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Interview with Charles McWilliam, January 11, 2005


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Narrator affiliation: Engineer; Administrator, U.S. Department of Energy

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McWilliam, Charles. Interview, 2005 January 11. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Charles McWilliam January 11, 2005 Boulder City, Nevada Interview Conducted By Joan Leavitt © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Charles McWilliam January 11, 2005 Conducted by Joan Leavitt Table of Contents Introduction: birth and childhood in southern California, family background, education ( mechanical engineering, California State University Fullerton; MBA, UNLV), hired by NTS Test Construction Branch ( 1974) 1 Transfers to Logistics Branch, NTS ( 1977), becomes branch chief ( ca. 1984) 3 Works as chief negotiator and director of NTS during JVE ( 1988- 89) 5 Relationship with Viktor Mikhailov and Alex Shmatov at NTS during JVE 5 Cultural differences and suspicions between Americans and Soviets during JVE 7 Details of drilling the satellite hole at Semipalatinsk test site, USSR 9 James Magruder and the politics of DoD and intelligence community and DOE during JVE 11 Controversy and emotions over flag- raising at NTS and Semipalatinsk during JVE 13 Making decision to move American drilling equipment from Semipalatinsk to Vladivostok after Shagan 16 Observation of social conditions in the USSR ( late 1980s) 17 Discussion of Viktor Mikhailov 19 Work with coordinating groups implementing the TTBT ( ca. 1991 and 1993) 21 Job history after the JVE: branch chief, Logistics Branch; chief scientist, Verification Management Branch; director, Test Operations Division 23 Reflects on problems created by “ zero- tolerance- for- risk” demands 26 Move to Verification Management Division ( verification, treaty implementation, NEST) 28 Opinion on the CTBT and the TTBT: unpredictability of yield and need for continued testing because of declassification of information and as a deterrent 30 Ten- year JVE reunion in Las Vegas, NV [ C. McWilliam89- 90] 34 Problems with removal of items from Semipalatinsk ( perceived treaty violation by Americans) 36 Life for American workers at Semipalatinsk 37 Ten- year JVE reunion in Las Vegas, NV 38 How the JVE got lost in the politics of the late 1980s and in Cold War scholarship 40 Visit to Arzamas laboratory, USSR 41 Photograph identification: Viktor Mikhailov’s Moscow office [ C. McWilliam78], coordinating group [ C. McWilliam79- 83, 86- 88], Moscow and countryside near Arzamas [ C. McWilliam84- 85] and brief history of Soviet testing program 43 Soviet testing program, yields, and seismic monitoring 44 Need for community education about radiation 47 Story about Edward Teller 48 Thoughts on Yucca Mountain Project, recycling of nuclear fuel, and need for nuclear power plants in the U. S. 49 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 Life after the Nevada Test Site and thoughts on Russian capitalism in a post- Soviet world 53 Russian and American visits during ten- year JVE reunion 57 American visit to Kazakhstan during the JVE 59 Conclusion: stories about various personalities and the laboratories involved in JVE 61 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Charles McWilliam January 11, 2005 in Boulder City, NV Conducted by Joan Leavitt [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Joan Leavitt: OK, I am here with Charles [ Chay] McWilliam, and I’d like for you to start by giving me some of your background information. Maybe you could even begin with your father and mother? Charles McWilliam: That’s going way back. Well, leading up to the [ Nevada] test site. I grew up in southern California. My father was from Scotland. He had been in manufacturing his whole life at different companies in southern California. So was your father an immigrant? Immigrant. Yes, he was an immigrant. Oh, a Scottish immigrant. Oh yes. He had lots of nicknames, like Scotty. Long story, but he basically got kicked out of his house at fourteen and came across on the boat from Scotland to Canada where one of his sisters lived. Then into the United States as an immigrant, and went through - he used to tell me all the time - learning the Constitution by heart and all these other kind of things that immigrants don’t do anymore. But yes, he was an immigrant and was very proud to be an American. My mother grew up in North Dakota, in the cold country, and had moved to southern California, where she met my dad. [ I] basically grew up in Orange County, California— You were born in California, then? I was born in California, yes. Beach boy. