In Contradiction to the Official position – the experience of the Cloud Chase Aircrews.

RAAF and USAF Totem 1 Cloud Chasing – Portions of the Cloud were
“lost”. The Experiences of RAAF and USAF Aircrews Chasing the Totem
1 Atomic Cloud.

As much as some authorities and commentators may deny the existence of
ground level nuclear clouds, Beta Skin Lesions inflicted upon people and
other harms, there are in fact public record proofs that the Totem 1 cloud broke up and
portions were officially lost:

The United States Air Force took part in the “chasing” of the Totem 1 atomic
bomb cloud. The American B29 bombers were crewed by personnel who
were veterans of many such exercises. They, along with their RAAF
counterparts, lost track of portions of the cloud. The flight logs and debrief
materials and the testimony of the personnel involved would seem invaluable.

“The two USAF B29s had difficulty relocating these patchy clouds of
radioactivity after flying through them. The American crews, veterans of
US atomic tests and experienced atomic cloud chasers, stated that the activity
was the most intense they had ever encountered. Their on board detection
instruments had reached Full Scale Deflection (FSD) and remained at FSD
until after the aircraft had landed.” “a confused situation was seen to be
developing. In an attempt to reconcile the two sets of reports and locate the
main Totem 1 cloud, the RAAF Richmond Controller, taking his
meteorological information into account, suggested that two possible paths
existed for the cloud: One north then north-westerly; the other north- easterly
then south-easterly.”
“A single RAAF Lincoln was dispatched to reconnoitre both paths to establish
two separate clouds had developed and how the cloud contacted by the
USAF B29s was moving.” Positive contact was made with a radioactive cloud
over Charleville, Western Queensland. The Lincoln was then instructed to
continue with the original search plan but it later transpired that the crew had
not known their position accurately and had been lost after the first fix near
Charleville. The aircraft was guided home to Williamstown RAAF base after a
flight of nearly 12 hours. The crew reported that they had visually sighted a
cloud and that their radiation detection instruments had shown Full Scale
Deflection. The remaining RAAF aircraft were sent to RAAF Garbutt, north of
Townsville. This seemed appropriate as the cloud appeared to be moving in a
north easterly direction. The area south east of Townsville was searched from
H + 44 and H + 51 hours, at a distance of 1,100 miles from Emu Field. The
aircraft flew spaced 60 nautical miles apart. On their return to RAAF Garbutt
all the aircraft filters showed radioactivity even though its was probable the
wrong area had been searched as a result of the invalid 800 miles report by
the earlier single Lincoln flight. Post event analysis confirmed that the cloud
centre passed over Townsville about the time the first Lincoln aircraft was
preparing for take off and that they may well have passed through the cloud as
they were gaining altitude after take off.” [1]
There is basis in fact for acknowledging that the remote, civilian witnesses on
the ground knew more precisely where some of the missing portions of the
Totem 1 cloud were than did the aircrews in Lincoln and B29 aircraft. This is
because portions of the cloud were at ground level, several thousand feet
below the flight paths. The radiation of those portions of the clouds which did
remain at height and which were found were observed by trained US B29
personnel to be “the most intense they had ever encountered”.

Yet the Royal Commission relied upon modeling created under orders by atomic test
authorities. Obviously direct reading of a radiac instrument gives an
immediate evidence based result. Even the most sophisticated algebra years
later will be at best self serving in the results produced. The modeling of the
Black Mist presented to the Royal Commission tendered a much lower level of
radioactivity than was reported by the flew crews.

This Black Mist “lost” portion rolled through land occupied by Aboriginal and
other remote witnesses. The portion Titterton officially mocked in his official
capacity. For example, of the British mathematical model of the Totem 1
cloud, Roach stated “All I can say is that I have been able to fiddle the model
to produce a Black Mist…..” [2] The assumption that the Black Mist did not
contain fireball material, that it was primarily stem deposition, will be
examined in a later section. The witnesses weren’t fiddling. They were
accurately observing the suffering the cloud caused.

