The Nuclear War Almost Happened on January 25, 1995

Posted on February 5, 2013


I was doing some random googling that led me to a discovery that the world have been so close to Nuclear Apocalypse. Here it is.

There was one major event that took place on January 25, 1995 and it seems that both the event and the date are largely unknown to the people these days. I prefer to call this event as an incident, a major one. Had this incident gone wrong, we’d be dead right now.

On that day, a joint US-Norwegian team launched a scientific rocket to study the aurora borealis over Svalbard. It was Black Brant XII four-stage sounding rocket from the Andoya Rocket Range off the northwestern coast of Norway. It should be a normal launch, but its trajectory resembled to that of Minuteman-III nuclear missile trajectory. Its air corridor stretches from north Dakota to Moscow.  And the worse thing, the Russia official didn’t receive the launch notification sent by Norwegian official. Thus, Russian thought that it is US nuclear-loaded missile headed to their country.

The whole Russia forces were put into high alert state. Several warships were scrambled afterwards. If you’ve watched several movies on Cold-War, CIA, etc. You must’ve seen that some particular scenes depict a high-ranking military officer brings a briefcase containing some sort of device to authorize the launch the nuclear missile to the President. You won’t believe, but this is what happened on January 25, 1995. The Cheget (Russian for “Nuclear Briefcase”) was brought and the President, Boris Yeltsin activated “nuclear keys” for the first time.


not a real “nuclear briefcase

The tensions were high at that time. Some of the high-ranking Russian military officers said: “We are being attacked” to President Boris Yeltsin. The President didn’t believe that US was attacking Russia by nuclear. Well, maybe the Russian President thought that the Cold-War had ended for 5 years. Why on earth would US attack Russia? And he was right, several minutes later the Russian monitor noticed that the rocket was heading for the sea not Russia.

You’ve already known that misunderstandings could cause problems. But really, if this “misunderstanding” went wrong, the outcomes would be way worse than we could think of. Thank God it did not happened!


Nuclear Apocalypse–Illustration

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

-Albert Einstein

References ( You can also look for further info on this incident):

-Norwegian Rocket Incident —

-Countdown to Zero —

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