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Nuclear Pollination - The Vela Incident

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posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 09:01 AM
On 22 September 1979 the Americans detected an apparent nuclear detonation somewhere in the South Atlantic.

Thus began an amazing story involving the Soviets, Israel, USA, and South Africa.

On 22 September 1979 around 00:53 GMT, the Vela 6911 satellite detected the characteristic double flash of an atmospheric nuclear explosion apparently over the Indian Ocean or South Atlantic. The test location was later localized at 47 deg. S, 40 deg. E in the Indian Ocean, in the vicinity of South Africa's Prince Edward Island, by hydroacoustic data. Due to the position ambiguity of the initial detection (the Vela optical sensors were not imaging sensors and could did not detect location), the location is variously described as being in the Indian Ocean or South Atlantic. The characteristics of the light curve indicated that it was a low kiloton explosion (approximately 3 kt). The hydroacoustic signal indicated a low altitude explosion. A major and lingering controversy erupted over the interpretation of this apparent detection.

The Vela Incident

There are theories that this was never a detonation, that it was a

micrometeorite might have struck the satellite and dislodged a piece of it skin. Reflecting sunlight into the optical system of one sensor but not into that of its neighbor, the debris might have caused the questionable event

The Vela satellites had never been wrong before:

In conducting their readout the AFTAC technicians saw a double humped signal that corresponded to the double flash associated with a nuclear explosion. In the 41 previous occurrences when a Vela satellite detected such a double flash (including the 12 Vela 6911 detections), subsequent data confirmed that a nuclear detonation had actually occurred. The signal Vela 6911 had apparently detected came from a remote region of the world, for the territory in view of its bhangmeters encompassed 3,000 miles in diameter - the southern tip of Africa, the Indian Ocean, the South Atlantic, and a bit of Antarctica.


The Ruina panel that was tasked with investigating the incident ultimately released the following:

the signal "was probably not from a nuclear explosion. Although we cannot rule out that this signal was of nuclear origin".

There have been reports that the Israeli's worked with South Africa to help perfect a neutron bomb (which explained the relative lack of nuclear fallout).
Dieter Gerhard, a communist spy and Commander of Simonstown naval base confirmed it was a joint Israeli/South African test code-named Operation Phoenix (also thought to be part of Israel's Samson Option).

South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad was quoted as confirming that the 22 September 1979 flash over the Indian Ocean was indeed from a South African nuclear test. The article said that Israel helped South Africa develop its bomb designs in return for 550 tons of raw uranium and other assistance.

And yet, nothing has ever been confirmed by Israel or the Americans.

What we do know is that the Americans knew (and supported) about Israel's nuclear aspirations from the 1970's - the conclusion we can draw is that the USA may inadvertently have helped make the Apartheid government a nuclear power.

The other thread in ATS does not discuss the more controversial aspect to this incident and I thought it required another look: The Vela Incident

posted on Nov, 6 2009 @ 07:05 AM
I recall reading thatin sunday times or The Argus, and Max du Preez also hints at it.
I sometimes wonder today whether they really de-actived them all, or whether the ANC is still holding on to some sectrets.

posted on Nov, 6 2009 @ 07:38 AM
reply to post by halfoldman

I have often wondered the same - for any country to willingly give up it's nuclear aspirations is not normal. I have said before on another thread that at the very least we kept certain knowledge and technology so that the ability to resurrect the program would not be difficult at all.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 12:01 AM
This is the kind of thing that makes ATS my favorite site.

Thanks for the posting, and the kind of thinking that makes this a clearinghouse of information for so many, about so much.

It really helps things to add up. I think knowing helps, and is always better than not knowing.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 05:33 AM
reply to post by Copperflower

Thank you, I appreciate the post. ATS has also inspired me to investigate deeper, and not always accept at face value what I once considered to be truth.


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