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5 Times When Technology Almost Destroyed The World

Modern technology is a boon for all of us. All across the world, people find relief because of modern advanced technology.

But have you ever thought that this modern technology can also become the reason for our planet’s destruction?

And no, I am not talking about A.I. Robots taking over us. I am talking about a far more severe and real threat. As a matter of fact, humanity has already witnessed how devastating it can be. Yes, I’m talking about nuclear weapons.

After the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, humankind has seen what these advanced missiles can do. Certainly, results are far worse than what you can imagine. But that’s not it. Did you know that in the past, many such incidents have occurred, in which the world was almost destroyed because of technology and these nuclear weapons?

Well, if you didn’t, here are those five events in which technology nearly destroyed our planet.

1. Erroneous Information from the satellite

On 5 October 1960, NORAD, or North American Aerospace Defense Command went on high alert when they received the report of a sudden large-scale nuclear attack, coming from the Soviet Union. US forces were alerted and they started preparing their plan of attack. However, a little later, the report came out to be incorrect.

What actually happened
Radar equipment stationed at Thule, Greenland mistakenly considered the rising moon as a high scale nuclear attack, which alerted the officials at NORAD.

2. Problem due to overheating

After the first nuclear attack, all the countries started to develop their own satellite radars to detect the atomic attack coming their way. In the 1950’s, US too developed a radar satellite to detect the Russian nuclear strikes. NORAD and ASC (Air Strategic Command) held the control of this radar to plan the attack when needed.

It was their best strategy to keep an eye on the upcoming attacks from the Soviet Union.

What actually happened
On 24 November 1961, the US faced a serious situation stimulating an attack on the Soviet Union. As all the links of communication between the SAC and the radar sites went off (including the hotlines and telephone lines), there was no way for SAC to confirm the attack with dead telephone lines.

So, SAC signaled the B-52 bomber aircraft to take-off and prepare for the attack. But luckily, at the same time, a radio signal was made to an air fleet over Alaska which confirmed that it was a false alarm, saving millions of lives.

After an investigation, it was found out that all radar sites and telephone lines passed through the same signal relay. And due to overheating, the communication system had gone offline.

Also Read: Why The Next 10 Years Of 5G Technology Will Smash The Last 10

3. Incorrect wiring caused trouble

A similar incident occurred on 25th October 1962, which was during the peak time of Cold War. A guard mistakenly, pressed the sabotage button after he saw a shadow/figure cross the security fence of the Duluth Sector Direction Center in Minnesota.

What actually happened
The sabotage alarm was actually wired to alert all the air force bases at once. So, when the guard hit the button, all the airbases sprung into action. The only problem was that at one base the wrong alarm went off. That specific alarm was for signaling the attack (starting world war III).

And the worst part was that the US was already alerted at DEFCON 3 stage (i.e. 2 stages before launching a full-scale nuclear attack) which eliminated the option of a practice drill. US F-106A aircraft was at the runway, ready to take off, when a single car reached out to the aircraft with all its light on, confirming that it was fake alarm.

Later, they found that someone had incorrectly wired the sabotage alarm with the World War III alarm at the volk field air national guard base, which caused the whole hullabaloo.

4. Faulty tape stimulating a nuclear attack

Early morning on 9 November 1979, all the computer screens of NORAD started signaling a number of nuclear missiles heading towards America.

What happened
According to the distress signal, thousands of nuclear missiles were launched by the Soviet Union to attack the U.S. The NORAD HQ alerted the SAC and all the airbases of U.S were held on high alert for 6 minutes. Everyone was sure that they are under a nuclear attack.

Even the “Doomsday aircraft” which was supposed to carry the President, in case of nuclear attack took off from the runway. Though, the president did not board it. He was still waiting at the surface to confirm the report with the satellite reports. The report came after six minutes, confirming that there was no such attack coming towards the U.S.

Later, it came out that someone had accidentally inserted an attack tape, stimulating nuclear attack on all the computers of NORAD.

Also Read: How Is Your Personal Fear Destroying Your Future?

5. Nature fooled technology

Highly accurate missile launch detection system of the Soviet Union detected a few ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic missiles) that were launched from the U.S to start a war.

What actually happened
The highly advanced missile launch detection equipment confirmed five missiles heading towards the Soviet Union. It was Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov who had to decide whether to prepare for an attack or wait to confirm if it was a real attack. It was one of the riskiest decision that he took.

He decided to wait, neglecting the report as he knew that no one would start a war with just 5 missiles. After waiting for about 25 minutes, when nothing happened, everyone concluded it to be a false attack. The most advanced piece of technology that Soviet was proud off, in fact, had mistaken the sun rays reflecting from the top of clouds as the missiles.

In Conclusion:

It won’t be wrong to say that modern technology has certainly changed our world. But after knowing these facts, it also proves how devastating technology can be. With just a single mistake or someone’s careless behavior, the world can come down crumbling as we know it.

It’s time to decide whether we technology is actually a friend or foe? 
What do you think?
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