Nearly 55 Years Ago THIS Happened at a Minnesota Air National Guard Base
It was around 55 years ago in 1962 that a military base in Minnesota almost sent jets armed with nukes in the air because of an intruder that wasn't even human.
The story is posted on Grunge, and talks about a crazy situation that happened at the Duluth Air National Guard base, and almost started a nuclear battle against (wait for it...) a bear.
It was in 1962, on October 25th, just 3 days after John F. Kennedy declared DEFCON 3 in the entire country because of the threat of imminent nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
Full details of the story were posted on the La Crosse Tribune, and tells about this "false alarm" that could have been a massive mistake that would have started a nuclear World War III.
A guard at the base spotted the shadow of a figure climbing the tall fence and shot at the assumed intruder. This set off the alarms at all nearby bases, and instantly was assumed the war was about to begin.
However, the alarms at this base sounded the wrong alarm, and jets were prepared for takeoff, armed with nuclear missiles, with a goal to look for Soviet intruders coming from the North Pole.
A truck with blaring lights came down the runway to stop the jets from taking off and alert them of a false alarm, as the intruder was actually a bear trying to simply climb a fence.
The story is interesting as none of the fighters were told what actually triggered the alarm until it was revealed in a book 25 years later. What could have happened would have likely been catastrophic and is detailed here.
Thankfully this kind of thing is unlikely to happen these days, with technological advances in military security...but back then it was the best we had.
I'm just glad Minnesota didn't become known as the place where World War III started because of a mistake. We'd probably be the laughing stock of the nation, instead of one of the best states in the country to be in like we are now.