Sunday, July 1, 2012 12:25:57 PM
I was going through Basic Training and AIT in El Paso, Texas during the earlier part of 1986. On one of my two week field exercise stints (long story, I ended up having to do more than one) in the desert of White Sands, New Mexico, we were marching along a ridge-line overlooking a very deep and miles wide valley, when a huge explosion and subsequent mushroom cloud rocked our A.O. from the valley floor. Counting off flash-to-bang, we knew it was a few miles from our vantage point, but we'd had a front row seat, as it were, to the entire thing.
I have often wondered over the intervening years what that could have been. As I watched the video, I realized that there was at least one atomic test in April of 1986 in that area. Now, correlation does not equal causality, but it is a strange coincidence. We could simply have been privy to the detonation of old ordnance or something, but it was a pretty massive send-off.