A Man You’ve Never Heard of Saved Your Life

George Washington's picture
 Vasili Arkhipov
Covert mission: In a game of high stakes cat and mouse it wasn't long before the Russian's were spotted


On October 27, 1962, a man you’ve never heard of saved your life …

It was at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the U.S. and Soviet Union were on hair trigger alert for World War Three.

And an order to launch a nuclear missile against Americans was actually given by the commander and political officer of a Soviet nuclear submarine.

One man stopped global nuclear war.

Edward Wilson explains in the Guardian:

An American spy plane had been shot down over Cuba while another U2 had got lost and strayed into Soviet airspace. As these dramas ratcheted tensions beyond breaking point, an American destroyer, the USS Beale, began to drop depth charges on the B-59, a Soviet submarine armed with a nuclear weapon.


The captain of the B-59, Valentin Savitsky, had no way of knowing that the depth charges were non-lethal “practice” rounds intended as warning shots to force the B-59 to surface. The Beale was joined by other US destroyers who piled in to pummel the submerged B-59 with more explosives. The exhausted Savitsky assumed that his submarine was doomed and that world war three had broken out. He ordered the B-59’s ten kiloton nuclear torpedo to be prepared for firing. Its target was the USS Randolf, the giant aircraft carrier leading the task force.


If the B-59’s torpedo had vaporised the Randolf, the nuclear clouds would quickly have spread from sea to land. The first targets would have been Moscow, London, the airbases of East Anglia and troop concentrations in Germany. The next wave of bombs would have wiped out “economic targets”, a euphemism for civilian populations – more than half the UK population would have died. Meanwhile, the Pentagon’s SIOP, Single Integrated Operational Plan – a doomsday scenario that echoed Dr Strangelove‘s orgiastic Götterdämmerung – would have hurled 5,500 nuclear weapons against a thousand targets, including ones in non-belligerent states such as Albania and China.




The decision not to start world war three was not taken in the Kremlin or the White House, but in the sweltering control room of a submarine. The launch of the B-59’s nuclear torpedo required the consent of all three senior officers aboard. Arkhipov was alone in refusing permission. It is certain that Arkhipov’s reputation was a key factor in the control room debate. The previous year the young officer had exposed himself to severe radiation in order to save a submarine with an overheating reactor. That radiation dose eventually contributed to his death in 1998.

PBS’ The Man Who Saved the World adds details:

Just how close the world came to complete destruction during those dark October days has only recently come to light.




“I now believe that it could have meant the end of humanity.”




“I saw Defence Secretary McNamara, take Dean Rusk to the side and said, ‘The sun is setting, it could be the last sunset we will ever see.’ And that’s when I got scared.”




“There is a specific signal that we have, and that is 3 explosions, grenade explosions, which means you have to surface.


I don’t know what the Americans were doing, but it wasn’t three…”


The American signal to surface is different from the Russians …




[The commander and political officer of the Russian nuclear sub both command the launch of a nuclear weapon against the Americans.  But Arkhipov said:]


“We don’t know that this is an attack – for all we know they are trying to surface us…”


The future of the world now rests on Vasili Arkhipov’s shoulders…




[Gary Slaughter, signalman aboard the American destroyer USS Cony:] “God only bless the man because err, what would have happened after that?  We would have been a nuclear war with Soviet Russia, and there would maybe perhaps not be a world.”

We only avoided a nuclear war because one man – Arkhipov – put down his foot and said no.

Postscript:  We are also grateful to American military heroes – many of them anonymous – who have blown the whistle on things which could also have led to nuclear war.

Unfortunately, Michel Chossudovsky documents In Towards a World War III Scenario that the U.S. is currently so enamored with nuclear weapons that it has authorized low-level field commanders to use them in the heat of battle in their sole discretion … without any approval from civilian leaders.

Given that top Russians, Americans and Poles say that we’re once again drifting towards a nuclear confrontation with Russia, cool-headed, ethical commanders may be our best chance of preventing catastrophe.


