1. The concept of isotopes and the notation used to describe them are explained in Section 2.1. ↗
  2. The cited document [3] was obtained from a website that supports the official narrative, but I have been unable to connect it with any other of Camac’s writings. Nevertheless, I tentatively judge it authentic, since it does tie in with his CV, and it is written in the jaunty yet precise style that is characteristic of reminiscing scientists. It contains some other statements that might surprise you—well worth a read. ↗
  3. The ‘Trinity’ test explosion in New Mexico is said to have been a plutonium bomb resembling that used at Nagasaki. ↗
  4. I would note, however, that regardless of the viability of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bomb designs, I consider nuclear detonations to be possible in principle, and also to have actually occurred during later bomb tests. Whether the designs, explosive yields, and suitability as weapons of such test devices are realistically described in the literature [4] is a separate question which this book will not attempt to answer. ↗
  5. Elsewhere, de Seversky invokes ‘rusted metal’ to account for the commonly observed ‘pink carpet’. However, most buildings in Hiroshima, and in many other bombed cities, were of wooden construction and most likely contained only small amounts of iron that could have been oxidized and dispersed in the fire. It seems more likely that the fires caused the oxidation of inorganic iron already contained in the ground; the same effect causes gray bricks to turn red when fired. An alternate explanation which points specifically to napalm is considered in the footnote on page sec-mustard-napalm. ↗
  6. One can find somewhat different numbers for the exact amount of uranium contained in the bomb and its degree of isotopic enrichment, but none seem to have been endorsed by any relevant government or international agency. ↗
  7. Since the natural abundance of 235U in uranium ore is only about 0.72%—with most of the rest being 238U—preparing that amount is no mean feat in itself. In Section 3.6, I will argue that the technology most likely did not exist at the time; however, for now this question will be set aside. ↗
  8. While one might dismiss a single such case report as spurious, Chapter 8 will show that there are more. ↗
  9. Several more of these are quoted in Section 13.4.2. ↗
  10. This report first appeared under the byline ‘Peter Burchett’ in the Daily Express on September fifth, 1945. ↗
  11. As stated above, some ozone and nitrogen oxides might well be produced in a nuclear blast, but they would be short-lived. ↗
  12. Substances with such properties are sometimes referred to as radiomimetic [18]; and the cytotoxic effects of both radiation and radiomimetic chemicals are exploited in the treatment of cancers and leukemias. ↗
  13. According to the book “Veterans at Risk: The Health Effects of Mustard Gas and Lewisite” [21], this program involved more than 60,000 military personnel; in a later survey of these subjects, only 12 out of 257 respondents reported no adverse health effects. ↗
  14. Alexander, the medical officer who oversaw the treatment of the mustard victims at Bari, writes that 83 servicemen died of the poison in hospitals [22], but also indicates that the overall death toll was likely higher (e.g., he states that all those aboard the ship that had carried the sulfur mustard were killed). The civilian death toll was likely much higher [23,24]. ↗
  15. Interestingly, according to Brodie [25], research on reactor development, military use of fission products, and mustard gas toxicity were all concentrated at the University of Chicago in the early 1940s. In some of these studies, the effects of mustard gas and of nuclear fission products on lung tissue were compared side-by-side in animal experiments [26]. ↗
  16. The minimum dose to induce acute radiation sickness is approximately 1 Sv, and characteristic symptoms require at least 2 Sv [31]. Lower doses might cause long-term effects such as increased incidence of leukemia and cancer, but this does not matter in the current context. ↗
  17. There are reports of transient loss of vision, which are entirely consistent with the known effect of mustard gas on the cornea of the eye. In contrast, retinal damage should have been irreversible. ↗
  18. According to the Japanese nuclear physicist Nishina [39], the American Secretary of War Patterson blamed the destruction of the cyclotrons on the ‘mistake’ of a nameless Pentagon underling. In his book “Now it can be told” [40], Manhattan Project chief Leslie Groves outs himself as that underling, but he finds a way to pass the buck to other nameless underlings in turn. Apparently, nobody was held responsible. ↗
  19. This definition of ‘nuclide’ ignores some finer distinctions that have to do with different energetic states of atomic nuclei. There will be several more instances of simplified treatment in this chapter, which is intended for quick orientation but not as a definitive reference. ↗
  20. The reaction of molecular nitrogen and hydrogen at high pressure and temperature—namely, N2+3H22NH3, with NH3 representing ammonia—is the Haber-Bosch process. It is industrially important for the production of nitrogen-based fertilizers and explosives. ↗
  21. The reaction also releases an antineutrino (written as νe), a subatomic particle with no charge and very small mass. It will carry off a substantial share of the energy released in the decay, but it is otherwise inconsequential in the context of biological radiation effects. ↗
  22. There is a simple relationship between both time parameters: \(t_{\nicefrac{1}{2}} = \ln 2 \, \tau \approx 0.693 \, \tau\). Furthermore, the inverse of \(\tau\) is defined as the rate constant, \(k\). Thus, we can write \(N_t = N_0 \, e^{-kt}\). ↗
  23. In the context of wave frequencies, the same basic unit (second-1) is named Hertz (Hz). ↗
  24. The γ-radiation emitted by 125I is very convenient to work with. It is soft enough to be easily shielded with a thin layer of lead, yet hard enough not to be trapped inside inhomogeneous samples, and the half-life of the isotope (59 days) offers a good trade-off between sensitivity and sample stability. Moreover, it is easy to couple 125I to protein or drug molecules of interest. It is therefore widely used as a tracer in biochemical experiments. ↗
  25. The word ‘heavy’ in this context refers to the mass of individual nuclei rather than the density of the element as a solid material. However, both are correlated—elements with heavy nuclei also have high densities. ↗
  26. The oxygen molecule (OO) is a radical, too, and it can react like one. For example, if you have ever patched a bicycle tire, you have observed radical polymerization induced by molecular oxygen, which causes the rapid hardening of the glue. ↗
  27. Another interesting effect that occurs with γ-photons of sufficiently high energy is that of pair production—the γ-photon is converted to an electron-positron pair (e+e+). The positron will swiftly bump into another electron, which will cause annihilation of both particles and give rise to two γ-photons. Thus, for practical purposes, pair-production can be considered a transitory stage in the dissipation of γ-ray energy. ↗
  28. You may notice that 238U is both fertile and fissionable. The outcome of a capture event depends on the energy of the captured neutron; fast neutrons tend to induce fission, while slow ones will initiate conversion to 239Pu. ↗
  29. Note that in this case some, but not all the X-ray photons will receive the full amount of energy. A better way to mimic energetically homogeneous γ-rays is through synchrotron radiation. ↗
