Five Men Volunteer To Stand Under Detonating Atomic Bomb

first published on January 9, 2017 by

During a series of nuclear tests, Air Force officers and a single photographer, volunteer to stand underneath of an atmospherically detonated atomic device.

During Operating Plumbbob, a series of nuclear tests conducted in the Nevada deserts during the during the 1950’s, the Air Force conducted a public relations stunt known as The John Shot. During this event, five Air Force officers and one photographer stood at ground zero for the only known test of an atmospherically detonated nuclear warhead, known as the AIR-2 Genie. The audio was captured by one of the officers holding a recorder in his pocket, and can be heard on the video below.

The intent of the PR stunt was to show that the Air Force could in fact, detonate a nuclear device over a large civilian population without causing any casualties at all. While none of the men who participated in the test are alive today, they all lived full lives, unaffected and undamaged by radiation. Donald A. Luttrell, the last surviving member of the group of volunteers, passed away in December of 2014. He died of natural causes.

You can read more about the John Shot conducted by the Air Force at this link.


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