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Bad Santa's picture

Unfortunately, there are days I really couldn't care less if I was dead or alive. Really.

SHRAGS's picture

The movie Failsafe (1964) is very interesting, particularly the playboy Political Scientist Prof Groeteschel played by Walter Mathau. Download the movie and listen carefully to what says, eery.   I couldn't help thinking of Henry Kissinger.

Complete dialogue: http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/f/fail-safe-script-transcript...


Here's a quote from the movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058083/quotes

Prof. Groeteschele: Excuse me. Every minute we wait works against us. Now, Mr. Secretary, now is when we must send in a first strike. 

Gen. Stark: We don't go in for sneak attacks. We had that done to us at Pearl Harbor. 

Prof. Groeteschele: And the Japanese were right to do it. From their point of view, we were their mortal enemy. As long as we existed, we were a deadly threat to them. Their only mistake was that they failed to finish us at the start, and they paid for that mistake at Hiroshima. 

Gen. Stark: You're talking about a different kind of war. 

Prof. Groeteschele: Exactly. This time, *we* can finish what *we* start. And if we act now, right now, our casualties will be minimal. 

Brigadier General Warren A. Black: You know what you're saying? 

Prof. Groeteschele: Do you believe that Communism is not our mortal enemy? 

Brigadier General Warren A. Black: You're justifying murder. 

Prof. Groeteschele: Yes, to keep from being murdered. 

Brigadier General Warren A. Black: In the name of what? To preserve what? Even if we do survive, what are we? Better than what we say they are? What gives us the right to live, then? What makes us worth surviving, Groeteschele? That we are ruthless enough to strike first? 

Prof. Groeteschele: Yes! Those who can survive are the only ones worth surviving. 

Brigadier General Warren A. Black: Fighting for your life isn't the same as murder. 

Prof. Groeteschele: Where do you draw the line once you know what the enemy is? How long would the Nazis have kept it up, General, if every Jew they came after had met them with a gun in his hand? But I learned from them, General Black. Oh, I learned. 

Brigadier General Warren A. Black: You learned too well, Professor. You learned so well that now there's no difference between you and what you want to kill.

Victory_Garden's picture

There are places where the ball of soul goes after this incarnation. There, they are dancing and giving up great reverence for these kinds of souls that put humanity and goodness ahead of malice and human greed.

Truly, there are far greater treasures than anything material on the earth plane. Huge honor and graceful blessings go to these souls who have made sacrifices and given their last breath for their fellow man, whether they knew it, or not.

In silence, we give thanks for all the heroes and true men and women that sacrifice all, give all materials up, and DO the right thing for the planet and her family of Man. We are all grateful that these grand souls who are walking among us and contributing to the greatest truth forum on the planet here on ZH.

Bless up!

theprofromdover's picture

One superpower is always worse than two.

When the original USSR collapsed, it was clear that either the Chinese or the Muslims who would rise in their place. Deng Xiao Ping and the guy who stood in front of the tanks meant China would wait for two decades. So the Muslims came in to bat.

Or that the one superpower would be hijacked from within.

tawdzilla's picture
"A Man You’ve Never Heard of Saved Your Life"

I thought for sure it was Brian Williams.

Vylahkinnen's picture

Uli Kunkel saved my life.

WarPony's picture

Another, for US at least.

Have you ever heard of the Montana Freemen?  Thought not. In '96, the feds (Clinton, Reno, Freeh & probably Lon Horiuchi) had infiltrated/promoted the militias and went to do a Waco job on these ranchers.  The Fed-sponsored militia (those who could get "air" time) said to stay away, it wasn't a Waco.

They lied!  BTW, these ranchers from Montana where the Sovereign Law is the Law according to Statute when statutes don't apply had taken the Fed Reserve on at their own game, recorded and perfected judgment liens from their Justus Township and traded it as commercial paper even the IRS could not refuse.  Skurdal knew his history, Constitution and the law and they competed with the illegal Fed reserve, only lawfully.