  30. It is, however, possible to achieve deeper electron penetration by accelerating them to very high energies. Such artificial high-energy electron radiation is used in the radiation therapy of cancer. ↗
  31. Remember that γ-rays are of the same nature as X-rays. Bones show up white on an X-ray film because the heavier elements (calcium and phosphorus) in bone mineral stop the X-rays. In contrast, the X-rays traverse the surrounding soft tissues and blacken the film. ↗
  32. Consider that 0.53 = 0.125, or 12.5%; therefore, three stacked layers of half-thickness will attenuate the radiation by 100%−12.5%=87.5%. ↗
  33. This has been exploited for the ‘hardening’ of X-rays: passing the beam generated by an X-ray tube through some metal filters first will preferentially attenuate the low-energy part of the spectrum; this reduces radiation doses to the skin, which would otherwise disproportionately absorb and be damaged by this ‘soft’ fraction. ↗
  34. For a simple analogy, consider a pinball machine. The plunger is the ionizing particle, and the ball is the electron. When you pull and release the plunger, the ball receives energy and starts rolling. Most of the time, the ball will roll on all the way to the exit; but every so often, it may get stuck at some obstacle along the course instead. To get it rolling again, you have to supply some activation energy by punching the table. In thermoluminescence, the heat provides the punch that frees the electrons trapped in metastable states. ↗
  35. This is the principle of separation in time of flight (TOF) mode, which is the easiest to understand; however, mass spectrometry has other modes of operation as well. ↗
  36. In contrast, the ‘Trinity’ test explosion in New Mexico is said to have been detonated at low altitude and to have caused intense radioactivity on the ground (see Section 13.6.4). ↗
  37. There is, however, some argument concerning the requirement of only one or more than one OH radical for the induction of a double strand break, as well as the contribution of direct interactions between ionizing particles and DNA molecules. Divergent findings seem to be influenced by the degree of chromatin condensation and the abundance of radical scavengers [50,51]. ↗
  38. Red blood cells and blood platelets don’t contain DNA, and thus are exempt. The precursor cells of both, however, which reside in the bone marrow, do contain DNA and accordingly are subject to apoptosis. ↗
  39. The number of required mutations is lower in some forms of leukemia than in solid cancers, and therefore leukemias tend to occur sooner; this was also observed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. ↗
  40. Enriched uranium is said to have been used in some later tests, for example in the first Chinese atom bomb test in 1964, as well as in some American tests [4]. Non-enriched uranium can be used as a component of hydrogen bombs and has been detected in fallout shortly after such bombs were tested [55], but this will not cause upward deviations of the 235U /238U isotope ratio. ↗
  41. Note that this quantity of 236U is almost a thousand time less than that of unfissioned 235U that should have been dispersed alongside the 236U, and accordingly also been detected in this study. It is therefore noteworthy that the authors don’t comment on the presence or absence of 235U in their samples in any way. ↗
  42. The authors also found total fallout in the control area to be about twice higher than in Hiroshima. Readers with common sense surely will understand that this tells the story and skip the rest of this chapter; readers without it must persevere. ↗
  43. As discussed by Takada et al. [57], determination of the true ratio is complicated by the slight variation of the two isotopes’ abundance in different types of soil, which is caused by a slight difference in solubility. However, in the current context, this minor variation is inconsequential. ↗
  44. Some small amount of dust will be present, and natural uranium contained in it might reduce the isotope ratio to below 80%; but it should be clearly higher than in soil. ↗
  45. The physician Michihiko Hachiya notes in his diary that all days from the 6th to the 9th of August were clear and sunny [62]. It seems possible, however, that some of the sites sampled on the 9th by Nishina were drenched with water before that date by firefighters. ↗
  46. A small amount of plutonium would form during the detonation through neutron capture by 238U. From the neutron cross sections for capture and fission of 235U and 238U, the presumed abundances of 235U and 238U in the bomb, and the fixed abundance of 137Cs among the total fission products, it can be estimated that the amount of plutonium should have been some 15 times lower than observed. Moreover, virtually all of this plutonium should be 239Pu. The fraction of 240Pu, which in the small number of samples thus examined by Yamamoto et al. [63] ranged from 0.13 to 0.19 of the total, is typical of reactor fuel that has already burned up to a considerable degree; however, this much 240Pu would not arise in the detonation of a 235U bomb. ↗
  47. The estimated fission yield is not materially affected by the presumed delayed dispersal of the plutonium; dating the lowermost stratum of sediment that contains plutonium and 137Cs to 1945 will not reconcile the measured values to the official story. ↗
  48. With none of the plants, however, does Groves give any numbers as to the degree of enrichment achieved, or the amounts of enriched materials obtained. Instead, he regales the reader with endless details on dollars spent, miles of pipes installed, watts of power consumed etc. ↗
  49. It is claimed that the ‘Health Physics Research Reactor’ (HPRR), which was used in 1961-62 during ‘Operation Bren’ to mimic the spectra of γ-rays and neutrons produced by the Hiroshima bomb (see Section 6.1.3), contained 235U enriched to 93% [36]. This device was of course constructed after gas centrifugation technology had become available. Considering that the critical mass of a sphere of enriched 235U is on the order of 50 kg, we also have to wonder what sort of device exactly it was that Camac and his colleagues had been testing in 1944 (see page Introduction). Even assuming, counterfactually, that highly enriched 235U was indeed available at the time, such an amount of the precious material would hardly have been expended on preliminary experiments of the kind described by Camac. ↗
  50. Compton’s term “enriched materials” refers not to a finished product but to this complex nuclide mixture. Compton also mentions that ‘breeder piles’ could, instead of 239Pu, produce ‘new types of uranium’. This refers to the conversion of 232Th by neutron capture to 233U, which like 235U and 239Pu is fissile and might in principle serve as bomb fuel. Elsewhere in the protocol, it is made clear that this reactor type has not yet reached the stage of technical realization. ↗
  51. Between these two strangely divergent estimates, the lower one seems far more likely, since Enrico Fermi states at the same meeting that “approximately twenty pounds of the enriched material would be needed to carry on research in current engineering problems,” which of course means that he does not currently have this amount. ↗
  52. An electronic copy of the protocol of the Interim Committee meeting used to be hosted at the National Security Archive (NSA), but it has since been scrubbed from that website. The Wayback Machine archived a copy of the NSA’s page in May 2022. Another electronic copy can be found through this book’s reference list [53]. The excerpt used above is also quoted literally in the historic treatise by Alperovitz [68, p. 160], which will be used extensively in Chapter 14. ↗
