Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Extreme space weather event that could have led to a nuclear war


Source - Nexus Illuminati

by John Pilger, September 2016

For the first time, retired U.S. Air Force officers involved in forecasting and analyzing the extreme space weather event of May 23, 1967, collectively and publicly describe how great solar and geomagnetic storm at the height of the Cold War almost led to a disastrous military conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. Ultimately, this event led the military to recognize space weather as an operational concern and build a stronger space weather forecasting system.


Although listed as one of the most significant events of the last 80 years, the space weather storm of late May 1967 has been of mostly fading academic interest. The storm made its initial mark with a colossal solar radio burst causing radio interference at frequencies between 0.01 - 9.0 GHz and near-simultaneous disruptions of dayside radio communication by intense fluxes of ionizing solar X-rays.

"Aspects of military control and communication were immediately challenged. Within hours, a solar energetic particle event disrupted high-frequency communication in the polar cap. Subsequently, record-setting geomagnetic and ionospheric storms compounded the disruptions," study authors say.

This story develops during the rapid rise of Solar Cycle 20 and the intense Cold War in the latter half of the 20th Century. Authors detail the events of late May 1967 in the intersecting categories of solar-terrestrial interactions and the political-military backdrop of the Cold War. This was one of the "Great Storms" of the 20th century, despite the lack of large geomagnetically-induced currents. 



Solar storm of May 23, 1967


On May 18, 1967, an unusually large group of sunspots with intense magnetic fields appeared in one region of the Sun. On May 23, observatories in New Mexico and Colorado saw a flare visible to the naked eye while a solar radio observatory in Massachusetts reported the Sun was emitting unprecedented levels of radio waves.

A significant worldwide geomagnetic storm was forecast to occur within 36 - 48 hours, according to a bulletin from NORAD’s Solar Forecast Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado on May 23.  

As the solar flare event unfolded on May 23, radars at all three Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) sites in the far northern hemisphere were disrupted. The radars, designed to detect incoming Soviet missiles, appeared to be jammed, which, if true, would be considered as an act of war.

The Air Force prepared aircraft for war, thinking the nation’s surveillance radars in polar regions were being jammed by the Soviet Union. Just in time, military space weather forecasters conveyed information about the solar storm’s potential to disrupt radar and radio communications. The planes remained on the ground and the U.S. avoided a potential nuclear weapon exchange with the Soviet Union.

Retired Colonel Arnold L. Snyder, a solar forecaster at NORAD’s Solar Forecast Center, was on duty that day. The tropospheric weather forecaster told him the NORAD Command Post had asked about any solar activity that might be occurring.

“I specifically recall responding with excitement, ‘Yes, half the Sun has blown away,’ and then related the event details in a calmer, more quantitative way,” Snyder said.

Along with the information from the Solar Forecast Center, NORAD learned the three BMEWS sites were in sunlight and could receive radio emissions coming from the Sun. These facts suggested the radars were being ‘jammed’ by the Sun, not the Soviet Union, Snyder said. As solar radio emissions waned, the ‘jamming’ also waned, further suggesting the Sun was to blame, he said.

A view of the Sun on May 23, 1967, in a narrow visible wavelength of light called Hydrogen-alpha. The bright region in the top center region of brightness shows the area where the large flare occurred. Credit: National Solar Observatory historical archive. 


During most of the 1960s, the Air Force flew continuous alert aircraft laden with nuclear-weapons. But commanders, thinking the BMEWS radars were being jammed by the Russians and unaware of the solar storm underway, put additional forces in a “ready to launch” status, according to the study.

“This is a grave situation,” said Delores Knipp, a space physicist at the University of Colorado in Boulder and lead author of the new study. “But here’s where the story turns: things were going horribly wrong, and then something goes commendably right.”

The Air Force did not launch additional aircraft, and the study authors believe information from the Solar Forecasting Center made it to commanders in time to stop the military action, including a potential deployment of nuclear weapons. Knipp, quoting public documents, noted that information about the solar storm was most likely relayed to the highest levels of government – possibly even President Johnson.

The geomagnetic storm, which began about 40 hours after the solar flare and radio bursts, went on to disrupt U.S. radio communications in almost every conceivable way for almost a week. It was so strong that the Northern Lights, usually only seen in or near the Arctic Circle, were visible as far south as New Mexico.

A report of solar activity on May 26 from the Space Disturbance Forecast Center, a civilian forecasting center at the Environmental Science Services Administration (now NOAA). Credit: ESSA/NOAA.


Societal impact


According to Snyder and the study authors, it was the military’s correct diagnosis of the solar storm that prevented the event from becoming a disaster. Ultimately, the storm led the military to recognize space weather as an operational concern and build a stronger space weather forecasting system, he said.

The public is likely unaware that natural disasters could potentially trick contemporary military forces into thinking they are under attack, said Morris Cohen, an electrical engineer and radio scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta who was not involved in the new study.


Related Sun’s Magnetic Field 230% Stronger | Something is Affecting the Entire Solar System
“I thought it was fascinating from a historical perspective,” he said of the new study.