Lallie’s tent captured the fallout. Lallie observed it do so. It is crucial evidence
she was never asked about. What happened to the tent? What is the
diagnosis of her skin condition from the perspective of a Health Physics

On 1 March 1954, five months after the 15 October 1953 Totem 1 Black Mist
harmed so many, USAF B29s again chased a nuclear cloud. It was called the
Castle Bravo nuclear bomb cloud. Portions of it fell upon the inhabitants of the
Marshall Islands, causing Beta Radiation Burns, other radiation related illness
and death and causing death injury to the crew of the Japanese fishing
vessel Daigo Fukuryū Maru. Déjà vu for those aircrew.
The repeated exclusion of Aboriginal people from health surveys.
“Two population groups are excluded from the (Exposure Dose) calculations.
They are the Aboriginals living away from population centres and the
personnel involved directly in nuclear test activities. Otherwise, the total
population is represented in the estimated radiation doses.” [3]

In other words, those most affected were excluded.
The Howard government originally promised to include Aboriginal people and
Pastoralists in the health study announced in 1999. The responsible minister,
Bruce Scott, MP, stated: “I have announced the compilation of a nominal roll
of ex-service personnel involved in the testing and also civilians, aborigines
and pastoralists, for whom information is available. This nominal roll will be
used to conduct mortality and cancer incidence studies of Australians involved
in the UK nuclear tests. This will enable the Government to determine if
current compensation and assessment arrangements are sufficient.” [4]

In March 2006 the then responsible minister, Mr. Bruce Billson, MP, emailed
me as follows: “Indigenous Australians were excluded from the study because
there is no available list of Indigenous Australians who were present in the
areas of the tests at the time. In the 1950s and 1960s the indigenous
population was not counted in the census and there were no records kept of
Indigenous Australians who lived in the test areas.” [5]

This exclusive act is abhorrent and disgusting. The authorities did not want to
know in the 1950s. And today Ministers of the Crown justify exclusion from
study on the grounds of lack of knowledge. To an open mind, ignorance is a
call to study, not a barrier to it.

So again, the obvious signs of external contact with Beta emitters – residual
Beta radiation burn damage – has been ignored, along with the probable
internal dose, as recently as 2006. By excluding affected people, their skin
would not have to be looked at in the light of the Bomb tests.

The beta burns carried by Australians date from 1953. 1952 was not a good
year either. Every official instrument created to examine the impact of the
atomic tests has failed to admit the evidence these beta burns present. For
they represent both as proof of suffering and as technical biological markers
of external dose received.

The skin lesions can be read as a form of dose marker from which actual
external dose can be determined. [6]

The Other Black Cloud
The Royal Commission paragraph 6.4.51, page 185, records the report of a
Black Cloud in 1956. It was not a ground level cloud. This report is based on
a message sent “restricted priority” to the “Director Maralinga”. The message
relayed Officer MacDougall’s report that “men employed at Ingomar who were
camped 15 miles West of Mount Pemrhyer Bore on 27th September (1956
added in pen to the original document) report that a very Black Cloud
detached itself from the main cloud and traveled Northwards and then
rejoined the main cloud. ….At night when they were in bed particles of sandy
dust were hitting their canvas camp sheets very similar to raindrops. Message
ends. …” [7]

The Director Maralinga was William Penney. There is no record of any Health
Physics response. But the report is not contested as are the reports of similar
events where the reporters were not members of the British group. Perhaps
Andrew Bolt could research why these things are so. Why an event reported
by people approved by the British is believed, while those reports from “non
approved people” are questioned to this day.


[1] “Atomic Fallout”, Volume 3 , No 9, Nov/Dec 2003 Pages 4 – 8. Published
by the Atomic Ex-Servicemen’s Association, A.C.T. Inc.

[2] McClellland et al, “The Report of the Royal Commission into British
Nuclear Tests in Australia”, ISBN 0 644 04434 9, Set of two volumes,
6.4.41 pp 183.

[3] Wise, K.N., Moroney, J.R., “Public Health Impact of Fallout from British
Nuclear Weapons Tests in Australia, 1952 – 1957”, Australian Radiation
Laboratory, Commonwealth of Australia, ARL/TR 105, ISSN 0 157-1400, May
1992, (reprint) pp. 2.

[4] “Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Debates HOUSE OF

[5] The Hon Bruce Billson MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister
Assisting the Minister for Defence, Federal Member for Dunkley, email to Mr.
Paul Langley, March 2006.

[6] IAEA publication “Diagnosis and Treatment of Local Radiation
Injuries, Module XIII”. This is available at :

[7] National Archives of Australia document Title: “Department of Aboriginal
Affairs – Atomic Weapons tests health effects.” Series Number A6456
Control Symbol R008/003 Contents Date Range: circa 1950 – circa 1985,
Access Status: Open. Location: Canberra. Barcode: 4141378, Viewable
online digital copy.

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