Pierre Wilson directed movies featuring some of the most spectacular events ever witnessed.
Behind the Scenes
From the 1940’s through the early 1960’s he filmed these spectacles in the cutting edge technology of the day – 65 and 70-millimeter CinemaScope and Vista-Vision – directing the most powerful movies ever made.
Why have you probably never heard of him? His work was classified Top Secret. Pierre Wilson was one of the unsung heroes who documented many of the United States’ atmospheric atomic bomb tests. These tests were conducted in the Nevada Test Site, Bikini Atoll, the Marshall Islands, Johnston Island, Christmas Island, and in outer space.
Pierre’s work has led to some frightfully unpredictable experiences. One such example of the unexpected comes from the test, Operation Castle Bravo. As one of the early hydrogen bomb tests in 1954, scientists anticipated a bomb “yield” of about six megatons (i.e. the explosive force of six million tons of TNT).
Instead the bomb took everyone by surprise and had a runaway yield of fifteen megatons. Within a mere six minutes the explosion sent a mushroom cloud 130,000 feet into the atmosphere, vaporized an island, and scoured a crater more than a mile and a half wide. Its unanticipated power led to the tragic contamination of soldiers and civilians, among them the crew of a Japanese fishing boat.
This is why Pierre Wilson hesitates to refer to himself as a director, for he knows by experience how helpless human beings are in the face of atomic bombs. In an interview from the documentary, The Atomic Filmmakers: Behind the Scenes, he made an insightful comment: “No one directs an atomic bomb going off. Once somebody presses the button – it’s out of control!”
An atomic bomb out of control – what a frightening thought! Yet just as frightening is the thought of life getting out of control, of being at the mercy of merciless circumstances.
We do everything to get a handle on life. We plan, we build, and strive to insulate ourselves against the flood of disappointments and tragedies that befall other people. And we live with the illusion that we will be exceptions to the rule. Nothing will touch us, we are in control. But sorrow and tragedy show no partiality. None of us are immune to their sting, nor beyond their long reach.
But this is not the whole story. For the person who puts their faith in Jesus Christ and entrusts their life and future in His almighty and all loving hands, the story is brighter. Sure, the Christian believer has his share of pain and sorrow – just look at what the Master endured. But none of the pain and tribulation that the believer endures will ever yield separation from God’s love.
And God’s love, not fate, becomes the prevailing force in the believer’s life. God’s love transforms pain into gain, hurts into halos, curses into blessings, and scars into stars. God’s love may not separate the believer from tribulation, peril, and death, but none of those things can separate him from God’s love. His love will protect the believer from their evil effects (Romans 8:31-39).
Therefore, entrust your life and very self to God’s unfailing love.
Dear Father in heaven, as Jesus my Lord prayed and as countless saints of God before me have prayed, I now pray: ‘Father, not my will but Yours be done.’ I entrust myself, my life and my future to Your almighty and all-loving hands. I entrust myself to Your unfailing love. Guide and direct my steps and have Your way in my life. Amen.