ENFORCED AMNESIA – THE DISPOSSESSION OF MEMORY PART 2
By Paul Langley March 2014
The Long March to the Truth
The First American into Nagasaki
Dr. Nello Pace was the first American to enter Nagasaki. He had been ordered there by an outraged General Douglas McArthur. McArthur had not been advised in advance of the atomic bombing of Japan. He thundered: “I want my people, my doctors, in there looking at the effects of this, not these Manhattan District people!”
So it was that Dr. Pace entered and surveyed Nagasaki, and then Hiroshima, without the clearance of General Groves and the Manhattan Project. Dr Pace tells the story:
“I wrote the reports, and I classified them Secret – which was as high as I was cleared for, and that was fine to me. So one day I got a phone call to go down and report to Ross McIntyre, the Surgeon General. I thought, “Maybe they’re going to give me a medal”
“….there’s McIntyre sitting there and another guy that looked familiar; I think he was introduced to me as General Groves. They were there with a big scowl on their faces. They wanted to know why I’d classified this report so low, when it should have been classified Top Secret. I said, “I wasn’t cleared for Top Secret. I had no idea.”
They said, “You should have classified it as Top Secret.” This was a very serious thing. McIntyre said, “I want you to destroy any piece of paper that had anything to do with this, any of the data.” “And furthermore,” he said,
“I want you to forget. I’m ordering you to forget what you wrote in this report.”
(Source: Interview with Dr. Nello Pace, Ph.D. Setting: August 16,1994; Berkeley, CA Interviewer: Anna Berge (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Archives and Records Office) DOEEH-0476 June 1995. The Manhattan Project did preserve the work.
Dr. Pace and other US surveyors found that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be safe. However Occupation troops from the US and Australia found later to their horror, distress and loss that this was not the case.
The Australian Atomic ExServicemen’s Association states that 90% of those Australians who served as Occupation troops within the British Commonwealth Occupation Force suffered cancers which arose out of their service in Japan from 1946. The surviving families who pursue justice despite the official claim Hiroshima was safe at the time have a hard battle. However, there have been some successes.
On 26 January 1989 the Australian Repatriation Commission awarded a pension to Mrs. Clements, after finding that the death of her husband, a veteran of the Occupation of Hiroshima : “arose out of..war service.” The Commission accepted the evidence supported Mrs Clement’s claim that “the effects of radiation which (Mr. Clements) received by virtue of being stationed near Hiroshima for 15 months” and possibly other factors, led to the death of her husband from Hodgkin’s Disease in 1954.
This and other awards are being made in Australia rarely, and on the evidence. Despite radiation protection officials stating that all radioactive sources in Hiroshima had dissipated by 1946. It is clearly not the case.
(Source: Australian Repatriation Commission finding reproduced in “ “Atomic Fallout”, Vol1. No.10, June 1990. The organ of the Atomic ExServicemen’s Association.)
The Atomic ExServicemen’s Association report further: “Two widows beat the Commonwealth of Australia after it refused to grant them widow’s pensions after their husbands died of cancer of the pancreas and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma related to post-war service in the ionising radiation contamination at Hiroshima, Japan.
The lawyers for the women blasted the Repatriation Commission’s eight year fight against the two as a disgraceful waste of taxpayer’s money.
Eight years ago (from 2000, the time of the original report) Mrs Theresa Connolly began her fight. The second widow, Mrs June Viola Flynn, died in 1998 (during the battle for justice.)
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal on 26 March 1998 found both widows were entitled to war widows pensions, but the Repatriation Commission appealed against the decision.
Australian Federal Court Justice Richard Cooper ordered costs against the Repatriation Commission.”
(Source: “Atomic Fallout”, Vol. 3 No. 2 June/July 2000. The organ of the Australian Atomic ExServicemen’s Association. Inc. Canberra. Australia.)
Even at the very late dates at which these widows received justice, we see the still vital controversy that exists over the nature and extent of the radiation hazard remaining in the cities subjected to the 1945 atomic attacks during the subsequent periods.
What then were the consequences for those who grew up as children among the fallout and induced radioactivity? What is the story of the chronic exposure, the story which isn’t told, as opposed to the one that is? We all know about Acute Radiation Sickness. What about the Chronic effects? Why is there argument about the boundaries of the Hiroshima Black Rain Area still today? For surely, where an area causes harm, there is a duty to properly map it. War or Peace, this should have been done in 1945.
