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The man who saved the world ( How an Obscure Russian Colonel Prevented Nuclear War in 1983 )
Worldnetdaily.com ^ | 12/21/2005 | Jim Rutz

Posted on 12/22/2005 9:44:56 AM PST by SirLinksalot

The man who saved the world

--------------------------------------------------------

© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

You almost died in 1983.

Do you remember what you were doing on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 25, of that year? Not likely. But you came within a whisker of dying that day. Amazingly, the news about this didn't come out until 1998. And only since 2004 has the press actually begun to pick up on the story.

It was just after midnight, Sept. 26, and 120 staff were working the graveyard shift in Serpukhov-15, the secret USSR command bunker hidden in a forest 30 miles northeast of Moscow.

In the commander's chair was Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov, 44, looking down from his mezzanine desk to the gymnasium-sized main floor filled with military officers and technicians charged with monitoring any U.S. missiles and retaliating instantly

Petrov was highly aware that Cold War tensions were acute, as USSR fighters had shot down a Korean airliner on Sept. 1. But he was completely shocked when the warning siren began to wail and two lights on his desk console began flashing MISSILE ATTACK and START. "Start" was the instruction to launch, irreversibly, all 5,000 or so Soviet missiles and obliterate America.

If you remember the 1959 movie "On the Beach," starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner – enormously popular in the USSR – you know that ambient, post-holocaust radiation was expected to wipe out all mankind. But this was no movie, it was the real thing, and Petrov's protocols gave him zero minutes to notify his superiors and President Yuri Andropov, who then would have just 12 minutes to get out of bed, think fast, and order a counterattack.

A new, unproven Soviet satellite system had picked up a flash in Montana near a Minuteman II silo. Then another – five, all told.

Petrov recalls his legs were "like cotton," as they say in Russian. He stared at the huge electronic wall map of the United States in terror and disbelief. As his staff gawked upward at him from the floor, he had the thought, "Who would order an attack with only five missiles? That big an idiot has not been born yet, not even in the U.S."

The Soviet procedure manual was inflexible, and it demanded he notify his superiors of the attack immediately. But relying on his intuition, Petrov disobeyed. For almost five minutes, he stalled, holding his hotline phone in one hand and his intercom in the other, barking orders to his personnel to get back to their desks. (Reprimanded later for not taking notes during the crisis, he replied, "I don't have a third hand.")

Then he made the decision that saved the world. Summoning up his firmest voice, he called his Kremlin liaison and said it was a false alarm. But today he admits, "I wasn't 100 percent sure. Not even close to 100 percent."

So the world slept on.

Months later, it was determined that sunlight reflecting off clouds in Montana had caused a faulty satellite computer assembly to report a missile launch flash. But by that time, Petrov's excellent military career had been sidetracked. He wasn't fired, but he was transferred – and never got any medals or recognition. When his wife was found to have a brain tumor in 1993, he retired to take care of her. When she died, he borrowed money to give her a funeral.

Today, Petrov is 67 and lives in a typical dreary, dank flat south of Moscow. His monthly pension is under $200, and his health is not good.

Yet, the world is starting to take note of Petrov. A "world peace" group is bringing him to New York Jan. 14-24 to make some speeches and be filmed. Though I have few sympathies for one-world organizations, I now duly applaud them for doing something right. In fact, I hope to fly to New York to shake the colonel's hand and perhaps interview him for my forthcoming videoblog.

If it all works out, I'll probably present him with a nice Russian Bible and whatever cash I can scrape together. If you'd like to help out by chipping in, you can send a tax-deductible check to one of my ministries:

Open Church Ministries Portal, GA 30450

Mark it "For Col. Petrov."

The amount, of course, is up to you. The way I look at it myself is: "How much do I give to somebody who saved my life?"

In this Christmas season, we pause to honor Another who saved our lives. Being a hero cost Petrov his career. It cost the Lord Jesus a lot more. Both deserve our thanks, don't they?


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: armageddon; cccp; coldwar; nuclear; nukes; petrov; russian; saved; stanislav; stanislavpetrov; ussr; wnd; world; ww3; wwiii
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Sometimes, God works through the most obscure men. We almost never hear about people like these.
1 posted on 12/22/2005 9:44:58 AM PST by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot
There were other similar false alarm incidents during the cold war including some at NORAD.

