1951 ... Korean War - General Ridgway

              ... after MacArthur got to big for his britches, this is the guy who replaced him.

1960 ... B-58 "Weapons Pod"

... one of the many striking features about the B-58 "Hustler" supersonic bomber built by Convair was it's external method of carrying weapons. Instead of the conventional approach of housing bombs inside of it's fuselage, the "Hustler" carried them in an external streamlined 'pod'. This is the two stage pod which carried fuel in the lower section and large yield H-bomb in the upper section. The pod sections could be dropped separately or at the same time. 
image via: upship

... early designs for the "weapons pod" conceived of an all in one design [images on left]. The fuel tended to leak into the bomb area resulting in a soggy H-bomb. Another concept foresaw converting the pod into a 'stand-off' weapon [images on right]. A rocket motor and fuel would be fitted and the pod-rocket fired at the target from some distance. Too complicated!  image via: upship

... the real deal. Forward area of the two piece B-58 "weapons pod" Notice how the two sections fit snugly together. photo credit: not the fake nate

1953 ... more from "Atomic Attack" #5

... I remember talking with a guy in Russia who grew-up during the Cold-War. He said they didn't have any of this cool stuff for Soviet kids.

1947 ... Martin XB-48

... you look at these pictures and film and even a little kid would say..."No, No - I want a modern bomber!"

1947 ... Martin XB-48

... coming from a WW2 request for America's first jet-bomber the B-48 was part of the class of '45 designs. Also included; Bomber designs # 45, 46 and the very successful Boeing B-47 Stratojet.

all images- Right click- open in New Window= super colossal size!  

1958 ... Operation Hardtack: shot - Orange

ABM effects test, W-39 warhead, part of Operation Newsreel (high altitude tests), carried on a Redstone rocket. Altitude 28 miles. 4 megaton.

... Target Moscow! RAF

1961 ... SL-1 ACCIDENT

"Maintenance procedures were in progress, which required the main central control rod to be manually withdrawn a few inches to reconnect it to its drive mechanism; at 9:01 p.m. this rod was suddenly withdrawn too far, causing SL-1 to go prompt critical instantly." wiki

... a gruesome question (and we here at Atomic Annihilation specialize in gruesome questions) During the five days that elapsed between the accident and the removal of the third body, which was skewered to the ceiling, was there any decay of the corpse? The unfortunate technicians body was stuck to the ceiling directly above a nuclear reactor core that had been split open and part of it's fuel scattered all around the work room. There was a huge amount of radiation!
Could the bacteria necessary for the decomposition of organic material have survived under those conditions?

1962 ... ooo - a 'crowd pleaser'!

... nice of Nikita Khrushchev in 1961 to end the informal halt in weapons testing with his crazy-big 50 megaton Czar Bomba.  All the pent-up frustration in the Pentagon types got let loose in our follow-up frenzy of testing at the Pacific Proving Grounds. Thirty-one tests total for Operation Dominic; making it the largest test series ever. It was also the last of the US above ground tests before the signing of the Limited Test Ban Treaty. (aw...boo-hiss).

... pictured is the 'Truckee' shot which was a test of the XW-58 warhead for the Polaris 2 Missile (an early MIRV which would carry three of the warheads). 

total yield of [1] XW-58 = 210 kilotons.

nice mushroom for a below megaton weapon!

all images- Right click- open in New Window= super colossal size!

... hey! ... I be radioactive!

... or rather- I was radioactive for a while in May. Part of the dreaded 'stress-test' to check out my poor love-lorn, broken heart. Can't call it radioactive dye anymore because people are more afraid of dye than radiation these days. I confess that I tricked out the card in Photoshop some- ok- a lot!

All I could think about was how cool it would be to have a card like this back in grade school. Talk about scaring the girls!

Oh yes- the reason for the card. If I was going to take the tour of the White House- or be around some other place with sensitive radiation detecting devices; this card would keep me from being packed off to Guantanamo for water-boarding.

