans who were present at test sites in Australia and the Pacific, to find out what it’s like to experience a nuclear bomb explosion up close.

    While most people know about the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, fewer are aware that an additional 2,000 atomic bombs were detonated after World War II and tested on hundreds of thousands of young soldiers to prepare them for nuclear war.






    All the comments from video viewers are worth reading.

  4. #103

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    Three more videos to view,



    Ghosts of Christmas Past - Part 1
    .

    BNTVA Media

    BNTVA Media


    Last edited by 1938 Observer; 26th April 2019 at 22:44. Reason: forgot video link

  5. #104

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia


    Ghosts of Christmas Past - Part 2
    .

    BNTVA Media

    BNTVA Media




  6. #105

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    NAAV Atomic Veterans








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  8. #106

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia



    EYE OPENING NUCLEAR TESTING OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS





    NUMBER 2. THE ARROGANCE AND DISRESPECT DISPLAYED BY THE BRITISH TOWARDS AUSTRALIA.


    This is number 2 of a 15 part blog series, created by Mr Roy Sefton, Chair of the New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans Association.













    It has long been established that with regard to the British atomic tests in Australia, Britain treated Australia with contempt and with-held vital information. Eventually Australia did wake up and asked the British to leave.


    This document to Sir Fredrick Brundett, is signed by the British lead scientist (Sir) William Penny. It relates to radiation samples of two British nuclear detonations in Australia. Penny treats the Australians like fools without the ability to rationalise the most basic scientific information. Penny also suggests deceiving the Australians by giving them a small portion of radiation samples, some days after sampling. Then the radiation levels would have decayed and be lower. Clearly the British did not want the Australians to know the correct levels of radiation that was being generated by the atomic bombs.


    You must wonder how much British Operation Grapple mis-information was given to New Zealand Defence and the NZ Government. Such deceit is why NZNTVA cannot trust any Operation Grapple research initiated by the NZ Government. Such research would be based on incomplete information held by the NZ Government and/or supplied by Britain.


    The original is difficult to read . It is copied below.


    BEGINS>
    22 December 1955.
    Sir Frederick Brundrett, KBE CB
    Ministry of Defence
    LONDON S.W.1.


    We think that it is likely that the Australians will ask us for filters which have been flown at Mosaic and Buffalo. No doubt they will offer very close security treatment in their Atomic Energy Commission. While I am not very keen on the idea of giving them samples, I do not see how we can refuse. They could, of course, fly planes of their own or they could most easily take contaminated soil particles from the close in area.


    They would not know that fall-out contamination from close in areas is very different from samples obtained from the cloud, and only the latter is sufficiently representative to enable quantitative estimates to be made. On the other hand, they are probably very puzzled to know why we fly planes to get samples when it would be very much easier to take a few shovelfuls of dirt from the crater.


    On balance I am recommending that if they ask us we give them a little piece of the filters, but that we wait a few days so that some of short-lived key isotopes have decayed a good deal.


    Do you wish to consult other people on this question before you give your considered view?

    Yours sincerely,


    W. G. Penny
    ENDS<

    Roy Sefton QSM
    Chair
    New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans Association




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  10. #107

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    Re: British Nuclear Testing in Australia

    52.000 and still counting.

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