What came out of nowhere was a small group of dedicated, armed individuals who - by some Spirit of Creation - were lead to the right places to be there at the right time to thwart Waco II.  Surprise, surprise, surprise!

Heavily and sophisticatedly armed, dangerous and quickly followed by 1000s of other small groups of dedicated, armed dangerous folks both in Montana and in States across the Nation promising to kill every fed in Montana and to start taking down political officials and anyone trying to protect said officials across the Nation if one Freemen died joined and momentum soared.  Pulled some air time as curiosities on a local radio station - which the feds heard, and even pulled some major network time which got twisted.  Were followed by night-stalking choppers, scoped by snipers like sitting ducks in the middle of a ranch on the Musselshell river basin, infiltrated and still carried the day.

That and the Internet have bought you folks almost 20 years of slightly less than the Blood Games that were planned.  FEMA camps are now DHS.  Thinking back, it is often wondered by said individuals why they didn't push the button and go for it.  Answer, the sleeping Giant that is the USA was still asleep and didn't hear that last snooze alarm.

Yes, the one-worlders went back to the drawing board, tweaked the machine and are still relentlessly pursuing your demise including your incorporation into global governance.  But, this conversation is not about a pot-bellied hilljack who wants to be POTUS.

But it was that pot-bellied hilljack and a few buds that kept you from the incinerators located off of Lodge road just NE of Antrim, Ohio (NE of Cambridge).

P.S., It was what Vos said that got the feds to the negotiating table, and Olson was fed-sponsored.

And, unfortunately, rust doesn't sleep.  But what is it that is said:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

russwinter's picture

Deep State Skulduggery Exposed by Whistleblower Scott Bennett


Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Thanks russ. 

Actually learned a few things in those videos that I didn't know before.

But why should anyone be surprised at this stage?...  I'm just not sure who is more out of their mind(s)?  The ones we put in positions of authority to continue breaking the law with impunity?  Or... The "voter" that simply keeps looking the other way when their President in his first term says "I don't even need to get to the Constitution" in taking the Country to war without the conscent of the U.S. Congress (wwhich violates it's charter) in allowing him to do just that, then gets rewarded with a "second term" after signing off on Section(s) 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA?!!!

Here's the "bookend" to your read which summarizes those thoughts rather well!

29.5 hours's picture



I would have a bit more confidence in the research behind this article if they had gotten the name of the aircraft carrier right. After all, the U.S.S. Randolph was a main character in the story.



Son of Captain Nemo's picture

U.S.S. Randolph


We gotta lot of 'em!!!

Sure hope all those old Essex Class carriers in mothball(s) can be revived cause I see too many of the operational ones being tombs at the bottom of the Baltic and Black Sea!

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

until the AI's take over (skynet)..humans are the one's to push the button..but are reptiles humans?

In Nam many draftees saved lives by "thinking this is BS man"..It is not a surprise that a slightly awakened or slightly eyes wide shut, has saved us..but when you look at the likes of a H Clinton or J Kerry or that unk thing in the white house-look at the eyes..they are dead inside.

They could push that button and then go get a coffee.


Watson's picture

The first targets would have been Moscow, London, the airbases of East Anglia and troop concentrations in Germany

Even in an all-out war the _first_ target for the USSR would almost certainly _not_ be London.
Much higher priority targets in the UK would be:
1. Fylingdales BMEWS radars;
2. Faslane Polaris base (in case the refitting sub is in a position to fire missiles).

And if you are not sure things are all-out, not good idea to take a swing at the other side's capital, makes
it politically certain that war is all-out.


YHC-FTSE's picture

Glad you highlighted this story. I mentioned another chap, Lt. Colonel Stanislav Petrov, in a recent post. He averted nuclear war on Sept 26th 1983 when a soviet satellite signalled a false alarm that announced the US had launched 5 ICBMs against the Soviet Union and he alone made the decision to cancel the alarm that prevented a full retalitory strike.

