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KAKAPO RESCUE gives young readers a first hand account of the efforts to save one of the world's rarest and more unusual birds, the kakapo. Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot PDF (Adobe DRM) can be read on any device that can open PDF (Adobe DRM) files. One of the biggest misconceptions that people have about the Manhattan Project is that prior to Hiroshima, all knowledge of atomic energy and nuclear fission was secret — that the very idea of nuclear weapons was unthought except inside classified circles. With all the world seeking frantically for the secret of that irresistible weapon, what are America’s chances in the race? The National Defense Research Committee is actively and vigorously supporting the research in atomic physics that seeks the final secrets of atomic power. Bohr was in fact still in occupied Denmark in July 1941 — he had his famous meeting with Heisenberg in September 1941 and wouldn’t be spirited out of the country until 1943. The irony is, there were official fears of a German dirty bomb, but they didn’t really crop up until 1942. A Campbell publication from 1947 — where he apparently has a better understanding of atomic power. What I find most interesting about Campbell’s article is that it reveals what the informed, amateur view of atomic energy was like in this early period. This mixture of accuracy and confusion, of guess and folly, tells us a lot about the state of public knowledge at the time.
There are lots of important and exciting years that people like to talk about when it comes to the history of nuclear weapons. Lilienthal’s own copy of the mass-market edition of the Acheson-Lilienthal Report, from the Princeton University Archives. March: The Acheson-Lilienthal Report is completed and submitted, in secret, to the State Department.
July: The first postwar nuclear test series, Operation Crossroads, begins in the Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. The unique nature of the operation was inherent not only in its huge size — the huge numbers of participating personnel, and the huge amounts of test equipment and number of instruments involved — it was inherent also in the tremendous glare of publicity to which the tests were exposed, and above all the the extraordinary fact that the weapons whose performance was exposed to this publicity were still classified, secret, weapons, which had never even been seen except by a few men in the inner circles of the Manhattan District and by those who had assisted in the three previous atomic bomb detonations. August: Truman signs the McMahon Act into law, and it becomes the Atomic Energy Act of 1946.
September: Baruch tells Truman that international control of atomic energy seems nowhere in sight. November: The US Atomic Energy Commission meets for the first time in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. December: Meredith Gardner, a cryptanalyst for the US Army Signal Intelligence Service, achieves a major breakthrough in decrypting wartime Soviet cables. On Christmas Day, 1946, the Soviet Union’s first experimental reactor, F-1, goes critical for the first time.
No single event on that list stands out as on par with Hiroshima, the Cuban Missile Crisis, or even the Berlin Crisis. We now know, of course, that the Soviet Union was furiously trying to build its own atomic arsenal in secret during this entire period.
One of the weirdest stories I’ve come across regarding the Nazis and the atomic bomb is the one that the German physicist Werner Heisenberg told at Farm Hall about being asked about an apparent rumor that the United States was planning to use an atomic bomb against Dresden. The Farm Hall transcripts reports him telling it several times during his internment, and it changed slightly each time he told it. About a year ago, I heard from Segner from the Foreign Office that the Americans had threatened to drop a uranium bomb on Dresden if we didn’t surrender soon. In a later version, he says he replied that it was possible — perhaps a face-saving maneuver, since by the second time Heisenberg tells the story, he has now started to believe that the reports of the atomic attack against Hiroshima were accurate. My initial inclination is to think of this as strange idle chatter amongst a group of interned German scientists. Recently, while looking into some other wartime leaks, I came across an interesting follow-up on this story.
And so the Dresden atomic bomb rumor raises its head again, no less confounding than before!
Because as Stan Norris communicated to me when I wrote about German espionage efforts, there was a Nazi double-agent in Lisbon who was assigned to learning about the Manhattan Project.
This refers to the German agents who came to this country through Portugal, and the messages that were sent back to Germany in their behalf.
Obviously I don’t have the whole story here, but the geographical and chronological proximity is a rather impressive overlap, is it not? Of course, that doesn’t explain where Dresden, specifically, would have come into the picture.
During World War II, the United States had a program of voluntary press censorship, coordinated by the Office of Censorship. Jack Raper, Press columnist, has returned to Cleveland following a vacation in New Mexico, where he found the following story. If you like mysteries and have a keen desire to solve one, here is your opportunity to do a little sleuthing, and if you succeed in learning anything and then making it public you will satisfy the hot curiosity of several hundred thousand New Mexicans.
Of course, this is a free country and you can go where you please — if you are willing to sleep in the smoking car aisle or breathe the exhalations of your fellow sardines packed in a bus.
