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The Great Atomic Film Cover-Up

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Author Topic: The Great Atomic Film Cover-Up  (Read 96 times)
Lisa Wolfe
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« on: November 13, 2009, 01:15:35 am »

As editor of Nuclear Times in the early 1980s, I met Herbert Sussan, one of the members of the U.S. military film crew. The color U.S. military footage would remain hidden until the early 1980s, and has never been fully aired. It rests today at the National Archives in College Park, Md., in the form of 90,000 feet of raw footage labeled #342 USAF. I have a VHS copy of all of it today.

When that footage finally emerged, I spoke with and corresponded with the man at the center of this drama: Lt. Col. Daniel A. McGovern, who directed the U.S. military film-makers in 1945-1946, managed the Japanese footage, and then kept watch on all of the top-secret material for decades.

"I always had the sense," McGovern told me, "that people in the Atomic Energy Commission were sorry we had dropped the bomb. The Air Force -- it was also sorry. I was told by people in the Pentagon that they didn't want those [film] images out because they showed effects on man, woman and child....They didn't want the general public to know what their weapons had done -- at a time they were planning on more bomb tests. We didn't want the material out because...we were sorry for our sins."
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