A quick search reveals other incidents that are remarkable for exposing the depth of stupidity and the heights of wisdom during times of crisis. Let there be no mistake, we're living in a time of extreme crisis today and I am pessimistic about us being so lucky as the maniacs in power juggle with armageddon while pocketing the public purse to enrich themselves.



WTFUD's picture

Joe soap Biden ' Europe can't stand around and watch Russia redraw boundaries '. KILL THIS MOTHERFUCKER NOW.

It's all very well to remember those who saved us, i agree, however, it is more important in this specific moment in time to CULL the Biden's of this world immediately.

Uranus Hertz's picture

In the Republican century they claimed 5 degrees of separation divided us all.

In the century of Empire they claimed 6 degrees immutably bind us all.

Are you listening, Mason? Protestant? Aetheist? I don't have to ask the Catholics, Jehovah's Witness door knockers, Mormons, Moonies and jews. They have expressed themselves.

Last call.

6 degrees of separation does not confound God.

Blame somebody else. Look in any mirror, there you are.

Victory_Garden's picture

Gratitude for your light, dear heart. More specifics of man's creations would have been nice for the crew to understand your point.

Peace at the end of the day. What every soul seeks.

In the end of it all, it comes as simplicity in the knowledge that Love, is the lubricant between all molecular activity and units all biological life.

One becomes what can be described as a Christ type of energy, or a satanic one. Each carries with it karmic consequences in the 3-D world. Stupid not properly edumacated fools with the brain of an ant turd, think they can successfully escape this Universal Truth. Lol...

Choice. Creations greatest gift.

All things in nature are born of that Christ energy and can not be turned into a satanic thing. Would it not be awesome if mankind could truly emulate that which man is made up of, and that all could be as harmonic as the silent forests of Love.

The new way to make war. Everybody dances. Last one standing wins. Play it again Sam!!






monad's picture

You must be a nun. Or a nurse.

I was raised by nuns. One time a nurse cried over my dead body. At least one time. So I have a special regard for nuns and nurses. I do not beleive there is a judge in America who would condemn me for revenging you, and if there is, I won't be alone in my cell.

I've been through shit. When I died, Jesus was with me. Right to the last. God loves life.

These women saved me.

monad's picture

When I was young I went through all the states.

Every state.

I was received best by the Amish.

I consider Muslims as I regard the Amish, just not under attack.

Figure that out, zionist shitheel.

xavi1951's picture

Is everyone missing the point that Russia was the first to 'try' to launch, not the evil Americans?  

And can't people help but quote lines from a movie?  Let's get back to intellectual discussions please.

Volkodav's picture

It was Soviet submarine   not Russian

charges were dropped on the Soviet submarine in international waters

logic would be that was open attack

Soviet actions were defensive

Soviet reserve saved.

You didn't have a valid point, nor convince to shift blame.




Mike in Tokyo Rogers's picture

Not sure what history books you've been reading but the Russians were no way first. Never heard of Hiroshima or Nagasaki? I don't recall that being the doing of the Russians.

But, who cares about facts, right?

xavi1951's picture

I was commenting on the article about the CMC, not use of nukes in general.  And those were dropped not launched.  A fact, right?

xavi1951's picture

I was commenting on the article about the CMC, not use of nukes in general.  And those were dropped not launched.  A fact, right?

The Darwin Mode's picture

Nuclear war is totally doable now, didn't you guys hear? It's no longer all-or-nothing mutually assured destruction, you see, we've gotten far more sophisticated! Two years ago, Sydney Freedberg wrote in Breaking Defense:

"According to Barry Watts, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (arguably the Pentagon’s favorite thinktank), outside the US both established and emerging nuclear powers increasingly see nuclear weapons as weapons that can be used in a controlled, limited, and strategically useful fashion. The Cold War 'firebreaks' between conventional and nuclear conflict are breaking down, he wrote in a recent report. Russia has not only developed new, relatively low-yield tactical nukes but also routinely wargamed their use to stop both NATO and Chinese conventional force.