If you have any idea that you can employ a battery of eminent constitutional lawyers and go into court and that eventually the Supreme Court of the United States will decide the case in your favor if the lower courts decide against you, forget about that, too.
Not far away are the Indian villages occupied by the finest kind of Indians, intelligent, industrious, friendly, skilled in the production of art objects, many of them graduates of Indian schools. Shortly after the man who thinks he is going to the mystery city of Los Alamos reaches the level on which it is built, he will see, if he looks into the windshield mirror, a man following him on a motorcycle not many feet behind the car and he will be in the same position when the gate is reached.
Then you realize that the owner of this strange city is Uncle Sam and you make no kind of protest and answer questions politely. You will be escorted to the office of the man whom you are to meet, escorted by two jeeps, one in front and one behind your car, men in each jeep armed with rifles.
When you transact your business you will be carefully escorted out of the city, taking the same route as when you entered.
In support of this there are stories of the experiences of automobile drivers in the vicinity of Los Alamos. If you’d rather see it in the original spread, uploaded here is my copy of it from the archives. If I were a spy thinking about nuclear weapons, I would find that a pretty interesting combination of things, and worth following up on. Jaffy Brown is running along a street in London's East End when he comes face to face with an escaped circus animal. Jamrach's Menagerie ePub (Adobe DRM) can be read on any device that can open ePub (Adobe DRM) files. This is a side-effect of the narratives we tell about Manhattan Project secrecy, which emphasize how extreme and successful these restrictions on information were.
Campbell, Jr., was a prolific editor and publisher of science fiction throughout the mid-20th century. Gene Dannen, who runs the wonderful Leo Szilard Online website, recently sent me a rare article from his personal collection. The article itself admits none of this is really a secret, though — that all nations were interested in atomic energy to some degree.
Actively, because the world situation means that they must, yet reluctantly because they know better than anyone else can the full and frightful consequences of success.
The photographs identify Harold Urey and Ernest Lawrence as American scientists who were trying to harness the power of atomic energy.
Urey had worked on isotope separation years before fission was discovered (he got his Nobel Prize in 1934 for learning how to separate deuterium from regular hydrogen), so if you know that isotope separation is an issue, he’s your man. Some aspects of it are completely dead-on — that U-235 is the important isotope, that isotope separation is going to matter, that places with particle accelerators are going to play a role, that the acquisition of uranium ore was about to get important, that fears of German use of atomic energy existed.
Atomic energy was a topic, it was an idea — but it wasn’t yet something tangible, a reality.
1945 obviously gets pride of place, being the year of the first nuclear explosion ever (Trinity), the first  and only uses of the weapons in war (Hiroshima and Nagasaki), and the end of World War II (and thus the beginning of the postwar world).


It’s easy to overlook — while there are some important individual events that happen, none of them are as cataclysmic as some of the events of the aforementioned years, or even some of the other important big years. The mask was to help him maintain his anonymity, but you have to admit it adds a wonderfully surreal and theatrical aspect to the whole thing.
Groves had asked the top Manhattan Project scientists to come up with the first declassification rules in November 1945, when he realized that Congress wasn’t going to be passing legislation as soon as he expected.
It is quickly leaked and then was followed up by a legitimate publication by the State Department. Some of the modifications are substantial, and are deeply resented by people like Oppenheimer who see them as torpedoing the plan. Note that the mushroom cloud itself is not the wide cloud you see there (which is a brief condensation cloud caused by it being an underwater detonation), but is the more bulbous cloud you see peaking out of the top of that cloud. Lilienthal is enthusiastic about the job — a New Deal technocrat, he thinks that he can use his position to set up a fairly liberal approach to nuclear technology in the United States. They adopt the declassification system of the Manhattan District, among other administrative matters. A cable from 1944 contains a list of scientists working at Los Alamos — indications of a serious breach in wartime atomic security, potentially much worse than the Canadian spy ring.
But taken together, I think, the list makes a strong argument for the importance of 1946. When one reads the documents from this period, one gets this sense of a world in flux.
We also know that the US military was explicitly expecting to rely on atomic weapons in any future conflict, in order to offset the massive Soviet conventional advantage that existed at the time.
The immediate postwar is one such period — where ideas were earnestly discussed that seemed utterly impossible only a few years later.
