(Two 30-minute segments)
Conducted in August of 1999, this broadcast updates the investigation of the Port Chicago explosion. The bulk of the discussion is very similar to the topical content of FTR-129. (Check the description for that broadcast for a detailed summary of the program content.) This broadcast does contain several points of analysis not contained in FTR-129. In this program, Mr. Vogel highlights the issue of residual radiation at the Port Chicago site. (Port Chicago is now part of the Concord Naval Weapons station.) Critics have maintained that Port Chicago could not have been a nuclear explosion, because there would be detectable radiation at the explosion site. Peter points out that this is incorrect. Within 10 years of a British test of a much larger weapon (also detonated in a marine environment), the background radiation levels had returned to normal. The British test was of a 25 kiloton weapon and Port Chicago yielded the equivalent of 600 tons of TNT.
Peter also discusses eyewitness testimony of injuries to sailors who survived the Port Chicago blast. Medical personnel who subsequently became acquainted with radiation burns voiced the opinion that the burns to Port Chicago survivors were, in fact, radiation burns. In this program, Peter includes two new elements in his research. Declassified documents indicate that the principals involved with the development of the Mark II (an early atomic bomb) forecast that it would be available by the fall of 1944. (Peter’s research indicates that the Port Chicago explosion, in July of ’44, was the test of the Mark II.) Recently, Peter filed a Freedom of Information Act request for access to the seven linear feet of documents about the Port Chicago explosion at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. His request was denied and those documents are now classified. Bear in mind that these documents supposedly pertain to the explosion of a World War II ammunition ship. Why have they now been denied to the public? (Please note that, due to an interruption of the recording process due to technical difficulties, Mr. Emory neglected to include discussion of the Wilson condensation cloud that was apparently present at Port Chicago. One of the evidentiary points in Peter’s article, the presence of the cloud is discussed in FTR-129.) (See also FTR-129, as well as Miscellaneous Archive Show M‑23.) (Recorded on 8/1/99.)
Note: There is some distortion on this tape, though it is still easy to discern.