The Conqueror (1956) directed by Dick Powel and starring John Wayne and Susan Hayward was shot on location at Snow Canyon State Park in Utah, USA during May-August of 1954. Snow Canyon is located 220 km downwind of Yucca Flats, Nevada, where above ground atomic testing lasted from 1951-1953. It was widely rumoured that the director, leading stars and a total of 91 of the 220 crew all died of cancer directly relating to the radiation fallout from the previous nuclear testing in the area, helped largely by an article in the November 10, 1980 issue of People magazine.

However, contemporary and subsequent testing of the area for any hazardous material and related health issues have consistently contradicted the rumours, and data collected in the Snow Canyon area in May of 1954 indicated the radiation levels were essentially background.


Exhibited and Published by PhotoIreland: New Irish Works

Also featured online: American Photo magazine, The Guardian, Photomonitor, Dust magazine, From Dusk 2 Dawn

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