A little bit of rumor-swapping, bragging about being in-the-know and being someone worth consulting. The material is uranium, and if the forces bound in this element could be liberated, explosive forces of so far unimagined power could be created. He said that rumors of this sort occurred repeatedly because of articles related to atomic energy that had already been published, and he did not let such rumors occupy him much during the war. In the summer of 1944 (probably early July), an aide of Goring’s came to me with a message from a German representative in Lisbon that there was a pronounced American threat against the German government, that an atomic bomb would be dropped on Dresden in the next six weeks if the government did not immediately sue for peace. But here we have a little more information on the source: it is supposedly from an agent in Lisbon, Portugal. These people were picked up as soon as they got into the United States and the messages were framed by me. Because this coincides very well with the timing of Heisenberg’s supposed query — apparently originating in Nazi agents in Portugal — regarding whether Dresden would be atomic bombed! Heisenberg looked at the six-weeks-to-an-atomic-Dresden claim and said, no way — that doesn’t make any sense. The Physikalische Blatter story got picked up by the Washington Post, and they got in touch with Richard G. Over the course of three days in February 1945, some 1,250 Allied heavy bombers pounded the city with incendiaries and high explosives, killing well over 20,000 people and burning the heart out of a city that until that point had been spared the horrors of area bombing. If Groves’ misinformation attempt was really did result in the query to Heisenberg, what tremendous irony would abound. It was, as stated, voluntary: there were no fines or threats attached to it, just stern official rebuke. John Raper, a reporter for the Cleveland Press, while on vacation in New Mexico, somehow stumbled upon one of the biggest, most secret stories of the day. Below I reprint the entirety of the article — it nearly speaks for itself, both in its security violations and its strange rambling nature. It has fine streets, an electric light plant and waterworks with capacity for a city twice as large as Los Alamos, a service department that really services, public library, high, grade, and nursery schools; recreation centers, hospital, apartment houses, cottages, dance hall, an enormous grocery, refrigeration plant, factories and jail.
It has scenery enough for a whole state — peaks and peaks and more peaks, and cliffs and colors that dim the rainbow. If you have gone through all of the preliminary red tape previously and have been notified that you will be admitted, the men at the gate will know all about you and there will be little delay after you show the necessary papers.
En route you will notice that the city is fenced in and that mounted soldiers patrol it and you will see scores of buildings. The man who commands the soldiers, who sees that the garbage and rubbish are collected, the streets kept up, the electric light plan and the waterworks functioning and all other metropolitan work operating smoothly is a Col.
Oppenheimer and the hundreds of men and women in his laboratories and shops that makes Los Alamos such a carefully guarded city. Oppenheimer may tell the newspapers about what he has done at Los Alamos, there may be another now-it-can-be-told book or the secretary of war may hand out the report made to him. Plucked from the jaws of death by Mr Jamrach - explorer, entrepreneur and collector of the world's strangest creatures - the two strike up a friendship. It vacillates between talking about using U-235 as a power source and using it to convert innocuous chemicals into radioactive ones.
Since Urey and Lawrence were, in fact, trying to do that, and since Vannevar Bush was, in fact, ostensibly in charge of the Uranium Committee work at this point, this superficially looks rather suggestive. By the end of 1941, Bush would be a convert to the idea of making the bomb and would start trying to accelerate the program greatly.
But parts of it are completely wrong — not only would dirty bombs not play a role, he doesn’t seem to understand that fission products, not irradiated substances, would play the strongest role.
But, as I was reminded last week while going through some of the papers of David Lilienthal and Bernard Baruch that were in the Princeton University archives, 1946 was something special in and of itself. The postwar situation was still fluid, and the American approach towards the bomb still unclear. The UN Atomic Energy Commission is created to sort out questions about the future of nuclear technology on a global scale. They came up with the first declassification procedures and the first declassification guides, inaugurating the first systematic approach to deciding what was secret and what was not. Created by a sub-committee of advisors, headed by TVA Chairman David Lilienthal and with technical advice provided by J.
The Baruch Plan, for example, considered the question of what to do about violations of the agreement something that needed to be hashed out explicitly and well in advance.
Ostensibly the United States was in favor of getting rid of nuclear weapons, and in fact had not yet finalized its domestic legislation about the bomb.
The paradox is explicit, McMahon explained at the time, because finding a way to implement policy between those two extremes would produce rational discussion. He is quickly confronted by the fact that the atomic empire established by the Manhattan Engineer District has decayed appreciably in year after the end of the war, and that he has powerful enemies in Congress and in the military. This information is kept extremely secret, however, as this work becomes a major component in the VENONA project, which (years later) leads to the discovery of Klaus Fuchs, Julius Rosenberg, and many other Soviet spies. On the one hand, you have people who are hoping that the re-ordering of the world after World War II will present an enormous opportunity for creating a more peaceful existence. We know that there was extensive Soviet espionage in the US government and its atomic program, although not as extensive as fantasists like McCarthy thought.
