Upon the occasion of the world’s first nuclear weapon detonation, J. Robert Oppenheimer, physicist and intellectual father of America’s Atomic Bomb, quoted from an ancient Hindu sacred text written in Sanskrit, “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”
America then immediately nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Few realize that America then turned, and in a seeming fit of self-flagellation, nuked herself close to a thousand times (951) in sparsely populated Nevada. Even fewer realize that all Americans were exposed to large doses of radioactive fallout, not just those living directly under the mushroom clouds, or on the Fallout Freeway to Utah or Arizona. ‘Hot Spots’ turned up as far away as Jones Beach, New York.
Those Nevadans living under the mushroom clouds that rose up every few days were a highly patriotic lot. But a handful of individuals, who saw what happened to livestock and family members, began to seriously doubt government proclamations that fallout was “Safe as snow!” The lies were confirmed when locals witnessed Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) staff flee when radioactive fallout saturated Geiger counters in town. Local residents got to stay.
To question ongoing nuclear test events at this time in history, one risked being labeled a Communist sympathizer, a traitor of the nation, or even losing one’s rights as a citizen. You would stand naked … alone … and unarmed for your cause.
There was no Environmental Protection Agency, no Environmental Defense Fund, no World Wildlife Fund, no state or federal government agency willing to hear concerns or complaints about the local consequences of these nuclear “events,” as they were called. There were no class action attorneys who might be economically motivated, as in Soderberg’s movie, Erin Brockovich.
This story focuses on one very unlikely hero in the effort to gain a test ban treaty on above-ground testing of nuclear weapons. He’s an abandoned, abused, runaway, Cherokee tribe-of-one who has keen eyes and a mind of his own. In a moment of frustration he publicly murders an old adversary, and must be brought to a trial of his local peers. Although virtually illiterate, he’s smart enough to enlist the help of the Crandall’s, local newspaper publishers in Tonopah, an isolated town of 900 souls not far from the Nevada nuclear weapons test site. Additional support comes from unexpected quarters.
Lone Dog Barking is now available through Amazon.com and Smashwords.com, the author’s eBook distributors. You can read it on Kindle, Nook, iTunes and in other formats such as Mac, PC, PDF, EPUB, or on your mobile devices.
About the author: Raf grew up in Tonopah, Nevada and knew first hand all the characters mentioned in his new book, Lone Dog Barking, based on a true story.
Being a young single parent at age 20, formal education took a back seat to full-time work and parenting. He was fortunate to attract a handful of wonderful mentors in the scientific community. Although he remains a college dropout, he holds 14 patents in the field of analytical atomic spectrometry and has published in peer-reviewed scientific journals with acclaim for his ‘blockbuster’
Raf’s business experience includes co-founding Lab Support (ASGN NASDAQ), one of the first and leading scientific personnel companies. His experience also includes being an owner-agent in Hollywood, “discovering”
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