Operation Ivy


Following the WWII bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US conducted thermonuclear device tests, including Operation Ivy. This eighth series featured the historic first test of a hydrogen bomb, Ivy Mike. On November 1, 1952, the picture shows the inaugural explosion on Elugelab Island, marking a turning point in nuclear weaponry.

How Mount Rushmore Was Supposed to Look


The Mount Rushmore National Memorial took a different shape than its sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, originally intended. Due to funding constraints, the project had to be halted after completing the heads, as depicted in this model. Thankfully, Borglum’s decision to start with the heads and progress downward saved the memorial from becoming a collection of headless bodies.

A Warehouse Full of Chemical Weapons


In this eerie photo from the 1960s, two Soviet scientists are seen wearing complete protective suits inside a safehouse for chemical weapons. During the height of the Cold War, the fear of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States was prevalent. The US government wisely kept this photo under wraps, understanding that its release to the public would have sparked widespread panic.

Heaven’s Eye


This Five-Hundred-Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), affectionately nicknamed Tianyan (Heaven’s Eye) in Mandarin, is situated in southwest China. Its purpose? Detecting a wide range of radio signals originating from various sources within the Milky Way galaxy, reaching distances of up to a thousand light-years away. Boasting the title of the largest filled-aperture radio telescope globally, FAST’s construction commenced in 2011 and was declared fully operational in January 2020.

The Fat Man


“The Fat Man” was the codename given to the nuclear bomb unleashed upon Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, during World War II. Its predecessor, known as “The Little Boy,” along with “The Fat Man,” claimed the lives of approximately 200,000 Japanese civilians. This image serves as a poignant reminder of history’s lessons, urging us to prevent the recurrence of such devastating atrocities.

The Biggest Secret Facility in America


The Cheyenne Mountain Complex is an expansive defensive bunker in unincorporated El Paso County, Colorado. It’s part of the United States Space Force and is rumored to be the largest covert facility in the country. Access is highly restricted, and its ability to withstand nuclear blasts and house ICBMs is a subject of speculation.

A Government UFO Sighting


During the 1960s, UFO sightings instilled fear in many, and this government document played a role in that. It is an official FBI report documenting a UFO sighting over the Nevada desert in 1963. While certain details are intentionally blurred, the document provides undeniable evidence of a government encounter with an unidentified flying object.

Operation Highjump


Operation Highjump, conducted in 1946, aimed to establish the American research base, Little America IV, in Antarctica. The operation had multiple objectives, including training military personnel in extreme cold, surveillance of the Soviets post-World War II, and asserting American control over a vast Antarctic territory. This photo, once classified, depicts a US Navy ship trapped between two icebergs during a mission.

A Secret Base in the Pacific


This photo captures Johnston Atoll, also known as Kalama Atoll, an unincorporated US territory situated between the Marshall Islands and the Hawaiian Islands. Over the course of 70 years, it served as a covert naval refueling depot, airbase, nuclear and biological weapons testing site, missile base, and chemical weapons storage facility. Although still inaccessible to the public, it presently functions as a national wildlife refuge.

Fighting Pilot Fatigue


This peculiar device served the purpose of combating pilot fatigue during extended missions in World War II when pilots had to fly for extended periods without breaks. Although this photo, taken in 1952, was only recently declassified, it raises more questions than answers. The nature of this contraption appears dubious and ethically questionable.