  53. We will encounter Wilson again in the next chapter, laboring earnestly to estimate the amount of radiation that struck the two cities when the nuclear bombs went off, and commenting on the dearth of information available to him in this endeavor. From this, we can surmise that he was not in on the secret of the fraud. ↗
  54. Among the team of Manhattan Engineers dispatched to Nagasaki was Donald L. Collins, whose rather interesting reminiscences [71] contain the quote preceding this chapter. ↗
  55. Wilson’s paper was published in 1956, but a footnote states that it was written in 1951 at the request of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission and declassified only in 1955. The paper repeatedly advises the reader that, due to the shortage of empirical data, the conclusions of this paper should be taken as educated guesses only. Wilson cites all of six references, which illustrates his limited access to information. I unsuccessfully tried to obtain one of these [74]—it remains in the poison cabinet to this day. ↗
  56. The only report I have found of an even earlier measurement is that by Toland [76], who states that Dr. Fumio Shigeto, then vice director of the Hiroshima Red Cross hospital, used an X-ray dosimeter to detect radiation at the hospital on the day after the bombing (August 7th) and found very little. Toland [76], and Liebow [77] also report that X-ray film stored in sealed packages within the same hospital was blackened after the bombing. This observation is often cited as evidence of ionizing radiation released in the blast, but while it may have prompted Dr. Shigeto’s measurements, the negative outcome of the latter suggests that the films may have become blackened in some other manner, e.g. by exposure to heat when the hospital was burning. The physicist Robert Wilson considers this X-ray film evidence and concludes: “We must discard the film data because the analysis is much too complicated and difficult” [73]. ↗
  57. This graph was produced using the data in Table 9 in Okajima et al. [29], on which those authors also base their own ‘official’ estimate of induced radiation dosage. The single measured data point used to scale the curve is also given in that reference. A similar graph appears in Figure 5-2 of Ishikawa et al. [8]. ↗
  58. It is not clear who first determined the location of the hypocenter, or when; but in all likelihood it was not known or agreed upon at such a short time after the bombing. ↗
  59. This plot combines panels A and B from Figure 1 in Takeshita [78], with units of measurement converted to the ones preferred in this text. The first data series was obtained on August 11th by a team from Osaka University. The second data series was likely obtained by researchers from RIKEN, but I have found no English-language reference to confirm this explicitly. ↗
  60. Instead of following Shimizu’s lead, his American handlers confiscated all of his written records and then ‘lost’ them (see Section 1.5.5). As another interesting aside, Shimizu [37] also notes: “Due to physical fatigue and may be to an effect of exposure to nuclear radiations during the field survey in Hiroshima, in the night of the 19th I spat out much bloody sputa, and I was forced to lie on a bed for about three months.” Neither fatigue nor the weak radioactivity on the ground in Hiroshima could account for Shimizu’s hemoptysis (coughing of blood); however, exposure to mustard gas very well could. ↗
  61. The sources used by Hashizume et al. [81] were 60Co, 137Cs, and a linear accelerator producing high-energy X-rays, which differ from γ-rays only in origin but not in nature. The proportions and the X-ray energies are not given, and the assumed bomb γ-spectrum is not detailed either. ↗
  62. The authors do not detail what, if any, precautions were taken to avoid heating of the brick when it was cut, which might trigger and deplete the thermoluminescence prematurely. ↗
  63. On a related note, Higashimura et al. [80] do not show any raw data at all, which considering the novelty of their study is quite unusual. ↗
  64. The lifetime of an exponential decay (as will be assumed with a fading process such as this) is defined as the time within which the original signal decays to a residue of 1/e (approximately 0.37). The stated lifetime corresponds to a half-life of 4.64 × 105 years, which is roughly equivalent to 4 successive ice age cycles. ↗
  65. Even if those tiles looked undamaged by the fire, they still might have been thermally inactivated, since this will occur at lower temperatures than those required to mar the surface. ↗
  66. These particular buildings are listed in Egbert and Kerr [84], and Ichikawa et al. [83]. Hashizume et al. [81] only give latitudes and longitudes for the locations of their samples; none of these coincide with any of the landmark buildings that one finds depicted and identified in photographs, but one pair of coordinates points to water in a river arm, and another one to a spot of wilderness far from the city. ↗
  67. Ichikawa et al. [83], in another experimental study on roof tiles, state that “although the roof tiles were collected with much care to obtain samples which had not suffered from the fire, some samples did not show any thermoluminescence, which probably reflected the fire effect. But since we took only the glow curves of the normal type …” While this explanation is of course much better than nothing at all, it does not address possible partial thermal inactivation. Moreover, this paper explicitly lists several burnt-out or burnt-down buildings among its sampling sites, including Shiroyama school in Nagasaki (see Figure 5.3) and Hiroshima Castle, of which reportedly [86] only the foundation walls had survived the bombing. ↗
  68. If there is any truth and relevance at all to the raw thermoluminescence readings, then the uniformly low values from Hiroshima may reflect widespread thermal inactivation due to the fire. Nagasaki was not as completely engulfed by fire, and thus more thermoluminescence activity—due to natural background, of course, not to any nuclear detonation—may have been preserved in those brick samples. ↗
  69. In some cases, the precursor elements were in fact also radioactive, but the radioactivity of the derived elements formed by neutron capture could be distinguished and measured separately. ↗
  70. The relaxation length is defined as the layer thickness of a given medium—in this case, air—that will attenuate a beam of radiation by a factor of 1/e (see Section 2.7.3). ↗
  71. This paper by Hashizume et al. is the same one which also reported the thermoluminescence data examined in Chapter 5. ↗
  72. Since 36Cl has a long half-life and correspondingly low activity, it was measured by mass spectrometry. The same applies to 41Ca, which was measured for example by Rühm et al. [97]. ↗
  73. This calculation assumes a relaxation length of 139 m for thermal neutrons in DS86, which matches a graph in the official DS86 report that represents the calculated distance-dependency of neutron-induced 152Eu activity [93, p. 199]. Note the logarithmic y axis in Figure 6.4, which means that the straight trend line is really an exponential function. Its exponent is \((\nicefrac{1}{139\,\text{m}}-\nicefrac{1}{\lambda})\times d\), where \(d\) is the distance from the epicenter and \(\lambda\) is the ‘true’ relaxation length. ↗
  74. Elemental sulfur has both adhesive and insulating properties [99]. ↗
  75. Indeed, Dr. Teruichi Harada has informed me that Sugimoto and Yamasaki had died in 1966 and 1981, respectively, which confirms that their contribution could not have been recent. ↗
  76. At the 1981 conference, Loewe made the following statement [89, p. 51]: “I have been unable to get the sulfur data in terms that I can calculate directly (counts per minute in a fixed geometry [which would permit the calculation of decays per minute]). … I suppose the direct data are available somewhere … ” None of the other experts present pitched in with any further information. It is therefore very surprising to read in [93] that these data have been available as both electrometer readings and as decays per minute all along. ↗
