A great place to stop and enjoy the scenery.
(submitted by Fred)
Well whatever it is, I am sure they had a blast that day!
Ok, let’s put this to bed. Google “nuclear explosion” through the image filter, does one of the first pictures look familiar?
Yes, yes it does. That’s because the person that photoshopped this didn’t need to look very long for the mushroom cloud he wanted. You can argue about the photo’s composition, facts about radiation, early ignorance of people regarding nuclear explosions, etcetera, etcetera… but at the end of the day, no two clouds are the same, and this person used a stock photo.
If one component is fake then the whole thing is fake.
This could very easily be real, actually. People filmed, viewed and witnessed live (which were widely publicized) bomb testing in Nevada in 1953. Yes, there would have been a massive flash, but once the flash is gone, mushroom clouds are about this tall, this wide and this shape. It would NOT have been difficult to stand up and snap a photo with a mushroom cloud — at all. Watch this video: plenty of people were at this same distance and ALL of the people and camera equipment were just fine, as if nothing had happened. I believe that this footage may be the same as in this photograph… And one last pony: look at the boy, he’s obviously a military buff. Remember guys, just because something is extraordinary does NOT just mean you should dumb yourself down and cry photoshop.
This is just a hilarious juxtaposition… absolutely NOTHING would have survived the photo shoot, including the camera + film.
Nobody should even think twice about whether or not this is fake.
please people, let’s learn a thing or two here. 1. Fake, yes, why? Well, it’s an atomic bomb explosion, they would be DEAD! The intense heat and light produced by nuclear explosions literally blind people and kill them instantly at that close distance they appear to be.
Has anyone found it to be a bit odd that 2 kids having their picture taken would appear so calm with a a mushroom cloud forming in the background? Yes, the young boy seems a bit goofy but I grew up with 3 brothers and all their friends: goofiness is just part of being a young guy growing up, no matter how cool they may someday be. Especially when someone is taking their picture. And wouldn’t the picture-taker have focused more on the mushroom-cloud than those calm young kids in this instance? Mushroom-clouds in the distance have, fortunately, never been everyday experiences for anyone here at any time, in any job, even if they occurred as military practice. That’s probably why the picture of the cloud was taken–it was unusual and something to be captured on film.
I’m guessing the person who took the picture of the explosion was the same person who provided the USAF sergeant stripes to the boy to wear. I grew up on AF bases and they look real to me; perhaps his dad was formerly in the service. Stripes were not commonly used as toys or even manufactured as toys. I never saw them, especially not ones from the Air Force. The Army was far more prominent after WWII and most toy soldiers were soldiers, not airmen. If the boy is wearing real stripes, he knew someone close from the Air Force who gave them to him. Air Force personnel were also likely close to the places where the nuclear explosions took place and would be tempted to take a picture. At the very least, it makes it easier to locate the family part of the picture to a place with Joshua trees. I know of at least one major air base near, or in, the California desert. Smaller ones were once found all over the west.
The picture is not likely to be real, then, just looking at its content. I want to take my guessing even further, though–to the person who combined the two photos. Someone at any time later could have done so to make an artistic statement about ironies of 1950s American culture, as someone said in another posting. But I like to think it was a nearly grown baby boomer, someone who was a teen when being a teenager was still talked about as something new in the world. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the “artist” was the goofy boy in the pic, for example, having some some goofy fun with his parent’s picture album a decade later in the late sixties or early seventies. You have to know that goofy fun was a little different then, though. Frank Zappa, Doonesbury, and early Saturday Night Live are the instances that come to mind–the era of Suzy Creamcheese, B.D., and the Coneheads. It was a time to laugh, realistically, at ourselves and our neighbors: the normal, wholesome All-American families we had tried so hard to be.
In that sense, of course the picture is real!
So many words, Karen. You’d be calm if you didn’t know what a mushroom cloud WAS. But this photo is probably shopped. The end.
Photoshopped; wouldn’t the picture have been washed out by the flash, at that close a range?
You can tell its been photoshopped because the exposure is off and the focus matches all the way through the shot. Look at the sharp edges on everything. Yeah, you can get fairly deep focus out on the desert with all that light but not that deep. Those are badly blended lines. The edge on the mountains and the edge on the explosion are all sharper than the kids in the foreground. At 5 or 6 feet They’re in focus as sharp as this lens can handle. But the edge on the explosion is sharper than that. As for exposure if that’s really an explosion taken at the same time as this photo, why are the highlights on their faces brighter than the highlights in the explosion?
Fake Fake Fake. But the kids are funny looking and possibly its a fake done by hand pre photoshop which is cool so either way its awkward enough. Just pretend your great aunt had it in a photo album and claimed it was legit. Its great that way.
