In 1970, Baneberry, an underground nuclear test went horribly wrong. A plume of highly radioactive fall-out shot out of the ground, reaching an altitude of 8,000 feet or more. As you can see, this radioactive plume took the shape of a wolf, a harbinger of death.
More than 900 people were exposed, 86 were seriously exposed, and of those 86, many died prematurely of cancer, some in as few as four years from exposure.
Yet the government continued to deny that this tragic accident (or was it an accident?) happened. So, for 25 years, the federal government stonewalled the victims – as well as their advocates, attorneys Larry and Alan Johns. During those 25 years, the Johns brothers led the fight to gain just compensation for the victims.
Ultimately, while the courts continued to deny the victims a jury trial – and deny any benefits – Congress acted, passing a law that has earned for Nevada victims more than $330 million in just compensation, and people from outside of Nevada an additional $2.2 billion dollars in payback for radioactively ruined lives.