New document find confirms Australians used as tests subjects during British nuke tests.

From: “‘David Noonan’
Date: Saturday, 30 August 2014 1:30 PM

Subject: [beyondnuclear] Maralinga: British scientists used Aust’s ‘as nuclear guinea pigs’

British scientists used Australians ‘as nuclear guinea pigs’
BRITISH scientists secretly used the Australian population to test for radiation contamination after the nuclear tests at Maralinga in the 1950s, a new book confirms.

Colin James

• From: The Advertiser
• August 29, 2014 9:00PM

The crew of the Valiant bomber which dropped one of the nuclear bombs at Maralinga in October, 1956. Source: News Corp Australia
BRITISH scientists secretly used the Australian population to test for radiation contamination after the nuclear tests at Maralinga in the 1950s, a new book confirms.
Its author, Frank Walker, has obtained the minutes of a top secret meeting in England where the UK
tests on Australia and its citizens.
In his book, Maralinga, Walker details how the meeting at Harwell on May 24, 1957, decided to first obtain soil samples from pasture regions near Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to check for fallout from the nine nuclear bombs detonated at Maralinga and the Monte Bello Islands, off WA.
The second phase was to test vegetation, particularly grass and cabbage, and milk for the presence of the radioactive isotope, Strontium-90, a fission by-product of nuclear explosions.
The meeting was chaired by Professor Ernest Titterton, the nuclear scientist who oversaw the British nuclear tests in Australia.
According to the document obtained by Walker, Professor Titterton told the meeting he wanted to collect animal bones “to see if Strontium-90 is getting into domestic animals”.
The meeting decided to take bone samples from 12 sheep stations along a 800km path of fallout tracked by Royal Australian Air Force planes which flew into the mushroom clouds following each nuclear explosion at Maralinga.

The document found by author Frank Walker detailing the nuclear testing program on the Australian population. Source: British National Archives
Professor Titterton told the meeting that the final phase of the testing would be to determine if Strontium-90 was being absorbed by the Australian population.
“We have to find out if Strontium-90 is entering the food chain and getting into humans,” says the document, which has the file number DEFE 16/608.
The scientists then agreed to start testing the bones of dead Australian infants and children for radiation contamination.
“As many bones as possible are to be obtained,” says DEFE 16/608.
“The bones should be femurs. The required weight is 20-50 grams wet bone, subsequently ashed to provide samples of weight not less than two grams. The date of birth, age at death and locality of origin are to be reported.”
Professor Titterton said the bones would be crushed into a powder and sent to the UK for analysis along with the soil, animal samples and vegetation collected from the Australian testing sites.

The document found by author Frank Walker detailing the nuclear testing program on the Australian population. Source: British National Archives
As The Advertiser has previously reported, hundreds of bones were subsequently collected from the bodies of 21,830 dead babies, infants, children, teenagers and young adults across Australia without the knowledge of their parents.
The Strontium-90 testing program in Australia was the longest of its kind in the world, finally ending in 1978.
In September, 2001, following an extensive investigation by The Advertiser, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency revealed it had kept ash samples from bones collected from hospitals in Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne.
In a report to the then federal health minister, Michael Wooldridge, the agency said it had detected varying levels of Strontium-90 in all Australian capital cities.

The document found by author Frank Walker detailing the nuclear testing program on the Australian population. Source: British National Archives

end quote. Thanks to David Noonan and Michelle Madigan for forwarding this.

Of course, history records that at the same time Titterton was assuring Australians that fallout from the nuke tests would not reach us, he was at the same time consorting with the British despite his role of safety officer for the bomb tests. And at the same time he was organising to track fallout arriving in the major cities and crop and meat/milk pastures, he was engaged in harassing Dr Hedley Marston. Marston, via correspondence with Sir Mark Oliphant (formerly of the Manhattan Project, had exchanged their views relating to the risks and harms of fallout in the food chain.

The British had asked Marston to assist in collecting fallout data, a task he was deeply suspicious of, and in my reading of the recently published material, determined to act on his authority via the Australian CSIRO as much as from the authority of the British instructions. He hence brought a touch of autonomy to his research, and soon clashed with British authorities and the (now proven) British agent in Australian pay, Prof Ernest Titterton.

