Zachary Sklar: “We were 10 years old then. I was happily trick-or-treating outdoors and going to Halloween parties at Poinsettia Park and Melrose Elementary School. No one warned us.”

The glowing sky from an atomic bomb test in Nevada seen from Exposition Park in Los Angeles in 1955.

Hi Fred,

I’ve read with great interest your take on the 1950s atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in Nevada. Particularly eerie were the photos you posted of the glow that was visible in L.A. after a test. I have long felt that my own chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome and the epidemic of thyroid cancer were caused, in large part, by the radiation from atmospheric nuclear testing. It’s no coincidence that the outbreak of chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome began in Nevada in approximately 1985. 

In October 1958 there was a “peace scare”—that is, it seemed that the U.S. and Soviet Union were getting close to signing a treaty banning atmospheric nuclear testing. So the powers that be decided they had to get as many tests in as possible before the treaty was signed. On October 31, 1958, although the prevailing winds were going toward Los Angeles and its huge population, they went ahead with an enormous hydrogen bomb test. Normally, they would have postponed the test until the winds shifted to the east. But this time they went ahead because of the “peace scare.” The radiation cloud from that single test went straight to L.A. and sat there for three days in L.A.’s famous inversion layer caused by the mountains that surround the L.A. basin. 

As subsequent studies have made clear, a spree of nuclear tests in Nevada in October 1958, called Operation Hardtack II, spread radiation fallout over the L.A. basin. When records of those tests were released to the public years later, Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel laureate for chemistry and for activism against nuclear testing, predicted that over a period of 30 years, 25,000 cancer deaths would result from one of those blasts alone. 

We were 10 years old in 1958. I was happily trick-or-treating outdoors and going to Halloween parties at Poinsettia Park and Melrose Elementary School. No one warned us. The kids and everyone else were outdoors and fully exposed. In 1986 I came down with both chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome and hypothyroid and auto-immune thyroid symptoms. That’s 28 years after that Halloween 1958 test.  I don’t know for sure if that radiation contributed to my illness. But after reading numerous reports of high cancer rates in areas exposed to nuclear fallout, I’m convinced it is most likely not a coincidence.

I believe that the entire population’s immune systems has been affected by nuclear testing and also nuclear waste from nuclear energy plants. I believe this has contributed significantly to the rise in all kinds of cancers, particularly thyroid, and to other immune system disorders like CFIDS, AIDS, and auto-immune problems.

Anyway, I wish there were some scientists like Pauling around today who could look into this and try to document it. 

Stay healthy!

Zach

 

……………….

*Zach Sklar is a screenwriter and friend since high school.

 

One thought on “Zachary Sklar: “We were 10 years old then. I was happily trick-or-treating outdoors and going to Halloween parties at Poinsettia Park and Melrose Elementary School. No one warned us.”

  1. Hi

    Right, I was 10 that year trick or treating in west hollywood. I developed auto-immune thyroid issues in 1980, at hte end of my last pregnancy. No body has ever found a cause, a trigger there than pregnancy. And in the way of the world, i’m stilll taking thyroid supplement. Interesting to think of it in this context. Everyone in my family of origin takes synthroid, even my brother (who was trick or treating with me that night)— and it is very unusual for men to have hashimoto’s (thyroid auto immune)—— Most women in our generation end up on thyroid supplement. MD’s say it just happens.

    You guys have started a whole new way of thinking about that specifically for me.

    I hope the discussion continues.

    Elise

    >

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