The noise heard around the world 60 years ago

Published 4:58 pm Thursday, August 4, 2005

By Staff
I came in midway on a show the other day on the military channel which was extremely disturbing. A few years before I was born, and when I was still a preschooler, the military was performing a series of nuclear tests.
I rather doubt that the public knew what was going on in the deserts of Nevada, or in the middle of the ocean on some remote islands.
While military personnel donned goggles and gas masks, tremendous balls of fire erupted from the earth mushrooming into the sky.
Waves like wind travelled with tremendous speed across the land destroying all in its path. Pigs placed in pits similar to fallout shelters were cooked as if they were to be eaten for a barbeque, only in seconds.
Palm trees on the islands were torn from there roots.
At the end of the show a dramatic series of explosions of bombs were choreographed to music like a ballet of gruesome light and noise.
While the screen filled over and over with one after another explosion I couldn't help but be shocked and wonder whether these tests have not only caused illness and destruction, but changed our weather pattern.
I couldn't help but wonder how many other countries actually were able to perform secret tests and how much other disruption the earth was forced to endure.
The Trinity test was on July 16, 1945, in the desert in New Mexico. There an atomic bomb using plutonium was tested. "Its energy was equivalent to that released by 20,000 tons (20 kilotons) of TNT. This is an amount of energy equal to all the energy produced and consumed in the whole United States in about half a minute. However, this energy was released in a few millionths of a second, and in a volume only a few inches across. The sturdy 100-foot (30-meter) steel tower on which the bomb was mounted was completely vaporized. For hundreds of yards (meters) around the zero point the surface of the desert sand was fused to glass. The ball of incandescent air formed by the explosion boiled up rapidly to a height of 35,000 feet (10,700 meters)," according to reports.
Then on Aug. 6, 1945, 60 years ago, an atomic weapon of about 15 kilotons–carried by a U.S. bomber named Enola Gay–was exploded about 1,800 feet (550 meters) over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, a Trinity-type weapon of about 20 kilotons was exploded about 1,800 feet (550 meters) above Nagasaki.
About 70,000 people died at Hiroshima and about 40,000 at Nagasaki, and many thousands more were injured.
According to a report from the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, "by the mid-1980s atomic weapons were in the arsenals of at least five countries: the United States, the Soviet Union, France, the United Kingdom, and China. India has performed one test explosion of an atomic bomb, and several other countries, including North Korea, could make atomic weapons if they choose to expend the effort required to obtain the necessary materials."
A prayer for world peace on these anniversaries, is more important than ever.