Surely the Americans in 1945 knew what was going on?
Three days after the destruction of Hiroshima, Robert Stone wrote two letters to Stafford Warren’s deputy, and Stone’s former student, Hymer Friedell. The second letter described Stone’s “mixed feelings” at the success that had been achieved and his fear that the lingering effects of radiation from the bomb had been underestimated: “I could hardly believe my eyes,” Stone wrote, “when I saw a series of news releases said to be quoting Oppenheimer, and giving the impression that there is no radioactive hazard. Apparently all things are relative.” Source: The Aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Emergence of the Cold War Radiation Research Bureaucracy, Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, Presidential Committee, 1994. ref docs: Robert S. Stone, M.D., to Lieutenant Colonel H. L. Friedell, U.S. Engineer Corps, Manhattan District, 9 August 1945 (“As you and many others are aware, a great many of the people . . .”) (ACHRE No. DOE-121494-D-1). This reference can now be found in the ACHRE Final Report, US Congress, page 35. This is available for online viewing and download at :
The Franck report warned the US government that USA risked becoming international pariah as a result of the atomic attacks, clammed up.
(Source: The Franck Report, full text: http://www.dannen.com/decision/franck.html)
In 1945 the entire world were at the receiving end of a news blackout which took decades to partially lift. And so even today, those who believe the American reports alone miss the additional evidence given by those who survived the bombs. Most importantly, the world misses the accounts given by those who, though out of range of the bomb blasts and the instantaneous radiation bursts of gamma and neutron rays, suffered from fallout exposure due to wet deposition. This is known in Japan as the Black Rain.
Since 1945 there has been a profound dichotomy between the announcements of nuclear officials and the experience of ordinary people. This is true of Japan, the Soviet Union and it’s captive states, USA, Australia, Algeria, Polynesia – everywhere. Finding the truth in one place helps victims in the other places. Throughout this nuclear history, no Western authority admitted that chronic “low level” exposure caused any chronic health syndrome. But the reality of such a syndrome was first seen in Japan. The syndrome, named Bura Bura disease, has been diagnosed, treated and explained since 1945 by a Japanese doctor name Dr. Hida. (Source: Account of a Medical Doctor Who Had to Face Innumerable Deaths of Victims from the Exposure to A
– bomb Radiation, Shuntaro Hida http://afsc.org/sites/afsc.civicactions.net/files/documents/Shuntaro%20Hida,%20Japan.pdf)
It is unlike Acute Radiation Sickness, though Bura Bura may follow ARS. It is not probabilistic, though it itself may lead to cancer. It can and does occur without an acute dose sufficient to cause ARS. Every Western Downwinder suffering it has been denied consideration by nuclear authorities. Not only is the area affected in Japan disputed by authorities, but the most common disease, prior to lethal outcome after decades of suffering, is disputed also. The Soviet doctors knew otherwise, at least since 1958.
The Private Awareness of the Top Secret
On May 24, 2012, the Hiroshima Peace Media Centre reported the following:
“A team of researchers from Hiroshima University and other institutions, investigating traces of the “black rain” which fell in the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, has issued its findings. The results indicate that Cesium 137, a radioactive substance believed to be derived from the black rain, was found in soil beneath the floors of six sites, including residences in Yuki Town (Saeki Ward, Hiroshima City) and Akiota Town (Hiroshima Prefecture). These locations lie roughly nine to 22 kilometers from the bomb’s hypocenter. This is the first time that traces of black rain have been confirmed in these areas, and all were found outside of the designated zone known as the “heavy rain area.” Those within the “heavy rain area” at the time of the bombing are eligible for relief measures put in place by the central government.
The research team, which includes Masayoshi Yamamoto, a professor in radiochemistry at Kanazawa University, investigated the soil under the floors of 20 homes built between 1946 and 1948. After digging to a depth of 30 centimeters, they discovered the traces of Cesium 137 in the soil.” Source: Tomomitsu Miyazaki, Senior Staff Writer, Hiroshima Peace Media Centre. The article is available at : http://www.hiroshimapeacemedia.jp/mediacenter/article.php?story=20120524110701783_en
For many years survivors have urged that Japanese authorities recognize that the Black Rain fell over a much wider area that is officially acknowledged. The City of Hiroshima recognizes that Black Rain fell over a wide, elliptically shaped, area. Hiroshima is surrounded by a tear dropped shaped Black Rain Affected Area.