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 Warm weather, then. Did you have any siblings? Yes, one older sister and two younger brothers. OK. And you went to school and pretty much grew up there. Yes, went to school and grew up there. By the time high school came around, I went to technical high school, Don Bosco Technical Institute, because I was a techie from the beginning, and then went to Cal State [ California State University] Fullerton, majored in mechanical engineering, and when I came here to work at the test site, I went to UNLV [ University of Nevada, Las Vegas] and got my master’s in business administration. Oh, Jim Magruder did that, too. Yes. He was doing it the same time I was, as a matter of fact. Is that where you met him? At that point, yes, it probably was where I first met him. And I think he was still working for EG& G [ Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier] then. So yes. And what area of the test site did you start out with? I started out in the forward areas in nuclear testing. At that time, it was called the Test Construction Branch. What year was that? That was 1974. OK. Test Construction Branch. So that’s preparing the test site, then? That’s preparing the test site, approving the drawings and work orders, and so forth to actually do the— So working with test directors? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 Yes. Working with the labs and the contractors and making sure that the contractors were doing what needed to be done to conduct the tests. OK, and you did mechanical engineering and then you were into the construction? Construction, monitoring the drilling. Even though we had another drilling engineer that did that, we had to bring it all together to drill the hole, get the geology, put the diagnostic rack together, put it all down the hole, cover it all back up, and be ready to conduct the test. And how long did you work there? In Test Construction, I think that was about three years. And then what did you go into? And then I moved over to the Logistics Branch at the time. Now would that be under Jim Magruder, then? No, that was under— Joe Dryden was the branch chief at the Logistics Branch, and what I took over was the maintenance of the test site, so now I was maintaining the water wells, the roads, the power systems, everything that it took to be ready to do the testing, to support all the testing operations. So you became really intimately familiar with the location of the test site, then, didn’t you? I mean that sounds like that was your work spot. Yeah, the test site was my baby. Yeah, that’s a good way to put it. And so I moved up. The Logistics Branch ended up taking over a lot of the construction, the new construction going on, and then, again under Joe Dryden, [ I] became branch chief of the Logistics Branch. So now I’ve got all the funding for the test site, the maintenance, the running, the buses, the cafeterias. Everything it took to keep the test site operating. Now are you working under the director of the test site then? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 The director of the test site at that time, Joe Dryden, was now the director of the test site. [ 00: 05: 00] OK, because sometimes these job descriptions are confusing. You’ve got the manager of the test site and then you’ve got the controller and the test director. It’s kind of mind- boggling to — Bring it all together. Yes, it is. Yeah, to bring it all together. So how long, then, were you branch chief? Oh, how long was I branch chief? Let’s see, I must’ve been branch chief four or five years by the time JVE [ Joint Verification Experiment] came along. OK. So then you were under— was it under John Stewart at that time of the JVE? No, no, when JVE came around, it was Vern Witherill . OK, so you were under Vern Witherill. Yeah. Joe Dryden left to become the director of the PASO [ Pacific Area Site Office] office in Hawaii. There was a couple of short- timers, and then Vern Witherill came in and was the director at the time JVE came along. He spent a lot of time in Kazakhstan directing the operation there. While he was gone, I would be acting director of the test site. And I’m directly under Magruder at that point. OK, and so Jim Magruder was located—? He was downtown, in Las Vegas, yes. He was the assistant manager for operations, AMO. OK. And then when Vern went over there, you took on a number of additional responsibilities. You volunteered— Yeah, too much. Yeah, you know, maybe we can just list out some of these things, because you were branch chief and then you were chief negotiator. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 Just during JVE, yes, I was chief negotiator and director of the Nevada Test Site. Now what should’ve happened is we had a division that was downtown that was to deal with the JVE. John Stewart should’ve been the chief negotiator, but didn’t want to go to the test site every day. Do those three o’clock meetings and spend a lot of time out there, and so I volunteered to do that and we went ahead. Yeah. OK. Now let me go ahead and get some of these questions— Questions answered? Is that enough background before you go on? Yes. That helps me because you had said you had a picture of the overall picture and I kind of wanted to just add in how you got that overall picture and some of your previous experience for that. Now when Viktor Mikhailov came, you had said that you were really concerned about