Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

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Do Black Lives Matter at Port Chicago?

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COMMENT: The first cou­ple of weeks of this month wit­nessed a spate of arti­cles mus­ing on the his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of the atom­ic bomb­ings of Hiroshi­ma and Nagasa­ki. Hiroshi­ma was attacked with the Mark 1 or “Lit­tle Boy” weapon, in which crit­i­cal mass was gen­er­at­ed by fir­ing a pro­jec­tile of enriched ura­ni­um through a mod­i­fied 5‑inch naval gun mech­a­nism. Nagasa­ki was attacked with the Mark 3 or “Fat Man” device, in which explo­sive pan­els implod­ed inward to achieve crit­i­cal mass with the plu­to­ni­um at the cen­ter of the weapon.

In pre­vi­ous dis­cus­sion of the atom­ic bomb­ings, crit­i­cal observers won­dered aloud and for the record what the Mark 2 might have been? Why were the Mark 1 and Mark 3 des­ig­na­tions giv­en?

In a num­ber of pro­grams, we have high­light­ed the July, 1944 explo­sion of the E.A. Bryan–an ammu­ni­tion ship at the Port Chica­go Naval Weapons Sta­tion.

In Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Show M23 (record­ed in August of 1988), we detailed Peter Vogel’s 1982 arti­cle from The Black Schol­ar titled “The Last Wave From Port Chica­go.” Pre­sent­ed in three audio seg­ments, the arti­cle delin­eates a num­ber of crit­i­cal fac­tors that argue per­sua­sive­ly in favor of the explo­sion hav­ing been an atom­ic explo­sion: The char­ac­ter­is­tic “Wil­son Con­den­sa­tion Cloud” pro­duced by an atom­ic explo­sion on water; the bril­liant white light of the explo­sion, unlike the yel­low or orange pro­duced by TNT and/or Tor­pex; com­par­isons with oth­er ammu­ni­tion ship explo­sions, which burned for hours before det­o­na­tion and in which only a small per­cent­age of the explo­sive car­go went off “high order;” the curi­ous dis­ap­pear­ance of can­cer sta­tis­tics for areas down­wind of the blast zone for sev­er­al years imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the explo­sion; the fact that Cap­tain Parsons–the bomb­ing offi­cer on the Eno­la Gay that attacked Hiroshima–wrote the report for the Navy on the Port Chica­go blast; the pres­ence at Port Chica­go of muni­tions shipped there from Los Alam­os; the appar­ent mush­room cloud that was pro­duced by the Port Chica­go blast; H‑Bomb pio­neer William Teller’s evi­dent dis­tress at being shown a report about Port Chica­go, indi­cat­ing that the doc­u­ment uncov­ered by Peter Vogel was a clas­si­fied paper; Los Alam­os Direc­tor Don­ald Ker­r’s evi­dent dis­tress over Peter’s Port Chica­go paper.  (Part 1 is here; Part 2 is here and Part 3 here.)

In sub­se­quent pro­grams and a book, Peter Vogel devel­oped infor­ma­tion indi­cat­ing that the blast at Port Chica­go was actu­al­ly the det­o­na­tion of an ear­ly atom­ic weapon, the auto­cat­alyt­ic ura­ni­um hydride lat­er­al implo­sion exper­i­men­tal device—named the Mark II. In FTR #444, Peter not­ed that a report on Port Chica­go com­ment­ed pos­i­tive­ly on the “B‑damage radius” pro­duced by the Port Chica­go explo­sion and observed that the Mark 2 could be put on the shelf and made ready, if need­ed.

In FTR #605, Peter’s work was sup­ple­ment­ed by the research of Dean McLeod, fur­ther rein­forc­ing the the­sis that Port Chica­go was the explo­sion of the Mark 2.

Per­haps pre­dictably, there has been no sub­stan­tive dis­cus­sion of the Port Chica­go blast, in which a large num­ber of African-Amer­i­can sailors were used as test sub­jects.

Do the lives of the Port Chica­go sailors mat­ter?



2 comments for “Do Black Lives Matter at Port Chicago?”

  1. The issue of The Black Schol­ar about Port Chica­go has been made avail­able through the Dig­i­tal Pub­lic Library of Amer­i­ca


    Allen, Robert L, Unit­ed States. Navy. African Amer­i­cans, The Black Schol­ar, Vol­ume 13 Num­bers 2, 3, Spring 1982 issue (4 copies), includes “The Port Chica­go Dis­as­ter and Its After­math” by Robert L. Allen and “The Last Wave From Port Chica­go” by Peter Vogel. Retrieved from the Dig­i­tal Pub­lic Library of Amer­i­ca, https://calisphere.org/item/26db4698-ad67-46ff-bd46-28894ad206f3

    Posted by GK | August 20, 2020, 8:19 pm
  2. Today I was watch­ing a Sar­gon of Akkad video, and it jogged my mem­o­ry to a con­ver­sa­tion I had with 3 new­ly mint­ed ‘Com­mu­nists’ 50 years ago. The video was about Crit­i­cal Race The­o­ry, and it talked about how the ‘Vul­gar Marx­ists’ were being con­front­ed with­in their ranks back in the 1990’s by the Crit­i­cal Race The­o­rists. Back to the con­ver­sa­tion, I’m nom­i­nal­ly slight­ly right of cen­ter, and 3 peo­ple that I knew to be far right racists were insist­ing to me they had become Com­mu­nists. I thought it was a joke at the time. In ret­ro­spect, I now believe the racists and eugeni­cists took a page out of the slow march through the insti­tu­tions play­book and did the same thing back to the far left. How bet­ter to mas­sacre Blacks and dis­cred­it the far left than to sell them on becom­ing anti white racists and start­ing a race war with the anti-racist major­i­ty.

    Posted by Chris Hoff | September 6, 2020, 9:22 am

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