Re: The Man Who Saved the World Finally Recognized

Subject: Re: The Man Who Saved the World Finally Recognized
From: keilanhoo -at- yahoo -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 3 Jul 2004 19:55:58 -0600

Actually, there are multiple claimants to the title of "Man Who Saved
World by Doing 'Wrong' Thing." There were Americans who met the criteria
way back when. Remember the the DEW (Distant Early Warning) line? It was
a chain of radar stations all across the 'northern tier' - Canada and
Alaska and Greenland - that continually scanned the horizon for signs of
inbound Soviet missles or aircraft. When the system first went into
operation, it had been running only a few hours when suddenly all the
alarms went off. The radar screens showed what the controllers figured
had to be impossible. They were seeing what looked like thousands of
incoming signals, moving at meteoric speeds. The officers in charge had
standing orders - when they saw incoming, they were to call Washington and
sound the alarm to trigger a counterstrike. Well, they decided to disobey
their orders. After several nervous minutes waiting, and someone finally
thinking to consult an almanac, they realize that truth was that the
radars worked even better than they had thought possible, and they were
getting return signals off the Moon. If they had followed their orders,
the world would have been in a nuclear war in 1960 because of something
that later saw regular use as a lunar survey technique.

-- Keith Hood --
-- ACS, Inc. --


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