In the same year that the United States visited the moon for the first time, the original Woodstock secured a place in the rock and roll history books, and Charles Manson became a household name for all the wrong reasons, the United States Government and a few deep-pocketed energy companies were up to something else in the hills of Western Colorado.

What Was Colorado's Project Rulison?

Project Rulison was an underground nuclear bomb test that took place on September 10, 1969, in hopes of discovering an effective way of extracting natural gas deposits trapped in the sedimentary rock below. The project cost about $6.5 million at the time, a bill that was shared by the United States Government and the aforementioned companies.

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While the test was technically successful, the natural gas that was secured was found to have been highly contaminated by the radiation from the blast and was therefore deemed impractical.

Unclassified Project Rulison Footage Paints an Eerie Picture of Western Colorado

If you keep scrolling, you'll see snapshots from a rather eerie video that was taken back in 1969 explaining Project Rulison. The footage feels like part documentary, part educational, and part propaganda.

In the footage, you'll notice familiar things like the Bookcliffs, aspen trees, Battlement Mesa, (the actual mesa, not the town,) and a town that was once known as Grand Mesa which is part of the present-day Parachute.

You'll also see the massive operation that Project Rulison was, along with a billboard presumedly in Grand Valley at the time, and even the bomb itself.

Eerie Video from 1969 Outlines Colorado’s Failed Nuclear Past

Footage from 1969 describing the failed Project Rulison nuclear tests in Western Colorado serves as an eerie window into the state’s explosive past.

Western Colorado has a History of Unsuccessful Nuclear Bomb Tests

Years ago, Western Colorado was the site of multiple unsuccessful nuclear bomb detonations. 

Remembering the Forgotten Town and Story of Uravan Colorado

Uravan Colorado was once a uranium mining town. However, because the radiation left behind was making people ill, it was burned, buried, and is now considered extinct.