My Brief Interview With Professor Krauss

Professor Lawrence M Krauss graciously agreed to answer a few questions for me on his thoughts about some things Robert Oppenheimer wrote. Here are the first few. I hope to get a couple more out of him but we shall see. I am very grateful he took time out of his busy schedule to indulge me.


President Obama In Hiroshima

Obama has always been a superb orator, this speech epitomized our President’s ability to stir emotions, pump up pride and to look ourselves in the mirror without denying our shame; our remorse or our self-respect.

There are those who heard his words at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial as an apology from the United States. Apologize he did not; what he did do was express remorse as a human being, not as a President. What he did was speak to and for humanity, not to a nation or a peoples. What he did showed was speak as the leader of a country that engaged in war to another country that was engaged in the same war, not as leader of the winning side to the loser on the other side. What he did was speak as a President who would not make the same decision to drop the bomb, not speak for another President who made the decision to do so. What he did was plead for the world to learn from that war, not beg nations to stop fighting them.

I wish Oppie could have been there to hear the leader of the Free world say to the rest of the world what he was saying all along.

Now that mankind has the ability to destroy itself, we need to make sure we never do.

Manhattan; WGM’s New Original Series

the Let me start off by stating that Los Alamos is my hometown, it’s where I grew up, it’s where my family legacy is and I have spent many years diligently researching its history and that of its founder J. Robert Oppenheimer. I moved there when I was six years old in 1967 well after the Manhattan Project and Project Y but I have more than several social media friends who grew up there during this time and have personal knowledge of what it was like to live there  which I do not doubt nor question. That being said let me first say that I am not only disappointed but disgusted and angered with this television series. Now before anyone responds by commenting that this show is not supposed to be factual which it clearly advertises let me say this, then they should not use the name Los Alamos, PO Box 1663, The Manhattan Project or J. Robert Oppenheimer. They did state in their trailer of the show that the characters would be based on a combination of actual people and actual events however. But if this is supposed to be fictional then they should not mention Hitler or Japan or anything to do with actual events of World War II. On a side note why do they bother to use fictional names of all the other scientists working on the bomb if they use Oppenheimer’s. They also use the real names of The Gadget and Thin Man (which was the original name of the Fat Man bomb). If they went to the trouble of researching deep enough to know about Thin Man they could have done better elsewhere. They place the show in Los Alamos New Mexico and refer to the only known name of the town as the factual name of PO Box 1663. This makes no sense but on to more important issues. Because the do refer to the whole thing as The Manhattan Project and because they do have Oppenheimer as the head of it there is enough reference to factual events and persons that those that do not know the history of Los Alamos and the bombs are going to associate these non factual people and events with real ones and most will assume that this show at least loosely represents the truth when in fact the before mentioned names are the only facts and truth of the show.

I am going to specify events from the show and then present what really happened or what never did happen along with things that I don’t believe would have happened based on my knowledge of Los Alamos. I also must point out why I feel so strongly about certain misrepresentations.

1. – This personally the biggest offense of all, admittedly because I have such a fondness and a soft spot for the man us locals lovingly call Oppie. The character of Oppenheimer is presented as aloof and non approachable not to mention anything but hands on which is far from the truth. Oppie though notoriously arrogant and short of patience prior to his assignment as head of the Manhattan Project was a different man when he took his position there. He was known to be not only approachable by his fellow scientists but by their wives and children. He was known to officiate at weddings and host endless parties at Fuller Lodge where he was always surrounded by admiring females and friends who loved him for his charm, his wit and his undeniable charisma. He was known to have an open door policy for his fellow scientists absolutely practiced the philosophy that knowledge should be shared and he encouraged the asking of and answering of questions from everybody within the scientific community. What angers me about his portrayal is that one of Oppies greatest legacies was his ability to assemble a group of the greatest scientific minds from around the world and create a highly collaborative group that had a common goal that was unprecedented and never before or since accomplished.  This leads me to number two…

