The videos are a chilling reminder of the terrifying destructive power of nuclear weapons – showing hundreds of weapons detonated on Earth’s surface, with mushroom clouds stretching into the sky.
A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist has battled to preserve films of America’s 210 above-ground nuclear tests – conducted before they were banned in 1963.
Between 1945 and 1962, the States conducted 210 atmospheric tests – but the 7,000 videos of them remained classified and hidden from the public.
Thanks to Greg Spriggs, people can now see them for the first time – with 4,200 films now scanned and 750 declassified.
Spriggs has just uploaded 64 to YouTube.
He told Gizmodo, ‘We know that these films are on the brink of decomposing to the point where they’ll become useless.
‘The data that we’re collecting now must be preserved in a digital form because no matter how well you treat the films, no matter how well you preserve or store them, they will decompose.
‘They’re made out of organic material, and organic material decomposes. So this is it. We got to this project just in time to save the data.’