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"You can hold your breath until you're blue in the face, but they'll go on doing it."--Marcus Aurelius
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Trinity Site

The historic marker on U.S. 380 at the turn-off to the Stallion Range Center on the White Sands Missile Range. 

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Ground Zero at the Trinity A-Bomb site is surrounded by chainlink fence.  Trinity Site is opened to the public only twice a year--once in April and again, in October.  This photo was taken April 3, 2010. 
Mileage to major New Mexico points from Ground Zero.  From my apartment in Albuquerque, Ground Zero is 121.5 miles. 

The McDonald Ranch House (located about 2 miles from Ground Zero) where the military and scientists assembled the plutonium core of the A-Bomb. 

 
The front of the McDonald Ranch House.  The house did not receive any significant damage when the A-Bomb exploded.  Robyn (in blue shirt) is coming out of the structure. 

Robyn in the living room of the ranch house (which was designated the plutonium core assembly room). 

 

 

The old water tower for the ranch house complex with the Oscura Mountains in the background. 

 
The ruins of a structure near the ranch house which was used as a bunk house for personnel assembling the bomb. 

Another view of the ranch house.

 
  
The bronze plaque near the ranch house declaring the site as a National Historic Landmark. 

It was a very dusty bus ride to and from the ranch house.

 
I had a photo taken in the same spot the previous year, but thought why not document this trip as well?  April 2, 2011.  Same cap too. 

 

At the entrance to Ground Zero.

 
Annette ready to get some radiation! 

Gil inside "Jumbo"--a big steel cylinder that was originally planned to house the A-Bomb to help contain the spread of plutonium in-case the bomb failed to explode correctly; but Jumbo was later set up under a tower 800 yards from Ground Zero as an experiment to see how it would fair through the nuclear explosion once scientists became confident the Atomic Bomb would explode.  The tower was vaporized in the explosion, but Jumbo survived mostly intact.  

 
Jumbo. 
The remains of the West 800 Instrument Shelter, located 800 yards west of Ground Zero.  Cameras were to be housed in the structure, but it wasn't used--and the cameras were instead placed in lead-lined boxes and angled at mirrors so that radiation wouldn't fog the camera film at the time of explosion.  The pictures of the first A-Bomb explosion are actually images reflected in a mirror!  
  
Ground Zero.  

Here, Annette is photographing one of the several information boards that are located around the site.  

 

Annette at Ground Zero.  

 

My daughter Robyn and son, Vernon at Ground Zero in October, 2011.

 
A photo of a tin stencil of the first Atomic Bomb.  Very ugly. 

Gil standing with identical casing for Fat Man--the Atom Bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.  Photo taken April 3, 2010. 

 

Trinity Site ... where the world's first nuclear device was exploded on July 16, 1945.  When the bomb exploded, it was heard as far away at Gallup, NM where military officials thought the ammunition dump at Fort Wingate had blown-up.  The flash from the nuclear bomb was seen all over New Mexico; the A-Bomb was detonated at 5:29 A.M.  

 
  
Annette with the Fat Man A-Bomb casing on display.  April 2, 2011.  
A close-up of the plaque at Ground Zero.  
Trinitite is a green glass-like substance created by the high heat of the nuclear explosion--causing sand to melt into glass.  Fortunately, most of the Trinitite is now gone or buried at Ground Zero.  Trinitite is radioactive and not something you want to pick up and put in your pocket!  
Bits of Trinitite that people visiting Ground Zero picked up and had confiscated.  The material is radioactive.  Most of it has been cleaned up around the site or buried, but occasionally some samples are uncovered by the wind and can be found on the surface. 

Here I am at Ground Zero.  

 

Looking at Ground Zero and the Fat Man A-Bomb on the truck.  

 

Looking at Ground Zero with the Oscura Mountains in the background. 

 
This low shed once showcased the original crater floor with green Trinitite through an observation window--but dust over the years has since covered everything over. 

Radioactive rocks.  

 

I almost got Annette in trouble when I kidded that she had picked up Trinitite and was throwing it on people!  Annette got tested for radioactivity.  

 

The bad news is that future open-houses at the Trinity Site will now charge a fee--$25.00 a car.  The U.S. Government cites budget constraints as the reason.  Photo taken during the April 2, 2011 Open House.

UPDATE:  The Trinity Open House for October 1, 2011 was free!  Personnel working the Open House said the previous commanding officer of the White Sands Missile Range was to institute the fee, however, the facility has since received a new commander and the no charge policy has remained in effect.

 

The Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Near-Earth Asteroid Research Observatory located just inside the Stallion Range Gate of White Sands Missile Range.  This facility looks for asteroids that may hit the Earth someday.  Photo taken from off base. 

 
A tin-stencil of the Santa Fe New Mexican announcing the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan. 

 

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