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In 1967, radio communications and radar USA broke off. Fortunately, today reveals an article, military and scientists discovered that it was not a Soviet attack, but a solar storm.

May 23, 1967, the service officers at the U.S. Strategic Air Command (SAC) had gathered in an underground command center near Omaha, in Nebraska. They had less than half an hour to figure out if a sudden excess of interference to radios and radar was a natural event or a Soviet ploy to mask a nuclear attack.

Sooner had the news of the interruption of communications, Al Buckley, duty officer for emergencies, and his team is attacked on the phone with NORAD, the command of the defense of the North Atlantic, which was based in Colorado Springs, and the Command national military at the Pentagon. The radar had stopped working were part of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, the monitoring system of the heavens that had to advise in case of Soviet missile attack.

And in the climate of the Cold War, a deliberate sabotage of security systems could be interpreted as a potential act of war, even if no missile had been launched yet.

While the group was trying to interpret the information, the aircraft used as mobile command and control centers and bombers loaded with nuclear weapons waiting for the Directive; a phone of the president and would enter into action.

In short, if the team had established that it was the fault of the Soviets, it would have to trigger a sequence of actions that could only lead to World War III. Fortunately, that day does not set off any phone calls, and the planet has remained where it was.

After about ten minutes, Buckles and his colleagues determined that the interference was due to a natural phenomenon: a strong solar flare – an eruption of plasma – had bombarded our planet from charged particles, creating geomagnetic interference that had blocked radio communications .

“We touched the catastrophe,” Delores Knipp, space physics at the University of Colorado-Boulder, who recently publicly told the story in the journal Space Weather. Solar flares occur when the sun suddenly releases magnetic energy from the atmosphere. If particularly strong eruption comes to Earth, the electromagnetic radiation can collide with the upper atmosphere and cause radio interference. The Great Storm of 1967 was one of the strongest solar storms ever recorded in history, triggering Northern Lights to New Mexico, according to the report of 26 May 1967.

 

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