The Curse of the Nuclear Cloud Flyers - A story to make your blood boil

In his explosive new book, Joe Pasquini (author of Flying between 2 suns) lifts the lid on the British Nuclear tests.

More than five decades after the end of the British nuclear tests, a few remaining survivors of the 76 Squadron Nuclear Cloud Flyers met for a reunion in the RAF Club in London.

During the intervening years they has scattered around the globe and followed a variety of different careers. The gather was the usual camaraderie, bon homie and 'line shooting' (boasting) to be expected from a tiny group of nuclear survivors. Most of the stories they recounted were far too outlandish to be taken seriously. But shortly after reading a variety of related documents, it became obvious that everyone had been telling the truth.

This book is a small compendium of just a few of the investigative reports that document the barbarism conducted by the Ministry of Defence, all condoned by the British Government.

If you are looking for an explosive story that blows the lid on the British Nuclear tests, the lies and deceit, then order it now. Available as a paperback and as eBook from Amazon.

If you liked 'Flying between two suns', then this book will make your blood boil. There are not many Nuclear Cloud Flyers left alive today, listen to Joe as he tells the true story of the testing program.


Curse of the Nuclear Cloud Flyers is the story of the development and testing of the United Kingdom’s first hydrogen bombs, detonated at Christmas Island (Kiribati) in 1958. Observers on the ground at Christmas Island watched the nuclear detonation of what developed into an enormous white ball of super-hot liquid radioactive magma, more than two miles across. They described it as a “second sun in the sky”. The new sun hung low over the southern horizon, while the real sun was much higher over the eastern sky.

This tome has been cobbled together from a series of blog posts that were published on the internet by The British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA). Written by Joe Pasquini, navigator in the Royal Air Force, flying with 76 Squadron, which was equipped with specially modified Canberra bombers. The squadron and aircraft had been committed to fly through the nuclear clouds to collect samples of radioactive isotopes and gas samples that existed after each nuclear detonation. Needless to say, the nuclear clouds were very radioactive and highly toxic, but that really did not matter – as the aircraft, the ground staff and air crews were all ‘expendable’. That was their curse!

During the detonation of the UK’s first true hydrogen bomb, Grapple Yankee, Joe Pasquini had a unique view of the entire proceedings, as he was flying eight miles above the detonation as navigator of ‘Sniff Boss’, the air control aircraft used for sampling missions. As his aircraft circled above the 10 ball of super-heated nuclear magma, he found himself in the unique position of flying between two suns – one 94 million miles directly above him, the other – the new sun – just 8 miles below.

The process of developing nuclear weapons was fraught with danger. Little was known about the effect of nuclear radiation except that it was all very bad. Various precautions and standards were introduced to safeguard the people who would be exposed to radiation and radioactive material. Having developed the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), all the rules and regulations that had been promulgated to protect personnel were cast aside and ignored.

Radiation defies the senses. It cannot be seen, smelt, touched, tasted or felt. It is invisible. It is deadly. It can kill and damage not only the person handling radioactive substances, but also their children, their children’s children and beyond. Many of the people involved in the UK nuclear testing programme, and their descendants, have suffered illnesses, and there have been multiple deaths from different types of cancer.

The author has not been completely ‘bullet-proof’ either. Though still alive, he has endured more than a dozen battles with a variety of life-threatening radiation-caused cancers while he watched his peers pass away, one by one. At the end of the day, not even a cruddy medal was offered to the military for their services. Having spent all that money on building the bomb and paying the lawyers, there was not even enough left in the till for a cheap tin ‘gong’.

April 28th, 1958 Grapple Yankee, Christmas Island

This is the first and only ‘unauthorised’ account of the Nuclear Cloud Sampling operation conducted by 76 Squadron RAF; flying into and through the first true hydrogen bomb detonated by the United Kingdom. The guardians of the ‘official’ version may not have had the full details delivered to them and may perhaps learn a few things from this story.

Three nuclear devices were air dropped and detonated from Christmas Island during 1957. While the PR machine claimed that these were hydrogen bombs, none of them reached a point where the detonating mass reached the point of ‘fusion’. They were not big enough, nor hot enough. They were just ‘super’ atom bombs, not hydrogen bombs. Yet many of the participants believed the PR stories and were mesmerised into thinking that they had watched a hydrogen bomb detonation.

If you want to read more, you can purchase the book in paperback or eBook format from Amazon using the following links:



This book is dedicated to the many thousands of Commonwealth troops and unknowing civilians who took part in the development and testing of the United Kingdom nuclear bomb programme.

“At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, We will remember them.”

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