+1. def fake.
My previous comment is inaccurate…I was looking through some old notes pertaining to Operation Upshot Knothole and inadvertently combined facts from two different nuclear tests. There were 11 nuclear tests in 1953 during Operation Upshot Knothole. The first was on March 17 and called Annie. This test had the civilian reporters and shot tower. On May 25 a gun originally nicknamed Amazon Annie (later changed to Atomic Annie) fired a 280 mm AFAP (artillery fired atomic projectile) which was an artillery delivered air burst as opposed to a “open shot” from a shot tower. This test was called Grable (for gun). My apologies…This being said, the photo, though I knew it was fabricated, still, for me, conveys an aesthetic truth about the 1950s in general…awkward anxiety – with a smile! Actually, there were photos published in various magazines (National Geographic, for example) with “nuclear” families out in the desert watching the glow of Annie (well publicized in advance of detonation) on the horizon. Las Vegas even promoted nuclear tests in travel brochures during this time period hoping to attract tourists. I recommend the book “Friendly Fallout 1953″ by Ann Ronald for those interested in Operation Upshot Knothole. Thank you.
Holy crap Fay, You get out much?
^lol at brian b
thanks Fay. I enjoyed reading your analysis.
amazing! thank you faye!
Thank you, apparently I’m not the only one that is capable of using the internet correctly. I was about to go on a rant about this picture and you pretty much summed it up already. Good on ya
The “mushroom” cloud in the photo is the result of a remote control nuclear artillery shell fired on May 25, 1953 during Operation Upshot Knothole. This test was conducted at the Nevada Test Site, Area 3. Civilian reporters were permitted to view it from News Nob, 11 kilometers south of the shot-tower. You can view this on Youtube by searching Grable 1953…the distinctive cloud is clearly the same as the one in the photo.
Just because there’s a mushroom cloud doesn’t mean it’s a atomic bomb. The cloud isn’t particularly large, so I could guess it’s a conventional bomb test. This could have been done somewhere near Indian Wells, in California.
Hey, it’s Venus and Mercury!
That can’t be real. Those are Joshua Trees in the foreground and those only grow in a fairly limited area of the high desert in Southern California. They are not found in the areas of Nevada, Utah or New Mexico where all the atomic tests took place.
There are real photos and films of soldiers out in the open very close to atomic tests though.
I agree with you. I live very close to where this picture was taken. It’s in Lake Los Angeles, CA probably on ave O, around 110th st East. There were never any test bombs in our area.
The nuclear bomb tests of the ’50s and ’60s took place in an isolated area of Nevada north of the Mojave Desert, where Joshua Trees grow. Joshua Trees do grow into Nevada, but only as far north as the Las Vegas area. The bomb tests were conducted over 100 miles north of Las Vegas and too far to be visible from there. Also, the land for miles around the nuclear test sites was restricted military space, so the civilian public could only see the tests from afar. I have seen that nuclear mushroom cloud from another, albeit legitimate, photo, so I know this is photoshopped.
i live in utah and we have joshua trees here too in the southern and western parts of the state.
I read about someone who witnessed an early nuclear test from relatively close quarters. The entire group lost their hair apart from one who was wearing a hat! Don’t know if it grew back subsequently – interesting to know what happened to these children..and their hair.
This is photoshopped If they were that close to the explosion they would have severe 3rd degree flash burns.
They’re farther away than you think. The cameramen filming the test shots were routinely this distance. They wouldn’t have flash burns. Looking at the detonation would have been a bad idea, though.
Definitely! I was thinking the same thing!
Blind me with science! (in other words, “Prove it!”)
Does it look like the boy is being held up by the back of his shirt by the girl? The blast blew him forward!
OMG! And the boy looks like a ventriloquist dummy, lol.
I know that years ago, they did nuclear testing in the deserts. People would go and watch! At the time, they had no idea about the repercussions.
They used to test nuclear bombs in the Nevada desert in the 1950′s and 1960′s. I’ve seen other photos where people gathered in large crowds to watch. This one might be real too.
This photo was not taken In The 50s Or 60s.
This is of course two photos merged. One taken mid 50′s the other much later for the purpose of making the combined image. And no not photo-shopped an older way was used.
See how their smiles radiate?
i think they win the price ! watheve it is !
Holy Cow! I really hope that’s not a nuclear bomb. I wonder where and when it was taken.
I really wanted to know the back story behind this picture.
Talk about your nuclear family…
HAHA. This. This wins.
I’m DYING to know the story behind this…
Please – where is the explanation for this one?!
What’s the story behind this one??!
This is one of a set of photoshopped postcards…. not very original.
Talk about a photobomb.
that was awesome
That’s probably why it’s the title of the picture.
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