It is the folks at NORAD who I would like to thank -- for doing their jobs defending America. Good work!
2 posted on 12/22/2005 9:48:30 AM PST by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: SirLinksalot

Why you alwasy have humans in the loop


3 posted on 12/22/2005 9:49:53 AM PST by z3n
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To: SirLinksalot

This is one reason Skynet would be a bad idea.


4 posted on 12/22/2005 9:50:06 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: SirLinksalot
I remember reading about a similar incident in the 1980s involving a Norwegian weather balloon of some kind. The Norwegian government had notified the Soviet embassy in Oslo about it before it was launched, but the Soviets neglected to pass it up through their chain of command. The end result was that some senior Soviet military officer was left facing a dilemma when his tracking systems reported what they identified as a ballistic missile launch from a U.S. submarine in the Arctic Ocean.

If I remember correctly, what made the Norwegian incident so precarious is that it occurred soon after a number of Soviet military officers were sacked for failing to shoot down that German teenage idiot Matthew Rust when he landed his small plane in Red Square.

5 posted on 12/22/2005 9:50:35 AM PST by Alberta's Child (What it all boils down to is that no one's really got it figured out just yet.)
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To: BenLurkin

It's not the guys who make the big bucks that God works through. Sometimes it't the middle man that comes through to save the day. At least a few more of us know the "rest of the Story". Thanks for the post.


6 posted on 12/22/2005 9:52:04 AM PST by Meadow Muffin
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To: SirLinksalot

"Who would order an attack with only five missiles? That big an idiot has not been born yet, not even in the U.S."

That's funny material! LOL!


7 posted on 12/22/2005 9:52:17 AM PST by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: SirLinksalot

8 posted on 12/22/2005 9:54:26 AM PST by pabianice (I guess)
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To: SirLinksalot

Read this book

9 posted on 12/22/2005 9:54:38 AM PST by bmwcyle (Evolution is a myth -- Libertarians just won't evolve into Conservatives.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
AW, c'mon:

"I'm from Skynet. I'm here to help."
10 posted on 12/22/2005 9:54:59 AM PST by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: SirLinksalot

The source is suspect


11 posted on 12/22/2005 9:58:52 AM PST by indcons (FReepmail indcons to join the MilHist ping list)
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To: SirLinksalot

He deserves a better deal than this. I guess Hollywood thinks the Runaway Bride's life is more interesting, though.


12 posted on 12/22/2005 9:59:30 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: SirLinksalot

Wow! If Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov isn't a new hero of Russia, he certainly is for Americans.

Thank you, Col. Petrov, and thank God for putting him in the right place at the right time.


13 posted on 12/22/2005 10:00:01 AM PST by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: indcons

I've heard this story before. I don't think they made it up.


14 posted on 12/22/2005 10:00:45 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: SirLinksalot
After a story like that, I like a good smoke.

I'll bet a carton of these he turns out to be a Hungarian used car salesman.

15 posted on 12/22/2005 10:02:30 AM PST by Graymatter
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To: SirLinksalot

I seem to remember this story, it is not the first time it has been told.


16 posted on 12/22/2005 10:08:26 AM PST by Ditter
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To: Graymatter

Whether justified or not, a great reply.


17 posted on 12/22/2005 10:13:33 AM PST by Williams
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To: Frank_Discussion

Actually that idiot was busy inventing the Internet.


18 posted on 12/22/2005 10:17:52 AM PST by the gillman@blacklagoon.com
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To: SirLinksalot
We almost never hear about people like these

except on FR where the topic has been posted several times.

19 posted on 12/22/2005 10:19:29 AM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
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To: SirLinksalot

History often turns on the judgement of one individual. Never think that you can't make a difference.


20 posted on 12/22/2005 10:27:57 AM PST by Noumenon (Activist judges - out of touch, out of tune, but not out of reach.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

I am the only person who gets that.


21 posted on 12/22/2005 10:31:01 AM PST by KC_Conspirator
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To: SirLinksalot

This guy deserves the 'Nobel Peace Prize'.


