Eugene/Springfield–Downwinders is a slide presentation by Annette and Mike Rose, about 40 minutes, giving a general overview of U.S. nuclear testing, from the Marshall Islands to Nevada. Bomb making, nuclear testing, and the use of nuclear energy have exposed hundreds of thousands of people to harmful radiation and have left a legacy of waste that will remain hazardous for thousands of years. This waste presents so many problems, as it still lacks suitable disposal plans. And yet the government is refurbishing nuclear weapons and planning a new bomb plant. Where do we go from here?
Nuclear Savage: The Islands of Secret Project 4.1 is a film by Adam Jonas Horowitz (2011). It features recently declassified U.S. government documents, survivor testimony, and previously unseen archival footage. Nuclear Savage reveals one of the most troubling chapters in modern American history: how the Marshall Islanders, labeled as uncivilized, were deliberately used as human guinea pigs, with devastating results.
Between 1946 and 1958, the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons above ground on or near Bikini and Enewetok atolls. One hydrogen bomb was 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, blanketing populated islands with fallout. The heavily exposed people of Rongelap were then enrolled as human subjects in the topsecret Project 4.1 to study the effects of radioactivity on human beings for nearly 30 years.
Nuclear Savage follows the islanders today as they continue to fight for justice and acknowledgement of the harms done to them. The film raises disturbing questions about racism, the U.S. government’s moral obligation to the people of the Marshall Islands, and why, decades later, the government continues to cover up the intent of the tests and Project 4.1.
Annette Rose has been a member of OLLI since 2009, when she and Mike emigrated from Utah, where she was active in planning events for International Women’s Day and Hiroshima Day. In Eugene, she has enjoyed giving presentations of their travels to OLLI and other groups.