Seconds later, the thundering sound echoed against the Sierra Oscura Mountains, the rocks, and the desert floor, for what seemed an eternity. The sound was deafening as it bounced over and over in the Jornada del Muerto. This area in the desert is known ominously as the Dead Man’s Trial — The Journey of Death.
Less than a month after the Trinity test, at 2:45 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1945, pilot Col. Paul Tibbets took off in the Enola Gay B-29, from Tinian, part of the Mariana Islands in the Pacific. “Dimples 82” was loaded with the four-ton bomb named “Little Boy,” bound for Hiroshima.
The world would never be the same.
One of the senior guides at Trinity asked me who I thought was most responsible for the U.S. producing the atomic bomb. Prominent names were recalled. Then he answered: Adolf Hitler.
Before the war, Hitler forced the most brilliant scientific minds from the Jewish community in Germany out of the country. The massive depth of mental aptitude and technical skills of these engineers came to work in the U.S. and helped develop the Manhattan Project.
The site is open twice a year to visitors, the first Saturday in April and the first Saturday in October. The White Sands Missile Range is under the command of the U.S. military.
As I walked out of the squared-off fenced and gated sector containing the Trinity National Monument, I heard a slight ticking sound following from behind. It came from a fellow carrying a Geiger Counter. This grave reminder of what humans produced at this very site, to my vexation, was still ticking.