Monday, January 19, 2009

Las Vegas, 1951

see those military men in the lower part of this picture? they were standing 6 miles from the atomic epicenter of the "Dog shot" of the 1951 Buster Jangle bomb test in Nevada...which was less than 100 miles from the city of Las Vegas.

i've been watching some completely crazy film shorts made during these Nevada atomic tests. the US army posted hundreds of soldiers to Nevada's Camp Desert Rock during this period; during tests, soldiers were told to leap from their foxholes and run TOWARDS the bomb.

mostly what happened (according to the documentary film footage) is they struggled against the dust and wind and the birds falling out of the sky. when they finally got out of their foxholes, they walked, looking a little dubious, towards the bomb site. afterwards, the army dusted them off with brooms. no joke.

(yes, that's Vegas Vic, with a 1950's atomic cloud in the background. no, it's not photoshopped.)

why am i studying all this? because i'm working on the final draft of a novel, Rats of Las Vegas; the storyline finishes in 1951, during these tests, and i want to get it right. because a person just can't make this shit up.

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