The curse of the Atomic Era might outdo the curse of any Egyptian mummy's tomb. Let's have a look at this curse....
Marie Curie was a Polish physicist and chemist, the first female to win the Nobel Prize. Born in 1867, deceased in 1934, she was Polish born and French naturalized. She was notable for her work with radioactivity, isolating radioactive isotopes and for discovering two elements; polonium and radium. Her very work, although a huge boon to our collective knowledge of science, was also her curse. The vials of radium in her pockets that she carried around led to her aplastic anemia and death.
Sixty two years after nuclear testing at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands and it is still inhabitable. The families were moved from Bikini in 1946 for nuclear testing. In the 1970s, the government said it was fine to move back and some residents did, hoping to retain their heritage and their lands, but they soon left when it was found there were large amounts of radiation in their food and water. Sadly, generations will be raised scattered and away from their homeland, a heritage lost to promises from the government while testing the cursed nuclear capabilities. (LINK)
The 1950s were contemplating, not only the Cold War and potential for "the bomb" to be dropped, but also reacting to fears about what atomic waste was capable of. SciFi monsters took on tremendous proportions from movies like "Them!" and "Godzilla." But, the other "monsters" created by nuclear waste were much more real; radiation deformities.
Just another one of the curses on the list.
In 1945, the Enola Gay carried "Little Boy" to the first drop site for an atomic bomb, Hiroshima, Japan. The bomb exploded about 1900 feet above the city. Most of the city was destroyed, 45,000 people died, another 19,000 died from radiation exposure within four months.
When the Japanese did not surrender, a few days later, Bockscar carried "Fat Man" over Nagasaki and dropped it where 40,000 people lost their lives immediately. By the end of that year, 80,000 total died from that bomb.
Hirohito immediately surrendered and the war ended. Birth defects were high among survivors, but later generations have been studied and no long-term genetic damage has been reported. (LINK)
THREE MILE ISLAND
In 1979, a partial nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania brought home to America the potential fearful future of utilizing nuclear power. It took decades and 1 billion dollars to deal with the mess and ultimately they declared it was a very small statistical risk of cancer related to those around the area.
On April 26, 1986, a surge in power during a test destroyed unit #4 at Chernobyl in the Ukraine. The accident and resulting fire leaked massive amounts of radiation. Over time, a quarter of a million people were relocated.
Today, they are finishing creation of a shield to roll into place over the plant to contain the radiation leakage.
We can only shake our heads in wonder at the stupidity of Japan, that had experienced two atomic blasts, massive death from radiation, creation of a Godzilla fictional character based on that exposure, sitting atop of some of the most active earthquake region in the world, then decides to build a nuclear plant by the sea....
March 11, 2011, following a massive earthquake and tsunami, the nuclear plant at Fukushima Diiachi lost its cooling power and all three cores melted. One hundred thousand people were evacuated.
Here's some images of resulting radiation contamination -
Yucca Flat in Nevada was the single most nuclear weapon tested area on earth. Starting in 1951 and going on for decades, 827 detonations took place.
In 1954, the movie "The Conquerer" was filmed in Snow Canyon State Park, not far from the testing sites. In fact, the producer shipped truckloads of dirt from the site to the studio to reshoot scenes. They filmed on location for 13 weeks during fallout.
What happened afterwards would become infamous as a movie curse. The movie was released in 1956. Several years later, the director, Dick Powell, died of cancer. Several lead actors then followed. Pedro Armendariz had a terminal diagnosis in 1963 and killed himself. Agnes Moorehead succumbed to cancer in 1974. Susan Hayward died of cancer soon after in 1975. John Wayne died of cancer in 1979.
Some research into the cast and crew with cancer, out of 220, 91 had gotten cancer. That sounds amazing. However, one thing that is not taken into account is that 40% of people get cancer in their lifetimes.
When testing the bomb, the government was not too concerned for the effects on its own faithful soldiers.
Edgar Mitchell, a highly educated astronaut who walked on the moon, reported that aliens tried to stop a nuclear exchange between America and Russia. Supposedly, the aliens were watching weapons testing and saw a potentially bad fate. In the mid 1940s during testing at White Sands, NM, it was reported the military saw the alien craft flying by and checking things out.
The astronaut reported that they had intercepted some missiles that were being tested by both sides and, more importantly, their technology was so advanced, if they wished us harm, they could have done it. (LINK)
Some vintage reminders of atomic testing fears -