Obelisks remain unsettled

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By Carol A. Clark

Peace activist Ed Grothus spent his last couple of years focused on the creation of twin obelisks, he called the Doomsday Stones or Rosetta Stones for the Nuclear Age.
He commissioned the thick granite pillars topped with large globes from a company in China. They cost some $200,000 to manufacture and ship to him.
The 40-ton, 42-foot tall monuments remain in containers at The Black Hole because he wasn’t able to obtain permission to erect them in the county.
Grothus told people his obelisks were not to celebrate the bomb but to make note of the most important man-caused event in the history of the world.
The inscription on the monuments is translated into 15 languages:
“Welcome to Los Alamos, New Mexico, the United States of America, the city of fire. Our fires are brighter than a thousand suns. It was once believed that only God could destroy the world, but scientists working in Los Alamos first harnessed the power of the atom. The power released through fission and fusion gives many men the ability to commence the destruction of all life on Earth … nuclear bombs cannot be used rationally and dreams for safe and useful nuclear power may never be realized. It is only in Los Alamos that the potentials for unimagined, fantastic good and demonstrated, horrendous evil are proximate.”
The family hopes to realize his dream of erecting them in Los Alamos one day.


Grothus is the subject of three documentaries. The first, Atomic Ed & The Black Hole was produced in 2002 and broadcast on HBO. The second, focusing on Los Alamos as a whole, was a German production called Los Alamos und die Erben Der Bombe. The third, Laboratory Conditions, is a short film available on the Internet.


The Black Hole has long been a source of material and equipment for a number of artists working in Northern New Mexico. It also has supplied props for a number of film productions including Silkwood, The Manhattan Project, White Sands, Earth 2, Horror Chronicles, Beer Fest, Spirit, In the Valley of Elah, Astronaut Farmer, Wild Hogs, Legion, Terminator 4 and The Book of Eli.