America's Nuclear Cold War Casualties

Have any of you heard of a federal entity called “The Office of Legacy Management”? Unless you’ve traveled through the American Southwest, you probably haven’t. This is a federal agency that is ensconced in the Department of Energy and is in charge of remediating the old uranium mines and mills that the federal government left behind as a “legacy” of the Cold War and the Manhattan Project that preceded it. The Department of Energy is where the feds stashed the old and infamous Atomic Energy Commission and renamed them because the brand-name was so deeply associated with atmospheric nuclear testing.

I first became curious about this “Office of Legacy Management” over a year ago on routine runs into Flagstaff, Arizona, along Highway 160. Outside of Tuba City, I saw this gargantuan pad of crushed riprap gravel, fenced off with chain link fencing, and with signs on the fence declaring this site was part of the “Department of Energy—Office of Legacy Management”. I told my wife, this must be something the government is trying to hide because the name alone sounds like the way they hide the true nature of things with fancy semantics. I looked into it and discovered this to be the site of the old Rare Metals uranium processing mill. Evidently, this site alone was so heavily radioactive, the government came in to bury their handiwork—and hide the evidence of the smoking gun in the process.

I did a little more research and, in the meantime, the wife and I passed through Moab, Utah, on our way to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. There, squatting along the Colorado River was the site and colossal tailings pile of the old Atlas uranium mill and the feds have put a lot of money towards cleaning up this site. And, of course, hiding the evidence. I got to wondering how many people have passed by these sites and never known exactly what they’re looking at? Also, I discovered another federally-funded unmarked grave of another uranium mill and tailings pile in Mexican Hat, Utah, which sat close to the San Juan River.

Now, I looked deeper and discovered that uranium mining went on all over the Navajo Reservation in places such as Monument Valley (didn’t know that, did you?) and Cameron. Countless tourists from all over the world pass through these areas, wholly unaware that they’re passing through areas that killed scores of Navajo uranium miners. But the thing that I noticed with the Cameron mines, was these were open pit operations that filled with water. That the water was radioactive became obvious when livestock that drank from these “lakes” delivered offspring with horrifying birth defects, not to mention stillbirths.

I pondered this and thought of something I find somewhat shocking: These uranium mills sat next to waterways that ultimately emptied into the Colorado River, if not the Colorado River itself. The Atlas mill in Moab, Utah, sat dang near on the banks of the Colorado River. The mill in Mexican Hat, Utah, sat not far from the San Juan River, which empties into the Colorado River. The Rare Metals mill in Tuba City, Arizona is not far from the Moenkopi Wash which is an occasional waterway that empties into the Little Colorado River. The Little Colorado River then empties into the Colorado River. The Little Colorado River also passes through Cameron, Arizona, by the way, which was the site of several open-pit uranium mines that filled with water over time. Therefore, what do we see? Radioactive waste has been finding its way into the Colorado River since the Manhattan Project began, but peaking during the 1950s Cold War rush to field nuclear weapons.

The federal government would have us believe there’s nothing to fear. Excuse me, but this is the same government that created the problem they denied for decades and then have been quietly covering up under cover of “remediation”. See, the government figured this problem would stay on the Navajo Nation. Except water doesn’t work that way. Water doesn’t recognize boundaries. This was proven during the 1979 Church Rock Spill when radioactive sludge from yet another uranium mill in New Mexico broke a dam made to contain it and went into the Puerco River. Which, by the way, empties into the Little Colorado River. But the thing is, it didn’t even need to go down a waterway. As we all know, water evaporates and returns as rain. Now, how are you going to, therefore, control where radioactive waste ultimately ends up?

Think about this: The Colorado River is the drinking water supply of California, Arizona, and New Mexico, and all are downstream from those uranium mills and open-pit uranium mines. They’ve been drinking this water for decades and the same amount of time those mills and mines were in operation and also, later, lay abandoned and unburied. The federal government would tell us this is a small amount of radiation in the Colorado River. But, again, this is the government that created this problem. Why, then, should we assume they’d tell us the truth about this? Plus, we don’t know what the long-term effects to humanity of small amounts of radioactive materials into our bodies over time and over generations is. It hasn’t happened before.

