--2 Weird White Sands Weekend: Trinity Is A Tourist Trap?
Sept. 29, 2016

Weird White Sands Weekend: Trinity Is A Tourist Trap?

October 5, 2009, 12:00 am
By Corey Pein
The Trinity site, where the US set off the first man-made atomic explosion, is only open to the public twice a year. One of those times was last Saturday. I went with a couple of friends, expecting to find a couple dozen science geeks and amateur historians. I did not expect hundreds of camera-toting gawkers from all over the country who behaved as though they'd pulled over at the World's Largest Ball Of Yarn!, rather than a great scar upon the earth inflicted by mankind and symbolic of his hubris and folly.

And yet...

Say cheese!

Look! This partially vaporized column must be important—it's fenced off!

A replica of Fat Man, and...God Bless America.

The whole thing reminded me of those parades they have in Pakistan, where the military drags its nuclear-tipped missiles through the streets, met by cheering crowds. Hooray! We're a nuclear power!

More from my field trip after the cut.

People brought their dogs and children along. The kids seemed to spend most of their time hunting for Trinitite, the glassy green sand created by the blast. As the signs warn, stealing it is a crime...

But it's either not a very serious crime, or whoever put up this sign by the highway is running a scam:

Here is Trinitite:

Anyway, I learned a lot. Here's the picture everyone is supposed to take:

And here is everyone taking it:

I am become digital point-and-shoot, destroyer of taste.


comments powered by Disqus

Morning Word: Stolen Email Lawsuit Dropped

Morning Word A federal lawsuit filed by several people who had their emails stolen by Jamie Estrada, a former Republican operative who gained control of the Gov. Susana Martinez 2010 web domain, has been dismissed. ... More

Sept. 27, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr


* indicates required
Choose your newsletter(s):
August 31, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm  
September 7, 2016 by Elizabeth Miller  
August 31, 2016 by Elizabeth Miller  
September 14, 2016 by Steven Hsieh  

@SFReporter on Instagram