In the early morning of March 1, 1954, residents of Adelaide, Australia were awakened to a violent shaking in their beds. When they went outside, they saw a brilliant glow in the east. The United States had just set off the Castle Bravo nuclear bomb on Bikini Island, 3,600 miles away.
On March 1, 1954, the detonation of an estimated 15 megaton thermonuclear weapon, known as “Bravo” took place – as part of the “Castle” test series. According to the U.S. Radiochemistry Society, “the Bravo test created the worst radiological disaster in US history [Emphasis added]….the yield of Bravo dramatically exceeded predictions, being about 2.5 times higher than the best guess and almost double the estimated maximum possible yield (6 Mt predicted, estimated yield range 4-8 Mt).” The bomb was over 1000 times more powerful than those exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The Bravo crater in the atoll reef had a diameter of 6,510 ft, with a depth of 250 ft. The cloud top rose and peaked at 130,000 feet (almost 40 km) after only six minutes. Eight minutes after the test the cloud had reached its full dimensions with a diameter of 100 km, a stem 7 km thick, and a cloud bottom rising above 55,000 feet (16.5 km), and after 10 minutes had a diameter of more than 60 miles.
Intense radioactive fallout from the cloud was carried eastward and severely contaminated a Japanese commercial fishing boat and the atolls of Rongelap, Alinginea, Rongerik, and Utirik, some 200 miles away. About five hours after detonation, fallout began to deposit on the Rongelap Atoll. The fallout was so heavy that the Rongelap people, who had never seen snow, thought it was snowing. Children played in the radioactive powder, and no warning was issued by the JTF. “We saw a flash of lightening in the west like a second sun rising, “Anjain said in 1980. “We heard a loud explosion and within minutes the ground began to shake. A few hours later radioactive fallout began to drop on the people, into drinking water, and on the food. The children played in the colorful ash. They did not know what it was and many erupted on their arms and faces.” (link)
The radioactive fallout from Bravo covered the planet, including the Southern Hemisphere. It was a fission-fusion-fission bomb, designed to release high levels of radioactivity. Its yield was 15 megatons, but it released almost seven times as much radiation than the Russian Tsar Bomba, which had a yield of 50 megatons.
The detonation took place at 06:45 on March 1, 1954 local time (18:45 on February 28 GMT). This would be a 3:45 AM local time in Adelaide. Officially, the quake occurred a 3:40 AM in Adelaide. But police recorded a tremor at 3:45. At any rate, witnesses observed a flash and glow in the east, before or simultaneously with a thunderous roar and the quake. This earthquake did not result in the loss of life, but was among the worst that South Australia had ever experienced up to then.
The 1954 earthquake was without doubt one of the worst in South Australian history. Whether it was as severe as those of 1897 and 1902 none can say conclusively. Certainly no single locality in 1954 suffered the terror of Kingston (1897) over such a long period of time. On the other hand few south easterners in 1897 lost as much as did the Tillers, the Wakefields, and the other stricken Darlington folk in 1954.
Reports of a brilliant flash in the sky a few moments before the shock, came from a number of sources. These too were referred to the weather bureau which handled them politely but firmly. The only explanation it could give was that perhaps a meteorite had flashed across the sky. No reports of anything like this had come from usually reliable sources. It was not usual, the bureau explained, for earthquakes to be accompanied by flashes. (link)
The Adelaide Advertiser is available online for 1954 and contains much information about this event. Early on, nobody knew that a nuclear bomb had been detonated.
The loud noise heard at Rongelap Island was also heard 3,600 miles away at Adelaide.
(March 2) Noise “Like Train At High Speed”
Heralded in many centres by a roar like a train travelling at high speed, yesterday’s earthquake caused minor damage over a large area of the State, extending from the Upper North to the Lower South East, and from Lower Eyre Peninsula to Upper Murray districts. Lasting from 10 to 20 seconds in most places, the earthquake shook houses and rattled windows, doors and crockery.
Many homes were cracked, tanks sprang leaks, clocks stopped and pictures were left askew on walls.
The tremor was brief, he said, but with a roar like thunder it awoke all the townspeople.
Murray Bridge: a milk vendor reported a brilliant flash and many lights like falling stars (could have been a transformer fuse); the road seemed to billow and he could see plainly houses on either side of street moving; there was a roar like thunder.
Burra: reports of a yellow light turning to bright orange in south eastern sky.
It was not known at this time, but it was revealed a few days later that the US had set off a thermonuclear detonation at Bikini Island.
(March 2) Great Rock Layers ‘Slipped’ Says Noted Geologist
South Australia had experienced a minor earthquake — probably the worst ever recorded in the state, Sir Douglas Mawson, former Professor of Geology and Mineralogy at the University of Adelaide, said yesterday. It had been caused by the slipping of one great rock layer on to another along the “fault line” which extended southward from the Flinders Ranges, he added.
