Big error made U.S. think it was facing atomic annihilation7/5/2012
It went down a long time ago, but this tech fail (a transmitter accidentally hitting the wrong button) was a real doozy. On Feb. 20, 1971, every radio and television station in the United States received a teletype message from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) signaling that nuclear war with the Soviet Union was imminent. Despite the terror-inducing transmission (which closed with the correct authentication word) not every station followed the emergency protocol; some ignored it, assuming it was a weekly test. A second message announcing the error followed shortly, but not before freaking out some of the recipients. "[We're] considering billing NORAD for three sets of underwear," one Virginia broadcaster said.
What would you do if you'd read that message?