... my illustration work: Victor bomber (UK)


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... my illustration work: F-106


1953 ... more of the big and strange!

"... sooo - we need to Zorch stuff with radiation from all directions and that sort of important national security sort of stuff!"

... built in 1953, the Tower Shielding Facility at the Oak Ridge Nuclear Reserve is one of those very big things built so that the mad-scientists could give young boys nightmares. A whole lot more info from this LINK

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1953 ... very big and round!

"West Milton, NY. October 1953. Huge steel shell built for the Atomic Energy Commission to house General Electric's nuclear engine for the atomic submarine Seawolf (SSN-575)"

... more of the strange landscapes of the Cold War! Boy, if you grew-up near that thing you might have had some strange nightmares!

... and - it seems to still be there! Great location for a sci-fi movie!

... Uranium in your own backyard!

"... the Government needs lots of Uranium from YOU! Buy a fancy machine. Point it at the ground- become a Millionaire! You can do it in Your Bathrobe!"


... romantic atomic interlude!

... amazing the number and extent of attempts to market and cash-in on Cold War fears. Perhaps these were re-purposed high fashion raincoats (they do have that Mary Quant feel). There's more than one old Civil Defense film that shoes manly-men utilizing the basic yellow 'slicker' rain-gear as protection against fallout dust. But that's only quicky, minimum, safety against getting the stuff on your skin or breathing it in. Leave your rain-gear outside the shelter and clean-up good after foraging for food and fighting Zombies. Hmmm - maybe that cardboard box was an emergency supply of toilet paper (wouldn't even fit a decent supply of Scotch!).

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... protection from Fallout

... here is a link to an excellent website with follow-up information to the post below...

... 'sheltering' from fallout!

Once again, some not so bright human being, pushed the wrong button and sent out a (mistaken) warning of nuclear attack. What's different this time is... where would all those people have scurried to when told to 'seek shelter'? Most of our Public Civil Defense shelter system is gone or is moldering away in lost and forgotten locations.

If a nuclear attack came - would everyone who was not in a 'fallout shelter' be doomed? No! Well- yes. If you are in the path of high levels of radioactive fallout you must protect yourself or you are going to have a bad day. But protecting yourself does not mean the only form of safety is hunkered down for two-weeks inside of a 50's era 'Bert the Turtle' underground bunker.

The danger is Fallout; very fine dust that comes from soil and debris sucked up into the air by the atomic explosion. (Right now, we are specifically talking about a radiation hazard downwind and outside of the initial blast effect zone - which is 99.9% of US real estate). The need is to stay away from this dust until it's radioactivity has 'decayed' or worn out ( sorta like a flashlight going dimmer as the batteries lose their charge).

During the Cold War everyone talked in terms of World War Three - a big shoot-em up with the Soviets involving hundreds or thousands of really big bombs. Obviously anything less than that is going to mean less danger- relatively. 

The three things that are your friend when it comes to sheltering against radioactive fallout are 1) mass: big heavy stuff that separates you from the dust. 2) distance: the farther away you are from the dust the more it's nasty little rays are diluted think of sitting close or far from a campfire. 3) time: the more time that passes, the more the radiation fades away remember the flashlight and batteries analogy.

To make it simple, and shorter, I will use my home as an example. I have a basement- so I am way ahead in this game. Part of my basement has small windows. If I have time, and fallout usually takes some time to drift to your area with high altitude winds and the fall back down, I can go outside and pile dirt over those windows with a shovel. I can also put wood, bricks, my outdoor grill, even park my car against that part of the house. Anything to get 1) mass and 2) distance between the dust and those glass openings. ( I said openings - but any solid material, even glass,  that keeps the dust away from me is a good thing!)

Let's backtrack for a moment. First and foremost you want to be inside! You want to keep the fallout dust outside of your inside; literally and figuratively. If you are away from the blast area and your roof,walls and windows are intact and not damaged that is a very good thing.

Back down to my basement. Most of this below ground space has no windows, so it's at the windowless end, in a corner, that I am most protected. In a corner I have the surrounding soil on 2 sides for protection. The lower to the floor level I am the more protection I have. Three feet or more of soil is pretty good mass to keep away Mr. Radiation. It may be that the best place for me is more to the center of the basement space. That location gives me the ground protection plus the distance of the entire volume of the sealed house. The wooden walls and floors of the house above aren't much in the way of shielding, but in the basement I am 10 to 30 feet away from the outside walls and roof and that distance can count for a lot. Remember too; smaller bombs and smaller wars may make my problems less than in the days of Curtis LeMay vs. Khrushchev.

If you have no basement and or live in an apartment building remember that distance from the outside will always help. Stay to the center of the structure. Create mass for shielding by bringing in garbage bags filled with soil, stacking furniture and boxes of books. If it is heavy it has mass and makes for good shielding.

1954 ... the power of God!

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1957 ... SAC pilots prefer Ramblers!

1996 ... "Baiting the Bear" (1996)

... interesting perspective on US Airpower and a lot of not very flattering biographical info about SAC father; Gen. Curtis LeMay. ( I do not think that LeMay would have really disagreed with most of what is said about him in this film- ha!)

1964 ... MiG-25 'Foxbat'


1976 ... sex and the H-bomb!

... some men can't take 'no' for an answer even when they are receiving 500 rads and hour!

"... last one off gets cole-slaw!"

... what appears to be a MITO (Minimum Take-Off) drill of US Air Force B-52's. Getting all of your bomber 'assets' off the ground in the fastest time is very important in nuclear warfare. What's on the ground is a target. A missile launched from a sub near the US Coast can travel a 'suppressed' flattened trajectory and hit an airfield in the middle of the country faster than you can say "Colonel's Extra Crispy"!

Most 'war-plans' anticipated a prelim. of rising international political crisis. During those few days the bomber force would be 'dispersed' to many airports including municipal airstrips. So if you see B-52's being parked at your local airport it's time to get very worried! 

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1960 ... more horny robots!

... according to the tag this is a robot developed by Hughes Tool Co. for working with radioactive machinery. As a pro-photographer I know that this set-up required everyone in parking lot B to park in the cornfield across the road for the day!


1963 ... here comes Minuteman!

... fearing the Soviet's rapid advancement's in rocketry; the American military vowed a speeded-up development process for our own missile force during the mid and late 1950's. 

Amazing to think that Atlas, Titan and then Minuteman all came into operation within a 3-4 year period. Each one had several follow on developments and all augmented and then improved upon the previous programs. Together with bomber development, submarine launched ICBM's and the growth and complexity of a gigantic infrastructure of command and control; the size of the effort was nothing short of titanic!


1964 ... that's a hell'uva set!

... Stanley Kubrick is seen conferring with Peter Sellers (in wheelchair prop) on the 'War-Room' set of 'Dr. Stranglove'. Ken Adams designed the set and is also responsible for some of the best, and most iconic, high tech movie sets of the 1960's. Legend has it that when Pres. Ronald Reagan took office he was disappointed to learn that no such cathedral of Armageddon actually existed. 

 short video on Ken Adams 


... photos that go boom!

... being a photographer by trade - I have always been fascinated by the Rapatronic cameras and super hi-speed photography. So - I stumble across this video and in 7 mins my knowledge is doubled!


1948 ... fall of modern civilization!

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1953 ... kablooey!

... only movie (until the latest Indiana Jones) where the hoodlums get their just-desserts courtesy of atomic explosion!