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Mike Pintek on: Being Misinformed by Metropolitan Edison
Mike Pintek Q: What happened at that the press conference the day of the accident?

MP: At some point on the day of the accident, the Lieutenant Governor had a news conference and I remember attending it myself. And here's the Lieutenant Governor, Bill Scranton, standing at the podium saying, MetEd, the utility, has been giving you, the media, and us, the state government, conflicting information. And I'm sitting there in my little chair, thinking, oh boy, you betcha they are. I'd been feeling that all along, and I felt, at the time, in my gut, that they were lying. I don't know whether they were or not today, but then I felt that they were, and I was angry about that. I was angry because I lived within five miles of the plant, I was angry because I was a news media person and I didn't expect to be lied to. I expected them to answer the questions honestly.

By Thursday I didn't think that they could handle the situation, and by Friday, I felt the situation was out of control. And by Saturday night, I personally believed -- I'm sitting at the desk in the studio, my news studio at, in Harrisburg, and I was convinced that I was going to die. And I came to terms with that.

Q: What are you saying to yourself?

MP: On Saturday night, I'm saying to myself, my life, about 27 years old, is going to be over, because these arrogant utility operators have allowed this thing to run out of control and they're going to kill us. And I have no control over it, and I can't even see the danger. Because you could look at Three Mile Island and it just sits there. You don't see any flames, you don't see anything shooting out of it, it's all invisible, and it's very frightening. And unless you've lived through it, you can't imagine what it's like to sit there and just know that. At any minute, this alleged hydrogen bubble could blow up and blow the reactor up and spew this invisible radiation into the air and kill me. And it might take days, it might take weeks, it might take months, but I'm going to die.

Q: At that moment, anger, betrayal?

MP: My feelings during that time period ran the gamut of first and foremost excitement, because I was a news guy and I love a good story. And I'll never have a story that good again, but it was exciting to be there. I also lived there. I lived within five miles of the plant, that's the magic five miles. And I was a citizen, a tax payer there, and I was scared. And my wife was there. And my family lives in that area. And so I was angry, and I was frightened. I remember trying to sleep at night, and there would be sirens going off, and I never knew whether the siren meant that there's going to be an evacuation or that something had gone wrong, and I guess if there's something called post-traumatic stress syndrome, I had it, because for years later, I couldn't sleep well. The slightest noise would wake me up. So my emotions ran the gamut.

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