"It’s precisely because US conventional power is so overwhelming that the temptation (for potential adversaries) to turn to nuclear weapons to redress the balance is so irresistible. Ten years ago, the Iraqis sidestepped American dominance in the middle of the spectrum of conflict – regular warfare with tanks, planes, and precision-guided non-nuclear weapons – by going low and waging guerrilla warfare, for which the US proved painfully unprepared. In the future, nuclear proliferation means more and more countries will have the option to sidestep US conventional power by going high and staging a 'limited' nuclear attack."

So that's cool... deterrence is dying. And what's wrong with using a dialed-down, low-yield nuke for, say, bunker-busting? What could possibly go wrong with that?




Grouchy Marx's picture

The whole human race may soon earn a giant Darwin award.

logicalman's picture

The fact that there are people out there who can even contemplate using nukes pretty much proves that the human race doesn't deserve to avoid extinction for more than the next 5 minutes.

Enjoy every day. It could very easily be your last.


Aaaarghh's picture

@Darwin - And after a few low yield nukes have been tossed about and whatever war has died down, there would still be large numbers of hot particles floating around in the atmosphere, caught up in global wind currents for eventually one of your offspring or grandchildren to either ingest or inhale and die possibly ending your line. NUKES are NOT SAFE of any yield. But then, those considering their use already think the planet overpopulated.

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

JFK was banging a 22 year old staffer during the Cuban missile crisis; I don't think I would have wanted the world to end while that was going on.  I'm absolutely certain that this young lady helped prevent nuclear war in her own way.  God bless that wonderful woman!...

The Darwin Mode's picture

Slick Willie shot off a few 450-kiloton payloads of his own, no doubt... nine times with Monica Lewinsky, according to testimony. And think about it: Clinton's Bosnian intervention had been escalating for two and a half years, then suddenly in November of 1995 in walks this portly, 22-year old intern and... KABOOM! The Dayton Accords are signed that week, and peace returns to the Balkans.

Think how many lives Lewinsky saved, how Sarajevo's streets of blood were let to run dry... oh, to imagine all the bodily fluid that wasn't spilled because of the little bit that was. That woman should have a statue somewhere.

the grateful unemployed's picture

yeah except while he under impeachment he went to the GOP for congressional approval to attack Bin Ladens camp in Afghanistan, and they refused (holding all the political cards at the moment) Clintons VP then could not avoid the damage and lost Florida by a few votes, although he won the nation by 6 million. enter a Bush who didn't pay attention to anything (or just as likely was part of it) and wham 3000 people died in 9/11, and millions of civilians in Iraq (which Clinton had been genociding through a no-fly zone policy) not sure how many spermatoza were deposited on the blue dress, but not nearly as many people as the people who were killed by a result of that chain of events. if JFK had fucked MM before the Cuban missile crisis that might have turned out differently. Khruschev wasn't getting any thats' what Nyet means, he would beat his shoe on the table at the US and say we will destroy you. so in the end its probably better not to bottle that stuff inside, but then the GOP prudes are always out looking for that stuff. thats our political system in a nutshell.

putbuyer's picture

Never forget who saved the world from hunger.

Fritz Haber



Fritz Haber (German: [?ha?b?]; 9 December 1868 – 29 January 1934) was a German chemist of Jewish origin who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918 for his development of the Haber process, which was the first industrially perfected method of synthesizing Ammonia from Nitrogen and Hydrogen gasses. This invention was of importance to the synthesis of fertilizers and explosives. The food production for half the world's current population depends on this method for producing fertilizer.[1] Haber, along with Max Born, proposed the Born–Haber cycle as a method for evaluating the lattice energy of an ionic solid.

Notoriously, Haber is also remembered to history as the "father of chemical warfare" for his actions during the Second Battle of Ypres and for his years of pioneering work developing and weaponizing chlorine and other poisonous gases during World War I.

Yao's picture

You misspelled Monsanto.  

foxmuldar's picture
Capt. Vasili Borodin: I will live in Montana. And I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck... maybe even a "recreational vehicle." And drive from state to state. Do they let you do that?