  77. You may have noted before that the altitude of the explosion was given as 580 m. This is indeed an oft-quoted value that was determined from the shadows allegedly cast on stones by the flash of the detonation [85]. However, the height of the epicenter has been ‘corrected’ to 600 m in DS02; more on this below. ↗
  78. All plots shown in this book were prepared using the free software program Gnuplot; numerical fits were carried out either using Gnuplot’s built-in fitting routine or LibreOffice’s solver tool. ↗
  79. The half-lives are from an appendix to the official DS86 report [93, pp. 310-9], which contains another study by Nakanishi et al. While not the most exact estimates available today, these values are more likely to have been used in [94] for estimating the neutron fluence. ↗
  80. While the use of single numbers to specify the values of resonance integrals seems common practice, it appears to require an assumption about the shape of the epithermal part of the neutron energy spectrum. Nakanishi et al. are not explicit on this point, however. ↗
  81. The half-life of 41Ca is approximately 100,000 years, and that of 36Cl 300,000 years. ↗
  82. In a particularly imaginative study, Hoshi et al. [101] proposed that the neutrons had escaped the bomb not through the intact casing or through some sort of evenly fluidized and distended state of it, but rather through a fractured casing with a discrete circumferential crack exactly 3 cm wide. They also take the liberty of elevating the height of the detonation by 90 m. Yet, even these two tricks in combination only reduce but do not remove the systematic deviation of calculations from the measured data. ↗
  83. Most sources name sulfur mustard as the poison released in the disaster at Bari, but Maynard [107] in his Master’s thesis suggests that it was in fact lewisite. While he presents some intriguing circumstantial evidence, this question is peripheral to the main theme of this book and will not be pursued. ↗
  84. These bases are the purine derivatives adenine and guanine, as well as the pyrimidine derivatives cytosine and thymine. Within RNA, uracil replaces thymine. ↗
  85. This has been demonstrated with nitrogen mustard [52], which reacts with DNA in the same manner as does sulfur mustard. ↗
  86. Hydrolysis will also occur in the environment; however, since sulfur mustard is poorly water-miscible, this process will be slow. ↗
  87. The hydrostatic pressure in the capillaries always exceeds that within the surrounding tissue. Normally, this pressure gradient is balanced by the osmotic effect of the large quantity of protein contained in the blood plasma. Once the capillary walls become leaky toward the plasma proteins, however, this balancing mechanism breaks down, and plasma seeps freely into the tissues. Any fluid added through drinking or infusion will do likewise and amplify the edema. ↗
  88. Shock, in the pathophysiological sense, is the failure of the circulation due to lack of blood volume, to loss of vascular tone, vascular leakage, or to failure of the heart. Sulfur mustard has been reported to inhibit cholinesterase, which cleaves acetylcholine, an endogenous mediator that promotes vasodilation [129]. This may contribute to the loss of vascular tone in victims. Acetylcholine receptors in the skin have also been implicated in the causation of blistering [130]. ↗
  89. Among the four acute radiation sickness patients described in the ICRC report mentioned in Section 1.5.2 [32], two had burns around the mouth. They may have been wearing face masks in the days following the bombing, as described by Burchett [16]; the humidity trapped under these would then have softened the skin and thus amplified the local effect of mustard gas. ↗
  90. Cf. Figure 7.4. ↗
  91. The aluminum contained in these soaps should become oxidized in the fire and be left behind on the ground. A reaction with soil minerals might produce certain variants of garnet, in particular Fe3Al2(SiO4)3 or Mn3Al2(SiO4)3, which could account for, or contribute to, the ‘pink carpet’ which de Seversky had observed in Hiroshima and also in other firebombed cities (see Section 1.1). ↗
  92. For comparison, a search for “mustard gas” (with quotes) returns 1935 hits. ↗
  93. The classification of burns by severity is explained in Section 9.1.2. ↗
  94. See [93]. ↗
  95. A low level of exposure to fallout is supported by measurements of the fission product 90Sr in exhumed bones of Hiroshima bombing victims [147]. Some 90Sr was indeed detected in these samples, but the average levels were lower than in bones from Japanese who were exposed to the global fallout in later years; this agrees with the detectable but relatively low levels of local fallout near Hiroshima (Chapter 3). ↗
  96. A benchmark that is easier to determine accurately than the ‘always lethal dose’ is the LD50, that is, the dose that will be lethal to 50% of all individuals in a sufficiently large sample. The human LD50 has never been accurately determined; there simply are no adequate data. Under these circumstances, the best available substitute is the LD50 experimentally determined with rhesus monkeys (see Section 11.3 and [148]). ↗
  97. One early agent used for this purpose was nitrogen mustard, which acts in exactly the same manner as does sulfur mustard. Nowadays, drugs are more commonly used than radiation. ↗
  98. Local cancer radiotherapy often uses doses which are much higher than the ones stated here, and which would be lethal if applied to the whole body. ↗
  99. The cells of the bone marrow are shielded to some degree from natural radiation by the mineral of the surrounding bone matrix. Did natural selection hide them there because they were sensitive, or did they evolve to be sensitive because they were shielded? ↗
  100. For vivid accounts of the pitiful conditions these patients were suffering at the time, see for example the book by Swiss ICRC physician Junod [153], as well as the short film “Hiroshima-Nagasaki 1945” [154]. ↗
  101. The last name is transcribed as ‘Obo’ by [34] and [155] and as ‘O-ho’ in some other sources. Not knowing which spelling is the most appropriate, I adopted the one which I saw used most widely. ↗
  102. Indeed, some such survivors were still encountered in the survey carried out by the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) during the 1950s (see Section 11.2). ↗
  103. The text in reference [34] states distances from the ‘epicenter’; however, in direct correspondence, the author confirmed that the intended meaning is ‘the ground site right under the detonation’, for which the term ‘hypocenter’ is conventionally used. ↗
  104. It is remarkable how two mutually exclusive narratives—harmful radiation released in the blast only, and major contribution from fallout or induced radiation—have co-existed peacefully for many decades in the literature. In this field of ‘research’, hard questions are never answered, but dodged and deferred forever—if need be, as in this case, through the use of Orwellian doublethink. ↗
  105. The wind is said to have blown toward the west at Hiroshima [160]. Yamada and Jones [158] do not specify where in the city their black rain victims had been located. However, Masuda in [162] gives a detailed map, constructed from statements obtained from many survivors, which indicates that the black rain was most intense in the northwest. While Peterson et al. [160] find cancer incidence increased in the west, Gilbert and Ohara [163] find acute radiation disease most abundant in the north, but below average in the west. ARS requires high doses, whereas cancer may be caused in a large enough population by lower doses also; therefore, the observed discrepancy suggests a fairly uneven distribution of the mustard gas. ↗
