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The long-distance scientific recordings of the blast wave from the first hydrogen bomb test have been rediscovered in a formerly classified safe at Columbia University.
If they couldn’t be declassified, they would have to be sent to the U.S. Air Force, which originally classified them, or destroyed. So, Richards tracked down the right people in the Air Force and asked them to declassify the documents so that they could by preserved for posterity.
“They had the bureaucratic problem that there was no obvious indication on how to do it,” Richards said. “They were very helpful, but it took a while.”