22 posted on 12/22/2005 10:31:01 AM PST by rawhide
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To: Graymatter

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL


23 posted on 12/22/2005 10:38:57 AM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (None genuine without my signature)
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To: SirLinksalot

Muffley:

But, how is it possible for this thing to be triggered automatically, and at the same time impossible to untrigger?

Strangelove:

Mr. President, it is not only possible, it is essential. That is the whole idea of this machine, you know. Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy... the fear to attack. And so, because of the automated and irrevocable decision making process which rules out human meddling, the doomsday machine is terrifying. It's simple to understand. And completely credible, and convincing.

http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0055.html


24 posted on 12/22/2005 10:45:14 AM PST by AuH2ORepublican (http://auh2orepublican.blogspot.com/)
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To: ClearCase_guy

I firmly believe that artificial intelligence will end the reign of man on earth.

Either that or the Holy Trinity will come unannounced to earth and there will be hell to pay!


25 posted on 12/22/2005 10:49:56 AM PST by montomike
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To: jan in Colorado; Dark Skies; Fred Nerks; Cornpone; Former Dodger; AmericanArchConservative

God works in strange ways PING.


26 posted on 12/22/2005 10:51:23 AM PST by USF (I see your Jihad and raise you a Crusade )
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To: indcons

<<<<
The source is suspect
>>>>

We'd all be interested in knowing the reasons why...


27 posted on 12/22/2005 10:59:43 AM PST by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot

World Nut Daily....enough said.

Their motto: We exist to make the Weekly World News look credible


28 posted on 12/22/2005 11:01:24 AM PST by indcons (FReepmail indcons to join the MilHist ping list)
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To: Brilliant

Thanks for that info.....I just don't trust WND :)


29 posted on 12/22/2005 11:02:03 AM PST by indcons (FReepmail indcons to join the MilHist ping list)
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To: USF

"Do you remember what you were doing on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 25, of that year? Not likely. But you came within a whisker of dying that day. Amazingly, the news about this didn't come out until 1998. And only since 2004 has the press actually begun to pick up on the story. "

I remember. I was changing shifts at Oscar 1 outside of Rapid City South Dakota.


30 posted on 12/22/2005 11:02:55 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (Liberal Talking Point - Bush = Hitler ... Republican Talking Point - Let the Liberals Talk)
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To: EQAndyBuzz
Do you remember what you were doing on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 25, of that year?

Actually I do. I was launching five silvery weather ballons filled with hydrogen from a truck in Montana, and exploding them in midair. It was loads of fun. Why do you ask?

31 posted on 12/22/2005 11:07:46 AM PST by agere_contra (A loaf of bread now costs $85,000 Zimbabwean dollars.)
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To: Frank_Discussion
Who would order an attack with only five missiles? That big an idiot has not been born yet, not even in the U.S.

Born, just not in office


32 posted on 12/22/2005 11:10:34 AM PST by frithguild (The Freepers moved as a group, like a school of sharks sweeping toward an unaware and unarmed victim)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

"I remember. I was changing shifts at Oscar 1 outside of Rapid City South Dakota."

I take it "Oscar 1" was a Minuteman LCC.

Anything unusual happen on that watch?


33 posted on 12/22/2005 11:11:10 AM PST by BeHoldAPaleHorse (MORE COWBELL! MORE COWBELL! (CLANK-CLANK-CLANK))
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To: BenLurkin
but the theory that mind formed from mindless matter is headed for the trashbin...and good riddance.

Yes, the moon once impersonated several thousand Russian missiles.

This is why you need bright people in charge.

34 posted on 12/22/2005 11:12:15 AM PST by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: indcons

<<<<
World Nut Daily....enough said.

Their motto: We exist to make the Weekly World News look credible
>>>>

Actually you have to be selective and discerning regarding ALL news sources, not simply over-generalize and then call everything they report or opine wacko.

This piece of information seems to have some credibility. Here is what the ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA, Wikipedia says :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanislav_Petrov

Stanislav Evgrafovich Petrov (Russian: Ñòàíèñëàâ Åâãðàôîâè÷ Ïåòðîâ) (born c. 1939) is a retired Russian Army colonel who, on September 26, 1983, averted a potential nuclear war by refusing to accept that the United States had launched missiles against the USSR, despite the indications given by his computerized early warning systems. The Soviet computer reports were later shown to have been in error, and Petrov is credited with preventing World War III and the devastation of much of the Earth by nuclear weapons. Because of military secrecy and international policy, Petrov's actions were kept secret until 1998.

