No, I’m not totally mad. Oppenheimer thought it may have happened. He was very familiar with the ancient Hindu texts. When asked if his was the first ever detonation of of a nuclear bomb, he said. ‘Yes, in modern times’.
A more haunted human will never be seen.
The Mahabharata and Ramayana are the national epics of India. They are probably the longest poems in any language. The Mahabharata, attributed to the sage Vyasa, was written down from 540 to 300 B.C. The Mahabharata tells the legends of the Bharatas, a Vedic Aryan group. The Ramayana, attributed to the poet Valmiki, was written down during the first century A.D., although it is based on oral traditions that go back six or seven centuries earlier. The Ramayana is a moving love story with moral and spiritual themes that has deep appeal in India to this day.
This is from the ancient Hindu text the Mahabharata.
“Gurkha, flying a swift and powerful vimana [fast aircraft],
hurled a single projectile [rocket]
charged with the power of the Universe [nuclear device].
An incandescent column of smoke and flame,
as bright as ten thousand suns,
rose with all its splendour.
It was an unknown weapon,
an iron thunderbolt,
a gigantic messenger of death,
which reduced to ashes
the entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.
The corpses were so burned
as to be unrecognizable.
Hair and nails fell out;
Pottery broke without apparent cause,
and the birds turned white.
…After a few hours
all foodstuffs were infected…
…to escape from this fire
the soldiers threw themselves in streams
to wash themselves and their equipment.”
A second passage.
“Dense arrows of flame,
like a great shower,
issued forth upon creation,
encompassing the enemy.
A thick gloom swiftly settled upon the Pandava hosts.
All points of the compass were lost in darkness.
Fierce wind began to blow
Clouds roared upward,
showering dust and gravel.
Birds croaked madly…
the very elements seemed disturbed.
The sun seemed to waver in the heavens
The earth shook,
scorched by the terrible violent heat of this weapon.
Elephants burst into flame
and ran to and fro in a frenzy…
over a vast area,
other animals crumpled to the ground and died.
From all points of the compass
the arrows of flame rained continuously and fiercely.” — The Mahabharata
From the Ramayana
“(It was a weapon) so powerful
that it could destroy the earth in an instant–
A great soaring sound in smoke and flames–
And on it sits death…” . — The Ramayana
For something written before the first nuke was detonated, it does a stand up job of describing deaths from radiation poisoning, and the blast itself.
Other reading seems to place the site as being in Rajasthan, West of Jodhpur, where there is a very radioactive piece of land. There’s a high rate of birth defects in the area.
Of course, this could also be a damned great comet or asteroid impact of the ‘Tunguska’ variety, with some heavy metal poisoning thrown in, and plenty of myth involved.
Chances of being real, 1% (never say never).