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Author Topic: Did a "Doomsday" Cult Set Off a Nuclear Explosion in the Australian Outback?
Joe Bentley
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I stumbled across this tale related by Bill Bryson in his excellent Australian travelogue, In A Sunburned Country

At 11:03 local time, May 28th, 1993 a massive explosion rocked an area in the western Australian outback near the remote Banjawarn Station in the Great Victoria Desert. Seismographs all over the Pacific region recorded the event. A few long distance truckers and prospectors reporting seeing a massive flash followed by a huge explosion far off in the distance.

Soon it became clear that something had happened, but it wasn't easy to tell exactly what. The seismographic profile didn't suggest an earthquake. The blast was 170 times more powerful then the largest confirmed mining explosion that ever occured in Australia. The closest thing the event resembled from a seismographic standpoint was a meteor strike, but no crater could be found. The event was written off as a curious anamoly, and soon forgotten.

That is until 1995 when the Aum Shinrikyo cult was thrust into the news following the deadly Tokyo Subway Sarin nerve gas attack. In the investigation that followed it was revealed that Aum Shinrikyo owned a 500,000 acre track of lands in Western Australia near where the 1993 mystery explosion occured. On the land they found highly sophisticated lab that suggested that Aum Shinrikyo had been mining uraninium. A latter investigation revealed that the cult had recruited two former nuclear engineers from the former Soviet Union.

Was this mystery explosion a nuclear test by a doomsday cult?

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

//Sidenote - While googling for information on this event I stumbled across a made for TV movie from 1982 titled Deadline about a reporter who goes to the Australian Outback to investigate an earthquake only to find out that it was really a nuclear explosion.

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"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

Posts: 8929 | From: Norfolk, Virginia | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Pseudo_Croat
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If there was a nuclear explosion in a remote part of the world, you would hear reports of sick animals and people in the area as well as fallout sensors in the region being tripped. Since, we didn't hear of it, it was probably a large conventional explosion.

- Pseudo_Croat

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"At all events, people who deny the influence of smaller nations should remember that the Croats have the rest of us by the throats." - Norman Davies, Europe: A History

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

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christmas tree kitapper
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Pseudo_Croat:
If there was a nuclear explosion in a remote part of the world, you would hear reports of sick animals and people in the area as well as fallout sensors in the region being tripped. Since, we didn't hear of it, it was probably a large conventional explosion.

- Pseudo_Croat

Frmo what I understand, this happened in the remote Australian Outback. Not exactly chock full of people. So no one to get sick, and no one to notice sick animals.

And I have *no* idea if the Australian Outback has fallout sensors.

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Pseudo_Croat
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Well, wouldn't there be roads in the area that cars go on occasionally? Or farmers herding sheep? Those would get a whiff of the fallout and notice any illnesses.

Besides, fallout from even a small nuclear explosion can spread and be detected a long way from ground zero. So even if there were no fallout sensors in the Australian Outback, any fallout sensors that were in the cities would still pick it up.

I still call BS on this one until proven otherwise.

- Pseudo_Croat

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"At all events, people who deny the influence of smaller nations should remember that the Croats have the rest of us by the throats." - Norman Davies, Europe: A History

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

Posts: 4578 | From: Sunrise, FL | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Joe Bentley
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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One of the theories is that the test took place in an abandoned opel mine, of which they are several in the area, which would of keep fallout and background radiation to a minimium.

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"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Here is what some fellow Geo-scientists think:
quote:
A preliminary P/Lg analysis of earthquake and mining explosion data recorded at Narrogin also indicates that the event is inconsistent with an explosion. Eyewitness observations suggest that the seismic event may have been caused by a meteorite impact. The energy associated with the event is consistent with that of an iron meteorite more than three meters in diameter impacting with the median velocity of Earth-crossing asteroids of 15 km/s.(Hennet et al.,1997)
I would believe these folks. No bomb.

Had I been made aware of this in 1997, I could have gone by the poster and got the info first hand.

Also, from the second link:
quote:
Seismologists Christel Hennet of IRIS and Danny Harvey of the University of Colorado in Boulder determined that energy released in the event, as recorded by seismographs, was equivalent to a small nuclear explosion. But an earthquake also could have released the same amount of energy. They would not, however, produce the same kinds of seismic waves.

A nuclear bomb tested underground explodes outward, compressing the rock in all directions and therefore producing mostly compression waves, or P-waves. As high-energy P-waves speed through crust, the rock is alternately compressed and expanded much like the coils of a spring stretching and shrinking. When an earthquake occurs, parcels of rock jerk violently past each other. This sets off shear waves, called S waves, which move in a side-to-side direction. When you snap a piece of rope like a whip you produce a shear wave.

By the fall of 1996 Hennet and Harvey determined that the seismic signal was relatively rich in S-waves. This all but ruled out a nuclear explosion. The Senate committee breathed a sigh of relief. But van der Vink's team still was intrigued by the mystery.
"We started talking about the possibility of a meteorite impact," he says. The coincidence of a meteorite slamming right next to a ranch owned by a doomsday cult that wanted to acquire nuclear weapons seemed a bit much. "We joked about it at first. We said, 'Gee God, nice idea, bad aim."' [lol]
But among the far fetched hypotheses floating around, a meteorite impact was the most testable. "And assuming the eyewitness accounts were accurate, an impact was the one scenario that would account for all the data," van der Vink says. It could have caused the bangs and bright lights that witnesses reported. And it could have shaken the ground enough to be detected. Using a computer model, space scientist Chris Chyba of the University of Arizona determined that the seismic signal from a meteorite impact would be rich in S-waves, just like an earthquake.

Hennet, C.B., G.E. van der Vink, D. Harvey, and C. Chyba, Seismic Mystery in Western Australia: Earthquake, Meteorite Impact or Nuclear Blast?, S32A-05, Spring AGU Meeting, May 27-30, 1997.

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And now for something completely different...

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