Saturday, 23 April, 2011 7:02 AM
Dennis Hayden
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paul langley

Nuclear History Website

From : Dennis Hayden
Combined Veterans’ Forum International

Hello Paul ,

Below is a copy of an e-mail with comment by Dr Judy Blakey of New Zealand on the forwarded open letter written by Dave Whyte , a nuclear veteran who served at Christmas Island . This was sent to 550 UK Members of Parliament earlier this year. . Dave has been painstaking and meticulous in his research much of which was obtained by Freedom of Information questions to government departments in the UK .

The illlegal removal of body tissue , organs and bone from deceased UK nuclear veterans without consent of their families was revealed by Michael Redgrave QC in September 2010 . Redfern’s Inquiry was set up to investigate the practice being appled on deceased nuclear industry workers . However on pages 89 and 90 of the 600 page document Redfern revealed this illegal practice is also covertly applied to nuclear veterans who participated in the UK’s nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific and Australia .

Needless to say the UK government , through Europe , is signed up to the Human Rights Act . But as you can see from Dave Whyte’s letter they pay little attention to that fact in the case of radiation damage to health . The UK governemnt also ignores the European Directive 29/96 , an obligation ” to medically monitor persons exposed to ionising radiation in the past “which would include blood testing of all nuclear veterans . The UK Ministry of Defence dismiss the Directive as ” not applicable to the military use of nuclear energy .” Court action in the UK may force them to revise that opinion .

I think you might find Dave’s letter interesting and worthy of inclusion in your nuclear history blog.

All the best


Dr Judy Blakey is a Health Researcher and her comments to the NZ government on Dave’s letter reads as follows :

The issues raised in the letter below are relevant to New Zealand’s ageing nuclear test veteran survivors, and their families. Consequently, I ask that you read the contents of the Open Letter and reflect on the array of ethical issues embedded in David Whyte’s request that:
All documentation relating to this barbaric episode of our history should be released for all to see.

I note that the comment about accessibility of the website contents re the medical research programmes are unfortunately already unavailable for viewing by the general public (see below):
Any one with doubts about the medical programmes mentioned can view all the medical research programmes at: http://www.nigb.nhs.uk/ecc/reg/nhsscr010408.PDF
It will be interesting to see how long this web site remains available for viewing by the general public.

As a health researcher whose professional actions are grounded in , and guided by, sustaining a transparent and ethical approach to conducting research in a manner that respects the rights of informed consent of research participants AT ALL TIMES, I find the cavalier attitude and continuing actions/inactions of the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) completely indefensible regarding their treatment of nuclear test veterans such as David Whyte. Moreover, the MoD’s veil of secrecy impacts on the lives of New Zealand’s own nuclear test veterans and their families, who have spent more than 50 years in search of the truth, and of justice.

Dave Whyte’s open letter reads as follows :

An open email letter for International Distribution from CVFI Associate , Dave Whyte

Dear Members of Parliament,

Welcome back from your well deserved holiday, I hope you had a very pleasant vacation. I can foresee a very busy schedule for you in the next few months and hope you may be able to spend some of your valuable time to read this article, and then act on behalf of your Constituents who were Nuclear Veterans or Families of Nuclear Veterans. I realise some of the details may shock you, but it will enlighten you to the devious actions of some unscrupulous individuals when they obtain powers beyond their capabilities. Your researchers will be able to verify the facts I give in this letter.

Most of you will know some Nuclear Veterans, or their Families, living in your constituency, perhaps you have helped them in the past when they were attempting to obtain information from an uncooperative Ministry of Defence. I have no doubt, the Veterans and their Families are extremely grateful for all the help you have given in the past.

We have left 2010 behind us for 2011, but I feel individual thoughts may be towards 2012 when we celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elisabeth II and the decision to hold the Olympic Games in the United Kingdom. No doubt history will repeat itself, there will be numerous dissenters (some in Government circles), complaining about ‘Human Rights’ violations in countries like Russia, China, North Korea, Burma etc. Whether they are right or wrong, I wonder if these individuals have paused to consider the violations against ‘Human Rights’ perpetrated by the British Government over the years. I am not talking about ‘Slavery’ 200 years ago which Gordon Brown considered required an apology. Why did he not consider apologising to British Servicemen and their Allies for using them as ‘Human Guinea Pigs’ in medical experiments during the British Nuclear test programme and are still listed on a covert medical experimentation programme until their death.

