The secret is out: as a new edition to the Los Alamos Science Fest this year, July 14–17, history and mystery lovers will get an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the Manhattan Project’s most well known spies with a guided “New Mexico True Spy Tour.”
Los Alamos National Labs (LANL) scientists have also developed a 3D app allowing anyone with a cell phone to take a virtual tour from the perspective of a 1940’s Manhattan Project scientist. The NM True Spy Tour continues in Los Alamos with tours of actual sites where scientists lived, worked and played.
The guided NM True Spy Tour takes place in Santa Fe and is limited to a maximum of 15 spots per day. Tours will take place twice per day on Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17 only. Tours are $10 each.
The guided tour traces the footsteps of infamous spies such as Klaus Fuchs, David Greenglass and other KGB informants. What is now the Scottish Rite Temple also doubled as the site where atomic spy Klaus Fuchs and Harry Gold exchanged diagrams of an implosive device which was sold to the Russians. Haagen Daas ice cream shop, once Zooks Pharmacy, served as a safe house for Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky who Stalin wanted assassinated. These and other sites in Santa Fe will be explored as part of the tour.
The free supplemental 3D app will allow guests to experience what scientists would have after they were picked up from the Lamy, New Mexico train station, whisked to a Santa Fe shop on 109 E. Palace St (now, Rainbow Man Art Gallery), and where they would be checked in then disappear through a back door. In fact, a plaque commemorates the site where the scientists would arrive and leave through a secret exit with a waiting vehicle which would take them to Los Alamos to start their secret mission.
“One can only imagine what Santa Fe locals thought back then when they’d see these scientists show up in the alley then never come out again,” said Ryn Hermann, marketing manager of Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation. “This is a rare opportunity to experience all the historic spots that the creators of the world’s first atomic bomb once saw, not only in Santa Fe, but continuing up to Los Alamos where they ultimately lived, worked and played.”
The tour is part of the Los Alamos Science Fest, which takes place in Los Alamos July 14–17, centered around the theme: “The Secret City Unlocked.” Following the Spy Tour in Santa Fe, participants can continue on to Los Alamos, NM and set foot in the very location where the first atomic bomb was actually assembled, as well as tour places like the Baker House, Fuller Lodge, Ice House Memorial, and other buildings along Bathtub Row where the world’s top scientists lived, frolicked and plotted. The guided “Spy Tour,” led by the Los Alamos Historical Society, will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16 only.
In addition to the Spy Tour, the Los Alamos Historical Society will also offer guided tours of the historic Bathtub Row district at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Thursday–Saturday; and offer “Fact or Fiction” tours at 11:30 a.m. Thursday–Saturday. “Fact or Fiction” tours will revolve around the popular WGN TV series, “Manhattan” and distinguish facts from fiction.
All tours, including the “Spy Tour,” “Fact or Fiction”’ tour and guided Bathtub Row tours are $10 each. Children are free. For each tour, meet at 475 20th St,, the temporary site while renovations of the historical museum take place. No advance registration is required.
Visitors can also see where the area’s first ancestors settled at the Ancestral Pueblo Dwelling during a self guided tour of Bathtub Row. Maps are available at the Los Alamos Historical Museum and Shop. “Atomic City Tours” are also available through Buffalo Tours for only $15 per person. Call 505.662.3965
to reserve or visit buffalotoursla.com
The Los Alamos Science Festival is geared towards families and those interested in the enigmatic Manhattan Project as well as area culture and history. The festival includes live music, hands on STEM activities for kids, and much more.