The Night The Sky Caught Fire

During the 1950's and early 60's the US government set off several Atomic Bombs in tests on the Bikini Islands....During one blistering day in 1955, the sky caught on fire, or least that is the way it appeared to most of us watching at home in Upland. That day was hot, and muggy, but clear except for thunderstorms over the mountains....When we first saw the flashes we thought at first that it was just lightning reflection....A neighbor said it looked like the Auroras Borealis, but then the news broke over the radio that the Van Allen Belt had caught fire....What really happened ws the Government head set off it first ever Hydrogen Bomb and the effects of the blast radiated into the Van Allen Belt creating flashes and waves of colors, like red, blue and green spreading across the southland and especially here in the IE.....The Borealis is green only.... Or at least that is what the cover story was....from all appearances it looked like the Sky was fire and a feeling of doom settled over the family and our friends watching the show. It was shortly after this that the US announced the first Russian Atomic bomb test in Eastern Siberia....So then people wanted to know was the Russians our us that set off the fireworks over head....The US announced that it was indeed our testing and there was nothing to fear....Only ions or something like Ozone had ignited and was just burning off into to space. Personally, at my tender age of about 10 I thought it was something else all together....I thought it was aliens from outer space....And the Government did nothing to allay my fears because an event occurred several months later that was set the entire nation off....But that is for another story shortly. Gary Hall theghostpainter

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