Editor’s Note: Sometimes we like to move fast on a breaking story to beat mainstream news with all their money and manpower. And at other times our sixth sense kicks in, telling us to lay back a bit, study the early reporting for clues as to what is NOT being reported, and activate one of our specialty major investigation teams.
We, unfortunately, had more activity on our airline crash team in the last year or so, where those teams are weighted with senior pilots and crash investigators, mostly through long time contacts. When we get into mini-nuke investigations the list grows much shorter as there are fewer of those folks around.
As you will quickly learn below, if you do not know what to look for and have some depth in the scary science of what makes various things go boom, and the trail left behind to tell you what it was, then having the evidence in front of you is of no consequence.
We have added more technical material than usual for a general audience as this piece had to also be written for weapons and explosive experts around the world, as they will catch onto this game very fast. Fortunately, explosives are an intensively studied field with massive amounts of testing and data collection. The people who look at this stuff in their profession have to be walking encyclopedias of the past research so they can spot a tiny clue in a photo of massive destruction.
We have stepped up to the plate to do this because we have the ability and for the reason I gave Dr. Jim Walsh of MIT’s Securities Studies Program. On a recent Press TV The Debate show on the anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing, I had planned to plug mini-nukes once again as the elephant in the living room of terror threats that the world now faces.
It is also one where there is total security, media, and academic institutional stand down on warning the public about any of this as more than a few countries have and are using these. That group does not include VT and it never will.
We feel we have a duty to push exposing this threat until the public wakes up that if they don’t get off their butts and start screaming you are going to see more of these happening. We have warned that doing nothing would only embolden those doing this, and we were right.
So I dedicate this article today to “expert” Mr. Walsh who was upset by my mention of the mini-nuke threat to the point of attacking it saying,
“I think this idea that there has been testing of mini-nukes around the world is crazy conspiracy talk. No serious person believes this… there is a test ban treaty that has monitoring testing posts all around the world designed to detect nuclear explosions associated with testing, they have never turned up any of this. I know of no serious person who believes that.”
My context of course, which I am sure Walsh understood, was not informal testing, but “live” testing…as in on people and targets to demonstrate what they can do and to send a message to someone(s)…and yes…to terrorize people. So Mr. Walsh, excuse me if we don’t consider you and your buddies “serious people” as with you protecting us we are in sad shape. And speaking of that, you and your crowd need to shape up or ship out, sir… Jim W. Dean
Update: We have a followup article showing a frame by frame analysis of the explosion video.
Confirmation Tianjin was Nuked
by Ian Greenhalgh, Britain with Jeff Smith, USA
Two weeks ago a devastating explosion took place in the port city of Tianjin, China. Official reports claimed a chemical storage facility had caught fire and exploded. Mobile phone footage taken by residents showed an enormous blast and fireball.
Within days, aerial photos revealed the stunning extent of the damage. A steaming black crater marks ground zero, while the apocalyptic surrounding landscape is charred and flattened. Rows of burnt-out cars and twisted shipping containers stretch into the distance on all sides.
The total burned area spans 20,000 square meters and continues to be dangerous—more explosions were reported by Chinese authorities on the 15th of August. Residents within a 3-mile radius have been relocated; at least 85 victims of the accident have been reported dead.
We were immediately suspicious, such huge explosions have to be viewed with suspicion these days when tactical nuclear weapons can and are used with alarming frequency – 9-11, The Khobar Towers, the Haiti Earthquake and most recently, air dropped on Yemen.
The mobile phone as a radiation detector
The key clue that allowed us to identify the use of a nuke in Yemen was the presence of scintillating pixels – white dots that flashed on and off briefly in the mobile phone videos of the explosion. The CCD imaging sensor within the camera phone is being struck by radiation thus causing a pixel to overload and appear white; in this way, a mobile phone can serve double duty as a crude but effective radiation detector.
When the Tianjin blast occurred I immediately looked at the mobile phone footage of the blast and tried to find scintillating pixels; I couldn’t find any, but the huge white-hot fireball and sheer size of the blast effect apparent in the footage (shaken buildings, breaking windows, etc.) certainly didn’t feel like a conventional explosion to my relatively untrained eyes.
It was actually VT Contributor and expert on all things nuclear, Jeff Smith who taught us about scintillating pixels and the use of a mobile phone camera to detect radiation; therefore I consulted him about the lack of scintillation in the Tianjin footage:
Scintillation is based on the distance from the blast. The farther you get away from the blast the less neutron exposure you get. CCD Cameras will detect scintillation but only at high levels. They are not sensitive to far-field radiation patterns. All CCD cameras were too far away to be sensitive enough to show scintillation properly.
