Commemorating 62 years of the largest weapon the
United States has ever tested, the March 1, 1954 Bravo Hydrogen Bomb on Bikini Atoll. At 15 megatons, the blast vaporized 3 islands and was 1,000 times the magnitude of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear weapons dropped on Japan in World War II.
The fallout from this weapon has forever devestated the lives and the lands of the people of the Northern Marshall Islands.
2016 marks 70 years that the people of Bikini Atoll have lived in exile away from their beloved homeland.
20 of the 23 weapons tested by the United States on Bikini Atoll from 1946 to 1958 were hydrogen bombs.
Queries: e-mail email@example.com
And now, if nuclear weapons weren't enough, the people of Bikini Atoll living on Kili Island, the Bikinians home in exile, are facing the dramatic effects of climate change. These pictures are from February of 2015, though this kind of flooding also occured in January of 2015 and has occured every year since 2011. Steps are currently being taken to find another place for the Bikinians to live.
Above left: Bikinian children leaving Bikini, March 7, 1946 (US Archives), Above right: children on Kili Island, 2007. Photo © Jack Niedenthal.
Today, while the people of Bikini have yet to resettle their homeland, the island is populated by
Bikini Project Department construction workers and some U.S. Department of Energy staff.
There is, however, a large population of Bikinians living elsewhere in the Marshall Islands and overseas
who hope to have the ability to return to their homeland someday soon.
The World Heritage Committee, on August 1, 2010 at its 34th session in Brazil, inscribed the Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site on the World Heritage List.
Bikini Atoll has been included on the list for the role that tests of atomic weapons at Bikini played in shaping global culture in the second half of the 20th Century.
Bikini Atoll is the first World Heritage site for the Marshall Islands.
Bikini has been inscribed under two criteria for World Heritage recognition, which require that it be:
*An outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates significant stage(s) in human history.
*Directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.
For more information
What the August 2010 World Heritage designation for Bikini Atoll means for the people of Bikini in UNESCO's quarterly Voices Magazine, (in PDF) pages 10-11, January-March 2011
A full length feature film in Marshallese (with English subtitles),
"...A more urgent expression of island identity could be found in Suzanne Chutaro and Jack Niedenthal’s Marshallese feature, Jilel – The Calling of the Shell.... as an authentic expression of life
-Jason Sanders, Filmmaker Magazine, February 2016
JILEL - THE CALLING OF THE SHELL frames the current climate change disaster
-Jacqueline Froelich, National Public Radio, Arkansas, August 2015
Magic, it would seem, is real here, and little girls with big dreams yield great power.
-Amanda Pampuro, The Guam Post, Sept 2015
Above: The March 1, 1954 Bravo hydrogen bomb crater. Photo © Matt Harris
The historical information within this site, while constantly updated, is drawn largely from the book, FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND: A History of the People of Bikini and their Islands, Second Edition, published in September of 2001 by Jack Niedenthal. This book tells the story of the people of Bikini from their point of view via interviews, and the author's more than two decades of firsthand experiences with elder Bikinians.
Copies can be purchased from this direct ordering link at Amazon.com, or you can also buy and download the Kindle edition.
Table of Contents for the Bikini Atoll Website:
Traces the unique history of the island, nuclear testing, and the status of the Bikini people and their land today. Also, the true origin of the bikini bathing suit. Article: Bikini Excavation Indicates Early Man in Micronesia.
Our excellent Resource Page--with references to documents, books, magazine articles, films and interviews about Bikini Atoll--is available for those students researching our history and also for those wishing to order books about nuclear testing from Amazon.com.
Our Fallen Leaders, Men Otemjej Rej ilo Bein Anij
A tribute to the Late Bikinian Senator Henchi Balos
July 15, 1946-September 10, 2000
Pictures and Comments:
*Government Memorial Service.
*The Burial of a Hero
*What Senator Henchi Balos meant to the People of Bikini.
A tribute detailing the life, the career and the funeral of the late Mayor Kataejar Jibas October 28, 1952-October 2, 2008 A tribute detailing the life, the career and the funeral of the late Mayor Nishma Jamore July 7, 1973-August 17, 2015
Statistics, maps and geographical info about Bikini Atoll and its people. Also information about the weather, the sea, plant and domesticated and wild animal life.
Reparations for Damages and Bikini vs. U.S. Lawsuit Court Filings & Updates
Discusses issues concerning the compensation paid to Bikinians by the U.S. Government. Download and read the March 2001, $563,315,500 decision of the Nuclear Claims Tribunal in favor of the people of Bikini. Contains a memorial section for Bikinian elders who have recently passed away.. Download .PDF copies of the various legal briefs filed with regard to the Bikinians April 2006 lawsuit and appeal against the United States Government in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
RMI Changed Circumstances Petition for nuclear victims' compensation still needed from the United States [condensed]. Submitted to the United States government on 9/11/00. Radiological Cleanup and Future Plans
Looks at the ongoing steps that have been taken to make the atoll safe for habitation and outlines some future plans for Bikini.
Resettlement Program to Date
An in-depth analysis of the relocation and resettlement program for the Bikinian people.
Dive Bikini Atoll's Nuclear Fleet! Learn more about the exciting opportunities that await divers and other visitors to Bikini today. Read an exclusive journal entry of The Final Voyage of the HIJMS Nagato Battleship by U.S. crewman Fred Herschler. Read the story, Been There-Done That, by Captain Robert Gohr, who once landed planes on Sara's deck then came back to dive her!
What About Radiation in Bikini Atoll?
Addresses possible concerns of visitors regarding remaining radiation levels in the atoll. Read the conclusions of the International Atomic Energy Agency's 1998 final report on Bikini Atoll: Prospects for Resettlement. Also read about the 15 mrem radiation standard adopted by the Nuclear Claims Tribunal.
Bikini Anthem and Flag
Lyrics of the Bikini Anthem, composed in 1946. Download the first two verses of the song in MP3. Also, a picture of the Bikinian's flag and its meaning.
Bikini Bathing Suit History
Why would someone name an island atoll after a bathing suit?
The true origin of the bikini.
Links to other sites: It's a Bikini World!
A page of unusual and fantastic links to other locations on the Internet concerning Bikini Atoll and the region...From Annette Funicello to Godzilla to the U.S. Department of Energy to Albert Einstein to Moby Dick to Sports Illustrated: It's a Bikini World!
A Tall Bearded Iris named "No Bikini Atoll"? A thoroughbred race horse named Bikini Atoll? A series of Salvador Dali paintings about Bikini Atoll? A Movie set in Bikini Atoll is called Attack of the Crab Monsters? A book about gay lovers set in Bikini Atoll entitled, The Handsomest Man in the World? A rock band named Bikini Atoll? An X-Files book set in Bikini Atoll? Yes! and more!
Bio: Jack Niedenthal
About the author of this website.
Contents © Jack Niedenthal unless otherwise stipulated.
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