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FOIA: DCIA memo on the Sep 22, 1979 Vela Satellite event recording a suspected nuclear test

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posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 07:25 PM
DCIA memo on the Sep 22, 1979 Vela Satellite event recording a suspected nuclear test
A forwarding of the memo "The 22 September 1979 Event" which was prepared in response to a request of the NSC. Its conclusions rest largely on circumstantial evidence and on the assumption that there was a nuclear explosion (test) on 22 September 1979.

Document date: 1980-01-21
Department: Central Intelligence
Author: Bruce C. Clarke, Jr.
Document type: memo
pages: 15


Archivist's Notes: Marked Confidential, Memo marked 'Secret' but crossed out, fair to good quality document with many whited out areas. Approved for release Jan 2004. Cover page indicates 'Copy 009' and date of Dec 1979.

posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 01:56 AM
Document 1:
MORI DocID: 1108245

This is a letter from the Director of Central Intelligence to Ralph Earle II Director US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

“The Interagency Intelligence Memorandum ‘The 22 September 1979 Event’ (attached) was prepared in response to a request of the NSC.
Its conclusions rest largely on circumstantial evidence and on the assumption that there was a nuclear explosion on 22 September 1979”
Attachment: NI IIM 79-10028

3 parts of the letter are erased but the name Bruce C. Clarke (JR?) just visible.

Document 2:
MORI DocID: 1108246

Appears to be the cover page for the INTERAGENCY INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDIUM with the Document ID: 1108246
About the 22nd September 1979 Event
Copy NI IIM 79-10028 Copy 009
There is a handwritten circle with the number E83A

Document 3:
MORI DocID: 1108246

Warning Notice Heading was erased.
Title: National Security Information. Notes abbreviations. Several white out boxes.

Document 4:
MORI DocID: 1108246

Cover Page, mostly blank

Document 5:
MORI DocID: 1108246

States conclusion of the findings i.e. assumption was that there was a nuclear explosion though evidence is circumstantial.

Document 6:
MORI DocID: 1108246

Titled ‘Key Judgments’. No other writing visible….white out box only.

Document 7 to 13:
MORI DocID: 1108246
Good quality pdf (easy to read).
Titled: Discussion
Some pages have large areas/paragraphs white out boxes.

Summary: Vela Satellite picked up a probable nuclear test/accident in Southern Hemisphere off South Africa in the Indian Ocean. Conclusion that it was a test or military exercise was drawn because of the 3 kiloton limit on its strength. After discussing the likely countries to have the capabilities, materials and motives, the conclusion was drawn that South Africa was the main culprit though no hard evidence was recovered. It was also noted that it was quite possible that South Africa and Israel had a joint test, again no hard evidence.Quite an interesting read…..

Document 14 and 15:
MORI DocID: 1108246
Completely white out boxes.

Notes for Documents 7 to 13: India has been mentioned along with South Africa and Israel on the first page but does not appear again in the discussion.

posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 06:39 PM
Since the date of this report there has been no evidence come to light of the ability by South Africa to explode a nuclear bomb. In light of this fact, Isreal and India seem to be the most likely culprits.

There is also the possibility that this was a meteorite of enough size and kinetic energy to appear as a nuclear explosion. There is no reference here to any follow up regarding radiation levels in the area, so there can be no putting the latter idea to rest.

There would be no visible debris because it would not have been a land strike. All in all, this does give some food for thought.

posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 07:35 PM
Upon further research from other sources,
I find Wikipedia sites Taiwan as a potential country to blame. The Mori DocID: 1108246 explains that other countries were reviewed and discounted for various reasons.

Taiwan was amongst them (as was Pakistan) but ‘probably lacked sufficient fissile material for even a single nuclear explosive device.’

To highlight the document’s findings that other countries were discounted, the following quotes are of interest:

‘…West Germany, have possessed both the materials and the technical expertise, none of them…has had the incentive…’
‘Other states that might have nuclear ambitions – such as Brazil, Argentina, and Iraq – almost certainly lacked the fissile material and nonfissile components required to fabricate and test nuclear explosive devices.
Neither France nor China has agreed to refrain from testing in the atmosphere, but they have recently had no known technical or political motivation to test clandestinely …
The Soviet Union would have had to assume inordinate political risks in its relations with the United States to have conducted a covert nuclear explosion in violation of the Limited Test Ban Treaty …for any purpose.’

I find it very interesting that even without the ‘official top-secret’ document being released in years past, that the media from various sources basically came up with the same idea as the conclusion of the document…that South Africa was the prime suspect, with Israel seen in partnership with South Africa. The website
Is very interesting to read about this topic as the following quote from them highlights:

Unfortunately efforts to detect the one completely unambiguous "smoking gun" signature of a nuclear explosion, guaranteed to silence skeptics, namely radioactive fallout, failed. The U.S. government quickly launched a major effort to collect samples of the fallout cloud, but Air Force attempts to sample the fallout failed to enter the low-pressure air mass that had been over the detonation site at the time of the explosion (what the problem was I do not know). However Dr. Van Middlesworth detected low levels of iodine-131, a short-lived radioactive fission product, in sheep thyroids in the states of Victoria and Tasmania in western Australia soon after the event. Studies of wind patterns confirmed that fall-out from an explosion in the southern Inidian Ocean could have been carried there [Barnaby 1989; pg. 17].

Perhaps the white out boxes in Mori DocID:1108246 held more information relating to Israel’s involvement. It looks as though the US could have gathered conclusive evidence but it may not have been in their interest. ….

posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 08:00 PM
reply to post by NGC2736

In regards to the suggestion that it may have been a meteorite… makes two references to the fact that hard evidence of a nuclear explosion could have been gathered and apparently weren’t. The first is implied in my previous quote where US air force was sent to gather samples immediately but blamed the weather conditions for their inability to do it, which the writer seems to find hard to believe.
Secondly, also in that quote, there is the mention that three areas of Australia found iodine 131 in their sheep…consistent with nuclear fallout.

Here is a quote from 1994 which mentioned Dieter Gerhardt (IMO disinfo agent)

It is impossible to assess whether Dieter Gerhard's account has any basis in fact. Some parts of his statements are interesting. The assertion that "The explosion was clean ..." suggests that it was a neutron bomb (which has been alleged before about this event) which is the only kind of low yield device to have reduced fallout. His statement that weather pattern changes caused its detection is interesting, since conclusive detection by this means has never been made public - the Australian fallout report (and a New Zealand one before it) were both subject to dispute. By his own admission of course, he had no direct connection with the project.

On a another note - I believe the Vela Satellite was designed to pick up only electromagnetic pulse.

posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 08:21 PM
Now looking at the AD_HOC_REPORT_SEPT_23_1980.pdf (A report by a panel of non-government scientists)
there was also the possibillity of a direct impact on the Vela Satellite by a meteor ( see pdf. document 15).

But would there be no damage to the sattellite itself?

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 01:48 PM
An archive of declassified US Govt documents relating to this incident (in addition to the document under discussion in this thread) can be found here :-

National Security Archive

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