Physikalische Blatter was (and is) still around, and they ran a story on their wartime leak story. And it should be noted that Lisbon was a notorious hub of espionage activity for both sides during the war — so it isn’t necessarily the same guy.
Could Dresden have been kept “pristine” on the theory that it might have been a good atomic bombing target, in the same way that Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kokura, and Niigata had been? Press leaks and investigations have been around for quite a long time, and ever since the example of Woodward and Bernstein, this has become the ultimate symbol of journalistic power and access.
It has a population of between 5000 and 6000 persons, not more than probably half a dozen of whom can step outside of the city except by special permission of the city boss.
And who knows but that the eminent physicist may deliver an address at the Cleveland City Club or the Rotary Club? Before he knows it, Jaffy finds himself on board a ship bound for the Dutch East Indies, on an unusual commission for Mr Jamrach. Fission had been discovered in 1939, chain reactions were talked about publicly a few months later, and by the early 1940s the subject of atomic power and atomic bombs had become a staple of science journalists and science fiction authors. This got Cartmill and Campbell visitors from the FBI, trying to figure out whether they had access to classified information.


Niels Bohr, father of modern atomic theory, is at Princeton, along with Albert Einstein and others of Europe’s greatest. Cyclotrons did have relevance to isotope separation — they were used to develop the Calutrons used at Y-12 — but the captions don’t indicate that this is why these machines are featured. He doesn’t really seem to understand how nuclear power would be harnessed in a reactor.
1983 has been making a resurgence in our nuclear consciousness, thanks to lots of renewed interest in the Able-Archer war scare. It is not the big events that define 1946, but the fact that it was a liminal year, a transition period between two orders.
Both of these features were kept in the final version submitted to the President for signature in July.
It also argued that the United States would not destroy its (still tiny) nuclear stockpile until the Soviet Union had proven it was not trying to build a bomb of their own.
But at the same time, it planned to set off three of them, to see their effect on naval vessels. Stalin, for his part, is not willing to sign a pledge of disarmament and inspection while the United States is continuing to build nuclear weapons. The ideas of world government, of the banning of nuclear weapons, of openness and prosperity, seem seriously on the table.
The fact that it pinpoints the United States as making an atomic bomb out of uranium seems accurate, but everything else seems to be sketchy and confused. Much of it is repetitive fluff, a by-the-book (for 1964) accounting of Allied and German nuclear research. I was asked by Goring’s adjutant if I thought it was possible that the Americans had already created an atomic bomb.
Either way, it’s clear that Groves would have been mighty mad to find out this question was being asked of Heisenberg.
If the report he had gotten was, “do you believe that the only people working on nuclear fission are a bunch of no-names, instead of Bethe and Fermi and Oppenheimer and Wheeler and all of those other physics luminaries we know the Americans have?,” might that not have raised his suspicions even more? The Physikalische Blatter speculated that maybe this was the case, though there is no evidence that supports this conclusion.9 I doubt it, personally — the selection of Dresden as a target has its own trajectory that seems independent of any possible atomic narrative, and the idea that it would have been selected as a possible atomic bomb target as early as the summer of 1944 seems rather far-fetched.
He grants permission only in the most exceptional circumstances and under the most rigid conditions. His journey - if he survives it - will push faith, love and friendship to their utmost limits. So of course, if the US was working on atomic energy as part of their defense research, Bush would have to be in charge of it. The scheme they propose is that the United Nations create an organization (the Atomic Development Authority) that would be granted full control over world uranium stocks and would have the ability to inspect all facilities that used uranium in significant quantities. It was explicit about the need for full inspections of the USSR — a difficulty in an explicitly closed society — and stripped the UN Security Council of veto power when it came to enforcing violations of the treaty. It is clear to Baruch, and even to more liberal-minded observers like Oppenheimer, that the Soviets are probably not going to play ball on any of this, because it would not only require them to forswear a potentially important weapon, but because any true plan would require them to become a much more open society. I love Lilienthal as an historical figure, because he is an idealist who really wants to accomplish good things, but ends up doing almost the opposite of what he set out to do. And not just by members of the liberal elite, mind you: even US Army Generals were supporting these kinds of positions! And yet, as the year wore on, the hopes began to fade. But along with this, they did attempt to track down the origin of the leak — with no success. I was understandably made very uncomfortable by this question, because of the large responsibility connected to my answer. It was pinpointed at certain universities and certain people, none of whom had anything to do with the project. It should be noted, as well, that the narrative about the atomic bomb in mid-1960s Germany was very much tinged by the Cold War context; it was a common thread of discussion in both the West and the East that the United States would be willing to throw Germany under the bus if it came to a real confrontation with the Soviets. Als Material dient Uran, und wenn die gebundenen Krafte in diesem Element frei wurden, dann konnten Sprengwirkungen· von bisher nicht geahnter Kraft erzeugt werden.