Sir Douglas Mawson said he did not think there was anything in reports that a brilliant flash had occurred at the same time as the earthquake.
A flash would indicate a meteorite, he said, and a lot more would have been heard about it if one had fallen. It was not usual for earthquakes to be accompanied by a flash of light.
(March 5) To The Editor
Sir— Sir Douglas Mawson is reported to have said:— ‘He did not think there was anything in reports that a brilliant flash had occurred at the same time as the earthquake.’
There are many happening today which are puzzling scientists and the public. There have been many theories and many of these have been ridiculed. I think in most instances man does not want to admit that there is a Power greater than himself which rules the universe.
(Mrs.) CONSTANCE TALBOTT. Fashoda street, Hyde Park.
(March 6) To The Editor
Sir— The cold physical explanation of the recent earthquake given by geologists will do little to quell the fears and anxieties of people who were shocked by it.
An earthquake is an act of God and has special spiritual significance in these days, for Christ clearly tells us in Matthew 24.7 that it is to be regarded as a warning of impending doom and judgment of the world.
A. H. CHENEY. Pembroke place, Colonel Light Gardens.
The 3/11 earthquake was also, obviously, an omen of impending doom.
A strange whirlwind passed through some areas several hours after the earthquake.
(March 2) Kersbrook, March 1.
A whirlwind played havoc at Kersbrook about 1 PM today.
In five minutes on the property of Messrs. F. Walsh and E. McKay, the whirlwind uprooted bushes, lifted a calf several feet off the ground, scattered bales of hay for yards and tossed a clothes hoist into a nearby creek.
Clothes on the line were blown 100 feet into the air and scattered over neighboring properties several hundred yards away.
Mr. Walsh and an employee were working at a sawbench in a shed when they heard the whirlwind approaching. They left the shed and saw the roof plucked off and then drop back in place again.
(March 8) To The Editor
Sir — The idea that the earthquake was caused by blasting in quarries is, in my view, ridiculous. It has been announced that the first of a series of tests with the atomic and hydrogen bombs has been carried out in the Pacific, which practically corresponds with the earthquake.
It is high time that scientists who are blasting and shaking our earth to pieces woke up to themselves before it is too late.
C. R. GOODWIN. Eighth avenue, St. Peters.
(March 31) While I am in no position to argue with scientists over the relative time of our earthquake and the release of the bomb, I do know that we here saw that bright glow in the northeastern sky when we ventured out after our disturbance had subsided.
I saw it myself, and know it to be no figment of the imagination.
If the flash of the explosion itself could be seen 800 miles away, then I think the reflection could be seen here.
N. M. AUSTIN. Myrtle Ban
(April 3) Glow In Sky
From ‘Interested,” Macclesfield: The suggestion that a flash from high tension wires caused the radiant glow in the eastern sky on March 1 is not the explanation. The glow, resembling a crimson curtain hung in front of a full moon, was visible before the sound of the quake began. After the quake had passed a slight glow still remained.
Strange changes in weather were noted at the time. Recently we have seen the greatest typhoon ever recorded hit the Philippines.
(April 3) H-Bomb And Weather
To the Editor
Sir- I thank Dame Enid Lyons for her article on the H-bomb (14/3/54). I prefer to take her views on the serious consequences of the explosions on Bikini than those of the scientists, for clever as they are, they mostly have a one track mind, and cannot see the effects it will have on other walks of life.
Ever since the first explosion on Bikini I have watched the gradual alteration in weather conditions, and I am convinced that if the tests are continued the primary producer will not be able to grow enough food to feed the people of Australia let alone for export…
(March 25) Professor Marcus Oliphant said in Melbourne today that it would be foolish for the world to panic about the hydrogen bomb and its after-effects…
There would be no danger to Australia from tests of these ‘monsters’ in the Pacific unless the Americans made ‘scientifically impossible’ mistakes in the handling of them. In view of the apparent mistake made during the recent test, the Americans were certain to be 100 p.c. careful in the future.
‘Man can control anything if he wants to,’ Prof. Oliphant said. (emphasis mine)
(March 26) To The Editor
Sir.— In connection with Professor Marcus Oliphant’s consoling statement about the needlessness of worrying about the hydrogen bomb explosion, we would be pleased to know either from him or a fellow scientist, what was the actual time of the March 1 explosion and, if it should be approximately the same time as our earthquake, what explanation would he like to offer about this remarkable coincidence.
“COMMON MAN.” Hindmarsh.
(March 29) HYDROGEN BOMB
To the Editor
Sir- As an example of scientific self-conceit, Professor Oliphant’s statement in the Advertiser (25/3/54) would be hard to beat. He says: ‘We need not panic about the hydrogen bomb to be exploded next month, because it will be scientifically impossible for the experts to make a mistake, because of the care they will take.’
In that case we are entitled to ask why scientific mistakes did occur in the March explosion. Was it because sufficient care was not taken, or because it was impossible for even the great scientist to know the full result of his childlike meddling with the Universe.
