China Test-detonates Kiloton Neutron Bomb
China has detonated at least one neutron bomb above ground with the knowledge and perhaps even the co-operation of the U.S.
Photographs of the secret test in late 1995 or 1996 have been provided to WorldNetDaily through a U.S. intelligence source who cannot be identified. The photographs have been tested and evaluated by several sources who have concluded they are genuine.
The pictures show what is alleged to be the detonation of a neutron bomb above what appears to be an orchard, somewhere in China. The photos were most likely taken from an airplane, although some sources believe they could have been taken by satellite. The possibility that they were taken by a U.S. spy satellite was not ruled out.
The disclosure of the secret test, made possible through U.S. technology, comes at a sensitive time because China Premier Zhu Rongji is currently visiting the U.S. in efforts to ease concerns about the U.S. relationship with communist China.
"Attached are two deliberately degraded, but still very good imagery of a possible/probable atmospheric or open air, above ground, test of an Enhanced Radiation Device (neutron bomb) (EHRD) in the PRC (People's Republic of China), supposedly in the late 1995 or 1996 time frame," detailed the description that came with the photos. The source has access to satellite high resolution, multi-spectral imagery and other intelligence photos.
The source who provided the pictures is known to WorldNetDaily and has proven to be reliable. His background has been checked independently and has been verified. He is who he claims to be. To protect him and his viability as a continual source for information, his name and location cannot be revealed.
The first photograph was taken less than a microsecond after the detonation, and the second was taken within a millisecond or two of the first.
"These images are very rich in the IR (infrared) spectrum, both reflected and absorbed, so some things appear very dark and some seem very light -- both unnaturally so in the normal visible spectra. Please note also that to have taken these images one must have had considerable foreknowledge, or intelligence, of the planned event well beforehand," commented the source.
He believes there is a likelihood that the pictures were taken by a U.S. spy satellite of the KH type. This would mean that the U.S. knew in advance that the test would take place and the location of that test.
WorldNetDaily sent copies of the pictures to the man who originated the idea of the neutron bomb, retired nuclear physicist Sam Cohen. He confirmed that he believes the photographs to be genuine.
Cohen said the photographs appear just as they should, and that it would take someone with very sophisticated knowledge of nuclear physics to fake such a photograph. Other military experts were also consulted and they too confirmed that there is no reason to suspect that the photos are not real.
Additional copies were also sent to high-ranking members of the intelligence community with requests for comments. Absolutely no comment has been received. The request was made by the intelligence source who provided the pictures.
Cohen said it is likely that the device was a low yield neutron bomb of approximately one-kiloton in size. It would have been dropped from a plane at an altitude of approximately 10,000 feet. The explosion should have taken place in the area of 3,000 feet above the ground to have the optimum effect of destroying life without damaging property.
"There would have been zero effect on the pilot or crew," Cohen told WorldNetDaily. "I don't even think the airplane would have felt a shudder at that low yield and at that especially low yield regarding blast that comes out of a neutron bomb."
Cohen, and a different military source familiar with such tests both agreed that one test above ground is not enough. It is expected that this was one of at least two tests. A previous underground test by China was dismissed by U.S. officials as improperly conducted.
Cohen and others agreed that U.S. technology has enabled China to develop their nuclear capabilities, and that technology was not stolen from the U.S. It was cooperatively provided they all agreed.
What appears to be a defect in the fireball in the pictures is actually purposely created to tailor the effect of the bomb. Cohen said he first proposed this very technology 35 years ago.
Cohen put together a study group of other nuclear physicists working with him for the government and determined that a neutron bomb could be tailored to produce a pattern. His group found that advanced, discriminate, tailored effects of battlefield nuclear warheads with a very low yield could be designed.
Because of lingering requirements related to top secret information, Cohen was unable to provide the details of how such bombs can be tailor-made, but he said it is possible. He said the photographs show just such a possibility.
"What you're seeing in this picture [Photo 1] is a fireball. It's pretty hot," Cohen told WorldNetDaily. "Initially when the fireball is formed it is white hot. It is not in the infrared region. It's at the far end of the visible region approaching ultraviolet. I say this having witnessed many a test, and, boy, are things bright.
"If you were to look at it with the naked eye from the very beginning, you would be flash blinded, but good. You'd be out of commission for a long time, and you would suffer a little bit of eye damage, but not enough to blind you.
"The area around a nuclear shock turns extremely white. It's like a thousand suns were beaming down. The whole landscape become eerie (as seen in the second photo It lasts a number of seconds and fades in intensity as time goes on. That fireball just glows and glows. At the beginning it's the hottest, then it gradually begins to cool down. Then it starts rising and we get the mushroom cloud and all that sort of stuff," explained Cohen.
This photo was taken within a few hundredths of a microsecond of the detonation of the device. It was most likely taken from an airplane, but it could have been shot from a satellite. The fireball can be seen at its brightest, and a uniquely designed pattern is also very easily seen. This second photograph was taken approximately a millisecond after the first. The dome of the fireball can be seen, along with the specially created pattern of neutrons impacting the ground.
This photo was taken within a few hundredths of a microsecond of the detonation of the device. It was most likely taken from an airplane, but it could have been shot from a satellite. The fireball can be seen at its brightest, and a uniquely designed pattern is also very easily seen.
This second photograph was taken approximately a millisecond after the first. The dome of the fireball can be seen, along with the specially created pattern of neutrons impacting the ground.
Above ground tests of neutron bombs are not only useful but necessary. Without such tests, military leaders will not know exactly what to expect from such a weapon until it is used. The size of the bomb and the ideal height for detonation can only be determined from a test.
Cohen said he estimates the size of the fireball in the pictures to be about 200 to 300 feet across. He believes it is a good example of what to expect from a one-kiloton, low yield neutron bomb. The photos came without technical information, so Cohen and others who evaluated the pictures were unable to provide conclusive details.
"We have the fireball and off to one side we have this haze," Cohen continued to describe. "There's very little doubt in my mind that this haze was caused by radiation escaping from the bomb. Neutron bombs emphasize radiation, prompt radiation." He said it would take a specially designed bomb to direct radiation more to one side than to another.
"You've got to think multi-spectral across the entire spectrum, so you're looking at everything from UV, visible, to infrared as you look at these pictures," explained one military source who declined to be named.
"What we're seeing here (in the second photo) as the fireball is rapidly cooling down, we're seeing secondary atmospheric effects that just haven't been observed before," the source suggested.
"The first photograph is probably in the hundreds of microseconds region of the event. Therefore you're seeing it before the actual effects have hit the ground. That may be a stretch, I don't know," he added to explain the dark shadow area in the first photograph, which then becomes extremely white in the second picture.
"We understand how they work, but we've never had a good understanding of their effect," commented Cohen about the frustration of the U.S. scientific community. "We were never allowed to test these things in the atmosphere. All the neutron bomb tests that we did were underground. The military was dying to know just exactly what these effects might be. I think that's exactly what happened over in France, that the military wanted to know what these effects were, so they snuck off to the south Indian Ocean and detonated this thing.
The military source believes the U.S. has full knowledge of the above ground test conducted by France in 1979, and that the U.S. cooperated in that test. Cohen was in France at the time and suggested that French scientists find a way to conduct an open air test.
The U.S. government has known about the Chinese test and most likely has the data from that test. All sources agreed that is why no mention has been made.
David M. Bresnahan, a contributing editor for WorldNetDaily.com, is the author of "Cover Up: The Art and Science of Political Deception," and offers a monthly newsletter "Talk USA Investigative Reports." He may be reached through email and also maintains a website.