November 5 Nuclear Blast : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

does anyone on the forum have a link or can find a link to any articles on the november 5 nuclear blast in russia which killed 3000+ military personnel? evidently it happened when several poorly trained technicians were told to disarm an ICBM using very crude tools. the thing exploded in its silo. i heard about this today.

i understand there were articles in small Asian newspapers, but i have found nothing yet. if you find a link, please post it here. thanks. i can understand why this was kept quiet before the y2k rollover, but there is no point to secrecy now.

-- jocelyne slough (, January 27, 2000



How did you hear about this?? I've got to believe that regulars on this forum would have posted such an article. As I didn't start lurking here til right before rollover, I wouldn't have seen that one.

An unplanned nuke detonation, no matter where it happens, is HUGE news. The fact that there have been no reports (to my knowledge) leads me to believe that your source is incorrect.


-- Jimmy Splinters (, January 27, 2000.

Hi Jocelyne,

You can look at all big bumps that have happened on Earth by going to the Nuke Test Ban Treaty site.

It will show any possible nuke explosions, as well as quakes and is updated every 15 minutes or so (settable). They have archives so you can do searches.

-- Dean -- from (almost) Duh Moyn (, January 27, 2000.

thanks, dean, i have looked at the site, but i am unfamiliar with it and have not found anything yet. it doesn't help things that i don't have an exact location.

what i do have is, somewhere in Siberia on November 5, at 8:23 am. i am assuming that is local time but it could also be UTC. nuts.

-- jocelyne slough (, January 27, 2000.

You've been had Joc. Such a blast would have registered all over the place, not only with NSA, NRO or small Asian papers.

-- spaceman spiff (, January 27, 2000.


I agree with Splinters in that if this had made the news it would have been posted here. I don't remember it, but of course it MAY have happened anyway... :)


-- Someone (, January 27, 2000.

I may be wrong but don't believe a nuke explosion could happen by simply changing out an RV. The RV has to be electronically armed by command authority in order to allow a nuke explosion. At least thats how its done in this country. Could get radioactive contamination though if the casing were ruptered.

-- Ed (, January 27, 2000.

As far as I can tell, nothing happened there. On that day at least...

November 5, 1999

-- Powder (, January 27, 2000.

Interestingly enough the last event logged on Nov. 4, 99 was in the "Russia (e.g. Siberia) Mongolia" border region...mag. 4.4! It occurred at 23:37GMT (which could indeed be close to 8:23 local time!) This is interesting enough to bear further digging...

-- Al (, January 27, 2000.

i did forget 1 item, it was an SS-18, 20 megatons. i had assumed that their ICBMs were all SS-18s, until i found a map of russian ICBM sites. the map is at

i also found an item that there was a joint US-russian briefing on november 4, 1999, by RANSAC (russian american nuclear security advisory council). it's interesting. summary is at i suppose it's just a coincidence....

-- jocelyne slough (, January 27, 2000.

i hit the submit button too soon. apparently, there were very brief reports in the western press at the time, and fairly detailed reports in the russian newspapers. i did not hear anything at all, so if there were news reports, they must have been buried in the obituaries or legal notices.

-- jocelyne slough (, January 27, 2000.

EVENT 20605948 RUSSIA-MONGOLIA BORDER REGION Date Time Err RMS Latitude Longitude Smaj Smin Az Depth Err Ndef Nsta Gap mdist Mdist Qual Author OrigID 1999/11/04 23:37:25.96 0.58 0.79 51.9315 98.4437 15.1 14.7 42 0.0f 27 23 73 8.49 142.87 m i uk PIDC_REB 20606490

Magnitude Err Nsta Author OrigID mb 4.4 0.1 18 PIDC_REB 20606490 ML 4.3 0.3 3 PIDC_REB 20606490 mbmle 4.4 0.1 19 PIDC_REB 20606490 Ms 4.1 0.0 13 PIDC_REB 20606490 msmle 4.0 0.0 16 PIDC_REB 20606490

-- ..- (dit@dot.dash), January 27, 2000.

Depth was notated as 0.0f

There was a huge number of station which reported this 'quake' and many quakes has depth measures listed. It is possible that this one was too close to the surface to guess at.


Also makes ya wonder if their fail-safe systems ARE?!?

-- ..- (dit@dot.dash), January 27, 2000.

In the recent past our govt. has requested "clarification" from the Russians when "seismic events" occur in the 3.5 magnitude area....this event was in the mid 4's... It is IN an area known to have Russian missile fields. It may simply have been a quake, however, it's an understatement to say that the Russians haven't always been totally honest about their nuke expts and mistakes.

Still searching for some news article on this event

-- Al (, January 27, 2000.

