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December 12, 2009
No 'Fail Safe' systems in Norway
Fail safe is a term meaning a procedure that is designed to switch equipment or a system to a safe condition if there is a fault or failure.
Fail-Safe (1964), a movie starring Henry Fonda, is an anti war thriller. When a military computer error deploys a squadron of SAC bombers to destroy Moscow, the American President (Fonda) tries to call them back. But their sophisticated fail-safe system prevents him from aborting the attack, so he must convince the Soviets not to retaliate. In desperation, the President offers to sacrifice an American city if his pilots succeed in their deadly mission over Moscow.
Early morning of December 9 2009, Norway residents were witness to an event probably never before seen.
The sky event appeared as something out of Star Trek.
The phenomenon was described as a blue light appearing from behind a mountain, then rising in the sky whereupon a huge spiraling pinwheel developed and filled the morning sky.
The event lasted about twelve minutes or so.
Certainly not a bird, neither a plane, nor even Superman.
Only hours later Moscow newspapers were reporting that the early morning event which appeared in the sky was a failed launch of a Russian Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile, reportedly fired from the Russian nuclear submarine Dmitry Donskoi in the White Sea. Previous missile launches reportedly occurred in 2008 hitting targets located on the Kamchatka Peninsula 4000 miles east from Moscow.
The Bulava ICBM (SS-NX-30) is designed for deployment on Borey-class Project 955 nuclear-powered submarines. The first submarine in the series, the Yury Dolgoruky will be equipped with 16 Bulava ballistic missiles, each carrying up to 10 nuclear warheads and having a range of 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The sub is due to be commissioned late 2009 or early 2010.
Russian officials earlier denied any missile launch.
Latest reports now suggest Norway may have been notified of potential launches as part of an understanding with Russia.
So, are these actually common events? Why are the communications so lousy?
In the same region of the world where numerous world leaders are discussing their concerns about climate change, one might expect a discussion about Fail Safe systems.