Hedley had undertaken volumetric air sampling from the CSIRO building in Adelaide, and had started collecting sheep thyroids from across Australia. His findings were startling. Titterton insisted on “peer reviewing” Marston’s work, delaying it for months. He insisted Marston make changes. This Marston resisted. However the government of the day came to view Marston as a Communist threat, and started intercepting his mail. The volumetric testing conducted by Marston in Adelaide resulted in Titterton and the British confiscating the British radiation detecting equipment Marston was using.

This despite the fact that it was Australia which was paying Titterton his wage to oversee the safety of the tests.

Marston, under the auspices of the CSIRO, was conducting the only independent monitoring and it was shut down.

Marston found that huge swathes of Australia were contaminated by fallout, and he established this by his nationwide survey of sheep thyroids. His volumetric testing of Adelaide revealed a huge increase in radiation over natural background, more than 1,000 times. He found that sheep thyroids as far south as Victor Harbour contains large doses of Iodine 131. He discussed with Oliphant how to extrapolate from the Iodine reading the extent of Strontium 90 contamination.

Prof. Roger Cross (Wakefield Press, Adelaide) found letters and journals written by Hedley Marston in which he writes of his concern about Strontium 90. He wrote “The proof (of the strontium contamination) will be found in the bones of children”.

At the same time Titterton, on behalf of Great Britain, was organizing the theft of still born baby bones, bones of children, bones of adults who had died from death and illness. Pathologists later became to be paid for their services. Some of the Australian human bones were sent to the US (under the US Project Sunshine strontium survey under AEC’s Libby), some were sent to England. Later, in an arrangement with the USA, Australia began processing the human bones itself, reporting the results to the USA via Libby.

The scandal of Titterton aiding a foreign power (England) while being in charge of nuclear safety as directed by Australia was revealed during the Royal Commission into the bomb tests in 1984. At that time Titterton admitted that he with held information from Australia because he was subject to the secrecy oaths of both the United States and England.

Prior to this admission, the harassment of Marston by British interests, including Titterton, took its toll on Marston’s health. The general public in those days did not read scientific journals. Marston’s paper was eventually published in Stock journal aimed at farmers, and the August 1958 Australian Journal of Biological Sciences. By this time, the manuscript was nearly two years old, a delay one can put down to British interference via Prof Ernest Titterton.

In the 1960s, after the cessation of the British nuclear tests, the Australian Atomic Weapons Safety Committee (AWSTC) did publish the findings of fallout contamination in food and human bones. Not many members of the general public had access to these documents, even though they were not classified.

I have previously published a couple of these in my Nuclear History blog:

(Source: “Report, AWTSC No. 2, Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee, “Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 in the Australian Environment During 1969 and some results for 1970” “. May 1971, Commonwealth of Australia.) The first line of the table above shows the following:
In 1969 authorities had collected the bones of 108 deceased babies. The ages of these babies at time of death ranged from stillbirth to 1 month old.
None of these babies had spent very much time living outside of the womb. All these suffered radio strontium in their bones.
In the case of those babies who were pronounced “stillbirths”, no time at all had been spent living outside the womb. The conclusion from this is that in the case of the still born babies and babies who were being nursed at the breast prior to their illness and deaths (hence their availability to the British and US human bone hunters), the only route by which fallout strontium (6 isotopes. Sr90 is one of 6 types, including Sr89), was the mother’s soft tissue (breast) and blood (placenta). How then in the case of reproducing and nursing human females can authorities claim Sr90 (and the other five Sr isotopes (Sr**) “goes only to bone”? It does not. While adult bone is one of the least radio sensitive tissues, this is not true of bone marrow, breast, lymph tissue, reproductive orgains. The bones of the developing baby in the womb are radiosensitive.

All these aspects were researched by Pecher, UC Berkeley (Lawrence rad lab) in the period 1939 to 1941. There he worked alongside Hamilton and Libby. Yet nuclear authorities claim surprise at the early proof of Marston’s findings. Marston was not in a vacuum in this regard. The Adelaide University library catalogue clearly shows Marston had access to Pecher’s work for the entire period 1939 -1942, when the publications arrived at the university on time despite the war.

It is not surprising then that Marston knew that Sr** would show up in the bones of children, as he wrote, as found by Prof Cross.

Here is the Australian Journal of Science paper written by the staff of the Australian Atomic Weapons Test Safety Committee, including Titterton, in 1962. The fallout is blamed on global fallout, though a substantial amount is no doubt the result of the British weapons tests conducted in Australia. The publication is just prior to a major conference held at Cornell University on the Movement of Strontium and Calcium Across Biological Membranes. This important conference confirmed the need for the cessation of atmospheric nuclear weapons testing. Titterton did not attend it.

