posted on Jun, 17 2007 @ 05:47 PM
OK conspirators, I've been there and much of the speculation in the posts are relatively accurate. When I say I've been there, I was there when it
was being decommissioned. It was an incredible complex completely underground.
They did not pour concrete over it, those are three thick layers of shielded concrete (bomb resistant) that could be removed with a crane to allow
them to lower large aircraft parts into and out of the radiation effects lab (there were two). The idea, I am told, was to determine the effects of
extreme doses of radiation on aircraft components -- thus the cooling off area and the railroad.
It was well guarded and secure, but far from secret. If you check the stacks of the Gainesville Times, you will find many articles published about the
construction. You will also find the information about the reactor (the big one was underground) up, unshielded for maybe two ten hour periods. That,
in part, explains that as a child there were no adult trees visible, only dead trunks (maybe circa 1965).
There were times when friends in school who lived near the site were told not to harvest things from their gardens because "the radiation was outside
A friend crawled into a reactor chamber, is still alive and a successful businessman. Why were we there? Seventeen years old, looking for aluminum and
titanium for a well known racing team.
I can go on and on. I have fly-over photos from the time it was finished, photos of the reactor controller (and did know where it is in a local barn),
the whole collection of articles.
I helped a student in the late 1980s write a research project on the lab. At the time the stenciled words REACTOR ACCESS were still visible on the
underground facility. We did radiation tests on some soil around the hot cell and had inconclusive results. The student got a "B," but the attention
we raised by hitting the Times' stacks and used the information to help stop a second Atlanta airport resulted in the Gainesville Times winning a
journalism award called "The Nuclear Forest."
The important thing to keep in mind was the hot cell building that is just inside the gate and the concrete slab, which housed a cafeteria is NOT the
real nuclear lab. There was a small reactor up there. There was a shuttle that carried researchers down to the pedestrian tunnel (mentioned in earlier
posts) and underground to the lab.
Dawson County High School salvaged lab equipment and a model of the reactor (I'd love to know where that went). Local businesses bought many of the
The next part is not personal knowledge but came from reputable people that I have known my entire life. Once the nuke-plane didn't fly they had
these two reactors and nothing to do with them. Nuclear energy was in its infancy and the promise at the time was that electricity could be generated
so inexpensively that it would be "Too cheap to meter."
Well, it was the Cold War and someone wanted to see what radiation could do to a number of materials. Supposedly JFK was given a desk that was
'treated' with radiation to show him the progress of the research.
From a researcher that actually worked there came the weird story, much like the movie, where chimps are trained, then given supra-lethal doses of
radiation (drop your bomb and fly back through the mushroom cloud). How far, they wondered, could they get the bomber back across friendly lines
before the pilots were unable to fly. It seems that skin would begin to fall off in 12 hours or so and the limit, so I was told, for the mental
ability to fly was eight hours or less.
Another close friend was a worker there. His job was to take skeletons, place them into vehicles, expose the vehicles, then test the skeletons --
exposed behind metal doors and through an open window or glass.
As to cancer, I've had doctors, coroners and residents remark that the cancer rate is much higher in that area. As an aside, The Etowah River was
used to cool the reactor...