In the National Archives in College Park, the reels are numbered 11002 and 11003.

Shot by a U.S. Army Air Forces film crew in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the months after the atomic bombs were dropped, the reels go from one deformed survivor to the next. Women with scalded faces. A man with melted ears. A boy with no skin on his back. A man with such horrific wounds his hands appear to be leprous.

The footage was immediately classified as "top secret" by the military and hidden for nearly three decades.

Images from "the 11000 series," as archivists refer to the 30 hours of footage shot by the crew of Lt. Col. Daniel A. McGovern, make a rare public appearance on television tonight, the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. The footage, shot in hospitals and across Japan, forms the bulk of the postwar scenes in "Original Child Bomb," an hour-long film on cable's Sundance Channel. The documentary, drawing its title and antiwar message from a Thomas Merton poem about the A-bomb, debuts at 8 p.m. and repeats throughout the month.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, The Original Ground Zero


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