A ground-level nuke explosion is awful hard to conceal. The seismic impact is only one clue -- how about the kind of fallout a nuke this size would blow into the atmosphere, especially a 0.0f burst? I think if this had actually occurred, we'd have known about it in short order, if only when all the salmon in Alaska grew two heads.Just MHO.

-- Cash (, January 27, 2000.

Cash-- I agree -- but consider the 'interesting' timing of this event? Not too long before the Year 2000 turnover! Not many governments would have been interested in telling about such an event at that time -- ours included!

-- Al (, January 27, 2000.

Excuse me Al, but WHY would this have ANY bearing on Y2K reportage?? It is alledged to have been a MANUAL ERROR detonation. Last time I checked, even MY rented fingers were Y2K compliant (they don't type worth a tinker's dam but...)


-- Chuck, a night driver (, January 27, 2000.

Chuck-- I didn't bring this topic up! It probably should've been listed as 'OT', but again, wasn't my call! It is interesting, even if "off topic", though. I'd hate to have to eat those "two headed salmon".

Jocelyne may have brought it up due to the proximity to Y2K turnover- but that she could probably answer that better than me?

-- Al (, January 27, 2000.

I actually have some experience working with nuclear weapons and it is impossible for US or Russian nukes going high yield without being fully launched. There are too many mechanical devices that must be actuated by high G forces starting and stopping, rapid atmospheric changes, ect. Plus a long list of electronic sequences and events.

Even if the high explosives surrounding the core is detonated, it creates a radioactive mess but limited bang. You would not notice the explosion 100 miles away.

However, if they managed to detonate one of their solid propellant rockets(forklift in the side) in storage with others, a couple dozen of those would be felt a thousand miles away.

The Russians did manage to kill 100k-300K people just east of the Urals while trying to develop particle beam weapons. Oooppps!

-- Surrounded (, January 27, 2000.

chuck, i wouldn't dream of posting something that was off topic. i believe this story was buried precisely BECAUSE of y2k. and it worked, too. my hat is off to the international y2k cooperation center, and to the media.

i did find one other item in my internet search that was interesting because of the date, november 8, 1999. it's an article called "Russian Nuclear Sabre-rattling" at

i think we need the help of an earthquake expert here. i found out this evening from my husband, the military history buff, that he had heard or seen a news item about this at the time, but he said he had not heard of any deaths and thought it was no big deal. the story he had got, he recalls was on the internet, and it said that the ICBM blew up because the fuel they use is so volatile, and they could vent it while they are working but they don't, because they get cold when the doors are open.

he says it blew up, but the warhead did not. he says each one has enough rocket fuel for about a 5 kiloton blast. i don't think that would be enough. let's see, at cape canaveral a blastoff can produce a 3.5 quake. for a 4.5 quake in siberia, we would need 10 times that amount of energy.

hubby says that the russian ICBMs are in fields close together, and if one blew up, it could concievably cause the other ones to blow up also. any resulting radiation would be leakage from cracks only.

could that be what happened? who knows. i just know that there are a lot of poor souls who died out there, and nobody seems to care.

-- jocelyne slough (, January 28, 2000.

Jocelyne, good point. Though it is unlikely one rocket motor cooking off would set off others in silos nearby. The Russians use huge rockets. If one detonated in a closed silo, the containment has an amplifying effect on the blast. It is unlikely the warhead would do anything but fragment. It may have even stayed intact. This occured in the US about 1980-81 in Arkansas when a technician dropped a wrench that struck the side of the rocket motor causing the motor to detonate. This of course killed everyone nearby, blew the 70 ton blast door off of the silo and blew the nuclear warhead 1/4 mile away. It was still intact.

-- Surrounded (, January 28, 2000.

my source says the actual 20-megaton warhead exploded, and prevailing winds pushed the mushroom cloud north and it dispersed thru siberia over the arctic circle. i am still looking for articles. it would be easier if i didn't have the flu right now. you would think the people living around the arctic circle would care, like alaskans, canadians, scandinavians, etc. are the reindeer giving radioactive milk yet?

-- jocelyne slough (, January 29, 2000.

I don't think it's inconceivable that the conditions in a silo blast might very well "fool" the warhead into thinking all its conditions for detonation had been met.

As to the Y2K-relevance, if they were messing with the thing because it was noncompliant, I'd think that would qualify it to be a Y2K- related event.

-- Sluggo (sluggo@your.head), January 29, 2000.

thanks, sluggo. there was a timetable for dismantling of some of these weapons, for various reasons. i don't know if y2k fears caused them to accelerate that timetable or not. but i believe this event is VERY relevant to the y2k discussion, simply because this news item, which should have been front-page news all over, was successfully buried. i believe it was buried for 1 main reason--y2k. but that excuse is gone now, so the story should come out. this story is the business of every human being on this planet.

-- jocelyne slough (, January 29, 2000.