2. – The scientists in the show are constantly fighting, back stabbing, resentful and just plain nasty towards each other. It was the very fact that the real scientists that were worked on the bombs worked so well together that this project came to be completed so smoothly and so quickly. Now, the fighting and competition in the show is mainly between two groups who are competing with each other to have their design for a plutonium bomb become The Gadget and then be chosen to work on Thin Man’. These two groups are also fighting over the plutonium that they needed to build these bombs.  One of my biggest points of contention to do with the history of building the bomb or dropping the bomb  is the phrase ‘the bomb’.  More often than not it is only Hiroshima that is remembered and more often than not is the belief that it was Fat Man was dropped there when the fact is there were three bombs that were successfully built; The Gadget, Fat Man and Little Boy (Thin Man was abandoned due to contaminated plutonium and redesigned as Little Boy using Uranium).  The Gadget was the first atomic bomb ever used when tested in White Sands New Mexico at what is now known as Trinity Site and Little Boy was the first atomic bomb ever used in war when it was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th 1945. Fat Man was the plutonium bomb and was dropped on the city of Nagasaki on August 9th 1945, 3 days after Little Boy. Now I don’t have any proof or even any documentation to prove this but I also have never read or heard that there was such fierce competition between teams of scientists of the Manhattan project let alone petty bickering and backstabbing.

3. – I highly doubt any Native American would have traded peyote for sanitary napkins, peyote is sacred to them.

4. – In episode 3 they had the wives working the switchboards and monitoring phone calls between residents to listen for ‘flagged’ words of phrases that they were to report to the powers that be if they heard them. I seriously doubt that surveillance jobs of phone conversations for protection of national security would have been entrusted to any civilians.


. – In episode 2 the Chinese American spy was shot by a Private at the gates of Los Alamos when trying to leave with classified documents. First I don’t believe that a Private would ever have been posted at the entrance gates. This was a town that even the President who though was aware of the project did not know of its location and nobody in his administration not even the vice president knew it existed. Everyone I mean everyone had to have a badge and security clearance to enter those gates and I highly doubt the responsibility of this would be given to a Private. Secondly I am pretty sure that once this supposed spy was accused of being a spy he never would have been left to leave at the very least without so much as a vehicle search. The character took a guards gun and escaped without so much as a fire alarm going off? Wouldn’t have happened I think it’s a pretty safe bet that the military would have had him down by the time he got to his room, got the documents he was taking, got into his car and then sat there and argued with the MP’s at the gate to let him leave. Now more importantly, it is my opinion that this character on a scientist named Wen Ho Lee, I say this because there is no record of any Chinese scientists ever working on the Manhattan Project or of being accused let alone convicted of being a spy except Lee  who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratories in the 90’s and was accused of espionage. He was however only convicted of one count of misusing classified documents and is still alive today. Those who may know of this man and his actions but not the details could easily confuse fact from fiction.

This show is simply put written by revisionist historians who, though their intent may not be to misinform are doing exactly that about a part of history that should never never never be anything but learned from.

Secrets Of The Dead; The Worlds Biggest Bomb


Written by Andy Webb and narrated by Liev Schreiber this excellent documentary is about the Atomic Bombs Fat Man and Little Boy. I give it 5 stars.

Oppenheimer Interview Rare Footage

This is an interview done by Edward R Murrow with J. Robert Oppenheimer. They talk about The Institute for Advanced Study where Oppie was the director. It is a very rare interview with Oppie.

Radiation Accident Report Regarding Handling Instructions

Accident Report

This is a memorandum from the Safety Superintendent regarding and accident involving a Marine who was exposed to radiation in 19554 due to unclear handling instructions for unloading radioactive cargo.

A Handbook on Operation Castle

A Handbook for Operation Castle

This is a very detailed handbook that was distributed to the scientists at Los Alamos in 1954 and written by the same. It give information on the tests involved in Castle that reveal radiation fallout, the specs of the blasts and how to read these results.

An Announcement of the Atomic Bomb

Atomic Bomb Announcement pg 1

Atomic Bomb Announcement pg 2

Atomic Bomb Announcement pg 3

This a a copy of the 3 page document issued by the war department. I do not know who it was issued to, exactly who issued it or when exactly it was issued. I am sure that I do not have the entire document.