The May 1967 storm brought about change as a near miss rather than a full-blown catastrophe, according to Cohen.

“Oftentimes, the way things work is something catastrophic happens and then we say, ‘We should do something so it doesn’t happen again,’” he said. “But, in this case, there was just enough preparation done just in time to avert a disastrous result.”


References:


  • "1967 solar storm nearly took U.S. to brink of war" - a joint release of the American Geophysical Union and the University of Colorado Boulder
  • "The May 1967 Great Storm and Radio Disruption Event: Extreme Space Weather and Extraordinary Responses" - D. J. Knipp et al. - Space Weather - AGU - 2016 -DOI: 10.1002/2016SW001423





A world war has begun -- break the silence

 

  

 




I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, "Where is that?" If I offer a clue by referring to "Bikini", they say, "You mean the swimsuit."

Few seem aware that the bikini swimsuit was named to celebrate the nuclear explosions that destroyed Bikini island. Sixty-six nuclear devices were exploded by the United States in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958 -- the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima bombs every day for twelve years.

Bikini is silent today, mutated and contaminated. Palm trees grow in a strange grid formation. Nothing moves. There are no birds. The headstones in the old cemetery are alive with radiation. My shoes registered "unsafe" on a Geiger counter.

Standing on the beach, I watched the emerald green of the Pacific fall away into a vast black hole. This was the crater left by the hydrogen bomb they called "Bravo". The explosion poisoned people and their environment for hundreds of miles, perhaps forever.

On my return journey, I stopped at Honolulu airport and noticed an American magazine calledWomen's Health. On the cover was a smiling woman in a bikini swimsuit, and the headline: "You, too, can have a bikini body." A few days earlier, in the Marshall Islands, I had interviewed women who had very different "bikini bodies"; each had suffered thyroid cancer and other life-threatening cancers.

Unlike the smiling woman in the magazine, all of them were impoverished: the victims and guinea pigs of a rapacious superpower that is today more dangerous than ever.

I relate this experience as a warning and to interrupt a distraction that has consumed so many of us. The founder of modern propaganda, Edward Bernays, described this phenomenon as "the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the habits and opinions" of democratic societies. He called it an "invisible government".

How many people are aware that a world war has begun? At present, it is a war of propaganda, of lies and distraction, but this can change instantaneously with the first mistaken order, the first missile.

In 2009, President Barack Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make "the world free from nuclear weapons". People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

It was all fake. He was lying.


The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over 30 years is more than US$1 trillion.

A mini nuclear bomb is planned. It is known as the B61 Model 12. There has never been anything like it. General James Cartwright, a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said: "Going smaller [makes using this nuclear] weapon more thinkable."

In the past 18 months, the greatest build-up of military forces since World War II -- led by the United States -- is taking place along Russia's western frontier. Not since Hitler invaded the Soviet Union have foreign troops presented such a demonstrable threat to Russia.

Ukraine -- once part of the Soviet Union -- has become a CIA theme park. Having orchestrated a coup in Kiev, Washington effectively controls a regime that is next door and hostile to Russia: a regime rotten with Nazis, literally.

Prominent parliamentary figures in Ukraine are the political descendants of the notorious OUN and UPA fascists. They openly praise Hitler and call for the persecution and expulsion of the Russian speaking minority.

This is seldom news in the West, or it is inverted to suppress the truth.

In Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia -- next door to Russia -- the US military is deploying combat troops, tanks, heavy weapons. This extreme provocation of the world's second nuclear power is met with silence in the West.

What makes the prospect of nuclear war even more dangerous is a parallel campaign against China. Seldom a day passes when China is not elevated to the status of a "threat". According to Admiral Harry Harris, the US Pacific commander, China is "building a great wall of sand in the South China Sea".

What he is referring to is China building airstrips in the Spratly Islands, which are the subject of a dispute with the Philippines -- a dispute without priority until Washington pressured and bribed the government in Manila and the Pentagon launched a propaganda campaign called "freedom of navigation".

What does this really mean? It means freedom for American warships to patrol and dominate the coastal waters of China. Try to imagine the American reaction if Chinese warships did the same off the coast of California.

I made a film called The War You Don't See [SEE BELOW], in which I interviewed distinguished journalists in America and Britain: reporters such as Dan Rather of CBS, Rageh Omar of the BBC, David Rose of The Observer.

All of them said that had journalists and broadcasters done their job and questioned the propaganda that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction; had the lies of George W Bush and Tony Blair not been amplified and echoed by journalists, the 2003 invasion of Iraq might not have happened, and hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be alive today.

The propaganda laying the ground for a war against Russia and/or China is no different in principle. To my knowledge, no journalist in the Western "mainstream" -- a Dan Rather equivalent, say --asks why China is building airstrips in the South China Sea.

The answer ought to be glaringly obvious. The United States is encircling China with a network of bases, with ballistic missiles, battle groups, nuclear-armed bombers.

This lethal arc extends from Australia to the islands of the Pacific, the Marianas and the Marshalls and Guam, to the Philippines, Thailand, Okinawa, Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India. America has hung a noose around the neck of China. This is not news. Silence by media; war by media.

