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Patrick Nagatani, B-36/Mark 17 H-Bomb Accident (May 22, 1957), 5 1/4 miles South of Gibson Road, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Patrick Nagatani, B-36/Mark 17 H-Bomb Accident (May 22, 1957), 5 1/4 miles South of Gibson Road, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1991

Patrick Nagatani
1945 Chicago, Illinois - 2017 Albuquerque, New Mexico
B-36/Mark 17 H-Bomb Accident (May 22, 1957), 5 1/4 miles South of Gibson Road, Albuquerque, New Mexico
1991
IlfocolorDelux print
27 ½ x 31 in. (mat)
Albuquerque Museum, gift of Jonathan Abrams, PC1991.30.20
photo by David Nufer

On May 22, 1957, a B-36 bomber accidentally dropped a 42,000-pound hydrogen bomb south of Albuquerque at 11:50 in the morning. The conventional explosives detonated and only dug a 25-foot hole, but Albuquerque was spared sudden annihilation since the nuclear trigger was not installed.

This photograph documents what a nuclear winter might look like in Albuquerque. Patrick Nagatani depicts himself holding a photograph of the B-36 flying overhead while colleagues investigate the damage.