Vela Incident of 1979. An unsolved mystery.

Discussion in 'Modern' started by syscom3, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    File this under the "you learn something new everyday category"

    Vela Incident - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Vela Incident — sometimes referred to as the South Atlantic Flash — was an unidentified "double flash" of light that was detected by an American Vela Hotel satellite on September 22, 1979 near the Prince Edward Islands or Antarctica. There is uncertainty as to the true nature of the flash though it is widely believed to have been the result of a nuclear detonation.

    While a "double flash" signal is characteristic of a nuclear weapons test, the signal might have been a spurious electronic signal that was generated by an aging detector in an old satellite or a meteoroid hitting the Vela satellite. No corroboration of an explosion, such as the presence of nuclear byproducts in the air, was ever publicly acknowledged, even though there were numerous passes in the area by U.S. Air Force planes that were specifically designed to detect airborne radioactive dust. Other examiners of the data, including the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), and defense contractors, have come to the conclusion that the flash was a result of a nuclear detonation. Much of the information relating to the event remains classified.

    The most widespread theory among those who believe that the flash was of nuclear origins was that it resulted from a joint South African and Israeli nuclear test The topic remains highly disputed today.

    Go to the wiki article for the full story.

    Orthographic_projection_centered_on_the_Prince_Edward_Island.png
     
  2. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Strange, I was just reading an article on this last night. The fact that there was no fallout is interesting. However, as I am a member in good standing of the "tin foil hat" society, I will refrain from commenting further on a public forum. You are welcome to P.M. me to hear some of my wacky theories.
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    #3 syscom3, Jan 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
    Meatloaf, your guess is as good as any. Go for it.
     
  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I know. Paul had a heavy bean and cabbage dinner on September 21. The rest, as they say, is history or at least the beginning of the hole in the Ozone layer.
     
  5. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Close. It was actually kiobasa and sauerkraut.
     
  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #6 Njaco, Jan 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  7. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Nope. Nuclear explosions generate their own unique "flash" that a meteor wont make.
     
  8. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    with regard to radioactive airborne dust, I note the test is right in the middle of the high wind bads of the Antarctic. Would it not be possible for the radioactive dust to be dissipated before detection efforts were commenced? These wind bands extend to very high altitudes I understand. ,
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    There are "clean" nuclear devices that generate little if any fallout. That being said, that's why this is a mystery. There was the characteristic double flash of a nuclear event; but no detectable radiation.
     
  10. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Ochom's Razor perhaps? A simple satellite malfunction? With multiple backup and redundancy tests (radioactive overflight detection and other surveillance means) that proved negative, why jump to the most complex hypothetical cause?
     
  11. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    This sort of reminds me of the Ohrdruf blast of March 1945
     
  12. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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  13. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    I like (doesn't mean I necessarily believe) the theory that the Vela incident was a plan to give deniable plausibility to Israel and South Africa having nuclear weapons by creating a conventional flash and explosion in a ship that would mimic the signature of a small tactical nuclear device. Deterrent doesn't work unless your enemies believe you have the deterring devices.

    There is a more extreme version of this that suggests that nuclear weapons don't work and all 'tests' are fakes. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs being massive fuel air devices seeded with radioactive materials and relied upon the flammability of Japanese cities for their visible areas of destruction.

    Now I must go and astrally commune with the angels of the planet Zorg................
     
  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I used to be a chemist and I love what we called "Doctor Who" science,often to be found in TV commercials. "Contains-completely invented pseudo scientific mumbo jumbo- to reduce wrinkles"

    It can also be found in internet articles. This is my favourite from the Ohrdrluf one.

    "The bomb was not a nuclear weapon, and it appears to have been a conventional explosive which used a reagent or catalyst produced by Tesla methodology or similar for its inexplicable effect."

    Sounds good but unfortunately it's nonsense! I'm sure someone had fun writing it,throwing in the name of a man who is almost the archetypal mad scientist,Nikola Tesla.

    Steve
     
  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I thought everything in Dr Who was real and based on actual events....
     
  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #16 stona, Jan 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
    It is isn't it :)

    The Daleks and Cybermen scared the bejasus out of me when I was little. Luckily the original Daleks didn't have the ability of the latest ones to levitate up stairs so I thought I was safe in my bedroom!

    I believe the various Dr Who series have had "scientific advisors" in an effort to give the pseudo science a grounding in reality,unlike the manufacturers of cosmetics,and whoever wrote the gibberish about "Tesla methodology" etc.

    Science fiction doors that don't open automatically (star trek) usually have some kind of key pad. You can play "spot the calculator masquerading as a door enabling key pad" and date the program!

    Not sure what this has got to do with possible nuclear weapons tests though :)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  17. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    While there are some "events" reported at Ohrdruf that are borderline fantastic, there are other real documented events that leave a person with a good number of questions...
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Yes,I don't dispute that at all. I was just taking the mickey out of the pseudo science in that particular article.

    There were some very bizarre and interesting projects being financed in the final years of the Third Reich and whilst I think most are well known,I quite agree (without the need for a tin foil hat) that some have been less than completely(or honestly?)explained.

    There is a tendency to forget just how quickly the cold war,with all its attendant secrecy and security concerns,erupted after the end of the shooting war.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  19. ivanotter

    ivanotter Member

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    According to Venter's book: "How SA built 6 atom bombs":

    """There was only one known explanation for this bizarre phenomenon. Someoen had detonated a nuclear explosion. The list of suspects quickly narrowed to the only two countrie [.....] SA and Israel. Both denied responsibility.

    This even was not confirmed until 1997, when Aziz Pahad, SA deputy foreign minister, stated "that his nation detonated a nuclear weapon in the atmosphere vindicating data from the then-aging Vela satellite. Pahad's statements were confirmed by the US embassy in Pretoria, SA (even though the minister subsequently retracted).

    Now, that is pretty hard evidence.

    The book has a lot of good stuff pertainnig to the SA-Israel cooperation.

    Ivan
     
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