The Bikini Atoll – Marshall Islands – 2018: Pre-Trip

The Bikini Atoll – Marshal Islands

An “Underwater” examination of the “Target Area”
Resulting from the 1946 Operation Crossroads Nuclear Tests
Able and Baker

New Millennium is pleased to announce that its Founder and President, Martin McClellan, has been invited to participate in, “The Critical Experiment”, a dive expedition heading to Bikini July 25 – Aug 2 for the sole purpose of examining the incredible shipwrecks these tests laid to waste some 72 years ago.

The NMDE Organization is however, going to give this Blog off to Martin in the First Person as he will attempt to provide 3-4 updates during the Expedition and follow-up as we usually do with a post-trip Blog sometime mid-August.  Take it away Martin, have fun and be safe, we have much work still left here in Northern Nevada to complete.

Greetings All,

Martin Here!  Proud to take on this Blog.  Honored and excited to be a part of this expedition with such an incredible “global” cast of expedition divers.  First however, since we have a few days prior to departure, lets utilize this time to get you familiar with the history of Bikini Atoll, Operation Crossroads, the dive team and the diving operation that will be supporting this expedition.

Where is the Bikini Atoll?

Well…it is 5056 miles /  8136 km west of my home in Reno, Nevada, USA;


in a group of Island’s, known as the Marshall’s which gained its independence from the USA in 1986 (after we borrowed it for some 40 years?);


which at closer inspection, looks like this:



Lets start with this quick video clip (one minute and 25 seconds)

This was a video of the Baker test which occurred 90ft/27m underwater directly beneath the Landing Craft LSM-60; never saw any of that craft again!

I must digress here to a personal reflection –  this whole US Military and Government demonstration  of minimal brain function causes me shame as a citizen of the USA and typifies the audaciousness in the equitable decision making ability of the  “male” gender in the mid -20th Century; what reason could there be to up-root the peaceful native people of these islands (under the guise of, “ don’t worry, it will be okay and we will move you back real soon”) and light off “nukes” for the simple evaluation of what a nuclear blast would do to military vessels and goats afloat near an explosion!!?  They are going to sink you idiots or at best be so radioactively hot that they will be unusable; and what justification could there be for the test animals?

So now, on to more detailed history for your own personal knowledge.  There are several YouTube videos on this of varying length:

Also, Wikipedia has a great written report with several other links:

I hope at this point I have provided ample sources for understanding the history of the Bikini Atoll and why it is now one of the most incredible underwater graveyards for military vessels in the world and why I wanted to be a part of this experience.

The Team

I am honored to be joining such a dedicated and experienced group of “global” divers.  Including myself (From Reno, Nevada, USA) there are 9 other members of our team.  Expedition Leader, Aron Arngrimsson, from Iceland, presently residing in Dahab, Egypt; Jesper Kjøller from Denmark, presently residing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE); Richard Lewis, of Seattle, Washington, USA; Richard Lundgren, from Sweden, presently residing in Dubai, UAE; Igor Siryk of Poltawa, Poltavs’Ka Oblast’, Ukraine; Alexey Sverdlov of Odessa, Ukraine; Pavel Trofimov; and Duncan Ward of Bedford, England.

This is just a basic introduction and as the trip matures, I will update each team member with interesting bits of information and images as I obtain them once we officially meet; I have only met in person two other members of our team, my Global Underwater Explorers, JJCCR Rebreather Instructor, Richard Lundgren and my fellow GUE rebreather team mate during training, Richard Lewis.  The other seven I look forward to getting to know better and becoming future diving friends.

The Truk Master – Our Dive Vessel and Home during the expedition

The team will fly to the  Kwajalein Atoll’s, Bucholz Army Airfield, and then transport to the tiny village of Ebeye where we will board our diving platform and floating hotel for the 11 day mission- The Truk Master – Captained by Martin Cridge.  Click the “Master Liveaboards” logo below for a complete description of this incredible operation serving the Marshall Islands as well as other global island destinations:



Now that I have given you some basic expedition information, let me tell you what this dive adventure means to me.  As you know, I travel the world working underwater with Project Baseline to help local decision makers (a nice term for politicians) understand the state of their underwater environments.  Aside from diving some incredibly historical wreck sites (hopefully one being the USS Nevada), I hope to establish at least 3 Project Baseline sites so that future generations can begin to understand the deterioration rates of the wrecks within the Bikini Atoll (image below shows the area we will be diving) “Target Area”:


It is my assumption that these wrecks have been deteriorating over the past 72 years, and at an accelerated rate compared to other shipwrecks not submerged by explosive atomic forces.  I further hope to find some historical imagery since 1996; when the Bikini Atoll reopened to civilian divers.  This will allow me to possibly create a past “baseline” of which is so important to my diving ethic.   Further, I want to see what the shipwrecks look like after Operation Crossroads took place as a result of not one nuclear blast – Able, but two – Baker (image below)!!!

This actual blast image of the Baker detonation is only color enhanced from its original black and white – It definitely is more impressive in color!


So stay tuned!  This is going to be an incredible adventure and I hope to do it justice with these blog posts.