We like to think of the Manhattan Project as the most successful secret project in history: Where, thanks to the tireless efforts of military censors and those guys who come up with secret names, we managed to concoct a weapon capable to turning people into shadows and ash without anyone finding out.
Galerie Bilderwelt/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
"See Uncle Sam rolling up them sleeves in case you need a 'reminder'?
We're not fucking around here."
Bad news: That never happened. Enter John Raper: newspaper columnist, inadvertent people-terrifier, and the only person to nearly end up drafted for writing about his own goddamn vacation.
After enjoying the tourist attractions and hospitality that New Mexico is famed for, Rap- ... John returned to work at the Cleveland Press and filed a report about something strange that he'd found in the desert. No, not an old-timey camper-van and some weird guys doing science. It was an entire military base filled with weird guys doing science and blowing shit up and, oh yeah, it was being overseen by Robert Oppenheimer, that famous theoretical physicist guy! Isn't that just wacky?
Alex Wellerstein / Cleveland Press
"... and those are the exact coordinates. You can't miss it."