During the Cold War, the US Atomic Energy Commission carried out top-secret activities in the Pacific Ocean. The US Marines aboard the USS Curtiss were ordered to detonate a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, but due to critical errors in the scientific calculations, the incident was the worst radiological disaster in US history. To this day, it is the biggest detonation ever set off by the US Government, creating a mushroom cloud 40,000 metres high and 7 kilometres wide, and generated a worldwide backlash against atmospheric nuclear testing.
Burning Sky reveals the secrets of this mission, we hear from participants involved in the experiment, experience the devastating aftermath of the mission, and hear from scientists about why the operation went so wrong. The film also reveals the impact of extensive radiological contamination and how the fallout affected nearby islands, and how the US Government is assisting the native islanders, their region, and others who have been affected.