For years, the Nuclear Veterans across the world have always claimed that they were 'Guinea Pigs' and that they were used in experiments designed by the Governments of the world who wanted to monitor the effects of a Nuclear explosion and the fallout that followed.
There have been numerous stories of mysterious doctors, samples taken, records being monitored and if you believe the Veterans, their families are part of the experiment.
The personnel who attended the various British tests were selected specifically for the role. If you look through the thousands of photographs, they are fit, healthy young men, the majority of them single. They are in prime condition, no body fat, toned and healthy.
Documents now obtained through Freedom of Information requests and released by the UK Government now show the extent of these experiments. One such document is the Directors Report into Operation Hurricane (Monte Bello, Australia - October, 1952)
Bear in mind, this is 1952, 5 years before the Grapple series of tests. The detail contained within this document shows that the UK Government knew exactly how to monitor the test.
Even returning to the islands 405 days after the explosion to find that the islands were highly radioactive.
The suits worn by some of the personnel were found to be defective where the dust was pressed in or when walking through long grass, contaminating the skin.
Sweat rags and headgear provided no protection, the sweat rags causing contamination that was difficult to remove.
Biological investigations were carried out, with material flown back to the UK for study.
Paragraph 16.2.3 of the report is the most damning. Allowing men to enter radioactive areas without respirators so that the effectiveness of respirators could be monitored. The conclusion is that it would seem advisable to wear a respirator while the fallout settled as traces of radioactivity was found in their urine within a few days.
Why did the government continue to expose the servicemen after this test in 1952? Why were the lessons not learnt and acted upon. The MoD will explain that the records kept at the time were not of a sufficient level and that Nuclear testing was at an early stage and that no men were exposed beyond acceptable levels.
The men were even timed when they returned from the radioactive zone in order to ascertain how long they would need to be showered and chemicals applied to their bodies before they could pass the low tolerance at final monitoring. This test was to prove that if a nuclear bomb was detonated over a populated area in the UK, decontamination would have to be organised for all casualties.
This evidence proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the men who served during the British testing program were experimented on. But it doesn't end at the end of the testing program.
In 2010, the Redfern Inquiry into human tissue analysis in UK Nuclear families, found that the UK Government has instigated a program where Nuclear Test Veterans had their organs removed at post mortem without any consent being given.
The inquiry found 15 servicemen who were Nuclear Test Veterans had their organs removed.
The analysis of these organs has never been published and I can find no apology ever being made to the families.
In December 2018 Public Health England announced a fourth study into the health of the Veterans, using the same cohort from the first 3 studies. The study published on the UK Governments website sates:
The third study ran until 1998, but the UK Government continued to collect data under MR185, the covert program for monitoring the servicemen which has continued to operate since their return.
Many veterans have now gone to their grave, their lives ruined by the participation at these tests, treated like lab rats, specially selected for the operations. Monitored for the rest of their lives and even after death.
What person would authorise such experiments on human beings, and then when questioned about the experiments, deny any responsibility. This is the world we live in, where power corrupts and these men were expendable.
The men who remain are still ignored by their governments around the world, denied pensions, payouts and any recognition by governments run by people who will never experience the suffering of these veterans.
It is time for the UK Government to admit to their failings, admit the experiments, recognise these people with a medal and fast track their War Pension applications. Official recognition is way overdue. 1952 was a long time ago, but we must never forget the sacrifices these servicemen made and their families continue to make.
For those that have gone to their graves without the recognition, the BNTVA and other organisations across the world will continue the fight with the descendants voices now being heard.