Just before the sun rose over Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16th, 1945
- the world's first atomic bomb, dubbed "trinity"by its builders, sat on
its 100 foot tower awaiting the electronic signal that would mark the beginning
of the nuclear age. When the device detonated, turning the dark night into
the brightest day, the blast was squal to 20,000 tons of TNT. The mushroom
cloud rose over eight miles into the air, forming a huge question mark.
The Nuclear question
That nuclear question mark is still with us. The atomic boom echoes down
through the coridors of more than half a century. The question asked that
day, the first question of the atomic age is still being pondered : "My
God, what have we done?". The fallout of that explosion continues to haunt
In no time at all, as soon as the devestating potential of nuclear energy
was demonstrated in the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, people began
to wonder. Was this what the biblical prophets, Nostradamus, and seers down
through the ages had been talking about when they foretold a time they called
Since 1947, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has illustrated it's
perception of how dangerous the atomic threat is by placing a clock on the
cover of the magazine showing just how much time the editors think we have
before Armageddon. This is known as the doomsday clock. They base their
opinion on how the nations of hte world are pursuing nuclear capabilities
and on the tensions existing among the members of hte nuclear family. The
time has varied from as little as two minutes to midnight in 1953, to as
much as 17 minutes to midnight in 1991.
Pop culture has certainly picked up on the fear. An exhibition at the Browne
Popular Cultural Library at Bowling State University displayed posters from
no less than 56 Hollywood films in which an atomic Armageddon threat figured
prominently in the story or plot.
Many images in the Book of Revelation and the writings of Nostradamus seem
eerily similar to what happened at Alamogordo. It is relatively easy to
jump to the conclusion that these writers, living centuries before anyone
knew atomic energy existed, may have seen in their visions what hte human
race has since experienced.
"Something like a hugh mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A
third of the sea turned to blood, a third of the living creatures in the
sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed".
"The sun was given power to scorch the people with fire. They were seared
by the intense heat".
The unbeleives dead, captive, exiled with blood,
human bodies, water and red hail covering the earth.
(Erika Cheetham, The Final Prophecies of Nostradamus)
Such is the specter of the atomic age in the minds of virtually everyone
who has seen the pictures of the famous mushroom cloud that it is hard to
envision an Armageddon that doesn't involve nuclear holocaust. Perhaps the
most feared of terroristic threats is that a small group might smuggle a
nuclear device into a major city - or at least set off a "dirty bomb" -
(a conventional explosive contaminated with radioactive material) - thereby
rendering human occupation of the area impossible for any forseeable future.
In 2003, President George W. Bush launched and invasion of Iraq based largely
on the claim that Iraq was developing "weapons of mass destruction" - including
It is safe to say that more money has been spent as a result of nuclear
weapons, both in developing them and trying to defend against them, than
for any other single reason in the history of the human race.
The atomic age is a fact of life for every person now living on the planet,
and the potential for nuclear Armageddon remains on of the single biggest
threats to life as we know it today.