The following short extraxct is reproduced for study purposes:
“UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project pp5
You guys have been here since the twenties? Before?
Yes. It was kind of something that evolved.
Well, yeah, I’m sure. And then relative to some of the other families, like the Sharps and the Whipples and the Fallinis, I know they have multiple places scattered throughout here, but they’re up in—
Railroad Valley and—
Just across the Grant Range.
Yes, just over the hill.
[00:05:00] Do you know the mileage on that?
Yes, how far, maybe as the crow flies?
Well, to the Bordoli place, would be the first place over the top of the mountain, I would say it’s probably not over fifteen miles. There were two brothers there, too, two Italian brothers that are related to the Fallinis, Jack Bordoli—
Yeah, they married a sister, or the guy married a sister.
But they had a boy, Jack Bordoli had a son that died of leukemia.
Same age as I was.
He was the same age as you?
Yes, seems like it.
He died young.
He died at seven or eight.
It was a sad, sad deal. And they were great people, great neighbors, too. I remember the little kid, you know. We called him Butch but I don’t know what his real name was [Martin]. It was Butchy Bordoli.
I’ll look that up.
Basically we were about the closest neighbors we had.
But they left.
Yeah, after Butchy died.
OK. So that would mean that your family and your relatives range here on this side of Railroad Valley, and then Railroad Valley itself through the Pancake Range, and how do you pronounce that, the Reveille?
The Reveille Range. These are Sharps, Uhaldes—
Fallinis. Bordolis. Whipples? Are they in there somewhere?
I don’t think Whipples are there.
OK. I know I saw a Whipple Ranch down at—
Yes, in the Pahranagat Valley. Pretty strong [there].
How far do you think your ranch is from the border of the test site?
Oh, as the crow flies, I think forty miles.
I wondered about that.
You and I are going to take a ride up here and I’ll show you. We used to go up to this pass and then look south and see where the pink cloud was and see who was going to get [fallout].
So you’re a little kid.
A little kid.
You were born in ’52?
And you were a little kid when—you’d be ten when Sedan—did I write that down? I wrote that date down. [Sedan July 6, 1962]
When the Sedan crater was made.
Ten years old. Tell me about the “snow”.
Tell you about it now, or tell you about it then?
Tell me about it back then.
Back then, I was probably scared shitless. Now I’m just mad beyond belief or—I don’t know how you can say it. But all I can remember is, as a little kid, I can remember people coming around and they made us wear these badges that I didn’t know what it was for. I didn’t understand how something that you couldn’t see could hurt you. But then when they shot the Sedan crater off and it looked like it was snowing here, I mean it looked like it was going to put down two inches of snow. I remember that well. That really—I think I had nightmares and everything after that because that kind of brought it home. Before, you couldn’t see it, so I didn’t understand how—but then, you know, you got this ash and dust sitting up here, stabbing you—
Who told you not to get it on you?
Well, my dad and mother wouldn’t let us go outside. I think it was three or four days they didn’t let us go out. And then, whoever the first people who came around were, and I don’t remember faces and names until Don James, but whatever they instilled—I remember they came and took our milk cows because they wanted to test the iodine[-131], and the strontium-90 gets in the milk first thing and all that whole baloney. I can remember my dad being just livid because he didn’t think they knew any more than we did about what the hell they were doing. He knew that they were being so secretive and so stupid about it that it could only mean something bad.
So before Don James, there were people that came out?
There were people, yeah. There was different versions of people. My mother, she lives in Ely, I don’t know if she would remember names or not.
That’s OK, it doesn’t matter.
But Don James was basically the first person that infiltrated—or maybe he came over to our side or something—but everybody liked Don James because I think he didn’t have all the answers and he didn’t really care. He was just here basically to have a good time and to do whatever he could do. He was a real human being, you know. These other guys that came around in these monkey suits and stuff, you’d just as well shoot them as look at them.
Did he dress differently?
Don? Yes, just like us. He was always happy-go-lucky and girls hanging out the front and out of the back of the pickup.
God, he was a dandy. He was the first guy I remember.
