Wednesday, September 26, 2007

24 Years Ago Today the World Almost Ended

...not when that perfect Russian almost beat Rocky in Rocky IV, although that would've been devastating to all Americans. No, September 26, 1983 is when a mid-level Russian officer almost pushed a button...

1983: A Soviet ballistics officer draws the right conclusion -- that a satellite report indicating incoming U.S. nuclear missiles is, in fact, a false alarm -- thereby averting a potential nuclear holocaust.

Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov was duty officer at Serpukhov-15, the secret bunker outside Moscow that monitored the Soviet Union's early-warning satellite system, when the alarm bells went off shortly after midnight. One of the satellites signaled Moscow that the United States had launched five ballistic missiles at Russia.

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