Project Gasbuggy plaque.

Project Gasbuggy Atomic Explosion Site

Field review by the editors.

Dulce, New Mexico

By the late 1960s the U.S. government was eager to find some use for its stockpile of unexploded nuclear bombs. Its friends in the oil industry had an answer: blow them up underground to release natural gas! They said it would be a lot faster and cheaper than old-fashioned drilling.

On December 10, 1967, that's what the U.S. government did. A 29-kiloton bomb was exploded almost a mile underground here, which knocked observers off of their feet over two miles away. Unfortunately -- and you knew this was coming -- the gas that was released was too radioactive to ever be used, and the ground was so contaminated that it had to be hauled away, or most of it, anyway. Today, ground zero is marked by a plaque on a small concrete block in the middle of an otherwise peaceful field, and visitors are warned not to dig anywhere.

Project Gasbuggy Atomic Explosion Site

Carson National Forest

BIA J-10, Dulce, NM
From the junction of Hwy 537 and US Hwy 64, drive west on US Hwy 64 for ten miles. Near milepost 115, turn left (south) onto the dirt road BIA J-10 (If you reach the Carson National Forest sign you've gone too far). Drive 7.5 miles south on BIA J-10. Bear right to enter Carson National Forest, marked by a cattle guard. You'll see a sign, "Gas Buggy 1, Cedar Springs 5." Continue to the site, which will be straight ahead in a large open meadow.
Save to My Sights

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In the region:
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