So you have to look at the white out in the center of the photo. This is where the brightness is so great that it overloads the CCD pickup chip causing a clipping effect. The fact that the fireball was whited out or clipped indicates that the color temperature was over 4,000 degrees C. Only achievable in a nuclear blast. The camera’s auto gain circuit clips the video level for being too bright so you get a whiteout on the screen.
No scintillation but a clear piece of evidence indicating a nuclear explosion in the form of the huge white fireball – once again, mobile phone footage proves useful in deciphering the truth.
The parking lots full of toasted cars
As reports and images became available, we studied them carefully for evidence of the use of a nuclear weapon, and sadly, it was not long before we found it – the first big clue coming with the pictures of the thousands of toasted cars that looked eerily like those seen on 9-11.
While a layman like myself can recognize the overall similarity, it takes an expert to fully analyze the evidence contained in the pictures; luckily, at VT we have such an expert in the erstwhile Jeff Smith who provided the following analysis:
Normal people are not trained in what to look at so they simply ignore the obvious. However, once you see enough explosions like this you begin to spot the artifacts in the photos real fast. Unfortunately, all of these people that know this stuff usually work for the government. Just like I did.
The big clue is in the ash produced and the exploding radiators on the cars. They show the radiation and the blast patterns the best. All melted rubber, glass, and aluminum but no melted steel? This tells you it is from radiation and not from a gasoline fire. Temps between 1500 degrees C for melting aluminum and less than 3,000 degrees C for melting steel. Everything organic ashes below 450 degrees C.
This had a plasma fireball that was over 4,000C! Only a nuke can do that. The clue is in the white ash leftover from the thermal blast.
- The fuel tanks did not explode.
- The rubber tires were ashed not burned see the white powder residue around the cars.
- The radiators are all gone; indicating Freon explosions.
- All the glass is ashed or melted; also the glass was blown out not in.
- All new white cars show the extreme effects of very high-temperature heating. The paint is badly damaged due to a very high oxidation rate effect.
- Silicone rubber tires ash at 500 degrees centigrade. Glass ashes at 1500 degrees centigrade. Gasoline at 250 degrees centigrade. Tires melted but no gas tank explosions; just like on 911.
- Yellow Volkswagen Beetle cars untouched due to location indicating radiation shielding from a nearby building. Just like on 911…
- Finally and most important is all of the nano particle sized ash on the ground everywhere. Purple haze in the photo is an indication of toxic levels of the gases fluorine, chlorine, and sodium.
Conclusion: The damage to the cars was produced by neutron radiation damage and not by conventional explosives or a fuel-air explosion. The distance from ground zero is too great for a standard blast to melt the glass and tires. Also, the car fuel tanks were shielded from the heat of the ignition source.
So there you have it, the ‘smoking gun’ evidence of a nuke is to be found among the smoking wreckage of those incinerated cars. However, the pictures of burnt-out cars contain more evidence to be analyzed before we move on to the other evidence.
The melted radiators and the role of Freon
As you can clearly see in the picture below, the radiator of this vehicle has been completely destroyed, incinerated into ash. Only the steel top plate remains, all of the aluminum and copper of the radiator core has been turned into a pile of ash. Once again, our resident expert Jeff Smith was able to provide insight and analysis of what we are seeing:
All of the radiators exploded from Freon decomposition into methane, deuterium fluoride, and phosgene gas; thus causing engine fires – note the melted hoods and also how overpressure from an air burst explosion has compressed the hoods of the cars.
The copper-clad/aluminum automotive radiator is transparent to nuclear radiation. It acts as a black body hollow-ram neutron reflector and functions just exactly like its bigger brother the two-staged Teller-Ulman H-bomb. What this means is if you put DT gas or 2HF (Freon) in a vacuum chamber such as a car radiator, you reduce its density thus it take less energy to either split it or fuse it when exposed to neutrons, Gamma-rays or even soft x-rays from a nearby nuclear explosion – if the blast is large enough or close enough.
This forms the basis of a micronuclear explosive device, with ignition temperatures high enough to melt just about anything that comes in contact with it. The key is in the lower density of the gas making compression of it a lot easier. This explains all of the melted car air conditioning radiators and follows on fires. Also the lack of fallout.
See Appendix A.
