Alternate History

Arizona (1983: Doomsday)

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Arizona was a state located in the southwest and western regions of the former United States of America. It joined the Union on February 14, 1912. Arizona had the sixth-largest land mass in the U.S., and according to the 1980 U.S. Census had a population of 2,716,546. The state capital, and its largest city, was Phoenix.

Doomsday targets

Phoenix itself was targeted with what is believed to have been a single bomb over downtown and another in its suburbs, likely Scottsdale, but there were other targets in the metro Phoenix area on Doomsday.

Luke Air Force Base near Sun City, west-northwest of Phoenix was hit, as was Williams AFB in Chandler, southwest of Phoenix.

Davis-Monahan AFB in Tucson was hit (but apparently not Tucson itself, although the town suffered damage from the strike on the base), along with several targets around Tucson that apparently were missile silos.

One strike was recorded near Eloy, SE of Chandler and NW of Tucson, as was a second in Mammoth, NNE of Tucson, and a third in Nogales, south of Tucson next to the Mexican border.

Fort Huachuca, SE of Tucson and also near the Mexican border, was hit, destroying not only the base but also the adjacent town of Sierra Vista.

Yuma was destroyed by strikes on the Marine Corps Air Station and the Yuma Proving Ground.

Flagstaff was devastated by the strike on the Navajo Army Depot, west of town.

Arizona was also affected by strikes on Las Vegas, Nevada.


The only definitive information known about the post-Doomsday fate of the state comes from individuals currently living in Prescott and Dinetah, and from Mexican military records released to the public in 2005. Other than the aforementioned sources, virtually nothing is known about the fate of the Arizona population. It has long been assumed that anyone who didn't find shelter in Prescott or Dinetah eventually succumbed either to starvation, blast-related injuries or to radiation exposure. The one survivor state with territory within Arizona's borders - Dinetah, also known as the Navajo Nation - occupies the northeastern portion of the state.

In 1995, a survivor town was discovered in Prescott, located in central Arizona. It was described by Dinetah scouts as a "classic Old West town", with a population at the time of approximately 14,000. The discovery offered the first post-Doomsday look at the situation in Arizona, albeit from a distance as the scouts did their best to remain unnoticed by the locals. Eventually, they did come into contact with each other in 1997.

The 2005 release of declassified reports on Mexican Army, Air Force and Marine expeditions into the former state brought out further details regarding post-Doomsday Arizona from 1983-1995.

The reports described a landscape that "looked like a wasteland and a battlezone". Numerous abandoned towns were discovered, some barely recognizable as once habitable. Farms where entire families committed suicide were found.

Portions of Tucson that weren't directly destroyed by blasts were somewhat recognizable by observers during the numerous flyovers of the devastated city by Mexican Air Force jets. No human presence was ever discovered in Tucson, nor in all but one of the other towns visited by MAF pilots.

The exception was - amazingly - the metropolitan Phoenix area.

A reconnaissance flight in December 1983 showed that some portions of the area were discovered to not only have survived (albeit with damage from blast winds, fires, and looting), but also to have some human activity. Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid ordered more reconnaissance, which led to the Marine expeditions into the ruins from March-May 1984.

The most famous story from the reports involves one Marine expeditions into Mesa, Arizona in April 1984.

Flyovers had indicated some ongoing human presence in the region; the Marines were sent in to get more details and, if possible, engage the locals and offer assistance and food on behalf of the Mexican government.

Instead, the Marines were met by a gang, numbering 19 men, whom were armed only with rocks and knives. The Marines easily overpowered the gang, killing four members and injuring seven, while the other eight escaped into the night. One of the injured members - described as a "former Arizona State University student named Stan" - told how the gang had survived as long as it had: murder, violence and cannibalism. At first numbering in the hundreds, the gang had literally run out of food (and survivors) to eat, and had turned on each other. The surviving members had seen the jets fly overhead, and had hoped to encounter whomever would land in the area to overpower them and consume them as food.

"Stan" soon tried to overpower a Marine and was shot instantly between the eyes; the other six injured men refused Mexican help and were eventually left behind, to their own fates. The eight escapees were not encountered again.

Subsequent flyovers, dating to 2008, saw no human activity in the Phoenix area.

The question of how to engage Prescott gained increased interest into the 2000s. A summit meeting in Dinetah between West Texas, Dinetah and Mexican officials led to the decision to strengthen the ties between them and Prescott and to bring it into the 21st century.

With the recent signing of treaties between Dinetah and West Texas, attempts to modernize the small town, so much as the locals are willing, have begun, beginning with an upgrade of the medical facilities at Fort Whipple and area farms to current standards.

In addition, these governments have recognized the claims of Prescott to be the rightful government of most of the former state of Arizona.

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