This incident is one of dozens of high-risk decisions that were made by strategic nuclear forces over the years of the Cold War, often at the last minute, by administrative personnel far from the chain of command. It only became known much later due to military secrecy. The US certainly experienced similar events, and the USSR may have experienced others that remain unknown to this day


35 posted on 12/22/2005 11:15:29 AM PST by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot

If you read it in WorldNetDaily, it's got to be true! /s


36 posted on 12/22/2005 11:17:15 AM PST by shuckmaster (An oak tree is an acorns way of making more acorns)
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To: SirLinksalot

Thanks, I appreciate the info. FReeper Brilliant confirmed the account after I made the posting too.


37 posted on 12/22/2005 11:18:40 AM PST by indcons (FReepmail indcons to join the MilHist ping list)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse

"Anything unusual happen on that watch?"

Oscar 1 was an LCC and nothing happened. I was at Ellsworth from 80-84 and aside from EWO exercises, nothing spectacular happened to speak about.


38 posted on 12/22/2005 11:19:43 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (Liberal Talking Point - Bush = Hitler ... Republican Talking Point - Let the Liberals Talk)
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To: shuckmaster

<<<<
If you read it in WorldNetDaily, it's got to be true!
>>>>

Every single piece of news, be it from Worldnetdaily or the NY Times or your standard Conservative Magazines has to be read with with DISCERNMENT.

Over-generalizing and then dismissing something simply because you don't like the source is close-minded IMHO.

This article seems to have good historical data to back it up.


39 posted on 12/22/2005 11:19:53 AM PST by SirLinksalot
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To: indcons

Here is another (how shall I put it ) more MAINSTREAM account of the man -- Colonel Stanislav Petrov ( his picture is also shown ). This from the Christian Science Monitor :

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0506/p07s01-woeu.html


40 posted on 12/22/2005 11:22:30 AM PST by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot

of course if you want an even more "mainstream" source, you can read this piece of news from CBS :

Man Honored For Averting Nuke War

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/21/world/main618901.shtml

So, what do we have ? A right wing news source, a more conservative mainstream news source and a liberal news source actually AGREEING on history.

This gives the editorial credibility IMHO.


41 posted on 12/22/2005 11:25:23 AM PST by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot

Another one :

Soviet officer honored for averting nuclear war
Colonel ignored mistaken alarm signaling U.S. missile attack

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5031977/


42 posted on 12/22/2005 11:26:18 AM PST by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot
"This piece of information seems to have some credibility. Here is what the ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA, Wikipedia says :

Not necessarily the truth still... Anyone can post anything to Wikipedia without basis in fact.

Then again that may not be true because I read that on another Web site that was complaining because of falsities posted in WIKIPEDIA. That will leave it to individuals to either believe or not.

43 posted on 12/22/2005 11:27:27 AM PST by Cliff Dweller ("get thar fustest with the mostest." GEN NB Forrest)
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placeholder


44 posted on 12/22/2005 11:29:33 AM PST by Ohioan from Florida (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.- Edmund Burke)
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To: SirLinksalot
So, what do we have ? A right wing news source, a more conservative mainstream news source and a liberal news source actually AGREEING on history.

More links:

Fox News

Washington Post

USA today

BBC

Free Republic


45 posted on 12/22/2005 11:56:25 AM PST by USF (I see your Jihad and raise you a Crusade )
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To: KC_Conspirator

Me too.


46 posted on 12/22/2005 12:03:59 PM PST by Redcitizen (My tagline can beat up your honor tagline)
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: SirLinksalot

And we are supposed to believe this because...?


48 posted on 12/22/2005 12:15:55 PM PST by Old Professer (Fix the problem, not the blame!)
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To: SirLinksalot

I always loved this story. Thanks for posting it!


49 posted on 12/22/2005 12:18:00 PM PST by MarMema (http://www.curenikolette.org/)
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To: jb6

meant to ping you above...


50 posted on 12/22/2005 12:19:47 PM PST by MarMema (http://www.curenikolette.org/)
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