Voyage to the CROSSROADS (Paperback)
Ed Gilfillen's account of a remarkable adventure in maritime has stood the test of time. He was diagnosed with what would prove a fatal case of multiple myeloma in the mid-1970s. His suspicion upon treatment was that the cancer had been a result of radioactive exposure suffered while a participant in the CROSSROADS atomic tests at Eniwetok Atoll in 1946. Warned that his story was classified at the time, it remained a secret from the end of the operation to evaluate America's atomic status until his death in 1978. A life-long athlete and technical expert, he kept his secret as directed, but wrote an account that came to me as a young Naval Intelligence officer after his passing. I promised his story would be told. It combines a rollicking old-school sea story with something else completely new. Ed called his his non-volunteer sailors "a Pirate Crew of Yankees" attempting to operate the last capital ship of a proud Navy with all instructions in Japanese. After a wild transit of over 2,000 miles, Nagato was anchored in a position to suffer the blows of two powerful atomic detonations by the same 'Fat Man' designs that ended a war. It is a tale of nautical magic and atomic mystery on which the future of a world would be based. It was not until Ed, and hundreds of Atomic Veterans had died that the Clinton Administration allowed the curtain to be lifted. The time for Ed's story is finally here.