Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Birth of the Atomic Age

In 1945, Daniel Yearout was a 25 year old private with the Army Corps of Engineers. He describes his experience on 16 July 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m. Mountain War Time:

"Suddenly, without any sound, the whole world lit up. When I came to my senses, I was lying on the ground with my back to where the light was coming from. I put my hands over my eyes to protect them and I could see the bones in my fingers. It was as if I was looking at an X-ray.

"I whisked around and looked towards the light. I could hear a rumble and the Earth shook. I saw a big fireball rising in the sky - it looked like it was pouring gasoline out there, all the way around. The fireball was getting bigger and bigger and we just stood and watched.

"This was followed by a long rumbling - I'd say it went on for 10 minutes. In and out and round the mountains. The fire began going down and then I saw a swirl of black smoke rising in the sky.

"I was scared at the time. I didn't know what was going on. I remember the man running the camera beside us hollering that it was the most beautiful picture he had ever taken in his life - he said it maybe 25 times. All he was interested in was the picture and all I was wondering was if we were going to get out of there or not."

(From an interview with the BBC.)

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