Mel and the little lady who's on the nest, expose themselves
to radioactive pellets.
A happy ending...
QST reader Dave Berman, WA2PAY, wrote in the March 2020 issue's "Letters
from Our Members" column about an episode (S1E8) of the old "Highway
Patrol" television show entitled, "Radioactive,"
wherein the ARRL (American Radio Relay League"
is mentioned and Ham radio operator Pat Conway plays a lead role in the show. Broderick
Crawford stars as head highway patrolman Dan Mathews. I did some screen shots of
Mel's shack showing the massive transmitter cabinet and the receiving station desk.
On a table across the room is a
Apparatus Co. E-200-C Signal Generator (identified by a commenter). Do you recognize
any of the other equipment?
According to the IMDB website storyline:
"Sneak thief Herb
Williams steals an oil indicating device containing highly radioactive beryllium
pellets and jettisons it in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid capture. A scavenger
named Adams finds the device and sells it to a junkyard where Mel (a ham radio operator)
buys it for parts. Dan Mathews and the device's handler, Mr. Hoyt, remain a frustrating
few steps behind the device despite reluctant assistance from Williams and Adams.
Dan asks the American Radio Relay League to warn area radio operators about the
device on its evening broadcast. The League does so, but Mel's pregnant wife Ann
opens the device and is exposed to the pellets. Dan, Mel, and Mr. Hoyt have only
seconds to prevent a tragedy. "
Note on the chalkboard that the nuclear scientist has beryllium misspelled as
"berilium," unless he happens
to be an Indonesian, in which case it's OK. In the opening scene he say that exposure
to the pellets for only a few seconds could be fatal, yet at the end he assures
everyone that they are virtually harmless. It's time for the professor to retire.
You can view the Highway Patrol episode in the video below, at least as long
as it is still available. These videos have a way of disappearing after the copyright
owner forces them to be pulled. Not to worry though since someone else eventually
posts a copy.
*Highway Patrol TV Show "Radioactive"
(Season 4, Episode 99)
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