Underwater Airplane Graveyard in Kwajelein Atoll

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by syscom3, May 8, 2015.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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  2. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I'll get my row boat and cooler!
     
  3. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Cool link, thanks for the post, Sys!
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That is just amazing
     
  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Kwajelain Atoll just happens to be in the former (I think ... it might still be active) Western Missile Test Range. Bikini and Enewetak were the standard WMTR target for practice shots of various missiles. Naturally they were intentional "duds". The intent was to test the delivery system.

    Kwajelain Atoll was the control center for Operation Crossroads in 1946.

    Atomic_Bomb_Operation_Crossroad_Baker.jpg

    I had to seriously degrade the quality to get this to fit as the real pic file is almost 50 Mb and has a LOT of detail.
     
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  6. Elmas

    Elmas Active Member

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    I'm wondering how the camera was protected from the blast , being so close to the atomic explosion....
     
  7. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    It was miles away.
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    They had special television and film cameras used for monitoring the tests that were capable of capturing images well within the blast zone.

    Outside the zone, the Government had a special corps of professional photographers to capture the testing.

    A good article about those photographers is here: The Bomb Chroniclers
     
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  9. Elmas

    Elmas Active Member

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    Even at five or six miles ( I don't think it was more, maybe less, comparing the sizes of the ships in perspective) the blast and the heat must have been severe.
     
  10. Token

    Token Active Member

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    This picture was taken from about three and a half miles. Because the blast was 90 feet under water the thermal pulse was minimal. The shock wave was reasonably intense, but not enough to unroot most of the trees that you can see in that picture. The wave set started by the blast was about 15 feet high when it came ashore in the beach in that image.

    T!
     
  11. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering how the film was protected, nyself. The film is sensitive to light, and it MUST have had a LOT of light from the initial "bang." But ... somehow ... it worked.

    It leavers me thinking that I must not understand exactlty how film exposure works. I'd THINK it would have been a big, white blob ... but it wasn't. Maybe it was filtered 100+ ways and this is the only one with the correct filter that resulted in a picture and simulataneously survived to be developed later.
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Greg, if I remember correctly, the lenses had a gold filter and some of the monitoring cameras in the blast-zone were lead and gold encased, much like the cameras used in space, where solar radiation is always present.

    I've had great success in using a gold layered arc-welding filter (grade 13) on my camera for solar flare and solar eclipse photographs and delivers exceptional clarity and detail. :thumbleft:
     
  13. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Pretty neat to hear. I am not a big potographer myself, but I love to see the results of the guys who are.

    I would forego the thrill of taking pics of an atomic blast in favor of a non-radioactive beer and would wait for several of them to see the photographic results. Hopefully the pub would be upwind by at least 10 miles. That way you would feel the shockwave and know you have maybe two - three more beers before the photo guys call you.

    I'd choose a pub with maybe three sets of hills in between the blast and the beer.
     
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  14. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Just to be clear about it; the ship grave yard is at Bikini Atoll, several hundred miles from Kwajelien Atoll where the airplane grave yard is.
     
  15. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I thought everyone knew that, syscom ...
     
  16. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    I'll be your naviguesser...will even bring my own cooler!
     
  17. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I'll go ... anything to go scuba diving ...
     
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  18. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    I'll grab my SCUBA tank now then!
     
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  19. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    #19 bobbysocks, May 18, 2015
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
    going diving in 4 weeks....not on those airplanes but in warm clear water...so i will just have to suffer through just seeing fish and coral. however...would rather dive at No Bikini Atoll...lol
     
  20. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Isn't that where Normal Normal and the Three-Headed Threep met Beannie and Cecil?
     
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