  106. It is also interesting to note that oropharyngeal lesions are manifest in a considerable number of Hiroshima bombing victims in within the first week, and even on the first day. It seems likely that these very early lesions are due to direct, local action of inhaled or ingested sulfur mustard rather than to hematopoetic syndrome. ↗
  107. MacArthur had declared both Hiroshima and Nagasaki out of bounds for civilians, but, just like Burchett sneaked into Hiroshima [16,165], Weller stole into Nagasaki. Unlike Burchett, however, Weller still dutifully filed his reports with MacArthur’s censors, who promptly prohibited their publication. Weller did retain a copy, which was found in his estate by his son, who edited and finally published it in 2007. ↗
  108. Poison in the air was noticeable for several weeks after the bombings also at Nagasaki. Tatsuichiro Akizuki, a Nagasaki physician, vividly describes how a heavy rainstorm pelted yet cleansed the city on September 2nd and 3rd[167, p. 135]: “I looked up at the sky and shouted: ‘Don’t punish them this way—it is too much! Haven’t you done enough?’ … The 4 September turned out to be a fine, cool, autumn day. … ‘Something has happened!’ I said to Miss Murai. ‘I feel there’s a change in the air—I’m sure of it.’ … ‘That’s it!’ I said to myself. The poison has been washed away!’ ” ↗
  109. Such cases are unlikely to have survived more than a few days, and they will therefore be missing from Oughterson’s statistics. ↗
  110. Yamada and Jones [158] report ‘obvious’ effects of alleged high β-doses in a relatively small group of Hiroshima victims who had been exposed to black rain. However, these authors don’t report skin burns, but instead base their claim on epilation and mucosal symptoms; and they disregard that these victims also exhibited purpura, which is a clear sign of bone marrow damage and could only have been caused by more penetrating forms of radiation. ↗
  111. The table in the reference contains, for each city, two slightly different estimates for different assumed atmospheric visibilities, of which Figure 9.1A shows the averages. ↗
  112. If we ascribe all third degree burns to patients with flash burns only within 1 km, but the minimum possible number between 2 and 2.5 km, then the incidence of third degree burns in patients with flash burn only drops to 22.3% within 1 km and remains at 22.1% between 2 and 2.5 km. Thus, even this extreme scenario fails to show the expected decrease in burn severity. ↗
  113. This is a rare example of an observation that is indeed most readily explained by the orthodox story of nuclear detonations, which I urge its believers to duly celebrate. However, these burns are not grouped by distance from the hypocenter; colors may have differed between inner city and surrounding districts. The number of layers of clothes in either group is also unknown. ↗
  114. The mustard-exposed patient in the picture was initially treated with oil-based unguents (‘the grease method’), causing gangrenous infection; he improved after his treatment was switched to aqueous disinfectants. Father Arrupe, a Jesuit priest and physician who treated a number of burned patients in Hiroshima, thought that the oil treatment administered by Japanese physicians promoted infections and subsequent keloids [171]. Keloid often follows napalm burns [142]; its likelihood in mustard gas burns I was unable to ascertain. In any case, while both napalm and mustard gas might cause burns restricted to clothed areas, this is implausible with flashes of light. ↗
  115. There is some difference of opinion on whether or not keloids are the same as hypertrophic scars. The reference from which these pictures were taken [169] lumps them together; in the present context, we have no need to settle this question. ↗
  116. The reference from which the photograph in panel A is taken [146] claims it to show ‘pigmentation’, but pigmentation is pronounced only on the wrists, whereas on most of the arms it is suggestive of a sun tan. Much of the visibly colored skin is red, not brown; and the authors, both ivy league professors of medicine, were surely aware that humans don’t produce red skin pigment. ↗
  117. I have not seen the term ‘freckle burns’ used anywhere else; it seems possible that ‘patchy burns’ might have been a more apt translation. In any case, it is clear that Wakaki’s unusual term refers to some kind of irregular, discontinuous burned area. I should add that Wakaki nevertheless managed to satisfy himself that the story of the nuclear bombing, which was given out in military circles very early on, is indeed true overall, even though he questions it in many details. ↗
  118. On August 14th, Hachiya notes in his diary statement by another colleague, Dr. Hinoi, to the effect that “Dr. Sasada’s hands were badly burned and he remembers them catching on fire. He remembered nothing else though.” This is obviously at variance with Hachiya’s own recollection. ↗
  119. The senior author of this study is the very same Dr. Masao Tsuzuki who had a run-in with American censors when giving voice to the widespread perception of poison gas at Hiroshima (see Section 1.4.4). When Tsuzuki published this study on flash burns, censorship was still in force, which may have influenced his restrained commentary on the great similarity of gasoline or napalm burns and nuclear flash burns. Block and Tsuzuki state that 54.4% of all ‘flash burn’ patients had developed keloids, which is close to Plaksin’s figure of 52.7% in Korean napalm victims. ↗
  120. Hachiya [62] explains the term ‘pika’ as follows: “Pika means a glitter, sparkle. or bright flash of light, like a flash of lightning. Don means a boom! or loud sound. … Those who remember the flash only speak of the ‘pika’; those who were far enough from the hypocenter to experience both speak of the ‘pikadon.’ ” ↗
  121. Strictly speaking, the skin peeling off after a mustard burn would expose not the subcutaneous fat (as stated by the boy) but rather the layer of connective tissue above it (the dermis). ↗
  122. Even though Japan had capitulated on August 15th—9 days after the bombing of Hiroshima, and 6 days after that of Nagasaki—the U.S. did not send any physicians or medical supplies at all to either city until September, and even then gave only meager support [153]. The purely investigative Joint Commission arrived only on October 12th[77]. This prolonged failure to assist and to investigate seems to have been deliberate. ↗
  123. At some later time, Akizuki did experience symptoms of ARS such as fatigue and loss of hair; admirably, however, he stayed with and cared for the patients under his watch throughout the entire time. ↗
  124. Another physician’s report from Nagasaki is that by Raisuke Shirabe, a professor of surgery at Nagasaki medical school [179]. While this chapter does not cite specific examples from this source, Shirabe describes multiple cases of acute burns, consistent with napalm, and also several victims without visible burns whose clinical course is consistent with mustard gas poisoning. ↗
  125. While Akizuki’s statement that ‘on one side their bodies had been grilled’ might suggest some sort of real flash burn, he later also notes that some of the patients had burned faces and backs, for which he gamely asserts some contortionist explanation. This echoes Oughterson and Warren [146], who twist the protagonists of their case descriptions into the most unnatural poses for the same reason. ↗