Knock, knock.. Any news of the stealth explosion of a 20 MT in Asia?


-- spaceman spiff (spiff, February 01, 2000.

spaceman, i am still looking. i have been laid low with the flu, so not a lot of time has been spent on this. but it looks like i will need someone to help me with german and russian documents. russian is in case any of the russian news stories of the time actually made it onto the internet, and german because they allowed at least one german weapons expert near the site, and he's talking, but in german, no doubt.

-- jocelyne slough (, February 02, 2000.

IMHO real data on higher radiation levels in areas downwind of the so called ground zero would be a much worthy goal than media stories on ground trembles on a certain date in Asia.

Proving an earth quake is much easier than proving a 20MT nook blast that annihilates 3000 souls.

rigoriously yours,

-- spaceman spiff (, February 02, 2000.

i agree, but who is going to tell us if there was extra radiation in an area of siberia where there are basically no civilians? in any case, i have given the information to NIRS and asked them to check it out, as they have a lot more resources than i do. i am hoping they check it out, and i am really hoping that the story is a hoax. if they respond to me, i will post it here.

-- jocelyne slough (, February 02, 2000.

20 MT? Jocelyne, are we really talking a 20 *megaton* blast here? At ground level? The winds could blow all that fallout north and it would still pop off radiation meters over most of the Northern Hemisphere by now. Even an air burst of that magnitude would show up as higher than normal radiation levels in Canada, Sweden, Finland, and the rest of the Arctic circle communities. Surely that couldn't be hidden from the general public, especially in a Europe that still remembers Chernobyl. I'm looking forward to whatever information you can dig up.

-- Cash (, February 02, 2000.

No, no way a warhead blast could be "hidden" - a 20 Meg blast creates a radiation plume (and seismic impact and visual impact that are "unhideable" under any circumstances.) A full warhead blast would have much, much more radiactive debris (and debris that is spread wider worldwide) than Chernobyl, since the blast would have been "waist high" - not an air burst or space-based.

Also, the EMP effects of the full sized blast would have been immediately noticeable on civilian telephones, satellites, and computers - even though the blast would have been at low levels.


Much, much more likely is a chemical blast during repairs, like the Titan blast mentioned above. Don't know the missile weight, but assume 5 tons of solid fuel, or liuid fuel + oxider: that's about 12,000 pounds or " literally "5 kilotons" of explosive.

A detonation of that size does create that detectable seismic effect, particularly since a burning, explosive, stage-by-stage missile fire (with its many multiple explosions spread out over a few seconds) creates a "spread out" time delayed force that is much different than a "real" bomb detonating in a few milli-seconds. A true earthquake is different from either.

Underground blasts in the mining industry (those in the big US Montano open pit mines) are detectable by US seismic monitoring, and are reported to the government nuclear blast detection centers and laboratories to "calibrate" the instruments, and to prevent false alarms.

But what actually was reported in these classified reports are unknown - at least by me.


Radiation spread depends on whether the warhead was extensively could have been "simply" ejected and suffer little damage - the things are in a heat shield designed to withstand the tremedous heat and vibration and gravity of a re-entry from space after all.

A "small" missile (fuel) explosion isn't going to absolutely, positively damage the internals of the warhead. Even if damaged, radioactive debris (if no nuclear yield explosion occurred) is going to be spread by the "mechanical effects" of the fuel in the missile blowing up....which would contaminate a relatively small area with Pu and U235.

A nuclear warhead has a solid metal "chunk" of Pu inside, surrounded by severall layers of conventional explosives to "compress" the warhead with precisely timed blasts. so even a sizeable (external) blast isn't going to to have much of a chance of "breaking" a solid pice of machines metal into very many pieces. If the external (warhead) explosives were exposed to an external fire from the liquid or solid fuel detonations, these would NOT be all exploding at once as they "cooked off" from the the micro-second-level timing needed (simultaneously in all the external explosives) to compress the Pu into a nuclear-critical mass isn't going to happen.

So, it's possible a few square miles of Siberia and Mongolia received detectable radiation .... if they bothered to survey at all.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (, February 02, 2000.

thanks, Cash and Robert. my feeling is that something probably happened, and it would most likely be the rocket itself going off, not the warhead.

i got the following brief response from Michael Mariotte of NIRS, a few minutes ago. he would not have had a chance to check it out, so this is his preliminary response. "No, I haven't heard anything about this. We have a lot of contacts in Russia, so I suspect we would have heard if something like this had happened."

-- jocelyne slough (, February 02, 2000.

i have mailed what i have to NIRS. i hope they can sort out the mystery. i have no time for it.

-- jocelyne slough (, February 07, 2000.

You know, there might really be more to this than meets the eye. Have you had your lightbulbs upgraded recently, Joc?

-- spaceman spiff (, February 11, 2000.

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