Yucca Flat: The Most Bombed Place on Earth





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Uploaded on Oct 2, 2009

I made this video because I hadn't known, until a few years ago, about the nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site. Looking back at my upbringing and education through college, I am convinced that I never knew about this inglorious chapter of our American History for two reasons. Indirectly, a careful and deliberate public relations campaign executed since the 1950s had successfully canceled mainstream suspicion of any long-term deleterious health impacts from the testing. Directly, virtually all of the editors of my textbooks, the reporters who told me the news, my teachers, and scores of others who knew or should have known about our testing history didn't think that this part of our history had any current relevance. And so I never learned.

History is littered with events of non-relevance, events that are not associated with any clear effect on shaping our present circumstances. Unless you are a tour operator perhaps, most people aren't daily concerned with a small field in New Jersey where a historic Civil War battle took place, or a large Utah dry salt lake where a race car driver decades ago broke a land-speed record. But why should a basin in Nevada - where the metal of plutonium was bombarded, and went critical, and created large explosions - be any different? It isn't relevant because - we are told - events at that basin aren't shaping and haven't shaped our present circumstances.

Like downwinders, I am convinced that these events at Yucca Flat are highly relevant to present circumstances; moreover, I am convinced past testing is relevant to current public heath problems. Yet there is a mainstream - I would argue a 'revisionist' - perspective that attaches non-relevance to the nuclear testing in Nevada: health impacts vigorously denied; government health agencies refuse to study the issue; what happened on Yucca Flat deserves only frivolous fluff pieces of journalism and a grand hall of half-truths - that they call a 'museum' - in Las Vegas.

In any bold effort to change historical perspective and attach relevance to historical events that are merely footnotes in history textbooks, what is required is examination and education. The effort requires backing up claims as best as possible and, in an evangelistic manner, convincing the world that relevancy is merited.

I wanted to create a video that focused on Yucca Flat because that was where most of the Nevada Test Site tests took place and it is a starting point in my 'bold effort.' I was inspired by a flash video I saw years ago that illustrated on a small map the aerial bombings of Iraqi cities by 'coalition' forces over 'compressed time.'

Why painstakingly geographically plot coordinates of nuclear tests, illustrate exact nuclear yield sizes and corresponding audio blast effects, array still images, voice-over narration, etc... in a video if it is not relevant? We spend time hovering over the stove because good food is important to us. We even study our genealogy because it is an attempt to understand who, and what, shaped our present circumstances. Yucca Flat may not be so different from all of these things. It may have shaped our present circumstances and we don't know about it, or not as much as we should.

This video was made by Andrew Kishner, formerly associated with his 2006-2014 web projects: Idealist.ws and www.NuclearCrimes.org. He is author of the 2015 book 'Rig, Rad, Run: Radiation Monitoring, Fukushima, and Our Nuclear Dystopia.'

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