Johnston Atoll
July 24, 2006 9:55 PM   Subscribe

Your Very Own Nuclear Island Getaway Johnston Atoll, described by J. Maarten Troost in his book The Sex Lives of Cannibals as the "vilest place on earth" is for sale.
posted by thedailygrowl (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
See also:

Johnston Atoll Memories - pics and other stuff
Aloha From Johnston Atoll - reminiscences and pictures from a civvie contractor who left in 2004
posted by killdevil at 10:01 PM on July 24, 2006

Here's the closest you can get to it on Google Maps
posted by dougb at 10:23 PM on July 24, 2006

Let's all move there, install as benevolent figureheads MetaMatt & MetaJess, wear the lavalava, dance the lambada, drink the piƱa colada ... and rename it Meta Motu.
posted by rob511 at 10:38 PM on July 24, 2006

I've always wanted my own island(s). I had hoped though that they'd be a little further above sea level.
posted by sbutler at 10:38 PM on July 24, 2006

The "Bunker Cities" link found at the bottom of the first FPP link starts a crescendo of further links.
posted by stbalbach at 10:39 PM on July 24, 2006

This seems like a good place for a Bond villain.
posted by thirteenkiller at 11:03 PM on July 24, 2006

They're talking of closing Guantanamo Bay, and yet at the same time they're trying to sell this place? Something tells me that the left & right hands of the US military don't chat much.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:21 PM on July 24, 2006

I'm feeling like I just got Steve Diamond in trouble by clicking that last link.
posted by Clamwacker at 1:57 AM on July 25, 2006

A yellow "X" was painted across the inactivated runway and a Hawaii Air National Guard C-130 transported the last remaining personnel to Hickam AFB. Today, only the birds remain.

Yes, but they're mutant, flesh-eating birds that shoot VX gas out of their EYES.
posted by psmealey at 3:24 AM on July 25, 2006

Looking at pictures of the place on these pages make me sorta go "that place looked pretty cool - sorta a shame they've torn all the buildings down"

surely it would have been more valuable with those buildings intact?
posted by 13twelve at 3:26 AM on July 25, 2006

Looks like the wildlife refuge has a pretty nice variety of species. Within the shelter of the reef, there's probably some great open-water diving to be done.

But then, you'd have to fly at least 700 miles for it.
posted by xthlc at 4:44 AM on July 25, 2006

surely it would have been more valuable with those buildings intact?

I would have thought so too, until you read about them spraying down the remains of buildings to keep the abestoes in check.

still looks like it could be lovely if someone wanted to finish the cleanup work to make it safer.
posted by inthe80s at 6:25 AM on July 25, 2006

What with all the nasty chemicals I'm afraid you'd have No Johnson Atoll.
posted by Floydd at 7:27 AM on July 25, 2006 [3 favorites]

One of the professors (ichthyology) in my graduate program did most of his research at Johnston Atoll. He studied reef shark behavior.

Within the shelter of the reef, there's probably some great open-water diving to be done.

Apparently the reefs are in excellent shape, both physically and biologically.
posted by nekton at 7:34 AM on July 25, 2006

Nice one, Floydd.
posted by brain_drain at 9:20 AM on July 25, 2006

As new owner of Johnstone Atoll, my first order of business is to rename it Don Johnson Atoll.

Then: build a mountain lair, and sharks with frickin' lazer beams.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:22 AM on July 25, 2006

oh geez...johnston and laser.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:25 AM on July 25, 2006

Imagine it, the Brangelina memorial celebrity birthing center!!
posted by Megafly at 10:37 AM on July 25, 2006

I had a friend who worked there some years back, she said the only entertainment was drinking, screwing and working out in the gym.

Oh, and playing with the sharks. Lots of scuba diving opportunities available.
posted by mk1gti at 10:59 AM on July 25, 2006

was she hot? Not that it matters much she was probably one of the few women there.
posted by CCK at 11:29 AM on July 25, 2006

Reading about all the times that "tests failed... rockets exploded intentionally.... radiation rained down..." I can't help but wonder what happened to all the soldiers there and how many were contaminated by the radiation.

Anyone else who saw this documentary will know what I'm talking about.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:51 AM on July 25, 2006

My dad was there for a year 68 -69. He says the fish were the most amazing colors.

Although, he had no idea about the testing that happened in 62 until I showed him the links when I first saw the island was up for sale.

No wonder the fish were such amazing colors!
posted by gminks at 11:56 AM on July 25, 2006

During Operation Dominic, 36 aerial nuclear bursts were conducted from April to November 1962 (test details here.) Several nuclear-tipped missile tests (Bluegill, Starfish*, Bluegill Prime, and Bluegill Double Prime) failed and were blown up in flight or exploded on the launch pad, scattering nuclear materials over the island and the surrounding ocean.

*The second Starfish test, Starfish Prime, was a high-altitude burst that produced unusual visual effects and an EMP over thousands of square miles:
Starfish Prime was successful. The Thor missile carried the test instrumentation and the W-49 warhead/Mk-4 RV payload to 248 miles. The test appeared quite spectacular from Hawaii (800 miles away) and at Kwajalein (1600 miles away), with impressive light displays from an artificial aurora lasting up to seven minutes. The electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from this test sent power line surges throughout Oahu, knocking out street lighting, blowing fuzes and circuit breakers, and triggering burglar alarms.
EMP effects remain controversial, however.
posted by cenoxo at 12:17 PM on July 25, 2006

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