... RADs, REMs and SIEVERTs

... I started off with this post trying to do a good job of defining different levels of radiation doses for humans and what their effects might be. It all began, like most things on 'Atomic-Annihilation', with a morbid curiosity. In this case the SL-1 Incident of 1961 and led on to a who, when and where of fatal nuclear accidents. Not your run of the mill large scale power plant catastrophes; but the stranger, less known, creepy sort of stuff.

This led to reading about the Wood River Event of 1964. All of this eventually led to bananas! Which I will explain in a moment. 

The overall conclusion of my research was mind numbing confusion. I was able to determine that the 'old' term of RAD (which you will hear a lot in the old civil defense films) is an abbreviation for "Radiation Equivalent for Man" and that the later term 'REM' stands for "Roentegen Equivalent for Man". The most modern term, relevant to an international venue of nuclear disaster is the "SIEVERT". Not surprisingly the effect of a dose of radiation depends a lot on the type of radiation. Atomic death comes in several flavors: Alpha, Beta, and Gamma with a little Ionizing and X-Rays thrown in for zest.

Be Not Alarmed!! Our intrepid research staff will continue their search to determine the difference between an inconvenient, bleeding from all orifices, slightly crispy, dosage. And the 'prompt critical' that drops you dead in your tracks a milli-second after you  say "oooo" at the pretty blue glow. We will also throw in the convenient, convert you into a glowing three eyed brain sucking mutant setting.

Meanwhile here are a couple of rather indecipherable charts designed to reassure you that radiation is a happy healthy part of everyday life: 

... and finally the banana - or rather the "Banana Equivalent Dose" (BED). This was a measurement unit introduced by the nuclear energy industry to prove that common fruit will kill you faster than Three-Mile Island!

... more INFO on Radiation

1963 ... Teller by Mauldin

 ... shown in this cartoon; the "father of the Hydrogen Bomb" nuclear physicist Edward Teller  is shown protecting his 'baby' from the ban the bomb movement.

1964 ... Launch key safe!

... viewed at a museum site; the safe holding the two keys needed to start the Titan II missile launch sequence is visible in this underground Command Capsule. Notice the huge springs in the background which served to dissipate the shock of a nearby Soviet nuclear strike.

... not sure how much 'BOING!' they expected from a 'near-miss' - but the launch officers did have seat-belts on their well padded chairs!

all images- Right click- open in New Window= super colossal size!

1957 ... ventilation plug!

... fitted to a prototype blast shelter, at a Nevada test site, a large hollow steel ball will temporarily block a ventilation duct during an atomic explosion. The huge pressures and winds of a close-by detonation could travel through the ventilation system of a shelter and kill or injure the occupants. Any sudden change in air pressure will instantly pull this big steel ping-pong ball  into and choke the ventilation opening.

... judging from the 'scouring' pattern it may have already gone through a test at close range.

... video: Europe's Atomic Bombers

... the British 'V-Force'

... the French "Force de Frappe"

1957 ... International Atomic Energy Agency

... SAC history!

... what was once 'top-secret' is now included in helpful PR publications!

all images- Right click- open in New Window= super colossal size!

1953 ... B-47 Stratojet!

... looking at this sleek jet aircraft; it's hard to imagine that it was conceived during WW2 and had it's first flight in 1947 (67 years ago!). Two thousand thirty two were built and it remained in service as a SAC bomber until 1965. LINK

1945 ... babysitting the 'gadget' !

... atop the tower, in the 'shot cab', Alamogordo, New Mexico. First test of a nuclear 'device'. There was an electrical storm the night before the test; which made for some very nervous technicians.

"... nice bomb, good bomb- just sit there and be nice and quiet!"

1952 ... Bert The Turtle!

... teachers companion guide to the infamous Civil Defense film for grade school children "Duck And Cover"

all images- Right click- open in New Window= super colossal size!