60 Years ago to the Day

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 20:27
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Hi All

I thought that it would have been mentioned here on the forum by now today, but seeing that it has not, then I will post it.

For those that enjoy the Great Victoria Desert and in particular the Anne Beadell Highway, today marks the 60th Anniversary to the day when Australia's first Mainland Nuclear bomb was detonated at Emu, at the site that is know know as Totem 1.

Today there are very few remnants of what took place at Emu and we now all owe the ability to drive into this great area as part of of Nuclear past.








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Stephen
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Reply By: equinox - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 20:40

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 20:40
Hi Stephen,

I spent many years looking at the map, wondering what is was like there before I eventually made it - at the time it was to me one of my "must do remote places".



Cheers
Alan



Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
"Outback Yonder"


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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 20:48

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 20:48
Hi Alan

Now you have even a better excuse to head back into this area, the many new tracks that up until now have been almost impossible to get permission to drive on.


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Stephen

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Reply By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 20:54

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 20:54
Your first question is, where was the first British/Australian test conducted?
Second question, did the British care to clean this particular site up afterwards?
Third question, name the politician who conducted the inquiry that led to the clean up of Maralinga.
Fourth question, who runs the best and most informative tours of Maralinga, and finally
Name the the whistleblower who revealed the incompetence of commonwealth bureaucrats who bungled the clean up effort ( bonus points if you can also identify a politician who was complicit in this deception)

See how you go......your time starts now!

(You can see I have too much time on my hands)

Cheers, Leigh


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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:00

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:00
Hi Leigh

You have far too much time on your hands,,,what the hell will happen after December....lol

One on the questions is dead easy..........the one and only.......

Robin Matthews.....


Had a very interesting phone call from Alistair Angas the other day.....



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Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:03

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:03
Actually some of your questions are easy


Montebello Island off the coast of WA..

No the Poms did not..



Allan Parkinson....

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Follow Up By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:13

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:13
You are on a roll alright with your answers. Yep retirement is only a matter of 11 weeks away and really looking forward to getting into that space. Talk soon eh and regards to Alistair also please. Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:13

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:13
he late James ‘Diamond Jim’ McClelland
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Follow Up By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:53

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:53
Hi Stephen, you have won the million dollar minute! Well done mate. Cheers
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Reply By: allein m - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:26

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 21:26
I wonder has any one been to the site up in cape york when they did a massive blast with just TNT the bush tucker man showed you the site on one of his shows

they built a huge tower and put every thing up to and let it go . nothing seems to have grown in the area since

thanks for sharing that information with us and nice pictures

I am amazed no one has used the Nuclear device in anger in the past 60 odd year I think it has come close but that god some one has seen some sense .
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 22:31

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 22:31
Hi Allein

Thanks for the reply, and I have not been to the location up on Cape, so it would be interesting to see what the area is like.

I would hate to see a nuclear devise used in nagar, as one can only imagine the impact on populated areas.


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Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 22:46

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 22:46
I remember seeing that on the telly as well. They wanted to simulate the effects of detonating a nuke in a jungle warfare environment but didnt want to contaminate the area or risk public uproar. So they built that tower and shoved I think 10 tonnes of high explosives up there, the blast denuded the whole area of vegetation and at the time the Bush Tucker Man showed us, the trees still hadnt returned, it looked like a paddock

Modern nuclear weapons would make the bombs of the 1950's look like firecrackers, hopefully they will never get used. For an alarming display of nuclear weaponry, Google "Tsar Bomba" and read up on the explosive effects of 50Mt
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 23:41

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013 at 23:41
"For an alarming display of nuclear weaponry," visit Hiroshima.

Stephen, that pile of twisted metal is just a burned out Prado.

I spent some time rolling around in the dirt at Emu while changing a tyre. Got cancer soon afterwards. Co-incidence?

