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Harold Edgerton
A High-Speed Motion Photography Expert and Pioneer
Most of these are his images, but not all. Some are shot with film at speeds approaching several million frames per second (Atomic Weapon Detonations), but most are just hundreds of thousands of frames per seconds or less.

Below are three sequence photos shot on special b&w film at about 10,600,000 frames per second during the 1945 Trinity Test when Los Alamos fired the first Atomic Bomb test. These are Edgerton images. They are three almost-sequence frames, triggered from the primary firing Trinity weapon firing mechanism. The camera had 3500-feet of pre-tensioned 35-mm film on a huge spool, and the below shots are about two or three or five frames apart (they never could really tell) at the climax speed of the camera when the test weapon went off. The camera exploded after the shots because it was going so fast, but it shot 2/3rds of a mile of film frames before it disintigrated, and Edgerton made a special heat and blast resistant magnesium-alloy housing for the film to spin off and eject laterally when the camera exploded, so they could recover the exposed film after a predicted camera failure. Edward Teller was the first one to see the frames, and he was ecstatic. Moments later, he was depressed and realized that the US was going to drop these weapons on Japan. He forever regretted his role in the development of these infernal death machines. But he ended up sticking with it into the post-WWII era and helped make even larger Hydrogen Fusion weapons.


(Above) - A USAF Thunderbird F-16C pilot at the moment of ejection at an air show.

A small 500-lb fuel-air atmospheric air-to-ground munition device (GBU), just after primary ignition and moments before concussive impact on a test structure at Nellis, AFB. These were used prominently in Afghanistan in 2001-2002 on Al-Qaida cave openings, and caused exhaust plumes on the complete other side of the mountain when they were placed properly. With competent USAF SpecOps Forward Air Controllers on the ground, air crews directed these weapons from upwards of 38,000 feet from B1B and B2 Spirit bombers time after time inside the openings of cave doors and cleared every living thing from here to Timbuktku inside of them.

Thanks to Toivo for sending me the inspiration for this collective set of photos...

Tony's Note: Edward Teller is still alive today (June 2004), and he has seen the Trident III missiles on ours and the UK subs, and he shakes his head with disgust at them. He says these are the worst weapons to ever keep on hair-trigger alert, because if they are ever launched on a full DefCon1 firing mission, which they are designed to do, the Trident III missiles alone will destroy at least 200 million people in less than 15 minutes after launch. And by the nature of the launch of those missiles, every Russian SS-18, SS-20, and the new TOPOL SS-22 missiles will fly automatically, which will invoke our MILSTAR II system to authorize and auto-fire all of our remaining ground-based missiles to impact on Russia and China. Hmm...

As of June 2004, we have 550 "ready" strategic ballistic nuclear missiles in our stable of ground silos that can deliver 1,700 MIRV individual nuclear warheads, 24 SLBM "boomer" submarines with 18 MIRV TRIDENT III missiles of 12 each in each cone for independent delivery. That makes 5184 individual 300 kiloton nuclear warheads from our SSBN submarines, and we have 245 nuclear cruise missiles ready to go on B1B and B2 Spirit bombers. That is 7200 ready-to-launch nuclear weapons from our military, at any moment.

And the Russians have about 9000. And the Chinese are pony'ing up about 100, possibly 200. Damn!

That is WAY too many thermonuclear hydrogen weapons criss-crossing the globe for anyone to survive. Navigation Links

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