How old were you when you remember that? Little?
It wasn’t too far after Sedan.
[00:10:00] OK. I don’t remember when Don James first came out here.
In fact, I’m not sure he wasn’t the one that gave us the word about it, because they used to come around and tell you, We’re having a shot, and all this crap. If it gets bad enough, we’ll bring helicopters in and fly you out. My dad said, Bullshit, you’ll never do that. And they didn’t. So my dad, being suspicious and not trusting the government and thinking they were lying, bought a Geiger counter and scintillator. I don’t remember if the scintillator was a finer-tuning machine than the Geiger counter, but he really went off on this one. I do remember when they did the Sedan shot, we were haying and then after that, he took the Geiger counter over to the haystack and it just went berserk.
Wait a minute. So you had hay cut on the ground, drying, waiting to be baled.
And then Sedan was shot.
And then he measured it. Did he keep a record of that?
No. He was just mad about it all the time. It was a constant state. Every time that subject came up, it just infuriated him.
What happened to that hay?
I imagine the livestock ate it. And to my knowledge, there weren’t any deaths. But one thing I can tell you, and Kenny [Kenneth] Giles who works for DRI [Desert Research Institute] told me that—I remember with my own two hands and face that I saw a deer show up with patches of burnt skin. Kenny Giles says that couldn’t have been and didn’t happen. Well, bullshit, I saw it. I know what I saw.
Absolutely. That’s an interesting thing that you, living here, saw things. It’s not like you didn’t see them. So what did they tell you about that? Like you said Kenny said you didn’t see it.
Well, this is later. He said that couldn’t have been, you know, nothing was that strong. Well, you believe what you want, but I know what I saw.
Did these kind of things get reported? Did you have to tell anybody about the deer? How did that work?
I think my dad probably told them, but he despised them so much for being liars—I mean they proved themselves liars. Stupidity ruled, time and time again. I mean it was basically there was no point in—it was nothing you could control, and there really wasn’t a whole lot—he had no use for these people. There really wasn’t a lot of use, you know, when we did wear the stupid badges and all that crap.
How old were you when you got the badges, do you remember?
I can’t remember and I can’t even—there used to be one around here and things and I can’t even find that nowadays.
They’re primitive things, the early ones.
They had the little clip you hooked here. They were something. And I guess they had a microfilm in them, didn’t they? Come to think of it now.
Their proper name is a dosimeter badge, and they had film, and the film would apparently take measurements of radiation, and it would change color or something when it got to a certain point.
About the time you died.
Yeah, I don’t know.
Something changed color. Maybe it was just you.
Oh, God. So what kind of things would these guys tell you? I mean were these men in uniform that would come here and tell—?
It seems like there were men in uniform, from the Department of the Army, at different times.
Oh, I hadn’t put that together.
Yes. Well, you know, when they first did some of those, they used military soldiers down there close to a lot of them.
Yes. The atomic veterans, I think is what they’re called now.
Right. I think that is.
So the Army officials would come out. What did they tell you to do? Stay inside?
Yes, then they brought that little book. [Atomic Tests in Nevada, Atomic Energy Commission, 1957]
The Atomic Tests in Nevada? And this was supposed to be your guide?
Yes. It was a little cartoon book. This here is the hand manual, “Better Living Through Modern Chemistry.”
In other words, how to avoid radiation exposure or something like that. Geez.
Oh, yeah. How many roentgens had this and this had and that had.
What did that mean to you, as a kid?
Hey, that was my first experience with the phrase, “I am from the government and I am here to help.” And after that, I need to know no more.
Is that what they told you?
Basically, in a roundabout way. ……..
….[00:15:00] What kind of things did your dad say? Can you tell me specifically?
Well: they’re sons-of-bitches, there’s no use talking to them, they’re just a bunch of liars and best thing they can do is stay the hell out of here. They’re going to do what they’re going to do anyway, no matter what it matters to us. And we don’t matter to them either.
So your dad didn’t feel like there was any recourse?
No, not really.