  126. We noted earlier that the incidence of both radiation sickness and burns in victims near the hypocenter was lower in Nagasaki than in Hiroshima, even though the bomb yield in Nagasaki is said to have been higher (see Chapters 8 and 9). It seems likely that less mustard gas, and perhaps also less napalm, was used in the second bombing than in the first. ↗
  127. According to Dwek [184], and Fred and Chandler [182], lasting ocular injury, suggestive of damage by increased pressure within the eye sockets, is common in traumatic asphyxia even without manifest capillary leak syndrome. Dwek explains exophthalmia (protruding eyeballs) in such patients with hematoma in the eye socket, but with the limited diagnostic means available in his day, distinguishing hematoma from edema behind the eyeball would have been difficult. ↗
  128. While Bloom [26] was published only in 1948, the experiments described in the book were carried out mostly before 1945. From the great variety of radionuclides they used, it is clear that Bloom and colleagues must have had high-priority access to novel isotopes as these became available through ongoing research in Fermi’s laboratory. Considering that the reports by Bloom and by Oughterson and Warren [146] were both prepared under the auspices of the Atomic Energy Commission, it is peculiar that Oughterson and Warren do not cite Bloom. Even more bizarrely, Bloom’s 800 page volume does not even mention the atomic bombings, at least not within its otherwise very extensive index. Thus, no connection is ever made between Bloom’s experimental work and the clinical or pathological observations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Bloom does briefly note that in some experiments mustard gas was tested in parallel with radiation but gives no details on the conclusions drawn from such studies. ↗
  129. The most similar scenario may have occurred in Iranian soldiers subject to Iraqi mustard gas attacks. Freitag et al. [186], who report on some Iranian veterans with severe chronic bronchopulmonary damage, also state that “many soldiers died immediately on the battle field, probably due to acute chemical-induced pulmonary edema.” The surviving victims reported that “they first noticed a bitter taste and a garlic-like smell immediately after the exposure to the poison gas. Minutes to hours later, dizziness, headaches, and shortness of breath were common complaints.” The authors raise the possibility that lung poisons other than sulfur mustard may have been used, but I have not found this corroborated in other sources. ↗
  130. Reference [189] is the only source in which I have found this information. I deem this source credible for two reasons. Firstly, it closely matches [188] in all other details given on the various types of the M50 bomb. Secondly, it was compiled as part of an environmental survey in a U.S. Army weapons dump; the authors thus surely had a need to know the identity of the ‘secret toxic agent’. The document containing this information may have been made publicly visible by mistake. ↗
  131. Another limitation would be the less than perfect optical precision of the eye’s refractive elements (cornea and lens), but within a few kilometers from the detonation this should not matter much, at least in those without, or with properly corrected, near- or farsightedness. ↗
  132. The volcano-like appearance agrees with the mechanism of injury proposed by Byrnes et al. [195], and Vos [196], namely, a local steam explosion within the retina, caused by the very rapid absorption of energy, which allows no time for heat dissipation. ↗
  133. Flick notes that, on arrival, “we learned that the death rate was 100 per day among those survivors and felt that any studies made would have to be instituted quickly.” This must also have occurred to other medical officers; nevertheless, Oughterson’s ‘Joint Commission’ arrived only a full month later in October. Liebow [77] suggests that this was due to problems with weather and logistics, but these did not stop Flick, nor several other advance teams with non-medical tasks such as, it would seem, painting ‘atomic bomb shadows’ (see Section 13.5). ↗
  134. The cornea has comparatively low susceptibility to ionizing radiation, and lenticular lesions tend to become manifest with delay; it is therefore not clear to me why Flick was initially concentrating on these. ↗
  135. Both Rose and Byrnes cite this reference second-hand (‘cited in Cogan …’) and apparently never read it. I obtained the Japanese original and had it translated by a native speaker (T. Harada). It is not a full clinical case report, but only a short abstract one page long. In translation, its title reads A case of corneal burns by the atomic bomb. The text describes a patient who suffered burns to the face (probably by napalm), followed by scars as well as corneal lesions; only a single concluding sentence notes that degenerative retinal lesions—not retinal burns—‘were also seen.’ While the visual deficit (scotoma) in a true retinal burn should have been manifest immediately, it was noted by this patient only with some delay, suggesting that it arose from the scarring of the corneas; this is a well-known late effect of facial napalm burns [143]. ↗
  136. Dr. Teruichi Harada pointed out to me that Dr. Oyama and Dr. Koyama share the same first name, and that the two last names are most likely different English transliterations of the same Japanese last name, whose pronunciation would be more accurately reflected by “Koyama.” This would imply that Dr. Koyama himself changed his mind regarding the nature of the retinal lesions he had reported to Hachiya. ↗
  137. If you have not, you can experience it second hand by watching Hitchcock’s famous movie Rear Window, in which James Stewart’s character, a wheelchair-bound photographer, tries without success to ward off an attacker by repeatedly blinding him with camera flashes. ↗
  138. If large bronchi rather than small ones had been occluded, correspondingly large segments of air-filled tissue should been cut off from ventilation, and we should not see the alternation of inflated and deflated alveoli across distances as short as evident in this picture. ↗
  139. Overall, however, Hachiya makes it clear that he does not subscribe to the poison gas theory. On August 12th, he notes: “That a poison gas or deadly germ had been loosed in Hiroshima, I had finally dismissed, but these rumors were disturbing. … If a poison gas had been used, it should have killed everyone. Whatever killed these people, therefore, could not have been a poison gas.” ↗
  140. In fairness to the four scientists, it must be noted that they did not falsify the data in their published study [206]. They avoided this by simply dropping the distance as a criterion altogether for the subjects who had reported radiation sickness; only those with no such history were grouped by distance, whereas those with the disease were all lumped together into a single group. They did, however, not state their reason for doing so, namely, the difference between expected and observed spatial distribution of ARS symptoms. ↗
  141. The difference might arise at least in part from the neutron component of the radiation received by the monkeys, but not the mice. Indeed, according to Carsten [148], the LD50 of mice is only slightly above that of rhesus monkeys. ↗
  142. Both humans and rhesus monkeys are primates and share some metabolic traits likely to affect susceptibility to radiation. They require ascorbic acid as a vitamin, while also degrading adenine and guanine to uric acid. Radiation effects are mediated by radicals (Section 2.11); both ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and uric acid can scavenge radicals and thus mitigate radiation effects. ↗
