The 1979 Vela Incident

There are some historical events where it may be impossible for ordinary people to learn the truth. For example, there are situations where more than one nation state has a good reason to circulate a false history — complete with credible-seeming historical documents.

One such case may be the 1979 Vela incident, in which an American satellite may have detected a clandestine nuclear test in the Indian Ocean. Some analyses have concluded that no nuclear explosion took place and that the satellite malfunctioned. Historian Richard Rhodes, who has written a series of excellent books about the history of nuclear weapons, thinks that it was a joint Israeli-South African nuclear test.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently published a long discussion of the issue.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

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