The Man who Saved the World
LOST IN THE FALLOUT (Hat tip: PowerLine)
|Stanislav Petrov... was in the commander's chair on Sept. 26, 1983, the night the world nearly blew up.
Tensions were high: Weeks earlier, on Sept. 1, Soviet fighters had shot down a Korean airliner, killing all 269 people aboard.
Petrov was in charge of the secret bunker where a team of 120 technicians and military officers monitored the Soviet Union's early-warning system. It was just after midnight when a new satellite array known as Oko, or The Eye, spotted five U.S. missiles heading toward Moscow. The Eye discerned that they were Minuteman II nuclear missiles.
Petrov's computer was demanding that he follow the prescribed protocol and confirm an incoming attack to his superiors. A red light on the computer that read START! kept flashing at him. And there was this baleful message: MISSILE ATTACK!
Petrov had written the emergency protocol himself, and he knew he should immediately pick up the hot line at his desk to tell his superiors that the Motherland was under attack...