I was very interested to read on Monday Tom Leonard’s fascinating article on the new book comprising a compilation of bizarre discoveries of US military ideas during the Cold War, including the extraordinary Pentagon plans to “nuke the moon.”(Mail, 22 June). As a nuclear historian, I first came across this barely believable tale twenty years ago, and worked on it with investigative journalist, Antony Barnett, who now presents Dispatches on Channel Four.( “US planned one big nuclear blast for mankind,” Observer, 14 May 2000 ; www.theguardian.com/science/2000/may/14/spaceexploration.theobserver). Dr Leonard Reiffel, the American physicist who led the so-called ‘Project 119’ at the US military-backed Armour Research Foundation, had been approached by senior US Air Force officers in 1958, who asked him to ‘fast-track’ the project, revealed to Barnett that “It was clear the main aim of the proposed detonation was a PR exercise and a show of one-upmanship. The Air Force wanted a mushroom cloud so large it would be visible on earth.
David Lowry’s Blog 22nd June 2020 read more »