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Video Production Diaries: 'Operation Blowdown'

Updated: May 9, 2019

In 1963 the Australian, British and US Armies got together and set off a bomb in Lockhart River in Cape York (research for Vietnam). I wanted to try and locate the bomb site. The Aussie colloquialism “yeah nah” made it a little difficult!


Link to original LowRange segment: https://youtu.be/9DMH3ITmgRA


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Transcript:


On one of our Cape York trips during my research I'd found out about a bomb blast that the Australian Army had done in Lockhart River. It’s one of those things that I really had to dig to find information on it but apparently there was a cleared area in Lockhart but not much else. So I did the research on it, I even found some archival footage that we'd be able to include in the segment and I was really keen to find this place so that we could film a segment on it. It's something that really interested John. He really wanted to get there and see it for himself. He's interested in all that kind of stuff but I couldn't find a location online and it meant we were going to have to go there and ask the locals for help. We asked quite a few people and most people had never heard of it - did not know what we were talking about. And it's quite funny because we were talking to one local, an Indigenous man who, you know his English wasn't fantastic. I remembered John explaining what we were trying to find and whether he knew where it was. He kept saying yeah nah yeah nah to everything that John asked him. In the end John started losing his patience and said to the guy "well what is it mate? Is it yes or is it no? It was just funny seeing John kind of lose his patience. He doesn’t really do that. In the end that guy was no help but someone ended up going to someone's house and bringing them back and they told us where the place was. And it was amazing. Like to get there and there was still things that had been blown up, you know remnants that were there like bits of steel and it was just crazy to think after all this time no one had come and cleared it, no one had pilfered it, it was just there as it had happened and it was it was incredible.


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