It is a general overview of the information given to Roosevelt and Truman that led to the decision to make the bomb, an overview of why and how the chose the targets and a brief overview of the Manhattan Project which lists Oakridge Tennessee, Hanford Washington and a remote place in northern New Mexico. I found it interesting they do not mention Los Alamos by name. That makes me think it was written with a few years of the end of World War II.

Gen Groves Writes To Oppie About Safety

Groves to Oppie Letter about Oppies Safety

General Groves writes a letter to  Oppenheimer’s asking him to have regard for his personal safety, not while working on the worlds first atomic bombs, but in his travels. Groves requests that J. Robert refrain from flying and from driving distances more than a few miles and with a guard of some sort if driving in town. This request was for the duration of the Manhattan Project.

Engineering the Bomb Two Mile Mesa

Engineering the BombTwo Mile Mesa


The Detonator and Plutonium Recovery Research at Two-Mile Mesa Site (TA-6).

This 160 page report is for historic context and property documentation and was prepared by the Los Alamos National Laboratory for the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration, Los Alamos Site Office. The purpose of this report is document the construction history, location and eligibility of properties and buildings for the National Register of Historic Places. The initial recommendations are in this report; Sentinels of the Atomic Dawn: A Multiple-Property Evaluation of the Remaining Manhattan Project Properties at Los Alamos (1942 – 1946).

After WWII this sites operations included explosives development, laser and chemistry research and experiments regarding detonation and shock waves in gases.

But its historical significance is its contributions to the war effort. This is the site where the detonator development and plutonium recovery research for “Fat Man” were researched.

This document gives more information than just the technical side of the bomb development that occurred there, it provides lots of history relating to the whole project and all the research done during the Manhattan Project.

Definitely worth a read.

Einstien’s Letter To The President

Einstein Letter To President

It is a common misconception that Albert Einstein was part of the team of scientists that developed the world’s first atomic bombs. This in not true. Einstein never worked on the bomb, he was denied the security clearance in July of 1940 that he needed to be part of the Manhattan Project, those that were given clearance were forbidden to even consult Einstein  because of his left-wing politics. He was deemed a national security risk.

The connection that Einstein had to the development of the bomb was the letter he wrote to President Roosevelt warning him that Nazi Germany scientists were working on an atomic weapon.  Even his E=mc2 only explains the energy an atomic bomb releases; it does not provide any help in building one.

Los Alamos Plutonium Workers Tell All

Plutonium Workers Share Experiences

This 50 page article from the Los Alamos Science magazine issue number 23 published in 1995. Several past and present plutonium workers employed at Los Alamos National Laboratories spanning from the time of the Manhattan Project in the early 1940’s to then present times in 1995 were asked to share personal experiences of working with plutonium, each of the participants were involved in accidents resulting in the accumulation of plutonium in their bodies. Los Alamos, during the Manhattan Project, in 1944  is where plutonium was put into the pure metallic form used to build and atomic bomb. It is still one of the few places where plutonium is handled today.

Living At Los Alamos

1 (1)Living at la

This 8 page article is a great resource for information on the acquisition of the land in Northern New Mexico that is now Los Alamos.  It reveals the way the Army manipulated the Boy’s Ranch School out 54,000 acres, including 8900 acres of forest land, that was to be used for a ‘demolition range’. The scientists of the Manhattan Project were given the 27 houses and the 27 buildings and the current residents were evicted with 2 weeks notice. 1500 people literally pushed the students out of their homes and moved right in.  The story of the construction of Laboratory buildings, the cost and the expectations of the new residents are told in the article that is a very good read.

Cost of Living In Los Alamos In 1943

Cost of Living in Los Alamos, 1943

This is the basis for charges for food, utilities, rent and such during the Manhattan Project

Lack of Racism In Los Alamos


This article is an interview with a black man who worked in Los Alamos from 1945 through the early sixties. He talks about how he didn’t experience racial prejudice there.

Reprimand For Parties In The Dorms

Abuse of Government Buildings and Property, March 8, 1945

The parties in Los Alamos are historical, literally.  This is a reprimand for litter and such left in the dormitory after parties.

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