Fallout factors – British Nuke Tests – Christmas Island

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Saturday, 16 October, 2010 10:09 PM
“Dennis Hayden”
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Hi Alan ,

Hope you are feeling much , much better and that you are now out of hospital and back home recuperating .

Attached is a copy of the recently completed report :

” Meteorogical records , airflow and other factors affecting local fall out from British nuclear tests at Christmas Island in 1957 – 58 .” by Chris Busby and Dai Williams ( October 2010 ) .

This is another nail in the UK MoD/Government’s attempt to bury the truth on radiation induced damage from radioactive fall out on those who served at British nuclear test locations . It is another nail in MoD attempts to bury the truth of radiation damage to health by ingested and inhaled radioisotopes .

On the basis of what goes up in nuclear test clouds (i.e . assorted ionised dirt, vapourised bomb components etc containing alpha and beta fissionable radioactive isotopes such as caesium – 137 , carbon – 14 , strontium – 90 , plutonium -239 , iodine -131 , polonium -201 etc etc etc ) eventually , and often very quickly , it comes back down , the affects of this report also applies to what happened locally at Maralinga . Remember the “black mist ” incident !

This report has been cleared for distribution by the legal team in UK . Feel free to do as you wish with it . This science based – evidentiary report also contains excellent eye witness accounts from veterans on the ground and in the air of rainfall following test detonations .

Your attention is also drawn to the comments of Dr Busby in the fwwd email of 04 October and comparison with the amounts of Tritium released at Chernobyl .

Link this , if you wish , to the verdict of Judge Foskett ( High Court , London 05 June 2009 ) the ” prime causal link to ill health in nuclear veterans is from fall out ” and the current desperation of the UK MoD is to keep us out of court is clear to see .

The MoD are still witholding documents demanded by the Judge . They have lost control of the science of causality and have no where else to hide .

The legal team here is not concerned with delays and hold ups , it provides more time to gather more damning evidence ! As the saying goes , give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves .

Best regards to all ,


—– Original Message —–
From: Dennis Hayden
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2010 1:38 PM

Hi Joe ,

Just a quick one .

It is important that information contained within the October 2010 Professor Busby/ Dr William’s report on fall out radiation at Christmas Island ( Attached ) gets into the press and onto the campaign website . .

This report is first class science – based evidence with witness statements by veterans on the ground and expert witness / observation from the air on cloud dispersal and fallout ove the test location .

See also Chris Busby’s email of 4th October – ” It turns out the MoD have lied about absolutely everything ” .

This report has been cleared by the legal team for distribution and publication .

The report is, in fact , confirmation of the verdict of Judge Foskett of June 2009 that the NZ Rowland Study is ” crucial and pivotal ” evidence of genetic damage and ” the prime causal link to ill health in nuclear veterans is from ingested fallout .”

The same importance for publication applies to the £25,000 help for the Pension Appeal Tribunal cases given by the Royal British Legion .

The forwarded exchange of email gives further information on the significance of the Busby/Williams report and further attempts by the MoD to hold up the legal process .

With thanks for your help ,

all the best ,

for and on behalf of
the Combined Veterans’ Forum International .
———- Original Message —–
From: Dennis Hayden
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2010 10:56 AM

Hi Joe ,

Forwarded for information . The attached report by Chris Busby and Dai Williams on Christmas Island Fall Out is being acclaimed by NZ veterans .The report is solid evidentiary science which will be made good use of by the NZNTVA .

Thanks from all veterans Joe for the part you played in compiling this report .

Best regards ,


Dave ,
Feel free to use this information as you wish. It has been cleared by the legal team .

—– Original Message —–
From: Dennis Hayden
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2010 10:38 AM

Dear Chris and Dai ,

Received the following email from Roy Sefton in New Zealand this a.m with regard to your report on Christmas Island Fall Out :

” What a magnificant piece of work . Would you please extend the sincere appreciation of the NZNTVA to Chris Busby and Dai Williams and all involved .

It has come at a very good time for me and my battle with the NZ Expert Panel .”

All best regards , Roy .”

Attempts to delay litigation .

The legal situation now is the MoD are trying again to delay the Pension Appeal Tribunals case under Judge Stubbs with the ” explanation” they cannot find the papers he has requested .

I have forwarded some emails for information .

