Who is the greatest Hero in History and why?
Tim O'Neill, Head Inquisitor against bad history.
Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov saved the lives of many millions of people on September 26, 1983. He was duty officer in the early warning command centre of the Soviet Air Defence Forces on that day when the system reported a small nuclear attack launched from the US.
It was Petrov's job to report the attack to higher authorities who would then make a judgement whether to retaliate. Tensions were very high between the US and the Soviet Union at the time—in the wake of the launch of Reagan's Strategic Defence Initiative or "Star Wars" plan in March, the Soviets shooting down Korean Airlines flight 007 on September 1, and the planned deployment of Pershing II missiles in Europe—so it is likely the higher command would have decided to launch a counter-strike and begin all-out nuclear war.
But Petrov was not convinced the information was correct. He noted that the alert indicated only five missiles, but found it hard to believe the US would launch a pre-emptive strike with such a limited attack. He was also aware that the monitoring system was new and was not fully convinced of its accuracy. Finally, he took some minutes to wait for confirmation from ground-based radar, which he did not receive. Petrov judged the alert a false alarm and did not escalate the information.
As it happened, Petrov's call was correct—the alert was a malfunction caused by atmospheric effects. He was initially praised for his initiative by his superiors, but later reprimanded for administrative oversights related to the incident. It is believed some superior officers had been embarrassed by the malfunction and the Soviet Union hushed up the incident. As a result, Petrov has only been recognised for his cool thinking in retrospect, receiving several World Citizen awards and having been officially honoured by the UN. He is now retired and lives as a pensioner in Frayazino, north-east of Moscow.
Petrov takes a humble view of what he did, saying "I was simply doing my job .... I did nothing." But the Petrov Incident has been judged by many analysts to have been the closest the world had yet come to nuclear annihilation—avoided through Petrov's intelligence and cool analysis.
Updated 8 Aug, 2013 • View Upvotes
Old man outside the store says, "Kid, don't you know that the dollar bill is worth more than the quarters?"
Kid says, "I've been taking the quarters for a year, and I know the first time I take the dollar bill will be the last time he makes the deal."
- Hard Knocksfighting dyslexia, present
- Preston High SchoolPartying
Ruby Dee, actress and civil rights activist, dead at 91
Ruby Dee, the acclaimed American actress and civil rights activist whose versatile career spanned the stage, radio, television and film, has
Withdrawal of Soviet Forces From Afghanistan, May 1988
Twenty-five years ago, on May 15, 1988, the Soviet Union started withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan. Under the April 1988 Geneva agreem
The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win | Ent...
Computers match or surpass top humans in a wide variety of games: Othello, Scrabble, backgammon, poker, even Jeopardy. But not Go. It's the
Intel and Google boast 11-hour battery life with upcoming Chromebooks
Fanless Bay Trail laptops and other devices expand the Chrome OS ecosystem.
On average, Americans get 189 cable TV channels and only watch 17
A new Nielsen report raises questions about the channel-bundling system.
Chrome Remote Desktop app hits Android, coming to iOS later this year | ...
Google has unleashed its Chrome Remote Desktop app on (un)suspecting Android users today, allowing smartphone and tablet lovers to control t
Movie with Max planned after man with autism taunted out of theatre - Yo...
More Stories under Community. Income inequality and the 1% with Amanda LangMar 20, 2014 9:25 AM ET — This week on CBC Live Online, we're tac
Neil Young surpasses Kickstarter goal within one day
With 34 days to go, the singer has received more than $1,000,000 in pledges for PonoMusic and its accompanying player
Toronto Zoo names its newest polar bear cub Humphrey
"Humphrey" was the winning name after 14,000 people voted in the zoo's Name the Cub contest.
Anti-NSA Blackphone 'commendable,' but will consumers buy it? - ...
U.S.-based encryption firm Silent Circle is hoping that heightened paranoia about government snooping will compel consumers to buy the Black