In 2015, in high secrecy, the US and Australia staged the biggest single air-sea military exercise in recent history, known as Talisman Sabre. Its aim was to rehearse an Air-Sea Battle Plan, blocking sea lanes, such as the Straits of Malacca and the Lombok Straits, that cut off China's access to oil, gas and other vital raw materials from the Middle East and Africa.

In the circus known as the American presidential campaign, Donald Trump is being presented as a lunatic, a fascist. He is certainly odious; but he is also a media hate figure. That alone should arouse our scepticism.

Trump's views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than those of David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama.

According to one prodigious liberal commentator, Trump is "unleashing the dark forces of violence" in the United States. Unleashing them?

This is the country where toddlers shoot their mothers and the police wage a murderous war against Black Americans. This is the country that has attacked and sought to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democracies, and bombed from Asia to the Middle East, causing the deaths and dispossession of millions of people.

No country can equal this systemic record of violence. Most of America's wars (almost all of them against defenceless countries) have been launched not by Republican presidents but by liberal Democrats: Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.

In 1947, a series of National Security Council directives described the paramount aim of American foreign policy as "a world substantially made over in [America's] own image". The ideology was messianic Americanism. We were all Americans. Or else. Heretics would be converted, subverted, bribed, smeared or crushed.

Donald Trump is a symptom of this, but he is also a maverick. He says the invasion of Iraq was a crime; he doesn't want to go to war with Russia and China. The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system whose vaunted "exceptionalism" is totalitarian with an occasional liberal face.

As presidential election day draws near, Clinton will be hailed as the first female president, regardless of her crimes and lies -- just as Barack Obama was lauded as the first black president and liberals swallowed his nonsense about "hope". And the drool goes on.

Described by The Guardian columnist Owen Jones as "funny, charming, with a coolness that eludes practically every other politician", Obama the other day sent drones to slaughter 150 people in Somalia. He kills people usually on Tuesdays, according to the New York Times, when he is handed a list of candidates for death by drone. So cool.

In the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton threatened to "totally obliterate" Iran with nuclear weapons. As Secretary of State under Obama, she participated in the overthrow of the democratic government of Honduras. Her contribution to the destruction of Libya in 2011 was almost gleeful. When the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, was publicly sodomised with a knife -- a murder made possible by American logistics -- Clinton gloated over his death: "We came, we saw, he died."

One of Clinton's closest allies is Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state, who has attacked young women for not supporting "Hillary". This is the same Madeleine Albright who infamously celebrated on TV the death of half a million Iraqi children as "worth it".

Among Clinton's biggest backers are the Israel lobby and the arms companies that fuel the violence in the Middle East. She and her husband have received a fortune from Wall Street. And yet, she is about to be ordained the women's candidate, to see off the evil Trump, the official demon. Her supporters include distinguished feminists: the likes of Gloria Steinem in the US and Anne Summers in Australia.

A generation ago, a post-modern cult now known as "identity politics" stopped many intelligent, liberal-minded people examining the causes and individuals they supported -- such as the fakery of Obama and Clinton; such as bogus progressive movements like Syriza in Greece, which betrayed the people of that country and allied with their enemies.

Self absorption, a kind of "me-ism", became the new zeitgeist in privileged Western societies and signaled the demise of great collective movements against war, social injustice, inequality, racism and sexism.

Today, the long sleep may be over. The young are stirring again. Gradually. The thousands in Britain who supported Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader are part of this awakening -- as are those who rallied to support Senator Bernie Sanders.

In Britain last week, Jeremy Corbyn's closest ally, his shadow treasurer John McDonnell, committed a Labour government to pay off the debts of piratical banks and, in effect, to continue so-called austerity.

In the US, Bernie Sanders has promised to support Clinton if or when she's nominated. He, too, has voted for America's use of violence against countries when he thinks it's "right". He says Obama has done "a great job".

In Australia, there is a kind of mortuary politics, in which tedious parliamentary games are played out in the media while refugees and Indigenous people are persecuted and inequality grows, along with the danger of war. The government of Malcolm Turnbull has just announced a so-called defence budget of A$195 billion that is a drive to war. There was no debate. Silence.

What has happened to the great tradition of popular direct action, unfettered to parties? Where is the courage, imagination and commitment required to begin the long journey to a better, just and peaceful world? Where are the dissidents in art, film, the theatre, literature?

Where are those who will shatter the silence? Or do we wait until the first nuclear missile is fired?


[This is an edited version of a March 22 address by John Pilger at a public meeting University of Sydney that was co-organised by Green Left Weekly, entitled A World War Has Begun. Visit www.johnpilger.com for the journalism and films of John Pilger.]


via Green Left Weekly @ https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/61400


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Stillness in the Storm Editor's note: Did you find a spelling error or grammar mistake? Do you think this article needs a correction or update? Or do you just have some feedback? Send us an email at sitsshow@gmail.comThank you for reading.
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Source:

http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/2016/09/extreme-space-weather-event-that-could.html
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