EMP – It’s Already Happened!

As I mentioned in my first post, the book that brought my attention to prepping and survival was One Second After by William Forstchen. Now, the subject matter of this book is, as most of my readers know, is the EMP, or electro-magnetic pulse that can and will occur after the detonation of certain weapons. The whole point of the book is that this is a disaster that could happen and likely will happen, some time in the future.

So, just imagine my surprise when I received the following email from my brother-in-law, Tom:

I read your blog on the EMP Post. But did you know that the Harkness family actually witnessed just such occurrence? In the late 60’s, over the town of El Paso, TX, there was a weather satellite that was launched from the White Sands Missile Range. Shortly after its launch, it was determined that the rocket had malfunctioned and that the trajectory on radar showed that it was headed for Mexico.

With a flick of the wrist and a push of a button, the rocket was ordered to self-destruct. This was one of the main reasons that environmentalists demanded that weather satellites stop using nuclear power sources. The explosion caused the nuclear payload to ignite and burn. The site was spectacular as it formed a perfectly round rainbow in the night sky over El Paso. It also caused a power outage due to the EMP and EEMP. Fortunately, the telephone systems were still run by old electron tubes and the phone system was back up in a about an hour. Dad called White Sands and found out what really happened.

Ham radio operators like to hang onto old radios that use the big electron tubes because of their unique ability to handle massive amounts of EMP and EEMP. EEMP is “Effective Electromechanical Pulse” or sometimes called a High-Effective EMP. This is where electrical current is caused to exist in a conductor due to the effects of an EMP. It could cause the household current in your home to jump from 120V to several thousand volts, effectively destroying most of your appliances…. and, if you are touching any of them… being electrocuted.

Many military commanders opt for an air-burst of EMP and EEMP as it reduces the number of casualties and destroys most of the fighting equipment (i.e. communications). Other commanders have considered EMP Salting. This is where the fuel in the burst is designed to cause the metals in the ground, around your home, and even in you body, to be forced to give up electrons. This causes these metals to become radioactive and highly toxic, making just about everything you eat, breathe, or drink, a deadly poison (i.e. Nuetron Bomb). The only problem with this type of burst is that it makes the land uninhabitable for about 100,000 years. Kind of a waste of territory, but well within consideration for a Jihadist.

I would be very interested in hearing others’ views about this item that occurred in ElPaso in the late sixties.  Do you remember it, if you’re old enough?  I am old enough, but I lived in far East Texas, and I must also confess that in the late sixties, my mind was on “more important” things than national security!

My brother-in-law Tom blogs at Safety In Education.  He is a licensed CHL instructor and teaches in his hometown of Pittsburg, TX, as well as assisting my husband as a co-teacher with his CHL classes in Plano, TX.  Please check Tom and his blog out.  He always has an interesting (true) story to tell!

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6 Responses to EMP – It’s Already Happened!

  1. Ray Rayburn says:

    “This was one of the main reasons that environmentalists demanded that weather satellites stop using nuclear power sources. The explosion caused the nuclear payload to ignite and burn.”

    In other words the nuclear material was spread around the atmosphere. This may or may not have been a danger to humans depending on how diluted the material was by the time it reached the ground.

    “It also caused a power outage due to the EMP and EEMP. ”

    Oh please!!! The explosion was caused by the conventional explosive in the destruct charge. There was no nuclear explosion, and in fact the materials in the nuclear power source _can’t_ explode. With no nuclear explosion (because one was not possible) there is no EMP.

    “Many military commanders opt for an air-burst of EMP and EEMP as it reduces the number of casualties and destroys most of the fighting equipment (i.e. communications).”

    “Many military commanders” do not “opt” to use enhanced EMP devices (the so called neutron bomb) because while we know how to make them, they have not been put into production. This was a political decision.

    “Other commanders have considered EMP Salting. This is where the fuel in the burst is designed to cause the metals in the ground, around your home, and even in you body, to be forced to give up electrons. This causes these metals to become radioactive and highly toxic, making just about everything you eat, breathe, or drink, a deadly poison (i.e. Nuetron Bomb).”

    Consider that whoever wrote this can’t even _spell_ neutron bomb.

    Explosion of a nuclear bomb in the air will set fires from the heat. Set off high in the air the main danger aside from heat is EMP. The danger from radioactive materials is small because the only materials near the bomb which can be made radioactive are what was part of the bomb itself.

    Explosion of a nuclear bomb near the ground will greatly reduce the area where fire and EMP are a danger, but will dig up and turn radioactive material from the ground, so radioactive fallout is much greater than from an explosion higher in the air.

    “The only problem with this type of burst is that it makes the land uninhabitable for about 100,000 years.”

    Nonsense!

    The most dangerous radioactives are those with short half-lifes. That is why if you are out of the immediate blast and fire areas, and can shelter for a few weeks, the radioactivity of the fallout will have gone down to the point where you can go outside again.

    Consider that while we used nuclear bombs on two cities in Japan, and killed many people in the process, people still live there! Those cities were never “uninhabitable”. Yes those who were exposed to the initial radiation from the bombs probably had shorter lifetimes, but to say that the explosion of a nuclear bomb will render an area “uninhabitable for about 100,000 years” only displays how ignorant the writer is.

    This story is a crock!

    • Georgene says:

      I spent some time trying to decide whether to approve your comment, simply because I don’t like your ad hominem attacks. Example: it is an ad hominem attack to say that if someone “can’t even _spell_” neutron bomb, his opinion is worthless and his information is incorrect. Considering that “nuetron” is the only misspelling, would it not be more likely that he made a simple typo? Or do you not ever make typos? No? Well, then is it not equally concerning that you would state that the plural of “half-life” is “half-lifes,” or might you consider that this plural is more commonly – and correctly – known as “half-lives”? I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Surely it was a simple typo.

      I spoke to my brother-in-law about your comment and he suggested I go ahead and publish it, though he declined to engage in, as he said, a “pissing contest” with you. So, I will publish it.

      Finally, I would like to mention one more fact: he was there. You were not.

  2. AmandaK says:

    Hmm, maybe some people are in denial? Maybe some people’s heads are in the sand? Get it out, face reality. THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But it’s inevitable- it’s going to happen. I’ve been researching the internet on EMP’s for a few months now and I’ve come across many different opinions on many different blogs and articles. The best site I’ve come across though is actually a Radio Blog show. They have new guests on it every week and it’s always SO informative. I love it. This Wednesday there’s going to be two guests on it, it’s should be a great show. Their names are Reza Kahlili and Fred Fleitz. If you want to check it out (which I really think you should) here’s the link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/empact-radio/2011/07/27/pvp59-two-guests–reza-kahlili-and-fred-fleitz good luck!

    • Georgene says:

      Yes, I always get a good laugh out of people who say “it couldn’t have happened…..so therefore it didn’t happen.” With no actual data to back up their assertions, of course.

      Thanks for the link. I have been meaning to listen to this show on previous occasions; this time I will really make an effort. I notice that it says 11:00 am, but doesn’t give a time zone. Do you happen to know which time zone the 11:00 refers to?

  3. AmandaK says:

    I completely agree with you! It’s crazy.

    You’re welcome, I’m happy to help! I’m not sure what time zone you’re in, but the show is on at 12p.m Eastern Time zone. I hope that clears the confusion up:) !

  4. Scott says:

    Regarding the question of, “Has it happened?”, the answer is a well documented YES. On September 1, 1859 the “Carrington Event” was so strong it caused fires and disruptions in telegraph equipment across northern Europe and the United States.

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