The Crater at Ground Zero
Once again, Jeff Smith was able to provide detailed analyses of the available imagery of the blast crater at ground zero and the damage to the surrounding area. Jeff along with Jim stone and others stated that:
This was NOT an accident, the fracture pattern around the crater proves a to be a shallow sub ground burst. If it was a sub ground burst, then a small nuclear weapon is the biggest possibility because once a nuke has to push dirt, the blinding flash will not be seen. A slightly subsurface detonation would explain why camera sensors did not get strange artifacts. And if it was not a nuke, it was something else incredibly huge, but not a fuel-air bomb because fuel air bombs will not leave craters. They also leave an oily carbide residue on everything.
Even my layman’s eye can immediately tell that the explosion that caused this level of devastation was far beyond a mere explosion of stored chemicals.
Also, there were no storage buildings at ground zero, just some stacks of shipping containers. Also, it is obvious to me that immense heat was present – look at the gray-white ash everywhere.
Jeff was able to explain what I was seeing in these disturbing images:
A little bit more of a detailed explanation: If the blast happened at ground level, almost all of the energy would go upwards and the blast would not have made a large deep crater, especially one large enough and deep enough to make that lake. If you look to the right-hand side of the lake, you can see fracture patterns in the earth, which were caused by the earth being compressed sideways and not downwards. This would only be done with a subsurface blast. After the blast, the earth bounced back towards the center of the lake, which opened up the cracks.
Look closely at the ground around the lake. Those who claimed it was not a nuke cited the fact that if it was, everything around the crater would be vaporized and wiped clean. Now that we have the real crater pic from the big blast, YEP, it matches that perfectly. Take a look at the containers laying in the lower-left corner of this picture – they have no paint or color, which means they had the surfaces incinerated by intense heat only a nuke or other super weapon would reach. If this was a carbide blast, they would be black or have their original colors to some degree, complete color change to only gray proves this explosion was FREAKING HOT.
That type and size of blast crater will only happen if a massive bomb goes off a few feet underground, such as a tactical nuke in a drain pipe which leaves scant few alternative options. No chemical blast did that, PERIOD. The building that is still standing in the upper right-hand side of the frame is a typical example of what is left after a nuclear test, concrete buildings seldom get leveled, but they do get gutted by nuclear blasts. Just look through pictures of the soviet nuclear tests and you will see this. Bottom line? The aftermath is completely consistent with a nuclear blast.
Even to the untrained eye, the imagery of the aftermath of this awful event cannot be mistaken as anything other than horrific; when you also have expert testimony that explains the true nature of what you are seeing the imagery becomes even more shocking and disturbing.
Destruction on this scale will become commonplace if the perpetrators are allowed to get away with this as it will signal to all parties possessed of tactical nuclear weapons that it is possible to put them to use without disclosure of that fact by the media. Perhaps more concerning is China’s silence on the nuclear aspect of this great crime – they are still sticking to their story of fire setting off explosions of stored chemicals.
As we have shown, this story is about as credible as the one about hijacking airliners with boxcutters; given state control of the media in China, it might be a while before people learn the truth.
Identifying the type of weapon and Seismology of the event
Now we have established that a nuclear explosion took place, let us examine more closely the nature of that explosion. One important question is the delivery method – was it a strike by a cruise missile or was it a bomb hidden inside a shipping container? Or is there another answer to this question?
The crater strongly indicates the explosion was sub-surface which appears to rule out the bomb having been smuggled into Tianjin in a shipping container. It does not rule out a cruise missile strike, however – the ground in this area is very soft, alluvial deposits of soft silts and clays deposited over time by the nearby river.
A cruise missile impacting this soft ground at over 500mph would surely penetrate to some depth; if a delayed-action fuse was fitted to the warhead, this would create a shallow underground explosion. Jeff Smith provides further analysis:
Note the crater is about 400 feet wide as measured by comparison to the standard shipping container sizes of 40 feet. The crater is a complex crater with a cardioid shape indicating a very low altitude or surface contact blast. Sideways compression of the soil indicates some ground penetration. The penetration depth of ground is based on soil type and burst height. Horizontal crater size is roughly equal to ( for every 100 feet, 1 Kiloton in size) see charts. This would put the blast size depending on air burst altitude to be between 3 and 5 kilotons of explosive power.
See Appendix B.