Yet, I think we do know. Or, at least, we can suspect. Here we are looking at vaccines as possibly being responsible for the rise in autism. And, indeed, it would appear that developmental disabilities as a whole are increasing, as well as cancers. Now, we know radiation to be a mutagen capable of creating these effects. But, what’s more alarming, is radiation can damage chromosomes, so these things can be handed down to future generations through heredity. See here, not everyone gets vaccinated. But everyone has to drink water. And people living in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada, have all been drinking water from the Colorado River. If three generations of people that were born and lived in Los Angeles since 1950 all grew up drinking that water, lived while drinking it, then had kids who grew up drinking it, what would the outcome be over time? Does anyone know? How would we test for it now?

Indeed, we can’t test the water that went down the Colorado River back then. We should also bear in mind the agricultural products grown with the water and shipped across the nation. The mills and mines were only “cleaned up” by the federal government within the past few years. So all that time, water has been falling on those mines and tailings piles, the dust has been blowing into the Colorado River, and all that water went right downriver to become the water supply for millions of people. And are we then to assume there have not been effects upon the genetics of these people? Why did the Civil Defense pamphlets of the Cold War then specifically warn us about radiation? Those came to us from the federal government, who certainly knew because they had seen it for themselves at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But they’d also seen it elsewhere.

Even during the 1950s, the federal government Public Health Service (who provides health care on reservations) knew about the dangers to Navajo uranium miners. But this information was covered up because the Atomic Energy Commission and the military were curious to see what would happen. Understand this: They thought this danger would remain on the reservation due to its isolation. But, ignoring the obvious, the government forgot the basic science of water. Water will not remain on the reservation when it’s the watershed for part of the Colorado River. Not to mention the fact that evaporation can move water states away from its origin.

Time has passed. People whiz by the sites of these old mills and don’t even know what they’re looking at. People don’t know where the uranium came from that built all of our bombs. People don’t know that the half-life of the radioactive isotopes present in the mill tailings piles is several thousands of years. It’s not just the uranium, but the products released as uranium decays, such as Thorium-230 and Radium-226. Even Polonium, in some cases. So how can it be said this could not pose a threat and did not? We know heavy metals are a cumulative poison. You might not get poisoned by a little bit, but over time, it accumulates and then finally kills you.

There’s nothing we can do about it now. The damage has been done. You can’t go back and fix the genetic damage. It’s too late. But there is something else that can be done. The government needs to come clean about this and what they knew and know now. I doubt any Southern California water district knew to test water for radioactivity. Can we trust that it got filtered out? I doubt it. There’s just too many unexplained developmental disabilities rising for us to think there wasn’t some environmental cause for it. After all, that’s what spurred people to look at vaccines for the cause, or other environmental factors. I tend to think the cause is pretty much obvious. It’s radiation. Everyone has to drink water.

The government can deny that all they want. This is the same government that unleashed a nuclear war’s worth of fallout on the American people during the era of atmospheric nuclear testing. This is the same government that said you needed to be in a fallout shelter for a minimum of two weeks when a nuclear weapon detonated nearby. They pointed out the dangers of radiation and how it can pass through so many things. Like your skin, for example. That alone speaks of genetic damage to the human race as a whole. We know that what led to the end of above-ground nuclear testing was the evidence of heavy amounts of Strontium-90 in the teeth of American kids. And that was after just a few years of those tests. Ok, so, what about drinking water contaminated with radioactive elements over generations?

We may never know what really happened. But scores of people died from exposure to radiation from working in uranium mines and mills. People that didn’t even work in them died due to incidental exposure because they lived nearby or had family members that worked in them. What’s more, homes were actually built using rock and sand from the uranium mine tailings piles. Therefore, if we know people have already died, how can we assume this hazard was not carried downriver from the very places these deaths occurred from the exact same things that went into the water? The federal government lied like a cheap rug the whole time those people died. Why would they now tell the truth if it turns out they irradiated millions of people knowingly?

The Office of Legacy Management. Again, hide the truth behind a snazzy title. It should be called the Bureau of Human Medical Experimentation. Because that’s what’s happened to us all.