Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Petrov Day!

I sort of knew this story, but never had the details before. It's a kick in the gut to think how close we came.
On September 26th, 1983, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov was the officer on duty when the warning system reported a US missile launch.  Petrov kept calm, suspecting a computer error.

Then the system reported another US missile launch.

And another, and another, and another.

What had actually happened, investigators later determined, was sunlight on high-altitude clouds aligning with the satellite view on a US missile base...

Go read the whole thing. And hoist a glass to Lt. Col. Petrov tonight in gratitude for not vaporizing us all.

Akubra tip to Mark Shea.

1 comment:

Lisa Ham said...

Wow. I'd never heard this story before. Sounds like a day - and a man - worth honoring indeed!