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real-human



Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 11223
Location: on earth

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:12 am    Post subject: Did you know? Reply with quote

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You’ve probably never even heard of this man, but he’s responsible for saving billions of lives, as well as civilization as we know it:

This is Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov.

Petrov was a lieutenant colonel of the Soviet Air Defence Forces. On September 26, 1983, three weeks after the Soviet military had shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Petrov was the duty officer at the command center for the Oko nuclear early-warning system when the system reported that a USAF Minuteman missile had been launched from the United States, followed by up to five more.

“If notification was received from the Russian early warning systems that inbound missiles had been detected, the Soviet Union's strategy was an immediate and compulsory nuclear counter-attack against the United States (launch on warning), specified in the doctrine of mutual assured destruction, or MAD.”
At the time, nuclear retaliation required that multiple sources confirm an attack before launching retaliatory strikes against the offending nation. Petrov knew that any nuclear strike from the US would be massive, and concluded that the system had triggered a false alarm, that no missiles had been launched from the U.S., and, disobeying orders from his superiors, stood down the retaliatory launch.

“It was subsequently determined that the false alarms were caused by a rare alignment of sunlight on high-altitude clouds and the satellites' Molniya orbits, an error later corrected by cross-referencing a geostationary satellite.”
Petrov’s quick thinking, as well as his refusal to obey orders, prevented what would have most assuredly been the start of World War III, a devastating nuclear holocaust would have ensued, and billions of people might have died, as well as ending civilization as we know it on the Earth.
Petrov had, indeed, saved the world.

So why do we not hear more about this brave man? The glitches in the Soviets’ early-warning system embarrassed military higher ups, and the entire episode was kept quiet until the incident became known publicly in the 1990s upon the publication of the memoirs of Colonel General Yuriy Vsyevolodich Votintsev, a retired commander of the Soviet Air Defense's Missile Defense Units and the officer who had been in charge at the time of the incident.

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