The disparity between the Black Rain affected area as accepted by the Japanese government, and the area known to have suffered Black Rain in August 1945 is most important. The illnesses suffered by the survivors of the Atomic Bomb Black Rain are disabling and poorly documented in English speaking nations. One group of sufferers is acknowledged, and another group is not on the basis of location alone. That criteria is irrational. The government response to radiation exposure since has been irrational as a result.
The Japanese government attempted to tighten the criteria by which Atomic Bomb survivors became eligible for medical and other assistance some years ago.
The Citizens’ Nuclear Information Centre of Japan reported in 2009 that Atomic Bomb survivors, having challenged the National government in court, had won 18 straight court cases. On June 9, 2009, the National government announced it would not challenge the court decisions and would review the criteria by which A-bomb disease sufferers are certified. (“Citizens’ Nuclear Information Centre, Japan: “Certification of Sufferers of Atomic Bomb-Related Diseases”, http://www.cnic.jp/english/newsletter/nit131/nit131articles/abombdisease.html In particular, see note 1 at bottom of page.)
The government of Japan now appears determined to learn from its 2009 defeat and not to suffer further defeats in its battle against A bomb survivors, particularly those who are Black Rain afflicted.
Although it is now 68 years since the Atomic bomb was detonated over Hiroshima, the full facts have yet to be acknowledged by government. Survivors still suffer, the true nature of the suffering is disputed and the administration of justice and care given to the survivors is subject to geographic whim on the part of government, rather than the scientifically established evidence. As we have seen, that evidence is still being discovered. History did not become irrelevant on 7 March 2011. Rather, the official history of Japan, with its wildly divergent view of past events, swamped the events at Fukushima Diiachi and its resultant fallout areas with a pre existing schema and script. For people have lived in hotspots in Japan since 1945.
It is useless talking in black and white when the world is in colour.
Masuda Yoshinobu has written a detailed account which explains the importance of the Black Rain of 1945 to the people affected by the fallout issued from the Fukushima Diiachi reactors today. Published by The Asia Pacific Journal, Japan Focus, it is available here: http://japanfocus.org/-Masuda-Yoshinobu/3836
The Early Surveys of Hiroshima – the lost “snapshot”
Japanese science, as an adviser to government, must listen to the Atomic Bomb witnesses as a priority. This is particularly important because a number of surveys of Hiroshima took place immediately after the bombing. These August 1945 Japanese surveys were conducted at great risk. However the arrival of US General Farrell and his troops in September 1945 resulted in the confiscation of the early Japanese survey data, including reports, measurements, samples – including soil samples and human remains. The Japanese scientists became subordinate to the American survey teams.
The confiscated samples and human remains were returned to Japan in the 1970s. This caused great celebration at the time in Japan. At last Japanese scientists could independently study the soil of their city taken in 1945 and assess what had occurred in August 1945 from a technical basis.
The short lived isotopes had all substantially decayed though by the mid 1970s.
The need to expand the area designated as being Black Rain affected has been long standing and a number of scientists have advocated for it. The reason for this is not merely technical, it springs from a sense of justice and from human compassion toward those who have suffered, and who still suffer the debilitating effects of the Atomic Bomb’s Black Rain in Hiroshima.
While the people affected were out of range of the radiation pulse of mixed gamma and neutron rays, they were in the range of the rain the vast fires, ignited by the nuclear blast created. The smoke passed through the fireball and fell in black, thick, sticky rain drops.
Accounts differ. There is the official American account. Then there is the unified account of the witness victims.
One current American account is that provided by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities at http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/hiroshimatrinity/blackrain.htm . ORAU describes the rain as being “a combination of the ash, radioactive fallout, and water.”
The only health effect given in the description is severe radiation burns in some cases.
The description of events as given by Dr Hida and by Masuda Yoshinobu differ markedly from the simplistic, generalized, American account. An account concerned only with external effects and outward appearances.
