The, Uranium Seekers, saga began in 1976 when world-famous Hollywood, California photographer, Martin, was contracted to come to Utah and begin documenting, paying photographic tribute to, uranium miners, native Americans, and the Vanadium King uranium and vanadium mines on Temple Mountain, Emery County, Utah.
The essence of the project was to pay tribute to the persons who traversed Zane Grey’s and John Ford’s great western expanse in search of uranium ore, one rock at a time, from before Madame Curies trips to the, then, present, and to remind the world’s public that uranium was, and still is, used to kill, not humanity, rather cancer. I harbored the hope that by going back to the first uranium rocks the nuclear industry would re-evaluate the physical structure of nuclear reactors, one cubic yard at a time. Nuclear reactors, when built, witness Fukushima Daiichi, are still being created with too much haste. Like the uranium miners themselves, it’s the hands of the humanity who cast the cement forms in which the reactors rest which determines safety. I also, rather naively, hoped when uranium’s harmonous utilization was embraced its destructive military reality, throughout the world, would melt.
Even with the support of the fine Beverly Hills, California literary agent, Clyde M. Vandeburg of Vandeburg-Linkletter Associates who represented Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and many others at the time, the national and international events at Three-Mile Island and Chernobyl put Uranium Seekers and Martins great photographs to bed for decades.
However, recently I learned the Utah Historical Quarterly Unpublished Manuscripts from the Department of Community and Culture at the Utah State Archives had harbored some of the manuscript material for decades and the recent events at Fukushima Daiichi made uranium part of the international conversation once again, I decided to dust off Martin’s work and snatches of the original material for Uranium Seekers.