It is an admittedly odd juxtaposition, but these two ideas landed on my desk this week.
First, in an example of public participation in inquiry, “Chornobyl’s urban explorers find evidence of logging inside exclusion zone” — logging glow sticks in the “zone of alienation” (thanks dmf). A group of “stockers” roams the zone of alienation and monitor it, and they have found some interesting things in their somewhat odd form of tourism. “The first time we saw forests and the second time it wasn’t there,” says Kalmykov. Chernobyl is having a birthday.
Thirty years ago this week, an accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine dumped lethal amounts of radiation in the area surrounding the reactor, killing dozens within hours and thousands more since — an exact number is still a hotly debated topic.
The 1966 Palomares B-52 crash, or the Palomares incident, occurred on 17 January 1966, when a B-52G bomber of the United States Air Force‘s Strategic Air Command collided with a KC-135 tanker during mid-air refuelling at 31,000 feet (9,450 m) over the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Spain. The KC-135 was completely destroyed when its fuel load ignited, killing all four crew members. The B-52G broke apart, killing three of the seven crew members aboard.
John Howard (an academic, author, and photographer) has been busy capturing the Palomares area with his camera, which was recently presented inWhite Sepulchers. If you’re not big on the bible, this is a reference to Matthew 23:37:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.”
This is a not so coy reference to the land in Palomares — looks great; laced with plutonium remains.
While the area is still an agricultural zone, all of its vacant buildings are now frequented by nudist.