Here are some papers by Dr Pecher, UC Berkeley, Lawrence Rad Lab, 1939 – 1941 (last publication was posthumous, in 1942, just beating, thanks to Brucer, the military censors. Dr. Pecher died by his own hand.) :

During the 1950s the United Kingdom used Australians as guinea pigs, all the while knowing what would happen. The British and their agent in Australia knew the truth from the US record. Pecher’s work was open knowledge in scientific circles from Iceland, to Moscow, to Adelaide University. These places received the publications as routine. By the start of the nuclear weapons test regime in the USA, in around 1948, the work of Pecher was used in a classified manner. This includes his human data. Ernest Lawerence maintained two archives on Pecher, one open, the other secret. The weaponisation of medicine began in 1942, and the route by which fallout, including Strontium isotopes, entered the foodchain was worked out in detail.

The pretense of ignorance in these matters, as communicated by the press releases issued by British interests and agents in Australia pursuant to “keeping the atomic bomb testing safe” from public opinion was just that – a pretense, a lie.

As Barry Commoner proved in the USA with the help of the Mothers of St Louis, as Hedley Marston proved in Australia, with the help, I suggest, of both the Pecher papers and Sir Mark Oliphant, who, after 1942, worked at Pecher’s old haunt, the Lawrence Rad Lab, UC Berkeley. Known also at that time as the Crocker Lab. They made radio stronium prior to the advent of fission via cyclotron.

It’s a circle game in which nuclear “authorities” pretend they dont know the harms of their activities, and so demand proof of dissenters.

Just as they are now doing in Japan. In my opinion. Just ask Timothy Mousseau and others.

Although the secret harvesting of human bones in Australia was known of at the highest level at the time, and since, the general public were not aware. Although Libby of the US AEC was forced, by the Castle Bravo H bomb disaster in the Marshall Islands, to make some disclosures to Americans about the strontium survey, the same did not apply in Australia. Titterton reigned supreme for many years, even until the 1970s French thermo nuclear testing in the South Pacific.

However, various professionals were aware that human bones were secretly being taken by Australian nuclear authorities, on behalf of Australian, British and US authorities. The major Australian hospital pathology units were paid in secret for this human tissue harvesting.

Relatives were unknowingly burying incomplete corpses of their loved ones. In the era, still born babies born to unwed mothers were buried, generally, in unmarked graves.

It was in the 1980s that Australian nuclear veterans (Atomic ExServicemen’s Association) published an article in their periodical, “Atomic Fallout”, about this secret and immoral use of human tissue. A program of such secrecy and abuse of the dead and the living that it plainly breaches the Nuremberg Protocols.

It was not to be until the 20th century that major media picked up on the story. When it did the outcry was enormous. In particularly I recall in around 2000 that the disclosures caused great distress among members of the organisation called SANDS, and organisation which provides support for miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death (

This was during the era of the Howard government. By 2001 the Federal government had to respond to the disclosures successive Australian governments had managed, using every trick including the instrument of media control called the “D” notice, to muzzle the press from 1952 until the 20th century. (D notice system of media control:

As a result of the public uproar and outright and distress, the government issued following statement in 2001:

“Media Release

Dr Michael Wooldridge
Minister for Health and Aged Care

5 September 2001


The Federal Government has today referred a report by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) into Australia’s participation in a global nuclear monitoring program to the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC).

Between 1957 and 1978 Australia had a program for measuring strontium-90 (a radioisotope associated with nuclear testing) contamination in the environment.

“While this important research program was public knowledge at the time, I share the concerns of many Australians today about the ethics of not seeking the informed consent of next of kin for the use of human bone samples in the monitoring program,” Dr Wooldridge said on releasing the ARPANSA Report.

“It must be remembered that these events occurred in a different era when it was not common practice to seek the consent of family members for these kind of studies and that is why I asked ARPANSA to examine the records regarding the monitoring program.

“I am informed that the former Australian Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee, which coordinated this program, kept records, which included in many cases, the identity of the human samples used. ARPANSA is currently completing the process of collating these records.

“I am now referring the issue of how to best make this information publicly available to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Health Ethics Committee. AHEC is expected to provide advice by the end of the year on establishing proper ethical protocols so that family members can gain more detailed information about the program,” Dr Wooldridge said.