his health, you know. Could you kind of describe a little bit of what you saw and how you tried to take care of that problem? Well, what we saw and what we were getting feedback through the interpreters was that— and we had our own medical facility at the site, so he was going in and getting - Blood pressure was through the roof and smoking like crazy, and we were afraid at that point that we were going to have a health problem. He was under a lot of pressure not only from his own side but from the intelligence side of his country to be successful. And to also, wasn’t it to guard that maybe the United States was going to try to set him up to fail? Did the interpreters express any of that? I think that was just in their culture that they were warned that the U. S. would set them up to fail. I think we were able to assure him enough that that wasn’t the case, that if he failed, we failed. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 And so I think once he believed us, that everything kind of straightened out. And— once we took off the intelligence threat he had— made him in charge indirectly. OK. So this is where Alex Shmatov came in. Why don’t you describe the problems that you were running up? Because you were having three o’clock, three, three- thirty meetings with him every day to work through various details. Describe the problem you were coming up against. [ 00: 10: 00] Alex Shmatov was making the move that he was in charge and undermining the interface we were having with the technical people, which Viktor was leading. And what finally brought it to a head was the fact that we had a[ n] issue with keeping Americans out of a room that was storing some of their equipment. A security seal was broken. And so instead of bringing it up in our meeting, Shmatov took it right to Moscow and it came around through channels that it didn’t need to. And so at one point, in one of those three o’clock meetings, I had to embarrass Shmatov in front of the group. How did you do that? I basically scolded him for sending that to Moscow instead of bringing it in the meeting. And that was sufficient to embarrass him. Oh yes. That’s all it took. He lost face. He lost face, and from then on Viktor was in charge. And did Shmatov leave shortly after that? It was a few weeks after that, but he was in the back. He was no longer sitting at the table. He was in the back scenes, and he was no longer interfacing with the Americans as being up front. And it seemed to take a lot of pressure off from Viktor, then. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 Yes. Even though now he was in charge and had all the responsibility, he didn’t have somebody looking over his back constantly feeding back to Moscow what was going wrong. Now I understand that for many of the Soviets, it was difficult for them to make decisions. They always had to check with somebody else. Did Viktor have that kind of a problem? No, Viktor didn’t have that problem. He was a capitalist, even though he wouldn’t admit it. Now describe what you mean by that because that was something that you commented on before. It was actually one night after we had received some more of their delegation in on the airplane. It was midnight, one o’clock in the morning, and we’re drinking vodka and eating bacon, which is lard, but they it call bacon. Anyway, and we just had a discussion of, you know, I’m a capitalist and he’s a Communist, and I kept telling him, No, no, you’re not like the rest of the people. You make decisions. Oh, and that’s what you were saying a capitalist can do, is to make his own decisions, and that is the reason why you called him a capitalist. Yes. He could make his decisions. He could think for himself. Right. And take the risk. Take the responsibility and the risk of if it doesn’t go right, he’s the one that’s hung out to dry. Where most of the other Soviets would never do that because they would be pushed aside. Oh good. I’m glad you explained that. Now another thing that you had said, and I was trying to figure out, if this was an interpreter who relayed that the Soviets had the impression that Americans were baby killers. Tell me where that came from. That came from the interpreters, that they were afraid of us. They just had in their mind that we were really mean, bad people. Now did this have to do with the bombing of Japan? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 Oh, I think they could come up with any number of excuses or reasons, but I think I told you the history book story, that they were so brainwashed, especially this group that had never been outside of the Soviet Union [ USSR]. They were brainwashed into thinking that we were always against them. Way back to World War II, we were against them. We were the bad guys. We were with Hitler in attacking them. So there was a pervasive suspicion and mistrust. Right. And in their own culture, that was the way they were brought up - put up a front that was phony. And so it took them a while to get to believe that we were real, even after meeting with them. [ 00: 15: 00] This coming face- to- face with other Cold Warriors and maybe even seeing yourself through their eyes, you probably had a lot to think about that, didn’t you? Oh yes. Did you see your own suspicions and your own mistrust a little more clear? Yes. I often questioned after JVE was over and spending time in the Soviet Union during implementing the treaty whether or not the whole Cold War was just blown up by leaders to build up the military machine. Did you think that was true for the United States, too? Yes. That’s certainly a possibility that the leaders agreed We’re going to make mistrust. We’re going to build this mistrust amongst the people and we’ll both play the game. Whether that’s true or not, we’ll never know. You wondered sometimes if that might have been a national conspiracy propaganda—? Yes. After seeing what they had and just seeing their military vehicles in operation. We have this concept that the Soviet people were tough, really brutal, just like they had of us, especially in cold weather. Now, I saw them turn into wimps in cold weather, and I’m going, These aren’t UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 the tough people that we say beat the Germans because they were used to the cold weather or they were so tough in the cold weather and the Germans weren’t. It just wasn’t there. But if you can’t get up close and personal, how do you—? How do you know that? Yeah, that’s right. It’s kind of like the Iraqi Army with Saddam Hussein was reported to be one of the most fierce. Yes, till you get on the ground, you don’t know. Yes, until you get onto the ground. It just seems this was a great uncertainty, and if you were wrong, you didn’t know that. Yes, the risks were really high to be wrong. Can you tell me the details about what you were aware of, of the drilling of the hole over in Semipalatinsk? Did they foresee this? From your personal interaction with Viktor Mikhailov, did you perceive that this was going to become a problem? Drilling the satellite hole over there? Yes. I don’t think they realized it was going to be a problem, until they tried to drill it and they couldn’t get a straight hole, in which case— and this had to be hard for them to do because they normally didn’t do this— asking us to come over and drill the hole to see if we could make a satellite hole to parallel their emplacement hole. Now you had said that you were also in charge of the support for the people over there. Right. So what kind of feedback were you getting from Semipalatinsk about this hole? Almost daily feedback, and a lot of it having to do with the problems they were having— our team was having— drilling. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 Was it because of the geology? A lot of it having to do with the geology. The rock was harder than we anticipated going over, or had been led to believe. When we got there on the ground and started drilling with what we brought - because the equipment we brought was based on what we were told - found out we were burning up bits just right and left, and then had to ship over diamond bit core barrels. Then we had to cut them in half because they wouldn’t fit on the airplanes. I mean that was a long story. So yeah, we had to ship over new equipment, and even those didn’t work as well as we had thought. So there was a lot of unknowns dealing with— Even going over there and taking U. S. technology. Yes, because any time you do that, you do it based on the information you have, and the information we had wasn’t correct. And you got that information from the Soviets? From the Soviets. Either they didn’t know what they had, which is probably what it was, or there was something lost in the translation. I think I’d mentioned this before, that it was really difficult to find [ 00: 20: 00] translators or interpreters for this treaty because it was so technical. Very few. I think I could say we had maybe two on our side that were really good, and one really good one on the Soviet side. [ Michael] Farafonov. Yeah, Farafonov. Yeah. Now Fred Huckabee had said that Farafonov reported right back directly to [ Mikhail] Gorbachev, that he was keeping Gorbachev informed about what was going on with the JVE. I don’t know if that’s really true, but he had been Gorby’s interpreter at some point, so whether he was still reporting back to him, who knows? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 OK, now in your transcript there was something that you said - and I hope I’m not skipping ahead too much - but you had said that once the post- JVE was going on, that Troy Wade had wanted Jim Magruder to take some job that Jim didn’t take. Tell me about that. What happened there? I have to back up because you need to understand the interagency arena and what goes on in Washington. All the politics that gets played and the empire- building that happens between the various agencies. During JVE, DOE [ Department of Energy] had the lead. It was our tests and it was our test site and we were in charge. So most of the negotiations that went on assumed that we would still be in charge once we started implementing the treaty. During the JVE, there was a lot of jealousies from DoD [ Department of Defense] and the intelligence community. They wanted to be in on it, too? Well, they were in on it, but they wanted to be in charge of it. And so during negotiations, as far as the number of people that would be in the party that would go in to do the monitoring of the tests, there were numbers set restricting how many could go in. Well, we had DOE in charge and DOE people on the ground. We gave up a couple of slots for the intelligence people because we figured they would be there, but we didn’t plan on having any DoD slots. And so although these were all negotiated with interagency meetings first, which included DoD, [ Department of] State, ACDA [ Arms Control and Disarmament Agency] at the time, intelligence folks, were all in on these negotiations. When it came time to implement, DoD stepped up to the plate and said, No, we’ll be the ones in charge. And at that point, Troy Wade had an opening in Washington for the guy to head up the negotiation team or the treaty responsibility and wanted Jim to take it. And Jim would’ve been ideal at it. Because Jim had all of the appropriate background and would’ve protected DOE. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 He had the background and he had the energy. He would have— yes. They wouldn’t have stood a chance. So it ended up going at that time in the interagency arena. It ended up everybody voted to give it to DoD because everybody was mad at DOE or jealous of DOE at the time for having got to do this wonderful thing. Of course, that’s one man’s opinion. And then Jim retired shortly after that? Oh no, it was a long time after that that Jim retired. So he had to live with his decision. Was anybody else as mad at him as you? No, because I’m the one that had to live with it, too. But you knew that made your job a whole lot harder because there wasn’t a person like Jim there. Right. Right. There wasn’t a person like Jim there. The person that was there had no loyalties to DOE and had more political aspirations than defending DOE in our operations. So the real problem with us was we had people now leading the group that knew nothing about it, knew nothing about the treaty, had no technical background, and they took up some spots that we could have had technical people in. Yes. That you needed for verification- type people, and if all they are is just extra— Figureheads. Extra figureheads, then that creates more of a work burden on people who actually have to do the— that’s really interesting. [ 00: 25: 00] Now you had said that the Soviets tried three times to drill the hole? Yes. I don’t know if it was three times, but they tried a number of times to drill their hole and could not get it to parallel the emplacement hole, and that’s when they finally asked— Well, it sounds like they really, really tried to make it work, though, didn’t they? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 Yes. They did. They just didn’t have the, I’ll say the technology, but a lot of it is the know- how and the experience to do it, and so they said, You guys can come over and try. Yes. Now there was the story of the U. S. flag- raising here at the test site, and you had kind of said that that really made you mad. Tell me about that. Well, it wasn’t that it made me mad. It made Nick Aquilina very mad. Yes, Fred Huckabee said that, too. What it did for me, it was really a trauma, I guess, because I grew up as a kid through the Cold War, and I can remember watching the news on TV and [ Nikita] Khrushchev beating his shoe on the table in the UN [ United Nations], saying, We’re going to bury you. So you know, it really didn’t hit me, at least emotionally, who we were dealing with until that Soviet flag went up on my test site. Remember, this is my baby. I was acting director. You were acting director at the time. Do you know what month this was? March? April? No, it was later than that because there was no snow on the ground. Did they warn you they were going to raise it, or did you get told that that was—? Oh, I was all involved with the raising. I knew what was happening and the national anthems and all. We put all that stuff together. You ever try to find the Soviet national anthem here in America, on tape? That was fun. Oh, so you had to put together the ceremony? Yes. Now did the Soviets hear about the flag- raising over in the Soviet Union and so they said, OK, we want to do that, too? And they requested it here. And part of all this negotiating is reciprocity, so if one side does something, the other side’s supposed to get to do something. That’s why Nick was really mad at Vern for raising the U. S. flag over there. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 What did you just start? Yes. And I’m sure he had to go through the same emotional trauma, raising that flag on the test site, too. So you had to set up that ceremony and you had to watch it go up. Troy Wade says that in January when he was about to take them out to see the test site that’s when it emotionally hit him. It sounds like it emotionally hit you when you had to put that flag up. Put the flag up. Oh yes. Now what did Nick say to you about this? Did he say anything? Yes. Only that he didn’t want to do it and he was mad about it, and I’m sure Troy was telling him, You have to do it. Did it feel like they won? In fact we lost the Cold War? Sort of. There was a smirk on their faces as we went through that, but no, I mean, we got over it, so it wasn’t almost like they had won but that’s kind of the feeling, the emotional feeling, you got from it. Yes. Now I think you had said that before this happened, the drillers had done some painting of the drill rig of red, white, and blue. Actually in the January visit when Troy brought them out. This might have been what hit him. They were touring through the drill yard to see the size of our drill bits and our equipment and so forth, and the drillers had painted the drill bits red, white, and blue. Now there are pictures. Now remember, these are normally rusting old pieces of equipment that are painted bright red, white, and blue. Well, there’s that great big huge one that is painted blue. Was it blue before? No. It was red, white, and blue when the Soviets visited. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 So it was painted that color at that time, then? Yes. Just for their visit. And you know upper management didn’t know this was going on. You know, that makes that drill bit picture even more interesting. Oh. Yes. When you understand that nobody told them to do that. The drillers were told, Well, spiff up the yard, clean it up. And they painted it red, white, and blue on their own. So they were sending a message. [ 00: 30: 00] It was a real shock to the Cold Warrior, wasn’t it? Oh yes. Because they were Cold Warriors. They had a sense of pride in their work. They felt like they were defending their country from the Soviets, and then who comes on to the test site but the Soviets? But the Soviets. Yes. And even people who weren’t intimately involved with the Soviets had something to say about that. Yes. Well, I think I told you the last time that there was a lot of concern for Soviet safety, and part of the guards around them were to protect the Soviets. Yes. Now when did the implementation start and what happened with your career after the JVE? You had said that the Soviets had called you their “ bear,” that you had been kind of the one in charge and they had kind of looked to you— now tell me what happened with you, because we got you through Shagan and we got you back after you had been ill— And then I went back in again and came back out again. After Shagan? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 16 Yes. After Shagan, we’re trying to figure out how to get the equipment out of the Soviet Union now. We, on site, figured out how to do it, but in Geneva they— again, the Soviets were so afraid to make a decision - they wouldn’t, and finally after Shagan— I think we had been there six weeks— Magruder said, Hey, come on home, you know, they’re not going to make a decision yet. Two weeks later they did, and what we finally decided— we were trying to get them to put everything on a train, take the train to Vladivostok and up to Nakhodka and— Well, you had said you saw the train and the train was big enough to carry it and you couldn’t understand why they couldn’t have done that. Why they wouldn’t do it, yes. The Soviets just would not make that decision, even with the head of their transportation department there. He would not take that risk with the drill rig. We got everything else on the train, but they wouldn’t do it with the drill rig. At that point, that was a million- dollar piece of equipment and to them that was an awful lot of money. So you had to take it along the road. We went back in again, and this was a two- week trip, a lot of jet lag, and went into Kazakhstan and we prepared the drill rig, drove it from the test site. Oh, what’s the name of the city now? Anyway, into the airport, which is about a twenty- mile drive— Nakhodka? No, I can’t remember that. Because after everything opened up, they changed names. Anyway, - and loaded it on the drill rig at midnight, and then the weather was bad. It was snowing and cold, and it took us so long to get it on the plane that they couldn’t take off and we were stuck doing it the next day. Couldn’t get a hotel room. The General couldn’t get us into the hotel, even though the hotel was empty. So we had to go back to the test site, and then the next morning, got up and flew the drill rig from Kazakhstan to Vladivostok. We got in there at night and ended up driving UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 17 the drill rig over the mountain roads from Vladivostok to Nakhodka. And so the next morning, we finally got into Nakhodka and parked the drill rig in a fenced, secure area, waiting for the U. S.- flagged ship to come in. Now you said you had had pneumonia, and that you went to one of their hospitals or hotels, or I guess their hotels were called hospitals or something like that. Well, they’re hospitals��