INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – WISH-TV obtained an interview with Donald Miller done a decade ago inside his home near Waldron, Ind.
Miller is at the center of an FBI raid in rural Rush County.
“This is a bunch of arrowheads I picked up at Los Alamos. They’re all obsidian. This is volcanic black glass,” said the 91-year-old, who was in his 80s when the interview was done in 2003.
Arrowheads are just a small part of Miller’s half a century or more of collecting – a collection that is being cataloged by the FBI under tents on his property in rural Rush County. Somewhere in there is a uranium shell he says was part of an atomic bomb.
In the interview, Miller talks about his years in the Army Air Corp during World War II and his decision to try and become part of a top secret project.
“I walked up to the interview place and there was a guy there. He said, ‘you’re in the army and you have to act like soldiers, but you’ll be under the guidance of civilians,’” he said.
Miller was assigned to Los Alamos, New Mexico, working on the first ever atomic bomb with J. Robert Oppenheimer.
“I think I asked what are we doing here and they said, ‘none of your business.’”
Miller said he was part of the crew the night of the Trinity first test explosion.
“The night of the test was July 16, 1945,” Miller said.
Miller said he actually snuck out of the bunker six miles from the detonation site and viewed the mushroom cloud with his own eyes. He even has a souvenir from that night, a dust mask given to him by Oppenheimer.
“I was waiting to get the order to start the procedure when he came out and give me this mask to wear,” says Miller.
The interview was recorded because Miller often told stories of his involvement in the development and detonation of the atomic bomb, and those who know him wanted to preserve the story.
Miller is said to be cooperating with the FBI’s investigation.
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis anthropology and museum studies faculty and students are assisting the FBI in identifying and preserving cultural artifacts found in the home.