2012 is also the Diamond Jubilee of the first British Atomic Bomb test in Australia. 1952 was the start of the worst cases of Human Rights violations any supposedly Democratic Government has inflicted on their own citizens. Even in Nazi Germany, Joseph Mengele did not conduct his deplorable human medical experiments on the ethnic German population.

After many years of denial, the British Government were found guilty of conducting ‘Human Medical Experiments’ at Porton Down in the 1950/60s. These human experiments pale into insignificance compared to the British Nuclear Human medical experiments the British Government, in collusion with the Australian Government, agreed to conduct using their own Servicemen as ‘Human Guinea Pigs!’ The secret letter (attached) written in 1956 shows the contempt both Governments showed towards their loyal Servicemen. In Part 1 the letter states: ‘United Kingdom and Australian Governments authorised an investigation into the biological effects including ingestion of radioactive fallout by (men and animals)’ – – – Part 2 goes on to state ‘Elaborate arrangements for the welfare of the animals are being made!’

It is noted: reference was made to both humans and animals ingesting the fall out but it is only the animals that are having elaborate arrangements made for their welfare. There is no mention of the servicemen. It appears Servicemen were the bottom of the proverbial pile as far as our Government was concerned.

Perhaps this is the reason for the self imposed silence and refusal to answer questions posed to the likes of Lord Astor, Gordon Brown, Kevan Jones, Andrew Robathan, Nick Harvey to name just a few of the individuals struck dumb when asked questions they are afraid to answer. If they answered the questions truthfully, they would have to reveal the true extent of atrocities committed against our Troops. The old WWI saying, ‘Lions led by Donkeys’ still appears appropriate in the corridors of Whitehall.

The discovery of the 1956 letter now puts various things into perspective: I was at Christmas Island in 1958 and witnessed three hydrogen and two atomic bombs being detonated. For the Atomic bombs I was ordered into ‘Ground Zero’ within two hours of detonation to clear up the radioactive debris. For both bombs, I was supplied with a radiation Film Badge and a personal Dosimeter but was denied the use of any protective clothing to protect me against the radiation, nor was I offered the use of a respirator to prevent the ingestion of fallout. These items of equipment were for the sole use of Civilian AWRE Staff, not Servicemen nominated for ‘Human Experimentation’. In order to discover the full body radiation dose I received, I recently requested the results of my radiation film badges but have was informed my badges had gone missing and they do not know the radiation readings. My personal Dosimeter was read in a similar manner to a clinical thermometer, I remember vividly being instructed: If the radiation goes above 7r work for a maximum of two hours then get out. My dosimeter only read 5r on both occasions so I worked for over two hours. The dosimeters measured ‘Beta’ radiation rather than gamma so my total dose rate (only for the two bombs) came to 25r. I was living in a tent, less than three miles from ground zero and subjected to fallout and radiation from the surrounding area so I estimate the total Gamma radiation I received was well in excess of 300r. The MOD know the true figures of my full body radiation dose but refuse to tell me.

It is a fact, virtually all documents relating to blood counts and radiation received by Civilian AWRE attending the Nuclear testing are still intact. It is only Servicemen’s documentation that was permitted to go astray. Apparently, with ‘No Questions asked!’

For any person who has the slightest doubt about a British Government being capable of conducting the barbaric human experiments mentioned I would refer them to ‘Operation Lighthouse’. This operation was cancelled due to the moratorium on nuclear weapons in 1959.http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2001/s300334.htm

Operation Lighthouse: Was an atomic bomb test, scheduled and planned by the British and Australian Governments to take place in 1959. This test would have been more shocking than anything that had gone before.
Hundreds of Australian and British Troops were to dig trenches close to the area known as ground zero, they were to lie in the trenches and cover themselves with a blanket for protection during the detonation of an atomic bomb. After detonation, the troops would emerge from the trenches and carry out tasks they had been given to complete in and around the radioactive zones. This test had been specifically designed to check the Servicemen’s ability to continue working after a nuclear explosion had taken place.

The Servicemen were to have a blood count taken prior to the nuclear test and a further blood count after the test to discover the damage caused to the bodies immune system (White blood cells). They were also to be issued with Radiation Film Badges to discover the full body dose rate of radiation they received. I now realise, I was on the precursor to Operation Lighthouse, I had a blood count taken before and after the atomic bomb test and was also issued with a radiation Film Badge and like the proposed ‘Human Guinea Pigs’ for Operation Lighthouse protective clothing and respirators were not supplied. The blood count taken prior to the test is in my Service medical records for all to see, the results of the blood count taken after the test and my radiation film badge mysteriously vanished and nobody is prepared to give a truthful answer as to why this was permitted to occur.Virtually all civilian blood counts have survived, but the MOD refuse to release the results of Servicemen’s blood counts. The MOD say they have been destroyed or lost!

