19. The First Successfully Deployed Inter-Continental Weapon in History Failed to Produce Widespread Devastation, But Did Produce a Tragedy
May 5th, 1945, was a beautiful spring day in the American Northwest. The nice weather inspired Reverend Archie Mitchell, the new minister of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in the small woodland town of Bly, Oregon, to organize an impromptu picnic. So he decided to take five kids from his Sunday school class, ranging in age from 11 to 14, to a designated picnic area in the pine forests of the nearby Gearhart Mountain. The pastor’s wife of two years, Elyse Winters Mitchell, was five months pregnant with the couple’s first child, and although feeling slightly unwell, she decided to accompany her husband in the hope that the fresh air would do her good.
Upon arrival, Mitchell began to unload the lunches from his car, when one of the kids spotted a strange white canvas on the floor. Elyse called to her husband “Look what we found. It looks like some kind of balloon”. Mitchell turned around and saw the kids and his wife gathered in a tight circle around the oddity, about 50 yards away. He remembered warnings he had heard on the radio, and opened his mouth to tell the kids not touch the balloon, but it was too late. A huge explosion rocked the mountainside, instantly killing Elyse, her unborn child, and the five kids. Those unfortunates were the only casualties of the Fu-Go Operation.