And while there is something to that, in the sense that American journalists were far more cooperative and acquiescent during the 1940s, it also projects a rosier picture backwards than ever truly existed. Mid-1941 was still a time when a journalist could speculate wildly on these topics and not get visits from the FBI. Peaceful applications of atomic energy would be permitted, but making nuclear weapons would not be. The Soviets were, perhaps unsurprisingly, resistant to all of these measures. Andrei Gromyko proposes a counter-plan which, like the Baruch Plan, prohibits the manufacture and use of atomic weaponry. The Atomic Energy Commission would take over from the Manhattan Engineer District starting in 1947. The amount of the work was minimized, and an attempt to convince the Germans that it was an academic effort and that nothing would come of it. The atomic scientists on the Manhattan Project who had been dissatisfied with the Army turned out to make a formidable lobby, and they found allies amongst a number of Senators. If one thought of it as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, except without any authorized possession of nuclear weapons, one would not be too far off the mark.
However, it requires full and immediate disarmament by the United States before anything else would go into effect, and excludes any international role in inspection or enforcement: states would self-regulate on this front. Even the most optimistic observers started to see that the problems of the old order weren’t going away anytime soon, that no amount of good faith was going to get Stalin to play ball.
Most important of these was first-term Senator Brien McMahon, who quickly saw an opportunity to jump into the limelight by making atomic energy his issue. Of note is that it is an approach to controlling the bomb that is explicitly not about secrecy, but about physical control of materials. Which is, I should say, not to put all of the onus on the Soviets, as intractable as they were, and as awful as Stalin was.
By the end of the year, not only did Congressional support fall flat for the Army’s Bill, but even Truman had withdrawn support for it. One can imagine a Cold War that was less tense, less explicitly antagonistic, less dangerous, even with limitations that the existence of a ruler like Stalin imposed.
Wir alle waren natu?rlich wahrend des Krieges der Meinung, da? man im Ausland, vor allem in Amerika, wohl an einer Herstellung von Atombomben arbeiten wird, denn es wurden ja auch in Deutschland Vorversuche daru?ber gemacht mit dem Versuch der Aufstellung eines Atomreaktors. In its place, McMahon suggested a bill that looked like something the scientists would have written — a much freer, less secret, civilian-run plan for atomic energy. Und da nach Kriegsanfang alle Publikationen aus dem Gebiete aufhorten, schlossen wir natu?rlich, da? im Ausland geheime Arbeiten gemacht wu?rden. Andererseits glaubte keiner von uns, da? wahrend der Kriegszeit eine Atombombe fertiggestellt werden konnte. Ich erinnere mich an das Erstaunen, das wir alle hatten, als wir von der Bombe im August 1945 in englischer Gefangenschaft erfuhren. Da Prof. Uran-Vereins war, also die Arbeiten zur Herstellung eines Kernreaktors geleitet hat, ist wohl Herr Heisenberg die beste Quelle, zu erfahren, ob jemand von uns die Mitteilung in den Phys. Blattern bereits 1944 eine Notiz u?ber die amerikanischen Versuche mit Atombomben erschienen sei.
Dies ist mir vollig neu, aber zugleich interessant und unbegreiflich; denn die ersten amerikanischen Atombombenversuche haben ja bekanntlich im Fru?hjahr 1945 stattgefunden. Es kann sich also eigentlich nur um ziemlich vage Vermutungen gehandelt haben. Ich ware Ihnen sehr dankbar, wenn Sie mir eine Kopie jenes Artikels in den Phys.
Ich wurde von dem Adjutanten Gorings gefragt, ob ich es fu?r moglich hielte, da? die Amerikaner bereits u?ber eine Atombombe verfu?gten.
Mir war diese Frage begreiflicherweise sehr unangenehm, weil mit der Antwort auf jeden Fall eine gro?e Verantwortung verbunden war. An article on uranium fission by Siegfried Flugge appeared in Die Naturwissenschaften in June 1939; Heisenberg cites this as the reason for all of the speculation.



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