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Errors/False Nuclear Alerts

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165275.  Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:20 am Reply with quote

Errors/ False Nuclear Alerts

The most striking example of how quickly the nuclear ball can be set into motion took place on January 25, 1995, when Russian early warning radars detected a missile rising from the Norwegian Sea. Russian President Boris Yeltsin was alerted. He was brought his nuclear-command briefcase and placed in contact with his defense minister.
For several tense minutes, Yeltsin and his subordinates waited to see if Russia was coming under a submarine-based nuclear attack -- and if they needed to retaliate.
As it turned out, the missile detected by Russian radar was a Norwegian research rocket, launched on a mission to examine the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights.
An investigation into the matter revealed that Norway had indeed informed Russia about the rocket several weeks before the launch -- but, due to bureaucratic mismanagement, the announcement never reached officials involved with Moscow's early warning systems.
One of the more publicized U.S. false alarms took place in November 1979. A technician at NORAD -- the North American Air Defense Command -- accidentally placed a training tape into the main systems at NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado. That mistake made NORAD's early warning system computer think the United States was undergoing a massive Soviet missile attack -- and it responded by alerting NORAD officials.
Within minutes, they realized the error. The incident was one of five missile warning system failures that took place over an eight-month period between 1979 and 1980. It also prompted a government reassessment of NORAD and its operations.

Source: CNN

501538.  Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:07 pm Reply with quote

scary (enough to revive)


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