Placing: Sited 56 miles east of Farmington, NM, Gasbuggy was a project of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission's Plowshare Program, and El Paso Natural Gas Company. After 4 years of preparation, and 4.7 million dollars, the 26-kiloton explosion (larger than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima) was detonated at l2:30 P.M., on December 10, 1967.

pulverizing: "In one-tenth of a second, vaporization of rock will form a cavity 100 feet in diameter--The blast then will fracture the sandstone formation for some 425 feet around the detonation point." (Muir,1967)

fifteen miles away: The town of Dulce, NM, tribal headquarters for the Jicarilla Apache.

hactcin: "In the beginning, the Jicarilla believe, Black Sky and Earth Woman alone existed. From the union of these two were born certain anthropomorphic supernaturals called hactcin." (Opler,1936)

blue mysterious glow: "One evening, sitting at the dinner table with a few guests, when the light was fading,(Pierre Curie) produced from his waistcoat pocket a tube of radium salt. It gave out its blue, mysterious glow over the table, and he turned to the young maid who was serving the meal and said, 'This is the light of the future!'" (Reid,1974)

cockroaches feel: According to James Hillman, palm "is the etymological root of our word feel." (Hillman,1979). "While the survival of birds and dolphins might offer slight consolation, the knowledge that planetary domination would probably pass to the insects, especially ants and cockroaches, evokes disgust." (Bishop,1986)

enemy hiding: Knowing the location of one's enemy is said to be one of the powers some Apache shamans possess. "When a person dies, he goes underground to the world there. There is an opening in the ground and someone leads the dead person to it so they will not miss it. The hole is surrounded by tall grass to hide it and make it look natural." (Reinhold,1981)

weedy: "(Edgar) Anderson contends that the history of weeds is the history of man. We, like weeds, want to dominate not integrate; we too are 'nature's misfits.'" (Schneidau,1977)

Wild plums: "The journey (to the underworld) lasts four days and terminates at the edge of the earth. Here a wild plum tree grows, the fruit of which is offered to the traveler. Should he refuse it he returns to his body and to life." (Opler,1936)

mushrooms: "A familiar light phase spread among the crowd (watching the Gasbuggy shot). It usually went like this: 'Say, that's quite a mushroom cloud coming out of the ground.'" (Muir, 1967). "That there might be a common denominator between the Mexican mushroom Mystery and the Mystery of Eleusis had struck me at once. They both aroused an overwhelming sense of awe, of wonder." (Wasson,1978)

hungry ghosts: In Buddhist theodicy, "hungry ghosts are beings with literally insatiable cravings and desires (they are often represented as having enormous stomachs and needle-like throats)." (LeFleur,1983)

following the glow: "The emergence (from the underworld) was an attempt of the (Apache) people to follow and recover the sources of light they had lost." (Opler,1936). While Gasbuggy was declared a technological success, it was a public relations failure.