NEW GUINEA: Spirit of Bikini

Mount Lamington is a 5,534-ft. volcano in the Owen-Stanley range, New Guinea. White residents call it the "Marx Brothers," because it has four cones; natives know it as "Spirit Mountain," from a legend that it once breathed fire.

Airline Pilot Russell Bidulph, flying a C-47 from Port Moresby to Lae, looked down on Lamington. Said Bidulph later: "It seemed to cough, and in an instant there was a Bikini-like cloud above it." In a single blast the whole northern side of the peak had blown up. The black cloud, "full of streaks of red lightning," boiled up to 50,000...

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