Had Operation Lighthouse gone ahead, I dread to think of the number of lives that would have been sacrificed needlessly in order to appease the perverse curiosity of a Government desirous to determine the medical ailments ionised radiation can cause to the human body.

In 1984, Prof Evans, an expert in cytogenetics, based at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh discovered an inordinate number of chromosomal aberrations in patients who had been present at the British Nuclear Tests. He informed the MRC of his findings and suggested all Nuclear veterans should be examined to discover the extent of genetic damage caused by ionised radiation. Rather than heed the Professors advice, they told him it was not necessary to examine any more Nuclear Veterans as the NRPB were going to conduct an epidemiology study. The NRPB studies were a useless exercise and waste of taxpayers money. They were designed to try and stop people asking questions relating to the lack of health and safety precautions for Servicemen during the nuclear tests. The MOD have now brought out a ‘Health Audit’ which is a further waste of taxpayers money and will produce no solutions to our problems. This new Paper study was initiated by the MOD to detract any further questions being raised about the ‘Human Medical Experimentation’ programme conducted on Servicemen during the nuclear testing and still continuing today.

There is a covert medical research programme MR185 for Nuclear Veterans deliberately radiated with massive doses of radiation to be cut up and examined after death. Most of the individuals placed on this programme are unaware of its existence. MR 185 is only for Service Nuclear Veterans, MR183 and MR183A is for the Civilian workmen who were provided with protective clothing and respirators during the British nuclear tests. I expect they will assess the value of the protective clothing from their findings. Unwilling participants for MR185 not only have their medical records flagged but also have a ‘Trace’. If today’s technology had existed in the 1950/60’s I expect the ‘Human Guinea Pigs’ would have been ‘Chipped’ like dogs! I am surprised the Redfern inquiry was not informed about these covert human medical research programmes when he was investigating the removal of body parts with or without permission from relatives of the deceased.

I hope no one is as naive as we were, and think the deaths and suffering of Nuclear Veterans were to benefit the Civilian Population in a nuclear war. It was designed for the few at the top, the very people who now refuse to answer our questions. Many people will never have heard of a Government plan called ‘Operation Methodical.’ In the event a nuclear war was imminent, Servicemen would be mobilised, not for the defence of the country, but to collect all valuable artefacts and paintings from the museums and art galleries throughout the country and store them in underground bunkers. This sounds very similar to some stories about the NAZI party during WWII, but this was being planned in the United Kingdom. There was no provision for underground bunkers for the Civilian Population to shelter in, although there was one for the elite few who were making the rules. The Civilian Population would be denied any protection against ionised radiation just as our Servicemen and Allies were denied back in the 1950/60s. I do not know if ‘Elaborate Arrangements’ had been made for the welfare of the animals in this event.

When I was young, and naive, I would have considered it inconceivable that a British Government could follow the heinous examples of Hitler and Stalin in treating the Armed Forces with such contempt. Any one with doubts about the medical programmes mentioned can view all the medical research programmes at: http://www.nigb.nhs.uk/ecc/reg/nhsscr010408.PDF
It will be interesting to see how long this web site remains available for viewing by the general public.

If the Government are truly interested in the health and welfare of Servicemen, all Nuclear Veterans should be given a thorough medical examination and blood tests to discover the degree of genetic damage caused due to ionised radiation. These actions could prevent lengthy and costly court appearances and produce the medical data required without resorting to covert and uncivilised medical practices.

All documentation relating to this barbaric episode of our history should be released for all to see.

All Nuclear Veterans, their Families and our brave Allies appreciate any help and assistance you can give in resolving this problem.

With many thanks

David Whyte
Ex Royal Engineers
Christmas Island 1958
Associate to the Combined Veterans’ Forum International

Note : All of the above impacts upon all who took part in th UK nclear weapons test in the Pacific and Australia .


  1. Kristin Hiebert Says:

    GREAT REVIEW! I totally agree with all you said in your post, especially at the middle of your article. Thank you, your post is very valuable as always. Keep up the good work! You’ve got +1 more reader of your blog:) Isabella S.

  2. Operation Lighthouse | Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog Says:

    […] See also https://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/experimentation-and-lack-of-human-rights-for-nuclear-… […]

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