Five Men At Atomic Ground Zero

100th Monkey

New member
I think this is completely fake, they probably both died and they just want us to believe Nuclear bomb are safe.

On July 19, 1957, five men stood at Ground Zero of an atomic test that was being conducted at the Nevada Test Site. This was the test of a 2KT (kiloton) MB-1 nuclear air-to-air rocket launched from an F-89 Scorpion interceptor. The nuclear missile detonated 10,000 ft above their heads.

A reel-to-reel tape recorder was present to record their experience. You can see and hear the men react to the shock wave moments after the detonation.

The placard reading "Ground Zero; Population Five" was made by Colonel Arthur B. "Barney" Oldfield, the Public Information Officer for the Continental Air Defense Command in Colorado Spring who arranged for the volunteers to participate.

The five volunteers were:
Colonel Sidney Bruce
Lt. Colonel Frank P. Ball (technical advisor to the Steve Canyon tv show)
Major Norman "Bodie" Bodinger
Major John Hughes
Don Lutrel

and George Yoshi take, the cameraman (who wasn't a volunteer)

see George discuss his work photographing atomic and nuclear explosions in "Atomic Filmmakers."

Videographer Had Bottoms Up View Of Nuclear Blast, Lives To Tell Tale

Videographer Had Bottoms Up View Of Nuclear Blast, Lives To Tell Tale

July 27, 2012


July 19, 1957: Five men (and a sixth operating a video camera) huddle at "ground zero," awaiting a nuclear bomb that was set off overhead to demonstrate how safe nuclear weapons are.

George Yoshi take, Don Luttrell, and four other officers stood directly underneath an exploding nuclear warhead 55 years ago -- and lived to tell their tale.

The blast was just a test, a bit of Cold War marketing designed to make the concept of nuclear war less scary for the public, but the 2-kiloton atomic explosion set off over the Nevada nuclear test site (and over the heads of those six men) was very real.

But then again, nuclear testing was nothing new for Yoshi take in the early 1950s.

The former Department of Defense cameraman was responsible for filming nuclear tests for the military, and was therefore involved in several nuclear tests in Nevada and the Pacific -- always at a safe distance, anywhere from 5 to 20 miles from the blast.

On July 19, 1957, he was told to do something different and more dangerous than any of his other assignments.

“I had a call saying they needed me out for a special test,” the now 83-year old cameraman told “I found out when I got to Nevada that I was going to be standing at ground zero. It was going to explode 10,000 feet above me head!” The government planned to detonate a nuclear weapon above a handful of men as a publicity stunt to prove that these weapons were safe if they were ever used for a counter attack against Russia.

“The general public was afraid of nuclear weapons, with good reason,” 88-year old Major Don Luttrell, the only other member of the operation still alive, told “They were concerned about the danger of people on the ground if we fired nuclear weapons at enemy airplanes.”


Apr. 18, 2012: George Yoshi take, an 83-year-old former Department of Defense cameraman, and 88-year old Major Don Luttrell share a drink, 55 years after standing directly under an exploding nuclear bomb. (George Yoshi take)

Luttrell, who has a master's degree in nuclear engineering, believed that it was safe, so he and four Air Force colleagues volunteered for the demonstration.

“We stood at ground zero so they wouldn’t be afraid,” Luttrell said.

“I asked what kind of protective gear I was going to have, and they said ‘nothing,’” Yoshi take said laughing. “I had a baseball cap with me, and I said ‘I better wear that just in case.’” So with a baseball hat to protect him, Yoshi take joined Luttrell and the other volunteers in the middle of the Nevada desert

There they waited for what they called the “genie shot.”

“I never really gave it too much thought,” Yoshi take said when asked if he was fearful of the explosion. “When you’re young, you think you’re invincible and nothing is going to happen to you.”

Luttrell agreed. “I knew it would be all right. We all felt the same way.”

The five men huddled together on that clear July day looking up at the open Nevada sky, with Yoshi take filming as two F-89 Scorpion fighter jets fired an air rocket. “You could see the rocket streaking across the sky with a big white streak behind it,” Luttrell recalled. “The first thing you saw was a brilliant flash and then there was a wave of heat followed by the sonic boom which was quite loud.”

After the explosion and after all six survived, they celebrated.

“Everybody was running around and patting each other on the back. We lit cigars,” Luttrell said.

It had been 12 years since the United States dropped the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, and even though Yoshi take is Japanese, he had no hard feelings about the bomb or the experiment he was a part of.

“I thought dropping the bomb was necessary for ending the war as soon as possible,” he noted. “It’s too bad it was the Japanese who had to suffer.” But in the explosion that occurred just 10,000 feet above his head, nobody suffered … at the time.

Today, 55 years later, the seemingly safe operation may have had some serious side effects: all six members of the group have had cancer, with four dying of it, according to Yoshi take and Luttrell.

“In those days, nobody thought there could be any fear of developing cancer from these nuclear tests,” said Yoshi take who survived stomach cancer. “But … there must be some direct correlation between these tests and cancer.” Yoshi take noted that many of his “camera friends” who filmed similar operations developed and died of cancer; most in their 40s and 50s.

“In hindsight … it appears that it was not safe,” colon-cancer survivor Lutrell said.

Luttrell explained that the men never discussed if they felt the cancer was related to "genie shot," but he's confident no one involved would have made a different decision.

“I feel quite sure they never had any regrets,” Luttrell said.

“To me, it’s quite amazing that all that took place and I was a part of history,” Yoshi take said. “I’m glad I was able to be a part of it.” Yoshi take commented that he probably wouldn’t do it again if asked but Luttrell felt differently. “If things were the same, yeah I’d do it again,” he said.

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For some reason I don't buy this video as being real, it looks like he's speaking in his radio and that somehow dubbing his voice over onto the video, but I don't necessarily believe those are the words he speaking. It does seem like they're trying to make us believe that it would be safe to stand under nuclear bombs. All I know if something doesn't feel right about the story and a video.