If it was a low altitude air burst, the ground coupling will be less showing a smaller Richter scale reading than usual. The only question is the fallout issue. Was there any and of what type. Since it rained after the blast most of the fallout went out to sea proven by the massive fish kill in the bay. The safety zone was set at 3 kilometers. This is a correct value for small tactical nuke fallout range. 1 KM per KT. The only other question was it a uranium weapon a plutonium-based weapon or other i.e. a fusion weapon? Uranium cannot be traced very well but a PU based weapon can be traced down to the reactor that made it and the chemical separation process that was used. Firemen were shown carrying radiation and poisonous gas detectors.
Given the 3km evacuation zone, we can assume an explosive yield of around 3 kilotons. A typical cruise missile nuclear warhead such as the Israeli ‘Popeye’ carries 6 kilograms of plutonium; using the rule of thumb of 1 kiloton yield per kilogram of plutonium, the size of the explosion correlates with the yield of a typical cruise missile warhead.
Jeff also noticed that a secondary blast took place; this is another indicator of the nuclear nature of this event, as Jeff explains:
Well, it looks like there were two major blasts, not just one. There are two sections of the video where the blast whites out the entire camera. This is the original neutron burst going off; everything else is a secondary or the atmosphere heating up and burning.
Note: The reaction caused, a sustained glowing in the sky which is a well-known indicator of a nuclear explosion. Non-nuclear weapons do not provide a sustained “Sun-like” illumination because they do not have enough energy to ignite the oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere.
Another aspect that requires study is the seismology readings of the event. Once again, Jeff provides some insight:
The first blast registered 2.3 on the Richter scale and the second 2.9. Eyewitnesses described what felt like a quake. USGS geophysicist John Bellini says seismographs detect man-made explosions in quarries all the time but usually surface explosions are not detected very well because most of their energy dissipates upward into the air.
The fact is that the Tianjin explosions registered a seismographic event that had as much energy as a small earthquake. One can reasonably conclude that unlike a surface explosion of chemicals, this kinetic energy released underground was caused by a powerful penetration of the surface.
In this article, we have tried to provide a thorough but clear and concise analysis of the available evidence and show that it is clear that this was no simple fire in a chemical storage depot that resulted in an explosion but rather it was the detonation of a nuclear weapon of unknown type by an unknown party. We will examine the who and why in a follow-up article.
This is a very significant event that will undoubtedly prove to be of great importance in subsequent world events. In many ways, this is China’s 9-11.
Let us all hope that unlike 9-11, the Nuking of Tianjin does not become the cassus belli for a whole series of unjustified, brutal, and bloody conflicts.
One thing is already very clearly illustrated by this tragic event – the gloves are most definitely off when it comes to the use of tactical nuclear weapons; we are living in a new nuclear age where a great number of countries possess the means to create and deploy tactical nukes and most worrying of all, these low yield weapons can be used and have already been used without fear of mutually assured destruction; the doctrine that prevented the Cold War from going nuclear. This makes the world a much more dangerous place and undoubtedly means we will see many more nuclear explosions in the future.
There is an old Chinese curse – “may you live in interesting times”; these are certainly ‘interesting’ times for anyone who is paying attention to events in China.
See Appendix C for further reading and reference materials.
An introduction to the physical principles of thermonuclear explosive devices would be incomplete did it not give at least a cursory overview of the different approaches to igniting thermonuclear micro-explosions.
A thermonuclear micro-explosion is an explosive release of thermonuclear energy many orders of magnitude smaller than from a thermonuclear weapon. To achieve this goal, the fission trigger must be replaced by some other means of producing the required ignition temperature, but in a much smaller volume and without the large energy release.
The possibility of thermonuclear micro-explosions is itself a consequence of two facts: first, the fact that the minimum volume to make a thermonuclear explosion is given by the range of the charged
fusion products \ 0, and, second, scaling. At solid densities and thermonuclear temperatures the range is of the order of a few centimeters and, is inversely proportional to the density p of the thermonuclear explosive. We can, therefore, write for this range.
X0 = a/p, a — const.
For the DT reaction, we easily find that the minimum ignition energy is about 108 Joules. To obtain a useful gain the output energy should be at least ~ 100 times larger, that is, 1010 Joules = 10 n erg, which corresponds to the explosive power of approximately 2 tons of TNT.
The ignition energy can be substantially reduced by increasing the density of the thermonuclear explosive. However, since for p > p, the compression to higher densities also requires energy, the input energy is, in reality, larger than the value given by Eq. (132).
The time to deposit the energy in the target is given by r ^ r/v, where v is the thermal expansion velocity of the thermonuclear plasma of radius r, which is a function only of the temperature.