All the dirt, news, culture and commentary for Oklahoma's second century.

The Truman Show (Part 2)

Wikimedia Commons
Harry S. Truman (left) and Harry R. Truman (right).
Fertile Ground Compost Service
Help support Red Dirt Report

OKLAHOMA CITY – In Margaret Truman’s 1973 biography about her father, the 33rd president Harry S. Truman, on page 271 she begins to address the first live test of an atomic bomb, as occurred at the “Trinity” test site at White Sands, New Mexico in the early morning hours of July 16, 1945.

Quoting a report given to President Truman that strange summer, from an “excited” Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, she wrote in Harry S. Truman: “At 0530, 16 July 1945, in a remote section of the Alamogordo Air Base, New Mexico, the first full scale test was made of the implosion type atomic fission bomb. For the first time in history there was a nuclear explosion.” The test, they note, "was successful beyond the most optimistic expectations of anyone."

(Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

On the next page, Margaret Truman writes that Brigadier Gen. Thomas F. Farrell, “who had been at a control shelter only 10,000 yards away from the explosion,” spoke of an “awesome roar which warned of doomsday.

This atomic test, allegedly the first in human history, did indeed excite President Truman, his daughter recalled in the book, taking reports from Secretary Stimson’s diary, noting that “Give ‘em hell, Harry” was “tremendously pepped up” by the reports coming from New Mexico and that this “awesome” event gave Truman “an entirely new feeling of confidence.”

Margaret Truman adds that while it may sound as though her father was “pepped” about possibly going to war with the Russians, “nothing could be further from the truth,” adding that, “My father next considered using the atomic bomb against Russia, and there is not an iota of evidence that he ever mad a threat to do so, even by implication.

Nevertheless, it was under the watchful eye of the “accidental president” from Independence, Missouri (serving as the Commander-in-Chief, following Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death, from 1945 until January 1953, when he was succeeded by Dwight Eisenhower) that the Atomic Age (and burgeoning "military-industrial complex") would be in full swing, and the good people of the Marshall Islands would be told by US Navy personnel that detonating 67 atomic bombs (!!!) on their beautiful atolls between 1946 and 1958 (the equivalent of 1.7 Hiroshima bombs per day for 12 years), would be "for the good of mankind." The Marshallese people have never fully recovered from the radioactive punishment the American government inflicted upon those kind and welcoming people. That same, small Pacific Island nation has stood up against the nuclear powers of the world and demanded an end to nuclear proliferation and full disarmament, using their own experiences as testament to the destructive dangers these weapons possess.

So, with that in mind, I turn it back to Twin Peaks and the ideas and concepts that David Lynch and Mark Frost are presenting here, particularly the idea that it was was the “doomsday” detonation of the atomic bomb at, as described by Gen. Farrell, that allowed the denizens of the evil "Black Lodge" to enter our world. Those Black Lodge denizens, in the form of "BOB" and "The Woodsmen" (charcoal-colored men who are rather reminiscent of the blue trolls or "kobold,"as described by author Whitley Strieber, who seem to appear when aliens/visitors are near, or dead people, for that matter - and make a rather shocking appearance in this latest Twin Peaks episode - more on that further down - but read my review of Strieber's latest book, with Jeff Kripal, titled The Super Natural) and that they are slowly infecting our existence, via the Twin Peaks universe, reminding us that with things like The Manhattan Project (recall that I referenced that term following Parts I and II

Just as Stanley Kubrick did with films like Dr. Strangelove, The Shining and Full Metal Jacket, Team Lynch is clearly holding a mirror up to America (making it great again, are we?) and reminding those with half-a-brain that not all is (blue) rosy in the world inhabited by Mr. & Mrs. America, where a lucky penny was, well, lucky.

Mannequins following an atomic test. (Wikimedia Commons)

In fact, the reality is downright disturbing. Just read Nick Redfern's recent The Roswell UFO Conspiracy, which suggests not so much an extraterrestrial saucer crash so much as a crash involving evil of a very terrestrial sort - and that the whole event was effectively covered up, with the E.T. angle used as cover, among other things.

Which is sadly ironic in our current world where Trump (like Trump, Andrew Jackson was Truman’s favorite president) wants to return to that dark age of “Duck and Cover,” and the running mate to Trump’s Democratic competitor Hillary Clinton - Virginia politician Tim Kaine, wants a "New Truman Doctrine," as noted in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs magazine. Let that sync/sink in.

It seems like there is a desire to return to the ol' "Truman Show," as it were. While reading the Harry S. Truman book, you sense that Harry had to drop those bombs. It was to avoid further bloodshed, even though the Japanese were close to surrendering.

And I think that David Lynch and Mark Frost sense that as well. It's as if back in 1991, they knew that in 25 years, as predicted by Laura Palmer, we would all be revisiting the Twin Peaks universe, because it was necessary. We had not learned from our mistakes. One almost senses that they are time travelers, which in a bizarre way makes sense, considering how "time" doesn't really matter all that much in their world. 

In Kevin Tudor’s review of Part VII (“Gotta light?” aka “Eight is the Gate”) of Twin Peaks: The Return, he gives a solid overview and analysis of the very, very heavy things that go down - and continue to affect our world. Not just at the geographical sites that served as places to detonate nuclear devices - but in surrounding areas, and beyond. Think of all of the UFO sightings and high weirdness that took place in the immediate years following the "Trinity" test of July 16, 1945. Think of J. Robert Oppenheimer's "fall" in the aftermath of Trinity. It's all very weird. All rather disquieting.

As I noted in my review of Donald R. Burleson's book UFO Secrecy and the Fall of J. Robert Oppenheimer: "A brilliant man and an expert in the ancient Sanskrit language. Upon witnessing that first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert, Oppenheimer recalls thinking of a line from Hindu scripture, from the Bhagavad Gita: I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.

