If you love military or scientific history and don’t live in fear of a nuclear holocaust, you can now watch dozens of newly declassified films of U.S. nuclear bomb tests on YouTube.
The videos show over 200 atmospheric nuclear tests the U.S. conducted over about a 50 year period, from 1945 to 1992. Since the military shot multiple angles of these tests, approximately 10,000 films of the explosions exist.
That’s where Greg Spriggs, of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, comes in. Spriggs is heading up the effort to locate, scan and analyze all these films. So far, the project has collected about two-thirds of the films but only scanned 400 to 500. And, this week, a few dozen films were uploaded by the lab to YouTube.
The videos are available in a playlist and are all labeled by their project code names, like Operation Plumbbob and Operation Teapot.
Spriggs, in an introductory film to the playlist, talks about how the old films are disintegrating, leaving us with little evidence of these tests that he considers “part of our history.”
The films are a gateway into the past as well as the grand scale — and terror — of the nuclear threat.
For more on Spriggs’ project, check out this feature from 2015, before the films hit the web.