Of Syndromes and Conditions
The story of Dr. Hida of Hiroshima is widely known. Dr. Hida has treated people affected by the atomic bombs since 1945. His view of the effects suffered differs markedly from that of the conventional view and description.
On July 12, 2012, the Japan Times published an article relating Dr. Hida’s knowledge of the effects of the atomic bomb upon survivors – both survivors who had survived Acute Radiation Syndrome and those who, like the Black Rain survivors, had not been subject to the bomb’s radiation pulse. Such as those who entered Hiroshima after the bomb had detonated, looking for loved ones. Many of these groups were affected.
Dr. Hida told the Japan Times that many survivors were blighted by the condition known as Bura Bura disease in Japan: “The illness haunted thousands of atomic-bomb survivors, including those who escaped the direct blast but inhaled, drank or ate radioactive substances, he says.
Those who exhibited the symptoms felt too tired to work or even stand up, but doctors could not clearly establish they were ill. The patients lost trust in society as they were regarded by some as pretending to be sick or were just being lazy.” Source: By MEGUMI IIZUKA Kyodo, Japan Times, July 12, 2012.
Is there any confirmation in the public arena which confirms Dr. Hida’s observation and diagnosis of Bura Bura disease as an outcome of chronic radiation exposure? Such as that caused by living in a chronically contaminated environment?
Of the material aimed at the general public, that provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency has a long standing importance. Not only for Americans, but for anyone who can read English. What does the US EPA say about long term chronic radiation exposure and its consequences?
The EPA radiation health effects page is at http://www.epa.gov/radiation/understand/health_effects.html
The EPA states: “In general, the amount and duration of radiation exposure affects the severity or type of health effect. There are two broad categories of health effects: stochastic and non-stochastic…Stochastic effects are associated with long-term, low-level (chronic) exposure to radiation. (“Stochastic” refers to the likelihood that something will happen.) Increased levels of exposure make these health effects more likely to occur, but do not influence the type or severity of the effect. Cancer is considered by most people the primary health effect from radiation exposure… Other stochastic effects also occur. Radiation can cause changes in DNA, the “blueprints” that ensure cell repair and replacement produces a perfect copy of the original cell. Changes in DNA are called mutations.
Sometimes the body fails to repair these mutations or even creates mutations during repair. The mutations can be teratogenic or genetic. Teratogenic mutations are caused by exposure of the fetus in the uterus and affect only the individual who was exposed. Genetic mutations are passed on to offspring.”
This description is brief and for the general information of the public. It does not mention any symptoms remotely like those of Bura Bura disease as described by Dr. Hida. Further, there is no mention of chronic effects related to chronic (long term) exposure. People are also confronted with a rarely used word – Stochastic- and a basic translation of it. Don’t look too deeply, this is for experts, seems to be the sub text. When a group of people are subjected to the same survivable dose of radiation, no expert is able to predict which individuals will go on to develop cancer, although the expert can predict with some accuracy the increased risk of cancer for the individuals in the group. Conversely when cancer does arise in any of that exposed group, none of the afflicted individuals can show with certainty that the radiation exposure caused their particular cancer.
There is an imposition of risk with radiation exposure. It is proportional to dose.
Yes, dose is very important. Very often the initial dose measurements are totally inadequate and must be reconstructed years later. Usually these dose reconstructions under value the contribution of internalised radioactive dust. (Source: Major Alan Batchelor, adviser to Australia’s Nuclear Veterans. Document: Submission to the Governor General of Australia, 29 March 2011. Available at: https://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/letter-to-governor-general-from-major-alan-batchelor/)
The survivors of the Black Rain of 1945 demonstrate that cancer and other genetic effects are not the only outcome.
The dual concepts and labels of “non-stochastic” and “Stochastic” under the broad headings which encompass the Western view of the health effects of radiation exposure. The headings themselves give no hint of the existence of a health syndrome caused by constant exposure to elevated environmental radiological contamination.
The West has long accepted the condition known as Acute Radiation Syndrome and the complex path to recovery survivors must often face. The US Centres for Disease Control does give a clear and detailed description of Acute Radiation Syndrome. This description is found at :
The description is aimed at doctors as a means and as an aid to diagnosis of the syndrome. It states in part :
“Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) (sometimes known as radiation toxicity or radiation sickness) is an acute illness caused by irradiation of the entire body (or most of the body) by a high dose of penetrating radiation in a very short period of time (usually a matter of minutes). The major cause of this syndrome is depletion of immature parenchymal stem cells in specific tissues. Examples of people who suffered from ARS are the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs, the fire fighters that first responded after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant event in 1986, and some unintentional exposures to sterilization irradiators.