  143. This data set [168] was released in 2000 and includes 75,991 survivors (51,390 from Hiroshima and 24,601 from Nagasaki). For 71,776 survivors, the dataset states unambiguously whether each of the three ARS symptoms or flash burns were present; the graphs shown here are drawn from this subset. RERF stipulates that each work which includes any of their data contain the following statement: “This report makes use of data obtained from the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) in Hiroshima, Japan. RERF is a private foundation funded equally by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the U.S. Department of Energy through the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.” Furthermore, I am to say that “the conclusions in this report [the one which you are reading] are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the scientific judgment of RERF or its funding agencies.” We can safely assume that RERF’s disclaimer applies in our case. ↗
  144. This factory was located on Okunoshima, a small island only some 50 kilometers from, of all places, Hiroshima. ↗
  145. It would be most interesting to see a correlation of chromosome aberrations to ARS symptoms, that is, to have empirical data on both the x and the y axis. I have not found such a study, however; a senior RERF researcher, when asked, could not locate any such data either. ↗
  146. Data were expanded from Figures 1 and 2 in [220], which give case numbers for each combination of dose interval and aberrant cell frequency. Coinciding data points have been slightly offset horizontally and vertically to try to render them all visible. A large number of subjects with estimated doses of exactly 0 Gy has been omitted, but the distribution of aberrant cells was similar to the lowest dose group shown (0-0.009 Gy). In panel A, the y axis is truncated at 35%; according to another study [226], the highest values approach 50% and occur near the middle of the estimated dose range. Also note the ‘traffic congestion’ at the right end of the x range—it turns out that estimated doses higher than 6 Gy were truncated to that value, presumably because in reality such doses would have been unsurvivable. See also Section 8.9. ↗
  147. Darrell Huff, who pioneered the didactic use of temperatures in Oklahoma City in his book “How to lie with statistics” [227], gives the average as 60°F (15.6°C) and the difference between annual highs and lows as 130°F (71.5°C). ↗
  148. The concept of linear energy transfer is explained in Section 2.7.2. ↗
  149. It is noteworthy that the number of abortions is one metric that paints a grimmer picture for Nagasaki than for Hiroshima; in most others, Hiroshima appears to have been hit the harder. ↗
  150. Wood et al. [242] do not state the incidence of ARS in the mothers, but most cases must have been the same ones as in the earlier studies, which reported a high correlation. ↗
  151. In calculating these percentages, only mothers with estimated doses of greater than zero were considered. Including mentally retarded children whose mothers received an estimated dose of 0 Gy exactly would decrease these percentages further. ↗
  152. Otake and Schull also maintain that mental retardation was caused only between the 8th the 15th gestational week. The do note that “a few discrepancies exist” as to the gestational ages given by Wood et al. [242] and those in the ABCC’s files, which they prefer. The time distribution one obtains using Wood’s data (see Figure 12.4) agree better with the findings discussed in Section 12.1.1 than do Otake’s, however. ↗
  153. In animal experiments, radiation doses as low as these did induce intrauterine death or CNS malformations when applied to the very early embryo [245], but this resulted in anencephaly or exencephaly rather than microcephaly. Such grave defects would lead to death before or immediately after birth; some such cases may indeed have occurred among the fetal or neonatal deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. ↗
  154. The X-ray doses used in diagnostic imaging at the time were considerably higher than those in use today, yet nevertheless far lower than those required then and now in therapeutic irradiation. ↗
  155. This assessment pertains to the first ten or fifteen years after the exposure, which is the appropriate length of time when comparison is made to studies such as Stewart and Kneale [247]. Long-term follow up of prenatally exposed survivors has found significantly increased cancer rates in adulthood, however [253]. ↗
  156. In some of the very high dose categories, as well as in those with all three ARS symptoms present, the relative cancer risk associated with burns is actually below 1. In these groups, mortality in the acute phase must have been high; significant incremental acute mortality due to burns would have biased the group of survivors toward lower doses to interior organs, and therefore toward a lower cancer risk. Conversely, reduced survival of burns due to concomitant ARS may have contributed to the reduced incidence of burns near the hypocenter in Hiroshima (Figure 9.1). ↗
  157. The subjects included by Watanabe et al. [262] were between 0 and 34 years old in 1945. Within this group, the fraction of males too young to join the cleanup effort would have been quite substantial, and accordingly the cancer risk in those who were old enough to participate would be even higher than apparent in the published statistic. ↗
  158. Assuming that the 95% confidence intervals given by the authors are two-sided, with equal chances of the true risk factors falling above or below them, the inclusion of the value of 1.0 means within a confidence interval means that the upward deviation of the risk is not significant at p<0.025. ↗
  159. One interesting observation related by Watanabe [155] is the distribution of histological types. He summarizes several studies that found a relatively high proportion of undifferentiated and squamous cell carcinomas among Hiroshima survivors. These are also the most common types among mustard gas factory workers [266]. ↗
  160. Another study with some very bumpy dose-response curves is Minamoto et al. [284]. These authors also find a substantially higher risk of cataract at equal dose in Nagasaki than in Hiroshima. The most plausible explanation for the collective oddities in this report is of course that the dose estimates are wrong. ↗
  161. Translated from Dutch by Hans Vogel. ↗
  162. While Groves suggests that the first batch of 14 such planes was ‘not in the best working condition’ and the following second and third batch of 14 planes each were merely ‘replacements’, he does not state that the first batch was actually mothballed. Norris [288, p. 11] states that the 509th Group had ‘several dozen’ such modified planes. ↗
  163. Intriguingly, Groves makes no mention of any conventional replica of the Hiroshima bomb (‘Little Boy’) being delivered to Tinian. The much slimmer shape of this bomb would of course not have accommodated nearly as much conventional explosive as the ‘Fat Man’. ↗
  164. The black rain area stated by [162] is considerably larger than in older reports (see map in Figure 3.1). ↗
  165. Figure 3.4B also shows rather large variation in the ratio of plutonium to cesium. Quite possibly, several batches of nuclear waste were dispersed which contained both radioactive elements in different proportions. ↗
  166. The book recounts the story of Sadako Sasaki, a small girl at the time of the bombing who in 1955 succumbed to leukemia, at an age of 12 years. ↗