That he had no one to talk to. That’s not a very good position to be in.
No. So we basically went on and lived our lives the best we could. But Joe Fallini’s dad and those, like they were one of our closest neighbors. Then after Bordolis left, they were gone, so that—and I really don’t remember a whole lot about those days in ’62 when they set that Sedan off. That was the first time that the reality ever hit me that you know I could actually see something coming down that I knew was bad.
And you saw it. Thick?
Oh, yeah. I mean, July, and it looked like it was snowing in December here.
UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project pp 13
I forget how many tons of earth it moved but I took a tour and there’s a plaque outside the crater that says basically how much.
Yes, I took a tour and went and saw that, too.
Did you? What did you think of that?
Oh, I don’t know that I had any mixed emotions. I think what they did was all right for them, if they could’ve contained it and kept it there. But I mean there was—you’d just go up here and watch the pink cloud and figure out which direction it was going and who was going to get nailed. And it looked like verga, you know, basically.
Yes, the rain that doesn’t quite hit the ground.
Yes, other than the clouds were always kind of a pink or an angry red, depending on how many kilotons or whatever, I believe.
I don’t know why that is. I mean I’ve heard people talk about the pink cloud, but you actually saw it, and I wish I could tell you why it was pink. Do you know?
No, I really don’t.
It’s kind of an awkward thing to see in the sky.
Basically I think, for my family and things, the pink cloud meant, get ready, you know, either we’re going to get it or somebody’s getting it today.
But it’s coming?
Yes. That it either was headed like up our direction, Railroad Valley, Queen City Summit, or towards St. George [Utah].
North or northeast, or east. How many times do you recall seeing a pink cloud? I mean literally seeing it coming.
I would say at least half-a-dozen. …..” end quote.
I have my copy of Carole Gallagher’s “American Ground Zero – The Secret Nuclear War”. (MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-07146-0, http://www.amazon.com/American-Ground-Zero-Secret-Nuclear/dp/0262071460)
Carole spent years living among the people immediately and most devastatingly affected and afflicted by the Nevada nuclear tests. The Downwinders include many people, diverse individuals and groups, and include those who arrived as outsiders but who stayed long enough to understand what really was going on. And so to suffer as Downwinders themselves. But without the ties of bloodlines tied to that now poisoned place.
Those a continent away, in the big cities, might think they understood. And some, even there, in the bright lights and concentration of hustle and bustle, were afflicted. Ironically with less chain of evidence than those who lived less than an horizon away from the NTS. Leukemia skyrocketed in the “high fallout counties” – among the children. Other diseases too. Still, even though Libby of the AEC had secretly taken a still born Chicago baby and measured the Radio Strontium in its poor bones in the 1950s, that fact was not to be released until the 1980s. Even then few people asked “why did the baby die in the womb?” How many others? They said, in the 1970s, the Strontium was safe. The bones were stolen.
The government funded experts lied, one admitting years later he had deliberately understated the thyroid disease statistics. In his old age, guilt must have finally gotten to him.
“American Ground Zero shows a photograph of low altitude bomb clouds – like the clouds the Australian Aboriginal witnesses reported in 1953 – and over every decade since. To howls of derision from nuclear authorities in Canberra. No such thing could exist they said on national radio. Myth and mystique, Professor Titterton exclaimed. Well, the photograph I saw in Carole’s book – in the late 1990s – was the first I had ever seen. It proves without doubt that down here in Australia it was not the Aboriginal people who lied. It was the nuclear authorities. Titterton, cleared to Top Secret by the US nuclear authorities knew all about the fallout clouds over Twin Springs, Nevada, 1953, (page 116 of Carole’s book) and all about the Clouds from Emu Field, in October of the same year.
One cloud sickened the little boy Butch in Nevada, the other engulfed Lallie Lennon and her kids. It took Lallie 3 decades to get a diagnosis. In the fifties, sixties, seventies, doctors refused to give a diagnosis. In the 80s, the young doctors knew nothing about the bombs.