Captain Ramius: I suppose.

Capt. Vasili Borodin: No papers?

Captain Ramius: No papers, state to state.

Capt. Vasili Borodin: Well then, in winter I will live in... Arizona. Actually, I think I will need two wives.

Captain Ramius: Oh, at least.

Who was that masked man's picture

"It is better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction."

Diane Grant.

Who was that masked man's picture

"Naturally the common people don't want war:  Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood.  But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.  Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.  That is easy.  All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.  IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY.”



--Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg trials

Yes_Questions's picture



its no small blessing those who say NO emerge when really needed.


to ALL of you, 


thank you.

Reaper's picture

The character of our American leaders and their intelligence has declined in a half a century.

Who was that masked man's picture

So, they are now in negative numbers?

Cloud9.5's picture

Who was that idiot who wrote about the end of history when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991?  Remember all the celebration when the cold war ended?  Somehow, the current administration has single handedly reignited the cold war.  Oh the joy. We need to dust off our duck and cover civil defense hand books.  I sure hope Joe Biden’s boy gets that gas job he wants.  Fools and damn fools we are surrounded by them.

caustixoid's picture

WWIII is a long-standing bipartisan effort.  Read PNAC.  The fall of the Soviet Union just chummed the water for these sharks.   Russia has been under siege since then, first with Harvard-led privatization/oligarchization, then NATO expansion, missile interceptor placement and upgrading the nuclear arsenal in violation of arms-control treaties.   I'm still waiting for that "peace dividend" check in the mail...

Self-enslavement's picture
Self-enslavement (not verified) caustixoid Feb 6, 2015 9:07 PM

A few well placed nuclear bombs sent to Israel should solve the problem

Vooter's picture

How about not dropping fake-depth-charges-that-seem-like-real-depth-charges on a nuclear submarine??? Fucking dumb twats...

cigarEngineer's picture

I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that nuking an aircraft carrier would immediately escalate the conflict from conventional to nuclear. The US would have just lost a few thousand conscripts that otherwise would have contributed to the unskilled unemployment rate and a half billion dollars in military equipment that they could just borrow the next day to stimulate the economy.

cheech_wizard's picture

One does not need a nuclear weapon to take out an aircraft carrier. Conventional torpedoes will do the job just fine... You are aware that all those escort ships that hang around in the carrier task force are there to merely take incoming torpedoes.

Russia submarines were designed with fore and aft topedo tubes. American subs were not. If push comes to shove, the Russian tactic is to fire the forward tubes first, dive under the targeted vessel, then punt a few more torpedoes out the aft tubes and be on their way.

Now I don't know if Russian torpedoes have the same safety features as American torpedoes, but I do know this. American torpedoes are supposed to shut themselves off if they turn more than 180 degrees. Couple of reasons behind this. Torpedo hot runs, and if that torpedo should come back at you...

Fun facts on MK48 torpedo fuel...

Otto Fuel II is a distinct-smelling (peaches!), reddish-orange, oily liquid that the U.S. Navy uses as a fuel for torpedoes and other weapon systems. It is a mixture of three synthetic substances: propylene glycol dinitrate (the major component), 2-nitrodiphenylamine, and dibutyl sebacate.

Propylene glycol dinitrate, a colorless liquid with an unpleasant odor, is explosive. 2-Nitrodiphenylamine is an orange solid used to control the explosion of propylene glycol dinitrate. Dibutyl sebacate is a clear liquid used for making plastics, many of which are used for food packaging. It is also used to enhance flavor in some foods such as ice cream, candy, baked goods, and nonalcoholic drinks, and is found in some shaving creams.

Tall Tom's picture

So whatever you do just do not mix your car's ANTIFREEZE with your Nitric Acid and Sulfuric Acid in a sealed Aluminum container and subject that to any shock or excessive heat.


You may end up with a propelyene glycol dinitrate BOMB.


Synthesis link...




Yeah....Got it.