No, I wasn't on the Enola Gay. I was on the Great Artiste, the instrument plane, which measured the yield, the size of the blast. We were right next to the Enola Gay when she dropped the Bomb. It was I who got the pictures. I didn't take 'em. Let's say I had a hand in 'em. But I brought the films back. They were on a 16-mm color cassette, and the only processing facility we had out there was for black-and-white movies on reels, so they couldn't process what we had, and we didn't know if anything was on 'em or not. I had to get 'em back to the lab over Groves' dead body. Groves had a policy that everything in the field went to him first, and he tried to get the films away from me. That's a story in itself--cops 'n' robbers. So how do you keep the films from General Groves when you're going from Tinian to Kwajalein to Johnston Island to Hawaii to San Francisco to Wendover, Utah, to Albuquerque, stopping every time with some gumshoe lookin' in the plane and asking, 'Anybody on board by the name of Agnew? He has something I've been ordered by General Groves to get.'
"Well, I didn't put [the films] in my brassiere or up my ass, but I got 'em. Still, I got caught in Albuquerque. That's when they really closed in on me. But I cut a deal. We'd take the pictures to Oppie, and he'd decide what to do."
Harold M. Agnew's elbows make a pair of wings for his head, on top of which his hands fold in a clasp. The elbows are covered by suede patches sewn onto a brown tweed jacket. The collar of his brown polo shirt is worn over the jacket collar. There is a Western-style belt of silver and turquoise, and something of a belly: the paunch of a man of 64 who was an athlete 40 years ago. He looks like Spencer Tracy now. His desk looks like a pile of raked leaves. On walls and tables in his not-too-large office are honorary university degrees; a photo taken with Attorney General Edwin Meese; another photo taken years ago on Tinian, showing Agnew and his fellow scientists at a briefing session the night before the Hiroshima bombing; and near his desk, a framed photo of his wife Beverly, now 65, looking crisp and very smart in 1939.
These mementos belong to the president of GA Technologies Inc., a company described in its brochure as one of "diverse interests and programs, ranging from the development of advanced energy conversions systems to the production of nuclear instrumentation and radiation monitoring equipment." "They still give me an office to play in," says Agnew, suggesting that his days of hands-on running the company are over. GA Technologies is a very big thing to run: 1984 sales of $160 million and 1,800 employees. Filling 350 well-tended acres behind a high wire gate near La Jolla, Calif., the company resembles a little village, which, instead of a school, a church and a store, consists of a Fusion Building, Waste Yard Buildings and Experimental Area Buildings No. 1, No. 1Bunker and No. 2.