By Alan Hamill
What happened on Somerton Beach and in Adelaide from 1902 to 1984+?
Why was the Somerton Man in Adelaide?
The Sound of an Atomic Bomb!
A flash, a boom, an intense pressure wave, then a roar, and a mushroom cloud!
Popular imagery of the atom bomb is oddly sterile. For all we know of the horrors of nuclear weapons, the visual that’s most often evoked is ethereal, if ominous: a silent, billowing cloud, aloft in black and white.
Survivors of the bombings have shared what they saw and heard before the terror.
John Hersey’s famous report, published in 1946 by The New Yorker, describes a “noiseless flash.” Blinding light and intense pressure, yes, but sound?
“Almost no one in Hiroshima recalls hearing any noise of the bomb,” Hersey wrote at the time. There was one person, a fisherman in his sampan on the Inland Sea at the time of the bombing, who “saw the flash and heard a tremendous explosion,” Hersey said. The fisherman was some 20 miles outside of Hiroshima, but “the thunder was greater than when the B-29s hit Iwakuni, only five miles away.”
There is at least some testing footage from the era that features sound. It is jarring to hear. The boom is more like a shotgun than a thunderclap, and it’s followed by a sustained roar.
Now imagine anyone directly involved in the deployment of an atomic weapon trying to fit all the description (above) into a report, message or conversation!
The personnel involved developed a single word to capture every thought, every piece of spoken language or emotion that was used to describe the total event of the explosive action of an atomic deployment.
That word was “ROSE”.
I guess if I was standing there as a sober observer, I think I would have sworn too!
Now we know of the absolute secrecy surrounding the US Army Air Force’s design, construction, transport and deployment of its atomic weaponry, not even the highest levels of British Military or Parliamentary Officials were able to obtain legitimate information about the US’s Plan A due for August 1945 in the Pacific.
Britain was in fact producing a conventional weapon (albeit HUGE) that would form Plan B in case the Plan A either wasn’t ready or had lesser deterrent value than estimated.
Britain engaged in spying activities directed at the US Army Air Force to try to evaluate the chances of possible British involvement.
Plan C (in the small print) was to deploy gas weapons from Australia, so both Britain and Australia had an interest on how the US’s activities were evolving, but alas, only a little was to be leaked.
But a little was leaked and we have already mentioned in a previous post here about US General George Marshall and our Saul “George” Marshall in Sydney.
So, what was the intended action if Plan A succeeded?
If Plan A succeeded and Peace Agreements were signed, then there was no further need for Plan B or Plan C.
And how would you advise the few who were keeping an eye on proceedings covertly, and reporting to their mentors, that they were to STAND DOWN?
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