None of the politicians, experts or ordinary citizensdoes not believe that in the modern world a military conflict with the use of nuclear weapons can arise. After all, the consequences will be catastrophic for everyone. Being in their right mind, no one wants to go back to the Stone Age. It would seem that there is nothing to worry about. However, few people know that the world was already half a step away from a nuclear apocalypse. And this is not about the Caribbean crisis, but even greater threats. Rockets with nuclear warheads could have been launched due to simple human error. Moreover, there have been several dozen such cases over the past 60 years. This means that mankind, since the invention of nuclear weapons, has been constantly living under the "sword of Damocles", and to this day it is hardly possible to guarantee complete security. After all, there are still about 14,000 warheads in the world that are capable of killing several billion people and leading to a nuclear winter.
- 1 How a nuclear war could start because of a bear
- 2 Nuclear incident due to the Moon
- 3 How a magnetic storm extinguished early warning systems
- 4 “Rise of the Machines” and a Heartbreaking Call to Zbigniew Brzezinski
- 5 Norwegian missile incident
- 6 Loss of control over nuclear missiles
How a nuclear war could start because of a bear
A case in point occurred on October 25, 1962year, just during the Caribbean crisis. It should be understood that the nerves then were all at the limit. A security guard at a command and control post in Duluth, Minnesota noticed movement near the fence. Some shadow tried to climb over it.
The guard immediately started shooting and raised the alarm.He decided that a large-scale invasion of the USSR had begun. Neighboring airbases were immediately alerted. The pilots had already rushed to their bombers. And they were warned that this was not a training flight. All of them were sure that the Third World War had begun. The fact is that someone by mistake pressed the wrong button, as a result, instead of a warning signal, sirens sounded, signaling a combat alarm.
The bombers have already started their engines andprepared to take off. However, the commander of the base in Duluth by that time realized that the cause of the alarm was not a military invasion at all. The bear tried to climb over the fence. One of the soldiers jumped into the truck and rushed to the runway to meet the planes. Fortunately, the pilots were able to hang up in time.
Nuclear incident due to the moon
On October 5, 1960, the threat of nuclear war waseven more serious. The NORAD Nuclear Command Center received early warning radar signals that day. He said that the USSR launched a nuclear attack on the United States with a 99.9% probability.
It was a new radar built in Greenland,which accurately detected the takeoff of nuclear missiles at an early stage. Upon receipt of such a message, American ground-based missiles, which are on high alert, should have been launched within a few minutes. Moreover, the time to check the received message is extremely small. The President must make a decision within 10 minutes.
How events developed further, various sourcesare reported differently. According to one of the versions, panic and confusion began among the responsible persons. According to another, they calmly decided to double-check the data. As a result, it turned out that the radar was mistaken, and the rising moon became the culprit of this error. She reflected the waves back, as a result, the early detection system began to send urgent messages to NORD that it sees a large object.
How a magnetic storm extinguished early warning systems
Another space-related threat ismagnetic storm May 23, 1967. This time, the Air Force did not detect the beginning of an attack on the United States by the USSR, and indeed they could not detect anything at all, since the warning systems stopped working.
According to members of the research team, May 23In 1967, a solar flare was so powerful that it could be seen with the naked eye. Moreover, not characteristic radio waves began to enter the ground. As a result, there are three radar stations that were in Alaska, in Greenland and in the United Kingdom, were muffled.
US Air Force officials thought it was a SovietThe Union has jammed the early warning systems, and meanwhile strikes. Such jamming of radars was considered tantamount to starting a war. Commanders quickly began to prepare aircraft equipped with nuclear weapons to take off. Fortunately, military forecasters intervened in time, informing high-ranking officials that the problem was caused by powerful solar radiation.
“Rise of the Machines” and a heartbreaking call to Zbigniew Brzezinski
The situation developed even more dramatically on June 31980, when all the main US warning centers received notification of an impending major nuclear strike. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski received a call at 3 am. Picking up the phone, he heard that there was a major nuclear attack on the United States, and that he should be ready to call the President. As Zbigniew Brzezinski himself later said, he did not wake up his wife, as he was sure that they would all die in 30 minutes.
The message received by NORAD resulted inemergency convening of a Threat Assessment Conference. Meanwhile, Air Force bomber crews at bases across the US boarded their planes and started their engines. The missile launchers were notified that they were ready to launch. The airborne command post of the Pacific Command took off from the Hawaiian Islands. The National Airborne Command Post at Andrews Air Force Base also moved into position for a quick takeoff.
Warning centers by comparing signals,obtained from several different sources determined within minutes that the alarm was false. As it turned out later, it was a computer failure. It should be noted that this was far from the only case when a nuclear war could start as a result of a computer failure.
Norwegian missile incident
False alarms sometimes happened not only in the USA. In January 1995, the Russian missile attack warning system (SPRS) reported a possible nuclear attack on Russian territory.
Strategic Rocket Forcesimmediately put on alert. President Boris Nikolaevich Yeltsin used the "nuclear suitcase" with which he could retaliate against the United States at any second.
In fact, there was no attack, of course.The system incorrectly recognized the four-stage Black Brant XI research rocket, which was launched by a Norwegian-American team of scientists from the Andøya missile range. On board was scientific equipment for the study of auroras. At the time of launch, the Russian early warning system confused it with the Trident ballistic missile. For some reason, the early warning officers did not receive a warning about the missile launch. In such situations, a corresponding notification is usually received through diplomatic channels. Therefore, the incident was not only the fault of the Russian side.
Loss of control over nuclear missiles
Errors and dangerous situations arose not only inXX century. The last incident occurred in 2010 under President Barack Obama. At a US base in Wyoming, 50 nuclear ICBMs, one-ninth of the US missile arsenal, were temporarily disabled.
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Moreover, the missiles remained technically suitableto launch, but the command lost contact with them. This meant that at that moment it was impossible to detect and stop their automatic launch. The reason again was a computer glitch. Fortunately, the engineers were able to quickly solve the problem, and there were no emergency situations at the moment when communication was lost with the missiles. Finally, I note that the above are just some of the dangerous situations. In total, mankind could face a nuclear war 22 times. Perhaps with the development of hypersonic weapons, the situation will become even more dangerous.