Destroyer of worlds. Think about that ... and think about what happened at the atomic and subatomic levels, as Lynch shows us in his Kubrickian manner. As my 42 Minutes host pal Douglas Bolles put it, watching this episode was more like watching 2001: A Space Odyssey than a Twin Peaks episode ... 

The dimension-shattering "Trinity" test, as featured in Twin Peaks: The Return (Showtime)

"A COLLECTIVE 'BLACK SPOT'

In my June 12, 2017 Dust Devil Dreams post, “The black spot,” I wrote that I was stunned about the use of the large photograph of an atomic bomb detonation in Deputy Director Gordon Cole’s (David Lynch) office. I noted a sync I had involving a book I was reading at the time about The Big Lebowski film and that the inspiration for John Goodman’s “Walter Sobchak” character was of Academy Award-winnning Apocalypse Now screenwriter John Milius, who “For many years a large photograph of an atom bomb exploding over the Bikini Islands (sic) occupied the wall behind his desk.” He was referring to the March 1, 1954 Castle Bravo hydrogen bomb test on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The one that got a lot of people's attention ... (Strikingly, in my July 20, 2015 post "Palm reader," I reference not only Castle Bravo but also Apocalypse Now as well).

This was a major sync for me. I just happened to be reading this book when I was also mulling over Lynch's use of the atomic bomb photograph in Cole's office. Just as I was mulling the so-called "glass box," built by an anonymous "billionaire" and placed in a building in New York City - a different sort of "Manhattan Project," but no less disturbing in its implications. Of course I was thinking of aerospace bigwig and billionaire Robert Bigelow - obsessed with aliens, UFOs and fascinated with the atomic bomb tests that took place near his Las Vegas neighborhood when he was a boy growing up in that spooky Nevada city. I delve further into all of that in this post.

And just as Twin Peaks is returning to TV, reclusive Bigelow gives an interview to 60 Minutes and makes no apologies for being heavily into these controversial subjects. Wow, Bob, wow!

Anyway, back in "The black spot" post I note the following: “And with the themes I'm seeing coming together in Twin Peaks: The Return, one can't help but wonder if a Kurtz-like character is hoping to do just that. Perhaps a crazed billionaire seeking to access malevolent forces, as some believe happened when we first tested the atomic bomb at Trinity site in New Mexico in 1945, and ever after? Milius said he didn't understand why Americans were so "socially irresponsible." So much so that they invented the atomic bomb only to use it sparingly. It didn't make sense but led to more problems. A collective "black spot" on all of us.

Just a gut feeling, friends.

Apparently my gut was spot on, this time. Big time! I had no idea Lynch would incorporate the actual Trinity test into the storyline. I suspect that while Mount St. Helen's resident Harry R. Truman (photograph at the top of this post) was Lynch's inspiration for the character of Sheriff Harry S. Truman, as played by now-retired actor Michael Ontkean, I think our 33rd president, as amiable as he seemed to many, was just as influential.

These "true-men" are stalwart Americans, through-and-through. But they have their stubborn nature. And an inability to fully understand the nature of their actions, whatever they may be. President Truman never apologized for using "Fat Man" and "LIttle Boy" on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in August of 1945. Harry R. Truman stubbornly stayed on Mount St. Helen's, knowing it was about to erupt (and it did on May 18, 1980), and he and his 16 cats were buried under 30 feet of hot ash, mud and debris. He was considered a "folk hero" at the time.

And Harry S. Truman was also considered a "folk hero" of sorts to the World War II generation, as noted in the film Fletch and in my earlier post, "The Truman Show (Pt. 1)." He was from the Show-Me State and was pretty unflappable, a lot like the character Ontkean played so well. 

"It was a terrible decision. But I made it." wrote Truman of his decision to drop the bombs, following the signing of the surrender document aboard the Battleship Missouri, on September 2, 1945. 

I sensed this "atomic bomb" angle coming. I was on a deep level, however. Yes, I felt it was coming. And Lynch, who is well-known for his promotion of Transcendental Meditation and Eastern philosophy, clearly felt this in his gut as well and utilized his show to remind viewers of what may have happened, in some form or the other, at and after the Trinity test. It was also featured in an episode of the underrated HBO show Carnivale, as I noted in my post "A false sun." That Depression Era-set show, ironically enough, starred Michael J. Anderson, who played "The Little Man From Another Place" in the original Twin Peaks, before an unfortunate "falling out" with David Lynch.

I've been sensing this atomic angle for a while. It's been building. I see it in the culture. I sense it through synchromysticism. It weighs heavily. And Lynch, whom I've admired for years, is really hitting me hard. This show is leagues beyond the original. It reminds me of a dream I had last week, one involving Lynch and a mysterious "trail of apostrophes." Still trying to figure that one out.

I have been writing about the very serious subject of nuclear proliferation and the need for complete nuclear disarmament, across the board. We have been messing with things on the quantum level for far too long. I am supportive of scientific investigation, but not for evil purposes.

I think of the Marshallese people and then I see a positive Disney film like Moana come along, and it features a brave young Pacific Islander woman putting things right again with Mother Nature, after a "trickster god" got greedy and screwed things up for everybody. I intend to delve more into my Moana theories at a later time. But read this one in the meantime ... 

Just go back through my Dust Devil Dreams posts (and a few Red Dirt Grit posts as well) and you will see a thread running through it. One of concern, but also one of hope. 

I know we can turn things around. 

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

Editor & Owner.

Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

read more

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

Member of the Oklahoma Press Association
Member of Investigative Reporters & Editors
Member of Diversity Business Association
Member of Uptown 23rd
Rotary Club of Bricktown OKC
Keep it Local OK