With best regards to both ,

for and on behalf of
the CVFI

—– Original Message —–
From: Roy Sefton
To: Dennis Hayden ; Margaret Broughton ; Margaret Snow ; Judy Blakey ; Ruth Mckenzie ; Teri Tahi ; Robin Klitscher ; Catherine Trundle ; MIST JAMES, MR
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2010 3:39 AM

Dear All

PLEASE NOTE;- THE ATTACHED REPORT SHOULD BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH Lt Cdr RNZN Rtd Gerry Wright’s paper “RNZN Ships movements in relation to fallout patterns at Operation Grapple”. Wrights paper has previously been made available to Govt, VANZ, RNZRSA. Copies are available from myself thru my EM address above.

JAMES I would be pleased if you could forward all of this
communication to Prof John Campbell Chair EP. Mr Rick Ottaway & NRO’s VANZ

ROBIN & THE TWO MARGARETS. This info may be useful for WP and WP Appeals. Robin your aviation interests may be aroused by the pilots accounts towards the end of the paper. In particular Joe Pasquini who is now resident in the US and was not aware of the legal proceedings etc until recently. Thankfully He is a meticulous record keeper. His comments re Grapple Y of which HMNZS Pukaki (and myself in shorts and sandles sailed under for 23 hours). He mentions his friend Eric Denson who flew a PR Canberra. Eric’s widow Shirley is a fellow member of the CVFI UK . I speak to her frequently. Pasquini’s full reports are chilling not only for the airmen but those below on land and sea.
Eric Denson eventually sampled the Grapple Y cloud. That evening he was missed at the Wardroom. He was found to be very ill. He was surveyed and he was heavily irradiated and he was flown back to the UK almost immediately. After some years of illness he finally committed suicide. His widow and children left to support themselves.

THE MoD.. As Dennis Hayden says, the MoD continues obviously, with the support of the UK Government to stall and deny a fair trial to the UK and “Commonwealth” servicemen
who served so well. As these delays proceed more deaths of veterans and their widows continue. The lack of any morals and a sense of humanity exercised by the politicians and public servants is unbelievable. However as seen by this recent study by Prof Busby, slowly but surely the combined efforts of veterans in the UK, Australia, and NZ , the growing interest of academics internationally in recognising and becoming active in righting the injustices impounded on the veterans and their families will eventually expose the unjust practices employed and the people who initiated them internationally.

all best

Roy Sefton Chair

—– Original Message —–

From: Dennis Hayden
To: Roy Sefton
Cc: Catherine.Trundle@vuw.ac.nz
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2010 9:24 AM

Hi Roy ,

Please find attached copy of report by Professor Chris Busby and Dr Dai Williams of the ” Meteorogical records , airflow and other factors affecting fall – out from British nuclear tests at Christmas Island in 1957 – 58 .”

I would have sent copy earlier but needed clearance from legal team as the document will be used as evidence to support the Fox Court , London trial of 16 Appeals Tribunals scheduled for November . It is OK to use any information contained therein as you may deem appropriate .

In the exchange of information between Dai Williams , Joe Pasquini sampling aircrew and expert witness / observer and others in the compilation of this report Catherine was also copied . This included much of Joe’s very detailed eyewitness evidence of which you may be aware . So , this is copied also to Catherine . You can feel free to distribute this to anyone and everyone you wish .

Just spoke to Shirley . The situation here is that the political exclusion against establishing the truth is still being strongly enforced by denial , deception and stalling tactics . That is , the verdict on the MoD’s appeal against the sucessful limitation trial verdict of 06/2009, due any time in October , has now been sought by the MoD to be deferred until after the November Appeal Tribunal hearing . The MoD are even reqesting a deferment on this trial . There is no guarantee their request for deferment will be granted .That is up to the Judges . It is an indication of the desperate position the MoD find themselves in . They are running scared , they have nowhere left to hide now except to keep themselves out of court as long as possible !

The attached fall out report confirms the verdict of Judge Foskett in the Limitation Trial : the ” crucial and pivotal “evidence of the Rowland Study and ” the prime causal link to ill health in nuclear veterans is fall out radiation .” The MoD can no longer live in the fantasy world that there was no fall out at test locations .

What goes up comes down and we have the evidence .

