Video of underground nuclear test that led to the creation of Greenpeace

An interesting video from 1971 of an underground nuclear test on Amchitka Island, in Alaska.  This particular test was the impetus for the creation of Greenpeace:

In 1971, motivated by their vision of a green and peaceful world, a small team of activists set sail from Vancouver, Canada in an old fishing boat. These activists, the founders of Greenpeace, believed a few individuals could make a difference.

Their mission was to “bear witness” to U.S. underground nuclear testing at Amchitka, a tiny island off the West Coast of Alaska, which is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone regions.

Amchitka was the last refuge for 3,000 endangered sea otters, and home to bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and other wildlife.

Even though their old boat, the Phyllis Cormack, was intercepted before it got to Amchitka, the journey sparked a flurry of public interest.

The U.S. still detonated the bomb, but the voice of reason had been heard. Nuclear testing on Amchitka ended that same year, and the island was later declared a bird sanctuary.

Here’s the video of the test – it created a 6.8 magnitude earthquake, and lifted up parts of the island 25 feet.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • hollywoodstein

    No wonder the ufos started keeping an eye on us.

  • akglow

    And now, one of our State Representatives, has introduced legislation that would make it a felony to interfere with permitted oil and gas, timber or other development projects. He is calling it the “Lucy Lawless bill”.

    If I didn’t know better, I think this Congressman is secrectly hoping Zena pays him a visit.

  • Naja pallida

    Environmental groups fought all the way to the Supreme Court to have this test stopped, on grounds that they didn’t meet the Environmental Protection Act’s environmental impact reporting standards. The Supreme Court actually convened on a weekend to rule against stopping the test, with a 4 to 3 “party line” vote. One of the reasons they argued there wouldn’t be a problem with it, is because the Soviet Union had, not much earlier, detonated an even larger subterranean bomb. Anyway… the test did result in the death of about 15% of the sea otter population in the region, which is a pretty significant impact to a population of any species. It made a lot of people come to the conclusion that the Environmental Protection Act wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

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