Bob
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Follow Up By: allein m - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 11:50

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 11:50
operation blow down

Operation Blowdown was a military operation that took place on 18 July 1963. Conducted in northern Queensland, Australia by a joint Australian-American-British team, it was designed to simulate the effects of a nuclear weapon on tropical rainforest, using 50 tons of conventional explosive (TNT).
\
operation blow down

another link
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Follow Up By: allein m - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 11:53

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 11:53
50 tons of conventional explosive that s got me thinking if I did the same in the back yard would that kill the weeds

the soil in broken hill is very poor but dam weeds love it

this may work

i wonder will the neighbors notice lol
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 14:47

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 14:47
Hi Bob

If that was the remains of a burnt out Prado, then they are made like a tank.

As for changing the tyre, if it was in 1953, I would say that it would have been possible, but in modern times, I would say it would be vey unlikely. If it was the case, you must have had a very long exposure to the dirt, never washed afterwards, and must be bloody slow in changing a flat tyre.


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Stephen
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Reply By: Ron N - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 00:14

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 00:14
There should be a monument at the site, three times the size of the current one, to the monstrous negligence and shrugged-off culpability of the British Govt in what was essentially the greatest hoodwinking of the Australian public ever carried out.

The treatment of the Veterans who have endured multiple radioactivity-related diseases and complaints, and those Veterans who died young because of the same, is an utter abomination on the record of the British Govt.

Those remaining veterans are still dragging the British Govt through the courts to get compensation willfully denied them all their lives. I won't even mention how badly the Abos were treated by the British.

The entire early British nuclear era is a festering sore upon their record as they constantly sought to deceive other nations of the risks and results of nuclear tests, and how they constantly downplayed any risks when pertinent questions were asked.

What is amazing is that British nuclear secrecy towards allies, as regards nuclear testing in the early 1950's, was paramount - and was carried out effectively and without regard to any other countries concerns - yet America knew that Russian spies operated within British nuclear operations as early as 1946, and the Americans refused to share nuclear secrets with Britain because of this serious concern.

This refusal by America to share its nuclear secrets, was what drove the British nuclear test program of the late 1940's/early 1950's - which program was rapidly rendered totally unneccessary when America finally agreed to share its nuclear secrets with Britain in the mid-1950's - well after the Russian spies within the British nuclear industry had been outed.
Unfortunately, the Americans had nearly as many Russian spies amongst their own nuclear industry, making their refusal to share nuclear info with Britain, a total sham anyway.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Spies-Who-Spilled-Atomic-Bomb-Secrets.html

http://aic.gov.au/publications/previous%20series/lcj/1-20/wayward/ch16.html
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 14:42

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 14:42
Hi Ron

I agree 110% with all that you have said, and I, like you feel for the great injustice that was shown to our serving Servicemen that had to follow orders, regardless of all safety aspects.

When you do the Range Tour at Maralinga, it made my blood boil on the way that the British kept so much from the Australian Authorities. Even to this very day, there are a number of sites at Maralinga where the British have buried waste from the test, and will not tell the Australian Authorities where these pits are and what id buried inside them.....so what are they hiding???

As for the Aboriginals, there were well over 16 families that just disappeared during the test, never to be seen again by anyone from their clans.

I could rave on, but I hope that this type on thing is never allowed on Australian soil ever again.


thanks for taking the time to reply


Cheers


Stephen
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Reply By: allein m - Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 15:09

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 at 15:09
I could rave on, but I hope that this type on thing is never allowed on Australian soil ever again

I totally agree with you in that one
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 20:26

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 20:26
Gday Stephen,

Thanks for this reminder. It hadn't occurred to me that we were up to 60 years since the first blast at Emu. Fascinating area though. We were mesmerised when we first travelled that track down to Totem 1 about 12 years ago. A lot more schrapnel lying around then - seemed like lots of stuff got covered over in a hurry, but further work since means that less is visible.

Cheers
Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 20:35

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 20:35
Hi Phil

Thanks for the reply. Yes it is truely a fasinating area indeed and through the legacy in the race with the Super Powers and the Cold War, we all to to see that great country.

It would have been great seeing it in its former glory. It is the same with Maralinga, seeing the town what it was like and now just a Skelton of what it was. Just imagine if a lot of those old photographic towers were still out the, what a tourist draw card.


Cheers


Stephen
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