Behind the fence: Manhattan Project sites

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By The Staff

Many of the sites associated with the Manhattan Project from World War II are centered on Ashley Pond, but dozens more are scattered around the laboratory’s grounds, hidden from the public view. In observance of New Mexico Heritage Month, Ellen McGehee of the Ecology and Air Quality group at Los Alamos National Laboratory gave a presentation Wednesday at the Bradbury Science Museum on the hidden historical sites behind the fence.

McGehee and her group are investigating these sites under the National Historic Preservation Act and the New Mexico State Historic Preservation Office. There are about 1,800 sites, including Native American and homestead sites, scattered throughout the laboratory.

Among the sites in the presentation was the “Little Boy” Gun Site at the Anchor West Site, Pond Cabin at the Pajarito Site, the “Firing Pit” at L Site (former TA-12, now part of TA-67), and the V-site at TA-16 (S Site) among others.

At the Gun Site, research was done on the Gun Assembly method for the “Little Boy” bomb. Restoration involves structural repairs, cleaning of the structure and rebuilding the periscope, where measurements and observations were made during testing.

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