The required conditions for Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) are:
• The radiation dose must be large (i.e., greater than 0.7 Gray (Gy)1, 2 or 70 rads).
o Mild symptoms may be observed with doses as low as 0.3 Gy or 30 rads.
• The dose usually must be external ( i.e., the source of radiation is outside of the patient’s body).
o Radioactive materials deposited inside the body have produced some ARS effects only in extremely rare cases.
The radiation must be penetrating (i.e., able to reach the internal organs).
• High energy X-rays, gamma rays, and neutrons are penetrating radiations.
The entire body (or a significant portion of it) must have received the dose3.
• Most radiation injuries are local, frequently involving the hands, and these local injuries seldom cause classical signs of ARS.
The dose must have been delivered in a short time (usually a matter of minutes).
• Fractionated doses are often used in radiation therapy. These are large total doses delivered in small daily amounts over a period of time. Fractionated doses are less effective at inducing ARS than a single dose of the same magnitude.” End quote.
Source: United States, Centres for Disease Control website as above.
It is my view that the definition of Acute Radiation Syndrome is not merely a medical definition. It is in fact a Medico-legal definition.
The Black Rain lasted for more than an hour. The environmental contamination lingered for a long time. (Even this is controversial.)
Upon the surrender and occupation of Japan, the United States established the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission. This entity was not a joint Japan-USA body as is it’s current successor organisation, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation.
The Genesis of Official Amnesia and an Un-Studied Syndrome
In the days following the bombing, Japanese doctors raised disagreements with members of the ABCC: “The Japanese doctors reminded the ABCC investigators that it had rained after the detonations. Dr. Ymazaki asked if the rain had been black and Dr. Odachi said he thought it was. Dr Sugihara remembered, “It was as though looking through a veil. One could gaze and clearly define the outline of the sun without
feeling the glare”. (Source: Roff, Sue, “Hotspots: The Legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”, Cassell, 1995, pp 111.)
The Occupation of Japan ended after the signing of the Peace Treaty in San Francisco on April 28, 1951. This treaty was between Japan and 48 nations. The Treaty came into effect in 1952. The Soviet Union did not the Treaty at that time.
From September 1945 until 1952, Japan was not a self-determining nation. The representations to the US Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission by the Japanese doctors as described by Sue Roff above, could not have been made to a Japanese organisation. There wasn’t one at the time.
The government of Japan at that time was not Japanese.
The exchange between the Japanese doctors and the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission shows that the Americans were not so interested in the Black Rain affected people. The ABCC had to be reminded. For some reason or another.
Is there any reference anywhere at from a qualified source which verifies Doctor Hida’s observations of a condition caused by radiation which inflicts a very long lasting, constant, debilitating fatigue and susceptibility to recurrent illness upon it’s victims? One which does is not the result of an Acute high dose exposure from an external source to the whole body? Which which causes multi-system disease states within the person and which occurs in response to chronic but lower dose and dose rates than that of ARS? Is there, in the records of any other country, documentation of Bura Bura by another name? When was it discovered, who discovered it, and what did the West do with this knowledge? Is there a treatment?
At this point any Downwinder or nuclear veteran anywhere in the world, from any era, were they to read these questions, might raise their hand and say “I can explain it to you, but my government refuses to listen to me.”
There is always a dichotomy between the health effects of chronic exposure as described by the victims and the descriptions of effects provided by government. Always. Without fail. This dichotomy lays at the base of the distrust expressed by ordinary people toward nuclear authorities. It has been this way since September 1945.
Occupy Wall Street? In these matters, better to Occupy Hiroshima!!!!
This dichotomy is resultant from a deliberate and man made disaster. The cultural reality is not purely Japanese. Rather it is a blight upon the entire Western world.
If the the modern world were a car wreck, it is the insurance company which has written both the medical texts and the legal ones. In combat with plaintiffs, the insurer wants the victims to know as little as possible about the conditions suffered and the causes of them.