All the best ,


—– Original Message —–
From: Dr Chris Busby
To: Dennis Hayden
Cc: bramhall@llrc.org
Sent: Monday, October 04, 2010 6:14 PM
Subject: new report

Dear Dennis,
Thank you and all the vets for talking to Dai who has spend a lot of time and hard work on the NOAA modelling. I have incorporated this into the tribunal cases through Rosenblatts: the BL have coughed up a bit of money as you know. Here is the report I put together which goes forward with the two other fat reports I have now provided for 16 PATs. It turns out the MoD have lied about absolutely everything. Thank Shirley from sending me the the New Zealand Report 1981 it was very useful: I notice in it that they found Uranium and Radium-226 but didnt report how much. You can bet that this was uranium from the bombs. I also draw attention in the new report i made for the case to Tritium and Carbon 14. I have calculated that the amount of Tritium produced at Christmas Island is Ektabecquerels (10E+18) more than the total activity of all radiation relased by Chernobyl. This would have been totally invisible to the detectors they used and the film badges but would have, as radioactive tritiated water HTO, contaminated the drinking water supply, the lagoons, the sea water, the food and the air. Half Life 12 years. MoD didnt measure or mention Tritium.

Attachement post to follow

14 Responses to “Fallout factors – British Nuke Tests – Christmas Island”

  1. branchenbuch Says:

    Of course, what a great site and informative posts, I will add backlink – bookmark this site? Regards,

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  3. Jane O'Connor Says:

    I have been very interested in your website and learnt more about the nuclear tests off Christmas Island. My father, Group Captain Terry Gledhill, was the task group commander in 76 Squadron during this time, and he was ‘Sniff Boss’ in Task Force ‘Grapple Y’ in April 1958. I recently read his diary and flying log of his experience during this time, which was both fascinating and terrifying. He still remembers everything very clearly. I am sure he will be interested when I share your site with him.

    • nuclearhistory Says:

      Hi Jane, thanks for your message. Does your father plan to write a book? I think a book by Group Captain Terry Gledhill would
      be a fascinating read. And a dramatic movie.


    • Joe Pasquini Says:

      Hello Jane
      I was Navigator in Sniff Boss for Grapple Yankee.
      I knew your father well.
      Have only just come across your comments

      • Jane O'Connor Says:

        Hi Joe
        I have just spoken to my father about your email and he was over the moon – he said you ‘were in the same outfit’, and were a navigator who he liked very much! He would love to hear from you and wonders how you are. He is elderly now – 87 – but we often talk about the past and all his adventures. If you reply, please could you do so in the same way and I will show it to him.
        With best wishes,
        Jane O’Connor

      • Joe Pasquini Says:

        Hello Jane
        Let Terry know that we Octogenarians need to do more Jumping Jacks each day, to stay fit. Have lived overseas for many decades and was out of the loop, till a couple of years ago. Past couple of years have done quite a bit of traveling. Last year I met Chris Donne at the Grapple Reunion in London. Year before was able to spend a couple of weeks in Adelaide, and met up with Ron Edwin-Scott. Missed seeing Jim Ray who also lives there. Have got a few photos, including the 76 line-up at Christmas Island, with Terry in the centre. Don’t know how I can get these to you, unless you could get me an email address that they can be sent to.
        Best regards to you and Terry.

      • Jane O'Connor Says:

        Hi Joe,
        Dad was thrilled to hear from you and remembers all the names you mentioned. He is not strong enough to go to the Grapple Reunion any more, which saddens him. Contact for photo is JaneOConnor52@gmail.com
        Many thanks and glad to hear you are so fit! Dad misses the travelling greatly.
        Best wishes,

  4. henry genthe Says:

    I live on Xmas Island and am interested in our nuclear history. my main question: where is the residual radioactivity today? with the fallout which occured on the island during the british tests in 57 – 58, and the half lives of uranium etc. there should be residual radiation on the island. but apparently according to several reports, none, other than background radiation has been found. why not? or is this a cover up?
    thanks. Henry Genthe

    • nuclearhistory Says:

      Hi Henry. Thanks for your contact and excellent information. In general, and off the top of my head, In the case of a nuclear weapon detonated at sufficient height to prevent the fireball from touching the earth, following is generally true:

      The material available to become fallout is limited to the bomb, unfissioned fuel, fission products and material comprising the tower in the case of a tower shot. This amounts to a few tons. This is much less the fallout generated by a bomb detonated at ground level or near ground level. A shot which creates a crater will generate about 50 tons of fallout material, mainly earth which has become coated with fission and activation products.

      A Hydrogen bomb in the megaton range may generate a fireball which transports a proportion of the fission products into the Stratosphere. The material may take months and years to fallout to earth. The fallout may travel around the planet several times before falling out. The heaviest material falls out first. Thus, the lighter fractions stay aloft longer and decay further before falling. This is especially true of the fission decay products which form from gaseous primary fission products. For example Strontium is a decay product of Krypton gas (Krypton, Rubidium, Strontium 89, stable Zirconium). The Krypton is blown off from the main mass, remains aloft longer than solids, and so Strontium 89 is widely distributed. With a half life of 52 days, Strontium 89 decays rapidly and comparatively little enters the biosphere.