Yammie went blind and unknown others suffered. Dr Cutter estimated the death toll and was not believed. After the Royal Commission he went silent. That’s Australia. Most people, as in America, took the line of least resistance. Follow leaders blindly at your own peril.
Martha’s story of loss, of arrogant government response, is covered by Carole from page 115. Martha fought for years against the injustice and dispossession she suffered. Her son, then her husband. Dead years before their time. Robbed, dispossessed and lied to. The hearings and court cases, it peters out – as far as I can find from googling – in the 1980s. Nothing resolved. A lonely fight against the government, with fewer and of her country folk having any real conception of what she and others close in suffered, suffered still and would suffer as the years from “Zero Time” the time of each detonation – clicked by.
Downwinders from the 50s and 60s spent decades fighting. They experienced defeats, periods of elation when victory seemed close, but ultimately, as the time from the passage of the US downwinder compensation law passed – finally -, a watering down of rights and access, to the point where the damages came nowhere near the medical costs.
This American scandal is mirrored in every other nation where nuclear tests took place.
Here, the Australian Aboriginal people were deliberately excluded from three health surveys, the last exclusion being in 2006. The government minister wrote me that he didn’t know the names of the people affected. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taboo_against_naming_the_dead
That photograph of Joe Fallini’s, Carole, it’s sacred to me. Where the Brits and Aussie authorities are hiding their snaps of the Aussie clouds I would not know, but I have my proof now. It’s a Holy Grail, that photo.
Titterton lied. Low level, ground level clouds are neither myth nor mystique. The only dark art and voodoo was committed by the authorities, not the victims. Isolated, vulnerable, minority, deprived, excluded, Dispossessed. Like they lived on a separate planet and no one in this world can hear their cries of anguish even on the most silent of nights.
Its happening again…….
The authorities are well rehearsed, whereas most of the people seem forgetful. Vulnerable. Easy meat for any myth and mystique the authorities deem fit to dish out, as if feeding bananas to monkeys.
Does Doctor Yamashita really think plutonium is safe to eat? As convincing as Teller’s wrist watch, or Titteton’s nuclear powered Holden car. Futurism. Everything is rosy in future, all the problems are solved, even the ones they have not solved since 1942.
The last call for a “technical fix” was in 1985. It did not come, and upon the unsolved “glitch” poisoning swathes of Japan, all they can is dish out the old propaganda.
Not being able to contain or recover their poisons, they seek to hypnotize with lies. SOP for nuclear industry.
Testimony of Nevada witnesses to the 1953 and other events in the US was reported by the
American Press. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,24 April 1979, in an article
entitled “Nuclear Test Victim Testifies”, reported: “A woman (Martha B. Laird)
whose ranch was in the path of fallout from nuclear tests in the 1950s stood
before a Joint Congressional Committee yesterday and charged that she and
her family “were forgotten guinea pigs.” The paper continues: “A series of
Hearings, co-chaired by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Rep. Bob
Eckhardt, D-Texas, is being conducted to determine if there is a link between
the atomic tests and an increase in cancer related deaths in southern Utah
and Nevada. The Committee met in Salt Lake City last week.” “Rep James
Santini, D-Nev, a member of the committee that called for the investigation
earlier this year, said 87 above ground blasts were exploded during the
1950s, possibly endangering 170,000 persons within a 300 mile radius.” “We
would see the big flash, get the concussion and a little while later the clouds
came over” she (Mrs Laird) said. “One time my sister got burns on her eyes.
During this time our cows got white spots on them and got cancer eyes. At
school children broke out with rashes from the radiation.”
Mr Yoshizawa’s property is just 14 kilometres from the shattered reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant and his cattle have already been found to be contaminated with elevated levels of radioactive caesium.
Some of them have even developed white spots (pictured above)
Scientist have descended on his property, saying it is important his herd is studied.
The ministry of agriculture has begun an investigation, but so far everyone is baffled.
From “Fukushima Update Nuclear News from Japan” at http://fukushimaupdate.com/fukushima-cowboy-fights-government-orders-to-kill-contaminated-cattle/
Baffled ? My arse. They know very well…