  167. Considering that the 6th of August, as well as the subsequent days, had been hot and sunny, this episode of rain is rather peculiar. It is usually ascribed to the atmospheric disturbances caused by the nuclear detonation, but this explanation is of course incompatible with our thesis. Moreover, no such event is reported for Nagasaki. According to accepted history, cloud seeding to produce rain was discovered by Langmuir and Schaefer very shortly after the war [291, p. 3 ff]. It is interesting to note that both investigators worked with the U.S. military during the war years. Furthermore, the groundwork for their discovery had been laid already before the war by Findeisen’s seminal work [292]. We can speculate, but cannot prove, that the U.S. military was already in possession of the technology in 1945 and used it in the Hiroshima bombing. In this context, we may also note that, like other prominent scientists, Langmuir contributed a chapter to a nuclear scare propaganda booklet [293] discussed in Section 14.3.1. ↗
  168. In his book The rising sun, John Toland recounts the perceptions of Mrs. Yasuko Nukushina, a woman from Hiroshima [76, p. 783]: “People drifted by expressionless and silent like sleepwalkers in tattered, smoldering clothing. It was a parade of wraiths, an evocation of a Buddhist hell. She watched mesmerized until someone touched her. Grasping [her daughter] Ikuko’s hand, she joined the procession. In her confusion she had the illusion that vast numbers of planes were roaring over the city, dropping bomb after bomb without cessation.” While we may speculate that Ms. Nukushina’s perception was interpreted as an illusion only by Toland but not by herself, this is now impossible to ascertain. ↗
  169. In his book “Children of the Ashes” [298], the writer Robert Jungk also describes Naka’s travails. He purports to literally quote Naka herself in order to create an illusion of authenticity; however, he gravely distorts the story by omitting any mention of her immediate and severe symptoms, which don’t fit the radiation sickness narrative. In his looseness with the facts, Jungk resembles Hersey [7], who was contradicted by two of the characters he featured in his famous work Hiroshima when these were interviewed a short while later by Clune [171]. ↗
  170. If the use of mustard gas had been known, it is likely that a considerable number of victims contaminated with it could have been saved just by removing all contaminated clothes and a thorough washing of the skin. Exposure during rescue and recovery could have been mitigated by the use of proper gas masks. ↗
  171. The US Strategic Bombing Survey [13], in describing large-scale attacks on Japanese cities, comments repeatedly on early fires on the ground hiding the targets from bombing squadrons arriving later on the scene. This would have worked both ways—attacking planes would likewise have been invisible to the people on the ground. ↗
  172. Wakaki, the weapons engineer, estimates that lifting the air alarm caused a tenfold increase of the death toll [173, p. 103]. This may be a reasonable estimate if one considers the effects of explosives and incendiaries only. However, the mustard gas would likely have reached and killed many people inside the shelters also; cf. for example the number of victims among those who had been inside concrete buildings (Section 8.6). ↗
  173. Nishina or his helpers may also have planted the radioactive pieces of evidence which were subsequently recovered and analyzed by Shimizu (see Section 4.2). ↗
  174. Alperovitz [68, p. 99] writes that the Americans reversed themselves three times with respect to the Russian entry into the war on Japan. Roosevelt had wanted them in; Truman initially wanted them out, then in again, and finally out. The first reversal may have been triggered by Japanese attempts to negotiate—peace seemed near, and keeping the Russians out would have denied them any claim to the spoils. The second reversal may have occurred when Japan initially refused to collude in the bombings, and the third one when Japan finally caved. ↗
  175. See in particular James Bacque’s book “Other losses: the shocking truth behind the mass deaths of disarmed German soldiers and civilians under General Eisenhower's command” [305], which thoroughly documents the deliberate starving to death of approximately one million German prisoners of war, as well as a number of civilians, in American and also in French prison camps. This starvation campaign was in full swing during the months preceding the ‘atomic’ bombings in Japan. ↗
  176. While Japan’s formal capitulation occurred after the Russians had entered the war, the real capitulation would have come before this event, namely, when Japan agreed to collude. ↗
  177. The result, published in 1947 in Harper’s magazine (and reprinted in [289, p. 91]), went a long way to implant the still-popular myth that the atomic bomb accelerated the end of the war and thereby saved numerous American lives. Alperovitz’s book [68] clearly refutes this myth (see Section 14.1). ↗
  178. With respect to censorship inside Japan, of course, the stated motive of suppressing perceptions of the U.S. as barbaric seems a lot more convincing. ↗
  179. The remnants of this building have been preserved and are now known as the ‘Atomic Dome’. ↗
  180. The Bantai Bridge (named “Yorozuyo Bridge” on current maps) is located no more than 1 km from the hypocenter; it seems unlikely that it would not have been pointed out to de Seversky on his quest for unusual phenomena. ↗
  181. The second quote in Section 1.1 shows that mainstream atomic bomb propagandists were rather annoyed when de Seversky came forward with his findings, and they trained their guns on him. Morrison took this one step further in his contribution to the ‘One World or None’ propaganda pamphlet [293]. His fictional description of an atomic attack on New York City invites de Seversky for a cameo appearance: “A well-known aeronautical engineer who had managed to remain uninjured by the flash burn or the blast … died in twelve days, while working on a report for the Air Forces on the extent of the damage to steel structures.” ↗
  182. When inspecting the damage in his neighborhood, Wakaki wonders [173, p. 60]: “why did the blast come from a direction at right angles to the flash?” ↗
  183. Scene generated with POV-ray. Ground distance between light source and scene: 920 m; altitude of light source: 600 m. The light source consisted of 100 ‘bulbs’ arranged in a square with an edge length of 135 m, which approximates the cross-sectional area of a spherical fireball with diameter of 150 m; the latter number is based on Hubbell et al. [85]. ↗
  184. For discerning readers: taking into account the curvature of the Earth lowers this value by another 10 m. ↗
  185. It is often intimated that the people whose outlines are preserved in such shadows were instantly ‘atomized’ or ‘vaporized’. However, even the official estimates of the fictitious nuclear detonations do not provide enough energy for such a feat; the heat of the flash available directly at the hypocenter (cf. Figure 9.1A) would only have sufficed to inflict deep burns on a man but not to ‘vaporize’ him. ↗
  186. Cf. also the related episode in Franklin Stahl’s foreword to this book. ↗
  187. The word “trinitrotoluene,” rather than any faith or interest in Christianity, may have been Oppenheimer’s inspiration for naming the event “Trinity.” Oppenheimer came from a Jewish family, but he seems to have been preoccupied with oriental religious ideas. After witnessing the test, he reportedly quoted Hindu scripture with “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” ↗
  188. In this context, we may recall the Interim Committee protocol that was discussed in Section 3.7.1, and which claimed that uranium bombs were “in production” as of May 1945. Stimson had been present at this meeting—it may well have been for his “benefit” that this wild claim had been made. ↗
  189. Text translated from the Italian original using the DeepL machine translation tool, with minor manual adjustments. ↗
  190. The intended meaning may be ‘capital investment.’ ↗