      Such considerations led officials to claim that the H bomb was the “Clean Bomb”. The 1954 Castle Bravo fallout contamination of the Marshall Islands, which killed and injured people in those islands and the crew of the Japanese fishing ship Lucky Dragon, led to a reappraisal of that position. In the US and around the world people became suspicious of nuclear authorities at that time. The deaths of crew of the Lucky Dragon caused outrage in Japan. The Japan-US Peace Treaty ending the Occupation of Japan had only taken place in 1951 (http://www.international.ucla.edu/eas/documents/peace1951.htm) and the horrors of atomic bombs were remembered vividly by the Japanese. The Peace Treaty depowered US Censorship within Japan and Japanese researchers, publishing in the Japanese language, gave the population the greatest technical and social education into the effects of atomic bomb, free from the information control enabled in the USA and NATO countries by the powers of the US Atomic Energy Act of 1948. Britain followed US dictates in this regard. Up until the Clinton administration and the publication of tons of documents that President ordered, the English speaking peoples may as well have been living in 1944 in regard to much our officially released knowledge of the effects of Atomic Weapons.
      Knowledge about fallout was suppressed and lies were told to the voters in Western Nations.
      Both Britain and the US detonated Hydrogen bombs above Christmas Island.

      Given the routine detonation of Hydrogen bombs above Christmas Island one would expect a detailed examination of the environment there to reveal traces of fission products, unfissioned bomb fuel and remanents of induced radioactivity. Induced radioactivity occurs when neutron rays released by the bombs strikes the air, water and soil. In the case of humans and other life, neutron rays passing through bone created radioactive Phosphorous 32 in that bone. This may cause radiation sickness, bone cancer and blood cancers in later years. The threats posed by the immediate radiation burst of Hydrogen bombs is great. These megaton plus size blasts produce prodigious amounts of gamma and neutron radiation compared to the kiloton range size of fission bombs.

      The study of fallout is aided by the fact that plants tend to concentrate some fission products in their leaves, stems and roots. This fact is what prevented the Marshall Islanders from returning home for decades. A study of plant material on Christmas Island, modelled on the US studies undertaken on the Marshall Islands, may reveal the extend of any current contamination. There are specific fission products to look for. Cesium 137 and Strontium 90 are long lived enough to still be measueable on Christmas Island if these were present in the first place. There will be trace amounts at least present due to global fallout anyway. The presence of either of these above global “Sunshine” measurements indicates local fallout from local bombs.

      There may have been undisclosed sites of contamination on Christmas Islands. British authorities initially used the Nevada Test Site in the US for preliminary nuclear testing. The British made such a mess that the Americans kicked them out. That’s saying something. They came to Australia and lied to the Australians. There are plutonium waste tips at Maralinga which the English did not admit to until they were discovered by the Austrlians. There are areas of undisclosed contamination here, including the Oak Valley Aboriginal School. Noone was warned by the British. I dont know how many Australian lives that has cost. Being British myself, livining in Australia, I am very ashamed. I would be very suspicious of any statements issued by Britain regarding the nuclear environmental degradation caused on Christmas Island.

      I will see what else I can find out on this matter. When I come up with anything I’ll post your information Henry in a separate post.
      I will also post my references and where you can obtain them. The USA has most open depository of information. Getting information on this from the British like getting blood from a stone.

      Paul Langley

      • Joe Pasquini Says:

        Hello Paul
        I love your web site – I think it is great.
        Would like to mention a couple of things most people are unaware of, which relate to high altitude Hydrogen Bomb detonations. Each year the weight of the Earth increases by hundreds of thousand tones. The increase comes from Space Dust which is pulled in by Earths’ gravity. Most of it is microscopic in nature. So small that it is not visible to the naked eye. Look up on a clear day and you won’t see a thing, yet there are thousands of tones of microscopic particles above your head. Every now and again a bigger piece of Space Debris swings by, such as the recent meteor which visited Russia recently. These microscopic nuclei are the seeds, around which, ever drop of rain is formed. It could be argued that it never stops raining because of all of this Space Dust. The point being that while it may seem that the only thing that could be irradiated was the Bomb material itself, the reality is that there were thousands of tones of Space Dust available to create extensive Radio Active Rain and Fallout during Grapple.
        The Atomic Weapons Research Establishment was set up as a Research Establishment, because no one knew what they were doing. They kept trying stuff until something worked, much like AWE today. During the Grapple Operation AWRE deployed ‘Sticky Trays’ to capture radioactive debris. While the Trays would work for Ground/Balloon detonations, when huge amounts of debris were kicked up into the air, but they are useless for high altitude detonations. I would characterize the use of Stick Trays akin to the Karate Kid catching flies with a pair of chop sticks. Yet even today, AWE claim that the Hydrogen Bombs detonated at Christmas Island were ‘clean bombs’, because nothing was capture in the Stick Trays.
        In addition to not using adequate equipment for different tasks, much of the Radiological measuring equipment was primitive and inaccurate. Take the Film Badges that were used during Grapple. AWRE claimed (and still do) that they were the best things since sliced bread. In reality Film Badges are a lot like the ‘headlights of a car’. Headlights only beam in one direction – Forward. They don’t beam up, Down or to each Side. The Film Badge is very similar, it only capture radiation from the front (and a tiny back beam, through the back door). It does not capture radioactivity coming from Above, Below or from either Side. AWE also claim that Film Badges can capture ‘Beta’ radiation. Here is the rub; if you are standing outside and close to a radioactive aircraft, if the Film Badge is facing the aircraft – then it will record ‘Beta’ radiation. Climb inside the same aircraft, wearing the same Film Badge, and it will not record ‘Beta’ radiation. Because the metal and equipment inside the aircraft will shield the Badge from any radiation. I would suggest that all the Radiation Readings in the AWE Data Files are understated and grievously inaccurate. The AWE Blue Book, is a ‘Cooked Book’.
        Another thing which appears to have been ‘brainwashed’ into everyone’s head – is the use of the term FIREBALL. The Press, MoD, AWE and even Glasstone (who I consider the authority on Nuclear Weapons) use it. Fire is a Chemical Reaction. A Nuclear Detonation is a Physical Reaction. What is the difference? The difference is about 5,000 degrees C. A Match burns at 800 degrees C, Napalm at 1,400 degrees C, Thermite 3,000 degrees C. However, when we get to Nuclear you double the numbers; Fission is at 5,000 degrees C, and you need one of these triggers to start a Fusion cycle, which takes you up to 6,000 degrees C. Here we are talking about the surface temperature of the Sun.
        In reality, the ‘Fireball’ (sic) is really a ball of Nuclear Plasma, a liquid not a solid or gaseous object.

      • nuclearhistory Says:

        The lack of justice nuclear veterans have suffered does not result from lack of proof of harms. The civilisation which sits on the full facts and keeps them secret, will have collapse before what is actually known is knowable and verifiable by the public. Like all civilisations before it, the one we are stuck in contains the seeds of its own destruction.

  5. Nige Says:

    “The USA has most open depository of information. Getting information on this from the British like getting blood from a stone.” – Paul Langley

    They should publish more information but politically don’t care because deterrence is helped by keeping as much mystery as possible. There is a British depository at the National Archives in Kew (declassified British nuclear test reports are in catalogue sections DEFE 16 and ES 1).

    The Americans have also declassified a summary of fallout from British tests in Australia in the document:


    M. Morgenthau and R. L. Showers, Supplement – Foreign Nuclear Tests, U.S. Army Nuclear Defense laboratory, NDL-TR-34-Supplement (DASA-1251, Volume 2-Supplement), ADA956123, October 1964, Secret – Restricted Data.

  6. Rose Mary Merritt Says:


    The USS Cabildo participated in operation Dominic as a unit of Joint Task Force 8, operating in support of nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean. The ship’s duties were to take the natives off their island for their own protection during the test. They delivered and set up targets for the tests. Shipping the natives off their island had on one occasion of having to avoid a hot cloud.

    My deceased husband, Troy mention to me that he had witnessed the explosion. He remember watching and seeing a big plum that looked like a mushroom. I recall Troy stating he remember viewing a white cloud cover and the residue falling in the ship from the nuclear fallout of the testing as he stood topside on the ship. Debris floated over head, and in the sea, the island looked as if it was on fire. It then rained down on him and others and most of them got soaked. He would tell me this story over and over, over the years of our marriage. I also, remember his telling me to hold on to his military paperwork, because I may need them someday.

    Troy passed away from Glioblastoma a form of Brain Cancer. My search is to find out what the after affects of the testing on the ship crew and the islanders? The staff at the hospital where he was treated seem to think it may be a result of his exposure. If anyone has any information regarding this, please advise.

    Thank you,


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