How did a WWII gun turret pop up in America’s atomic tests?

Mystery Wire

A Navy ship gun turret found in the desert at the Nevada Test Site prompted Livermore Lab physicist Rob Hoffman to ask questions with interesting answers. Hoffman and investigative journalist George Knapp follow the story to the desert. Aired on KLAS TV in Las Vegas on Aug. 3, 2017. First of 2 parts.

A Navy ship gun turret at the Nevada Test Site. (KLAS-TV)

MYSTERY WIRE The history of America’s atomic weapons program is still shrouded in secrecy, but intrepid investigators have finally answered questions about a hefty artifact found in an odd location.

What in the world is a gun turret from a battle-scarred heavy cruiser doing out in the middle of an atomic test range?

The story behind the odd placement of a naval artifact in the hot desert where atomic bombs were routinely exploded has finally been solved. It took a lot of detective work, but researchers tracked the gun turret to a San Francisco shipyard, and eventually figured out the name of the ship and what it endured during World War II.

Physicist Bob Hoffman says, “This piece right here, this green piece that looks fairly new, had to have been replaced, because that entire piece was blown into the turret when the bomb and the kamikaze actually landed on top of it.”

Film footage of the kamikaze attack shows the ship taking a direct hit.

It turned out the gun turret played a key role during ferocious nuclear weapons tests during the darkest days of the Cold War.

Secrets of the atomic turret, an exclusive 2-Part report on

The Series

  1. Gun turret’s origin a mystery, but it solved nuclear test problem
  2. Scars from kamikaze attack proof of Navy ship gun turret’s origin

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