The Report shows that Commonwealth officials requested hospital pathologists to participate in the fallout monitoring program. Most pathologists in hospitals in mainland Australia and the Northern Territory who were asked were willingly involved as a public service.

The CEO of ARPANSA, Dr Loy, has written to the States involved and the NT providing them with the report and with the names of the laboratories involved for whatever further action they may wish to take.

The Report shows that for the first few years of the program, ashed human samples were sent to laboratories overseas (USA and the UK) for measurement as Australia did not have suitable equipment for measuring strontium-90. However, during the 1960s this capability became available and subsequent samples were analysed in Australia.

The results of the global research effort showed that humans were being adversely affected by radioactive fallout from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons and the monitoring program contributed to the eventual banning of atmospheric testing throughout the world.” end quote.

The fact is the human bone harvesting program revealed nothing not known by Pecher from 1939-1941.

Were the Minister sincere in 2001 he would have known the names of the people “adversely affected”. In 2006 the Federal government excluded Aboriginal people from its health survey of those affected by the British nuclear bombing of Australia. The Minister wrote to me and explained the broken promise, the exclusion, was due to the fact that the government “did not know the names of the people affected”.

Had the authorities been sincere in 1952, the British ships containing the first British nuclear bomb would never have left for Monte Bello Islands.

Citizens warned governments around the world, including Australia, of the danger and folly of nuclear testing prior to the first bombs being detonated after 1945. In the US, authorities responded, for example, by confiscating the passport of the US born Linus Pauling, to prevent him from traveling and spreading his anti nuclear message. It was only returned, due to world outrage, just in time for Pauling to receive his third Noble Prize.

In Australia, Marston was harassed, spied upon, called a liar, unscientific and a communist. ASIO agents trailed him and steamed open his letters, all under the advise of the British agent, Titterton.

In Japan today it is well recorded that since the first nuclear reactor there, those scientists who disagree with nuclear power have been similarly harassed and denied economic and social justice. People have been jailed for protesting the burning of nuclear waste in areas previously unaffected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the disaster foreseen in type by the US AEC in 1967. And even then, in public they denied it could ever happen, in flat contradiction to their rare and hard to get publications (“The Ergen Report”, AEC, 1967).

To say, as the Australian government did, in 2001 that the secret stealing of baby bones helped stopped the bombs and proved harm is nonsense. The harms were known in 1942. Predicated by extension of the work of Pecher. Yet all the while, from 1942 to 1962, nuclear ‘authorities claimed there was to be no harm”. On who’s order? Only on the suppression of open knowledge of science did it work.

Further to the Australian documents:

A brief quote form:

Payment of a bonus for the collection of samples


“At this stage of the program the payment of a bonus of $50 to hospitals providing specimens was proposed:

“I have given a good deal of thought to the desirability of providing your technicians with at least some compensation for their efforts on our behalf. In the past there has been an obvious reluctance to accept such an offer, no doubt on account of the nature of the material and the purpose for which the specimen s are intended. However several factors lead me to reopen the question; for example, many technicians have already made considerable contribution to the bone survey with no payment from us and, in some instances it is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain an interest, with a tendency for specimens to be overlooked. We intend continuing the survey from some years and are anxious to maintain an adequate coverage of the population…

Perhaps compensation would best be in the form of an annual or six monthly bonuses paid to the technicians on our behalf through a hospital/laboratory account. Direct payment by us has unfortunate overtones and too much of the appearance of buying tissue; furthermore there are several statutory difficulties in us making payments of that sort. If it is not possible to operate through a hospital/laboratory account for this purposes, perhaps you could accept the sum, say, for “pathological services”, and pass it on to your technicians on our behalf.


28 Letter from JR Moroney dated 9 July 1969

29 Letter from JR Moroney dated 3 November 1969

30 Letter from JR Moroney dated 3 November 1969″

end quote.

The full text of the ARPANSA document is no longer available for download from the Australian government. Having had its fifteen minutes of fame in the early 21 century, we are now supposed to forget all about.

While in Japan, the question of which cattle have been dissected and how many humans have been similarly studied since March 2011 remains an unasked question.

Has Japan undertaken its own “Project Sunshine” in the wake of Fukushima? Reactors are not atomic bombs, but, without dispute, they both create waves of fallout. No doubt at all.