As for being able to control everything I suggest that they make a start by trying to control their desire to control everything.
M. A. BLAKE. 4th avenue, Klemzig.
(March 20) Quake Link With H-Bomb ‘Possible’
It was possible, but extremely unlikely, that Adelaide’s earthquake on March 1 was ‘triggered-off’ by the hydrogen bomb explosion at Bikini on the same day, the Professor of Physics at the University of Adelaide (Professor L G. H. Huxley) said yesterday…
However, if it could be established that the bomb were exploded shortly before 6 a.m. (Bikini time), the possi bility that the explosion triggered-off the ‘quake should be examined.
The shock of an H-bomb explosion at this time would have reached Adelaide at approximately the moment the earthquake began. Professor Huxley’s calculation allowed one hour for the shock to travel 3,600 miles from Bikini to Adelaide.
Certainly, the shock wave from Bravo could not have arrived as soon as the flash and earthquake occurred. The cause must have been electromagnetic energy, which travels almost at the speed of light.
An electromagnetic pulse is a burst of electromagnetic radiation. Nuclear explosions create a characteristic pulse of electromagnetic radiation called a Nuclear EMP or NEMP…
The resulting rapidly changing electric fields and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges. The specific characteristics any particular nuclear EMP event vary according to a number of factors. The greatest of these factors is the altitude of the detonation. (link)
Evidence Mounts for Electromagnetic Earthquake Precursors
Scientists at the AGU meeting Thursday argued whether a particularly dramatic electromagnetic alarm preceded the 7.1-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake of October 1989, which devastated parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. Antony Fraser-Smith, now an emeritus professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University, detected the signal.
According to Fraser-Smith, the 1989 signal began from an unknown source up to two weeks before the Loma Prieta quake. The signal peaked sharply a few hours before the quake struck…
David Culp, now a senior at Purdue, presented evidence he gathered as an undergraduate intern in the Stanford Department of Geophysics in the summer of 2007 that Fraser-Smith’s 1989 detection. He emphasized the dramatic spike in electromagnetic intensity hours before the quake. Efforts to explain the signal via nonquake mechanisms are “entirely implausible,” Culp said. (link)
Sparks that signal the shock
David Hambling on the current thinking on electricity and earthquakes
A surge of low-frequency electromagnetic radiation, known as a precursor signal, is sometimes detected before an earthquake. These can show up in unexpected ways. When the radiographer Mike Grayson was carrying out a CAT scan in Newcastle, New South Wales, he noticed unusual streaks appearing on the image.
Seventeen minutes later, the city was struck by a major earthquake. The occupants of the hospital were unharmed, though parts of it, including the scanning room, were demolished. Grayson said afterwards: “If I ever see that image again I’d be the first out of the building.”…
The Soviets set out to map the conductivity of the earth’s crust in an area of seismic activity in Tajikistan. Their experiments, carried out in the 1970s, involved firing massive charges of electricity into the earth. There were tremors but nobody paid much attention. In 1993, Nikolai Tarasov of the institute of earth physics in Moscow analysed data from the trials and found something remarkable.
The electromagnetic pulses from the experiment were followed by tremors, each one releasing up to a million times as much energy as the pulse that preceded it. Tarasov went on to look at the results of similar experiments carried out at Tien Shan in the 1980s, and found that two-thirds were also followed by tremors. Tarasov is now part of a team being funded by the EU to investigate how electricity can cause earthquakes…
There is no guarantee that instead of a small tremor, an earthquake machine would not set off the apocalyptic Big One along the San Andreas fault. There are also implications for nuclear testing. Geologists used to claim that nuclear tests could not be linked to earthquakes because the energy levels were comparatively low.
However, a nuclear explosion generates an intense electromagnetic pulse – possibly powerful enough to trigger an earthquake. This might encourage politicians to shelve plans to resume nuclear testing. We have the technology to trigger earthquakes, even if we do not fully understand the process. Whether this knowledge can be used constructively remains to be seen. (link)
Earths Many Voices a Unified Theory for Pre-Earthquake Signals
The electromagnetic pulse and ionization of the atmosphere resulting from the high-yield nuclear bomb Bravo was clearly associated with Adelaide earthquake. HAARP is thought to create these electromagnetic signatures. We already know that a nuclear bomb can cause earthquakes, because this has happened before. Thus it is possible that the deadly Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 3/11/2011, and the resulting Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, were a result of a premeditated crime, committed by parties unknown.
Scientist Leuren Moret – Japan earthquake and nuclear “accident” are tectonic nuclear warfare
The other side of the coin, the obverse, is that Fukushima radiation may itself be affecting the ionosphere and atmosphere, and affecting the physical integrity of the Earth itself. This will be covered in later installments, along with the amount of radiation emitted by Bravo, why the US detonated it, and what post-Bravo phenomena tell us about how much radiation is covering the Earth now.