On early Monday hours 5:29 am Mountain War Time, July 16, 1945, the first ever human made nuclear bomb was detonated at the territory that is known today as White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, USA.
A crater that can be compared only with the impact of meteorite crashing in the crust of the earth was left behind.
The crumbles of green and red glass that covered the desert floor forming a neat circle around ground zero, were later named trinitite. Time capsules of sort solidifying the end of one time and the beginning of another one.
Mineral records that will testify human presence on earth after we are long gone.
Since then Trinitite has been submitted to XRF, autoradiography and backscattered electron imaging. It has been collected, sold, and bought. It has been used for construction of ant hills.
It has become part of desert and human ecosystems.
Tularosa basin is composed of alluvial, aeolian, and volcanic materials related to past marine and mountain-building events.
Quartz, feldspars, carbonates, sulfates, chlorides, hornblende, olivine, clays, magnetite, ilmenite, augite, meteoritic and volcanic dust have been identified in the mineral composition of Trinitite along with uranium, plutonium, thorium, iron and lead.
A scientific paper claims, it remains a speculation whether Trinitite was produced by the uptake of sand into the heart of the blast fire that then fell back down on the desert floor.
Children who visited the blast site collected Trinitite because of its green glow in the dark.
Until very recently, largely indigenous communities lived in the shadow of atomic fictions and nuclear souvenirs. Trinity downwinders had been excluded from the Radiation Compensation Act for decades. It was claimed that there was not enough scientific data to prove the adverse impacts of the Trinity blast on the surrounding environment and its communities. Neither was data collected or territories surveyed regarding the real fallout effects.
Just a mineral fiction that will testify human presence on earth after we are long gone.
Excerpts from the “Surface Mining at the First Ground Zero” by Dr. Ralph E Pray.
While living in the remote desert of Northern New Mexico I had seen an aerial photograph of the radioactive site in a popular magazine. It looked like a giant scab. It was impurity waiting to be taken away. I was determined to remove it without a trace of publicity. My self appointed task was to gain entry to the government glass and haul it off for burial, to repair the desert, and clean away this radioactive afterbirth.
- I’m not going in there. You’re out of your mind.
- Could be, but there’s something to do here.
- Listen, they won’t ask any questions. They’ll just shoot us.
- There’s nobody around here, not for thirty’ miles.
- There could be long-range guns aimed at us right now. These people were smart enough to do this. They can do anything. We’re nothing.
- I’m driving in. I’m going for a truckload of glass.
I turned off the highway at 2am and taped on the headlight masks. We crept along carefully. About two miles south of the highway I got my first big surprise in the Trinitite Project. A herd of small antelope dashed across the road in front of me. Then a large mound in the road ahead turned out to be a tortoise I had to drive around. A minute later there came a coyote who skittered almost sideways when he got close to the truck. Along the pole and wire line I saw a shiny log that turned out to be a porcupine. Jackrabbits sat on the black tar sucking up yesterday’s heat.
My tire tracks from the previous week were the only ones in the sand at the gate. I entered and got to work. The second load was 600 pounds. I was back on the highway at four a.m. and in Albuquerque by seven. I unloaded in Santa Fe a few hours later.
Two more trips were needed to remove the bulk of the glass. I did these alone in the darkness. I preferred it. The stress was minimal. I liked the cool night air. Seeing the wild animals in this place recently dedicated to total destruction gave me some hope for the future. It was almost as if they knew something.