Those who were born in the 80's and 90's hard to fully grasp how close to global catastrophe, we were in the 20th century ...
1. Cheap computer chip announces nuclear war
At two o'clock in the morning June 3, 1980 a staff member of the Joint Air Defense Command North American continent (NORAD) check the data devices, and found that a device that is always used to show "0 attacking missiles," now shows "2 of attacking missiles." It was enough to panic, but the next second unit reported "220 attacking missiles».
Alarms squealed across America. Bombers with nuclear bombs on board began to rise into the air one after another. On launchers of ICBMs entered team prepare for the launch. Ten minutes later the world teetered on the brink of a nuclear apocalypse.
Fortunately, before the Americans had to press the trigger, someone pointed out that hundreds of alleged warheads did not appear on the radar screens. Declared false alarm, the bombers returned to their airfields and all exhaled.
Determine the causes of the strange incident took three days. It turned out that the reason was a defective computer chip worth 46 cents.
2. The accident at the telephone exchange almost led to nuclear war
In the 1950s, the US Air Force built a network of early warning radars, which were, if anything, to report on Soviet missiles flying as soon as possible. These stations with special communication lines were connected to the main control of the Strategic Air Force aviakomandovaniya in Nebraska, with bases the Air Force, missile bases and the Joint Chiefs defense of the North American continent, located in Wyoming.
So when the 24 November 1961 communication with the Air Command and radars suddenly interrupted, started a real panic. It seemed that these stations someone suddenly wiped off the face of the Earth.
With stations trying to contact for emergency line - it is useless. Tried to call on telephone bills - long beeps and no response.
The logical explanation for all this could be only one - the Soviet Union bombed all radar stations, and along with Air Defense Command, and it seems, the first wave of deadly attacks, followed by an end of the world only. The crews of strategic bombers B-52 across America took place in their aircraft. Over the next 12 minutes waiting for the US Air Force order to top the global destruction of the human race.
Fortunately for posterity, one of the B-52 aircraft at this point was already in the air, and just flew over one of these radars. Instead alleged smoking ruins he saw a normal peaceful landscape with tselёhonkimi radars on its usual place. The pilot immediately reported it to where you want and everything calmed down.
Here is what happened: For some ridiculous reason, everything technical telephone lines connecting aviakomandovanie with the aforementioned bases and stations, including reserve and civilian, were served the same relay station located in Colorado. That night there the accident occurred, and all possible lines of communication between those in whose hands had nuclear weapons and those who could order not to let him in turn, were broken.
3. United Air Defense Command North American continent (NORAD) inform America about a doomsday
System emergency warning is typically used to warn citizens of impending danger like a hurricane or tornado. In the US, such a system was created during the Cold War in case of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. Every Saturday it was tested by sending meaningless teletype messages to all of America radio station - just to check that there is a connection and it works. It was common practice, and no special attention to these messages do not pay until ...
February 20, 1971 at 9:33 am ordinary civil radioman radioteletaypnoy communication Weiland Eberhard absentmindedly ran in alarm is not the message that followed. Instead of saying "This is just a test», NORAD sent the cities and villages of America chilling message that a few minutes to the nation is going to address the president himself.
In the understanding of the average American Cold War there was only one reason why the president could break into millions of favorite shows with an urgent message. This could only mean one thing: the atomic bomb are already flying from Russia.
Radio presenters across the country repeated the announcement of the mystical emergency, people rushed to call friends and family, to say any words in case of end of the world and ask each other's forgiveness for any sins.
NORAD staff realized what had happened, almost instantly, but in spite of all the frantic efforts to cancel the alarm for a long time could not find the right code for assurances abolishing posts. So about 45 minutes nation was preparing for imminent death.
In the end, the code still has been found, a message about the error and sent everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
In this story, and was another serious danger. The fact that the Soviet Union and the United States closely watching each other for any signs of a possible nuclear attack. If, for example, the Americans would start suddenly, for no reason, no reason, shove a bomb shelter for its citizens, in Russia it could easily be seen as a sign of bad intentions and respond accordingly. So if the panic would last a little longer, it could have really very sad end.
4. Virtual War mistaken for a terrifying reality
This story began Nov. 9, 1979 at 9 am. One Air Force officer rank low sat at the computer and downloaded the tutorial, which simulate the launch of thousands of Soviet nuclear missiles. In America's side, of course.
The officer did not know that the computer was connected to the central unit hardware Air Defense Command. When he launched his program computers from NORAD to the Pentagon began to report that all Russian nuclear bombs are on their way to America. "They were absolutely sure that the missiles are about to be here" - recalled Senator Charles Percy.
Each missile silos in America were sent messages about the attack and the order is ready to launch. Military aircraft began to rise into the air, ready to shoot down Soviet bombers. Presidential airborne command post was ready to ship, and could not take off because no one could find Jimmy Carter.
Fortunately, the commander of NORAD has decided to double-check the information on the reality of the Soviet attack before you give the go-ahead and arrange Armageddon. He called on the radar station and asked what they have going on there. Those have reported that nothing suspicious there and everything is clean.
Great happiness that day though the phone works fine.
5. Russia takes a scientific experiment for the start of World War III
January 25, 1995, scientists from Norway launched a completely harmless rocket to study the aurora borealis. Even though the Cold War had already several years as ended when the Russian radar recorded something similar to the US ballistic missile started to panic.
In accordance with the developed on a case scenario, the then President Boris Yeltsin was 10 minutes trying to decide on a retaliatory strike on the United States. As is known, the Russian president has always carrying nuclear briefcase with a secret code by which at any moment can arrange doomsday. It was the first time that the suitcase was opened.
Fortunately, Yeltsin could not believe in the reality of the threat and to press the red button is not in a hurry. A few minutes later, it was reported that the rocket fell into the ocean without causing anyone any harm.
It later emerged that Norwegian scientists in three weeks warned about plans to launch 30 countries, including the Russian Federation. But this information is left unattended.