Thursday, April 9, 2009

Trinity Site, White Sands Missile Range

July 16, 1945.

It was a day that changed our world forever.

And it happened in New Mexico.

On that date at 5:30 in the morning, the first atomic bomb was tested in a remote location out in the desert in central New Mexico in what is now the White Sands Missile Range. The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975. Trinity Site is located approximately 30 miles from San Antonio, NM to the northwest and 85 miles from Alamogordo to the southeast.

Trinity Site is open to visitors the first Saturday in April and the first Saturday in October. John and I went to the open house last Saturday. Visitors are allowed to see Ground Zero and also the Schmidt/MacDonald ranch house two miles away where the bomb’s plutonium core was assembled.

It’s a rather eerie feeling, standing out there at a site bordered by the vast desert on one side, and beautiful mountain ranges to the east and south … and wonder at what the men of the Trinity test must have thought and felt as they witnessed what they had wrought upon the earth.

“The effects could well be called unprecedented, magnificent, beautiful, stupendous, and terrifying. No man-made phenomenon of such tremendous power had ever occurred before. The lighting effects beggared description. The whole country was lighted by a searing light with the intensity many times that of the midday sun.”
~Brig. Gen. Thomas Farrell

The Schmidt/MacDonald ranch house:


Buck said...

Dang! I was gonna go this past weekend, but was still in "recovery mode" from the previous week's physical drama... and didn't want to chance a long drive, given the circumstances.

Great pics!

Towanda said...

Oh buck, darn it! We could have met you there - and then gone to Manny's Buckhorn Tavern for the green chile cheeseburgers!