1959 ... 'Atomic Comics'

... ah yes- "where's my jet-pack" has become a modern meme!

1950 ... protect yourself!

... more helpful information to help us survive an early Cold-War Soviet attack with 20 kiloton fission bombs. 

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1962 ... no,no- not the end End!

... end-plate from the 1962 Rock Hudson movie "A Gathering of Eagles". The movie is about SAC's B-52's and the melodrama of constant training and readiness etc. Last shot is of the ICBM's that were moving into to dominate strategic brinksmanship.

... mutated B-58!

... Convair B-58 'Hustler' as a testing platform for an advanced jet engine [ where the weapons pod is normally slung.]

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... not as bad as you think!

... alright, it's bad. Worldwide Thermo-Nuclear War of the Cold War variety is very, very bad. It will ruin your day; no doubt about it! But would it have really meant the "end of all life on Earth"?    No.  It would not even have come close to killing all the silly little human beings that invented it and waged it.

... the key point here is the common misconceptions and fictitious falsifications about radioactive fallout. I am not a physicist; but I have read a lot that is written by those guys.
The vast majority of Fallout, from the atomic weapons of the Cold War era, would have become virtually harmless after two weeks.

... this invalidates much of the folklore and fiction which has as it's foundation lethal contamination lasting years or even centuries. What fun is a doomsday novel without a doomsday? (Now- it takes too much time to keep going over the same scientific facts again and again. A surprising number of people are really dedicated to the misconception of a radioactive 'doomsday'. Explaining the realities will not unsettle this grim superstition. So - if you read this blog, and you think it is fairly accurate and factual... then please just accept my words as truth. Why would I lie?)

... Fallout comes from the huge amounts of soil, rock, water and debris sucked up in the huge blast and fireball of nuclear detonation. It becomes a whole lot of dust that is pushed very high into the atmosphere. It can be spread, and dissipated, thousands of miles. This Fallout Dust picks up radiation from the nuclear reaction of the bomb detonation and from the radioactive isotopes that power the bomb. This radiation is a lot like heat. The 'hot' dust particles begin to cool, or 'decay', losing their gained radioactivity over a rapidly declining curve. Fallout dust that would kill you in the first day after a H-bomb explosion will have 'cooled down' after a couple of weeks to being normal again.

... there is radiation products that are harmful for much longer. Radioactive isotopes of the type used to fuel a bomb, or a nuclear power-plant, are very different from the dust and debris that picks up radiation temporarily in big explosion. These are man-made products that are extremely radioactive for very long periods of time. In some cases thousands of years. Small amounts of these elements make up the 'fission' reaction of nuclear weapons.
In the old style A-bombs they are the main energy source. In the much more powerful Hydrogen or Thermonuclear Bomb, they are the trigger which ignites the hydrogen fusion process. These parts of the weapon, although only measured in pounds, are spread out by the detonation and remain very radioative and dangerous for a long time. The same applies for atomic 'fuel' used as a heat source in atomic power-plants. A nuclear site, like Three-Mile Island or Chernobyl uses tons of these man-made super radioactive elements. This is why 'clean-up' after an atomic power plant accident is such a long and involved process. It's that super-duper radioactive fuel that gets burned, blown-up and washed all over the place by emergency water hoses, not 'fallout' that is a long-lived nasty problem.

... whew- I'm tired of writing 'scientific stuff'.

1967 ... a little musical humor!

... Tom Lehrer was a comedian who specialized in writing and performing satirical songs about current events.

... you thought I was obsessive!

... maybe they have a 2014 edition? http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/

... loaded for Bear!

... 'Falcon' nuclear tipped air-to-air missiles being loaded into the belly of the 'fighter' version of the SR-71 'Blackbird'. More here. Sorry about the poor quality- but keep in mind we'd be in a lot of trouble for this photo a couple decades back!

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1986 ... meanwhile in the USSR!

... more Soviet civil defense info. Got a message from a Russian comrade who said his school was filled with these things back in the 80's. It was not a fond memory!

RESTRICTED DATA: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog!

... new discovery of a great source of information about nuclear weapons and the Cold War - "Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog" . Above is a small portion of the thousands of people who worked on WW2's Manhattan Project (as depicted from their ID badge photos). Follow this LINK to get an interactive pan and zoom image [click full screen in lower right].

This is a very large in depth source of well researched information. Very scholarly- but entertaining. (hey, I see you bozos in the back of the class rolling your eyes!) Lots of PDF downloads of formerly CLASSIFIED materials. Print them out and put in clear-vue binders and flash them around; impress your friends; scare your teachers and get a date from that hottie in your Physics class!

[looking closely at those ID photos makes me think this is yet another example of really bad government photography ie: don't do a good job or that's what they'll expect all the time!]

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1962 ... Welcome!

... at first it seems strange that during the height of the Cold War, Strategic Air Command headquarters would have a 'visitor's guide'. On second thought; nothing helps secure continued funding like like an efficient public relations department! All those Congressmen and big-wigs of the Military Industrial Complex need to have something to bring back to their kids after the VIP tour.

1953 ... your USAF!

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1951 ... F-84 Republic "Thunderjet"



1951 ... blow-up comics!

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1955 ... SAC Command- Offut AFB

... sorry about the poor quality of the picture. (Boris and Natasha were neither competent spies or good photographers.) This image shows construction of the underground command center for the Strategic Air Command. All started rather hurriedly after someone looked up at their ramshackle WW2 era office building and said "Gee- you think we're a little vulnerable?"

What we see is  lot of reinforced concrete that will be buried under 20 to 30 ft. of overfill.(Remember; most hardened Cold War structures were built in large, dug out holes; not tunneled.)  

"Survive anything but a direct hit" is a well-worn cold War phrase. The exact physics, and luck of that, are a bit murky. I suspect that it wasn't long after the last bulldozer finished the overgrading and they started watering the grass seed, that someone said "maybe we should have dug a deeper hole?"

What is clear is that in this 1958 USAF classified film, as soon as WW3 get's under way,  SAC's Commanding General trades this hole in the ground for an 'in-vulnerable' flying command center. Leaving all the underlings behind to calmly watch the monitors and maps, until the nano-second when they get turned into radioactive applesauce.

1950 ... Atomic Bombing: How to Protect Yourself!

... early Nuclear: Civil Defense information had a distinct 'Can-Do' attitude. Slugging it out with fission-weapons in the under 100 kiloton range seemed a serious, survivable challenge for a nation of do it your-selfers and a well organized Kiwanis Clubs. In 1950 the technology and destructiveness was nothing like what was to shortly emerge. 

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1961 ... "Little John" ... how to.

... it sounds so cute, with a name like "little John'.

1961 ... "Honest John" ... how to.

1961 ... battlefield nuclear weapons.

... a primary reason NATO was created was to counter-balance the large number of tank battalions the soviets had pointed at Western Europe. NATO doctrine relied heavily on small 'battlefield' nuclear weapons to destroy the soviet armor. For many years the 'Little John' and 'Honest John' were the simple, solid fueled rockets that would have been used to deliver these warheads. The little guy had a range of about ten miles with a 10 kiloton warhead; his big brother could scoot 15 to 30 miles with a party-favor of between 15-30 kilotons.

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